Thursday, August 18, 2011
Confidence or overconfidence
Those who love to read Peanuts must be very familiar with this image of Lucy the Shrink. Her confidence makes weaker souls like us feel jealous, but her over-confidence makes her a bad shrink, no wonder she has little business!
Many people know meditation has therapeutic effect. Most of my students (yes, I'm an amateur having trained some friends and relations) become calmer, having better EQ, and generally speaking a more balanced and likeable personality to be with.
But I do meet people who do meditation becoming over-confident and irritable, like one Lucy. I mean I have met such people over the internet as well as face-to-face. Why? What makes the difference? I'm sure we want to become someone like the former category instead of the latter. A valid reason to pursue this inquiry further. Let's move on.
There are folks I met with learn meditation with the objective of gaining supernatural powers. According to Taoist and Buddhist Classics, an enlightened being can attain six supernatural powers （六神通者，天眼通[Eye]、天耳通 [Ear]、他心通 [Thought]、宿命通[karma]、神足通[Feet]、漏盡通[Energy]）. These are all "side-effects/benefits" of deep meditation, and an enlightened practitioner can thus fulfill his inner (in the lingo of modern psychology: Unconscious) urge to satisfy these six human needs or dreams. Or consequently a practitioner will no longer be affected by or influenced by inner drive arising from these inner (unconscious) force. As a result, for those Buddhists or Taoists who have already attained a high level of "cognitive spirituality" can solidify or complete his conscious gain with this gain, or control over, his inner self of Unconscious.
Hence the objective of deep meditation is not to gain power but to experience power in order to nullify its impact. For those practitioners who want to gain power through their practice will eventually become "power-thirst" and likely to become either a person who like to control, or a person who becomes more bitter because in real life he might not have power! They have the subjective feeling of "certain progress" towards gaining these six supernatural powers, and they become over-confident. This is in short a possible peril of deep meditation without a good, moralistic or spiritual objective.
Beware of becoming too overconfident!