We live in a world of duality. There are opposing forces everywhere in our world. They are natural for us and most people never think about that. Men-women, day-night and so forth. The same comes in term of spiritual ways. We term it good-evil. Different religions, life philosophies and so on describe it in their different ways. It’s mostly symbolic but also many distorted views, mainly to hide the truth.
The forces that govern our planet today, the Elite, Cabal, rulers or whatever you wish to call them are not going to give up the power that’s been created over a long period of time. The power belongs to the people of Earth, together. However, it’s been controlled as well as manipulated to fall into the hands of a few. These few have basically enslaved the people of Earth to carry out their own will. To divide and conquer is their motto. If this is threatened in any way, efforts will be made to put people back in the place where the Elite wants us to be. Most people hardly survive, because most are so poor that they have to fight just for food every day. Others have food and shelter but they are generally burdened by bills, mortgages and credits that they must pay. If you don’t, out you go…..
If humans come together and we start finding solutions to our predicaments, then the “rulers” may start to lose power. Money and fear is what controls mostly today. Events are staged, propaganda is created and so on. When we believe and accept these things, we have given our birthright power to these “rulers”. They are no more nor any less than any of us. So, ask yourself why they can play with your life? We need a new system in place. A place where our humanity is ONE. A place where each being is respected and appreciated for what they are. This is fully possible to do. People should have the power together and find the best solutions together. As a united humanity, that’s all possible.
But, like I said, the people who want to rule won’t give up so easy. It’s essential to expose truth about their beings and actions. It’s essential to stay positive and to stand up against tyranny. The more people that question what the “rulers” do and also people inside that can give real information about what goes on, will weaken their system day by day. Investigate and stop buying in to all the lies they do through media and “beautiful” public speeches. Use your intelligence and see what’s behind the scenes. If we had honest rulers on our planet, there would be respect and an objective to work towards a united humanity. Well, you can all see that this isn’t the case. Look at all the wars and conflicts that we are in right now.
You can take the left and you can take the right. They are the “opposites” attacking one another, BUT they both have one thing in common. THEY BOTH WANT TO RULE. They present their beautiful solutions to people but that will never work. No political system in place on Earth, today will work. They create more problems and are just power struggles to maintain power. This is on a global scale but in different forms. Slaves are not to be free. They are to be used for “our” purposes. Well, people of Earth are the slaves.
Do you want to be a slave? Sacrificed in a war or something else, commanded by this ruling Elite. If you don’t dance along their lines, then you’re out of society, punished or killed. They don’t tolerate other people, who may contest their power or that expose their plans. Honest people have nothing to hide. Things can be in the open when we are honest. Strange, national security and all what they tell people. Why is that so important when we should work towards a united planet and humanity? I think this requires transparency, honesty and to seek out the best ideas to solve our predicaments.
Well, I leave you to think on this subject. Some of you may not believe what I’m telling you but I challenge you who don’t and tell you to start investigating the truth behind the scenes. I did so many years, also through people who have some level within the system in different parts. Use your common sense and intelligence and you’ll see the truth of the structure that we live with. It’s time for a change, folks.
For the last 16,500 years our planet and its people have been under military rule which recognizes profit, bribery, fear, violence and suffering as the ways of governing. When we made it to 2012 the covenant expired. A new trustee was elected that had a 99.8 % DNA connection to the original mitochondria “Eve”. Her name is Kimberley Ann Goguen, and she has been working tirelessly to reset or disconnect some of the established, negative controlling systems that “Marduk” had put in place. The big ones are the monetary system and the intelligence agencies as these two systems have been working to keep humanity separated.
In 2020 she has given us the opportunity to rise up from our base levels and to see who we actually are as human beings. The future of humanity is based on free will and not control from above, as in our fascist, pyramid organizations that basically Marduk was responsible for creating as a system. He is also the author (Sun Tzu) of “The Art of War.” I do not know what Sun Tzu means, so there is probably more to it than just being a pseudonym.
“Evil” is a manmade word and there are plenty of evil people in charge at the present time. They are in a high state of panic as Kimberley is eliminating people and systems from the top down. It is our time to unite at the bottom so that we can fill the vacuums of energy with positive energy of love and light rather than let the darker energy of greed, selfishness, fear and Draconian laws to flow back in.
Human beings have developed bellicose natures because of the way we have remained divided one against the other. We can come together with our own unique idiosyncrasies if we view everything from a perspective of unconditional love, self-respect, and respect of others. From this position we do not need leaders as we become our own masters and we collaborate with other, like minded masters. We can become the human beings that we really are. I have experienced the mastery of average, basic humans many times throughout my life when they simply gave me a helping hand or a carefully designed piece of advice that was saying it as it was and that maybe I should be aware of it. One of the tricks of mastery is having respect for another humans abilities and working to enhance them for the good of the whole.
Evil has always use disease, division, hate, and violence as its tool to destroy as much life as possible.
The issue now in the USA is that millions of kids have been brainwashed that “socialism” is somehow good, even though every speck of evidence found where this really stupid idea has been has cost a lot of disease, suffering and death.
Even Putin said: “What’s going on in the USA? Don’t they know that socialism doesn’t work?” This is because that sort of thinking caused massive poverty and suffering in his country. But he is pretty happy that the US is going that way, because he will try to take over the USA if this movement in the USA succeeds in causing economic destruction, chaos and civil war.
