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My Experience Understanding Pride

Experience submitted by Karim El Bazi
Experience submitted by Karim El Bazi

Some Early Observations of Pride

When I first learned about awareness and self-observation from Belsebuub’s work, I was inspired to go for lots of mindfulness walks to explore conscious awareness.

During these walks one of the recurring thoughts I kept spotting was: me being in front of a spiritual figure or authority, along with my peers, and I would state my ‘revelatory findings‘, which in that daydream would be acknowledged by that authority. This made me feel special and gain the esteem of others.

I kept trying to ask for the elimination of that daydream, this worked to some extent, but it was obvious I needed to investigate pride and understand it more deeply.

Another Example

A different scenario. I was sitting on my own on the top deck of a bus, the local public transport. At the next stop, walking up the stairs of the bus, was a pretty girl.

I could observe a whole set of reactions taking place within me, like feeling an aspect of pride which made me want to impress her.

It tried to manifest through my movements, a look, posture, my looks, what I was wearing, what I was doing.

At the same time though that pride also had its opposite — fear. Insecurity. So when showing off I also saw an insecurity about the way I looked, hairdo, presentation, the clothes do they look good and hint at status and money and the right social league?

Through situations like this I could see this triangle going on of pride and fear. Which like a ball in a pinball machine one can bounce in between. Starting to see these things within felt great actually, the food of self-knowledge. To uncover the workings of my psyche and functioning of the world.

Guidance in the Astral

At that time I also had multiple astral experiences related to pride. In one dream I, along with someone else, (who I felt represented my defect in the form of a second person in order for me to more easily recognize it) were both making a sacred symbol/gesture. But we did this with pride.

Someone else was also there, a spiritual being known to me, he was — “not impressed” :D. I got told for the foolishness, because it was foolish. I was using something sacred to try to look good.

An interesting side note though is that when he was walking away my attention was drawn to a phenomenon happening to him and how he dealt with it, giving me a valuable lesson I needed at that time. So even though that spiritual being had something to say about me, and rightly so, he still gave me this teaching.

In another dream experience I was put into a situation that I was carrying out everyday, in this task though pride was also tagging along. The person I was trying to impress could see the prideful intention clearly from the get-go, I was also fully aware of it. So who was I fooling? The person just stayed silent after.

When it’s just this pride speaking it has an emptiness to it and I could feel how ‘lame’ it was. I was just wasting other people’s time. But the situation demonstrated I still had it.

These experiences were telling me to pay attention to pride. I took this very seriously and acted on it by making it a prominent focus in my work of self-discovery. As I studied and observed the manifestations I found that the insights I acquired on one level were a stepping stone to look even deeper.

Seeing How Pride Works

Photo by Andre Mouton via unsplash
A peacock is seen as a symbol of pride in dreams. Photo by Andre Mouton via unsplash

A pattern or mechanism that I saw was roughly as follows: I would do something, learn something, think of something, or an opportune situation would occur around me, or absolutely anything really. In those moments pride in the form of a thought and feeling came in seeing its chance.

So when that ego first recognized the occurrence, it would sketch a future scenario in my thoughts where I would be projecting my ‘achievement’ onto others, impressing them and getting that adoration back. That daydream then, being like the miniature of the scenario occurring in real life (albeit in this case only in the landscape of my head in the form of a fantasy), would evoke a pleasurable emotion.

In giving that pleasure to the emotional center though, it would also take energy from it, feeding itself and supporting that whole huge program and the goals of pride, keeping its hold in place and me bound to it. Furthermore I also noticed it strengthened the wanting to manifest that imagined scenario into real life in the future.

This process was happening continually, as if there was always an ever-lurking thief behind my back, looking to make use of anything happening to boast itself, to raise one’s position in a sub-society in order to fulfill its goals.

An Inner Tug of War

So I gained some knowledge about its workings. But what about wanting to give it up? There have been many instances that helped me in this regard, but I’ll mention two examples specifically.

One of the things I’ve been interested in is to make contact with extraterrestrial beings, and I’ve had some success in trying this which has always felt like a communication that is very special. At one point a friend and I researched, planned and prepared a rare one-off trip in order to go to see some crop circles and ancient sacred sites.

There, the beautiful landscape of the area, the wonderment in finding the circles, seeing them with our own eyes, it all had an otherworldly quality to it. Being there in the crop circle, with the perfect conditions I tried a practice to send some telepathic messages into space. However I couldn’t continue, ulterior motives of pride were sabotaging my genuine efforts, sneaking in, tainting, diverting my energy.

My ugliness struck me, painfully revealing. This meant that even though the perfect circumstances were right there before me I had to let go of any attempts to make contact. I knew what was really important. I had to look inside, see, pray for help, and work to change.

