The Ghost of Self-Importance
A philosophical story.
A note to the new readers, with thanks: sometimes I write analytical pieces about COVID, the Great Reset and tyranny, and sometimes I write philosophical pieces since I believe that the answers to most things in life, including the ugly Great Reset, are spiritual first, and analytical second.
This story is about the ghost of self-importance and its antidote, spiritual clarity.
Let me start with an African myth that makes the point better than I possibly can.
Once upon a time, there was a man. The man was favored by a particular benevolent spirit (translating to the European mindset, we could call such a spirit an angel). The spirit who favored the man consistently watched over him and helped him in his hunting. As a result, the man became an extremely successful hunter. In the process, the man decided that his hunting prowess was due exclusively to his own greatness, and he neglected to acknowledge the role of his spirit friend in his successes. Since it’s an existential duty to show gratitude whenever somebody is helping, at one point the spirit became displeased with the lack of gratitude, and he stopped the favors. To indicate his displeasure, the spirit played a trick on the man, and the man went crazy. When he lost his senses, his fellow villagers noticed his state, brought him home from the bushes, inquired with the spirits about the nature of the problem, did the necessary healing, and the temporarily crazy man came back to his senses.
To me this story is significant because it highlights the power of good intention, the significance of gratitude, and the importance of always pedaling toward healing, and looking beyond transgressions into the very soul.
And a modern fable.
A fable about a man who loved money so much that he turned into a robot.
Once upon a time, there was a good man. A good man, an honorable man, in earnest. Like many men, he needed to have a sense of reality, a sense of control, a sense of importance of his place in the world.
Early on, as a young man, he learned that in there existed a messenger of many good things, called money. He learned that when he had money, people listened, and maybe even tolerated the things that they wouldn’t otherwise tolerate. He also learned that people’s behavior toward him depended on his financial status. In a healthy fashion for a human being, he preferred to be respected and listened to, and because he was talented and smart, he really invested into securing respect via making money. He had a real gift, a genuine gift, and he was very good as a merchant. He was able to build a considerable shield.
But there was a lack of balance, and he became addicted, meaning that he no longer controlled this relationship with money but his money controlled him.
And so, by getting out of balance and becoming spiritually wobbly, he made himself vulnerable to a number of ghost herders. Ghosts usually depend on spiritual weaknesses and delusions as their door key, and so he became easy prey for the not so well-intended ghost herders who prey on people who are out of balance.
As a result, he got out of his mind a little and started actively driving away the enemies of his ghosts who were protecting him, and acting like a robot. Ghosts are afraid of the ones who see through them, and they love attempting to cloud their prey’s head, creating fear, pride, and confusion. The goal of the ghost is to make the prey internalize the ghost mythology, to convince the prey that the ghost energy is their own energy, to make the prey disconnect from the soul, self-betray, act like an ungrateful zombie, and scare away the protection—so that in the end, the prey receives no help, and the ghost can eat the prey without mercy.
[On a side note, there is a parasite that likes to live in cats, Toxoplasma gondii, that messes with the brains of the infected mice and makes them unafraid of cats.]
This fable has an open ending. It really depends on whether the good man sees the ghost for what it is and tells the ghost that it is no longer welcome.
And if he does, the ghost that preys on the spiritually wobbly will not be able to prey on him anymore, and various handlers will lose their power to make trouble. And there could still be the messenger of many good things, sans the self-betrayal and the addiction.
The ghost of self-importance is big on advertising. Its entire dinner depends on the effectiveness of its ghost advertising. It tricks the person into believing in delusions (so that the person can be eaten while proud)—but since the delusion is a delusion and has no ground in reality, the ghost makes the person work hard to maintain it, which often requires acting foolish.
See the mass insanity of 2020.
Some more philosophical thoughts.
Here is how I think it works. We are all born with important personality traits and missions. We all have a soul. When we are children, we learn about the world and imbibe ideas like a sponge, and we seek to be validated by adults. If our parents, loving as they may be, don’t see our pure soul or ignore it, something doesn’t balance. The parents could be struggling and overworked, or they could be rich and busy—it’s not the material condition that makes the difference, it’s the spiritually intelligent love, the recognition of our soul. And so, if we don’t get “seen” as children for the uniqueness and beauty of our soul, something important never clicks, and we keep chasing ghosts, stuffing our being with all sorts of love substitutions. And then it takes many years—and sometimes, complete desperation—to figure it out and honor our soul.
When it comes to the sweet and ruthless ghost of self-importance, it drives so many things today. It tricks the rich and the poor, the left and the right, and it surely drove a lot of COVID madness by making people act crazy and against their best interests, while proud. This ghost pretends to be your nurturing friend and feeds you glamorous lies right up until the moment it eats you. And when it easts you, it does so without mercy.
On a side note, it’s no surprise that so many highly perched rich and powerful people die rather ingloriously, stabbed by competitors. In fact, it is logical.
And to my senses, the need to be self-important on ghost’s terms is rooted in a lack of existential understanding. Being human is beautiful but we are merely lucky naked babies. At all times, we depend on a lot of help from a lot of sources—and without that help, we have nothing. Modern life masks a lot of obvious truths but they are still there. Once we understand how naked we are, the fragility and the miracle of having even the little things, we suddenly see that life is a beautiful blessing and a dance of kindness, and that it is silly to pretend that we are owners of anything except our own desire to do the right thing. We really own nothing. Everything we have is a loan from something or somebody, an act of generosity toward us.
And I think that once we understand it, once we embrace the miraculous nature of our existence and the importance of aliveness and healing, once we are grateful and invested in growing our souls, no ghost can touch us.
Tessa Fights Robots is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.