What is evil?

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garethjross

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Having read many topics.. I keep seeing the word evil....what is evil, I know that people do things which are not in the interests of everyone and cause suffering for lots of people, but evil...When I hear the term evil It seems to have religious connotations and visions of people dancing around fires saying burn her she's a witch she's evil.....

However, if we can see that at the basis of many wrong actions there usually is a misdirected good, it's difficult to see what is truly evil, mistakes, things that shouldn't have been done ,granted... But for example, and I don't want to offend anyone, but you could look at Hitler and think...he was obviously an evil man etc...And yet if you look at it with compassion you could say that he tried to solve what he thought was the cause of human suffering for his people at that time...he obviously made some very poor decisions regarding how to go about solving the problem of suffering. You see a lot of what we are seeing in the world is basically Greed, Hate and Delusion magnified and I believe these things are done out of ignorance....People would behave a lot differently if they weren't so ignorant, developing right understanding takes time..and those with it need to have patience with those who don't.
 

Mr. Premise

The Living Force
How about this? Evil are those who cause harm to others because they enjoy it. People who get pleasure from other people's suffering. Don't think for a minute that all those who cause harm have just made "bad decisions" while trying to do good.
 

henry

The Living Force
garethjross said:
But for example, and I don't want to offend anyone, but you could look at Hitler and think...he was obviously an evil man etc...And yet if you look at it with compassion you could say that he tried to solve what he thought was the cause of human suffering for his people at that time...he obviously made some very poor decisions regarding how to go about solving the problem of suffering. You see a lot of what we are seeing in the world is basically Greed, Hate and Delusion magnified and I believe these things are done out of ignorance....People would behave a lot differently if they weren't so ignorant, developing right understanding takes time..and those with it need to have patience with those who don't.
Gareth, I suggest a reading of books on psychopathy and some delving into our working hypothesis of hyperdimensional realities. You are caught in the illusion that so many people have that everyone has a conscience, that everyone has the ability to empathize. If that were the case, what you say might be true. However, there are cold-hearted people who cannot empathize, who are incapable of putting themselves in someone's else's shoes.

On one level, you could say they are ignorant becaue they cannot have the experience that would permit them to be other than what they are. But here in our world, they are essential a different species. When they coldly do violence, be it physical or psychological to another human, or to groups of humans, they are doing "evil", they are manifesting the entropic force. They have aligned themselves with the downward spiral of evolution.

Teachings that do not discuss this aspect of our reality are dangerous. They leave us unprepared. Worse, they encourage us in our illusions that everyone is the same, has a conscience, and leave us as prey.
 
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garethjross

Guest
please don't misunderstand, I am not that naive, I have worked with such people in prisons etc...and you don't need half a brain to type psychopathy into google

Psychopathy is a concept subject to much debate, but is usually defined as a constellation of affective, interpersonal, and behavioral characteristics including egocentricity; impulsivity; irresponsibility; shallow emotions; lack of empathy, guilt, or remorse; pathological lying; manipulativeness; and the persistent violation of social norms and expectations (Cleckley 1976; Hare 1993). The crimes of psychopaths are usually stone-cold, remorseless killings for no apparent reason. They cold-bloodedly take what they want and do as they please without the slightest sense of guilt or regret. In many ways, they are natural-born intraspecies predators who satisfy their lust for power and control by charm, manipulation, intimidation, and violence. While almost all societies would regard them as criminals (the exception being frontier or warlike societies where they might become heroes, patriots, or leaders), it's important to distinguish their behavior from criminal behavior. As a common axiom goes in psychology, MOST PSYCHOPATHS ARE ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITIES BUT NOT ALL ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITIES ARE PSYCHOPATHS. This is because APD is defined mainly by behaviors (Factor 2 antisocial behaviors) and doesn't tap the affective/interpersonal dimensions (Factor 1 core psychopathic features, narcissism) of psychopathy. Further, criminals and APDs tend to "age out" of crime; psychopaths do not, and are at high risk of recidivism. Psychopaths love to intellectualize in treatment with their half-baked understanding of rules. Like the Star Trek character, Spock, their reasoning cannot handle any mix of cognition and emotion. They are calculating predators who, when trapped, will attempt escape, create a nuisance and danger to staff, be a disruptive influence on other patients or inmates, and fake symptoms to get transferred, bouncing back and forth between institutions.

