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Friday, June 27, 2014

A Big Deal With SALIGIA Walks Among Us

A real and present danger exists when you consider yourself to be significant. You may begin feeling superior to others, and that feeling of superiority can be driven by a personal grandiosity that greatly exaggerates your ego without honest, commensurate achievement.

Then, you view others inferior as you consider yourself a "special person." Being "special," you  become an egotist who views almost all non equals with condescending contempt. You begin to perceive their endeavors as meager and insignificant. And, worst of all, you feel free to manipulate those "below you" and to keep them at your disposal to use and to discard.

As a narcissistic, you ultimately convince yourself you were born "to do something great" and others who get in your way do not matter.

Of course, if you do consider yourself significant, you probably adore money, influential friends, status symbols, and constant admiration. You think you deserve more because, basically, "you are who you are" -- a Big Deal, born for greatness. As you continually strive to attain those things that inflate your ego even greater, you do everything possible to distance yourself from threats to your self-image.

So, if you are a Big Deal, you lose empathy. And, as you lose feeling and compassion for others, you become inflexible, a rigid self-perceived stalwart of humanity. That is a formula for a permanent delusion of grandeur that hardens your heart until your death and your final act of sublime eminence -- an expensive, opulent funeral -- not to mention a lonely, stately marker of stone with a tidy, neat inscription in a seldom-frequented field of nicely trimmed grass.

A Big Deal, due to his bloated egotism, is constantly tempted by the capital vices known as the seven deadly sins. These are the transgressions that destroy a life of grace and charity. You may know these sins by the mnemonic acronym "SALIGIA" based on the first letters in Latin of the seven deadly sins:

Superbia, pride
Avaritia, or greed
Luxuria or lust
Invidia or envy
Gula or guttony
Ira or wrath
Acedia or sloth

Beset by his own demons, a Big Deal most often commits these sins and, thus, continues an Idolatry-of-Self wherein the subjective reigns over the objective. Trying to get his own way all of the time, a Big Deal becomes loveless, a paranoid person who seeks to cut the throat of competition. The BD begins to form a lack of perspective for reality because his subjectivity is encased in a thick ego. A tremendous need of self-importance drives him to become nothing but a hollow shell with no real substance.

The BD believes happiness lies in the expensive trinkets he accumulates. To keep advancing on the rungs of fame, he becomes the ultimate consumer of goods, people, and power. Never satisfied, he continues his lopsided pursuits of importance until the BD is an addict of his overwhelming self. The  self-centered egomaniac is then obsessed with popularity and celebrity and more than willing to find his fix with greed, lust, pride, and the rest of the seven deadly sins.

You know some Big Deals: they slash and burn through your town with impunity. Why? Some might say "money and position are powers that insulate sinners from being held accountable." And, I am sure they are correct.

Still, I believe there is another reason for so much egotistical control -- many actually believe in "the more, the better" philosophy because they buy into a warped sense of reality. They see the Big Deals and desire what they don't have. So many of these folks do not value integrity and substance over power and position. These "bigger-driven" individuals are so intent on dying with the most toys that they are willing to bow to Idolatry-of-Self. Also, they are intent on blaming whomever they must for anything they perceive as a roadblock to their greedy ambitions.

How can a person deal with Big Deals? I think one has to laugh about much of another person's inflated perception of himself. The mansion, the vacations, the luxury cars, the other shiny status symbols -- some Big Deals have so much they can't even use or enjoy their "toys."

When someone lusts after opulence, where is simple happiness? Can a person buy joy? We might get into another discussion here. A discussion of health, family, love, peace-of-mind maybe? I think satisfaction is largely dependent upon simple, natural gifts. All of these depend upon the sincerity of heart and the honest attempts to keep purity in the soul. We all sin, and we all are egotists to some extent; however, what we perceive may bring us closer to the truth may push us deeper into SALIGIA. Bigger, better? I guess the Big Deal is convinced. Not, me.


Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away." 

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