At another time in a different scenario I was in a very deep and personal prayer. Mentally verbalizing exactly what my heart wanted to say. But even there! Pride tried to get into, to hijack it.

Whispering in my ears such things as: “these prayers are beautiful, your knowledge is original, use this to impress your peers.” Then, I began to feel upset, since I realized pride was taking away from my experience and adulterating my most precious thing — the moments of connection to the spiritual and divine.

Time to Change

These are only some aspects, and I’d love to say so much more and yet there’s still so much more to learn. But the point of it all is that I saw that practising Belsebuub’s techniques gave me the means to explore myself, my inner workings and life, and to change permanently.

“Self-knowledge is all-encompassing, and leads to knowledge of the fabric of life, death, and creation itself.” — Belsebuub, Self-Knowledge for Spiritual Awakening

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34 comments
  • This is why self-knowledge is so good. It allows you to see the things that trap you and understand them and be free. Like there can be this vague sense that something is not right and things are going wrong somehow and you are not acting quite the way you should but you don’t know what it is and it catches you unawares every time and you just go along and regret later. So to be able to see it in the moment and change it, is so different and so huge, in my opinion.

    Your article is very nice Karim. I really enjoyed reading it and it was timely and prompted reflection. I can relate to your examples of pride and what people have shared in the comments very much. It does feel like it can latch and does latch onto everything I do, especially if it’s something other people can see. The pleasurable feeling you mentioned, imagining others being impressed by you and praising you, can really drive and decide what you do – then if that praise doesn’t happen, or it’s less than you imagined, there is the corresponding disappointment and fear, ‘it was wrong’ or ‘it wasn’t good enough’. Totally dependent on someone’s (imagined) reaction to you.

    I feel like social media can especially strengthen pride in us. Because, what else is it for except creating an image of yourself, uploading the best photos and saying the smartest things? Some forms of social media can of course be used to spread information or communicate or promote your business or such, but others can be purely for just feeding that image of and pride in yourself. You can go somewhere like a nice trip in nature but instead of enjoying it, in your thoughts be very preoccupied with the photos you will take and catching the best scenery and selfies and sharing it, basically missing out on truly living and enjoying those moments.

    I can really relate to pride hijacking a spiritual experience. But I like what Karim said, in that we can’t not act or teach or help others because we’re afraid of feeding pride. Though sometimes I feel like I don’t know what life looks like without pride/fear. It must be amazing to get free of it.

    • Hey Laura,

      I also started to feel a bit sick of social media in part because of the way it gives people this really narcissistic platform to just bolster their pride, and how it pulled at that urge in me. I cam off it for a good while but actually went back on recently because of one of the posts on here – it was just so wonderful I wanted to share it and felt like that was the best place to do it! Now it’s there, after the break, I don’t feel the same attachment to it.

      And I really find the whole selfie-culture quite painful to observe. You can see how so many people are now living their lives with this image of themselves on social media at the forefront of their minds – not able to experience a nice place without capturing and sharing it.

    • That’s a useful side to mention Laura about our expectations created by pride. I can see how if someone is looking forward to a big event, like a wedding day, or finishing and displaying a big art project, or anything really, then pride can start to think about, feed and grow that fantasised scenario so much. Then an event that could’ve been gone through with so many wonderful moments could be ruined by anxiety to want it to go as our outlandish pride imagined it. Like you already mentioned I find it important to not let pride tag along in work we do, because then we things go differently than how we expected it it can cause a big reaction or depression. I’ve had this happen a number of times in the past (perhaps intentionally by the divine’s intent so I could see those ulterior drives within) but it wasn’t easy and pleasant.

      Selfies, Tell me about it! I was actually joking with myself to write a book on it: ‘Selfie Psychology 101.’ ~Reflections within with a selfie-stick. Part of a bigger series called ‘Only on planet Earth’. 🙂
      But yes at its core it’s a sign of a very serious tendency in my opinion. I see it happening all the time. A person sees something that has some ‘life’ in it and rather than experiencing it in the moment chooses to instead not experience it but rather put their psyche, their attention into the subconscious. Where the whole program is fed which looks forward to project it onto others, to gain that esteem back, giving us that pleasurable emotion of ‘assurance. All so that the goal that is behind pride can be fulfilled. Which is the direction of absorption into matter, our light into darkness.

      I found that at first I was a bit judgemental when seeing people take selfies with this rather off-putting ‘selfie-energy’, but not so much anymore. Perhaps because of some understanding of the states involved. Perhaps in the past it wasn’t so different? maybe in previous lives the women (and men) looking into their mirrors obsessively have now simply moved to smartphones 🙂 It can still be quite amusing though in seeing sometimes how this love of self has gone into overdrive, and someone is just taking selfies with anything and everything.

