Delving into the Intangibles


Shall I talk about an unruly demon that dwells in the minds of each of us? I refer to jealousy. This emotion is one of the negative Intangible Powers we all have. As we have been focusing on the positive ones up until now, from this year let’s begin to study the negative ones––and explore the possibility of turning them into positives.

The word “jealousy” instantly suggests women. “Shitto”, the Japanese for “jealousy”, has two “female” kanji radicals at the left. Starting with “la jalousie” in French, the word takes the feminine article in almost all European languages. “Svartsjuka”, originally feminine but nowadays neuter in Swedish, literally means “black, evil disease.” Looking up the word “ревность” in a Russian dictionary, I came across a sample sentence that said, “Men are just as jealous as women,” which raised a wry smile. Jealousy, it seems, is not a female specialty; this virulent disease nestles in everyone’s heart. But there is no need to tame the beast called jealousy. Let us find a way to turn this negative energy into a positive one by somehow using a “converter of reason”. 

Jealousy is the unhappy feeling of wanting something that someone else has, whether it be beauty, youth, fortune, status, talent, or health. Even though you yourself might possess something that someone else envies, you go to all the trouble of finding out the thing another person has that you lack. It is as though you are admitting to a lack of confidence. Looking at it a different way, however, this emotion shows, to a certain extent, that you wish to improve yourself. Some people try to obtain the targeted asset and make an effort to do so.

The depth of jealousy has something to do with self-evaluation. If you underestimate or fail to put a value on yourself, you will suffer by comparing yourself with others. You will make a lot of fuss for nothing, and it is your own fault. Your mind is torn to pieces as you fall into a bottomless, dark pit. You are not only miserable, but helpless, and nobody is able to rescue you. Perhaps you have had the same experience. To a greater or lesser degree, depending on the individual, we are all vulnerable to this evil emotion.

Jealousy is not just confined to individual human beings. Wars between countries break out because of it. It is a form of self-poisoning, so we must find a way to weaken or stop this negative power.

 * Have you done your self-evaluation correctly? Isn’t it too low?
 * Is your self-evaluation based on others?
 * Don’t you feel an excessive uneasiness and fear?
 * Aren’t you sometimes obsessed with an idea?

If your self-estimation is too high, it can lead to arrogance or overconfidence. If, on the other hand, it is too low, you lose motivation and confidence; jealousy also springs up, like a weed, out of this poor soil.

“I do not have that, but I have this.” “I am not good at that, but I am good at this.”

We are all different. No two people can be exactly the same. We make up a world of many and varying personalities.

It is silly to be made the fool by this negative Intangible Power.
Let us try to turn it into a positive force.

Melt away the frozen sentiment called “jealousy” adhering to your heart, and feel yourself free again.