I would say that these people need to be in prison and kept away from society as they are a danger that would be the responsable thing, I think that if you start seeing people humans as not being human that is VERY DANGEROUS
 

Joe

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garethjross said:
please don't misunderstand, I am not as naive as to think that there are people who just can't empathize, I have worked with such people in prisons etc, I would say that these people need to be in prison and kept away from society as they are a danger that would be the responsable thing, I think that if you start seeing people humans as not being human that is very dangerous.
It is not about identifying certain people as not being human, but rather realising that current understanding of what it is to be human is limited. The psychopaths of this world are indeed human, at least from a biological point of view, but they seem to be missing something that most other people possess.

If the roles were to be reversed, and the ruling elite of the world were made up of non-psychopaths, and if there were to be some judgement passed on the pyschopaths currently in power, I think they would have just cause to feel a lot more relaxed about their punishment at the hands of "normal" humanity (as Lobaczewski calls us) than normal humanity *should* be currently feeling about the plans that the psychopaths appear to have in store for us.

Joe
 

anart

A Disturbance in the Force
Joe said:
garethjross said:
please don't misunderstand, I am not as naive as to think that there are people who just can't empathize, I have worked with such people in prisons etc, I would say that these people need to be in prison and kept away from society as they are a danger that would be the responsable thing, I think that if you start seeing people humans as not being human that is very dangerous.
It is not about identifying certain people as not being human, but rather realising that current understanding of what it is to be human is limited. The psychopaths of this world are indeed human, at least from a biological point of view, but they seem to be missing something that most other people possess.

If the roles were to be reversed, and the ruling elite of the world were made up of non-psychopaths, and if there were to be some judgement passed on the pyschopaths currently in power, I think they would have just cause to feel a lot more relaxed about their punishment at the hands of "normal" humanity (as Lobaczewski calls us) than normal humanity *should* be currently feeling about the plans that the psychopaths appear to have in store for us.

Joe
Also, garethjross, you might want to read this thread in its entirety to get a better grasp of the situation...
http://www.cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php?topic=457
 
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garethjross

Guest
yeah but I don't really agree with this idea of soul, you see for me there isn't a semi-permanent sort of self so therefore no immortal soul,as one gets closer to seeing the universe as an immaculately void flow of space/time/being, there is less of a need for(and also less of a basis for) a belief in an immortal soul.
However I accept that you have your view.
 

ark

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garethjross said:
I think that if you start seeing people humans as not being human that is VERY DANGEROUS
Atoms make different molecules. To be able to distuinguish one kind of molecules from another is a basis of the science of chemistry. The same is with human beings: they differ in their wiring. To be able to distinguish one kind of a human being from another is the basis of the science of being a conscious and rationally thinking human being. Each science can be abused. For instance chemistry. Some people will use their knowledge of chemistry to make more efficient chemical weapons, while some other will produce a substance that will reduce the mosquitos population and thus reduce the risk of being infected by malaria. The wrong use of chemistry does not imply that the knowledge of chemistry itself is bad. The devil, as always, is in the details.
 

Laura

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Evil is an interesting subject. You could say that I've been studying it for all of my life. If you haven't already listened to them, we have several podcasts on the subject.

When dealing with psychological issues, the first problem we come up against is described by Lobaczewsk:

Wherever a society has become enslaved to others or to the rule of an overly-privileged native class, psychology is the first discipline to suffer from censorship and incursions on the part of an administrative body which starts claiming the last word as to what represents scientific truth.
Then there is the problem of programming by family and society:

Lobaczewski said:
Every person in the span of his life, and particularly during childhood and youth, assimilates psychological material from others through mental resonance, identification, imitation, and other communicative means, thereupon transforming it to build his own personality and world view. If such material is contaminated by pathological factors and deformities, personality development shall also be deformed. The product will be a person unable to understand correctly either himself and others, normal human relations and morals; he develops into a person who commits evil acts with a poor feeling of being faulty. Is he really at fault?

Man's age-old, familiar moral weaknesses and intelligence deficiencies, proper reasoning, and knowledge combine with the activity of various pathological factors to create a complex network of causation which frequently contains feedback relationships or closed causal structures. Practically speaking, cause and effect are often widely separated in time, which makes it more difficult to track the links. If our scope of observation is expansive enough, the ponerogenic processes are reminiscent of complex chemical synthesis, wherein modifying a single factor causes the entire process to change. Botanists are aware of the law of the minimum, wherein plant growth is limited by contents of the component which is in deficiency in the soil. Similarly, eliminating (or at least limiting) the activity of one of the above-mentioned factors or deficiencies should cause a corresponding reduction in the entire process of the genesis of evil.

