Two of the many commonplace shadows are self-righteousness and self-importance. One would initially think that these two qualities are not all that awful, but over the last few years I have been told differently by a number of colleagues, students and friends. Their experiences include relationships being destroyed, children’s lives being placed in danger, weak individuals being coached to neglect those they should support, entitlement to the point of absurdity, pretension to the point of discomfiture, businesses being wrecked and all combined with an unshakable sense of being right from the architects of this behaviour.
I believe that having a healthy ego is essential and that most of us act because we feel that what we do is right. On the road on inner development, the issue of self-importance is often the very first gremlin that comes to the fore and when we realise we do not know it all, or actually know very little, we sheepishly let go of it. The combination of extreme self-importance and self-righteousness, however, is dangerous indeed because those who suffer from it will rarely recognise nor admit to the harm they do because it is unthinkable for them to be wrong. Their victims inevitably feel demoralised and often lose much of their self-esteem which is something not easily remedied.
One only needs to look at history to become aware of the more extreme cases, but in our daily life this affliction seems also to be rife. It is different from bullying, which is another problem that plagues many. Bullies are cowards at heart and if one finds a way to stand up to them, they will cower and run. Self-important and righteous people are not cowards. They thrive on the energies of those who try to oppose them, after all, they are never wrong! The only thing one can do is turn one’s back or if one has the misfortune to have one in one’s employment, to find a way to let go of them.
Their sense of being right and important is so strong that even if their actions go against what is acceptable in society, they still will not see the light and continue to maintain their stance. This is the reason why they are so dangerous and why they can have such a disastrous effect in people’s lives. I cannot comment on this from a psychological angle because I have never studied this subject, but from a point of view of inner development, such folk are not drawn to our work because they are not open to taking a profound look at themselves and assuming responsibility for what is discovered.
It is has been proven time and time again that one cannot fight evil (by engaging with it), and although this may come across as a strong word in regard to the above, the devastating effects that so often result from the conduct of such individuals can be described as such. The only way to protect oneself and loved ones is to remove oneself and not let the negativity in. If someone needs energetic help, you may need to focus on clearing the debris, strengthening the field, addressing the relevant energy centres and using flower remedies as appropriate. Some victims may also benefit from counselling or a similar therapy.
All of us must ultimately deal with our darker side and as practitioners we do come across much anguish. It is therefore helpful to gain some insight into this. A good book about commonplace ‘evil’ is ‘People of the Lie’ by Dr Scott Peck. His insights are amazing indeed and one can easily recognise the truth in what he writes. I have recommended this book to students and clients alike and have had much positive feedback. Those who are engaged in serious inner development will address such shadows in a different manner and regard their world as a mirror but not everyone has the time or the inclination to travel such a challenging path.
I hope you do not have dealings with people who are self-important and self-righteous to the extreme, but if so, do try to find a way not to engage and to let go. It seems to be the only option available…