Self Importance

Sun, Feb 15, 2009

“Self-importance is man’s greatest enemy”. –don Juan Speaking to Carlos Castaneda

It is time to talk about self-importance. Self-importance is spoken to repeatedly by don Juan in Castaneda’s books for good reason. Self-importance will stop a person from ever embarking upon a spiritual path. For many working diligently on a spiritual path, self-importance can seep in and stop one dead in their tracks. If one follows self-importance too far, it soon becomes impossible to return to one’s core path.

Self-importance can take two forms – self-righteousness and arrogance. Self-righteousness occurs when a person feels they are superior, but the superiority isn’t based on anything. You may come across someone with no money, little education, failed relationships, their life a mess, yet, they come across as ‘better than’ or ‘superior to’. They are self-righteous. You may come across another person whose life is seemingly together, money, education, nice home, a long-term relationship or marriage, and they also come across as ‘better than’ or ‘superior to’. This is arrogance. An arrogant person has false pride about all the things they have, how educated they are, and so on.

Neither self-righteousness or arrogance is better than the other. Both are nasty forms of self-importance that stops a person from healing, growing and evolving. You find self-importance in all walks of life, even people who claim to be on a spiritual path. They may say, “Spirit talks to me, so I am highly evolved and I know things.” What they don’t realize is that being a psychic, being a channel or intuitive has nothing to do with how healed, or evolved a person is. While it is true that to be a clear channel it is helpful to be substantially healed and without emotional charges. And, it is also true that connection to such guidance is often a by-product of spiritual healing and growth work, the ability to receive guidance beyond the veil does not mean that the person is healed, has grown or is spiritually evolved. Nor does it mean that the person is capable of a life full of love and Divine connection.

You see self-righteousness and arrogance in all areas of life. However, what we are focusing on here is the trap of self-importance on a spiritual path. It is a very common pitfall that will cause a person to fall off a path before they know what happened. And, it happens frequently to people who have diligently applied the tools and done the work. They do the work, they do some healing and growth, and they inevitably begin to feel better about themselves. Then ego starts to sneak in. It starts comparing self to others who haven’t done as much healing and growth. It starts to judge others. It begins to feel superior to others that are still struggling. They begin to ‘see’ others and the patterns people have. This too can feed the arrogance and self-importance. If you allow this arrogance and self-importance to grow, it will soon take over. Once it has taken over, there is little anyone can do to bring you back. Ego comes in and effectively steals all of the good work you have done to heal and grow.

If you or someone you know says that they ‘made it’, that they did their healing and growth and now they are where they want to be, you know that you or the other person has succumb to ego. If someone says to you or you say to another, ‘I am more spiritually evolved so you need to listen to me’, you know they have lost their way to self-importance.

The irrefutable truth is that there is no ‘making it’. There is no end to the Journey. There is no passing grade or final graduation. There are only beautiful new levels and vistas on the way as you continue to ascend up to Who and What you are.

Sometimes a person will say, “I have done enough work for now. I am going to take a year off from growth work,” When you hear this or something similar, you know that ego has got them. Yes, you do feel freer, lighter, have more love in your life as you heal and grow. But, this does not mean that you have ‘made it’, because there is no ‘making it,’ at least not while in body. After all, if it only gets better, why would you want to stop? The answer, of course, is self-importance. A person does a little healing and growth work. They feel better about themselves, or their psychic abilities may open up, and then they stop. Ego tells them that they have made it and that they are further along than others. Sometimes ego tells the person that if they continue they might lose the good things that they have worked so hard to get – it is a great lie, but many believe it.

So what is self-importance and how do you stop from falling into its trap? Many people try to will it away. This rarely works because the cause of the self-importance remains. You may will it away for a while, but if the cause is still there, it will soon rear its ugly head again. What is the cause of self-importance? Self-importance is a compensation mechanism. Say, for example, a person has deep insecurities. They don’t feel like they are good enough or capable enough. On a deep level they lack confidence in certain areas of life. Ego, being the body of pretension, steps in and pretends that they are confident and are capable. So, deep down the person may feel like they are not smart enough, or capable enough, so they compensate by doing what they can to get more money and other things they can point to and say to themselves and others, ‘Look at what I have. I must be important,’ and self-importance is born.

