…is My Indian Name
I am a socialist, a collectivist, My temperament is unsuitable in some ways to my political position. For example, I hate meetings, especially when decisions are made by consensus. I have come to understand the root of some of these incompatibilities. A degree of humility is expected of collectivists. After all, everyone must subordinate hirself to the group as a whole. But I am grandiose. I find it depressing to be counted as one cipher among many. Where do I fit in?
What is the core philosophical difference between humility and grandiosity. Do grandiose people really belong in The Movement? What makes grandiosity so attractive to some of us?
At the present time, the world is in the throws of a severe class war. The 1% s winning. They have the money and an American Supreme Court that has changed the rules, enabling the rich to buy the allegiance of government representatives. In addition, many Americans believe they live in a classless society where only individuals succeed or fail. These people consider the very concept of “class war” to be subversive. They still live in the ideology of the “cold war” where Communism and Socialism are evil. But with the material resources distributed so unevenly, there is no way the working class can win without working closely and selflessly together.
Back in classical days, Plato created a theory of reality called the Platonic Ideal. Reality is not primarily physical, it is spiritual. Everything in the physical world is based on a perfect example. There is a perfect triangle, a perfect square, circle, etc. What we find manifested in the “real world” are approximations of those ideas. They come close but never achieve the perfection of the ideal.
Malkuth is most Uncouth
The Qabalah maps out a scheme for reality, The physical is only one of nine spheres each representing aspects of reality. Eight of them are aspects of the spiritual.
Malkuth is the realm of dimensions, space; existence and non-existence. We have a great deal of freedom in Malkuth. We can travel all over the world and even into outer space. We can interact with other living creatures. But everything is temporary. Life and death follow one and other. Death is accompanied by decay and pain.
Since we live so long, the slow, gradual demise can be agonizingly tedious. Reality is amazing. But the details can be nauseating.
Our focus on the spiritual side buoys us above the very grim side of the physical world.
There are many ways to escape the fleshy prison of our bodies without actually dying. Personality “disorders” are one path to freedom. In narcissism, for example, we reject our true self, with all its flaws and embrace an ideal self which we practically worship. All the shame and guilt belonging to the true self are buried in the glare of the glorious ideal. Psychopaths also are guilt and shame free. Their grandiosity shields them from mishaps.
Romanticism shuns the grimy details of life. One doesn’t see characters in a romantic novel taking a dump, brushing his teeth, etc. A romantic novelist shows her contempt for the mundane with this simple sentence. “The township of Stanton began with a dump.” (Ayn Rand, “The Fountainhead.”) People do need to take dumps and towns need dumps to rid themselves of refuse. But these things don’t belong in the grandiose world of the romantic.
On the other hand, Liza, the main character of “Good Enough to Eat” by Leslea Newman muses, “…people in books … never go to the bathroom… Not only were they all thin, but they never had frizzy hair or flat feet or hang nails either. Or hairy legs or pimples.” (Page 88)
There is magic in grandiosity. It allows us to soar above all the crappy things that hold us to the earth. Besides art, there are drugs, religion, fantasy, music, games, danger and war, All these things disregard the vulnerability of our “real selves.”
I look up to Hannibal Lecter for a number of reasons. But the greatest reason is the way Lecter stands up to adversity. He is as down as society can make a person. He is in a cell with no window, no friends, and no real freedom. The administrator of the prison, Dr. Chilton, hates Lecter’s guts and hurts him as much as he is legally allowed to do. He has been given truth serum to get information out of him. He gave a recipe instead. He has been threatened with “dignity pants” (should be called INdignity pants). He is unshakable and unflappable. I admire people who can be grandiose in the most one or 1,000 down place. Their greatness is within, not in their circumstances.
One of my favorite rants. This is from the movie, The Devil’s Advocate about a man who is really grandiose. The speaker is the devil himself. It’s a bit judgmental but I just adore the eloquence of the rhetoric.
- Grandiosity and Self Confidence. Down the Rabbit Hole.
- Down the Rabbit Hole. How to Cure a Narcissist.
- Sam Vaknin who knows everything about grandiosity. He helps people who have found their association with a narcissist hurtful. But I thought narcissists don’t have empathy. So why would he care?
- Diary of a Narcissist. Sam Vaknin’s Journal