The three aspects of our nature that are the cause of most of our problems - in fact most human caused problems - are self-pride, fear and selfishness. Please, dear reader, think about what is said here. If you sit back and think a moment about the conflict in your life - or the conflict you witness in other peoples lives or the world in general - you will most likely arrive at self-pride, fear or selfishness being the root cause. If we can see and acknowledge the cause of our problems, we then can look for solutions to solve the problem. If we cannot see our problems, we have no hope of solving them.
Self pride says in some version, 'I am not wrong (even though I might be) and I am smarter or better or more valuable or important than the other person (even when we are not)'. Self pride is an enemy of objectivity and an open mind…it is an enemy of learning and enlightenment. Self pride is the inward state of a person that manifests itself with arrogant words and behavior.
Self-pride blinds us to our faults, failures and errors.
It is a primary cause behind human conflict since it is what is behind thoughts or statements like, ‘I deserve that, don’t get in my way’; or, ‘I am more worthy of that than you are, don’t get in my way’; or, ‘I am a better person than you, thus I don’t value you and don’t care what you think or what happens to you’; or, ‘Don’t you know the position I hold, that I am higher than you and thus you should submit to me and my ways’; or, ‘Don’t you know who I am…thus you should not speak those opinions to me’; or, 'Don't you know I am better than you'; et cetera, et cetera.
You should get the idea.
Any person who sees themselves as more valuable or important than another person has a problem with self pride, which problem will blind them to both themselves as well as very important aspects of human life and existence. Self-pride prevents us from seeing our need…our need to apologize, our need to ask for forgiveness, our need to be forgiven for the bad stuff we say and do that contribute to the pain, hurt, coldness, indifference or lovelessness of the people around us.
Religious pride says, 'My beliefs about God (or the church or other such God-things) are right and yours are wrong', accompanied by no sincere desire or offer to discuss the differences and to use reason to help sort out the claims. Since there are no physical things to validate God claims, religious pride is particularly stubborn or intractable. And yet, a person's view on their own nature or the existence or nature of God are extremely important regarding how one chooses to live one's life. For example, if a supreme being exists and he/she has given a standard of what is right or wrong human behavior; and that supreme being implemented a system for justice for each individual to be held accountable to that standard of right and wrong; then that would have a significant impact on how a person lives their life.
Self-pride prevents me from seeing or acknowledging, "I am wrong" and thus prevents me from learning.
Fear says that I don’t want to consider new or different viewpoints or life options. It is an enemy of an open mind…it is an enemy of learning and enlightenment. Fear is an enemy of me changing myself – either changing what I believe or how I behave. Fear says, ‘I just don’t want to go there because…[fill in the reason]; or, ‘If I am wrong about that, then I am afraid to consider the consequences’; or, ‘I don’t know what is around that particular corner, and I am afraid to look so I'm not going to’; or, ‘If I do that – even though I know it is right – I am afraid of what might happen’; or, ‘If I believe that, then I will lose [fill in the blank]; or, ‘I’ve never considered that, and I don’t want to because I know at some level there will be consequences that I am afraid to experience’; et cetera, et cetera. Fear is an antonym of courage. Courage drives selfless human behavior. Fear drives selfish human behavior.
Self-pride says, “I don’t want to change my beliefs or behavior because I am already right (and thus I believe I have complete knowledge or mastery in some area). Fear says, “I don’t want to change by beliefs or behavior because I am afraid of the consequences on my life…I am afraid of the unknown and I don’t want to lose things or people I believe I need, even if they are not good for me’. Fear seeks to protect self - including my pride and self image - against anything that I perceive might cause me to have to change, or cause me discomfort or embarrassment...even against truth and love.
Fear has a particularly strong hold regarding religion. Most religions have a God who is eager to punish those who transgress its laws or rules or who don't believe the right things about him - and of course 'our God' is especially eager to punish the other guys and perhaps even use us as his instrument of punishment : ) This would be true for most of christianity, judaism and islam, and so we are talking about billions of human beings who labor under this false belief. Many other less popular religions or spiritual beliefs also have a strong punishment or blood thirsty element in them. I would offer that this is because all human's have a conscience and that conscience - if not broken - informs us that when we do something wrong, we deserve a just consequence. This is good and natural and perhaps the largest factor in preventing human's from destroying ourselves faster or more effectively.
Fear puts me in a cage of my own making...it prevents me from considering or accepting that which is better...
it prevents me from going forward out of the cage and into a new, better understanding or situation.
Selfishness is the foundation from which pride and fear work. Selfishness is the primary cause of human conflict as well as the main force against change for the better. Selfishness – that is to protect myself or gain for myself no matter the consequences to others; to advocate for what I want for personal gain even when it is wrong, without concern to its impact on others; to take from others to ‘enrich’ myself with no concern about the impact or cost to others – is the root cause of human problems, including mine and yours. Pride and fear work from a selfish base nature, and together, they make all the things that are wrong with both individuals and the human race that is made up of the collective individuals. Hatred – that which causes or justifies taking from or harming others - is merely a manifestation of pride or fear or selfishness. The heart or center of the highest form of love is to value someone else so much as to behave selflessly towards them motivated by compassion...to want to be with them, not apart from them.
Selfishness works hard against love with pride and fear causing or justifying my selfishness and thus my lovelessness.
Harming or neglecting others is caused by people who allow self-pride or fear or selfishness or some combination of the three to guide their words or actions. They are the darkness which infects the human soul and thus the human race and prevents love. They are the darkness that causes the human world to be what it is with so much unnecessary pain, suffering, loneliness and loss. We desperately need a cure – a solution – first as an individual, and then collectively.
Please, take a look at your own life dear reader. Really think about the problems you experience and see if your own pride or fear or selfishness are not playing a role in causing your problems or the problems of those you encounter or claim to care about. And then ask yourself, ‘how can I be free of - or at least minimize - the influence of self-pride and fear and selfishness on others around me I claim to care about and the decisions I make that affect my life'?
If you can evaluate yourself objectively and thus see your need, please click here to discover the solution.