2008.11.30 13:00 - Humility and Arrogance

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     The goc at this guardian meeting was Maxine Walden.  The comments are hers.  

    When I got to the Pavilion, Wol was already there.We greeted each other and wondered about the fountain


    Wol Euler: hello maxine
    Maxine Walden: Wol, what a razzy title you have today
    Maxine Walden: have today...love it
    Wol Euler: :)
    Maxine Walden: want to keep the fountain this way?
    Wol Euler: a bit of fun, to cheer myself up.
    Wol Euler: as you wish :) 

    We are soon joined by Pema, Umbriel, Stevenaia, Corvuscorva

    Pema Pera: Hi Wol and Maxine!
    Maxine Walden: (oh, forgot what Storm told us re changing the fountain. ) Hi, Pema
    Wol Euler: hello pema
    Maxine Walden: Pema, is the fountain OK for you?
    Maxine Walden: I kind of like it as is
    Pema Pera: I'm happy any way :)
    Maxine Walden: ah, thanks for the tip! Yes forgot
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello all
    Maxine Walden: hi, steve
    stevenaia Michinaga: (only seeing Wol at the moment)
    Pema Pera: Hi Steve and Umbriel and Corvi!
    Wol Euler: hello steve, umbriel, corvi
    Maxine Walden: yes, hi Umbriel and Corvi
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hiya Wol, Umbriel, Pema, Steve, Maxine.

    Lots of greetings go around

    Wol Euler: /hug corvu
    Wol gives Corvuscorva a big hug.
    Umbriel Levenque: uh... hugs
    Corvuscorva Nightfire jumps up and down in happiness to see Wol again, finally.
    Umbriel Levenque: Peace and Love
    Wol Euler: it's been nearly a week :(
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods, sadly.
    Wol Euler: anyway, come and sit :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: hi Corvi

    I observe Pema's couple of postings to the guardian group one about the PaB practice ad SL and one about a weeklong retreat next summer. 

    Maxine Walden: Pema, interesting postings from you that last couple of days
    Pema Pera: Thanks, Maxine; any comments/ideas/suggestions?
    stevenaia Michinaga: you to Maxine
    Maxine Walden: I sent a response to your first posting, the one re PaB and SL. Still thinking about the weeklong retreat
    Wol Euler: oh yes, that is a great idea. I am sorely tempted.
    Maxine Walden: think a week long retreat might be very intriguing, also probably transforming
    Wol Euler thinks getting up at 5 am is very hard work.
    Umbriel Levenque: ^^ not if you go to bed earlier
    Maxine Walden: but, Pema, could we ask you about that 'provocative comment' in the other posting, re leapfrogging all that has come before?
    Pema Pera: oh, sure, that's a mysterious statement, no?
    Umbriel Levenque: Yes seriously mysterious Pema ^^
    Maxine Walden: it can be taken several ways...yes
    Pema Pera: here it is: "We leapfrog all forms of practice done by all great practitioners in all traditions that have ever existed, and we claim that it is meaningful to start at their end, to make their end our beginning."
    Pema Pera: how would you like to take it, Maxine?

    Perhaps I introduce the topic of arrogance, but we seem to then enter into a lively discussion of arrogance vs humility

    Maxine Walden: I responded that the cautious me feels it important to mention that any leapfrogging be done in the atmosphere of humility, because it could also be read as one of arragance
    Maxine Walden: arrogance
    Pema Pera: oh, absolutely! ANYTHING we say here can be _totally_ misunderstood very easily . . . . and it is good to remind ourselves of that and stay aware of it
    Hana Hendrassen: hallo
    Umbriel Levenque: Hey Hana ^^
    Wol Euler: hello hana
    Maxine Walden: yes, because it seems so important to appreciate all the thought and experience of thousands of years...

