International Viewpoints (IVy), Issue 35 - January 1998
By Gregory Mitchell, Denmark
This Essay formed part of Gregory's Mental Development "Wake Up" Course which was level II in his scheme. For further data you are referred to his article on "The Importance of Drills" (IVy 11, page 9), and "Coaching Listening Skills" (IVy 31, page 22). Ed
HERE WE ARE dealing with a group phenomenon which blocks progress, wherever it occurs, and it will occur in any system where, of necessity, there has to be some hierarchy. On the Course, there are students who are either beginners, intermediate or senior -- depending on when they started, and always, some people will be better at particular exercises than others, because that is the current state of their mental development. People are, in certain ways, unequal. Life would be very boring were that not so!
A student who cannot accept his present, natural place in the hierarchy will not be able to learn, improve and change. His attention and concentration will be introverted onto grief, anger and hostility as he energetically resists the reality of his position. It may be especially difficult when a person comes from a position of status in his business affairs to the position of beginner-student, and finds that, in Mental Development, he must, like every other student, start at the bottom. But the paradox is that, if he can let go of any thoughts and feelings of resentment, he will progress to a higher status quickly, as his mind will also be able to let go of those past belief-systems he has held in place to boost self-esteem.
Excesses of inappropriate emotions, like envy, greed, anger and apathy, result in a reduction of consciousness, because these are narrowly self-centred pursuits, conflicting with a proper appreciation of the present situation and the long-term consequences. When a person becomes extroverted out of these self-defeating phenomena, he regains a broader awareness, interest in objective data, intellectual curiosity and interest in wider fields of activity.
The root of envy and jealousy is often an irrational belief in one's personal divinity, which places the individual above all ethical constraints and leads to a wish to recreate the Universe according to his own plan. This divorces a person from reality, because he will disregard anything that does not conform to his own pet theories. Envy is directed at anyone who seems to be superior in ability to himself and who disrupts his cosy sense of inherent godliness (if, as so often, that depends on superiority). This is of course quite separate from a rational sense of personal divinity, in which others are perceived to have their own spiritual presence.
Increased understanding brings about an awareness of the equality of action and reaction. "As you give, so shall you receive'" This law is actually based on what the individual needs to learn from life and determines why we are here in our present situation. We can only escape it by accepting the rhythm of giving in order to receive' and make progress. Envy disrupts normal progress because it asks to receive more than is our due. It sees the success of others as unfair and such a student will often complain of unfairness and prejudice against them -- when the responsibility lies with themselves.
An envious person must always be right and doesn't want to see evidence of his own mistakes. It's a case of "I'm OK, you're not OK". There will be an underlying arrogance in his or her attitude; a wish to denigrate anyone and anything.
The envious student will also seek to subtly sabotage and undermine both the authority of the supervisor and the performance of other students. This can manifest in 'accidents' which damage clothes, equipment or even another student! The envious student will have a cruel sense of humour when 'accidents' occur. The twinning scheme has great over-riding power here, insisting on the ethic of positive co-operation between students.
The envious student will tend to waste time on non-essentials and impede the progress of the course. They will exhibit manic excitement at times -- centred on activities which allow them to escape reality, such as childish hobbies.
Envy also results in the destruction of relationships, especially when the partner has achieved a significantly better appreciation of the realities of a situation. Friendships will break up because the envious person cannot accept their friend's success. The envious student will become increasingly alienated from the rest of the class, because of the effect of all the foregoing characteristics and anyone so alienated should be referred for individual analysis to help overcome this problem.
The condition is not irreparable since, in many cases, the envy against others may be a subconscious 'projection' or defence-mechanism, which can be resolved by counselling, to find the reason why this defence was originally thought necessary. The techniques of Mental Development, in themselves, should help to discharge envy by a recognition that the student can work effectively for the betterment of his Twin and the Group, and be valiant for Truth.