For centuries, moralists have been advising us to develop ethics and human values; they have been searching for the proper intellectual criteria. They have also respected correctness of reasoning, whose value in this area is unquestionable. In spite of all their efforts, however, they have been unable to overcome the many kinds of evil that have scourged humanity for ages and that are presently taking on unheard-of proportions.

By no means does a ponerologist wish to belittle the role of moral values and knowledge in this area; rather, he wants to buttress it with hitherto-underrated scientific knowledge in order to round out the picture as a whole and adapt it better to reality, thereby making more effective action possible in moral, psychological, social, and political practice.

This new discipline is thus primarily interested in the role of pathological factors in the origin of evil, especially since conscious control and monitoring of them on the scientific, social, and individual levels could effectively stifle or disarm these processes. Something which has been impossible for centuries is now feasible in practice thanks to progress in naturalistic cognizance. Methodological refinements are dependent upon further progress in detailed data and upon the conviction that such behavior is valuable.
Both of these problems have a similar cause: deviants. Since it can be shown that individuals without conscience almost inevitably "rise to the top" and achieve positions of power and control, we have to consider that mich of what is portrayed as "normal" in our world is NOT. Obviously, those in power aren't going to be able to just lay a whole negative and evil system on people - that would be too obvious. So they "package" it - obvious "good" things with twists slipped in at the right places.

Lobaczewski said:
We need to understand the nature of the macrosocial phenomenon as well as that basic relationship and controversy between the pathological system and those areas of science which describe psychological and psychopathological phenomena. Otherwise, we cannot become fully conscious of the reasons for such a government's long published behavior.

A normal person's actions and reactions, his ideas and moral criteria, all too often strike abnormal individuals as abnormal. For if a person with some psychological deviations considers himself normal, which is of course significantly easier if he possesses authority, then he would consider a normal person different and therefore abnormal, whether in reality or as a result of conversive thinking. That explains why such people's government shall always have the tendency to treat any dissidents as "mentally abnormal".

Operations such as driving a normal person into psychological illness and the use of psychiatric institutions for this purpose take place in many countries in which such institutions exist. Contemporary legislation binding upon normal man's countries is not based upon an adequate understanding of the psychology of such behavior, and thus does not constitute a sufficient preventive measure against it.

Within the categories of a normal psychological world view, the motivations for such behavior were variously understood and described: personal and family accounts, property matters, intent to discredit a witness' testimony, and even political motivations. Such defamatory suggestions are used particularly often by individuals who are themselves not entirely normal, whose behavior has driven someone to a nervous breakdown or to violent protest. Among hysterics, such behavior tends to be a projection onto other people of one's own self-critical associations. A normal person strikes a psychopath as a naive, smart-alecky believer in barely comprehensible theories; calling him "crazy" is not all that far away.

Therefore, when we set up a sufficient number of examples of this kind or collect sufficient experience in this area, another more essential motivational level for such behavior becomes apparent. What happens as a rule is that the idea of driving someone into mental illness issues from minds with various aberrations and psychological defects. Only rarely does the component of pathological factors take part in the ponerogenesis of such behavior from outside its agents. Well thought out and carefully framed legislation should therefore require testing of individuals whose suggestions that someone else is psychologically abnormal are too insistent or too doubtfully founded.
On the other hand, any system in which the abuse of psychiatry for allegedly political reasons has become a common phenomenon should be examined in the light of similar psychological criteria extrapolated onto the macrosocial scale. Any person rebelling internally against a governmental system, which shall always strike him as foreign and difficult to understand, and who is unable to hide this well enough, shall thus easily be designated by the representatives of said government as "mentally abnormal", someone who should submit to psychiatric treatment. A scientifically and morally degenerate psychiatrist becomes a tool easily used for this purpose. Thus is born the sole method of terror and human torture unfamiliar even to the secret police of Czar Alexander II.
The abuse of psychiatry for purposes we already know thus derives from the very nature of pathocracy as a macrosocial psychopathological phenomenon. After all, that very area of knowledge and treatment must first be degraded to prevent it from jeopardizing the system itself by pronouncing a dramatic diagnosis, and must then be used as an expedient tool in the hands of the authorities. In every country, however, one meets with people who notice this and act astutely against it.

The pathocracy feels increasingly threatened by this area whenever the medical and psychological sciences make progress. After all, not only can these sciences knock the weapon of psychological conquest right out of its hands; they can even strike at its very nature, and from inside the empire, at that.

