Sunday, 20 August 2017 22:20

What exactly makes some persons to feel superior to other persons?

Written by 

I would like to have some smart folks tell me why some persons are born with supreme belief in their personal superiority. This belief generally has nothing to do with such persons' accidents of birth; their parents may be poor yet they have such beliefs.

My parents are working class; however, in traditional Igbo society we were at the top of the food chain; we were and still are the high priests of Amadioha (in Hindu social categories we are of the Brahmin class...come to think of it, whenever I am in a Hindu temple they generally see me as a Brahmin, a natural priest).

In the contemporary world we are certainly not part of the rich and powerful. Our apparent lower class situation did not prevent me from having supreme self-confidence. I simply believed and assumed that I am superior to all people. I have been so since I became self-aware, say, age six. At elementary school the other kids, to me, were like monkeys for me to civilize them. I was not particularly smart at school although I was always in the top five students in my class. I would not say that my self-confidence has anything to do with academic attainments, it was simply there.

In secondary school there was one other boy who out-competed me academically, the rest were not in my league.

At the university I felt top notch (by merit I could have gone to any university in the world, be it Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard; financial considerations led me to go to American state universities).  I did not compare myself with other college students but with professors. In graduate school I considered myself superior to most of my professors...I reached that conclusion because I had close interactions with them; I would go to their offices and talked to them on assorted subjects; I found that I knew more about the subjects that they taught than they!

My behavior at college could give folks the impression that I am from a rich family, but I was not. Why would they get that impression? I used to save my money and during the summers go on grand tours of wherever I wanted to see.  I would buy plane tickets and go to London, Paris, Rome, Geneva, Frankfort, Hamburg, Vienna, Venice, Washington DC, New York; you name it and I had visited it.

While making my grand tours of European capitals I would feel superior to the natives! And this included those that mankind considered important persons. In Rome, for example, I went to Saint Peter's Basilica. While there I wanted to see the pope. But a mere college student is not allowed to go see the pontiff. Thereafter, I said to myself: who the hell is he, I know more about Christianity than he does and he ought to be seeking audience with me! Anyway, I was pissed that I could not see the man and had a little chat with him on Christianity (my parents' religion, a religion that I rejected at age fourteen).

In Washington DC I visited the White House. Ronald Reagan was the president. I felt reduced in stature being in the same house with the president of the USA for I believed that he was an empty headed idiot.   As we talk, we have Donald J. Trump in the White House.  To me that man is a dunce; I would feel insulted having him around me.

You get the idea. I have always felt superior to all people, not to most people but to all people. Why?  In mental health categories, Alfred Adler said that when a person feels inferior he compensates with superiority and fancies himself superior to other people. That may well be true. I consider my body inferior but I certainly do not consider my mind inferior to other minds. So, is my feeling of superiority merely ego compensatory?

Psychiatry has a class of mental disorders called delusion disorder. Here, a person rejects his reality and posits an imaginary reality and identify with it. An ordinary guy could reject that reality and want to see himself as better than other persons and come to believe in his wished for self and act as such. Thus, he is seen as having a deluded self-concept.

I know that there are deluded persons; there are schizophrenics (those have bizarre delusions as well as hallucinations, usually auditory); there are manic persons (they usually have wish for social importance and during florid stages of mania believe their wishes hence are deluded, they may or may not also have hallucination in one or the five senses).

I do not have mental disorder. If I have anything it is some kind of anxiety disorder. How? I wanted to be ideal; I felt anxious from the prospect of not being ideal.  For example, many students would be happy with, say, B grade but such grade made me feel imperfect. I had to have straight A grades to feel good or else I felt anxious.

In certain types of neurosis, such as obsessive-compulsive, avoidant and dependent personality disorders, there is desire to be ideal and perfect and fear of not been perfect hence free floating anxiety. Karen Horney, in her seminal book, Neurosis and Human Growth delineated the nature of neurosis.  Some of what she said applied to me. I was totally invested in been perfect; I took pride in perfection and felt anxious from the prospect of not been perfect.

I think that I had some kind of anxiety disorder secondary to fear of not being perfect. However, when I stopped seeking perfection and accepted myself as is, no condition posited before self-acceptance, that free floating anxiety went away.

