We were watching a Nero Wolfe movie – because they have run out of Hercule Poirot shows to watch – and I had an inkling of an idea.
For those who might not know, Nero Wolfe is the grumpy but brilliant New York version of Poirot’s effete but brilliant Belgian detective. Interestingly, they both are presented, in their own minds at least, as the best detectives in the world.
The idea that peeked through was this. Perhaps Nero Wolfe offered as much to me as Poirot did. I have been wholeheartedly engaging the character of Poirot as an aspect of my own personality with wonderfully helpful results.
My mentor Kris has recently described how we can choose from a vast bank of personality characteristics the traits that will enhance our present experience. We do this by inviting forward the mythological, archetypal, even fictional or imaginary beings who embody desired qualities and making them part of our story.
The movie I am watching features Maury Chaykin’s performance as Nero Wolfe and it is a bit of a stretch for me. I did not feel the anger and petulance that Chaykin exhibits in the movie as I read Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe novels as a teen.
Nevertheless, it is useful to compare the two fictional characters and see what the common elements are. What is it about these two that resonates with my own deeper personality?
The answer came immediately. [funny how when you figure out the right question the answer just shows up]
Each of these detectives had complete faith in the rightness of their own being, and both were obsessively self-indulgent to a very elaborate degree.
Faith in the rightness of our own beingness may seem like a harmless idea but it flies in the face of a consensus reality that favors compliance, deference and even turning a blind eye.
Self-indulgence is one of those terms that is undergoing a shift if you will. Because of the shift in our focus towards our own sovereignty, and away from giving up our power to authority figures as in the past, the idea of paying careful attention to Self is being transformed.
Putting yourself first, selfishness, self-centered, self-consciousness, self-satisfied, and many other related terms are slowly transforming from being seen as negative behavior to being seen as positive ways of viewing ourselves.