    Then Pema suggests going beyond humility and arrogance, something I ask him to clarify 

    Pema Pera: the only way that my sentence makes sense is to go beyond both humility and arrogance
    Pema Pera: no other way . . . .
    Pema Pera: hi Hana!
    Pema Pera: Good seeing you again!
    Hana Hendrassen waves cheerfully
    Umbriel Levenque: ^_^
    Maxine Walden: I am not sure what you mean, 'beyond' humility and arrogance
    Pema Pera: You see, there are two parts to all those great practitioners: 1) what they did; 2) what they said after they did it
    Pema Pera: (and all this roughly, and relatively speaking . . . .)
    Pema Pera: With respect to 1), what they did, my sentence seems absolutely wrong

    And Pema does clarify 

    Pema Pera: but with respect to 2), what they said at the end of their struggles, my sentence is in accord with what they said
    Pema Pera: namely that there is nothing to do, and that Being IS, as a concrete resource:
    Pema Pera: always already in this way
    Pema Pera: Question is: can we move from 1) to 2) . . . . without derailing . . . . quite a challenge
    Maxine Walden: derailing being...?
    Pema Pera: derailing on the relative level, by becoming arrogant
    Pema Pera: by strengthening our relative being . . . . moving away from seeing Being, from Being seeing
    Maxine Walden: yes, I understand that concern 

    And we seem to discuss again arrogance and how close to pride it is 

    Pema Pera: easy to become proud of being involved in PaB, on the fast track . . . VERY dangerous in fact
    Umbriel Levenque creates a notecard containing the eamil for Hana
    Hana Hendrassen: ookinii
    Maxine Walden: yes, very dangerous I would agree, because then one is really lost in pride/arrogance and basically faces collapse
    Hana Hendrassen: ty
    Umbriel Levenque: Pleasure ^^
    Maxine Walden: this may be one reason why it is so important to go slowly, as you advise so frequently
    Pema Pera: and all of us are skirting danger, each session we are here, and our challenge is to help each other avoid that danger -- and it helps to see that that danger, too, is part of Being, and that from Being's viewpoint there is no danger . . .
    Pema Pera: yes, Maxine
    Pema Pera: not forcing, wu-wei, letting Being see . . . .

    We then begin to discuss whether arrogance and humility are in the eye of the beholder, some of us thinking this to be so, and others feeling that arrogance and humility are internal states of mind 

    stevenaia Michinaga: but doesn;t humility become arrogance only when it it preceived by others as such? Impossible to control the perceptions of others
    Maxine Walden: my thought, Steve, is that humility can become arrogance is we feel so privileged to be so humble, etc...of course we cannot control others' perceptions,
    Maxine Walden: but if we fall into the trap of 'what do they think of us' we may slip toward arrogance and narcissistic concern
    stevenaia Michinaga: privileged humility.... I need a moment with that one
    Pema Pera: yes, like attempts at compassion can become arrogant, possessive, vindictive, etc, rather easily
    Umbriel Levenque: Hey Moon ^^
    Pema Pera: hi Moon!
    Maxine Walden: Steve, sort of like 'am I appearing humble enough? '
    Hana Hendrassen: hi Moon!
    Wol Euler: hello moon
    Maxine Walden: hi moon
    Corvuscorva Nightfire perks up.
    stevenaia Michinaga: not a question the truly humble will be asking
    Maxine Walden: right, steve!.
    Wol Euler: yes, I am lost here. Are we concerned with what we -are- (as well as we can judge it) or with how others judge it?
    Pema Pera: but who of us is truly humble, Steve? Certainly not me . . . :-)
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Moon
    Wol Euler strokes moon's ears gently.
    Moon Fargis purrzzzzzzzzz

    The discussion continues with some opinions becoming more intense including my own.And it may be that others then are beginning to feel that these intensely held views are a bit arrogant! 