Much of the education system now teaches that the citizens of the USA, who support freedom, prosperity, and constitution are evil. They believe this with all their “heart”. It is not some simple “movement”. That anyone who doesn’t know how evil the USA is is stupid, and must be eradicated. These “kids” were trained by Marxists in our own school, and that was a clever thing to do, and was planned some 90 years ago in Russia. When Khrushchev said: “We will bury you!” he was not kidding. They had this in place called subversion by entering all the main areas of education, media, news, and politics. We now have overwhelming knowledge of this success in the USA. The people in politics do nothing to stop this because they are part of this subversion. Evil is a cleaver thing, and uses brainwashing, now for at least 90 years in the USA, into thinking that socialism is “Utopia” just as it always has.
By the way this is clearly described in the Bible when the “King of the North” attacks the “King of the south” and takes over for a while. Right before the end of this rotting system of disease, suffering and death.
Here Yuri, a Russian defector tells all about it.
This is an extremely important question for our generation!
This is exactly what happens each time we try to unite and work together. The moment we achieve some success, our inherently egotistic, self-serving, exploitative nature immediately wants the success for itself and the fragile connections, cooperation is lost.
If we needed any added proof, we can observe it Live now through the woefully inadequate, selfish, individualistic and nationalistic reactions, “solutions” for the pandemic which makes the situation much worse than I should be.
If we truly cared about others, if we wanted to mutually help each other as much as we want to selfishly help only ourselves, we could have already solved the pandemic – and all the other, mounting global problems – long time ago.
Thus we need to learn through a very special – very realistic, empirical science – how to balance, complement our inherent egos with selfless, altruistic intentions that we learn, copy from Nature’s balanced, fully integrated system.
The ego cannot be suppressed, erased, our inherent differences, individual uniqueness will only grow. But by learning how to build “Nature-like” integration we can actually use, harness the individual uniqueness, differences for the sake, well-being of the whole collective.
The egotistic desires for more, the competitive spirit will give us the power, while the “Nature-like” integration, the selfless, altruistic intentions will give us the directions, purposeful guidance.
You have some very good explanations here already. I just comment because you did A2A on this. Sure, if YOU DON’T WALK IT, LIKE YOU TALK IT. Yes, then there’s a lie within you. Some things which are not really covered by the other answers is that our desires in form of feelings get the control of us. This is a subconscious part and it can be far stronger than your conscious mind. Things like food, sex, drugs, gambling and other addictions can be so overwhelming for many. Logically, they know NOT to overindulge in these things but the desire just simply becomes too strong. Humans are often trapped by our elementals in form of feeling or thinking. Feeling takes form as desire and personal selfishness. Mentally, we become trapped in a fix idea that just glues itself in front of your eyes. It tends to blind people and can lead to very harmful actions.
So, moral preaching something and living another life behind it, is a pure lie. Some are aware, others cannot control their thoughts and feelings. But regardless of the excuse, it becomes a contradiction. People who do this tend to lose respect and trust from others when the truth comes out.
Look at the Catholic Church with the priests and the pedophile scandal. Look how this goes in the political world, especially now with Trump and Biden. It happens all the time. It can be so manipulated by TV, media and powerful people in order to bias people. There’s a lot of hypocrisy involved here. And it’s not for the best of the people but to win an election and put your people in power. We don’t need these kind of leaders. We need common sensed, humble, open hearted and compassionate leaders who truly wish to serve their fellow human beings. That’s what they are elected for.
Okay, I stop now but to live in opposition to yourself is destructive. It will never bring anything good in life.
Yes, it is deceitful to all involved including the person who is hypocritical.
However, it could be caused by the person’s misunderstandings of their own true beliefs/ethics/morals, i.e. they either don’t actually believe things they think they do, rationalizing their hypocrisy to fit, or they have some beliefs they are unaware of, or think they’ve suppressed.
Until we face our basic selfishness & urge to succeed at any cost, we will be hypocrites, bypassing moral & ethical concerns.
Yes, either that or an act of ignorance. Hypocrisy is not doing as one tells others and oneself to do.
To denounce greedy people while owning a fortune and hoarding money and goods, or to enforce drug laws while being under the influence of drugs, are examples of hypocrisy. The subject is either lying to oneself or is ignorant of their actions due to cognitive dissonance.
Well, let’s consider time a little bit. What is the lifetime of a human being? In universal terms, it would be less than a lightning bolt. It’s incredibly short. So, why is it that we perceive time so different? Think about this: When you have fun, time goes incredibly quick. Hours feel like minutes. The opposite is when things are boring. The minutes seem like hours. In the mind, you can travel in “time”. You can go back into the past and review an experience in some form or you could go into tomorrow and imagine how it would be.
So, we live in a condition that we call time. Time for humans is a reference to many things. Like our age, when to meet and you know the rest. So, it’s a human invention and a condition of the human mind.
We can make a choice on what to do here on Earth with our time. This will always be of personal choice. Most humans indulge more into this 3D world where they believe that this is the only existence that there is. Others believe in things and others again belive nothing. So, what we do with our lives will depend on our beliefs, experience and knowledge.
When we have problems, either in the outside world or in the inner world, we many times become ignorant rather than to seek out solutions. Many problems require resolute thinking and research to be solved. Because of our busy world with many distractions, humans have been conditioned to take the easy way. People have become lazy because there’s no energy left after work or the bad news or discussions.
This negativity that’s been formed just makes many humans wish they were never born or they just want to get of the planet. Few, understand that we form our own reality. We also receive what we create. There is NO exception to that regardless of what you believe. Therefore this short time that we live in, should be used for our betterment and evolution which we should carry on to our children. This way humanity may survive itself. It’s always been said that we should listen to our Elders. This way the experiences and mistakes done by one generation can be carried forward and the present generation don’t have to do the same things over. This seems rather to be the opposite on our planet. History repeats itself here. Only because of human ignorance and selfish desires. So, it’s time that those elected responsible to lead us should guide people into what is essential and to motivate people into positive thinking, creativity and intelligence to solve our problems. WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR CREATION. Sure, we need recreation and relaxation. But we shouldn’t be chasing money and material things first. We can enjoy that but first our responsibility to ourselves and the planet. Use your time well! It’s short.
