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#927 - 10/06/07 06:08 AM Envy
Old Spider Offline

Registered: 10/01/07
Posts: 12
Envy. What exactly is envy? Is it a greeding after something someone else has, or is it something far more wonderful? Envy is indeed the wanting for something someone else has, but I insist it isn't by any means good or bad by itself. Envy is a tool which can used by the wise to improve the self, to push beyond the boundaries, the self-limitations created to encapsulate the self. And who are the ones who tell us to shun envy in favor of high ideals which few if any of us can reach? Are they merely dead bones in a grave and bobbing heads on the television? No! They are the ones who twist this mighty tool of the gods into plowshares before us to keep us from properly using it and why shouldn't they? After all, if everyone knew how to better oneself that wouldn't be any fun at all. The next thing they know we're all taking the silver spoons out of their mouths, instead of toiling away in the factory of self pity we'd be enjoying ourselves, enjoying life, and to those who's only bread and butter is power over the chaotic masses they see before them and illusory satisfaction money brings them that is hardly profitable.

So, what is the poison of envy and why would anyone find envy to instead be a valuable, beneficial tool?

When you look upon an image of another, or directly upon another, what do you see? Do you see something better or worse? Both maybe? And are these things what you focus on and perhaps let out a sigh over thinking, "I sure wish I were like that.", or perhaps, "Glad I'm not her."? Don't lie to yourself, of course you do, and advertisers and propagandists everywhere know you do it, too. They depend on it. When you focus on those things you're more likely to lie to yourself into thinking you could be just like that person... if only you bought that product (or problem in many cases). When you focus on those 'unworthy' of the dust on your shoes, undoubtedly you aren't thinking about what that person has accomplished and instead would rather get rid of that person. "Give me that good thing that made that good person so good!" "Get rid of that bad person and all the bad things he did so I don't feel bad!" Such responses are the breath and life of a self-destructive society who's few who use it to control others are themselves caught in the same trap and terrified and enraged by anyone who might take the comfort of control away from them.

Look at those big muscles, those curvatious breasts, look at all the money! Don't you want those things? Don't you want what they have? Or perhaps do you want what made them that way? All it takes is a little bit of cash and there it is! Enjoy your folly and the lack of money and power it created for you. Fool. Or perhaps you were wiser than that. Maybe you took the step back from the painting to notice the bigger picture and you realized there was a method they used to get that way, or perhaps it was good old genetics that gave it to them... and maybe you applied that method and came to have exactly what they had in the photo or wherever you saw them... and maybe you didn't, instead you saw what they had was in fact an illusion produced by a marketing company --tricks with the lighting, the way they dressed, and maybe a little bit of airbrushing? Bravo! You've resisted and maybe came out of it with a lot more than the advertisers wanted you to.

But that's not the very heart of envy at all, it's only a method for its misuse. Having material things won't allow you the freedom from them, nor will having the perfect body allow you the freedom from that, either. Power over your universe comes from within you, your mind, not your body and certainly not the other things you own. The misuse of envy is certainly a way for others to control you so they can have your power, your mind, and ultimately your universe. And exactly how to you deem yourself, anyway?

I've been told the use of a personal label or description of oneself is a method of improving oneself through comparison. But how far is that to go? If I'm comparing myself to another, is that one greater or lesser than I? Perhaps that one is more malignant than I... and through the comparison I am to see that I am, in fact, less horrible than the other one I'm comparing myself to. So, if this other person compares himself to yet someone else more horrible, is that a justification for his own actions? After all, there's someone far worse than he, so he can't be that bad at all. What a wonderful staircase into oblivion! Comparisons to this effect can become a trap, or yet, a method to justify one's own weaknesses. They can become an escape from responsibility. And further more, if that other person one is comparing oneself to is stronger in some way, that can also be a method to weaken oneself. One's responsibility to oneself is then also pushed aside in favor of a malignancy :a cancer that saps the energy one may use for self works, for building oneself beyond the present capabilities of the self.

At best, comparisons must be used to catapult oneself ahead, to solve a logical problem within the self to aid in building a greater self. And many fall short of that resolve. Rather than using such a tool to its best effect many people instead misuse that tool and hurt themselves and others.

The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to another, before allowing your emotions that thought, instead back away and ask yourself exactly what it is about that comparison you can use to aid your own self. Is this comparison showing you an illusion? Is this comparison showing you something which works for that other person, but would unlikely work for you? Is this comparison debasing yourself in favor of an apostasy of the self? But if envy shows you something of great value in that comparison, latch onto it and act upon what you've found; otherwise, there is a narrow ledge between two chasms and it is indeed hungry for your energy.

