The strongest two experiences I have had with people in many moons happened in these past two weeks. One was with a cancer patient, already on the surgeon’s gallows, snatched away in the nick of time from knife and poisonous treatments (chemotherapy), without a lot of huff or puff. No one was shot and we did not have to ride away on horses. The other was with a woman who came into my house, and thankfully left quite quickly.
It was, if my readers can believe it, an interior decorator and owner of a furniture company coming into my Sanctuary, with two assistants in tow. It was a hard lesson in arrogance. It was a show happening on the stage of my construction site here at Sanctuary, with workers all around, all having to listen only to criticism from this stranger, while we all were in a state of grace, including the workers, with everything we were doing and from everything around us. At the end of her gracious visit, she leaned against a large cement column in the living room supporting three stories and asked, “Does this support anything?”
My dedicated purpose here at Sanctuary is to create heaven on earth—a new Garden of Eden. It is already as beautiful as Eden for Nature runs supreme in this hidden valley. However, Eden had people and that is where the trouble began.
In Heaven there are no arrogant people for that is what keeps you on the wrong side of the pearly gates. Arrogant people do not fit in heaven. They do not fit comfortably in anyone’s life and they certainly will not fit at Sanctuary. It is as if they were a wrong key trying to open up a lock that they were not designed for so they just do not fit.
Christ said this well when he spoke that it was easier for a camel to thread the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. He really was not talking about having money itself. He was talking about the arrogance that usually comes with power and riches. It is the meek or humble that will inherit the earth, if there is anything left after the arrogant get finished with it.
Cancer is easy to treat compared to arrogance. In fact, it is so much harder, bordering on impossible that one would have to charge exponentially more to treat it. What is the only treatment for arrogance? Humiliation. Humiliation brings arrogant people back down to the ground where they belong but this is the last thing arrogant people seek. We are an arrogant race with psychopaths mirroring the worst of this lot.
Perhaps I have built a spiritual hospital for arrogant people but I doubt many will seek us out, at least I hope not. I say this because I have built a Sanctuary with accommodations even for the rich so perhaps God wants some of them to jump through the eye of a needle and get into Heaven. Not all rich people are arrogant and certainly many poorer folks share the habit. We are a race though with strong negative tendencies with the worst usually getting the better of us.
Over ten years ago, I met an arrogant man from Rome who was dying. His arrogance was spiritual and he was a meditation teacher but one that could not eat and nourish himself. I was doing therapy with him on the coast but as implied above, it is difficult to treat arrogance. Therefore, I suggested we travel together into the interior, where I now have my Sanctuary, to drink Ayahuasca, which now that I think of it, is a good physical medicinal treatment for this deadly and usually untreatable disease. I published quite a bit about this many years ago.
In this old case, the Ayahuasca session went well but the next day this patient created some trouble with a young girl in the river and would not take feedback about it. I invented a new therapy on the spot called Abandonment Therapy meaning I packed my stuff, told him where to stuff his money, which at the time I was pretty desperate for, and left him (in good hands) taking the rented car. I did this twice. Treatment worked! Two weeks later, this starving man walked out of the jungle eating like a horse (yes I did go back and pick him up).
Martin Luther King, Jr. said that Gandhi criticized himself and whenever he made a mistake, he would confess it publicly. Here was a man who would say to his people, “I’m not perfect, I’m not infallible”. Gandhi was considered a great man for this quality of humility. When we confess our weaknesses or imperfections, we make ourselves more vulnerable.
I at least do this almost every day with my wife so I can spare you the details but know that I do confess. If I make a mistake in medicine, or in heath related issues then for sure you will hear about it. I am a strong individual and my mother says about me it is either my way or the highway. We all laugh about that because it is true! I am a shaper of the future and my wife appreciates what it is like to get in my way. I of course know and appreciate what it is like to get in any woman’s way.
When we open ourselves we are able to grow through the confrontation with that which is most weak or negative in us. Arrogance is the opposite of vulnerability; it represents a closed mindedness, a selfishness of purpose. Arrogance hardens the heart to stone.
Victor Frankl said, “From all this we may learn that there are two races of men in this world, but only these two – the "race" of the decent man and the "race" of the indecent man. Both are found everywhere; they penetrate into all groups of society. No group consists entirely of decent or indecent people.”
It would be correct to state that no individual is either completely good and decent, and no individual completely bad or indecent. So perhaps no one is completely arrogant but psychopaths approach an indecency that is painful to talk about and even more so to experience when one comes up against such dark forces.
What marks a person with little or no heart is an attitude that scoffs at the suffering of others; an attitude that sees others who feel, suffer, cry and experience the agony of being a human on this planet as beneath their dignity. My experience with my own heart tells me the price for great compassion and capacity of empathy comes on the back of rivers of tears and suffering.
A few months ago I published chapters on The Ego as the Root of Conflict and What it Really Means to Work on the Ego. I know about such matters having crawled up from the mud of arrogance as a young man and I had to learn to sit still like a mountain before the universal would let me out of my cage to start my true work in the world.
Arrogant people should understand that they have already lost the trust of people around them for it is truly difficult to trust arrogant people because they are, in reality, quite stupid. We do not trust them also because they do not listen well to anyone other than themselves.
I share this in concluding because I want it known that the hardest thing to do as a human being is to win back trust after you have lost it. That is why infidelities are so devastating. I never met anyone who has even tried such a feat but I had to do this with a group of forty people who were doing the Creative Conflict process with me at the University of the Trees in Boulder Creek California back in the mid-1980s.
When we face our dark sides the light begins to shine on our lives and into the lives of others. It is so easy to think about ourselves but happiness is ours when we feel for the lives of others. The more we love the more we are. When we heal the cancer in our imaginations and in our hearts and souls, it becomes much easier to recover on a physical level.
I want happiness, love and light in my life, which means I avoid arrogant people like the plague. They do not like me either so I am lucky and left alone.
Special Case of Cancer
There is though the special case of cancer. For the arrogant, perhaps it is their last chance because cancer makes even the high and mighty vulnerable. This vulnerability has the power to save our souls and often helps our bodies from suffering a bad end. Life threatening diseases make us vulnerable and I have compassion for those who surrender their vulnerability into the wrong hands.
It took me writing this essay to realize the future of Sanctuary and what kind of people might find their way here. The humble and meek from around the world will not be able to afford to fly to Brazil to receive highly personalized attention in an upscale healing center. Through all these years I have paid attention to those around me offering inexpensive do it at home treatment options for cancer and every other disease.
People do not need to come to Sanctuary to do the Natural Allopathic protocol. They can dispense it to themselves. What I cannot provide from a distance is the deliberate work of returning to one’s vulnerability. Vulnerability is what people will find here so if that is what one seeks they will be welcome, even if it is a battle with arrogance – that is the challenge and cure.