There are three frequent afflictions which people tend to suffer from: pride, ambition, and vanity. It is hard to measure which of these is worse, but it would seem that ambition is the most troublesome. . . It is full of frustration because if one succeeds, one gets sicker; and if one fails, one also gets sicker. We have to be very careful about ambition. Ambition is an existentially invalid idea.

-Dialogues in Metapsychiatry # 29: Ambition

Did I get what I want? Is it enough? What’s next? Fear and pressure are shadows of ambition following it everywhere. If one achieves what was wanted it is not enough and if one fails there is also anxiety. This is what reveals ambition as “existentially invalid.” When one is motivated by ambition there is no inner, lasting harmony, joy or peace. Inspired ideas are not readily available, and if they are received they are subject to being coerced into self-gratification.


So what is the alternative to ambition? How can we survive in a competitive society if we are not going to be ambitious? . . . We need to gain a clear understanding of who we are and what we are. We are nothing, but this nothingness is a beholder. Isn’t that interesting? Man is a certain invisible mysterious consciousness that is capable of beholding the presence and the activity of infinite Mind.

-Dialogues in Metapsychiatry # 29: Ambition