Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Praise & Blame

How great we feel when we are praised and recognized. How crushed and broken we feel when we are criticized or blamed. Is this not part of our daily experience?

Have we really taken a good look at why this is so? Or do we rationalize these experiences as part of life, as feelings and emotions we have no real control, continuing to live each day on this frustrating, often frightening “elevator” like existence.

The Great Masters tell us that the need for praise and blame are some of the chief activities of the ego, that it is our own ego that identifies with these needs and desires, these stories going on in our mind-in essence, what we are thinking at any moment-thought itself-and projects them onto the world, thinking that praise comes from outside itself, therefore making it perfectly logical to blame that outside source when it doesn’t get what it feels it deserves.

In the end, it is a trap!

We seek praise because, like a drug, it temporarily makes us feel worthwhile, happy and proud of our accomplishments. But like a drug, when the “high” wears off we seek, once again, a new “fix”—more praise which, of course, makes us work again, this time just a little bit harder, to recreate the next high.

Can you envision a “burnout,” exhaustion, even a possible emotional breakdown looming on the horizon?

This process continues endlessly: reaching out, seeking praise, working harder and harder at what we do, so that we can get back something for what we do-praise, honor, recognition, fame and fortune, etc, so that we can feel good about ourselves.

Can anything or anyone ever give us anything that is lasting? It is in this question that we can put an end to all suffering.

When we get what we want we are inspired and happy, filled with a sense of worthiness and joy. When we don’t, the ego, not wanting to “look at itself in the mirror,” begins a process of blaming something or someone for its unhappiness and discontent.

Where is the love?

Is this whole process of praise and blame not a form of manipulation, a way the ego has cleverly learned to selfishly “take,” to get for itself.

If we are in the process of getting, where is the giving? Love is giving!

Does it not follow that the ego’s expectation of praise is the ultimate reason why we get frustrated and angry when it doesn’t get its way? Think about it! It is so obvious in its simplicity.

Praise and blame are only a source of pain and suffering when they are not understood.

Meditate. A quiet mind is free of praise and blame. In that place we feel worthy and totally free of all worldly needs and desires.

Love and blessings,


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you Alan for the reminder of these sweet simple truths. To come back to the peace that is waiting so patiently right there in our own hearts.