Self-Righteousness: A Fatal Attraction

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“It is a strange kind of fire, the fire of self-righteousness, which gives us such pleasure by its warmth but does so little to banish the darkness.”
― Ben H. WintersUnderground Airlines


Persistence is often one of the most admirable character traits one can have.  The ability to do something over and over until you reach a desired result when others would have quit long ago usually renders a “Wow” from audience members.

Emotions are persistent.

People wake up sad for days; we call this depressed.

Feelings are persistent.

You can have this feeling that you should call someone for weeks and when you do, you find out they had a certain life event and are in need of comforting.  We can call this “Mother’s intuition.”

While some persistence may be useful, others may not be so much.

Addictions are persistent.

If it’s drugs, this is bad, if it’s reading, this is good.

Two days ago I finished my second book.  There’s a small piece in there where I touch on self-righteousness.  I thought I said what I wanted to say, but here I am writing about it again.


In my opinion self-righteousness can be the worst kind of feeling we can attach ourselves too.  The feeling of “I am right,” and “You are wrong” especially when left unresolved can eat away at your mind, body and soul.  We base our judgements off of principles, or integrity, and often back it up with, “What kind off person does that to another?”  Or, “I would never do that to somebody else.”  We back this up with affirmations from friends, and family members which does nothing but inflate the sense that we may in some facet be better than someone else.

In a talk about anger, spiritual guru Ram Dass said, “If someone upset you, the emotions that arise are what you have to deal with, and the action performed by the other being is their problem, not yours.”  The problem we have as human beings is our human conditioning of separateness.  We feel reduced by another person’s actions and are left in emotional debt.  Self-righteousness then contributes to that debt.  It’s like being caught in quicksand, the more you move, the faster you drown.

Your 30,000 ft. View


“But I know I’m right,” you say.  Convincing yourself you “know” something is the participation trophy in the game of life.  It’s the booby prize.  It’s attachment.  It’s clinging, but you’re clinging to yourself.  It’s a position from which you will often operate from error especially when you are correlating it with human action.  Human action is phenomena.  That’s all.  Very few people know why they do what they do, everyone else operates out of fear.

It takes a lot of work, but Self-Righteousness can be beaten.  Rather than trying to dismiss it, or sweep it under the rug, you just have to let it go.  Let go of the ill-will, and crap feelings.  Bring harmony back to your being and become centered again.  Everything you need is contained in your awareness.  Would you rather be happy, or Right?  Would you rather have a wonderful holiday season, or one filled with spite?  The amount of awareness you cultivate will expand your choices in life.  That’s where the real work needs to be done, but we’re all on this fantastic ego trip and sometimes we are not ready for that release.

Life is about practice.  It’s working things out until we all get it right, not just one or two of us.  I don’t know about you, but I want to live my life with a sense of freedom, and to me, Self-Righteousness just doesn’t get me there.


Copenhagen airport

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