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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.} ========================================================== %POWER OF PERSONAL ACCEPTANCE REJECTION 880610 The quality of a community's life flows from its conceptions of the power of personal acceptance and rejection. Jack believes that he has a duty to reject those people who do not behave properly. Rejection is an appropriate punishment for doing what is not proper. People need to understand what is proper, and what is not proper; and to behave accordingly. Since people want to be accepted, by our withholding acceptance of them when they behave improperly, they will take the hint, and behave properly because of the reward of acceptance which flows from proper behavior. When properly understood the power of personal acceptance and rejection can be used to insure that people will behave properly, according to proper social conventions. The essence of the good community is conformity to proper social conventions. It is in the interests of the good community to reject those of its members who do not behave properly. Jack has discovered that he has not behaved properly. To maintain his integrity Jack feels obliged to reject himself for having behaved improperly, for that is what he believes is right. Jack is in a can't win situation: If he is to maintain his integrity, he must reject himself; i.e., disintegrate himself into two parts: the rejector and the rejected. If he so disintegrates himself into rejector and rejected, he will have lost his integrity. He cannot win! If we must reject those who behave improperly, we and they can not honestly learn from our or their mistakes and failures. To honestly learn from our mistakes and failures we must accept the fact that we and they made the mistakes and failed in whatever ways we may have failed; and must accept ourselves and each other as persons who have made mistakes and failed. Only in the context of such personal acceptance can there be personal conversation which will convert us (turn us, con-convert ==== "with turn") from making mistakes and failing to avoiding mistakes. In the absence of open and honest conversation (conversions) we will repeat our mistakes and failures for lack of honest awareness and understanding of our experiences in them. If we believe we must reject people who make mistakes and fail, we are trapped in a disintegrative pattern of thoughts and attitudes. Being trapped in that mistaken belief leads to many further mistakes and beliefs which, in keeping with our mistaken belief, must lead to our self rejection and disintegration. From within that belief, salvation is perceived as a threat to our conception of the universe, and so salvation must be resisted at all costs as the work of the devil; i.e., the work of the incarnation of the power which seeks to destroy our universe. Our problem is that such a universe is not "uni"; it is not "one": it is highly fragmented by our attitudes and patterns of mutual and self rejection. The "universe" of people who believe in the propriety of rejection lacks integrity, and they as people cannot enjoy integrity. They are constantly seeking happiness to compensate for their lack of joy and integrity, but they cannot find happiness in the presence of mistakes and failures which they must reject along with the makers of the mistakes; i.e., their own selves. How and what we conceive our selves to be, is central to what we become; e.i., we give birth to our selves through our own joint conceptions of what and who we are, and how we may properly related to our selves and to each other. If those conceptions lack integrity, so also will we and our disintegrative associations with each other. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================