      P.S. I also have a selfie image posted on one of the websites here. 😀

      • Now that’s a book that should be written : D

        Very well put to words, that mechanism behind sharing on social media.

  • Thank you, Karim, for these deep insights into pride. Pride is so painful and likes to show up in everything, ruining things like you said. It’s like a betrayer to me. It makes you feel good but it also trap you and hurts you and those around you 🙁

    • I agree Anne Linn. I think in an everyday kind of lifestyle the pleasure of pride and what it pushes someone to achieve, you know social status, wealth and power, finding a mate etc.—serves its purpose.

      But when we experience and know there are higher things we can have within, awakening, conscious awareness, peace, the power of love towards others, and all these things then pride becomes like a betrayer indeed trying to steal our energetic direction towards spiritual things and aiming it towards material/selfish things.

      Great point about its potential to hurt others btw. That was one of the other things I was tempted to write about but didn’t because of the lengthiness of the article 🙂 I feel that if we put a lot of our energy into something and pride is tagging along unchecked, if that goal of pride is then blocked it can turn into some of the most dangerous and fanatic negativity which can destroy us and others!

      • I feel behind pride there is fear, and it’s something I’m trying to understand. Like….about being good enough. And if we’re not good at something, best at something, do we still have value. Are we still loved? If we were just awful at everything, could we still relax in the knowing that we’re worthy of love?

        Sometimes I just want to be a simple child close to my Divine parents.

        • Hey Anne Linn,

          Your questions bring to mind the sad ‘conditions’ that we often experience with acceptance and love in this world, and the kind of emotional blackmail that can go on in families and relationships and even with society about what we need to do to be loved and worthy of love. But real Love seems to be a reality that glues together life, that is the motive force of creation…

          “In the beginning, love arose, which was the primal germ cell of the mind” (Rig Veda)

          “Because of his mercy and his love, he wished to bring forth fruit by himself, that he might not enjoy his goodness alone, but that other spirits of the Unwavering Generation might bring forth body and fruit, glory and honour…” (The Wisdom of Jesus Christ)

          It seems this idea of having to be very good at something to be loved is very tied up with pride. In the video of Belsebuub linked to in this article he talks about how people become ‘expert’ in a field, competing with others for the top positions, a struggle of pride on pride. (I wonder as well how magnified this has become for is it what they call Generation X, the kids of the ‘you can do anything you want’ parenting culture, which in a way is true and gives freedom, but also some people have said creates these weak people who just have a sense of entitlement but don’t want to work for it – there’s quite a popular video going round by someone explaining why this generation make the worst employees!) In your mention of the simplicity of a child, close to their Divine Parents, I think of how absent that sense of competing with others is in what this child does to please their parents. There’s no other they’re outwitting when they draw them a picture, or make them a cake, or all those sweet things kids do to say “I love you” to their parents.

          Like what Karim mentioned, the reminder by Belsebuub that this is an intimate work between us and our own Being, and competing with others has no place in it, always shakes me.

          But also, I think we DO have to be good at some things to feel the love of our Divine Parents, and to be able to ‘relax’! We do actually have to be moving forward with attempts to change, making the next step, seeking understanding and connection to them, even if failure is part of this. The times that I’m able to actually feel their love is when I’ve been doing this, otherwise there is a tension, and a barrier, and a feeling that I’m not good enough for love, which in a way is true, I’m not loving and when I’m full of egos I can’t really receive love. “Your not good enough” can be the egos just working to bring us down, but it seems it can also be in a way our conscience saying that how we’re living now just isn’t allowing that love between us and our being to flow.

          I also wish that I could reach this state of feeling more like that innocent, loving child more. But I guess it needs a constant inner momentum of trying, which I’m not yet able to hold on to for very long!

          • Such a beautiful reply Ella. Thank you. It gave me a lot to reflect on. Sometimes it’s even a bit scary to feel close to the divine because then I feel their love, and it makes me feel a bit ashamed. It’s scary because it makes me feel how much I need to work to be worthy of such love. But the love seems to be there always. But I forget about it, forget to trust it and to take it in.

            But being near them seems to be the main thing that drives me most to want to do the inner work. It would be nice to have a really strong connection, so I could focus on their guidance instead of all the things the world is telling me.

            I wonder if children feel a sense of truth. The truth that they’re loved, and so they’re relaxed and happy. And other simple truths as well, but then it all gets muddied up as they grow up. Feeling they have to compete to be worthy and so on.

