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Implications of the Seven Deadly Sins in society
Socialism and Centralization
Socialism fails on the second element because of pride and greed. Socialism assumes that, given freedom, humans will organize themselves for the common good. Not so. People who are given positions of power will organize to further control that power and use the power to obtain wealth and privileges for themselves. Such systems only replace one form of rich / poor inequality with another.
But even if people in power positions can control their greed, centralization of complex issues fails because of the limitations of human intelligence. Centralization is only efficient when the number of elements and goals is small. Winning a small war does well with a centralized command. Controlling how a population functions does very badly with centralized control. This is so because the structure needed to monitor, analyze and control the complexity and to align it with a small number of centralized goals soon exceeds human capabilities.”
"I’m tempted to jump in here and say that this explains why capitalism is the better alternative. But I think Ben has made me question this.”
“Be careful how you think about capitalism. I think that capitalism, as an ideal, is substantially better than socialism. HOWEVER, the way we implement capitalism is so full of faults that the results are only slightly better than socialism and way below the potentials that capitalism might produce. Some of its faults are so severe that without desperate measures, capitalism would wreck irreparable havoc in the world.
Capitalism essentially just gives control of production and commercial issues to private companies and individuals. Since the Seven Deadly Sins are descriptions of how individuals are driven to excess by their human nature, the problems caused by ALL of the Seven Deadly Sins apply to capitalism. That ironically puts capitalism at higher risk of corruption than socialism since socialism is restrained by sloth and greed in both the population and the leaders.”
"I don’t get this. If socialism has fewer risks, then why are you and Ben so against it and why isn’t it a better choice than capitalism?”
“You should have that discussion with Ben again. But in short, let me draw a comparison to heating a house. If you heat a house with fire, you can make that house as warm as you’d like. But there is a big risk. It’s also easy to burn the house down. On the other hand, if you heat a house with sunlight, you are pretty safe. Unfortunately, on cold and cloudy days, you are not likely to be very warm. I think that socialism is doomed to be a cold, damp and dreary house because most of the people will be doing the least that they can to survive. Capitalism, however, has the energy to do almost anything. Many of the people will be pushing themselves to high goals. The rest will contribute only what they need to just to make due. At the same time, without very important controls, which we clearly don’t have, corruption will flourish and power will concentrate. Many people will be taken advantage of for the benefit of only a few and the house will burn down.”
"OK. I can understand this as applied to the commercial elements of society, but what about the social elements? I’m sure there is an important role for the Seven Deadly Sins in that as well. You know, democracy for example?”
“Very much so, and in very negative ways. To talk about this, why don’t you give me a short summary of Democracy, so we’ll both know we’re on the same page.”
"Whoa! The last time I did this, Ben shoved a few boots down my throat?”
“I’ll have to admit, he’s got me to stick my feet in my mouth a few times as well.”
"OK then. DEMOCRACY - a form of government where the goals and directions of society are developed by the people and managed by elected officials! How’s that?”
“Not bad. And I bet you think that’s the kind of government we have in the U.S. It would be great if that were the case. But in fact, it’s almost exactly opposite of what you said. That is, where the goals and directions come from and how the managers are selected is exactly the opposite of that.
The word Democracy comes from the Greek words demos and kratos and means ‘rule by the people’. But in modern practice, what we usually find is a government that runs a competitive voting system to elect leaders. In the form of a Republic, however, the leaders are not even elected directly by the people. Instead, the public elects delegates and representatives. The representatives then nominate the candidates. The representatives then vote to choose the leaders by ‘majority rule’. The point is, it is these representatives, the media and the special interest groups who decide what issues are important, how they will be structured, how they will be discussed and who will be allowed to run for office. They structure and write the proposed laws. The laws are then managed by a very diverse system of agencies.
Before the world discovered democracy, people were ruled by authoritarian leaders. Those leaders were typically driven by the Seven Deadly Sins. The result was enslavement of large segments of society by a privileged few. The ancient Greeks made a major change in this by inventing democracy, which was then carried forward by the Romans. However, under the pressure of many competing autocracies, early democracy was suppressed by armed conflict. Then came the Christian dark ages where the suppression of individual freedom in the west moved into the hands of the Catholic Church. During the Renaissance and the middle ages, the suppression of individual freedom passed back into the hands of national monarchies - the kings, czars and emperors. It is only recently in the entire history of the human race, that the pendulum has swung back toward individual freedom. That all started with the American Revolution.”