A specific perception of these matters therefore bids the pathocracy to be "ideationally alert" in this area. This also explains why anyone who is both too knowledgeable in this area and too far outside the immediate reach of such authorities should be accused of anything that can be trumped up, including psychological abnormality.
Obviously, the U.S. has succumbed to the rule of pathocracy. So, let's take a look at our future:

Lobaczewski said:
The world's tendency to fasten its gaze adoringly upon its rulers has a long tradition dating back to the times when sovereigns could virtually ignore their subjects' opinions. However, rulers have always been dependent upon the social and economic situation in their country, even long ago, and even in pathocratic systems, and the influence of various social groups has reached their thrones by various means.

Much too common is the pattern of error which reasons that purportedly autocratic leaders of countries affected by this pathocracy actually possess decision-making powers in areas which they in fact do not. Millions of people, including ministers and members of parliaments, ponder the dilemma of whether such a ruler could not, under certain circumstances, modify his convictions somewhat and relinquish his dreams of conquering the world; they continue hope that this will be the eventual outcome. People with personal experience in such a system may attempt to persuade them that their dreams, although decent, lack a foundation in reality, but at the same time they sense a lack of concrete arguments on their part. Such an explanation is in fact impossible within the realm of the natural language of psychological concepts; only an objective comprehension of the historical phenomenon and its essentially deviant nature permits light to be shed upon the causes of the perennial deceitfulness of this macrosocial pathological phenomenon.

The actions of this phenomenon affect an entire society, starting with the leaders and infiltrating every village, small town, factory, business, or farm. The pathological social structure gradually covers the entire country, creating a "new class" within that nation. This privileged class of deviants feels permanently threatened by the "others", i.e. by the majority of normal people. Neither do the pathocrats entertain any illusions about their personal fate should there be a return to the system of normal man.

A normal person deprived of privilege or high position will go about finding and performing some work which will earn him a living; but pathocrats never possessed any solid practical talent, and the time frame of their rule eliminates any residual possibilities of adapting to the demands of normal work. If the laws of normal man were to be reinstated, they and theirs could be subjected to judgment, including a moralizing interpretation of their psychological deviations; they would be threatened by a loss of freedom and life, not merely a loss of position and privilege. Since they are incapable of this kind of sacrifice, the survival of a system which is the best for them becomes a moral imperative. Such a threat must be battled by means of any and all psychological and political cunning implemented with a lack of scruples with regard to those other "inferior-quality" people that can be shocking in its depravity.

In general, this new class is in the position to purge its leaders should their behavior jeopardize the existence of such a system. This could occur particularly if the leadership wished to go too far in compromising with the society of normal people, since their qualifications make them essential for production. The latter is more a direct threat to the lower echelons of the pathocratic elite than to the leaders.

Pathocracy survives thanks to the feeling of being threatened by the society of normal people, as well as by other countries wherein various forms of the system of normal man persist. For the rulers, staying on the top is therefore the classic problem of "to be or not to be".

We can thus formulate a more cautious question: can such a system ever waive territorial and political expansion abroad and settle for its present possessions? What would happen if such a state of affairs ensured internal peace, corresponding order, and relative prosperity within the nation? The overwhelming majority of the country's population would then make skillful use of all the emerging possibilities, taking advantage of their superior qualifications in order to fight for an ever-increasing scope of activities; thanks to their higher birth rate, their power will increase. This majority will be joined by some sons from the privileged class who did not inherit the pathological genes. The pathocracy's dominance will weaken imperceptibly but steadily, finally leading to a situation wherein the society of normal people reaches for power. This is a nightmare vision to the psychopaths.
Thus, the biological, psychological, moral, and economic destruction of the majority of normal people becomes, for the pathocrats, a "biological" necessity. Many means serve this end, starting with concentration camps and including warfare with an obstinate, well-armed foe who will devastate and debilitate the human power thrown at him, namely the very power jeopardizing pathocrats rule: the sons of normal man sent out to fight for an illusionary "noble cause." Once safely dead, the soldiers will then be decreed heroes to be revered in paeans, useful for raising a new generation faithful to the pathocracy and ever willing to go to their deaths to protect it.
Any war waged by a pathocratic nation has two fronts, the internal and the external. The internal front is more important for the leaders and the governing elite, and the internal threat is the deciding factor where unleashing war is concerned. In pondering whether to start a war against the pathocratic country, other nations must therefore give primary consideration to the fact that such a war can be used as an executioner of the common people whose increasing power represents incipient jeopardy for the pathocracy. After all, pathocrats give short shrift to blood and suffering of people they consider to be not quite conspecific. Kings may have suffered due to the death of their knights, but pathocrats never do: "We have a lot of people here." Should the situation be, or become, ripe in such a country, however, anyone furnishing assistance to the nation will be blessed by it; anyone withholding it will be cursed.

