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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %SERENE FREEDOM FROM CONFLICT 880316 We may be serene and in peace in the enjoyment of freedom from conflict, when we find how to avoid coercive conformity to non-integrative expectations. The expectation of coercive conformity is not worthy of respect, because it is disintegrative; yet many people respect the expectation of coercive conformity---and do violence to themselves by trying to fulfill such disintegrative expectations. Coercion of human behavior is disintegrative. Trying to control human behavior leads to disintegration. The expectation that others will yield to efforts to control them is a disintegrative part of a game of mutual self deception, a collusion. There is no serenity and no prospect for peace for participants in collusive games of mutual self deception. They are committed to trying to control each other through coercive expectations entailing ambiguous threats of punishment and ambiguous promises of rewards. Coercive conditional promises of rewards and threats of punishment are the tools by which we try to control each other's behavior. We usually regard the use of such tools as good or evil, in accordance with whether we regard the behavior which they seek to promote as evil or good. We judge attempts at controlling human behavior good, if we regard the expected behavior to be evil. We judge attempts at controlling human behavior evil, if we regard the expected behavior to be good. In such judgments we are confused. All coercive efforts to control human behavior tend to reduce open and honest dialogue; i.e., they tend to generate human estrangement, alienation. Human behavior which tends to generate human estrangement is evil behavior; for the essence of evil processes is estrangement. Attempts to coerce others to behave in good ways generates estrangement, and so such attempts constitute evil behavior. The character of a tool's use is not judged as well by the intended result of its use, as by the actual result of its use. The actual result of the use of tools of psychological coercion is alienation, and so it is evil behavior to use tools of psychological coercion; even when the intent is to try to control people so that they will behave in "good" ways. It is not coercive to help people to do what they would do naturally in the absence of coercion. It is coercive when an attempt is made to get people to do what will not come naturally in the absence of coercion. The essence of love is to remove coercions, so that people can do what is natural to them, in keeping with their own internal integrative guidance. It is coercive to try to get people to do that which is contrary to their own internal integrative guidance. Coercion leads to conflicts between internal integrative guidance and external expectations. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================