"Wow! You know, after all the time I spent studying history in high school, what you just told me never jumped out so clearly. What you are saying is that democracy is just now again seeing the light of day. You are also saying that it was the American Revolution that did this?”
“Correct. The revolutions in Europe occurred AFTER the American revolution But what I also want to make sure you realize, and I’m sure this is a point that Ben was also trying to make, the world is VERY, VERY far from making individual freedom universal. Most of the countries in the world are still monarchies. Most people in the world still do not have individual FREEDOM! And the key word here is: FREEDOM.”
"Wow! Again, the impact of what you are saying just never came across in school. And the role of democracy was the key. Wow.”
“NO! It was NOT democracy. And that is the other point you really need to understand. Democracy is still in the dark ages! FREEDOM is the key. And we are still a long way from achieving that.”
"Ben really made a strong point about that. Freedom and democracy are very different things.”
“Absolutely! A lynch mob is a democracy. When Americans go to the polls and vote on something, and the vote is, say 51% to 49%, then 49% of our population has had their freedom taken away from them. This is what is called the TYRANNY OF THE VOTE or ‘tyranny of the majority’. That’s why I’m telling you, democracy is still in the dark ages.”
"OK. OK. Ben was pretty clear about that. I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time understanding this.”
“Nanook. You do understand it. You are just having a hard time accepting it. And that’s completely understandable considering how our society has been brainwashed. And here’s where the Seven Deadly Sins come back into the picture.
People have been sold a bill of goods about democracy. Because human intelligence is so limited, we are easy to fool when we don’t have clear alternatives to consider. And by ‘clear alternatives’ I’m not talking about theory. People don’t do well with lectures or written descriptions. They need to see things in practice. That’s the problem. We don’t have better examples of democracy than the one we are in to compare with. So making improvements is not easy.
Ben can give you descriptions for substantial improvements. And let’s say that some small country adopted them. Even then, if it involves making any major changes in an existing social structure, people would be very resistant to do it. They would rather suffer in their old ways than change to new ones.
So, what about doing it piecemeal. The Seven Deadly Sins tell us that anyone given power will try to hold on to it. They are simply reacting to false pride, greed, lust etc. So, in our current political structure, the people who have positions of power will all fight to hang on to it. The primary way they do this is by resisting any changes. The next question is why do the rest of the people put up with it? Why don’t they simply overthrow the power structure that denies them freedom? Again, look to the Seven Deadly Sins for an answer.
You already know some of the methods of manipulating people. Things like Single Sentence Logic, confusion and fear. One of the current social structures that allows us to believe that we are not being, quote, ‘ruled’ by an autocratic government is that we are given the ‘right’ to vote. But this is nonsense because most of the votes we take are carefully scripted by the people in power through manipulation of the media. The people in power first decide on a limited set of alternatives that they can live with. The objective is not getting the best result for society. The objective is preservation of the power structure and the personal privileges that go along with it. Once they have a set of alternatives that will work for them, NO MATTER WHICH WAY THE VOTES GO, then the people are whipped up into a competitive frenzy. They are told they have to choose the RIGHT WAY. And if they choose wrong, the world will collapse. It’s all such a con game.
Seven Deadly Sins used to justify the acceptance of voting as freedom
So the specific question is, ‘how does the government manipulate the Seven Deadly Sins to drive people to believe voting is their savior and not continue their struggle for freedom?’ Let’s do this by the book and look at the sins one by one.
Pride - people want to believe that they are special. So, they are told voting is DEMOCRACY, which is the voice of the people, which eliminated the monarchy of kings, and that their voice is being heard. This pumps up their pride. They want to be part of that. The fact that their role is a LIE or that much of the time they don’t get their way, is easily overlooked.
Greed - each person wants to believe that they are getting their fair share, that they are somehow privileged based on some supernatural protection. They will even delude themselves into believing this is happening if it only happens now and then. This is the whole theory behind why people gamble. To humans, voting is like gambling. As long as they sometimes win, or even see others sometimes win, their greed is satisfied, at least until the next election.
Let me read a comment about this from Robert Ringer’s book How to find happiness during the collapse of Western Civilization.”
- “The typical ills, sexual promiscuity, drugs, violence, are symptoms, not causes. The cause was the rise of majority rule over individualism… Democracy without limits fails due to greed and envy, of both people and leaders, implemented through the word ‘need’. Need has been equated to ‘rights’.”
"I always wandered about that. It seemed to me the things people claimed they NEEDED covered almost every imaginable thing.”
