EnneagramFourth Way Gurdjieff Ouspensky School Education Concerning the Work Teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky, Maurice Nicoll, and their students.
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Vanity

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
Ecclesiastes 1.2

A few thoughts about (gasp) vanity.

There is something very odd about vanity. It is very funny (to me) how vanity wants to be admired by people whom it thinks are inferior!

One would think that vanity wouldn't have anything to do with a `lower class' (asssessed as `lower' by vanity). Hahaha. Maybe it is because vanity believes it really is better than everybody else and because of this thinks this superior position, albeit an invention of it's own, is admirable.

Hahaha, when vanity is right `out there' in everyone's face, such as at a meeting when someone would preface a question with, `(clearing throat) Ahem, as a Man No. 4, I think…' and other `snootyisms', the late Anna Gold and I would roll our eyes at each other. Anna, for those who remember, was rather outspoken in the eyeball-rolling department (as well as vocally)! hahaha

People attached to their vanity usually don't like me much. One of the reasons for this is that I do not `feed' that weakness in myself, thus I don't feed it in others. Ah, I take that back. I do `feed' vanity at my office, at the store, when I want something. I am, however, in the minor leagues where vanity is concerned --- basically because one of my weaknesss is that I tend to under value myself (thanks, Mom).

When I'm `trying to act uppity' for some silly reason, usually I'm on very shaky ground. My `hot air pie' is so fragile, it can collapse with a frown coming from someone obviously unhappy with my act. (G) So, most of the time in my dealings with people (especially work type people), I find the company to be third-force to keep that old pie in the pantry. (G)

At the same time, vanity usually does not admire other people with vanity unless they have formed a `mutual admiration society' together somehow. Among the vain is also a pecking order as to who is the `highest'. Sometimes at those very late coffee shops, if, say, some hierarchy member was mentioned as being a good example of an overblown vanity feature, someone at the gathering would remark, `Well, I'm certainly glad I am AT this meeting!' (inferring if they were not we might be discussing THAT person in their absence)! hahaha So we find that vanity will defend observations of anybody's vanity. (G)

Vanity also bows to stronger vanity, especially if the bowER thinks there is some personal advantage to be liked by the bowEE. (G)

From Ecclesiastes, `the preacher', comes the line, `Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.' In this sense the way life is set up, everybody has to be in vanity of some sort because we all wear `masks' --- the mask of our form and its actions which is seen by others covers everything. Humans cannot actually `see' each other in this `play of vanity.' The rock bottom `vanity' is merely an attribute of the human condition, and at this level is not `being vain' in the sense of snootyism.

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid
     and self-contained,
I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of
     owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of
     years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.

So they show their relations to me and I accept them,
They bring me tokens of myself, they evince them plainly in their
     possession...
Song of Myself, Book III, 32
Walt Whitman

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