A young woman came to me for advice, about problems she had at work, her colleague was bullying her, by constantly talking down to her, demeaning her at meetings and other such. She did not know how to deal with this. We discussed the issue back and forth, looked at it from different sides and the result was as follows.
What others think of us has nothing to do with us, only they themselves and the ideas about us are influenced by their personal circumstances, temperament, security or insecurity, and other. Thus, try small people often to stand on the shoulders of larger people, to look a little bigger. Many people think that they will be considered smarter by trying to attack others with degrading words and actions. But the fact remains that what others think of us has nothing to do with us. The reason we accept their ideas about us is that we actually believe them ourselves. And we believe it because we do not know ourselves well enough to know otherwise.
He who knows himself does not let others tell him how he is. And I am talking about self-knowledge, not just pieces here and there, that we believe make us appear to be cool and smart, and all that we most want to be. But the reality is that we are not just positive, intelligent and wise and stuff, but everything else too, the negative. And I mean everything.
I had a girlfriend once who was convinced that everyone was constantly trying to reject and humiliate her. One time, when visiting her, I saw immediately that she was very miserable, but before she could tell me why I said, wow you are fat. She was not fat, but very thin. She looked at me in disbelief and asked what kind of nonsense this was, what I meant by this nonsense. I pointed out that if I had said ‘you are a fool’ or something worse, I would have insulted her and she would have been hurt by my words, and if I had said ‘you are smart and wise’ she would have been very pleased with herself and me. But saying she was fat had raised other feelings in her. She saw it as nonsense because she knew that it did not apply to her. The fact of the matter was that fool and stupid, smart and wise, would be exactly the same nonsense and if she knew herself, she would know it. She was miserable throughout her life because she thought she was constantly exposed to injustice, and she could not understand that it was she who received the injustice because she was not sure but they were correct.
If we are human, then we have all human qualities, and if we do not know of them or if we deny them, we have no control over them and then they might rise up to the most unfortunate circumstances, not of much use for ourselves and others and often to harm. It is good knowledge to know that one is in fact nothing, the same nothing that includes everything, all human qualities, that we are in fact, in no way different from others but one and the same and identical. It gives us a chance to see and understand others and ourselves and then we know we are these others.
When we then face the other to strike us with words and strange ideas we could see ourselves in them. And if we feel we need to answer anything we could simply say yes and thus accept the things that others say as likely that some parts of us is exactly that referred to. We could also answer surprised, do you think that, knowing that is exactly what is going on, someone is feeling something which has nothing to do with us.
But first we should know ourselves. We do that by laying down all the knowledge, beliefs and ideas that we already have about ourselves and not gather more knowledge and ideas. If we are to see the truth and know ourselves as we are, then we must not assume something that we think we know, think is or will be. We cannot believe that we are not. We must dare to see what we really are and for that we have to peel off all our knowledge until there is nothing left but our own reality.
It is good knowledge to know that one is in fact nothing, the same nothing that contains all human qualities. We are actually all one and the same, we are really all alike.