“You’re right. This is the drive of greed. And as long as people can vote using Single Sentence Logic, and have the support of the production and advertising industry, they will try to fill their greed by voting to give themselves things. Unfortunately, greed will blind them to any concern for who has to pay for it.
OK. How about Lust?“
"Ah ha! So far I’ll buy your story. But this is going to be good.”
“Nanook. Have faith - in the Seven Deadly Sins that is. Lust is one of the strongest drives in humans. It cries out for freedom. But government, like religion, understands the power value of controlling it. This brings us right back to voting. To make people feel they have freedom, they are offered voting. In the case of lust, it is just indirect. The people get to vote, vicariously, by watching their representatives vote. To do this, bill after bill is brought up related to a standard set of sex related issues: nudity, graphic images, graphic language and the result of sexual activity – i.e. abortion. The thing to note, however, is the total absence of legislation against the double standard.”
"This is unbelievable.”
"There is so much you don’t know. Remember what I said about politicians loading the dice on issues by first selecting alternatives they can live with either way they go. Politicians are into lust in a big way. Their personal involvement with lust is a big problem. The history of politics is a history of sexual scandal. So, they fill the laws with smoke screen votes around issues that don’t point to them personally. They also keep this topic taboo so it will keep being stirred up. The religions are stirred to preach against all kinds of sexual excess. The clergy does it every Sunday in church. And there are laws on the books against many sex practices. But, when it comes to taking action, when it comes to actually penalizing it, you will see a lot of action only if it points away from the politicians. And the votes, whether for or against nudity, pornography or writing, are aimed far away from the activities that politician get involved with.
Here. Let me give you another issue to watch that will prove this point. Watch hem lines!”
"Hemlines? You mean how long women’s skirts are?”
"Correct. Skirts, bathing suits, the amount of female skin we are allowed to view on magazine covers, in movies and on TV. Where does this point?”
"I see what you mean. It’s a big smoke screen for the personal sexual antics of politicians.”
"Precisely! And what goes on is way more extensive than you’ll ever know. Let’s go on.
Anger - Remember, the anger that is presented as one of the Seven Deadly Sins is about power and control. So, the whole idea of a political system in which the winning political party gets ALL the, quote, ‘spoils’ is part of this. It’s not about sharing. It’s not about letting each person somehow win. It’s about voting and then forcing others to do what the new power figure wants.”
"So, you’re saying that even though we talk about democracy as the key to freedom, the current structure is set up to allow aggressive people to still rule over others?”
"PRECISELY! If there were a way for almost everyone to decide for themselves how things should be, the power figures in our world would fight this. It would leave them weak. It would drive them crazy. It would be like trying to form a heard of stallions. It would be like getting a group of violent prisoners to work together. Look at all the effort our country goes through to control this through sports.”
"Again, Ben did talk quite a bit about how the elites in any civilization are driven to maintain control.”
“Gluttony - again, I’m going to skip over this.
Envy - Think about any group of people when it comes to dividing taxes. What case have you ever seen where that group got together and said, ‘hey, we’ve got a huge pile of cash here. Let’s give it to another city because they really need it.’ Not a chance. So, the whole issue of voting on bills in congress was made up to let people think they are getting their fair share. If another city or state gets a certain type of funding, say for road construction, then every other city and state wants their FAIR SHARE. And how are they deluded into believing that this is happening? Because their senators and congressmen are allowed to VOTE on bills. But anyone who understands the details of how bills in congress are put together will understand what a sham the whole process of voting is. The money is already divided in the committee process. By the time the vote is taken on the floor, the whole issue becomes a political battle for reasons mostly unrelated to what is in the bill.
Sloth - So how in the world can being lazy have anything to do with voting?”
"I think I can figure that out. Selecting people for a very important position like president has to take a lot of work to be done right. Writing a law has to take even more work. People are much too lazy to do it. So, they let the system do all the work of picking out the candidates and selecting the criteria that we are supposed to apply to pick them. Our role is then just to cast our ballots.”
"Right. And your points are very important. The system tells us what the important questions are which we are supposed to ask.”
A Medical example
"This is totally unbelievable. Are you really sure about this? I mean, even about medical people?”
"OK. Let me give you some examples. Have you ever heard of acupuncture?”
"Sure. The Chinese use very fine needles they put in special locations, to fight pain and some illnesses.”
"Correct. And how long ago do you think the Chinese knew about this?”
"Hmmm . . . I don’t know. It could be quite a long time ago.”
