The Nature of Evil

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.

The Nature of Evil

Postby Cory Duchesne » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:42 am

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.
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby jupiviv » Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:52 pm

You're complicating things too much. Human behaviour can be divided into insanity and criminality. Any kind of belief in inherent existence or creation is insanity. The opposite - any belief in inherent non-existence(destruction/negation) - is criminality. Thus, some kinds of anger(like that of Carlin) are "righteous", because they affirm the things that people are attached to. Other kinds of anger, like that of a drug dealer, are perceived as destructive to the things that people are attached to.
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby Shepard » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:50 pm

Human behaviour can be divided into insanity and criminality.


Well, that sure is a cynical view. :D
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:37 pm

jupiviv wrote: Human behaviour can be divided into insanity and criminality. Any kind of belief in inherent existence or creation is insanity. The opposite - any belief in inherent non-existence(destruction/negation) - is criminality.


That's the spirit! Caught between the two horses of positivism and nihilism.
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby jupiviv » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:18 pm

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:That's the spirit! Caught between the two horses of positivism and nihilism.


There is no conflict between positivism and nihilism.

By the way, I forgot to say something earlier. There is nothing that is inherently evil. Generally it means that which negates good(so, ultimately, everything else except the good).
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby Alex T. Jacob » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:25 pm

One does have the sense that the evil Cory is referring to is located in a specific person and which 'evil' was revealed in the course of a human interaction.
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby David Quinn » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:15 am

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.

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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby Alex T. Jacob » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:28 am

Folly, ignorance, partial knowledge, lack of self-knowledge, immaturity, mental arrogance and 'hubris' can do all that David and much more. This 'logical person', this dangerous sage, is none other than you yourself. The first Logical Man in human history. His 'logic' makes him blind. It is a logical impossibility that he is blinded. It's a very interesting Mexican Standoff! a real Paradox!

So then, it is not hard to see that this 'logic' could very easily become a significant obstacle. And extending that logically, we can see how it could become an 'evil'.

Trippy, eh?
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby David Quinn » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:06 am

I should add that although logic is the most evil thing in the world, it is also the easiest thing to repel. All you have to do is immerse yourself in stories....

Stories are God....

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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby movingalways » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:58 am

David Quinn wrote:I should add that although logic is the most evil thing in the world, it is also the easiest thing to repel. All you have to do is immerse yourself in stories....

Stories are God....

-


Logic is neither good or evil. Logic exposes stories of God, yes, and the fearless man is obedient to logic and tramples these stories under his feet. However, once the stories of God are trampled and dead, is logic the truth of the Impersonal God of a man's life?
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby Alex T. Jacob » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:04 am

In this gambit, one move (pointing out grandiosity) is countered with an opportunistic attack against an element of my own discourse, that of Story. This functions nicely to deflect the critique, and is the 'move' that is performed frequently, such that it is fairly predictable.

If I answer the Story 'charge' the thrust will move in another direction. So, to avoid that, I think I will have to say that, to all appearances, you David 'operate' an enlightenment story about yourself. In your Story you have established for yourself this role. I make a comparison between you and Bob, as you know. You see through Bob, right?

The forum attracts and nurtures those who define a Story that incorporates these (I say) grandiose elements. Those captured by Grandiosity are blinded by it. This is all part and parcel of spiritual gamesmanship and is a significant chapter in post-Sixties alternative spirituality.

There is a cure.
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby Kunga » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:59 am

Alex T. Jacob wrote:There is a cure.


Enlightenment ?
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby Alex T. Jacob » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:09 am

Enlightenment, the word, when you think about it, is really a very bad word. It does not have a definition. It cannot, in fact, have a definition because it means for each person, or for each school of thought, something different. Who can judge 'enlightenment'? A panel of authorities necessarily 'enlightened'? Can the unenlightened even know, or judge, what it is or who has it? Who defines? So, no, the cure is not 'enlightenment' but something akin to honesty and forthrightness.

The 'cure' for grandiosity (a form of dishonesty, misrepresentation and lying) is simple honesty.

This is pretty 'entry-level' stuff... :-)
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby Kunga » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:24 am

Alex T. Jacob wrote:Enlightenment, the word, when you think about it, is really a very bad word. It does not have a definition. It cannot, in fact, have a definition because it means for each person, or for each school of thought, something different. Who can judge 'enlightenment'? A panel of authorities necessarily 'enlightened'? Can the unenlightened even know, or judge, what it is or who has it? Who defines? So, no, the cure is not 'enlightenment' but something akin to honesty and forthrightness.

The 'cure' for grandiosity (a form of dishonesty, misrepresentation and lying) is simple honesty.

This is pretty 'entry-level' stuff... :-)


Enlightenment is when you know your true nature....pretty simple .
Can you honestly say you are cured of your own grandiosity ?
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby Cory Duchesne » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:33 am

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 wouldn't call that evil. (although I realize you're being satirical, in good form). 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.