Do you believe in mythology?
If not please believe for a moment and know that our scriptures have written about one day of Brahma the creator of universe.
It is equal to one yuga.
Length of one yuga can be searched in google but is so long that one shall have to believe only.
Once again let us assume it to be right because there is no way we can really know what did happen thousand years ago whereas here we have to go back millions of years back.
This doesn’t reduce importance of time in human life but give some fresh angle towards the query.
In my understanding documented details of past knowledge or history would be available of 2000 to 4000 years (Please correct the figures if someone knows).
If we try to expand the evolution of mind of our recent time say from (1) jungle man to (2) tribal to (3) colonial to (4) nations as on today.
1. We can earmark progress from (1) to (2)
2. Then progress from (2) to (3).
3. Then progress from (3) to (4).
We are stopping here because even if we consider in place marked 4 as nation the world has not truly reached this state. Nation is defined by constitution / freedom etc lines and anything less confirms that they have to evolve.
Have any nation truly reached at all by such definition, could be!
More important by this concept is the majority of the nation we know have not reached state 4 and are mix or 4 and other lower ones.
Thus if say we have documented information of 4000 years we have still tribal or people far from civilized state who now are preserved community like in Andaman for example.
Those people are running behind at least 4000 years back from us.
Do you agree?
If we know the architecture genius of old monuments like Kailasha Temple in Aurangabad the scientific knowledge used in making is unique we have yet to learn. So we have live record of past but little documented evidence of growth.
Yet if we see the same three points time wise for a very crude indication listed above and relate with time span becomes a tiny period that is shaping ahead.
We are worried about losing nature by urbanization for generation to come which a scientist would but what is store is complex because human mind is yet not evolved to see ahead of time holistically directing the truth which prompts us to work on belief beyond certain point.
In my point of view time takes in evolving mind from uncivilized to highest level works in stages and each lower step consumes huge time span that is rise is slow by experimenting and experiencing in small steps entangling in duality as it rises.
Thus from raw ignorance we rise and go in deeper ignorance of duality losing certain natural traits being dependent on manmade material or belief.
Hindu mythology says that one yuga (cycle) takes approx. 12000 years and complete cycle in 24000 years which can be seen as rise in mind.
Ascending is also filtration of soul and all not rise equally where the importance of time exist in our life.
How much we make progress in the whole spectrum in isolated could be insignificant but has a great value and has relation with other souls too.
We may not bother in such line yet it is following value and rising higher could help us giving happiness, peace and joy gradually life after life which is the earning of soul.
One life of say 60 years of 100 years is not enough unless we expand the mind which can see beyond where our own like is not as important as influencing many souls in the right path which could be divine following order.
I say it’s more important than being nice to those who are significant in your life.
It’s easy to love and be nice to people we care about. It’s much harder for our ego to be kind to those we are not directly involved with, or that don’t reciprocate, or when we’re not in the mood of being nice.
It’s more important because I feel it’s a reflection of the level of sincerity and commitment one extends to the significant ones in their life.
When you are able to be kind without conditions, you can easily forgive wrongdoing and overcome fallouts with significant others. You can still go out of your way to make amends, without needing people to do something for you or be a certain way towards you. You learn to love anyway and you won’t have to lose any person because you lead with your heart, and not with your ego.
Learning to cultivate kindness towards those you are unfamiliar with, and especially the seemingly unlovable, will generate an inclusive spirit that always welcomes differences and feels authentic under all conditions. It will also serve to solidify existing relationships and make them a lot more real.
It’s always better to be nice to people, regardless of who they are or where they fit in our personal scheme of things, than to be unpleasant. Some people, including me, work even harder to be pleasant with strangers than we do with those who are closest to us.
We don’t have to be quite as concerned about pleasantries with friends and familiars. They know who we are and what we feel about them but strangers don’t.
At the end of “Civilization”, the program’s creator and the audience’s guide to the world of art and architecture reveals his personal philosophy in life… “as a stick-in-the-mud… I believe in courtesy,” he says, defining it as “the ritual by which we avoid hurting other people’s feelings by satisfying our own egos”.
Of the utmost importance. I recall a talk by Mr. Hooper Dunbar, former Member of the Universal House of Justice, and Supreme Administrative Body of the Baha’i Faith. One of the surprises in the spiritual worlds of God is how, there, one who was considered lowly while still on Earth, is one that other souls bow to in the spiritual realm.
Considering that none of the things of this world matters after death, that what matters is what we have made of our souls, in the words of Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Baha’i Faith, and that the ways of men are not the ways of God, then it is of the utmost importance that we treat a beggar with as much respect and dignity as a billionaire.
You should always be nice to everyone. I don’t mean overly nice and chatty, but I mean not being mean and rude. Everyone has their own problems they don’t talk about and you never know what someone might be going through in life. If you say something mean or rude to someone who is standing on the edge already, you might be the last nail in their coffin. By being nice you spread good vibes and enforce life.
But if someone is being inappropriate or putting you down, you don’t need to be nice. Just be appropriate and never lower yourself to their level.
We humans have a strong tendency to say “need” when all we really mean is “really, really want.” Let’s score a finer line than that.
Need pertains to purpose. When we say a thing is necessary, we must specify “necessary for what?” Does a human organism need love tosurvive?
