Wisdom Arises Through Understanding

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Complaining and Its Effects on the "I"

Recently, I listened to a talk by Eckhart Tolle and one point that stuck to the mind is what he said about complaining. Complaining is a mechanism that the ego has built in to perpetuate itself. I did not see it like that before but after doing some observation, its interesting how that works.

I was with a loved one and the moment she woke up she started to look for things to complain like the maid is not doing this or that correctly, who should not say this or that etc. As I observed it, I could see that the person felt "injured" when things do not go the way she wanted. Of course, I know that its the ego that felt injured and diminished if it did not managed to convince others of their existence.

Though I was observing her, I was observing myself too. What is going on in me when I hear complaints. I realised that 2 things happens. If I identified with the complaint, I would go along with it and this boost my ego with a "thou is more superior" attitude or "poor me" situation. That means we have a ego party together. I noticed that having complaining party does make me feel good sometimes but its a short term feel good. In the long term it erodes my integrity and self responsibility.

However, I noticed when I hear a complaint and I keep quiet, smile and allow the person to continue, the complaining session is shortened for the person. Maybe its no longer fun to complain to someone who does not add fuel to the complain. I observed that as the other person complains, there are complaints happening in the mind at the same time.Sometimes its easy just to be the observer Sometimes, when the complaint was something that hit home so to speak... feelings of defensiveness arose....... if I was not mindful... this is usually the trigger to react but if mindful, its a time to be even more mindful.... Sometimes... its like playing Russian roulette. I notice that there is still a liking or desire to complain so its still work in progress.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading this post very much! You express many enlightening observations. I have also found Eckhart Tolle's observations about complaining to be very accurate and helpful. Thank you for this post!