The Useful Envy

Envy As A Positive Attribute

Envy is supposed to be one of our most negative qualities, it is listed as one of the seven deadly sins. On the other hand a human being wouldn’t be able to progress, develop, grow without envy. We are social beings, receiving our desires, aspirations, vague systems from others, from the environment we exist in.

Only when I watch others, spy on them, trying to reach, achieve what they have can I pull myself out of my comfort zone, rising above the level I was at before. This is so in our usual, everyday life, but it is even more so on the “spiritual path” where I want to reach, reveal and attain the meaning of our lives, the source of reality by changing my personal qualities from one extreme to another.

Yearning For Qualities I Don’t Want

In our usual life, where everybody is aiming for selfish, egoistic pleasures, fulfilments driven by our inherent nature the greater envy, hunger one has the greater possessions one can acquire. All actions are driven, going along a single path, towards selfish reward. But on the spiritual path, where we try to change our inherent qualities using envy is much more complex and important.

On the path of self-correction I need to acquire desires, a yearning for qualities, attributes I don’t have by nature, and which attributes, qualities my inherent nature actually despises, rejects. I am born as a completely selfish, egoistic, unique individual while we are supposed to become selfless, altruistic servants of others, completely dissolving, disappearing within the desires of others.

Faking, Building Spiritual Qualities

Thus envy is used in an interesting, double, contradicting manner.

The first usage is similar to how envy is used in normal life. I keep watching, “spying” on others, trying to acquire what they have so I can become better than them. But on the spiritual path, in the unique, mutual, circular environment the path unfolds in, we try to play act, showcase towards one another the desired spiritual qualities attributes in an artificial way.

Thus we keep playing, with complete devotion, 100% effort as if we already reached the necessary altruistic, selfless qualities, capability of unconditionally serving others. Although each plays artificially, in a fake manner from their own part – since none of them has those qualities to start with – their natural envy bites the bate, since they cannot be sure if the others are simply playing, faking, or perhaps they already attained those qualities for real.

Thus a “play acting competition” evolves, each trying to overdo the others. And since even fake actions without true intentions develop inner sensations, leave emotional impressions, these fiercely competing actors start developing true spiritual qualities towards one another. This is the initial, “fattening” stage, each member gaining, building “flash” on top of their initially empty spiritual aspirations.

Dust Under The Feet Of Others

But as they start to gain spiritual qualities, and acquire the capability to view each other from a changing, increasingly selfless, altruistic point of view the role of envy also changes.

When they see the others acting in a perfect, loving and bestowing manner they still feel a burning envy, trying to acquire those spiritual qualities for themselves. But now they start to become convinced that those others are truly in possession of those qualities, they truly attained the ability of selflessly, altruistically serving others while they feel that themselves they are not even close to such attainment.

On one hand the envy, greening inferior to others burns, but on the other hand a great joy and confidence envelops the observer, knowing that he doesn’t need to aspire, yearn for those unique spiritual qualities since his friends already possess them and can perform their unique role much more optimally than he would be able to.

And since they exist in a fully integrated, mutual system, where different parts, people complement the whole collective, the person can take a step back, bow his head and marvel at how his friends go from strength to strength, making the system work.

With each such revelation, accepting others as true, spiritual giants perfectly performing their roles, one can take a further step, bow himself deeper and deeper. The natural envy keeps working, observing, “spying” on others, and each time the person finds those others perfect, higher than oneself.

At the end one subdues oneself, bows so deep that he becomes a simple supporter, a nullified observer, simple dust under the feet of the others. And this is how he himself acquires true spiritual qualities.

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