Does a human organism need love to survive happily, to thrive and feel purposeful with a fit in the world?
Well, no. Some humans don’t need that at all. But we are social creatures, and probably most do need some, for that. Some level of human connection. Of knowing others and being known by them. Human populations have always produced a variety of temperaments, some loners, and some people persons. There are all kinds of fits available, including solitude – which suits some mightily! But for those who crave connection, solitude can be a trial and a misery.
Still, at the bottom of it all when we say “need” in reference to a human being, to me that means necessary to survive.
Love is not need. In those who “need” it, really it is want. Desire. Satisfaction and fulfillment are what it brings to the table, not survival if you’ve got it or death if you don’t. Sure, a life barren of all satisfaction and fulfillment, a life bereft of love may prove unendurable to some, and they may even end it rather than endure what seems pointless misery. Others though, deprived of one satisfaction they crave, find other satisfactions and pursuits to offset. Life offers many of these, even if for a given individual love is the best.
Now, when you say social necessity, one thing that’s necessary for social anything is humans and human interaction. Given that, I’m always going to find love – of various kinds and character, based on each individual in interaction and what they bring out in me. By this sense, love is not a social necessity. Love is the unavoidable outcome and by-product of all things social. Of human interaction. Where there are people, I always find love. But that’s just me; your mileage may vary.
When you say “physiological need,” I think you’re conflating needs and drives. Humans overall have a strong urge to mate, of which romantic love is but one of its expressions and flourishing. Not all humans have that sex urge strongly or at all. Hard as that may be to believe for someone who has it strongly! Some have it not at all. In some, it expresses as sexual desire but without the romantic trappings. And some want love far more than they want sex.
In any case, drives are not themselves needs. Strong as they may be, they are wants. Desire and urge, and with a purpose: to impel the organism to survive (hunger, thirst, aggression towards or avoidance of threats) or to continue the species (sex). The drive serves the need, but clearly what we personally individually need to survive is very different from what the species “needs” to continue.
Whatever physiological “need” is involved in sex, it is released at orgasm. Technically, no one needs social life or human contact for this.
The other things we need in love, really we just want: belonging. Validation: knowing (and showing the world!) we can attract and keep a desirable mate, someone who knocks our mind’s eyes out with wonder that they’re ours. And we are theirs. Companionship, and a co-conspirator and collaborator for all manner of life hijinks. Or beyond couple ship, all the different love and loves fanning out in social circles like ripples from our thrown stone, people who know us and love us by all degrees, different unique ways, all arising from the combination of who we really are andwho they really are. What we bring out in each other.
It is or can be incredibly rewarding, but to some it’s just “eh.” No need.
Really to all of us: it is not “need.” It is like. It is want. It is love.
Love is what makes life worth living, I’d say. Need is just what makes life possible to live. Need is not the greater, here: it is so much less. It is base. What we want, like and love is greater than what we need. For the sake of what we love we forgot what we need, at times even unto death.
Need is animal. It is our wants that make us human.
Usually, it is hard for anyone to admit known error because ego and a sense of self-preservation interferes with the prompting of our conscience to adopt an attitude of humility.
That said, the reasons for a lack of admission can be varied.
~Some simply are not yet aware that they have made a mistake. You may see quite readily where they took a wrong turn. But their “refusal” to admit is due to the fact that they are still ignorant. They need to be shown patience and given appropriate knowledge/tools and time to be able to face the truth once it is made clear to them.
~Some fear lack of control. They expect that they will be exposed to abuse (often due to past experience) should another discover this point of fallibility. As above, these people should be shown compassion and allowed ample time and space to own their mistakes.
~Some have a prideful reaction that admission of known wrongness will appear weak or incompetent. This is often related to fear that they will lose “respect” or the approval of others. Demonstrating acceptance of the individual and appreciation of the courage it takes to say “I’m sorry I was wrong” might improve the chances that this type of person will step up and do what (s)he once believed to be an impossibility.
~Some are just plain stubborn about getting their own way at any cost to anyone. I’m sorry that I have no helpful insight other than to distance yourself and let this type live in their own version of reality. Consequences will eventually catch up and there may be future repentance, but it is a waste of time to battle now with anyone who aggressively justifies the unquestionably errant things they do or say.
Why Don’t People Accept Their Mistakes When Told?
The stark honesty of these men in taking responsibility for their failures is striking, all the more so because similar statements are so rare. In recent years we have seen the heads of the nation’s corporations and banks testify before Congress as to their role, or rather lack thereof, in the implosion of the economy, and could only shake our heads as they passed the buck, admitted vaguely that “mistakes were made,” and yet failed to name anything specific for which they were personally at fault.
In our day-to-day lives, we all know folks who constantly blame their failures on everything but themselves. They were fired because their supervisor was jealous of them. They got dumped because their girlfriend is nuts. They failed an exam because the questions the professor asked were unfair. The dog hasn’t just eaten their homework – it’s devoured their whole lives.
Plenty of folks decry this shirking of personal responsibility, and declare that “people need to own up to their mistakes!” But what does this vague injunction really mean and how do you start doing it? Unfortunately, most people rarely go beyond the slogans, essentially saying: “You should do this. Okay, now do it.”
Today we’re going to take a look the very real cognitive reasons for the difficulty in owning up to your mistakes. Understanding leads to greater awareness of the blind spots our brains develop as to when we’re at fault, and this awareness is the first step in learning to overcome them. As we explore this topic, we’ll come to see that while it’s awfully satisfying to point out the motes in others’ eyes, we all justify our failures to one degree or another.
