"The problem here is a totalitarian uniformity, a cult-like mentality such that even allies are enemies if they fail to follow the Exact Party Line. " - Phyllis Chesler

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Thoughts On Character

Continuing the discussion on deal breakers I thought I would give you one spiritual teacher's thoughts on character:

Character : more important than intellectual faculties

"Generally speaking, what people value first and foremost in others are their knowledge and intellectual faculties. Their character and behaviour are considered far less important. Of course, when someone unpleasant causes them to suffer, people complain: ‘How ill-natured he is!’…‘What an insufferable character!’… or, ‘He’s spineless, he has no character!’ All of a sudden they forget that this someone has doctorates from four or five universities, that he has written some thirty books, and so on, and they consider only his character. They themselves must be stung, bitten, led astray or deceived in order to understand how important this question of character is. Until then, they put intellectual faculties above all else. Well, it is time for each of you to put character back in first place, not only as it pertains to others, but also to yourself. You must work tirelessly every day to awaken the forces and qualities the Creator has planted in your heart, your soul and your spirit." - Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

In finding this I was really struck by the statement he makes, that many of us need to be stung, bitten, led astray or deceived in order to understand how important the question of character is. I met my most recent EX through Friendster. I was initially intrigued by his photo of course and through all the pushiness he seemed extremely intelligent. But quickly the character flaws were adding up and I was starting to lose count. Upon further reflection, I remember in his "asshole" post he wrote something to the effect of " I know so many things, why is it that I don't know how to do this?"

I distinctly remember the piles of books stacked all over his apartment. He read so many things. But none of them seemed to sink in. I remember stating to him once, "You think just because you read something you understand it? That is not how these things work. You must live and experience them to fully understand." And his reply was always one of bafflement.

There are many things that I have not written about that were done to me by my EX and they certainly fall into the category of being "stung, bitten, led astray and DECEIVED" and it has forced me to think long and hard about the character of others as well as my own.

They say what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. While I most certainly didn't like living the lesson and the deception really did push me to the brink at times, I trust that this is what spirit felt was necessary to put my heart and mind in the right place; to get me to start looking for the important things in a life-partner, a mate.

A very good friend on mine, who is also extremely spiritual said to me, "You did to him EXACTLY what you were supposed to and he did EXACTLY what he was supposed to do for you."

I believe what I learned is that it truly is more important to know how a person lives, what they love, and how they behave and react, than what they do for a living or how many books they have read. This does not mean those things are not important too. They are just secondary.

Please don't forget to list your deal breaker on the below post.


Perplexio said...

I believe people need a certain level of emotional experience to fully appreciate and understand some of the things they read. For example, I read Hemmingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls in High School... really didn't care for it. I read his The Sun Also Rises a few years ago, about 5 years after graduating college, having a bit more life experience under my belt. I LOVED it. There's a bit where Jake Barnes watches Brett Ashley walk away on the street below from his window and he says something to the effect of, "It's a lot harder to be hard-boiled in the night time." And I totally "Got it."

The ex you speak of, he might have understood what he was reading but understanding it and "getting it" aren't always the same thing. You can understand something on the intellectual level and still completely miss the point on the emotional level.

Lauren said...

Darrin, you hit the nail on the head!

I once heard a lecturer explain "understanding" this way: You can read about a waterfall, the temperature, the velocity of the water, the color etc...but you will not understand how the water feels, tastes, & looks unless you STAND UNDER it.

The hardest part of spending time with my most recent EX was not so much that he didn't understand all these things, but that he put the blame of his not understanding on me. In his mind if I could not explain "it" to him then his lack of understanding was my fault and was evidence that "it" didn't exist. It was exhausting to say the least, and many an expert would say this behavior is abusive. So I say goodbye and good riddance! :-)