"Exactly. Try 200 B.C. By the time of Christ, the Chinese had a pretty complete knowledge of how the human body worked. They commonly dissected the bodies of executed prisoners to study how humans functioned. They knew all the body systems: the circulation of the blood, the lungs and breathing, the lymph and nerve systems. Acupuncture was a method they developed to stimulate the nerves. If you map the system of lines, called meridians, that they use to guide where they put the acupuncture needles, on to the human body, you’ll find they fall right on top of nerve and lymph fibers. You’d think this would be pretty valuable knowledge, right?”
"So, why didn’t this knowledge come to western medicine?”
"Hmmm . . . Good question.”
"Good question, is right. It didn’t come to Europe because the Catholic Church banned it. The closest the Church came to discovering the circulation of the blood was from the lead branch patterns that resulted during the torture they practiced during the Inquisition. To torture a person, molten lead was poured into their blood vessels. It hardened into a branching structure like a tree branch. Of course the process killed the person. And when their tissue decayed, the lead branches were left.”
"I can’t believe this. This is scary.”
"My point is, the preaching of one church was able to interrupt pretty advanced medical care for over 2000 years. And we are still not over that. The medical system and guild structures that developed during the dark ages, plus the plague of socialism, still control modern society. These structures control medical care PRIMARILY to maintain high wages for the members of the professional medical societies. The medical schools are controlled by both the government and medical societies to maintain existing medical practices. The drug companies control drug development PRIMARILY to keep people chronically dependent on drugs and reap huge financial rewards. The hospitals are controlled by the government through extremely tight regulations in ways that remove all the incentives for them to improve treatment methods. What’s the result? The average person gets screwed.
And in the face of a major plague, think about what criteria will be used to decide who lives and who dies? What if a new virus appears that is spread by sexual contact, like syphilis. Think about the religious overtones in that. And millions of people might die because they don’t comply with the rules of what ever religions have the ear of the politicians.”
"Wow. This is really scary. So your point is, human thinking, and probably thinking driven by the Seven Deadly Sins, has become the new evolutionary force.”
**Hulk and Grim explain the Seven Deadly Sins
"Exactly. But what I’ve described is actually much more profound than that. With Hulk and Grim, you can now explain the foundation for most of the Seven Deadly Sins. But more important, look at my statement the other way around. If Hulk and Grim are actually wired this way, then the related Seven Deadly Sins are inevitable, unless we can reverse hundreds of millions of years of evolution. But it get’s worse. Page 37:”
- “If all the needs are unsatisfied, and the organism is then dominated by the physiological needs, all other needs may become simply nonexistent or be pushed into the background. It is then fair to characterize the whole organism by saying simply that it is hungry, for consciousness is almost entirely preempted by hunger. All capacities are put into the service of hunger-satisfaction… Capacities not useful for this purpose lie dormant. …. When it is dominated by a certain need… the whole philosophy of the future tends also to change ….”
"While Maslow was talking about an extreme situation here where all needs are unsatisfied, I think this applies even when just a bunch of major needs are not satisfied. That is, ALL needs don’t have to be unsatisfied for a major breakdown to occur. In that case, the person still goes off the deep end. So, we are likely to see a lot of people in our society in very bad shape. BUT, it still get’s worse. Page 47:”
- “There are certain conditions that are [perceived to be] immediate prerequisites for the basic need satisfactions. Danger to these is reacted to as if it were direct danger to the basic needs themselves: freedom to speak, to act, to investigate and seek information, to defend, justice, fairness, honesty. Let me just mention in passing another book that came out at the same time as Maslow’s book: Ethics in a Business Society by Marquis Childs. In this book, a set of traits were listed that were compatible with Maslow’s higher level functions. Childs classified them as goals of society. Page 171. “…love is primary; then fellowship, dignity, humility, enlightenment, esthetic enjoyment, creativity, new experience, security, freedom and justice.”
"So, Maslow was telling us, in essence, that Hulk and Grim have a hair trigger. No wonder people are so quick to attack each other.”
**Bleeding hearts – the fear of death
And now I see that this explains what Ben called the bleeding heart problem. Ben said to talk to you about that and how it relates to fear.”
“Right he is. The driver of bleeding heart logic is fear. When people have a severe trauma in their life, especially involving pain, Grim records it. When that experience is triggered, the person is thrown into a fight or flight conflict. If the person is weak on A3 skills, all they have to consult is their Single Sentence Logic view of the word. The higher the level of fear driving them, the more narrow view they will take to solve the problem because the high pain is seeking a quick solution.”