Then tomorrow we’ll explore why owning our mistakes is so important and how we can work to counter our natural tendency to shirk responsibility. Taking ownership of our mistakes and shortcomings requires both humility and courage; as such, it is one of the true hallmarks of mature manhood.
Why Is It So Difficult to Take Responsibility for Our Mistakes?
All humans are essentially ego-driven creatures. Starting from a young age we develop an identity — a self-concept and self-image — constructed of our beliefs and how we view ourselves. Most of us think of ourselves as pretty decent people, better than average in certain areas, maybe a little worse than average in a few, but always trying to do our best. We believe we see the world realistically, and act rationally.
When our own thoughts and behaviors, or the accusation of another, challenges our cherished self-concept, we experience what is called cognitive dissonance – a form of mental discomfort and tension. Cognitive dissonance arises when you attempt to hold two conflicting beliefs/attitudes/ideas/opinions at the same time. For example: “I know smoking is bad for me…but I smoke a pack a day anyway.” Because our minds crave consonance and clarity over contradiction and conflict, we immediately seek to dissipate the mental tension created by cognitive dissonance. The smoker can reduce their dissonance either by throwing the cigarettes away and trying to quit, or by thinking to himself as he lights up, “People say that smoking is bad, but my grandfather smoked two packs a day for fifty years and never got cancer. It’s fine.”
When we make mistakes, the gap between our questionable behavior and our sterling self-concept creates cognitive dissonance. We can allay this dissonance either by admitting that we made a mistake and revaluating our self-concept in light of it, or by justifying the behavior as not in conflict with our self-concept after all. Here are some examples:
• You think of yourself as an honest man, but you cheated on your last exam. You can either:
Admit that cheating is wrong and that maybe you’re not as honest as you thought. Or,
Justify the cheating by saying that a lot of other students were doing it too, so it really just leveled the playing field.
• You think of yourself as a decent guy and have been casually sleeping with a girl over the course of a few months. You’ve never talked about the relationship, and when she admits she has feelings for you, and you shut her down, she’s pretty crushed. You can either:
Acknowledge that you should have set clear parameters for the relationship and admit you had a role to play in her hurt feelings and didn’t treat her decently. Or,
Tell yourself that you never said anything about a relationship and that it was entirely her fault for letting herself get attached.
• You think of yourself as a good friend but one night when you’re out drinking with your buddy you bring up your bitter feelings about something he did in the past, and try to start a fight with him. You can either:
Admit that you’ve been nursing a grudge and didn’t tell him, which isn’t something a good friend would do. Or,
Say that you were totally trashed and didn’t know what you were doing.
• You think of yourself as a smart, cutting-edge academic, but when you present a paper you’ve been working on for years, your colleagues point out numerous errors in your conclusions. You can either:
Acknowledge the mistakes and reevaluate your theory and research methods. Or,
Accuse your colleagues of jealously, narrow-mindedness, or bias.
Unsurprisingly, many people, when push comes to shove, lean towards option #2. When our behavior threatens our self-concept, our ego automatically goes into hyper-defense mode, circles the wagons, and begins issuing self-justifications designed to protect itself. The higher the moral, financial, and emotional stakes, the more our self-concept – our very identity — is threatened, the greater the dissonance that arises, the harder it is to admit a mistake, and the more we seek to justify ourselves to preserve our self-image. Self-justifications are not lies, where we know we’re being dishonest, nor are they excuses; rather, we believe the justifications to be true, and truly think that they show we are not to blame. Self-justifications can take many forms:
If X had happened, I would have been right. (“My predictions for the economy would have been correct if A had won the election rather than B. No one could have seen that coming.”)
It really wasn’t wrong. (“The company doesn’t pay me enough anyway, so taking those supplies just evens things out.”)
It wasn’t that big of a deal in the long run and didn’t have lasting consequences. (“I’m sorry I treated her the way I did, but she’s happily married now and probably doesn’t ever think of me.”)
I can’t help it, this is just who I am. (“My father has a temper, and my grandfather had a temper, and my great-grandfather too! It’s a family tradition!”)
I was provoked. (“No one could have heard what he said without punching him out.”)
The situation was to blame. (“Everyone was yelling and it was total chaos – I couldn’t even think straight and felt paralyzed.”)
That was the old me and happened in the past. (“I’ve changed a lot since then. I’m not the same person.”)
It was an isolated incident and is over and done with. (“I’ve never acted that way before, and haven’t since.”)
My mood/state was to blame. (“I had just gotten over the flu and just wasn’t feeling like myself.” Or, “I was really drunk and don’t remember what happened.” Or, “I had been crazy stressed for weeks and that was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.”)
Regardless of what form self-justification takes, it’s designed to keep your self-concept and self-esteem intact by reducing your responsibility for the mistake or failure.
While I cited more “dramatic” examples of mistakes above, self-justifying happens every day in small ways, and everyone does it. When we cut off someone while speeding to work we tell ourselves that we don’t normally drive this way but have to get to work on time or we’ll get in trouble with the boss. When we’re gruff with our kids when we get home, we tell ourselves that we’ve had a long, hard day and are tired.
Whether self-justifications kick in over big mistakes or small, we don’t really notice it happening, especially if we haven’t been cultivating an awareness of them. They work much like an ego thermostat – making small adjustments throughout the day to keep our self-concept nice and comfortable.
The Tricks Our Memory Play
When it comes to piecing together justifications to mitigate our feelings of responsibility and protect our self-concept, our faulty memory can be our greatest “ally.”