Pathocracy has other internal reasons for pursuing expansionism through the use of all means possible. As long as that "other" world governed by the systems of normal man exists, it inducts into the non-pathological majority a certain sense of direction. The non-pathological majority of the country's population will never stop dreaming of the reinstatement of the normal man's system in any possible form. This majority will never stop watching other countries, waiting for the opportune moment; its attention and power must therefore be distracted from this purpose, and the masses must be "educated" and channeled in the direction of imperialist strivings. This goal must be pursued doggedly so that everyone knows what is being fought for and in whose name harsh discipline and poverty must be endured. The latter factor - creating conditions of poverty and hardship - effectively limits the possibility of "subversive" activities on the part of the society of normal people.

The ideology must, of course, furnish a corresponding justification for this alleged right to conquer the world and must therefore be properly elaborated. Expansionism is derived from the very nature of pathocracy, not from ideology, but this fact must be masked by ideology. Whenever this phenomenon has been witnessed in history, imperialism was always its most demonstrative quality.
Now, let's go back and look at the deviants who are at the root of evil.

Lobaczewski said:
Acquired Deviations

Brain tissue is very limited in its regenerative ability. If it is damaged and the change subsequently heals, a process of rehabilitation can take place wherein the neighboring healthy tissue takes over the function of the damaged portion. This substitution is never quite perfect; thus some deficits in skill and proper psychological processes can be detected in even cases of very small damage by using the appropriate tests. Specialists are aware of the variegated causes for the origin of such damage, including trauma and infections. We should point out here that the psychological results of such changes, as we can observe many years later, are more heavily dependent upon the location of the damage itself in the brain mass, whether on the surface or within, than they are upon the cause which brought them about. The quality of these consequences also depends upon when they occurred in the person's lifetime. Regarding pathological factors of ponerogenic processes, perinatal or early infant damages have more active results than damages which occurred later.

In societies with highly developed medical care, we find among the lower grades of elementary school (when tests can be applied), that 5 to 7 per cent of children have suffered brain tissue lesions which cause certain academic or behavioral difficulties. This percentage increases with age. Modern medical care has contributed to a quantitative decrease in such phenomena, but in certain relatively uncivilized countries and during historical times, indications of difficulties caused by such changes are and have been more frequent.

Epilepsy and its many variations constitute the oldest known results of such lesions; it is observed in a relatively small number of persons suffering such damage. Researchers in these matters are more or less unanimous in believing that Julius Caesar, and then later Napoleon Bonaparte, had epileptic seizures. Those were probably instances of vegetative epilepsy caused by lesions lying deep within the brain, near the vegetative centers. This variety does not cause subsequent dementia. The extent to which these hidden ailments had negative effects upon their characters and historical decision-making, or played a ponerogenic role, can be the subject of a separate study and evaluation of great interest. In most cases, however, epilepsy is an evident ailment, which limits its role as a ponerogenic factor.

In a much larger segment of the bearers of brain tissue damage, the negative deformation of their characters grows in the course of time. It takes on variegated mental pictures, depending upon the properties and localization of these changes, their time of origin, and also the life conditions of the individual after their occurrence. We will call such character disorders - characteropathies. Some characteropathies play an outstanding role as pathological agents in the processes of the genesis of evil. Let us thus characterize these most active ones.
Characteropathies reveal a certain similar quality, if the clinical picture is not dimmed by the coexistence of other mental anomalies (usually inherited), which sometimes occur in practice. Undamaged brain tissue retains our species' natural psychological properties. This is particularly evident in instinctive and affective responses, which are natural, albeit often insufficiently controlled. The experience of people with such anomalies grows in the medium of the normal human world to which they belong by nature. Thus their different way of thinking, their emotional violence, and their egotism find relatively easy entry into other people's minds and are perceived within the categories of the everyday world. Such behavior on the part of persons with such character disorders traumatizes the minds and feelings of normal people, gradually diminishing the ability of the normal person to use their common sense. In spite of their resistance, victims of the characteropath become used to the rigid habits of pathological thinking and experiencing. If the victims are young people, the result is that the personality suffers abnormal development leading to its malformation. Characteropaths and their victims thus represent pathological, ponerogenic factors which, by their covert activity, easily engender new phases in the eternal genesis of evil, opening the door to a later activation of other factors which thereupon take over the main role. ....

