Friday, August 16, 2013

The Law of Hubris--it ALWAYS works (knock on wood)

I study spiritual laws because I'm a control freak.   Spiritual laws are really just like scientific laws.  They're about knowing why when I do this, this happens and when I do that, that happens.    In my 10 years of spiritual study I have learned about the law of attraction (focus on what you want, not what you don't want), the law of karma (you reap what you sow) but no one has ever really broken down for me the law of hubris.  In fact, I've never even heard it named.

Yet, everyone is familiar with this law.  We even have a superstitious action that goes with it:

We've all been there:
"Oh, my baby always sleeps through the night"
"this car has never given me a bit of trouble"
"People don't fire me, I quit"

Knock on wood

Hubris is defined as exaggerated pride or self-confidence

The Catholics have always been clear about the sin of pride--it is one.

12-steppers cultivate humility, certainly

Eckhart Tolle and the Buddhists (good name for a band?) would have us let go of "ego identification"

So it shouldn't be a surprise to me that when I brag, I receive a kwick karmic komeuppance (another band?)

I think the problem is I never think of these statements as bragging. I just think of them as the truth.  My baby did sleep through the night (until I said she did).  My car didn't give me trouble; people didn't fire me.  So what was the trouble?  How is that pride?  What the heck kind of problem does the universe have with such statements?  Does the baby wake up and the car break down just to show me whose boss?

I guess the least hubristic (and truest) answer is, I don't know.  I don't know why this particular instant feedback loop exists except that it serves well to remind me not to do it.

Maybe the reason "knock on wood" seems to work is that I'm really knocking on my own wooden skull that can't quite get it that I'm  not the center of the known world and that not everyone wants to hear me tell how much better my baby, my car and my employment history is than theirs.

Yesterday I told a sick friend, "don't worry, you can hug me.  I never get sick..."

Today I have a sore throat.

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