      • Anne Linn, your questions unleash a whole canister of things I’d want to say. But at the same time I do not very well know what to say. I wish I had more wisdom.

        One thing I once read from an older version of Belsebuub’s biography was (if I may take the liberty of paraphrasing) where mentions that he began this work with the illusion of pride, and that he would become a more spiritual ‘me’, but as he observed himself he began to slowly see the appallingness of what was inside. “My journey along the path is not like some competitive race to the finish line, but a repentance.”

        Another thing he mentions: “Look, this is for ordinary people, it’s about a person self-realizing. Forget all the nonsense about becoming a spiritual figure, it’s about you and the person next to you self-realizing.”

        Some of the things you mention imo are definitely of the side of the ego’s and that whole program of nature, and their tricks. They are there when we’re in the mind and identified with one of these states. So we need to step out of it completely, into reality, so we can be free of it (for a while), and of course observing and eliminating for progress.

        However I feel there’s also another side to the story perhaps. So it’s not about anyone else. But it is about us and our Being. Our Being also has a standard for us to reach. A work we need to do. Difficulties we need to choose to undertake and overcome.

        Still for me right now, but more prominently in certain periods of the past I ignored this call of my higher self, my conscience, and rather went with the more material life, pleasures and addictions. But then, late every night, failing them made me feel so bad, so disgusted with myself, so low. Going for that sort of addiction to lower states again and again, where I’d reached a point where I’d had enough. Because I was tired of failing them, and being like that didn’t make me happy at all.

        I wanted to have them on my side, or be on their side rather and have their support. To be in line with them, receive what they want to give me. Feel that connection and blessing, boons. To go for the real connection to reach my divine mother. But it’s tough. Increasingly and especially in a series of experiences I had which were deeply confronting I saw how reality is very harsh, terrible even. We don’t have many options really. It’s very difficult to fullfil the requirements our Divine Mother sets for us, which include suffering, what we think we’re able to handle, and then some. But I believe that in the bigger picture it comes as a help, so that we can reach the inner change and standard to be given and receive the spiritual things which will lead to the true safety.

        ….. But this comment is starting to get quite serious and preachy ;-). I know a wise friend of mine would probably say ‘Tititi Karim, tititi’ 😀

        Anyway these questions you wrote imo they’re a great place to start to look more into the roots of those fears and such, see where they come from. (They also made me remember some situations I want to look into myself now.) I’ve seen how we can start with something small, and grow a strength and momentum from there and gain an inner confidence. P.S. you can do it!

        • Thanks so much Karim 🙂 What Belsebuub said about repentance really struck me. It feels so true. Just a kind of sadness around ‘how did I get like this?’ To one day look up and see the mess I’m in, and how far I’ve wandered from my divine parents.

          And what you said about wanting to work with them. That’s what I want to do as well. And to actually make them happy. Like someone said, “to be the daughter she always wanted.”

  • Thanks for sharing your observations on pride Karim. I can relate to some of the manifestations that you mentioned and can recall occasions in childhood when I used to fantasise about being a pop star or a hero. Although I still sometimes catch myself thinking about imagined scenarios, I would say that nowadays pride is more often triggered within me in relation to past events, rather than projecting into the future. For example, by going over situations in my head in which someone did something that I perceived as being wrong or unfair.

    Pride can have many facets and the fact that most of us direct our thoughts towards ourselves and our own lives is a big indication that it is an inner state that affects everyone, whether it is noticed by the individual or not. By using the techniques I learnt from Belsebuub, I feel I have made some good progress with certain broad clusters of inner states, but I would include pride in my “big five” of the most persistent and complex states that have been the most difficult to shift.

    Fortunately I have been placed in quite a lot of situations over recent years that have exposed my own pride, which have given me a lot of opportunities to observe how it works within me and then take the steps to reduce it. Many of these situations have been in relation to long-term illness, as this has brought up various forms of pride, ranging from social aspects such as losing social status or employment, to vanity about my personal appearance, such as feeling uncomfortable about gaining weight due to immobility or getting used to appearing in public as a disabled person, rather than as a fit and capable young man.

    I feel I have learnt to be much less concerned about the perceptions of others than I once was, so some of the above examples are no longer particularly problematic for me currently. However, I’ve found one of the most difficult aspects to deal with has been when I’ve been putting in a lot of effort to try and overcome obstacles and move forwards, but have been viewed by others as lazy, disorganised or disinterested, due to not being able to manage certain things.

    The other biggest challenge has been when I have been suffering over a long period of time, but have faced indifference or even disbelief from others, including family members or those in the medical profession. I used to take this personally at first, as it can be hard to deal with a lack of interest and support from others when going through serious challenges. But I came to realise that in general, this hasn’t come from any deliberate ill intent on the part of others, but is just due to a lack of understanding.

