Envy – What is it, concept, deadly sins

We explain what envy is according to the vision of psychoanalysis, morality and religion. Also, what are the other deadly sins.

Envious people spend a great deal of time and energy observing other people’s lives.

What is envy?

According to the dictionary, envy It is the discomfort or pain before the joy of the other, that is, the feeling of regret for not being one who has or receives something that corresponds to another, and for which he feels a resentful desire. It is a feeling similar to jealousy.

Envy is a common feeling in human life, both when it comes to envying and being envied. Usually it is considered one of the most negative and unworthy affections possible, since it destroys any form of affection or love between people.

Envious people spend a significant amount of time and energy observing the lives of others, as well as malicious comment or defamation, because deep down they would be happy to contemplate the failure of the one they envy.

In the psychoanalytic realm, envy It is considered a feeling capable of damaging the joy and the value of one’s own, since the envious is in constant contemplation of what is alien. For that reason, in addition, envy is insatiable, because no matter how much he achieves or has for himself, the envious will always find new subjects to envy in other ways, since his dissatisfaction comes, deep down, from himself.

For its part, the Western moral and religious tradition has condemned envy to the corner of the lowest emotions of the human being. The envious person is incapable of celebrating or sharing the joys of others, that is, he is incapable of feeling the love of neighbor preached by Jesus Christ, and for that reason doctrines such as Christian Catholicism consider it among the capital sins, that is, the most serious and fundamental sins.

According to the religious tradition of the Middle Ages, the sin of envy corresponded to the sea demon called Leviathan. In Christian iconography, she is often depicted as an old female specter with snakes on her head, her hands, and one biting her breast. Sometimes it also appears destroying or devouring a heart, along with one or more dogs.

Other deadly sins

According to Catholic tradition, there are seven sins considered capital or mortal, since they engender all other possible sins. Aside from envy, they include:

  • The arrogance, understood as the excess of self-love that leads a person to put himself in the place of God, and therefore to violate his norms and engender other sins. For that reason it is considered the supreme sin of all.
  • The wrath, understood as excessive or uncontrollable anger, either towards others or towards oneself, and which can lead to violence.
  • Gluttony, understood as the irrepressible love for food and drink, which leads the individual to drink and / or overeat, beyond what is necessary to sustain himself. It is the sin contrary to all forms of measure.
  • Lust, understood as an irrepressible, insatiable and uncontrollable sexual desire, that does not respect limits and that leads to harm towards the individual or others.
  • Greed, understood as the excessive love for the accumulation, both of properties and things, as well as money. The miser is one who possesses more than he needs and still denies others access to resources, even knowing that they need or deserve them more than he does.
  • Laziness, understood as the lack of will and dedication to guarantee their own sustenance, that is, to ensure their own existence and well-being. Those who commit such sin contradict the divine order to take care of themselves, and disrespect the gift of life that God gave them.