Fear holds people down and prevents them from living fully. You can use your mind to counter your body's sense of threat and not feel fearful. When an animal organism senses danger its body throws up certain neuro-excitatory chemicals, such as adrenalin and those increase the workings of his visceral organs such as his heart, lungs and nervous system, urging him to either run away or fight the perceived source of danger. A lion or a person pointing a gun at you arouses fear in you. Fear response appears built into animals. Be that as it may, you can use your mind to overrule the urge to run away. I remember once in Los Angeles, walking down the streets of Hollywood, a teenage Latino boy ran towards me and pointed a gun at me asking for my wallet. I simply ignored him. I watched him closely to see his next move. I have training in martial arts; I was trying to figure out a way to take him out. I did not give in to fear that momentarily flitted through my body.  I do not give in to fear. If fear arousing stimuli come my way I try to stay calm and deal with them without fear or flight.

In Zen and the Art of the Motorcycle, the author told us that a Zen master, especially the Samurai, never gives in to fear and or anger; and that he does not act when he is in a state of fear or anger. If you called a samurai what folks call an insulting name and he felt initial anger he walks away. He does not necessarily forgive you. When he is calm he challenges you to a sword fight, duel, and in it calmly kills you. To kill in a state of calmness is valued by Samurai whereas to do anything out of anger is considered unmanly.

I live by the samurai's moto. In fear or anger I do not do anything, certainly nothing momentous!  I only act when I am in a fearless and anger-less state of mind, when my body is totally calm and has no excitation in it.

My question has not been answered. What makes some people believe that they are superior to other people? The belief can be idle or buttressed by facts. I am certainly very bright; I did well at school and work.  So my belief in superiority is not merely an idle wish.

If you think that you are smart just come to me and try to chat with me. I do not care whether the subject is physics, philosophy, psychology etc. most people run from my presence for the level of information that flows from me scares them.

How could a person know as much as I do, teachers used to ask when I was in school? Tom, where did you get all this knowledge, my elementary and secondary school teachers used to ask me.

For example, right now, on the spot, without looking at any book I could give you the History of Greece, Rome and Britain and other Western European countries.

I could teach you most of what you need to obtain a bachelor's degree in Physics without looking at any book.

You literally would have to run away when I open my mouth and start talking, for you would feel that a god or oracle of some sort is talking.

I do read a lot; once I read a book the information stays in my mind. All I know is that I possess incredible amount of information

The point, however, is that my sense of superiority cannot be seen as based on idle desire to be superior. In the world of knowledge I am up there. But that is beside the question for I have seen a few other knowledgeable persons in my life and they do not feel superior to other persons.

Consider my relation with Africans. I consider Africans as uncivilized apes that I need to civilize. Consider my relationship with white folks. I consider white folks as barbarians for me to civilize.

The only human groups that I respect are Asians.  Asians, be they Chinese, Japanese, Cambodians, Vietnamese, Filipinos and Indians come across as wise persons. I see them as not only book smart but as persons with wise souls.

Years ago, I was in a hotel and downstairs was psychic fair going on. Out of curiosity I went and paid a psychic fifty dollars to tell me who I was in a past life. He said that I was a Chinese Buddhist monk. May be that is true or maybe not; who cares about reincarnation? All I know is that I have ultimate respect for Asians; I see them as smart and wise folks. I see white folks as scientific and technological but emotionally infantile; I see Africans as raw animals with nothing in their heads, a people to be given scientific culture and become civilized.

DISCUSSION

This essay was motivated by recent events in my life. My girlfriend increasingly talks about the many dimensions of being. So, I asked her to explain to me what the dimensions are. She said that we live in the three dimensional universe, and gave me the standard idea that we have height, width and depth; she proceeded to say that there is fourth, fifth and sixth and seventh dimensions. She did not explain the other dimensions satisfactorily.

I googled the dimensions of being and read up on what folks write about them. There is a book called the law of one that talks about seven dimensions.

In my research on the dimensions of being, I ran into a Japanese fellow called Ryuho Okawa; he wrote a book called the nine dimensions. I read it. I spent a weekend watching YouTube videos of the man. He talked shop about the nature of people as spiritual beings; some of what he said makes sense and some are mere conjectures; in fact much of what he said is fictional; figments of his imagination that apparently he believes to be true. I shook my head and said that he would have made a good science fiction writer.

What got my attention is the man's claim to be God (which he called El Cantare). He said that El Cantare is the god in charge of our supposed nine dimensional solar system. He posits that each galaxy has its own over god and that the entire universe has an Omni god.  The man talks about twenty something dimensions multiverse, each universe with its gods.

Ryuho Okawa reminds me of the Japanese American physicist, Michio Kaku; Professor Kaku mixes good physics with his fictions on superstrings and its so-called many dimensional universes.