And what about the fear of someone else? What is it about that person that frightens you the most... is there a bit of envy glistening in the darkness? Envy can also hide itself inside fear. We can be terrified by someone or something which seems greater than us, but somewhere inside that strong emotion is a very subtle cue which many don't listen for, it's something that says, "Pay attention, there's something here that's very valuable." And when you can see that power the other thing or person had over you, not only will envy be staring you in the face, but your fear will back away in favor of want. And like I've said, what you do with that newfound envy is up to you, but if you are wise and look and practice only that part of it which is most valuable, only then will envy's beneficial power become a tool for you to become that which was once terrifying to you.

Edited by Old Spider (10/06/07 06:12 AM)

#1264 - 10/26/07 12:23 PM Re: Envy [Re: Old Spider]
TornadoCreator Offline

Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 586
Loc: No Fixed Address
My opinion is that Envy itself is a weakness. Greed is to want as much as you can get, Envy is to want what other people have, it's illogical and ultimately leads to people doing foolish things. There's nothing wrong with wanting something, I would say to see someone eating a sandwich and deciding "I want a sandwich" is fine, it's when it become "I want THAT sandwich" that it no longer makes sense. There is no difference between the sandwiches, it's just a lack of reasoning.

That's my opinion anyway. As for greed. Greed is a natural feeling, the feeling of wanting. You want something because it's there and it makes you feel happier when it is. It's when it gets out of hand, wanting more just because there is more, then it becomes gluttony, and I'm not just referring to food here. Wanting more than you can feasibly use of anything is stupid, it's just again a lack of reasoning. Like people who order a stupidly large meal and eat only half of it because they "wanted" the big meal. They didn't want the big meal, they we're being stupid.
If you can't practice what you preach, at least have the decency to preach what you practice

#1267 - 10/26/07 02:46 PM Re: Envy [Re: Old Spider]
Draculesti Offline

Registered: 09/18/07
Posts: 325
Loc: Rockville, Maryland
I actually agree with this, for the most part. I don't know if I would quite call it envy, but I'm not sure what else you could call it. I'll use an example from my own experience.

I'm a classical guitarist. I'm in the first year of my master's degree at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. In a city this large, and in a school of such high status, there are undeniably many great players here. Where I came from when I did my undergrad, there were good players, but nothing near the level of playing here at Peabody. Being in an environment of so many good players is actually a good thing. It pushes you to better yourself as a player. You hear a guy playing and you think "wow, his scales are really good, I'd better go home and practice my scales." It forces you took look at your own playing from a whole new perspective. This is the total opposite from my previous school. For one thing, the guitar department there was very small; here there are three guitarists on the faculty, and each has a studio of at least twenty students, maybe more. For another thing, in an environment of mediocre-to-pretty-good players, it's easier for really good players to stand out, and this inspires both sloth and complacency, both of which I find much more dangerous than envy in its dangerous form.

Of course, I think it also takes a certain kind of determined individual. Some might see a good player and think "I need to step up my game so I can be as good as/better than that guy," whereas someone else might think "I'll never be that good, so why should I bother trying?"

As for envy in other respects, sure I wish I had as much money as certain other people (at least enough to not have to constantly worry about bills and maybe for a few littles extras to treat myself with). While a career in music, even as a guitarist, can be somewhat lucrative, it is not as surefire as the medical field, in business, or other disciplines. Still, even though I don't stand to make quite as much money as someone else in another line of work, I don't envy that person for a second, because I'm doing something I love.
The Holy Trinity: Me, Myself, and I.

Homo Homini Lupus

#1277 - 10/27/07 10:20 AM Of Envy [Re: Old Spider]
PrinceOfBabalon Offline

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 49
Loc: London
Far and away the greatest tool to banish any delusions of the Self is to realize that there are many individuals of a superior financial, social or intellectual status. Envy effectively destroys Self-deceit while at the same time applies psychological pressure to excel, to push oneself further, to fight harder. It is the magickal ingredient of competition.
The experience of Envy reminds one of their right to have and achieve all that the exercising of their capabilities will allow them to produce and also causes them to face up to the fact that if they are not at least on their way towards collecting considerable material possessions then they are not fulfilling their potential.

