Arrogance (Koman)

by Yoshikazu Fukaya

The last of the eight dusts is "arrogance." We often find that "arrogance" is a use of mind we come to harbor before we realize it. Although we do not intend to, the nature of our work or our situation in life may cause us to unconsciously view others with contempt and hold onto to the false illusion that only our opinions are correct.

From the past, the rich have used their wealth to intimidate others and have things their own way. Masters scold their servants without giving the slightest consideration to their feelings. Officials flatter their superiors while being insolent to their subordinates and citizens. It need not be mentioned that these are examples of the dust of "arrogance" at work.

In today's society, no matter how much wealth or authority one may have, it is no longer as easy as it once was to indulge in the kind of behavior described above. One can say that the general public no longer tolerates such arrogant thinking or attitudes. While social norms and outward attitudes and behavior may have changed, we can nevertheless see countless examples of "arrogance" close at hand where people harbor a false sense of superiority, look down upon others with scorn, or flaunt the little knowledge they have while pointing out the shortcomings and faults they find in others.

It can be said that people who are attracted to high-luxury properties and buy fancy cars which they hardly need, parents who frantically look over their children's report cards with the blood vessels in their eyes pulsating, and people who constantly wish they could live like their neighbors all harbor a mind of arrogance. Also prone to arrogance may be business and property tycoons, corporate executives and managers, or leaders of labor unions and citizens' groups.

Yet, more than anyone else, it is necessary for those of us who have faith in these teachings and are seeking to follow Oyasama's Divine Model to self-reflect on whether or not a mind of self-righteousness toward society is growing inside us. A follower who thinks, "Look at how much I have followed the path," gives off an arrogant fragrance that prides on his or her strict devotion. Also, as we find ourselves being called, "Sensei, sensei," we often become of the mindset that thinks, "Let me teach you this. Let me guide you this way." This is far from the ideal way practice our faith--which is to concentrate our efforts on seeking the path and following Oyasama's Divine Model ourselves. Self-examination is required of us all. The eight dusts were taught to us not for the sake of instructing others but for us to reform and correct ourselves and make progress in the cleansing of our hearts.