Okawa claimed that he sent Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammed, Moses, Confucius and other supposed enlightened people to the world. His seeming grandiose claims got my attention. My antenna was raised. I asked myself: is this man psychotic?

In psychosis folks often claim to be god. So, is the man lunatic?  If you have worked at psychiatric hospitals you probably have run into schizophrenics getting into fist fights when two or more of them claim to be God or Jesus Christ; the two false gods cannot stand each other; they duke it out to prove who the real god is.

Grandiose egos battle it out to decide whose ego is god and who is not. Working in psychiatric institutions can be humorous!  You can see a poor chap, in mania's florid phase claiming to be the richest man in the world or simply tell you that he is Bill Gates; same thing, he is the richest man in the world; or claims to be the best musician in the world or tell you that he is John Lennon. If you want to laugh be around psychotics and listen to their outrageous claims.

Listen to the disheveled schizophrenic, disorganized type, walking down the street; the chances are that he is claiming to be god and he is talking to his minions.

Is it because human beings feel existentially inadequate and inferior that they compensate with false superiority or is there something to their claim to be god?

I put on my diagnostic hat and tried to diagnose Lord El Cantare. I watched over twenty hours of videos of him talking to see if I could see signs of schizophrenia (say, paranoid type). I honestly did not see signs of psychosis in him.

So, why is the man claiming to be God? I talked with my girlfriend and she, in her wise way, threw some light on the phenomenon. She said that there is one God in the universe and that by accident or design some people experience that God and know that he is each of us and that such experience may lead a person to claim to be God and see other persons as not quite god, yet, but potential gods.

In mysticism (see Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism; William James, Varieties of Religious Experience; Richard Burke, Cosmic Consciousness) the mystic says that he is God and that you are god (see Meister Eckhart, Saint John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila etc.).

However, given how spiritually underdeveloped most people are, she said that she can understand how a man who has experienced God could call himself God and see other people as not God.

I told her that I have had most of the experiences that folks associate with spirituality but do not see myself as God. She smiled and said that I do feel like I am God. She reminded me that I had told her that I see me as one of a kind that comes through the universe once every ten thousand years!

Master Ryuho Okawa is not crazy, certainly not in psychiatric categories. You can take that feedback from me to the bank for my diagnostic skills is second to none!

CONCLUSION

Why do some persons have a feeling that they are superior to other people? Is there some truth to their claim or are they full of it?

Why, for example, do I have total belief, actually knowledge, that our true self is love? I believe in my soul that our true self is part of what I call universal love? I believe that love is the glue that unifies all being into one state of being.

I believe that for some reasons, say, pride, each of us decided to separate from love (that is, unified spirit state). No one can separate from love. But we can seem to do so in dreams.

I believe that our world is the dream of the opposite of love (opposite of union). On earth each of us does hateful things to other persons.

In unified spirit state we only know love.  I believe that we are sane when we love one another. I believe that we are insane when we hate one another and do hurtful things to one another.

I believe that in spirit all of us are the same and equal. However, in the dream of separation most people see themselves as different; in the world of differences some people are more aware of our inherent sameness and equality and tend to love people more than other persons.

I would rather die than harm another human being. In my entire life I have stolen a couple of pennies from my grandfather's room and felt so guilty that I had to make amends for it.

Perhaps, it is the compendium of acceptance of love and morality, and seeing those qualities absent in other people that led me to see me as superior to those around me? I do not know.

I am incapable of harming any human being for I intuitively know that love is really what matters in our lives. (I am in the process of editing and publishing a 1200 pages book called living from love.)

I ask, again, what is it that makes some human beings to feel superior to others? I do not know the answer to my question.

In your explanation, please do not employ biological, psychiatric and psychological categories for those do not satisfactorily explain the phenomenon; at any rate, I understand such explanations; I am looking for explanations that I do not, yet, understand.

I am looking for philosophical, religious and spiritual explanations of why some persons feel superior to other persons. Such persons feel so even though they accept that all human beings, in spirit, are the same and coequal. For example, I accept that in essence you and I are equal but in the here and now world I do not see you as my equal.

In eternity we are equal but in time we seem different, with some more advanced than others. Why do some human beings have this sense of superiority to other human beings?  Could you please present your perspective on the question with cogent arguments and or evidence?

Cheers,

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

August 20, 2017

www.centerformindscience.org

Read 354 times
Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: ozodiosuji@gmail.com (907) 310-8176