You have to be aware of the uselessness of your self-importance and of your personal history. If you really want to learn, you have to remodel most of your behaviour. You take yourself too seriously. You are too damn important in your own mind. That must be changed! You are so goddamn important that you feel justified to be annoyed with everything. You’re so damn important that you can afford to leave if things don’t go your way. I suppose you think that shows you have character. That’s nonsense! You’re weak, and conceited! In the course of your life you have not ever finished anything because of that sense of disproportionate importance that you attach to yourself.
Self-importance is another thing that must be dropped, just like personal history. The world around us is very mysterious. It doesn’t yield its secrets easily. Now we are concerned with losing self-importance. It takes a very long time to clean out the garbage that a luminous being picks up in the world. We are so stiff and feel so self-important.
Self-importance is man’s greatest enemy. What weakens him is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of his fellow men. Self-importance requires that one spend most of one’s life offended by something or someone, because it also requires we also make what others do important to us. Don’t let your self-importance run rampant. To be angry at people means that one considers their acts to be important. It is a projected form of self-importance. It is imperative to cease to feel that way, and we can only do this by shifting our perception. The acts of men cannot be important enough to offset our only viable alternative: our unchangeable encounter with infinity.
It doesn’t matter what anybody says or does. You must be an impeccable warrior yourself. The fight is right here in this chest. It takes all the time and all the energy we have to conquer the idiocy in us. And that’s what matters. The rest is of no importance. To be an impeccable warrior will give you vigour and youth and power.
You need to learn to be dispassionate. The world of people goes up and down and people go up and down with their world; warriors have no business following them in their ups and downs. The art of sorcerers is to be outside everything and be unnoticeable. And more than anything else, the art of sorcerers is never to waste their power.
There is no need for us to say anything about others. There is no need for you or for me to regard other’s actions in our thoughts one way or another. The worst thing we can do is to force people to agree with us. I mean that we shouldn’t try to impose our will when people don’t behave the way we want them to. The worst thing one can do is to confront human beings bluntly. A warrior proceeds strategically. If one wants to stop our fellow men one must always be outside the circle that presses them. That way one can always direct the pressure.
If you think about yourself too much it gives you a strange fatigue that makes you shut off the world around you and cling to your arguments. A light and amenable disposition is needed in order to withstand the impact and the strangeness of the knowledge I am teaching you. Feeling important makes one heavy, clumsy, and vain. To be a man of knowledge one needs to be light and fluid.
You are a serious person, but your seriousness is attached to what you do, not to what goes on outside you. You dwell upon yourself too much. That’s the trouble. Dwelling upon the self too much produces a terrible fatigue. Seek and see the marvels all around you. You will get tired if you keep look at yourself alone, and that fatigue will make you deaf and blind to everything else.
As long as one feels that they’re the most important thing in the world, they cannot really appreciate the world around them. They are like a horse with blinders; all it sees is itself, as apart from everything else. The distinction of self-importance separates them from their environment, preventing them from uniting with it.
To help you lose self-importance talk to little plants. It doesn’t matter what you say to a plant, what’s important is the feeling of liking it, and treating it as an equal. A man who gathers plants must apologize every time for taking them and must assure them that someday his own body will serve as food for them. So, all in all, the plants and ourselves are even. Neither we nor they are more or less important. From now on talk to the little plants, talk until you lose all sense of importance. Talk to them until you can do it in front of others. You must talk to them in a loud and clear voice if you want them to answer you. The world around us is a mystery, and men are no better than anything else. If a little plant is generous with us we must thank her, or perhaps she will not let us go.
You must talk to the plants you’re going to pick before you pick them. In order to see the plants you must talk to them personally, you must get to know them individually; then the plants can tell you anything you care to know about them. You fail to understand that I am not joking. You think everything in the world is simple to understand because everything you do is a routine that is simple to understand.
The thrust of the warriors’ way is to dethrone self-importance. And everything warriors do is directed toward accomplishing this goal. Self-importance can’t be fought with niceties. Every effort should be made to eradicate self-importance from the lives of warriors. Without self-importance we are invulnerable. Warriors prepare themselves to be aware, and full awareness comes to them only when there is no more self-importance left in them. Only when they are nothing do they become everything.
Shamans have unmasked self-importance and found that it is self-pity masquerading as something else. No matter how much you like to feel sorry for yourself, you have to change that. It doesn’t jibe with the life of a warrior. Self-importance is the motivating force for every attack of melancholy. A warrior is someone who seeks freedom. Sadness is not freedom. We must snap out of it. Warriors are entitled to have profound states of sadness, but that sadness is there only to make them laugh.
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