Many thoughtful persons keep asking the same anxious question: how could the German nation have chosen for a Fuehrer a clownish psychopath who made no bones about his pathological vision of superman rule? Under his leadership, Germany then unleashed a second criminal and politically absurd war. During the second half of this war, highly-trained army officers honorably performed inhuman orders, senseless from the political and military point of view, issued by a man whose psychological state corresponded to the routine criteria for being forcibly committed to a psychiatric hospital.

Any attempt to explain the things that occurred during the first half of our century by means of categories generally accepted in historical thought leaves behind a nagging feeling of inadequacy. Only a ponerological approach can compensate for this deficit in our comprehension, as it does justice to the role of various pathological factors in the genesis of evil at every social level.

The German nation, fed for a generation on pathologically altered psychological material, fell into a state comparable to what we see in certain individuals raised by persons who are both characteropathic and hysterical. Psychologists know from experience how often such people then let themselves commit acts which seriously hurt others. A psychotherapist needs a good deal of persistent work, skill, and prudence in order to enable such a person to regain his ability to comprehend psychological problems with more naturalistic realism and to utilize his healthy critical faculties in relation to his own behavior.

The Germans inflicted and suffered enormous damage and pain during the first World War; they thus felt no substantial guilt and even thought that they were the ones who had been wronged. This is not surprising as they were behaving in accordance with their customary habit, without being aware of its pathological causes. The need for this pathological state to be concealed in heroic garb after a war in order to avoid bitter disintegration became all too common. A mysterious craving arose, as if the social organism had managed to become addicted to some drug. The hunger was for more pathologically modified psychological material, a phenomenon known to psychotherapeutic experience. This hunger could only be satisfied by another similarly pathological personality and system of government. A characteropathic personality opened the door for leadership by a psychopathic individual. We shall return later in our deliberations to this pathological personality sequence, as it appears a general regularity in ponerogenic processes.

