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High Self-Esteem Hides Low Self-Esteem

Book cover for Journal Journey


Self-Esteem Is a Duality: You Always Have Both Sides

  • Ego will help you to recognize, remove, and replace your ego: a.k.a. self-esteem.

“The cause of all sins in every case lies in the person’s excessive love of self.” —Plato, Laws


The Hidden Pleasure in Depression

The depressed person gets to know better than themselves. This masochistic style of pride—is still pride—is still high self-esteem. By judging themselves, the depressed person is above themselves, since they are above themselves—they can take pride in being superior to themselves.


The Hidden Pleasure in Jealousy

It is clear even to the average person that the jealous person is acting from insecurity, low self-esteem. However, if all the jealous person had was low self-esteem, then they would not be able to make the demands that they do on others.

To be demanding requires that you think you are superior in rights and privileges—in other words–high self-esteem or its proper name: pride. And everyone knows that the jealous person is so unrealistically demanding that their demandingness drives the other person away. The extremeness of the jealousy person’s demandingness shows the extremeness of their pride.


The Hidden Pleasure in Suicide

There is no doubt that suicide is the conclusion of those who think that it is hopeless and they are helpless from stopping themselves from feeling shame (low self-esteem). Yet, they have the audacity to think they know better than everyone else and even God as what to do with their lives.

They have enormous pride in thinking they will punish others. They have enormous pride in ignoring the effects of their suicide on those who survive it. They have pride both in their decision and in their control.


The Hidden Pleasure in Conflict/Becoming

First, let us acknowledge that becoming is conflict. Becoming is the conflict of the opposites as it is about knowledge and knowledge only exists as opposites: high/low, small/big, loud/soft, rough/smooth. Becoming can be understood as the conflict between the should-be and the should-not-be or between what-is and what-should-be.

Now let us see that the point of conflict and becoming is in the process itself, and not in the imaginary goals and results that rarely come to pass. In the conflict between your past and future, you may see yourself as evil. But in the moment, in the present, you are secretly in darkness experiencing yourself as good for judging. You have the pride of knowing the good, of judging the evil, of judging the conflict, of judging yourself, of judging others, of judging life, of desiring the good, of thinking you can do the good, and of believing in your eventual goodness.

What does all this mean? It means—

  • People want pride before peace.
  • People want pleasure before peace.
  • People will endure great suffering for a little sugar: ego pleasure.

Only when all hope of pleasure is lost are people interested in changing what they do. In AA they call this “hitting bottom.”

It is also true that hidden in ego pleasure is ego pain. Under pride is shame. Under grandiosity is inferiority. Under self-centeredness is self-worthlessness.

Understand it this way. All judgments produce two results: both a positive and a negative. Any comparison must result in what should-be and what should-not-be. Hence, from one judgment comes both pride and shame.


Quotations from Various Sources

Organized Alphabetically

“Can a man cling to the positive without any negative in contrast to which it is seen to be positive? If he claims to do so he is a rouge or a madman.” —Chung Tzu 

“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,” —II Timothy 3:2 

“He who despises himself still nonetheless respects himself as one who despises.” —Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil 

“It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honored by the humiliation of their fellow beings.” —Mahatma Gandhi 

“Self-esteem steals souls.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.” —Psalms 62:9 

“The cause of all sins in every case lies in the person’s excessive love of self.” —Plato, Laws 

“The opposite is also true: You cannot cling to the negative without any of the positive that makes it possible to know the negative as the negative.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.” —George Bernard Shaw 

“Without injustices the name of justice would mean what?” —Heraclitus

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