Arrogance

Arrogance is a puffed-up mind based on a deluded outlook toward the importance or significance of our place in this world. It functions to make us not appreciate others or respect their good qualities, and to prevent us from listening, learning or otherwise expanding our horizons. There are seven types of arrogance in the traditional Buddhist model:

  • Arrogance is a puffed-up mind that feels I am better than someone inferior to myself in some quality.
  • Exaggerated arrogance is a puffed-up mind that feels I am better than someone equal to myself in some quality.
  • Outrageous arrogance is a puffed-up mind that feels I am better than someone superior to myself in some quality.
  • Egotistical arrogance is a puffed-up mind that thinks “me” while focusing on our own samsara-perpetuating aggregates.
  • False or anticipatory arrogance is a puffed-up mind that feels I have attained some quality that I have not actually attained or not yet attained.
  • Modest arrogance is a puffed-up mind that feels that I am just a little bit inferior compared to someone vastly superior to myself in some quality, but still superior to almost everyone else.
  • Distorted arrogance is a puffed-up mind that feels that some deviant aspect that I have fallen to is a good quality that I have attained – for instance, being a good liar (or, more intriguingly, a “good negotiator”).

Vasubandhu, the great 5th century philosopher, mentioned that some Buddhist texts list nine types of arrogance, but they can be subsumed under three of the above categories – arrogance, exaggerated arrogance, and modest arrogance. The nine are puffed-up minds that feel:

  • I am superior to others
  • I am equal to others
  • I am inferior to others
  • Others are superior to me
  • Others are equal to me
  • Others are inferior to me
  • There is no one superior to me
  • There is no one equal to me
  • There is no one inferior to me.

Questions is, how “puffed-up” are you?