A ponerological approach facilitates our understanding of a person who succumbs to the influence of a characteropathic personality, as well as comprehension of macrosocial phenomena caused by the contribution of such factors. Unfortunately, relatively few such individuals can be served by appropriate psychotherapy. Such behavior cannot be ascribed to nations proudly defending their sovereignty without extreme reactions. However, we may consider the solution of such problems by means of the proper knowledge as a vision for the future.

~~~

Paranoid character disorders: It is characteristic of paranoid behavior for people to be capable of relatively correct reasoning and discussion as long as the conversation involves minor differences of opinion. This stops abruptly when the partner's arguments begin to undermine their overvalued ideas, crush their long-held stereotypes of reasoning, or forces them to accept a conclusion they had subconsciously rejected before. Such a stimulus unleashes upon the partner a torrent of pseudo-logical, largely paramoralistic, often insulting utterances which always contain some degree of suggestion.

Utterances like these inspire aversion among cultivated and logical people, who then tend to avoid the paranoid types. However, the power of the paranoid lies in the fact that they easily enslave less critical minds, e.g. people with other kinds of psychological deficiencies, who have been victims of the egotistical influence of individuals with character disorders, and, in particular, a large segment of young people.

A proletarian may perceive this power to enslave to be a kind of victory over higher-class people and thus take the paranoid person's side. However, this is not the normal reaction among the common people, where perception of psychological reality occurs no less often than among intellectuals.

In sum then, the response of accepting paranoid argumentation is qualitatively more frequent in reverse proportion to the civilization level of the community in question, although it never approaches the majority. Nevertheless, paranoid individuals become aware of their enslaving influence through experience and attempt to take advantage of it in a pathologically egotistic manner.

We know today that the psychological mechanism of paranoid phenomena is twofold: one is caused by damage to the brain tissue, the other is functional or behavioral. Within the above-mentioned process of rehabilitation, any brain-tissue lesion causes a certain slackening of accurate thinking and, as a consequence, of the personality structure. Most typical are those cases caused by an aggression in the diencephalon by various pathological factors, resulting in its permanently decreased tonal ability, and similarly of the tonus of inhibition in the brain cortex. Particularly during sleepless nights, runaway thoughts give rise to a paranoid changed view of human reality, as well as to ideas which can be either gently naive or violently revolutionary. Let us call this kind paranoid characteropathy.

In persons free of brain tissue lesions, such phenomena most frequently occur as a result of being reared by people with paranoid characteropathia, along with the psychological terror of their childhood. Such psychological material is then assimilated creating the rigid stereotypes of abnormal experiencing. This makes it difficult for thought and world view to develop normally, and the terror-blocked contents become transformed into permanent, functional, congestive centers.

Ivan Pavlov comprehended all kinds of paranoid states in a manner similar to this functional model without being aware of this basic and primary cause. He nevertheless provided a vivid description of paranoid characters and the above-mentioned ease with which paranoid individuals suddenly tear away from factual discipline and proper thought-processes. ...

Lenin should nevertheless be included with the first and most characteristic kind of paranoid personality, i.e. most probably due to diencephalic brain damage. ...

Frontal characteropathy: The frontal areas of the cerebral cortex (10A and B acc. to the Brodmann division) are virtually present in no creature except man; they are composed of the phylogenetically youngest nervous tissue. Their cyto-architecture is similar to the much older visual projection areas on the opposite pole of the brain. This suggests some functional similarity. The author has found a relatively easy way to test this psychological function, which enables us to grasp a certain number of imaginary elements in our field of consciousness and subject them to internal contemplation. The capacity of this act of internal projection varies greatly from one person to another, manifesting a statistical correlation with similar variegation in the anatomical extent of such areas. The correlation between this capacity and general intelligence is much lower. As described by researchers (Luria et al.), the functions of these areas, thought-process acceleration and coordination, seem to result from this basic function.

Damage to this area occurred rather frequently: at or near birth, especially for premature infants, and later in life as a result of various causes. The number of such perinatal brain tissue lesions has been significantly reduced due to improved medical care for pregnant women and newborns. The spectacular ponerogenic role which results from character disorders caused by this can thus be considered somewhat characteristic of past generations and primitive cultures.

Brain cortex damage in these areas selectively impairs the above mentioned function without impairing memory, associative capacity, or, in particular, such instinct-based feelings and functions as, for instance, the ability to intuit a psychological situation. The general intelligence of an individual is thus not greatly reduced. Children with such a defect are almost normal students; difficulties emerge suddenly in upper grades and affect principally these parts of the curriculum which place burden on the above function.

The pathological character of such people, generally containing a component of hysteria, develops through the years. The non-damaged psychological functions become overdeveloped to compensate, which means that instinctive and affective reactions predominate. Relatively vital people become belligerent, risk-happy, and brutal in both word and deed.

Persons with an innate talent for intuiting psychological situations tend to take advantage of this gift in an egotistical and ruthless fashion. In the thought process of such people, a short cut way develops which bypasses the handicapped function, thus leading from associations directly to words, deeds, and decisions which are not subject to any dissuasion. Such individuals interpret their talent for intuiting situations and making split-second oversimplified decisions as a sign of their superiority compared to normal people, who need to think for long time, experiencing self-doubt and conflicting motivations. The fate of such creatures does not deserve to be pondered long.

Such "Stalinistic characters" traumatize and actively spellbind others, and their influence finds it exceptionally easy to bypass the controls of common sense. A large proportion of people tend to credit such individuals with special powers, thereby succumbing to their egotistic beliefs. If a parent manifests such a defect, no matter how minimal, all the children in the family evidence anomalies in personality development. ...