"Truly I tell you, it is hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God." Matthew 19: 23"


^ be poor in all things - trivia, stories, material goods, friends. But poverty doesn't mean having nothing, it means having few. It's about quality.
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby Cory Duchesne » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:35 am

Alex T. Jacob wrote:Enlightenment, the word, when you think about it, is really a very bad word. It does not have a definition. It cannot, in fact, have a definition because it means for each person, or for each school of thought, something different. Who can judge 'enlightenment'? A panel of authorities necessarily 'enlightened'? Can the unenlightened even know, or judge, what it is or who has it? Who defines? So, no, the cure is not 'enlightenment' but something akin to honesty and forthrightness.

The 'cure' for grandiosity (a form of dishonesty, misrepresentation and lying) is simple honesty.

This is pretty 'entry-level' stuff... :-)


The cure for grandiosity, yes honesty, but an interestingly effective way to become more honest is getting to know people a bit and actually having a vested interest in their well being.

Grandiosity and misanthropy go hand in hand, I find.
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby Alex T. Jacob » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:49 am

Kunga:

Free of grandiosity. Let's see: Am I here to establish a spiritual movement? Take on disciples? Offer a plan for salvation, enlightenment, or otherwise cure the world?

'To know your true nature' sound to me like the repetition of a phrase. Who decides who does and doesn't know his true nature? Knowing it, what happens? Do you ascend to Heaven like Elijah? Do you become transparent? OTOH, some of the Indians like Ramana Maharahi (or perhaps Krishnamurti) had a powerful.and 'transformative' vibe, or so it was said. But when you look into the intimate life of these men, often the picture changes. There is behind-the-scenes stuff, sexual misconduct, and worse. And as far as I know 'enlightenment' does not alter one's embodied condition, unless you start appearing and disappearing like Neen Karoli Baba.

The main and overriding Story (in the sense I use the concept) is our embodiment, the physical self. That is the first order of story. It is the beginning and the end of everything. To dream up a story that negates self, body, the narrative of existence, is really just another level of story, but one of dubious usefulness.
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby Alex T. Jacob » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:01 am

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?
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby movingalways » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:14 am

The main and overriding Story (in the sense I use the concept) is our embodiment, the physical self. That is the first order of story.


I agree. The first order of story.

It is the beginning and the end of everything.


This is where we part in our understanding of Everything. Human is reliant on a story, this is true, but Everything, of which human is but a part or an expression, is not story dependent. What I glean from what you are saying, and what I believe David is saying, is that human interpretation of Everything is Everything; I argue that this view is the manifestation of Ignorance.


To dream up a story that negates self, body, the narrative of existence, is really just another level of story, but one of dubious usefulness.


Since "human" relies on a story for its movement of "I", the story that transcends first, the self, then the the physical body, is of utmost usefulness to the one who desires to be in conscious union with the "I" that is neither selved or physical.

Jesus knew this, Gautama knew this, Lao Tzu knew this. Very few, from my observation, truly understand the purpose of their spiritual language, which is the second order of the Story.
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby Cory Duchesne » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:17 am

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?


I'm still trying to figure that out. For me, the next few years will be mostly psychology and relationships. That's why I liked J. Krishnamurti, because he was so focused on man's relationship to man. Vernon Howard was good, too.

I just wanted to add, grandiosity is one of those potentially misleading terms. 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.

Moral superiority is a way to protect against organic hierarchy. Instead of making Socrates a ruler and leader (due to the superiority of both his character and intellect) his peoples killed him. I notice group instincts (in general) are very egalitarian and very intolerant of anything too challenging. Nietzsche called common man a "leveler" in that he seeks to make the social landscape flat and meaningless. The average man despises personality and joy in others in much the same way a vampire despises light.

Nietzsche went into this a bit with his concept of "levellers":


[Instead of projecting his ideas outward to culture and society, Nietzsche would have his model thinker turn inwardly. He considers his contemporaries "levelers" -- not in the social or even moral sense but in the intellectual and psychological. They are, as he puts it, "men without solitude, without personal solitude." They parrot culture and society in their ideas and writings and daily lives because they lack the ability or will to plumb their own being and derive meaning and ideas from a thorough-going examination of self -- which can only be achieved by cultivating solitude. In this such people are "slaves.]