    Pema Pera: we all easily tend to fall into arrogance, I think, or whatever way of falling out of balance -- Wol, I think that was the core point
    stevenaia Michinaga: wonders if humility is like arrogance, in the eye of the onlooker
    Maxine Walden: please say more, Steve
    stevenaia Michinaga: for instance weather the Dali Lama is arrogant or humble will depend on who evaluates, the Chinese government, for instance, or the majority of the world
    stevenaia Michinaga: *whether
    Maxine Walden: ah, but what about how he feels himself? Do you think he can feel arrogant at times, better than the Chinese, but not at other times?
    stevenaia Michinaga: hard for me to answer for him
    Maxine Walden: Guess my only concern about humility vs arrogance is that when I am feeling arrogant I am much more concerned with power, being better, what the other thinks, because I have lost the compass of my inner humble self, seeking understanding and being
    Moon Fargis: "the ignorance, and acquisitiveness is the doom of human mankind"
    Maxine Walden: it is staying in tune with my quiet inner quest for me and not letting myself get too excited, strident...arrogant...that sort of thing which feels important
    Maxine Walden: actually for me it is not arrogance so much as doubt/dread which tends to derail me more...not sure for others, but think that is my tendency
    stevenaia Michinaga: we need an arrogance/Humility meter, lile thses little numbers above our head, so others can let us know how we come across
    Pema Pera: :)
    Maxine Walden: maybe so, Steve
    Wol Euler: would we trust and believe their ratings?
    stevenaia Michinaga: how can we deny them?
    Pema Pera: we can be mirrors for each other, yes -- like in the case of arrogance, it is part of arrogance not to see that you are (subtly) arrogance, oftentimes . . .
    Pema Pera: *arrogant
    stevenaia Michinaga: is it our intent or how we are preceived that matters?
    Maxine Walden: oh, our intent
    Umbriel Levenque wonders if humility springs from doubts
    stevenaia Michinaga: wonders of arrognace springs from doubt...smile
    Pema Pera: our intent combined with seeing enough to realize the intent
    Umbriel Levenque: Too fast for me steve ^^
    stevenaia Michinaga: if we oare misread, then our word probably fail us more than our intents
    stevenaia Michinaga: or, our typiing, in my case
    Maxine Walden: could be, Steve, but we may be mis-read and still true to our intents, it seems to me
    Wol Euler: that is what I was aiming at, Maxine. Misreading is so very common...
    Maxine Walden: and hopefully we remain guided by our inner compass, our intents, hopes, trustings
    Pema Pera: and learn to express ourselves better, over time
    Maxine Walden: right, Wol.
    stevenaia Michinaga: as is true for finding the "a common set of words" for Being
    stevenaia Michinaga: a not so easy task

    We also turn to Faith and trust as important elements 

    Umbriel Levenque: And I've also learnt to have "faith in something outside oneself" as a friend put it the other day
    Maxine Walden: faith toward the outside, while also faith toward inner companions?
    Umbriel Levenque: beyond 'I' as I understood it Maxine
    Maxine Walden: I see, UmbrielUmbriel Levenque: As well as trust in one's innate wisdom
    Maxine Walden: perhaps it seems arrogant to others when I place trust in my inner companions, as if that is self-centered
    Wol Euler: hello gen
    Maxine Walden: but it seems to me that we may find faith in several places, inner and outer...but others may differ about that considerably
    Umbriel Levenque: Peace and Love
    Pema Pera: Hi Gen!
    Maxine Walden: hi, gen
    genesis Zhangsun: Hi All :)
    Hana Hendrassen: hi Gen
    genesis Zhangsun: Hey Hana
    Umbriel Levenque: Perhaps such distinction is not always accurate Maxine... I just realised at times faith is needed... not just compassion/wisdom
    Umbriel Levenque: How I distinguished*
    Maxine Walden: thanks for attempting to clarify, Umbriel
    Umbriel Levenque: np ^^

    And courage.But we then return to faith and perhaps fundamentalism.I then wonder whether my strongly held views seem to be arrogant, and feel from the laughter that such has been the group's perception. 

    Maxine Walden: yes, for me faith of the first description is really more toward fundamentalism which for me is more re power than faith
    Umbriel Levenque: ah yes, he also called that faith 'courage'... perhaps that's more accurate
    Umbriel Levenque: I need that at times...
    Pema Pera: faith is a funny thing -- there are two kinds of faith: faith that what you're doing is the absolute right thing, in a dogmatic way; and faith that what you are doing is totally worthwhile doing, even if it will turn out that your initial ideas were wrong . . .
    Pema Pera: scientists in their research ideally are driven by faith of the second kind
    Pema Pera: and they perceive religious types as having faith of the first kind
    Pema Pera: hence the clashes . . . .
    Hana Hendrassen: that's a great way to sum it up
    Maxine Walden: when one must be right or one is dead wrong, that does not allow for uncertainty and exploration into the unknown, it seems to me. Faith ad trust I think only apply when we can be friendly with not knowing
    Maxine Walden: but I have strong feelings about this which may seem arrogant (!)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire laughs.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: not really.
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Hana Hendrassen smiles

    Pema tries to soften the situation.