Comparative considerations also led the author to conclude that Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, also known as Stalin, should be included in the list of this particular ponerogenic characteropathy, which developed against the backdrop of perinatal damage to his brain's prefrontal fields. Literature and news about him abounds in indications: brutal, charismatic, snake-charming; issuing of irrevocable decisions; inhuman ruthlessness, pathologic revengefulness directed at anyone who got in his way; and egotistical belief in his own genius on the part of a person whose mind was, in fact, only average. This state explains as well his psychological dependence on a psychopath like Beria . Some photographs reveal the typical deformation of his forehead which appears in people who suffered very early damage to the areas mentioned above. ...

When we contemplate the scope of the evil Stalin helped to bring about, we should always take this most ponerogenic characteropathy into account and attribute the proper portion of the "blame" to it; unfortunately, it has not yet been sufficiently studied. We have to consider many other pathologic deviations as they played essential roles in this macrosocial phenomenon. Disregarding the pathologic aspects of those occurrences and limiting interpretation thereof by historiographic and moral considerations opens the door to an activity of further ponerogenic factors; such reasoning should be thus regarded as not only scientifically insufficient but immoral as well. ...

Drug-induced characteropathies: During the last few decades, medicine has begun using a series of drugs with serious side effects: they attack the nervous system, leaving permanent damage behind. These generally discreet handicaps sometimes give rise to personality changes which are often very harmful socially. Streptomycin proved a very dangerous drug; as a result, some countries have limited its use, whereas others have taken it off the list of drugs whose use is permitted.

The cytostatic drugs used in treating neoplastic diseases often attack the phylogenetically oldest brain tissue, the primary carrier of our instinctive substratum and basic feelings. Persons treated with such drugs progressively tend to lose their emotional color and their ability to intuit a psychological situation. They retain their intellectual functions but become praise-craving egocentrics, easily ruled by people who know how to take advantage of this. They become indifferent to other people's feelings and the harm they are inflicting upon them; any criticism of their own person or behavior is repaid with a vengeance. Such a change of character in a person who until recently enjoyed respect on the part of his environment or community, which perseveres in human minds, becomes a pathological phenomenon causing often tragic results.

Could this have been a factor in the case of the Shah of Iran? Again, diagnosing dead people is problematic, and the author lacks detailed data. However, this possibility should be accepted as a probability. The genesis of that county's present tragedy also doubtless contains pathological factors which play ponerologically active roles.
Results similar to the above in the psychological picture may be caused by endogenous toxins or viruses. When, on occasion, the mumps proceeds with a brain reaction, it leaves in its wake a discrete pallor or dullness of feelings and a slight decrease in mental efficiency. Similar phenomena are witnessed after a difficult bout with diphtheria. Finally, polio attacks the brain, more often the higher part of the anterior horns, which was affected by the process. People with leg paresis rarely manifest these effects, but those with paresis of the neck and/or shoulders must count themselves lucky if they do not. In addition to affective pallor, persons manifesting these effects usually evidence naivet
 
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garethjross

Guest
yeah i'd go along with that, to a certain point. One could say that whilst at a fundamental level it is extremely important to see the difference in humans whilst recognising that we, all things are part of the............for want of a better word.....universe. At what point does the description of what is take over the subjective experience? Or what I'm trying to say is there are truths that need to be experienced, intellectually you can have a grasp of many ideas theories, but there needs to be an understanding of the heart to further any training. Any thoughts?
 

ark

Administrator
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garethjross said:
Or what I'm trying to say is there are truths that need to be experienced, intellectually you can have a grasp of many ideas theories, but there needs to be an understanding of the heart to further any training. Any thoughts?
What is needed is not "understanding of the heart". What is needed is a deep knowledge. Of the external world and of the self. The "heart" tells the lion to kill the zebra. I would not rely on "heart" alone.
 
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garethjross

Guest
No i don't mean the emotional aspect of the heart, I mean the understanding that you have when you can feel it in your blood and bones that it is true, like when you have glimpsed the unborn and nobody can tell you different...or when you .........words fail me.
 

Obi

Jedi Council Member
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garethjross said:
yeah but I don't really agree with this idea of soul, you see for me there isn't a semi-permanent sort of self so therefore no immortal soul,as one gets closer to seeing the universe as an immaculately void flow of space/time/being, there is less of a need for(and also less of a basis for) a belief in an immortal soul.
Let's see if we can get that what you describe as mere belief into more scientific terms. I am sure you agree that there exists a physical, observable universe of matter. We occupy such a realm. However, physics recognizes also a universe of energy be it gravity, electro-magnetism or any other form of energy. We do not see this universe with our own perception instrument, BUT we see the results of this energetic universe all around us. We experience gravity, but we cannot even measure it properly. Strong electric field lifts trains. It is aparent that such a universe of energy exists around us. Consider, if you will, that since there are beings occupying the material universe, it is safe to assume with 50% probability that there could be beings occuping the energy universe too. Such beings are not material, but they are made of pure energy (and I omit the fact that matter is in itself a form of energy). In the energy universe time can flow backwards, in penpendicular direction or may not flow at all. And it is possible since Einstein discovered that when you move with speed of light time comes to a standstill and when in some unknown to us way you could exceed speed of light, time would start flowing backwards. Naturally, the physics will tell you that no mass can reach the speed of light without disintegration, but what about energy? What about a being made of pure energy? If they constantly travelled with speed of light, their time would stop forever, thus immorality at least theoretically should not be dismissed. Whether there are beings of pure energy is equally possible as it is impossible. We have no proofs, but it should not stop us from allowing such a possibility. Likewise, we should be open that there are immortal souls in the universe. After all our belief in them or lack of thereof has no bearing on their objective existance. Or so it seems to me.
 

Laura

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Added: garethjross, I notice that you joined this forum on the 23rd and you have made 19 posts since then. Most of them consist of questions that could be easily answered if you did more reading and less talking.
 
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garethjross

Guest
yes there may well be other beings in fact buddhists say there are many different beings, that's fine if you want to believe in immortal souls, but for me, we as humans do not posses such a thing and over time you CAN prove this true for yourself.
 
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