This does not mean that solitude is psychological remorse or resentment, or a way of punishing others or self. Nietzsche is keenly aware of false motives that can poison the soul of the solitary, as will be seen. As the commentator Horst Hutter succinctly puts it in his Shaping the Future: Nietzsche's New Regime of the Soul and Its Ascetic Practices, referring to Nietzsche's methodology:

[Temporary retreats into solitude are the main part of the deconstructive aspect of self-shaping in which one could begin to dissolve one's own entrapment in a "slavish" identity. Withdrawals into solitude would make free spirits realize how they are caught in resentment and the desire for revenge that inform the institutions and interaction rituals of modern societies. Solitude would permit someone to avoid being continually re-infected by these strong negative emotions. It would open an individual's deeply rooted line of fate and would show the means by which a "slavish" self could be dissolved.]
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby movingalways » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:18 am

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?


True living transcendence of the self and the physical is the antithesis of hatred. It is the complete acceptance of both things as being absolutely essential for the appearance of the eternality of sentience and of human. It is the epitome of SELF Love and of Beloved, Fully Blessed, All-Inclusive Reconciliation. As Jesus said, he came not to destroy the [natural] law, but to fulfill it.
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby movingalways » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:19 am

Wisdom is all about reconciliation of what is relative and temporal to what is absolute and unchanging [permanent]. This is the role of the enLIGHTened man.
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby Kunga » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:28 am

Alex,
I don't know what you're intensions are for being here...but it appears to me you want to expose those whom you see as fraudulent,grandious, and misinformed. Also it appears to me you love wrighting for pleasure, and spend a great deal of time creating and developing your own ideas and expressions of how you interpret life.
Reguarding all other interpretations inferior.

You disembowel those that you see as corrupt, and put yourself on the pedestal in replacement.
You use humor to defuse your own projected grandiosity.
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The Nature of Grandiosity

Postby Alex T. Jacob » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:49 am

Ken Kesey said one 'We are operating on many levels'. This likely had to do with the Magic Bus voyages, and also likely had to do with psychedelic 'realities', in a period of time when everything was getting turned on its head. Kunga, I only wish to say that I have developed a style of communication that avails me maximum freedom of expression with the minimum of constraints. It is true though: I tend to go after hypocricy. Why? you might well ask.

I have done little ellse but answer that question.

I have also stated my intentions. Stated and restated. To me it is about Asking the (right) questions. Sticking with those questions. You offer Answers that (I feel) you have not really worked through. They sound prefab to me.

Here, one makes cases in prose essays for those ideas and concepts one feels are relevant. One also defines the relevant. Just as a strong cases and statements are made 'against' me, I too do the same thing, in my way. Why is there reproach in the way you speak? Also, this word 'disembowel' is a little bit over the top. Though I admire the Samurai movies, I try to avoid desemboweling my opponents. Unless by that you mean that I so obviously slaughter them that they just crawl away in shame? ;-) But I KNOW they don't see it like that...

I totally reject any 'spiritual' notion that one has to change the way one speaks when one is speaking with peers. There must be some places where one steps out from under the constraints of the Politically Correct and can speak one's mind. If these questions are indeed that important, then they warrant that kind of directness. But, in real life, one has to of course feel out the other person and try to say things in such a way that they don't freak out.

I am going to make a request of you: locate those places where you think I exhibit 'grandiosity', but please be fair and separate out those grandiose statements or attitudes that are obviously humoristic and ironic.

I am using the word with these inflections:

Grandiosity.
Grandiosity

If you means grandiosity in this sense:

    High-flown style; excessive use of verbal ornamentation; "the grandiosity of his prose"; "an excessive ornateness of language.


I can understand. But that is different. And anyway that is more Talking Ass's style than mine...
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Re: The Nature of Evil

Postby Cory Duchesne » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:01 am

The reality of your own grandiosity, Alex, never really occurred to me. You were the one who brought up the subject, and I just wanted to share my thoughts on why I think employing the term (particularly over a message forum) is problematic.

What I've learned about humans over the years is that we are all a little grandiose, particularly in this latest incarnation of western culture. It's a culture that has inherited the influence of a good many of the shallow celebrities who comprised that explosion of novelty in American 60's counterculture whose spirit was hastily absorbed and co-opted by the existing capitalist machinations. Our psychadelic screen savers, mp3 loaded iphones, eccentric thrift-conscious clothes, preoccupation with self esteem.... it's the result of American counterculture.

Grandiosity is now the norm, from what I can tell. The difference between people lies in the confidence and emotional stability of a highly individualisitc and egocentric person. I talk to young people all the time, and while I see a very surprising degree of arrogance and entitlement in these people (some of them have convinced themselves they will be famous, yet they are still living at home), I also see a very fragile sense of self, and it's very easy to shake their confidence, and beyond their control, they are soon indulging in very passive aggressive vengeance fantasies and character assassinations.

Grandiosity is ok. In fact, all human progress has depended on it.

Here's a good quote:

"Society expresses its sympathy for the geniuses of the past to distract attention from the fact that it has no intention of being sympathetic to the geniuses of the present." - Celia Green

Substitute the word genius with grandiose, and you'll get the idea.
Last edited by Cory Duchesne on Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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