How to Treat Hubris and Pride
The Aspiration of Humility, and the Forced Connection to Realities
Once we’ve passed the first threshold of Personal Transformation in Dante, with a stern Self-Examination of your own reflection as the initial step, we are presented with both the Aspirations of Humility with stories from the Ancient Times, and the practical methods of how to change the biggest and most harmful vice in a person or in a culture, the vices of Hubris and Pride.
The necessary treatment suggested by Dante is to metaphorically carry some big heavy stone slabs on the back, that forcefully presses you down to earth (to the realities), in order to create a new connection and grounding for your psyche and for the apprehension of the world. And in many ways this corresponds well with the necessary balancing of the brain too, with the need to use more of the naturally perceiving right hemisphere for grounding, and to limit and curb the tendency of the left brain to prefer living in artificial models and fantasy worlds of its own creation.
(..) their punishment, he answered,
"bends their bodies toward the ground;
my own eyes were not sure of what they saw.
Try hard to disentangle all the parts
of what you see moving beneath those stones.
Can you see now how each one beats his breast?"
This image with the heavy stone slabs could be practically helpful both for your own self-management and for the self-regulation of the internal ego, but it could also be helpful to see the need for grounding in realities for other people and for the culture in a much larger sense. If the general times have moved into a more left brained dominated and destructive hubristic period, the remedy could be a combination of new aspirations towards Balance and Humility, but also an enforced confrontation with true realities as a necessary step and process of healing, and improvement.
True, some of them were more compressed, some less,
as more or less weight pressed on each one's back,
but even the most patient of them all
seemed through his tears to say: "I can't go on!"
Dante also comforts us, that even if this step is harsh, it is also the hardest and worst vice to treat and heal. Once Pride and Hubris is countered for a sufficient enough time, the next steps will become much easier.
And also, as a little reminder of the bigger goal of the transformation:
do you not understand that we are worms,
each born to form the angelic butterfly
suggesting that through this process, the metaphorical worms and hopefully the culture and the times, will transform into something much better, more happy and more generative, and perhaps even in places something resembling the symbolical angelic nature. That is the embedded aspiration, in embracing Humility as a Virtue.
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I never made the connection to the stones bringing them down to earth, and how that matches bringing oneself out of the models and into real life. Great insight!