    Pema Pera: A colleague of mine said: "one of the great pleasures of science is to prove someone wrong, and the greatest pleasure is proving yourself to be wrong, since then you really learned something"
    Maxine Walden: smiles
    Umbriel Levenque: ^^
    Moon Fargis babbles in his sleep "know is a burden, people have to carry, but burdens can be made lighter when they are shared"
    Umbriel Levenque: heheheh my ignorance is bliss 

    Issues of sharing, and ignorance... 

    Pema Pera: "shared joy double joy, shared pain half pain"
    Maxine Walden: the sharing is so important...
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, true
    Hana Hendrassen: "ignorance is bliss"... there also could be two kinds of ignorance: that which you don't want to know, and that which you are content to be unable to know
    Pema Pera: yes, Hana, so true!
    Umbriel Levenque: ah... ^^
    Maxine Walden: interesting, Hana
    Hana Hendrassen: my two cents for the day, hehe
    Pema Pera: :)
    Umbriel Levenque: ^_^
    Pema Pera: L$ 5
    Moon Fargis purrzzzzzzzzz
    Hana Hendrassen grins

    And then trying to avoid an awkwardness from last week, I seem to create an even greater one, in that after my comment no one speaks for some time.What was meant as a shared insight was taken as a mild rebuke.I felt in retrospect that I must have seemed a somewhat abrasive presence in the group today, very different from my inner sense or indeed intent. 

    Maxine Walden: Last week I mentioned needing to go in 5 minutes and then felt I had to go because everyone was saying goodbye...so will here say I need to go in 5 min but will stay til then; will take the chatlog when I go, andmaybe someone could send anything thereafter to me for inclusion in the chatlog
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Wol Euler chuckles guiltily. Sure, I'll do ghat.
    Wol Euler: *that
    Maxine Walden: thanks, Wol
    Moon Fargis meows "Meow Meow Meow Meow"
    Hana Hendrassen chuckles at Moon
    Moon Fargis: *giggles*
    Maxine Walden: (am beginning to think everyone is waiting for me to go before carrying on with the conversation....)
    Wol Euler laughs
    Wol Euler: oh dear.
    Pema Pera: Hi Shaporaz!
    Maxine Walden: hi, Shaporaz
    stevenaia Michinaga: I don;t wnat to be the 1st one to say bye
    Pema Pera: come join us if you like
    Snaporaz Paule: Hi everybody
    Hana Hendrassen: hi Shaporaz
    Umbriel Levenque: Peace and Love
    Maxine Walden: I will be going now, so everyone can say goodbye(!)
    Hana Hendrassen: aww
    genesis Zhangsun: bye Maxine!
    Pema Pera: haha, bye Maxine!
    Umbriel Levenque: Peace and Love
    Maxine Walden: bye all
    Moon Fargis: hehe
    Wol Euler chukles. Bye maxine, enjoy the evening
    Hana Hendrassen: bye Maxine

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    Viewing 2 of 2 comments: view all
    Originally written on 21:55, 01 Dec 2008
    Aww Maxine...you didn't sound arrogant..you never do, actually..not to me. I laughed only because it was such a clever turn of phrase...and immediately wished I hadn't 'cause I was afraid it would sound like it did...

    I love that you really work to understand, to find meaning in what we are doing. I love the way you grapple with the concepts, biting and chewing them. Please don't let fear of embarrasment, or sounding "arrogant" stop you from chewing..it would be a great loss to me. And I think you are right on about fundamentalism, v/s faith.
    Posted 05:17, 9 Apr 2010
    Originally written on 23:18, 01 Dec 2008
    No, Maxine, not at all arrogant, and no more abrasive either. I'm sorry if I gave that impression. I was laughing at your words, not at you.
    Posted 05:17, 9 Apr 2010
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