Demons (2)

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The ugliness within

Common examples of unsavoury behaviour:

  1. Believing that your self-image is the real you

  2. Gossip

  3. Conceit

  4. Taking advantage of people

  5. Vanity

  6. Rigid, fixed ideas about things

  7. Pride

  8. Attention-seeking

  9. Arrogance

  10. Conflict/resistance

  11. Expecting to understand everything immediately

  12. Argument

  13. Pettiness

  14. The desire to control others

  15. Manipulative behaviour

  16. Aggression

  17. Bullying

  18. Passive-aggressive behaviour

  19. Verbal masturbation

  20. Tolerance/intolerance

  21. Excess

  22. Game-playing

  23. Boredom

  24. A lack of openness to new/unfamiliar ideas

  25. Stinginess

  26. Boasting

  27. Laziness

  28. An unwillingness to try things

  29. Greed

  30. Apathy

  31. Sponging off other people

  32. Bragging

  33. Indolence

  34. Flamboyance

  35. Callousness

  36. Jealousy

  37. Hypocrisy

  38. The need to be right/self-righteousness

  39. Judgemental

  40. Anger

  41. Mean spirited

  42. Hero-worship

  43. Emotional vampire

  44. Stubbornness

  45. Thrill-seeking

  46. Lack of sensitivity

  47. Thinking that everything is about you

  48. Putting people down

  49. Sarcasm

  50. Cruelty

  51. Not listening to people when they talk

  52. Competing with other people

  53. Impatience

  54. Lip service

  55. Ignorance

  56. Spite

  57. Needing to be entertained/stimulated by other people

  58. Selfishness

  59. Lack of reciprocity

  60. Resentment

  61. Bigotry

  62. Rudeness

  63. Expecting people to be accountable to you

  64. Back-stabbing

  65. Falsehood

  66. Over-analysing

  67. Phoney behaviour

  68. Overly-critical

  69. Clinging to the known/fear of the unknown

  70. Irritation

  71. Recklessness

  72. Fault finding

  73. Seeing what you want to see rather than what is right in front of you

  74. Showing off

(The list will be different for everyone but you get the general idea?)


One of the foulest demons is the notion of 'tolerance'.
It is predicated by the erroneous idea that you are the centre of things, that your standards and values are proper and correct.
And that other people should measure up to your ideals.
This is downright absurd.

Tolerate means 'to put up with'.
Who are you to put up with anyone?
Why are you the centre around which others must orbit?
What makes you the authority?
On what basis do you assert this position?

There are roads which must not be followed.

(Sun Tzu)


We live in an era where people are saturated by e-mails and text messages.
It may not be possible to provide a lengthy reply to every inquiry.
But unfortunately the effects of information overload are permeating all aspects of human interaction.


People are less inclined to say please or thank you.
Impatience is commonplace.
Plans have become protean, commitment undesirable and 'being considerate' perhaps a little old fashioned...
No more treating others as you would like to be treated yourself...

Consider: a person may receive many e-mails and texts without reciprocating yet expect an immediate reply to their own inquiry.
See the disparity?

Self mastery

Lao Tzu said: "master self before attempting to master others."
This is why the study books are useful.
Everyone has personal demons to face.

If you have no control over your own behaviour, how exactly can you hope to employ taijiquan skilfully with a partner or an opponent?


Your personal demons are your responsibility to sort out.
They are not the teacher's responsibility.
The aim is to eradicate (or at least be aware of) our less desirable qualities so that we can bring forth "the better angels of our nature" and have these at the forefront.
It is a journey of increasing self-awareness.
An awakening.
The catch is that you have to be aware of the demons before seeking to be rid of them.
Now that is the hard part.

The sensei is not a therapist. The goal of the dojo is to make healthy people healthier, physically and psychologically and spiritually. It cannot be expected to repair badly damaged human beings. As so if a member exhibits serious personal problems, the sensei's job is to get rid of him, gracefully if possible, forcefully and definitively if necessary.

(Dave Lowry)

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Page created 18 April 1995
Last updated 29 April 2021