    It’s difficult for people to empathise fully with something they have no direct experience of, as without going through it personally, it can just become an abstract idea that is easily overtaken by the constant stream of thoughts that surges through everyone’s mind. Of course, I’ve also seen this unfortunate human tendency in myself, particularly when I was younger and had less life experience, and I can recall a number of occasions where my own pleasure-seeking drives made me oblivious to the suffering of others. However, I’ve found that applying the tools I learnt from Belsebuub’s work to difficult situations has not only helped me to reduce my own pride, but has also allowed its opposite to manifest more, which is understanding and compassion.

    • Hi Michael,
      I just wanted to thank you for sharing your experience and situation. It’s hard to imagine what you’ve had to go through, but it seems you were able to take some really valuable understanding out of it.

      I hope your health has been improving! Wish you all the strength.

    • Micheal by all accounts you’ve been through a lot with illness in the last few years. But it sounds from how you write here that you’ve been able to glean a lot of inner learning from it. Hopefully this means that when you get better you will be an inwardly, and physically, changed man. Belsebuub says that when illnesses happen it’s something we can also learn from, and that sometimes there are particular things we need to see and overcome when faced with an illness in life, as this tends to bring up a unique set of inner states we wouldn’t otherwise see when we’re healthy. (I’m not saying it’s the same forces at play for your illness, though it’s clear that the challenges we go through on the path are magnified, and ever more difficult, versions of challenges that normal people go through.)

      It sounds like you’ve been through events that have helped you find compassion and understanding for others, as well as to find freedom from the self-image. Regards the latter, one experience comes to mind – when I was a teenager I came home from abroad because I had a bad skin infection on my face. When I got to central London there were no buses and I didn’t have money to stay anywhere. I really looked like I was homeless, with my rucksack, disease, and raggedy cloths, out there on the street at night. I could see that’s how I was viewed and it was a really shocking experience, it took away all my confidence and I saw how much I relied on being seen in a certain way to feel OK.

      Anyway, wishing you all the courage to keep struggling through your difficult time.

      • Thanks for your comments Ella. Yes, I feel that there are reasons why people have to go through prolonged periods of illness. In my case, it has certainly brought up a lot of inner states that I may have otherwise missed and has made me have to really choose the direction I want my life to take.

        When things are rosy, it can seem as if there’s always time for half an hour to squeeze in a pleasurable activity, rather than getting on with the priority concerns. It’s easy to think that we can always catch up with things tomorrow, next week, next year etc. But when even the most basic activities of everyday life become a struggle, I’ve found it can bring a much greater sense of urgency and an appreciation of the preciousness of time.

        I can relate to your experience of losing your sense of self, in relation to other people’s perception of you. It hasn’t actually bothered me that much appearing in public in a wheelchair or mobility vehicle, as I find there tends to be more of an understanding and sympathy among people when someone is obviously disabled. What I’ve found more difficult is trying to explain that I’m not able to do something, or need assistance, but facing disbelief from others. For example, on one occasion when I asked to borrow a mobility scooter at a local supermarket, I was told “it’s for disabled people only”.

        I think hidden illnesses may be more challenging in some ways, as there aren’t the obvious indicators, such as a guide dog, wheelchair or walking stick, and it’s quite common for people to think that if someone looks well, they must therefore feel well. For example, I remember reading the experience of a lady who has significant mobility issues, related to severe fatigue. She parked her car in a disabled bay and upon her return found a note left by an onlooker, which said “being fat doesn’t make you disabled”.

        Although I haven’t received such as direct judgement as that particular lady, I’ve also found an unfortunate paradox in being very health conscious and disciplined in what I eat, while at the same becoming overweight due to having to forgo the activities I love, such as walking. I’ve had quite a few suggestions to exercise more and suspect that in others’ perception I may seem to be someone who likes to sit around and eat junk food. However, being on the receiving end of this judgement made me realise how judgemental I have been towards others in the past. I used to automatically assume that someone who is overweight must be undisciplined or have a poor diet, when it may be due to other factors, such as thyroid issues or as a result of taking certain medications – particularly psychiatric ones.

        I think it must also be difficult for parents of children with autism or learning disabilities, who may have behavioural problems related to their disability, but who don’t have obvious physical signs of their condition, such as the typical facial features of people with Down’s syndrome. I can relate quite a lot to the “sensory overload” that is common among people on the autistic spectrum and find it very understandable that some children with autism simply can’t tolerate the loud noise, artificial lighting and general clutter of everyday places like the supermarket. I can imagine how disheartening it must be for parents to face the constant disapproval and judgement of others, and have heard of some parents dressing their child in a t-shirt saying “I’m not badly behaved, I’m autistic”.

