How do you perceive others?
I was given a grant at the beginning of the summer to write for a week in a very beautiful place in the north of Denmark. The host gives grants to artists and scientists. You would think that this was a good match because both groups are innovative and create new visions, but the groups each represent the essence of the difference between the right and the left brain, the intuitive and the rational, the feminine and the masculine.
There were a lot of open-minded scientists, but there were also a few that practiced intellectual arrogance. One of them knew everything and he was sure that his way of perceiving the world, and others, was the right way. He had no doubt in his mind. If you wanted to discuss with him it was a battle and he was in it to win. Now, I have a background in theosophy and I am quite well read and reflected in spirituality, so normally I would enjoy a fair discussion, but he didn’t really want a discussion. He just wanted to be right.
The question of how we perceive others is interesting because it can be challenging to remain open-minded. I have been in other spiritual incitements since studying theosophy. Sometimes it is easy to come as myself without dragging my story, my experiences, and my knowledge along, but in some groups, I get triggered to position myself. Often, it is when others in a group are positioning themselves. It can be important to position yourself in order to have a say in a group, but most of the time it just creates barriers and borders. So, how can each of us be more open-minded and stay away from making conclusions about others?
For me, spiritual arrogance is worse than intellectual arrogance because we have the tools to look at ourselves. We have to look at both our superiority and our inferiority because if we were in our true authority, we would allow ourselves to go into neither superiority nor inferiority. Spiritual arrogance means positioning ourselves to be worth more than others and we learn this in our culture. In the collective subconsciousness and in our ego-structure, we are pushed in that direction., but if we don’t judge others and refrain from going into competition with them, we won’t get triggered to position ourselves. The tricky part is that in order to not judge and not go into competition, we need to remain completely vulnerable with ourselves and others.
If we dare remain vulnerable with ourselves and accept our own insecurity, we can give up our need to categorize, conclude, and compare. Then both spiritual and intellectual arrogance are impossible. We can never be more than… or less than… we just are. We just exist alongside each other. It is an illusion in the physical world to think we are competitors.
We are trained to mentally process everything that is going on in our lives, to constantly overview and categorize everything in boxes – what is going on and why – which all create conclusions. What if we experienced everything from a different place in ourselves? If we allowed ourselves to be more intuitive in our experience of life, we might be positively surprised that life and situations turn out much better than we could have imagined and would normally have concluded.
Being vulnerable is being willing not to know. Being vulnerable is the ultimate control breaker and many of us have control issues. So, to avoid spiritual and intellectual arrogance, we can work with our control issues and train ourselves to be vulnerable. We can live from a space where it is not important to know and understand everything, to just be present and allow ourselves to feel what we feel, think what we think while also allowing things to change. This openness is the beauty of vulnerability.
We are not more than others because we have been on our journey longer than others. It could be that we are just slow… so we cannot conclude. We are not more than others because we are part of a certain spiritual system. We really don’t know if others move faster because they are not in that system. I have experienced groups where they could not see me because they concluded a lot of things about myself and my background through their own system.
If we can meet people from a space of curiosity, and if we can practise to see the best in others, then we will reside in humbleness and gratitude for others, and for life, which will bring us into our own authority. We really can’t conclude anything because we really don’t know. We cannot conclude that people with lots of light and joy are not deep and have experienced no darkness because we do not know.
So, as spiritual people on our journey, it is a good idea to be careful that we don’t consciously or subconsciously come to conclusions and judge. We also don’t control how we perceive everything in life. Energetically, it is difficult to learn from someone if we have concluded that they know less than we do which will cause us to miss out on so much in life. If we are willing to live life from a more intuitive and vulnerable place, we can create so much together. We can lift each other up and we can lift the world to a higher consciousness.