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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.} ========================================================== %CLARIFY NATURAL CONSEQUENCES ASSUMPTION GOOD DEVIL+030328 %NATURE EVIL PEOPLE RELATIONSHIPS PERCEPTIONS DEALS+030328 %MISGUIDED MOTIVATED DIRECTED COMMANDED INTENTIONS+030328 %WORTHY CHILDREN GOD SEED ORIGIN CAUSES EFFECTS SIN+030328 %CONFORMITY EXPECTATION DEMANDS ALIENATION ESTRANGE+030328 %INDIVIDUALS PEOPLE REJECT DIALOGUE PARTICIPATE GOD 030328 We need to clarify the consequences of our working in terms of assumptions about what is "good", and about what is "evil". What we do about our perceptions of "evil" flow from our assumptions about: (1) The nature of "evil" (2) The natural consequences that flow from how we try to deal with the "evil" that we perceive. If we are misguided by our assumptions about "evil" --- our best intentions are likely to lead us to augment "evil", rather than mitigate/reduce "evil". In a similar way we need to clarify the consequences of our working in terms of our assumptions about who is "good" and so is worthy of being a participant in dialogue with us. Buried in our assumptions may be the seeds of evil-relationships which we are not ready, willing and/or able to recognize as the true origins of the "evil" that troubles us in our daily lives. We need to talk about the following questions: Is "evil" related primarily to "non-conformity" or to "alienation"? How are "alienation" and "non-conformity" related to each other? How are they related to domineering expectations of "conformity"? Is "conformity" the essence of being "good"; of "good beings"? Is "non-conformity" the essences of being "evil"; of evil-beings?" Which of the following realities can truly be "evil"? 1. A color? 2. A musical note? 3. A piece of rock? 4. A body of water, a lake, a river, an ocean? 5. A farm field? 6. A true statement? 7. An accurate description? 8. A true story? 9. A mutual and gracious friendship? 10. An occasion of reconciliation? 11. A new kind/form of cooperation? 12. A new way of graciously sharing power? 13. A new form of hospitality/conflict-resolution? 14. A new form of communal integrity? 15. A new form of personal integrity? 16. The transcendence of conformity as normative? 17. A creative person? 18. A truly honest person? 19. A healthy person? 20. An authentic person? Are people ever "evil" in the absence of "evil- relationships? Can previously "good-people" become alienated because of unresolved conflicts between their mutually exclusive ideals, values and goals? Can/do "evil-people" appear (come into being?) as such outside of "evil-relationships"? At what point in the process does "evil" appear to participants in "evil-relationships"? Within "alienation" or within "individual human beings"? Where can "evil" best be reduced/mitigated? In individuals or within relationships? Can "evil" be mitigated in the absence of: (1) Violence? (2) Reconciliation? (3) Coercion? (4) Healing? (5) Domination? (6) Forgiveness? (7) Dishonesty? (8) Integrations? (9) Deception? (10) Honesty? (11) Secrecy? (12) Cooperation? (13) Dictators? (14) Mediators? (15) Wars? (16) Shalom? How many of the odd-numbered items on the left can be absent and "evil" still be mitigated? How many of the even-numbered items on the right can be absent and "evil" still be mitigated? Is there a notable pattern in the above? How many and what kinds of people can discern and helpfully talk about the notable pattern? (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================