        It can be hard to not be emotionally attached to the opinions and judgements of others, but I think that by doing the spiritual work, we can gradually begin to unlink the chains of dependency upon other’s approval. I’ve found that if I can be confident in knowing that I’m doing my best in a certain area, then criticism from others holds a lot less weight, as it doesn’t trigger a guilty conscience. Whereas, when I was much more irresponsible and lazy in my younger years, it touched a raw nerve to have this pointed out to me, as although I knew that the other person was right, it was an uncomfortable reality for me to face.

    • Thanks for sharing Michael. Your situations seem to be very difficult. I’m glad you’re able to make the best of it in an inner sense with the tools and information that Belsebuub gives. I’m already so grateful for the tools Belsebuub has given, I can very much imagine you being so too. Facing big difficulties without the means to tackle our own psychology properly and without that connection to the divine just always seems so hopeless to me. Yet that’s how it is for most people. Like I see people suffering great difficulties and they’ve got nowhere to turn, no pleasure will console anymore, family and friends are important in such times but they’re limited and cannot help in the true sense.

      It seems that when things get more serious with illness, or facing death, or in NDE’s etc. the foolishness of pride, and any other ego state, becomes obvious.

      • Thanks Pavlin and Karim.

        @Karim – yes, I’m certainly very grateful that I gained the tools for self-observation and inner change from Belsebuub’s work, which have left me much better equipped to face difficulties in life. If I’d known about some of the difficulties in advance, I would have wanted to avoid them at all costs, but going through them with these tools has allowed me to develop much more confidence to face adversities in the future.

        I agree that going through serious difficulties can put life into more of a perspective and give a greater motivation to fight against our egos. It can still be a challenge to overcome the petty grievances and distractions of the egos, but on the whole, I feel that a deeper understanding about life’s purpose can be gained, as going through significant difficulties can bring about a more profound understanding about how fleeting our lives really are in the context of eternity, and how foolish it is to waste the opportunities to break free of the chains of time.

  • Hi Karim. Thank you for writing about the pride in this way. You seem to be very honest about your experiences with it and I hope that this will help you on your way to conquering it completely.
    I can relate to all of your examples – it is amazing how this feeling of pride seem to be always there somewhere in the background. I cannot even imagine what our life would feel like in the absence of this. With hope, I will keep on fighting.

  • Hi Karim,

    Thank you for bringing up this topic. It’s actually very relevant to me at the moment, although in a different aspect of it. I recently made a decision to change something in my life, so I can dedicate more time to something else. While I feel like the decision was correct, I saw how I have this feeling of ‘losing control’ in that initial area. When I looked closer into this attachment I saw fear and what was closely related to it was pride. When I spotted that pride I tried to look further into it and there was so much of it, creating ideas, thoughts, plans, feelings, wants, demands, responses. It would almost make me feel dizzy.

    I had to spend some time reflecting on the whole thing and really try to catch those thoughts and reactions during the day. Also a lot of praying to be released from their grip. I could see how pride makes me a mean and senseless person pursuing this image of myself and demanding things. :/ And I really don’t want to be like that.

    I’m really grateful to have the self-knowledge tools, because it’s just a really unpleasant and sad way to live locked in this self-image, always trying to maintain it, feeling threatened, etc.

    • Wishing you strength to follow through with your decision Pavlin! I agree that the tools of self-knowledge are essential for breaking down the walls of our self-image. It’s painful to look inside, but even more so to be at the mercy of the highs and lows that go along with being tied up in ‘maintaining face’.

    • I’m glad you decided to look closer into what was behind those reactions and were able to see a lot hiding there. I can see how someone could miss that first goal of pride and continue to kick off a whole program to achieve things based on it.

      I was reading the Path of the Spiritual Sun book on the spring equinox (my favourite chapter) which is the time of the passion and saw this writing by Belsebuub which I hadn’t read before.

      “The self-sacrifice symbolized by the spring equinox is also in giving up everything that someone believes themselves to be— the ideals they hold about themselves, their achievements in life, the place they hold in the opinion of others, etc.— all of which constitute one’s own self-image. This is given up in the process of betrayal and crucifixion , where someone’s image is destroyed with lies and falsity. This process exists on the path to enlightenment, in part, so that someone sacrifices their attachment to their own self-image and their status in society, as they cannot pass this stage if they don’t let go of it. Our image is crucial to our acceptance in society and yet it belongs to the lower nature of the personality and the things of the world, and being as such, has to be given up to gain that which belongs to one’s eternal Being.”
      ~Belsebuub in the ‘Path of the Spiritual Sun’, p.210.

