This-essay is a7612132.htm which is available at the web-site www.essayz.com. See more notes at the bottom. Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay By-Months By-Years By-Words Webs of Like-&-Un-Like ESSAYS <==> Like-&-UN-Like This-One ========================================================== %TEMPTATION 761213 Temptation presumes the knowledge of good and evil. The child who does not presume to know the difference between good and evil is not tempted, for there is no tension between desire and duty. It takes time to internalize that kind of conflict. Temptation involves internalized conflicts. Temptation is debilitating because it involves the activation of such an internalized conflict. Temptation may be reduced by eliminating internalized conflicts, or by avoiding situations which activate such internalized conflicts. To avoid such situations presumes surrender to one of the warring factions in the internalized conflict---but upon what basis is a choice to be made? Presumably the conflict was internalized for lack of a basis for making a helpful choice between the warring factions. An injunction to avoid the situations which will activate the conflict begs the question, and is of no help to the victim of the internalized conflict. An injunction to yield-not-to- temptation is not helpful for the same reason. Temptation involves two very nearly equal desires which are at war with each others. People who are supporters of the opposing armies do not help resolve the tension by offering injunctions to fulfill their opposing desires. What is needed is a perspective and power which transcends the poles of the tension. Only then can the temptation be transcended---and so be deprived of its fragmenting and alienative powers. To yield not to temptation be transcended and so deprived of its fragmenting and alienative powers. To yield not to temptation is merely to continue the battle, rather than to transcend it. That continuation may delight the supporters of the opposing sides, at the price of the life of the victims within whom the battle rages. Temptation may be resolved in terms of an ultimate commitment to openness, love. The power of temptation to fragment comes from the fear of the consequences of making a choice between the warring factions. The fear prolongs indecision and so therefore promotes the fragmentation which results from the continuation of the conflict. The temptation can not be transcended so long as there is a fear of making the "wrong" choice. That fear is not the fear of natural consequences, but the fear of excommunication. The debilitating effects of temptation originate in the threats of excommunication, not in the substantive issues upon which members of the self- appointed jury focus so much attention. Members of the jury would be more helpful if they became accepting participants in the ambiguities of real living, rather than living in their self righteous jury box. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in www.essayz.com Search for Integrity and Honesty (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================Lines beginning with a percent sign are KEYWORDS for use in ESSAY-System Searches. Their terminal digits are dates of writing in the format @yymmdd#, where @ = a means 99, @ = b means 20, and # = is a within-date essay-count. Links to date-adjacent essays are near page top & bottom.
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