The idea of being set apart from others and set above others. Having more or being more than others. Specialness is the great pay-off promised by the ego. Our attempt to gain special favor from God was the "tiny, mad desire" (T-25.I.5:5) that sparked the separation, that was the root of sin (see T-24.II.3:1-3) and that set us in opposition to the Will of God (for He knows no specialness). No price is too dear for us to pay for obtaining specialness. We seek it in our special relationships, where others give us special love and their special selves. In this way we try to symbolically extract from them the specialness that God denied us (see T-16.V). We seek it with our body, adorning our body in order to attract it. We also seek it by accumulating idols (see T-29.VIII.8). All ways of seeking it involve attack, for specialness requires that others must be beneath us. It causes us to look for and rejoice at any sin we see in others. It makes everyone our enemy and so makes us feel attacked from every quarter. Because specialness is a form of separateness, it makes us feel weak, frail, isolated and alone. And because it is a form of attack, it makes us feel guilty and afraid. See T-24.

One Comment

  1. Joseph Miller
    Posted October 15, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    I read this a little differently. Once we have denied value to the Whole (refused “to join the thinking of the universe”), the only place to find value is in the part. The ego feels adrift on the sea of estrangement, and grabs at the flotsam and jetsam floating by to keep from sinking in despair. So special love – “It’s you and me against the woyld,” says Bogart, right? And just as we can find value and ‘get juiced’ with special love, we can do the same with special hate. Which brings up a reservation about the definition above. It doesn’t seem to me that “specialness requires that others must be beneath us.” Self-pity and self-hatred can become a special hobby, a way to manufacture meaning and passion upon the sea of estrangement. The important point, to my mind, is that meaning is mistakenly sought in ‘specialization’, in contrasting a part against the whole, and pinning our hopes on it.

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