      It seems amazing to be at the stage to let go of such a big thing upon us and to ‘just be’ after, free of it.

      • Thanks for that relevant quote Karim – relevant to the topic and to the time of year. I feel like already in my limited experience with the spiritual work I’ve been asked to make sacrifices related to my self-image, not in the sense of being subjected to lies and falsity so much, but small things like being asked to choose between spending time on furthering a career or giving time to the spiritual. I can see that I’ve had an immense attachment to an idea of myself that’s slowed me down from internal change, so entwined with ideas I grew up with about success and societies’ ideals. Though part of me thinks I’m ‘better’ than being swayed by these things, in reality looking at my choices they still hold an immense power over me.

        The kind of choices that allow us to peel off layers of pride must be continuously presented to us, from the beginning, to the immense breakthrough that the resurrection symbolises, getting more intense as we progress, so we grow in wisdom about doing what’s needed to have spiritual integrity compared to what’s best for our self-image. It makes me think of the different tests on anger, on the material, on the things we love most, and how all these can be linked to pride.

      • That’s a very insightful point Ella. About how someone is already going through similar situations but on a different scale, to learn about it, to change gradually, until those much more monumental stages of the path happen.

        You mention the ‘being like homeless person’ experience you had in another post. I’ve also had a number of occasions in my life where I/my image was brought down from my usual comfortable social standing. For example when going from having a job that has a decent reputation straight to a cleaning job in a questionable place. I remember many situations where people would turn up their nose at me. (although there were also some of these ‘upper class’ people who were very kind to me, which in those moments showed to me the great importance of kindness.) It was a very revealing experience in many ways. Being poor for a certain time can also bring up a lot.

        When I think, see or read about the events of the passion, it seems that despite all the immense difficulties and hardship, there’s also something terribly beautiful going on, in secret, forging within.

  • Hi Karim,

    thanks for detailing your experience with looking into pride. It’s such an enormous aspect of our basic way of being, so linked to the animal within struggling for supremacy and to survive, to the fundamental sense of ‘I’. It’s incredible when you start to see its tentacles and how they pull at us in all aspect of life. I remember when I was part of Belsebuub’s self-knowledge course, having a week’s study focus on pride, and in particular ‘mystical pride’, I was quite surprised, being under the huge delusion that pride wasn’t a big thing for me, but I started to unearth something I sadly know is still a huge block between me and my divine parents.

    You describe well how pride can effect every little thought and movement, and even be present in our prayers. Hearing about your awareness walks, I remember how I used to be really bothered by thoughts of giving feedback about how great my practise was in the middle of the practise! Ridiculous! Your experience being shown how you were using spiritual symbols in a distorted way in an astral experience must have been really humbling. I love what Belsbuub says about how being humble is seeing reality.

    I feel like still, as well as pride blocking me from having genuine exchanges with friends and family, no matter strangers, pride blocks me from asking for help from the divine. I can sense this attitude of ‘toughness’ that I wear, like a kind of ‘I can do it alone’, illusion of strength. It’s something I’ve seen and worked towards overcoming in the past, but I know there’s still a long way to go.

    All the best in removing new layers of pride!

    • I know that one, Ella, spoiling a practice by starting thinking how you share about it! Usually, if I have a really inspiring practice and I have that thought everything ends there.

    • Haha, I’m also all too familiar with thinking and preparing ‘my great feedback’ during a practice itself. But then in those moments I guess we’ve already succumb to some extent to feeding that pleasure and are in the subconscious with our focus, rather than having chosen to value the potential spiritual experiences we can have from the practice. A bit like Pavlin says, when giving into those thoughts and energy too much I close myself off from any further experiences in the practice.

      I agree pride is a huge fundamental part of the mechanical workings of any human’s psyche.
      Studying it deeper has been amazing for me actually, not only because of pride itself, but from there it has also provided a ‘way in’ to seeing more of the whole roots of the functioning of the animal program within me.

  • Thank you very much for sharing these sincere observations Karim. It looks like all your observations had to do with a particular aspect of pride – vanity (a great image BTW).

    I must say I also find this one particularly tricky, especially in the way it tries to sneak in inconspicuously, trying to persuade me that my motives are completely pure and fine (like for example letting others know about something that I think will help them understand something), while in fact, I am just unnecessarily bragging about something that nobody really needs to know about.

