When we act iniquitously and we try assessing ourselves, we automatically dilute the baseness of our deed by culling images of our noble characteristics. This action of always finding some “good” in ourselves, to counterbalance the severity of our misdeed, makes us feel we are never “that bad”. However, when assessing others, we isolate their nefarious action as a singular entity and refuse to add any of their potential noble qualities to the weight of examination, which would lessen the harshness of our ridicule. Ergo, our censure of them becomes more potent, which colors their actions as more cruel and malevolent in our eyes, and thus makes us feel they are “worse” and “not as good as us”–even if subconsciously.
Consequently, we groom our mind into always holding ourselves in higher esteem than our neighbor, thereby always cultivating a more elevated opinion of ourselves–no matter the baseness of our misdeed. The difference is simply that, when assessing ourselves, we add a solution (images of hidden nobility) that dilutes the ugliness of our deed, but with others there is nothing to dilute and soften it. This contributes to hypocrisy, feeds evil, satisfies conceit, and assuages indolence.
Well considered, it means we extend ourselves a mercy we refuse others, and it is with this arrogance and bloated self-opinion we seek to approach the Almighty and petition Him for mercy. But I guess the correction of this attitude is offered in the Lord’s Prayer when it says “and forgive us our trespasses, AS we forgive those who trespass against us”, i.e. “extend me the same mercy I offer others”.
We have cultivated a morbid intellect whose sophistry is like a giant maze, as thoughts resemble a confusing land of illusions inside of which we are trapped; like a person chasing after their own reflection in a hall of infinity mirrors. To be rescued from haplessly pursuing one’s reflection into infinity, the mirrors in this hall need to be shattered by the hammer of reality. We are then forced to realize we were not dancing on clouds, but actually wallowing in the swamp. Now grounded in reality, we can then see ourselves for what we are– devoid of the pretty vestments from our imagination. Upon this solid foundation, we can then begin making real inner changes.
~Ikenna Q Ezealah