arrogance

The modest man has everything to gain, and the arrogant man has everything to lose; for modesty has always to deal with generosity, and arrogance with envy.

Following his release from imprisonment on Kislev 19, 5559 (1798), an event which marked the Chassidic movement's decisive victory over its opponents, Rabbi Schneur Zalman sent a letter to his followers. The letter begins by quoting the verse in which Jacob says to G‑d, "I am diminished by all the kindnesses... You have shown Your servant" (Genesis 32:11). "The meaning of this," explains Rabbi Schneur Zalman "is that every kindness bestowed by G‑d upon a person should cause him to be exceedingly humble. For a [Divine] kindness is [an expression of] ... 'His right hand does embrace me' (Song of Songs 2:6) -- G‑d is literally bringing the person close to Himself, far more intensely than before. And the closer a person is to G‑d ... the greater the humility this should evoke in him... This because 'all before Him is as naught' (Zohar), so that the more 'before Him' a person is, the more 'as naught' [does he perceive himself to be].... This is the attribute of Jacob... The very opposite is the case in the contrasting realm of ... kelipah (evil): the greater the kindness shown a person, the more he grows in arrogance and self-satisfaction..." The letter concludes: "Therefore, I come with a great call to all our community regarding the many kindnesses which G‑d has exceedingly shown us: Assume the attribute of Jacob... Do not feel yourselves superior to your brethren (i.e., the opponents of Chassidism); do not give free rein to your mouths regarding them, or hiss at them, G‑d forbid. [I] strictly warn: Make no mention [of our victory]. Only humble your spirits and hearts with the truth of Jacob."

Trouble arises when either science or religion claims universal jurisdiction, when either religious dogma or scientific dogma claims to be infallible. Religious creationists and scientific materialists are equally dogmatic and insensitive. By their arrogance they bring both science and religion into disrepute. The media exaggerate their numbers and importance. The media rarely mention the fact that the great majority of religious people belong to moderate denominations that treat science with respect, or the fact that the great majority of scientists treat religion with respect so long as religion does not claim jurisdiction over scientific questions.

Arrogance in persons of merit affronts us more than arrogance in those without merit: merit itself is an affront.

The arrogance of the artist is a very profound thing, and it fortifies you.

That is the arrogance of the kind of academic narrowness one too often sees; it is trapped in its own predictable prejudices, its own stale categories. It is the mind dulled to the poetry of existence. It’s fashionable now to demand some economic payoff from space, some reward to prove it was all worthwhile. Those who say this resemble the apelike creatures in 2001. They are fighting for food among themselves, while one separates himself from them and moves to the slab, motivated by awe. That is the point they are missing. He is the one who evolves into a human being; he is the one who understands the future.

Therefore it is not arrogance or narrowrnindedness that leads the
economist to discuss these things from the standpoint of economics. No
one, who is not able to form an independent opinion about the admittedly difficult and highly technical problem of calculation in the socialist
economy, should take sides in the question of socialism versus capitalism.
No one should speak about interventionism who has not examined
the economic consequences of interventionism. An end should be
put to the common practice of discussing these problems from the
standpoint of the prevailing errors, fallacies, and prejudices. It might be
more entertaining to avoid the real issues and merely to use popular
catchwords and emotional slogans. But politics is a serious matter.
Those who do not want to think its problems through to the end should
keep away from it.

I think that all artists, regardless of degree of talent, are a painful, paradoxical combination of certainty and uncertainty, of arrogance and humility, constantly in need of reassurance, and yet with a stubborn streak of faith in their own validity no matter what.

Timing and arrogance are decisive factors in the successful use of talent.

Anger (being hostile) is a quality which to some, is like a religion. How can we kill it? It can only be killed by a sharpened intellect (koorvaputhi). Anger is like an elephant, - heavy, burdensome, which obliterates everything on its path, and cannot be killed easily. A very sharp intellect is the only weapon with which you can kill it. In folklore, it is said that if you are able to kill it, you are likened to a 'dev muni' (a petty god in tamil folklore). To us, it means that one could realise the Truth (Haqq) which is Allah.

