Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Seven Deadly Sins - Pride

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. ~ Proverbs (ch. XVI, v. 18)

He that is proud eats up himself. Pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, his own chronicle; and whatever praises itself but in the deed, devours the deed in the praise. ~ William Shakespeare

Pride is said to be the ultimate sin. The sin from which all others are born. I've mulled over this for a while, and think that there may just be truth in that. Is it Pride that produces envy? Probably, since Pride mistakenly assumes its own innate importance, and superiority over others. How dare someone else have more than me? Know more than me? Is Pride the mother of lust? Lust really cares not for its object, only for itself. So I would say yes. And sloth? Slothful like slobs that don't care if their sloth rubs off on you? Sloth that ruins everything, even what is not yours to ruin? Wrath... your conviction that you and you alone are right, and therefore everyone else is wrong. And your ensuing anger. Greed is certainly the child of Pride. Wanting for yourself above all else. Believing that it is your right. And finally gluttony, maybe the most fluffy of the so-called sins. Is gluttony born of pride? That may be a stretch. Perhaps gluttony gone wild... gluttony that mows done everyone else.

I think Pride is considered to be the mother of all sins because it convinces those who suffer its burden that they are alone in their righteousness. Pride transformed into hubris is a most dangerous thing, as Oedipus knew well.

And Pride is at its most insidious and dangerous when it infects men of power. Men of power who are so convinced of their own mind, men who are even convinced that they have a direct line to God and God's will. Pride never heeds advice. Pride doesn't even hear it. Pride never has a moment of self doubt. Pride is ignorance at its apex. This purest Pride brings down others. Destroys peace.

Murders its own sons and daughters. And the sons and daughters of its enemies. Never hearing even their tears or prayers. For nothing.

That is Pride's ultimate evil.


jen said...

pride is a woeful bastard.

lovely post.

Brillig said...

I hung on every single word with this one. Awesome, powerful post. You've pointed out the fruits of pride perfectly. That last photo is particularly striking. Great one, Jennifer. I'm loving your sins and virtues.

Jen said...

This was a very powerful post, Jennifer. And I couldn't agree more. And there are so many world leaders going back to the ancients that this could apply to, including our own. I spent more time on hubris than just about any other concept with my Brit. Lit. students last year.

anno said...

My favorite in my favorite series. Perfect.

Greg said...

Years ago I read a wonderful book entitled "The Demon of Noontide" tracing the role of ennui in Western Civilization. I'm reminded of this book by your post today as the listing of sins was important to the early Desert Fathers of Christianity, and they actually debated the primacy of pride vs ennui, etc.
You've done a good job linking the deadly sins, seeing them all in one.

Fourier Analyst said...

Moving, powerful post. Loving this series. You are an inspiration!