    Your example about a prayer being tainted with pride also reminded me of a similar situation that happened to me years ago, when doing a common prayer with a few friends. We were asking for something we all agreed on beforehand, and in the middle of the prayer I started feeling like it was going really good, like we were being “heard” so to speak. Immediately, a strong ego of pride came in but as I was there with others, there was no way to stop or run away. So I just kept asking for mercy for the sake of those other people praying… something like “please ignore me, just focus on those other people”. It was a great pity, as otherwise I would be able to focus more on what was happening and get much more out of it.

    Thank you for sharing again, a lot to understand about this one for sure!

    • Hey Lucia,

      What I feel I wrote about pride here, through some examples, is more about the bigger mechanism of its workings rather than describing one aspect. I feel vanity is one smaller facet of the bigger workings of pride.

      I agree with you I also find pride in relation to the spiritual work so tricky. As we practice increasingly we’ll experience more and more amazing things and with each new thing pride eagerly comes knocking at our door with its next level of temptation.
      It’s also tricky because it’s a good thing and a duty to share our understanding and some of the things we experienced of the spiritual with others. But in having to carry that out, in teaching for example, pride can easily sneak in.

      I sometimes think of this example. Imagine seeing from a distance a pram with a baby in it rolling down a hill towards a body of water. What do you do? Not act because we fear pride might manifest? Stand still to observe pride within :-)? Of course you run to help. So yeah we still need to do our duty, which each person has to help others, but all the while doing our best to work on and reduce pride as best as we can.

      I think your example of the group prayer is a very good one regarding really seeing a reason to want to get rid of it!

    • Just to say Lucia, a similar situation occurred to me recently as well when praying for a longer time. This time the thoughts of pride that wanted to get in just felt so unbearably awful, I guess this was partly due to the stark contrast of their completely different nature to the prayer. I guess feeling it to be like that is a good sign. It would be great to be free of these things within.

      What you mentioned also reminds me of this quote I saw on the spiritual sun. website, it’s from the Hua Hu Ching.

      “Some help others in order to receive blessings and admiration. This is simply meaningless.

      Some cultivate themselves in part to serve others, in part to serve their own pride. They will understand, at best, half of the truth.

      But those who improve themselves for the sake of the world—to these, the whole truth of the universe will be revealed. So seek this whole truth, practice it in your daily life, and humbly share it with others. You will enter the realm of the divine.”

      – Hua Hu Ching, Chapter 16, Translated by Brian Walker.

  • What excellent insights and observations. I think you captured the essence of pride very well in those examples; I often felt you were describing my own patterns of behaviour and some of the examples of prideful thoughts you shared sounded like “good ideas” as I read them, as my pride identified with those trains of thought.

    Pride is such a monster. It’s so tragic how we can have the ideal circumstances, like with your plans for contact, but through pride, we lose out on the opportunity. Or how it can divert our most sincere prayers. It feels like a stain that never comes out, it’s just so ubiquitous.

    Thank you for sharing your insights, Karim. This was helpful for me to reflect more upon pride, and I now feel a greater strength to study it in more depth.

    • Thanks Mike for your comment. For me too it sometimes feels like ‘a stain that never comes out’, even in writing this article I could observe pride (and its friends) within me at times 🙂 But even though it can seem like it’s just there again and again, I feel we just need to keep working on it. Sometimes our long and gradual process with it might not be so visible, but we might’ve taken more steps with it than we might think. For me the same patterns are still there, but in a subtler/smaller form. And the goals of the consciousness have become more strong on my ‘centre of gravity’.

      It’s a whole process for sure, but I’ve found that understanding gained through self study can really start changing and removing it.

  • Hi Karim, I also find pride a debilitating feeling. It comes out in so many circumstances – either directly or through the fear of not living up to an image of myself. I have seen it today – it nearly made me change my whole day (and plans of those around me) until I noticed that pride was at the bottom of it.

    The biggest problem with pride is that I can’t just be. I find that it makes me constantly strive to work towards maintaining or achieving something. A lot of that is not needed from a spiritual or even long-term perspective, yet I find that it is such a big drive that has so much power behind it.

    However like you said, the inner work and self-observation is a key to address it. As a result we may not come out with an amazing image to others, but will gain a degree of freedom within. Thanks for sharing the experience.

    • “As a result we may not come out with an amazing image to others, but will gain a degree of freedom within.” Very nicely said Alex I agree. If we put our efforts and energies towards spiritual things, then we will not come to possess the status and position we would otherwise if we put our efforts on the material and things that impress others. We may appear to have (and actually have) very little, which can be tough, but have already started to work to create something real within that is invisible to others.

About Belsebuub

belsebuub mark pritchard
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Mark Pritchard (Belsebuub) is an author and spiritual teacher that has been writing about and demonstrating practical techniques for self-discovery for more than twenty-five years. Read more

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