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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.} ========================================================== %TRUE SELF OTHER UNDERSTANDING IMPOSSIBLE COLLUSIVE 910607 We cannot understand ourselves or each other so long as we are participating in collusive games of mutual self deception---motivated by ideals of perfect conformity to ideal images of "better" selves which do not correspond to our true self. If we are engaged in systematic patterns of self deception, how can we hope to be clear about anything, how can we hope to understand anything? We cannot understand ourselves. We cannot understand each other. We are alienated from ourselves and from each other if we systematically deceive ourselves and each other. Evil does not originate in the actions of a Devil who is outside of us. Evil originates within our systematic collusive games of mutual self deception; in our personal and communal addictions and codependencies. Such dishonest games alienate us from our selves and from each other, and make understanding and wise decisions impossible. To understand evil, ourselves and each other, we need to understand what we are doing to ourselves in our futile attempts to conform ourselves dishonestly to ideal images of what we "should" be, images which do not conform to our true selves. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================