Cory Duchesne wrote: For me, the next few years will be mostly psychology and relationships.
Ditto here, but there is only so much that can be learned through the reading of thoughts and observations written by others. Granted we do not want to do a thing simply to learn more about it (for example, I spent a few years researching psychopathy and sociopathy, but neither became a psychopath nor a sociopath to learn those last few details, despite that I may have missed something by not doing so).
Cory Duchesne wrote:Some thoughts on the nature of Evil;
Wilful destructive acts, both to consciousness, human welfare and deliberate malice generally stem from an offended state of mind.
Some of the best psychologists, including Elliot Leyton (who offers some of the most insightful perspectives on sociopaths and serial killers) noted that the "criminal character" holds a deep seated grudge - a resentment. The difference between a profoundly evil person or merely an angry person like George Carlin, is that GC will go up on stage in the wide open and launch his assault in public. He let's you know how it is.
The thing about evil people is that they unleash all of their resentments secretly, passively. Months or years will go by before you realize the damage that a sociopath has done to you. His vengeance is private and obscure, partly due to a lack of courage, but also due to a lack of intelligence and human feeling.
The virtuous man has a grudge that is transparent, it's there for all to see. However, the supremely virtuous man has no pain, no offence.
A man who is offended is a corrupted human being - and his task is to convert his wound through mindful productivity.
Sociopaths and psychopaths only do things, however evil or apparently nice, for their own gain. Remarkably few are in prison for their crimes, and remarkably many have climbed the corporate ladder. They do not feel emotion the same way that an unafflicted human being does, and with that lack of emotion, they are able to use that advantage to notice the weak spots of others, and calculate how to use that to their advantage.
QRS is right in that emotion can blind one to logic. Psychopaths and sociopaths can be very logical insofar as getting to their selfish goal.
David Quinn wrote:The most evil thing in the world is, of course, logic.
Logic ruthlessly exposes everything that is false and cannot be swayed or bought. It expresses no fear, has no interest in human concerns, places no value on emotional sentiment. It is wholly concerned with the truth and doesn't care who it hurts. It is implacable.
By extension, the most evil kind of human being is the logical person. For within him logic is at its most concentrated, forcing people to confront their own fantasies and contradictions.
So this differs from Cory's conception of the evil person, who he depicts as a secretive, two-faced being who appears virtuous on the surface. The truly logical person doesn't even appear virtuous. Indeed, his evil is that he refuses to engage in any sort of machinations in the first place.
I'd say that logic is neither inherently good or evil. Logic is a tool that can be used for good or evil, but it is a good tool for either purpose it is assigned.
A difference between the wise sage and the evil psychopath is compassion. Compassion itself may only be a side effect of looking to the long term outcome rather than the shorter term. Psychopaths tend only to see the more immediate benefit to themselves, whereas a sage will look to the greater benefit of all of mankind over a longer period of time from generations to centuries. The longer term good tends to translate into compassion.
Cory Duchesne wrote: The ideal you refer to has (for a long time now) been my fuzzy ideal of a supremely good man - someone who doesn't think in terms of "supposed to be". His ideal is a lack of worldly idealism. His idealism is completely logical, devoid of worldly preferences. A man who get's duped or betrayed by someone, if he's honest, made some compromise on his own values. Because he violated himself, he left the door open for others to go even further in what is essentially exploitation. As for the value of "Story". I still think there is a social aspect to spirituality that involves win-win interactions. (such interactions are not as simple as they sound, as both sides often have to make a sacrifice in order for mutual benefit to occur). The value of story is there to help the person know what is emotionally and logically relevant to the "friend".
It's all about knowing how to treat people - and a story is helpful to know what it is they really need. A man who has not the patience or attention to learn another man's story is incapable of being a very effective teacher or true friend. This brings us back to the aesthetic. Doing anything for the sake of it, eating for the sake of eating, sex for the sake of sex, etc, will always lead to problems, from my understanding. Likewise, stories should not be told for the sake of story.
That does sound like the basis of social wisdom. The only additional quality needed to make that person a social sage would be to indeed know what the person actually needs. Even after listening to the person's story, differentiating between what they think that they need, what you think that they need, and what they actually need (and how to make the actual need palatable) is the defining step.
Alex T. Jacob wrote:Nicely put, Cory. I find these statements of yours sensible and useful. And if basis of misanthropy is self-hatred or hatred of life and even things like flesh & birth & body, what does that say about us? The First Order of Rishic (Vedic and hence Buddhist) awareness was of the horrors arrached to physical, embodied existence (pain and death essentially), and the establishment, practical or desperate, of alternatives, and if in our mental structures exist all those 'escape tricks', how do we reconcile this rather glaring problem?
The True story is not the story of our lives, but the story of Everything. In that story, there is no pain or suffering (as you already know) but that does not negate that in the individual story, pain can be great to the point of being unendurable. The escape tricks of jumping from one story to another do not diminish the reality of the little story nor negate the seemingly contradictory Story. It is not so much a paradox as a paradigm shift.
Cory Duchesne wrote: I think humanity, men and women, have serious jealousy/envy issues. While childish, grandiose fantasies can be a way of coping with one's envy/jealousy, just as often, small people like to knock down men with genuine virtues. I think that's partly the lesson of Greek tragedy - the Greek God's appear to have been inspired by real people with some super-human virtues, and with unusual abilities comes lop-sided relationships and strange tragedies. The challenge for humanity is dealing with inequality, and even loving inequality as part of life. In politics "the left", while having some unique virtues apart from the right, seems very soft when it comes to the reality of certain differences, and they are guilty of intellectual crimes that are unique to that class of psychology
Too true - but the challenge is, how do we get people to grow up when they do not want to grow up - or worse when they can not even see that they should grow up? The wisest we have had so far have said to not even try ("Do not cast pearls before swine" - etc.) but the world is so full of destructive, evil people that all hope seems lost.
Yes, for ourselves, retreating into solitude can help protect against the evil effects of the world, but evil will find its way in - and there are certain unfortunate things that happen to a human left in enough solitude for long enough. Enough time without stimulation actually seems to do more in allowing a person to process that which has already happened, and the trick is to find a way to do this without adding to things that must be processed later.
edited for spelling