It used to be thought that memory was like a filing cabinet which stored everything that ever happened to us. Sometimes it was hard to find a specific file at a later date, but it was all in there somewhere, waiting for us to pull out nearly whole cloth. Memory was seen as an accurate film strip of past events that would fade over time, but could be replayed whenever we wished.
We now know that our experiences are broken up into pieces, and that these fragments of memory are stored in different parts of the brain. Not every detail of a memory is stored, just the most salient bits. When we later try to remember something, our brains reconstitute the memory, pulling together the pieces it has stored, and filling in the blanks in a way it feels make sense – splicing in background information from other memories, stories our friends have told us, childhood photographs, old home movies, and even Hollywood films and tv shows, along with your own dreams. The memory doesn’t feel like a composite, however; the whole thing feels very accurate and real to us, a feeling which only increases the more we recall that version of the memory and rehearse it to others.
For example, in a study that asked participants to read stories about two roommates, and then to write either a letter of recommendation or of complaint about one of them, they invariably added their own details to the letter that did not appear in the original stories. When they were later asked to recall the original stories as accurately as possible, they remembered the details they had added to the letters as being part of the original, and they forgot details of the original story that conflicted with the kind of letter they had written. The act of telling a story about the past had successfully revised that past. If you’ve ever seen a convicted criminal passionately proclaim his innocence, despite a mountain of evidence against him, he probably isn’t knowingly lying; years of rehearsing a version of events where he isn’t culpable has likely replaced the memory of what really happened, and he himself now believes in his innocence through and through.
While we all firmly believe our memories are accurate, and such things would never happen to us, as Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson report mistakes were made, studies have shown that “memories are distorted in a self-enhancing direction in all sorts of ways”:
“Men and women alike remember having had fewer sexual partners than they really did…People also remember voting in elections they didn’t vote in, they remember voting for the winning candidate rather than the politician they did vote for, they remember giving more to charity than they really did, they remember that their children walked and talked at an earlier age than they did.”
Another interesting fact: 73% of college students surveyed remember seeing the first plane crash into the World Trade Center on 9/11…even though footage of that event was in fact not aired until the next day.
If you’ve ever been sure that you remembered an episode of your past correctly, only to later find evidence that your version of events couldn’t possibly have been true, you know how disturbing it is, and how much dissonance arises when you realize your memory isn’t as reliable as you once thought.
The Role Memory Plays in Our Self-Justifications
“‘I have done that,’ says my memory. ‘I cannot have done that,’ says my pride, and remains inexorable. Eventually–memory yields.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
The pieces the brain chooses to compose our memories are those that best preserve and protect our self-concept. We have all had experiences where our memory of an event differed from that of another person. While the ensuing argument often presumes that one person is remembering it accurately, and one is not, what is more likely is that each is remembering it from their own angle – one that highlights their innocence as opposed to culpability.
Memories also change over time, as our present experiences and attitudes alter and shape how we see the past. This bears reiteration: Our memory of the past doesn’t simply shape who we are today, we also shape the memory according to how we’re doing in the present.
For example, a study asked teenagers and parents to come into a lab and list their areas of disagreement, then spend ten minutes discussing the conflict together and trying to resolve it. The teenagers would then rate how they felt about the conflict and their parents. Six weeks later, the teenagers were asked to remember how they felt about the conflict at the time of their first visit to the lab; those who were currently feeling close to their parents remembered the rating they had given as lower than it was, while those whose relationships to their parents were more strained remembered their rating as being worse than it was. Their current feelings altered the memory of how they had felt in the past.
This distortion can be magnified as we think over the sweep of our lives. Every person feels the need to fit their personal history into a narrative. The lead-up, the turning points, the bad guys and good guys, our triumphs over obstacles that made us who we are. For instance, “I grew up in a very religious family with uber-strict parents. I never questioned what they taught me until I got to college in New York. And then I became an atheist, and my family disowned me. And I’ve had to make it on my own but it’s made me stronger.”
We explain our lives through the filter of this narrative. And if we’re currently in a chapter of the story where we feel more down-and-out than triumphant, we’re inclined to remember episodes of the past that we believe led to our current struggles and confirm our narrative, and forget details that are dissonant with it. This is often the case for those who blame their parents for how they’ve turned out. As Tavris and Aronson explain:
“We tell our stories with the confidence that the listener will not dispute them or ask for contradictory evidence, which means we rarely have an incentive to scrutinize them for accuracy. You have memories about your father that are salient to you and that represent the man he was and the relationship you had with him. What have you forgotten? You remember that time when you were disobedient and he swatted you, and you are still angry that he didn’t explain why he was disciplining you. But could you have been the kind of kid a father couldn’t explain things to, because you were impatient and impulsive and didn’t listen? When we tell a story, we tend to leave ourselves out: My father did thus-and-such because of who he was, not because of the kind of kid I was. That’s the self-justification of memory.”
The problem with our memory is it invariably paints us in the best possible light, and confirms our chosen narrative, while leaving out the details that threaten our self-concept and contradict that narrative — the mitigating factors, the strengths of others that balanced their flaws, our own role in a situation. Those we blame for our current woes, like our parents, become not complex human beings but one-dimensional symbols for why we’ve turned out the way we have and everything that’s gone wrong in our lives.
Confirmation Bias & Sunk Cost Fallacy
Two other cognitive distortions that keep us from owning up to our mistakes bear mentioning: confirmation bias and sunk cost fallacy.