"Show me your achievement - and the knowledge will give me courage for mine"
~ The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand

#1278 - 10/27/07 11:49 AM Re: Of Envy [Re: PrinceOfBabalon]
Equilibrio Offline

Registered: 10/21/07
Posts: 56
Loc: Missouri
 Originally Posted By: PrinceOfBabalon
The experience of Envy reminds one of their right to have and achieve all that the exercising of their capabilities will allow them to produce and also causes them to face up to the fact that if they are not at least on their way towards collecting considerable material possessions then they are not fulfilling their potential.

Assuming that the collection of considerable material possessions is your idea of fulfilling potential.

I tend to equate envy with jealousy, which lends itself to more of a petty desire for one-upsmanship than it does for any kind of fulfillment of potential. Such a desire is usually caused by an underfed ego.

Acquiring things might be better served when the desire for them is the result of personal reflection and not born out of a perceived social disparity.

#1279 - 10/27/07 01:22 PM Re: Of Envy [Re: Equilibrio]
PrinceOfBabalon Offline

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 49
Loc: London
Dear Equilibrio,

Thank you for your reply.

Of course the collection of material possessions is not the sole means by which potential is merited though it should be considered a fundamental means. If one claims for themselves an evolved state of consciousness (I use this as a general term to mean a well developed intellect, strength of character, etc.) but cannot master something as simple as material wealth then they are not of a truly Satanic character.

Envy is considered (Webster's) as the desire of that which somebody else has, where as jealousy is considered as the control of that which already belongs to the individual. I would not refer to the fuel that envy can give an individual as petty but like everything it can be reduced to that status by a petty individual (revenge is another good example).

Prince Of Babalon

#1281 - 10/27/07 07:03 PM Re: Envy [Re: Old Spider]
Meq Offline
active member

Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 861
Cognitive therapists such as Albert Ellis make a distinction between healthy and unhealthy envy.
Healthy envy is that which furthers rational self-interest (such as getting things which improve your quality of life, without stress).
Unhealthy (or I prefer 'counterproductive') envy hinders rational self-interest by creating unnecessary stress and conflict, as well as a disproportionate focus on things which you don't really need, to the detriment of real needs.

Envy is not rational in itself - it's related to biological impulses. It is natural to desire good things which others have, whether these things are really in our best interests or not.

So the trick is to moderate envy, by eliminating the most counterproductive forms of envy (which can contribute to problems such as described above), and to use the natural impulse of envy to your own advantage - to channel it to help you achieve your goals in life, without allowing it to counterproductively distort your thinking or hinder your actions.

The same goes with greed - desiring more than you have (a much simpler emotion than envy).

As for material wealth:
I've seen people fall for con-artists' 'get rich quick' schemes through being blinded by their own greed. Desire unchecked by rationality can be pretty self-destructive.
Still, if a person achieves the goal of seeing things objectively, without projecting his goals into the world, he may still desire more than he needs.
This kind of greed can be positive, provided it does not lead the individual to devoting excessive time and energy to pursue things he or she does not need, to the detriment to his or her real needs. But that would then be stupidity, not greed.

Also concerning material wealth - there is nothing shallow in seeking financial security, as a pre-requisite for survival (or at least maintanance of one's way of life).

If a person seeks to go beyond their basic needs and pursue excessive wealth (or greed), that is a legitimate choice they have - provided that they can rationally assess the consequences of their actions.
But not every elite individual pursues this route, worshipping the Dollar. Perhaps they are happy with their modest income and seek to devote time and energy to other pursuits than making more money. Again, this is a choice.

But as for obtaining basic financial security (or at least making an effort in that direction) - this is pretty fundamental to human survival needs.
The failure to do this would imply a lack of responsibility and intelligence, and implies a lack of legitimate self-interest.

#20540 - 02/16/09 09:11 PM Re: Envy [Re: Meq]
Zoid Offline

Registered: 01/24/09
Posts: 109
Loc: USA - New Jersey
I would say envy is the gateway to the other six deadlies.

"You have a delicious chicken sandwich and my hands and stomach are empty" - gateway to gluttony, as it triggers me to go get a chicken sandwich of my own, or maybe two, or three.

"You have a hot sports car and I drive a beat up old jalopy" - gateway to greed, as it triggers me to prioritize around eventually owning a hot sports car.

"You got pissed and went berserk and when I get angry I keep it bottled up inside" - gateway to wrath, as it triggers me to start blasting the blockages that dam the river of my fury.

And so on.

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