The Western word "Arrogant" (ad- ‘to' and rogare, ‘ask') means to make fantasy claims about how great one thinks one is. Of interest is that Latin "rogare" means "stretching out of hand"-and this serves as a metaphor for what happens to ones character in order to fashion and maintain arrogance-i.e. a happening representing a ‘stretch' into foolishness. The "stretch" association with "Arrogance" is understandable because of the historical obsession of Europeans with using a "rack" for punishment. The ‘Rack' is an instrument of torture, consisting of a frame on which the human victim is strapped while his limbs are extended by a windlass at each end until his joints are pulled apart or until he dies from the pain. Known to the ancient Athenians and Romans, it was extended to Germany, France, England, and elsewhere. It was used in the 18th century by arrogant, evil, and sadistic Europeans on African American slaves until these stupid captors realized that to kill the slaves cost them money.
During Biblical Times Arrogance and Pride were attitudes that Scriptures carefully analyzed and condemned because both draw one away from godliness; generate stubbornness; and march one into the destruction of others and of themselves. The twelve tormentors of the Egyptian Hermes (?5500 BC) provided the model for Pope Gregory in the 6th century to declared arrogance to be one of the Seven Deadly Sins-pride (arrogance), covetousness (greed), lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth. One reason is that arrogance is not only a serious moral offense but also because it gives rise to the other six sins. Nevertheless, three main forms of arrogance were recognized. The "little gods" declare their acts to be about what is great; assume their position to be above others; and express their arrogance as an aggressive form of vanity. By contrast, the Presumptuous are acts of the little. They strive to be on a level with those who are above them but typically wind up being puppets. The third are those who have so little going for them and are usually so poor as to find others who are worse off so that they can feel superior to the worse off. The driving force for all three groups is that of Spiritual Pain-meaning an interference with "Cosmic Sympathy Bonds."
Joseph A. Bailey, II, M.D.
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