Confirmation bias explains the way in which our brains seek information that ratifies our preexisting beliefs, and spurns that which contradicts them. When we come across information that aligns with our own opinions, we readily believe it to be true (“This is brilliant!), but when we’re confronted with information that challenges our opinions, cognitive dissonance rears its head, and researchers have actually found that the reasoning parts of our brain shut down. We seek out flaws, however small, in the conflicting information that enables us to summarily dismiss it (“This is utter garbage!”). Once we do, consonance is restored, and the emotional parts of our brain light up with happiness. The result is that being confronted with information that contradicts our ideas can actually leave us more sure of them than before. Confirmation bias explains how a Republican and Democrat can watch the same debate, and both walk away feeling confident that their candidate scored big points, while the opponent was smarmy and dishonest-looking. We look for and latch onto the things that confirm what we already believe, while that which contradicts us flies under the radar – as if one is made of velcro and the other teflon. The confirmation bias explains why it is difficult to change our minds once we’ve made them up.
The sunk cost fallacy explains how the more we invest in something, the more we fear losing that investment, and will thus continue doing it even we don’t really want to, in order to avoid knowing we wasted our time, money, and/or effort. The law student who decides halfway through his three years that he definitely doesn’t want to be a lawyer, will feel he’s invested too much to drop out now. The man who knows his girlfriend of nine years isn’t right for him can’t bring himself to break up with her and face feeling like that near-decade was a waste. The man who’s been devoting all his free time to serving his church can’t bring himself to leave even when a sordid scandal involving the minister blows up. Each is suffering from the sunk-cost fallacy. Each will tell themselves sensible-sounding justifications for why they should continue in their path, when at the heart of it, they really fear losing their investment and feeling like they made a mistake and wasted time, money, and effort. If they continue on, they may come to waste much more, but that’s in the future and the abstract, and is much easier to deal with.
Related to the sunk cost fallacy is the fact that studies have shown that the more pain, effort, and embarrassment you go through to get something, the happier you will be with your choice. Your mind doesn’t want to believe you went through all that for nothing, so it keeps telling you that the reward is truly worthwhile and you made the right decision. This is why hazing rituals are so effective. It would create too much dissonance to think that the painful and embarrassing hazing you went through to get into a group was all for naught, so your brain says, “I am so glad I did this. This group is awesome.” If it’s really not so awesome, and not right for you, and you’ve made a mistake in joining, it becomes very hard to admit.
But Not Everything My Brains Tells Me Isn’t True!
We’ve now established the way in which your mind works overtime to shield your cherished self-concept from any threats. Self-justifications and distorted memories create veritable blind spots in our brains that keep us from seeing a completely accurate picture of how we operate in the world and to what degree we are responsible for what happens to us.
You may be thinking, “Well, I guess I do come up with justifications to wriggle out of responsibility sometimes, but there’s often plenty of truth to them too! A lot of other students were cheating! My friend deserved that grudge I had against him! I was stressed out when I snapped at her! I was unduly provoked when I got in that fight! My parents were distant when I was growing up! I am happy with my fraternity!
Self-justifications distort reality, but they typically do not supplant it. There often are indeed kernels of truth to them. Yet the whole truth of the matter tends to lie somewhere in-between what we tell ourselves happened, and what really happened. Taking ownership of your mistakes means being able to reflect on, and sift through, what our role and responsibility in a situation was. Does the number of students who cheat have a bearing on the moral rightness or wrongness of the decision? What could have been your friend’s motivations for doing what he did? Is it possible to control your temper even when you’re stressed? Did you do anything to provoke the other person’s provocations? Are you forgetting some of the good things your parents did for you too?
Our brain’s blind spots are actually not entirely bad – they do serve a purpose. Without these ego defense systems, we wouldn’t be able to function and would endlessly ruminate about things we did wrong, embarrassments we experienced, and hurts we caused others. We would agonize over whether we made the right decisions and become paralyzed by regret. Self-justifications preserve our confidence and self-esteem and help keep us plunging ahead.
However, too much self-justification can lead to truly deleterious effects on our lives. Tomorrow we will talk about the importance of owning up to your mistakes as much as possible, and also offer strategies on how you can fight the self-justification beast, take ownership of your life, and mature into manhood.
PS-As you were reading this article, did your brain think at certain parts, “That totally reminds me of ____. He always does that.” That’s your responsibility-shirking brain in action again! We readily think of how admonitions apply to others rather than ourselves. Try to think of how this applies to you too!
Evil doesn’t have to exist in order for a greater good to exist.
Evil doesn’t have to exist for even petty, minuscule good to exist.
Good doesn’t depend on evil. Not in any way. Now sure, humanity is perseverant. Humanity overcomes. Good follows after evil, but that’s not because of evil. It’s because of us. Evil wasn’t the necessary cause of such good. Good just found it necessary to get over it. Things are different after tragedy or malice strikes. People make the best of what’s left. They make good, if they can.
So what? People make good regardless of whether there’s evil to get over! People are always making the best of what’s left or what’s just opened up, after whatever last happened. They look around at what chance there is and what options there are, and they make the best of them.
The good doesn’t need the evil to exist.
Now since you ask, what do you mean by “evil”?
Evil. Is a deliberate cruel, or malicious infliction of harm or suffering on other beings (“an evil act”), OR ~Even Worse~ it is a willful and persistent tendency to such acts. Requirements: the evil must be performed by a sentient being – a being of a pretty high order of intellect, a being of a kind which is capable of morality. Like, it can’t be a great white shark okay? It can’t be a bear. Grow up.
Argument-starter: to fail to act when you could easily avert great harm for another or others without risk to yourself, to knowingly and callously stand by and let evil happen, is called by some “evil.”
Evil. Is whatever suffering befalls. This is a ye old-timey definition. Earthquakes, famine, plague were considered great evils. Occasionally we still see this use, but as we’ve come to understand the morally-indifferent causes of such evils better, calling them “evil” has come to seem a bit childish to most people.
