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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.} ========================================================== %REALIZATION OF PERSONALIZED GOOD AND EVIL 880403 The word "realization" may connote becoming aware of, or it may connote making real. Often both connotations may simultaneously be appropriate, even though we may be inclined to be aware of only one connotation. There is much suffering, misfortune and tragedy in the world. The presence of and nature of evil depends upon how we realize our conception of realities such as suffering, misfortune and tragedy. If we realize them in our conception of personalized evil, as the explanation for suffering, misfortune and tragedy; we make real a specific sort of evil reality which dominates our perceptions and lives. We can make evil real, by how we conceive of the realities for which we regard evil to be the explanation. The nature of the evil which we realize, depends upon the nature of our conceptions which give it realization. Evil is an explanation for much that we wish were not real. That which we wish were not real is often real quite apart from us, and we become aware of it with regret; and seek to explain that which we cannot explain in terms of known realities. Out of our desire for a reasonable, systematic, moral, ethical world; we realize (make real) an explanation, a cause, a power, a presence, etc. which can be blamed for that which we wish were not real. Abstract explanations do not satisfy us as much as personalized explanations, especially when that which is to be explained pertains very intimately to our personal lives. We thus tend to personify evil, and we regard evil as a personal force, power, presence, reality, etc. which comes to us, to spoil the goodness of our lives. An abstract personification does not satisfy as much as a real personal presence. We thus tend to seek to find the personification of evil in actual people whom we can personally blame for the suffering, misfortune and tragedy which we need to have explained. It is essential that we not play addictive games of mutual self deception regarding the realities of suffering, misfortune and tragedy. We need to be honest with each other about their reality, and to comfort each other in their presence. We need in community to communicate honestly with each other in their presence; to sustain personal and communal integrity in the presence of suffering, misfortune and tragedy. Thus together we can sustain each other and not disintegrate. It does us no good to pretend that we can explain all suffering, misfortune and tragedy. All too often our explanations of them are but part of our games of mutual self deception. We want a rational, logical, ethical and moral reality in which there is an explanation to each and every happening. We do not want a mysterious world which we can not fully understand, predict and control. Our conception of reality and our realization of its presence helps us to maintain our sense of control, even as our conception leads to our disintegration and confusion. Perhaps evil is our punishment for our insistence that there be an explanation for all suffering, misfortune and tragedy. Perhaps evil is our own invention, by which we punish ourselves for trying to play God. With our realization of evil in other people, we alienate ourselves from them; and from the Garden which was free of alienation until we realized (became aware of and/or made real) the difference between good people (us) and evil people (them); although both "us" and "them" may be within our family! It does us no good to attempt to achieve humility by discovering that evil is in us, because in that discovery we (by our own logic) alienate ourselves from ourselves, and internalize within ourselves the tension which has before existed only between the good people (us) and the evil people (them). If we come to believe that we also are evil, then we are torn by internalized conflict and disintegrate; lack integrity. To transcend evil we must realize that much of the sting of evil is a reality of our own creation, is our own by our making it real, our own realization. Alienation, estrangement, envy, jealousy, greed, etc. are realities which we need to deal with. We can deal with them in integrative ways only so long as we maintain dialogue with those most intimately affected, and so often associated with what we do not like. In the absence of conversation with those most intimately involved, we can not be well informed as to how to cope with these realities. Any conceptions which lead to the breakdown of conversation, dialogue, listening, communication, empathy, sympathy, etc.; are conceptions which will inhibit our ability to cope. When our conception of evil leads us to realize (become aware of and/or making real) that we should disassociate ourselves from each other, we are in deep trouble! We need to realize that new integrative conceptions pertaining to our suffering, misfortunes and tragedies could help us cope more integratively; than do old conceptions regarding EVIL: empires, peoples, and powers. The question of EVIL: will not be answered in integrative ways; until we learn to ask new and different questions which focus upon the importance of personal and communal integrity supporting each other through balance, proportion and a spirit of love. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================