The mind under a variety of reasons becomes strained and unwired. These lead to acts which result in self-aggression and consequently self-destruction, writes RAVI VALLURI.
Our mythology (particularly the Ramayana and Mahabharata) brim with several well stocked illustrations in respect of characters possessed with anger and arrogance, hurtling them down hubris to their nemesis with catastrophic consequences.
In a state of rage and conceit, determined in order to wreak vengeance on Rama and Lakshmana, Ravanausurps Sita and ends up paying a colossal price, losing his life and kingdom. Similarly a covetous Duryodhana, spurred by the evil designs of Shakuni and egged by Dushashana and abetted by Karna are all subsumed by the Pandavas in the battle of Kurukshetra.
An angry and an arrogant mind gets blurred and smudges the vision of an individual, consequently he behaves in a groundless manner which has calamitous and baleful consequences for the person and those in his companionship.
“Pride is an independent, me oriented spirit. It makes people arrogant, rude and hard to get along with. When our heart is prideful, we don’t give God the credit and we mistreat people, looking down on them and thinking we deserve what we have,” wrote Joyce Meyer.
Is it possible to associate with such individuals who are prone to filibustering and arrogance? The answer is an emphatic NO. Since there is no dialogue, it is only a monologue or a harangue by the self-conceited person. This drains us of our energy levels (vitalprana), a situation we would like to circumvent to save ourselves and our minds.
Why do human beings become angry and arrogant? Why do we lose our sanity? The mind under a variety of reasons becomes strained and unwired. These lead to acts which result in self-aggression and consequently self-destruction.
The human mind assumes unnatural patterns and behaves in a volatile manner. A volcano of anger and arrogance erupts. Such individuals are veritable prisoners of their own image, which is conceited and egotist. Such individuals are characterized by ‘reacting’ and cannot pause to respond to any situation in a tranquil manner. In a state of anger and arrogance, their cognitive behavior gets superimposed by an irrational thought process.
“I’m in trouble because I’m normal and slightly arrogant. A lot of people don’t like themselves and I happen to be totally in love with myself,” says Mike Tyson. He further adds that he “wishes to conquer people and their souls”.
Mike Tyson, who earned epithets like Iron Mike, the Baddest Man on the Planet and Kid Dynamite outside the ring, was convicted for rape, consuming marijuana and also suffered from a bipolar disorder. The family was disowned by father Kiripatrick and Mike nursing various grievances dropped out from school. There was a burning inferno in one of the most ferocious boxer world has seen. He has had several brushes with law. Tyson strongly felt that he was stigmatised by American society. And that the US society has not been constructed on the principles of justice, but on rape, grime, slavery and injustice.
He married thrice apart from various dalliances and philandering. He was convicted for rape. He underwent reformation and was proselytized and sought refuge in “Allah”. His converted the raw energy of anger and arrogance in the boxing ring where he was extremely successful. His life is replete with various roller coaster sequences of events, full of extremes; but he became the “Lord of the Ring”.
The mythological figures mentioned earlier who were victims of anger and arrogance bore bruised egos, feelings and emotions, alongside feelings of deep hurt and resentment.
Ravanalusted for Seeta and felt slighted that his sister Surpanakha was cold shouldered and disfigured by Lakshmana. All his life Karna bore the cross of being called a Shudra, not a Kshatriya (twice born). Duryodhana a perpetual infantile and given to juvenile behavior, remained a child who could never grow up .Besides he was under the delusion that the “powers” of Hastinapur would have never agreed to his accession after his father Dhritirashtra abdicated the throne.
The feeling of hurt, playing a victim, jealousy and injury, gets metamorphosed in such personalities into deep seated vexation and anger, leading to false bravado and arrogance. The anger and arrogance gets vitiated into negative thoughts, leading to self-destruction under a strain of self-delusion. However strange as it may appear there is a flip side to the spectrum, where individuals have deployed emotions of anger and arrogance to become achievers.
“Anybody can become angry- that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose and in the right way – that is not with every body’s power and is not easy,” wrote Aristotle.
Who doesn’t miss the swagger of Vivian Richards, the ferocity of the pace of Dennis Keith Lillee and Jeff Thomson. Several politicians, industrialists, writers, artistes, kings and monarchs could channelize this energy of anger and arrogance to become highly victorious and triumphant. “To be a tennis champion, you have to be inflexible, you have to be stubborn, you have to be arrogant, you have to be selfish and self-absorbed. Kind of tunnel vision almost,” says Chris Evert.
Therefore arrogance is a double edged sword. More often than not it subsumes the personalities to self-destruction as they lack the power of self-discrimination and self-examination, thus becoming victims of guilt and persecution complex. A Chris Evert could see the light at the end of the tunnel and channelized her ‘arrogant’ energy. Can every one do likewise?