Evil. Is a spiritual substance that is all around us and in each of us? It’s lurking and appealing and wanting to grow and be expressed, and if you don’t watch yourself it’ll taint you! Get a hold of you and grow inside of you, percolating more evil.
Those are the three main senses I’ve encountered. Regardless of which you pick, no.
Evil is not necessary for any good.
The good we do – because human evil has been committed or because natural catastrophe has occurred – the good we do to overcome it and get past it and make good: good is the cause of that. The good we want to make real and bring to bear, is the cause of that. When we see what’s befallen and the plight people are now in, we want to rescue, assuage, and remedy their harm if we can. Evil is not the cause of that. Compassion is. Good is. We don’t make good dependent upon evil; good does not flow from evil. We’d have been doing our best to make good anyway. When evil happens, we make good against it, not because of it.
Now of course, if somebody’s spouse died in a random bombing (that’s evil) and as a result five years later ta-da! – You’ve got a great spouse, this is not good that happened because of evil. This is the good in that survivor, who refused to lie down and die. Who kept going and kept making and looking for good.
For all you know their spouse didn’t have to die. They could have been caught cheating and split acrimoniously, and your new spouse still didn’t give up. And you crossed paths anyway, found each other anyway. There’s nothing we need to thank evil for. There’s no good that is done because of it.
Good is done because of us. Because we find and know good in the world, and learn what we value and want to keep, to fight for, to fight towards, past and over anything that comes to oppose. Nobody ever needed evil to do good.
It’s just that sure, if a certain evil event hadn’t occurred, they may not have done this specific good they’re doing now. They’d have done other good instead.
People who think we need evil just because it’s nice to see humans heroic, rising inspirationally to oppose evil and triumph over it are…not evil, maybe. But they’re pretty sick. Moral titillation, that’s what they like. They like to see horror and trouble, and see who rises to it, for their own jollies. So they make a necessity into a virtue. They make evil a virtue.
Foul nonsense. Anyone who pulls deep and rises above because some nasty and injurious, lethally calamitous shit happened is not glad it happened. Unless they’re living for the spotlight opportunity, maybe. The greatest and most of those who act heroically would far more rather have just had nothing bad happen that day, and they could have done boring good instead.
Anyone praising the evil for the unwanted role it played it getting people to scramble desperately to save anything and anyone they could, that person is simply sick.
Good does not require the least bit of evil to be good, do good. There are ample opportunities every day, even if they may be too small to make the news. Good, decent people would much rather not make the news, if it had to mean someone was hurt.
Good people don’t need evil. They just know what to do with it. They’ve had to know. It happens.
Evil does not have to exist for there to be good. This is part of what the story of Adam and Eve is trying to tell us. There was no sin in the world until Adam sinned. And how did Adam sin? God gave Adam a rule and he broke it. Thus, Adam sinned. Before the rule, there was no way to sin. And after rule, there was no sin until the rule was broken.
Eve may have committed the offending act first, but she was not given the rule. The rule was given to Adam. So it was Adam’s sin when he did it. And by extension, it was Adam’s fault for not making sure Eve understood the rule and how the ramifications of braking the rule actually worked.
So there doesn’t have to be evil. Today, we need many rules in order to live together in peace and harmony. God has defined those rules for us. If we could simply learn to follow them, there would be no evil.
What about Satan?
Satan can only temp us. Only we can choose to follow the temptation and sin in the flesh.
Isn’t following all of the necessary rules an impossible task?
In our fleshly bodies are born in sin. So yes it is impossible. But God has made a way through Jesus Christ. If we repent and believe in Jesus Christ as our personal savior, all of our sin is washed away. Even though we remain imperfect in this life, we are without sin on a spiritual level. And in this life, God provides us with his Holy Spirit to help not sin. So we can become more perfect and no longer sin.
I don’t think I will live long enough to ever even approach being sinless. But God has already erased all my sins. And even in this life, I can become more than I am now. So while I may be evil today, I have the hope of not being evil tomorrow.
No….evil does not have to exist for good to exist, but the concept or idea of what constitutes an act of evil helps us recognize what a good act is, so in essence the concept of evil gives us a negative premise we can compare our good acts against, this gives us a better perspective of what we would like our acts of good faith to look like when demonstrated.
If we had no definition of what a good act was then we’d not likely have a definition of what an evil act is…
Is evil necessary in order for there to be good?
Evil is a conditioning mindset whose rooted source leads directly to the Ego (unconsciousness). The Ego manifests itself is all thing negative. It consumes all things negative, and it’s appetite is insatiable, never ending.
The afflictions the Ego perpetrates upon the individual and collective, is massive, almost incomprehensible from within a cognitive perspective. This is the root of all Ego, the veil of disillusionment that is placed over the human eyes.
Evil is when a human Being has a sincere ignorance to its own Self. Evil are unconscious acts within Consciousness itself. In other words, in those who experience or project evil upon other, there exists no separation between the Ego (unconsciousness) and the inner Self (Consciousness). For if there was a separation, no awakened Soul willingly chooses to act from such a perspective because Evil does not exist when living and manifesting from within the truest form of Self, Being, or Consciousness itself.
Living within the present (or gift-ed) moment transcend the Ego, and therefore any and all forms of suffering, of which evil falls under, does not exist.
I capitalize certain words and letters to draw attention to concepts that seem to get lost in its original and proper grammatical form.
If you would like to learn how to transcend the ego, to live from within Presence, I invite you to read some of my posts on my space page called the Ego and Consciousness.