"I get it. And this is the model for people who choose to fight, right?
“Exactly! Blind focus on a quick solution to relieving the pain.”
“What if they choose to run? I guess that means, they’ve abdicated responsibility?”
“Exactly! But understand the details. They’ve abdicated responsibility for the care of OTHERS. They haven’t abdicated responsibility for self preservation.”
"And why make that distinction?
“Because it explains what appears as a very strange human behavior: why conservative voters keep demanding less government. Our current society is way too complex to let it be guided by individual decisions. But many people don’t have much A3 ability. Therefore, they can’t comprehend a larger picture. These are the conservatives. They can’t envision the workings of a complex society. So they can’t envision how to fix it. But their fears keep haunting them. So they chose the FLIGHT response. The run away from organization. They run toward what they perceive as FREEDOM.”
"Ah! Now I see. And for them, freedom is satisfying because their middle and thinker brains equate freedom with CONTROL. Wow! This does simplify things a lot doesn’t it?”
"Exactly! You’re catching on. So, let’s see if you can use the model to think through a problem. What would this say about a person who has struck it rich in the stock market and sits at home watching a big screen TV while people are starving?”
**Fear - the driver behind the first six Deadly Sins
"Wow! Clear as a bell: the Seven Deadly Sins!
"EXACTLY! And with all we’ve said, can you now finger the root cause behind the Seven Deadly Sins?”
" Yep! Clear as a bell. My guess . . . for the $64,000 prize: – THE FEAR OF DEATH!”
"Well done. And more profound than you realize. So for the fat cat with the big screen TV, let’s take them from the top.”
Pride. The benefit of pride is an association with others, either directly, or through things that they value. A major benefit of association is protection. So, check, fear of death.
Greed. The benefit of greed is accumulation of some asset. The benefit of accumulation of assets is having resources during times of shortage. Resources during a shortage can keep you alive. So, check, fear of death.
“What about the greed for power?”
"Hmmmmm . . . Sure. That’s simple. Someone who has power is able to stave off threats that could kill him. Which reminds me. Father V said to ask you about that. He used a quote from Nietzsche. ”
“Sure! Let me get that. Here it is.”
- “The physiologists should take heed before they assume self-preservation as the cardinal drive of an organic being. Above all, a living thing wants to discharge its energy: life as such is: will to power.”
“Scientists keep saying that evolution is driven by the desire for procreation. But the primitive Hulk brain is not able to comprehend time. Understanding procreation would require understanding the multiple events and long time periods involved. Hulk takes a much simpler approach. Over eons of time, he has evolved to drive for specific actions that cause a new life to be started. This is what leads to lust. This is what Nietzsche figured out. His extension to power can be understood in a similar way.”
“Interesting. Lust. All animals are driven to sex for reproduction. They are driven to it, by Hulk, when they don’t have enough of it. But I think you just explained that, for lust, the fear that the genetic line of that person will end is really an indirect fear.”
“Anger. People usually get angry when they are afraid of something. Father V said anger was the emotional process that converted fear into violence. So, one step removed, but still, fear of death.
Gluttony. An over compensation for the fear of starvation. Check.
Envy. Someone else has something you don’t have. This triggers your greed on a relative basis. What catastrophe are they aware of that they are ready for, that you aren’t. Fear of death.
Morals driven by the Seven Deadly Sins
So, let’s take the problem beyond the religious books. What if we just approach morality on a philosophical basis. The problem then falls back squarely on the Seven Deadly Sins. Or, in the words of Bertrand Russell:”
- “The reason we need morals is because humans have conflicting desires.”
Equality under the law limited by the Seven Deadly Sins
[Nanook is talking with Ben]
This leaves us with the phrase ‘equal in the EYES of the law’. A fundamental ASSUMPTION of democracy has to be that people must be given some form of equality in the structure of society. But because we have been blinded by religious superiority, society hasn’t been able to have the discussions needed to figure out how to make sense of this statement. The result is, the ‘eyes of the law’ turn into the ‘HANDS of the law’ as interpreted by the local owners of those hands. So social equality is a failure. People’s equality is pushed around by the same forces of corruption that drive business and politics. It requires A3 thinking to even understand how to construct an equality principle. This hasn’t been done yet. And given the pieces of such a principle that we do have from the past sages, with implementation in the hands of A2’s, it’s total bedlam. Why? Come on Nanook. Fill in the blank. Because of the …”
"I KNOW, I know . . . the Seven Deadly Sins.”
