Pride and other reactive emotions

Reactive emotion (from GDP05 00:00:00.00 - 00:04:43.02)

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Ken: Let's begin with any questions about the practice. No questions?

Student: A case of clear directions.

Ken: Pardon?

Student: A case of clear directions.

Ken: Oh dear, I'll have to muddy it up next time. John?

John: Is pride an attribute?

Ken: Pride isn't. Pride is usually regarded as an emotion. Why?

John: I'm just trying to figure it in a more positive way, it's almost like arrogance.

Ken: Yeah pride, arrogance.

John: But you're not really suffering from it. [Laughter]

Ken: Most of the people I know who are proud aren't suffering from it at all.

John: That's what I'm saying.

Ken: Most of the people I know who get angry don't suffer from it. Everybody else does. That's the characteristic of a reactive emotion. You're discharging the energy so that you don't get to feel it--everybody else does. That's why you're expressing it, so you don't have to feel it. So what's the question behind all this?

John: Well, I got totally thrown off this morning when I came in for an interview and...

Ken: Well who, who did that? [Laughter]

John: That's because you turned it around a bit.

Ken: Yes.

John: Something that was more, that I [unclear]

Ken: No, keep going: this is important.

John: I'm trying to think of what I can...how I started out because I...you ended up saying you wouldn't deem to even consider that those people were effecting you.

Ken: That's right.

John: And deem that your own self-interest that's provoking it or your own "self-betteration".

Ken: Yeah, if you're proud, right, and some little pip-squeak takes issue with something that you've done, does this affect you?

John: Yes.

Ken: I mean if you're really, really proud and even if someone has the temerity to speak to you, which they shouldn't, of course.

John: Yeah, I get that.

Ken: What's the awakened quality here?

Student 1: Vajra pride.

Ken: Yes, but what's the specific quality?

John: Dignity?

Ken: Close.

Student 2: Equanimity.

Ken: Yes. You're not disturbed by anything. Good. Bad. You sail through it all. Everything's the same. So live proud.