Further we have arrogance, which is the "I" in me, and everything else that is associated with the "I". It is also said in Tamil folklore, that so long as the pride and arrogance remains as the "I" in me, they will slaughter me. That "I" consciousness will unerringly drag my mind down to abysmal depths of degradation. Like a mote in your eye which affects your vision, it blocks the power of the mind.

Whilst the arrogance of the "I" infects the mind, and whilst the greed of "mine" envelops the mind, then you are under the fatal stranglehold. Then your eyes are dazzled by the visions portrayed, and you succumb to that stranglehold. So the constant intention and inward prayer should be - "Oh Allah, the Almighty Power, let the arrogance that is "I", and the greed that is called "mine" be cast asunder, that I shall see Thee in all thy Majesty". That is the priceless effulgent Thing.

That is why we always say, annihilate the "I", because that is the cause of your disease of misery, (thoonbam). Your pride, your arrogance, your greed, your lust, your attachments, all have the "I", your base ego being the generator. The idea of "I" and "mine" permeates your entire being and taints your every thought and action, your conduct and behaviour. Therefore, if and when you come to possess the knowledge to cross this abyss of the "I" and "mine" then that knowledge you must have before you can pursue your religion, whatever it may be.

Set imagined it was to please, but it was to astonish God that he painted. His presumption and arrogance were pronounced and dangerous, for they would certainly lead to the Sin of Despair, thence to death and nothingness. Bent said so, half in jest, only half. Rather, as Set himself said on occasion, he painted in vain, in order to relieve the terrible boredom of God. He expounded: God's boredom is infinite. Surely we humans, even with our etiquette and our institutions and our mothers-in-law, ceased to amuse Him many ages ago. What sustains Him is the satisfaction, far deeper than we can know, of having created a few incomparables - landscapes, waters, birds and beasts. He takes particular pride in the stars, and it pleases Him to breathe havoc upon the oceans. He sighs to the music of the desert at dawn. The eagle and the whale give Him still to ponder and admire. And so must he grieve for the mastodon and the archaeopteryx. And the bear - ah! He used both hands when he made the bear. Imagine a bear proceeding from the hands of God!

No doubt it is true that there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repented than over all the saints who consistently remain holy, and the rare, sudden gentlenesses of arrogant people have infinitely more effect than the continual gentleness of gentle people. Arrogance turned gentle melts the heart.

Now the misgiving arose in her whether she had mistaken arrogance for duty; whether, cleaving so closely to honor she had forgotten the obligation of mercy.

Language became a colorless and as indistinct as the business suit which is now worm by everyone, by the scholar, by the businessman, by the professional killer. Being accustomed to a dry and dreary norm and sees in it an obvious sign of arrogance and aggression; viewing authority with almost religious awe he gets into a frenzy when he sees someone pluck the beard of his favorite prophet.

"Speak not of liberty — poverty is slavery!" is not a vain formula; it has penetrated into the ideas of the great working-class masses; it filters through all the present literature; it even carries those along who live on the poverty of others, and takes from them the arrogance with which they formerly asserted their rights to exploitation.

You need to know that just as evil arrogance is a very bad character trait, so too a person needs to have holy arrogance. Because it is impossible to come to the true tzaddikim or to draw near to holiness without arrogance as our rabbis taught, Be bold as a leopard

What is so hateful to a poor man as the purse-proud arrogance of a rich one? Let fortune shift the scene, and make the poor man rich, he runs at once into the vice that he declaimed against so feelingly; these are strange contradictions in the human character.

We now have a two-party system that is overwhelmed with its own arrogance and complacency, ... It offers little more than Band-Aids for some of the nation's problems and does not project a sense of confidence among the American people.

I am sometimes accused of arrogant intolerance in my treatment of creationists. Of course arrogance is an unpleasant characteristic, and I should hate to be thought arrogant in a general way. But there are limits! To get some idea of what it is like being a professional student of evolution, asked to have a serious debate with creationists, the following comparison is a fair one. Imagine yourself a classical scholar who has spent a lifetime studying Roman history in all its rich detail. Now somebody comes along, with a degree in marine engineering or mediaeval musicology, and tries to argue that the Romans never existed. Wouldn't you find it hard to suppress your impatience? And mightn't it look a bit like arrogance?

Character matters; leadership descends from character.