Whether it is a deep insecurity, deep shame about oneself, feeling broken or not good enough inside, feeling stupid or incompetent on a deep level, whatever it is, ego steps in and compensates with self-importance. Ego does this even though the person is a mess. This is the self-righteous person who judges others harshly, looking down on them, never look back at themselves – the person who is the real mess. The arrogant person compensates through things like money, degrees, family history (my family is superior), and so on. Ego points to these external things as superior so as to hide how the person really feels below the surface.

If self-importance is a compensation, then the way to stop it is to honestly look at self and see what the self-importance is compensating for. Then, heal it. If there is nothing to compensate for, there is no reason to compensate.

A true man or woman of power is humble. This is because the polarity of power is humility. The Dalai Lama is a good example of this. One cannot be humble if they are in self-importance.

Always look at your Intent for what you do. For example, there came a time when Kalyn and I made the conscious Intent to have what we considered a true growth School. We knew that by doing so we would limit the number of students that would be attracted to the School. The truth of the matter is, in this timeframe, there are very few people who are desirous, let alone ready for a true growth path. They are looking for something to make them feel good. True growth doesn’t always feel good. We do not take a salary from the School and it is not our livelihood. If our Intent would have been to create a School to bring us a large income, we would have been better off creating a feel-good school, or a school that takes people’s power instead of empowering them.

Whatever you do, look at your Intent. Are you doing it to feel more important? Do you feel better than when you do it? Or is there deep fulfilment in it? If you are an artist or musician, are you fulfilled through simply creating, or are you creating to get money or fame? If you are a teacher, are you teaching to truly help others, or do you want fame, money and/or adoration?

This doesn’t mean that you should not Intend to do something to receive money, for example. What is important is that you are clear about what your Intent is. Don’t pretend that you are teaching another to help them, to use the above example, when it is really feeding self-importance or you are using it to compensate for some place in self you don’t feel good about. Don’t pretend to create a piece of art because the process of creating is fulfilling to you, when what you really want is money and to be admired for your art work (self-importance). This doesn’t mean you can’t authentically create and earn money at the same time. You can. You just need to be clear about it, and, most importantly don’t do something to build self-importance in order to compensate for something else inside.

Stalk any signs of self-importance like your life depends upon it – it may.

Classes about Self Importance and other topics can be found at the Toltec Mystery School.

4 Responses to “Self Importance”

  1. female-warrior Says:

    This is a great article and so true. Thank you!

    “The humbleness of a warrior is not the humbleness of the beggar. The warrior lowers his head to no one, but at the same time, he doesn’t permit anyone to lower his head to him. The beggar, on the other hand, falls to his knees at the drop of a hat and scrapes the floor for anyone he deems to be higher; but at the same time, he demands that someone lower than him scrape the floor for him.”
    ~ Carlos Castaneda

  2. jeve Says:

    I have a question… self importance is honeatly knocking at my door plenty! However, I have been told I am at the opposite end – “self-martyrdom” or self-sacrificing… I have been this from very early childhood (I have chilchood memories from about 18mos. old) … Now I have looked up the definition of this word to be clear of some of its less common meanings and it does signify a connection with sef importance but i didnot lace this on my self willingly. Its a curse. It enslaves me. It seems much more difficult for the “self-importance” red flag to be noticed- its sorta hidden… as a young child I did not look at this issue as something to be proud of – I was terrified of it! I was responsible for my father’s feelings about my mother and vise versa as they came to me (especially dad) for marital relationship council… and many other situations like this with other family… I was there little lamb to be sacrificed as needed. However as it came with me through adolescence and adulthood it became ME… BUT NOW I KNOW IN MY BRAIN THAT THIS IS ANOTHER FORM OF SELF IMPORTANCE… as a child maybe not so much as I innocently wanted my loved ones to be happy and I WANTED TO PROVE MY SELF WORTH and that I was worth keeping around and noticed… BUT AS AN ADULT I KNOW ‘WHO AM I TO THINK I HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE ANYONE’S PERSONAL JESUS… *** SO MY QUESTION IS THIS: how do I identify and rid my self of this plague? Is it hopeless?

    • nomad Says:

      jeve, just observe yourself non-judgmentally. That’s all. Just watch yourself. Don’t think about it, put a label on it, analyze it, nothing. Just observe, and you will change quickly. You’ll observe your acts of self-importance, and then you will observe their absence. That’s it.

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