Collapse of society will be due to the Seven Deadly Sins
In his book Travels in Hyper Reality, Umberto Eco already discussed how this disruption is likely to go. He made a very strong case that modern society will fall back into a ‘dark ages’. He compared our future with the stages of the collapse of Rome. The scary part is we can already see the symptoms he talked about unfolding. We’ll surely know in the next 50 years or so. Let me read a few paragraphs. Page 74.”
- “What is required to make a good Middle Ages? First of all, a great peace that is breaking down, a great international power that has unified the world in language, customs, ideologies, religions, art, and technology, and then at a certain point, thanks to its own ungovernable complexity, collapses. It collapses because the "barbarians" are pressing at its borders; these barbarians are not necessarily uncultivated, but they are bringing new customs, new views of the world. These barbarians may burst in with violence, because they want to seize a wealth that has been denied them, or they may steal into the social and cultural body of the reigning Pax, spreading new faiths and new perspectives of life.
- At the beginning of its fall, the Roman empire is not undermined by the Christian ethic; it has already undermined itself by syncretically welcoming Alexandrian culture and the Oriental cult of Mithra or Astarte, toying with magic, new sexual ethics, various hopes and images of salvation. It has received new racial components… it has retained its division of wealth but has watered down the distinctions among social roles, nor could it do otherwise. It has witnessed phenomena of rapid acculturations, has raised to government men of races that two hundred years earlier would have been considered inferior, has relaxed the dogmata of many theologies. In the same period the government can worship the classical gods, the soldiers can worship Mithra, and the slaves, Jesus. Instinctively the faith that, in a remote way, seems most lethal to the system is persecuted, but as a rule a great repressive tolerance allows everything to be accepted.
- The collapse of the Great Pax (at once military, civil, social, and cultural) initiates a period of economic crisis and power vacuum… It is a commonplace of present-day historiography that we are living through the crisis of the Pax Americana. It would be childish to fix in a precise image the ‘new barbarians,’... It would be hard to say whether they are the Chinese or the peoples of the Third World or the young protest generation or the Puerto Rican immigrants who are turning New York into a Spanish-speaking city. For that matter, who were the barbarians in the centuries of the decline of the empire: the Huns, the Goths, or the Asiatic and African peoples, who involved the hub of the empire in their trade and their religions? The only specific thing that was disappearing was the Roman, just as the Liberal is disappearing today…
- In the homes of suburbia the average crew-cut executive still personifies the Roman of ancient virtues; but in the '60's … his son let his hair grow in Indian style, wore a Mexican poncho, played the sitar, read Buddhist texts or Leninist pamphlets… A series of minorities, rejecting integration, form clans, and each clan picks a neighborhood that becomes its own center, often inaccessible… the well-to-do classes who, pursuing the myth of nature, withdraw from the city to the garden suburbs with their own shopping malls, bringing other types of microsocieties into existence…
- In this framework of permanent civil war, marked by the clash of opposing minorities, without a center, the cities will tend more and more to become what we already find in certain Latin American localities, inured to guerrilla warfare, where the fragmentation of the social body is appropriately symbolized by the fact that the doorman of an apartment is customarily armed with a submachine gun. In these same cities public buildings look like fortresses, and some, the presidential residences, for instance, are surrounded by a kind of earthwork to protect them against bazooka attack’... The city is filled with immigrants, but is drained of its old inhabitants, who use it to work in then run off to the fortified suburbs. Manhattan is approaching the point where nearly all its inhabitants will be nonwhite… while on the surrounding hills and in the plains patrician castles spring up…
- The early Middle Ages are characterized also by a marked technological decline and by the impoverishment of the rural areas…the consumer society at its maximum level does not produce perfect objects, but rather little machines that are highly perishable… in the countryside we see deforestation, abandonment of cultivation, pollution of water, atmosphere, and vegetation, the extinction of animal species… the semi-nomad medieval society was a society of unsafe journeys; setting out meant making your will … and traveling meant encountering bandits, vagabond hordes, and wild animals. But the concept of the modem journey as a masterpiece of comfort and safety has long since come to grief, and boarding a jet through the various electronic checkpoints and searches to avoid hijacking restores perfectly the ancient sense of adventurous insecurity… ‘Insecurity’ is a key word… As for our own time, the recurrent themes of atomic and ecological catastrophe suffice to indicate vigorous apocalyptic currents… In the Middle Ages a wanderer in the woods at night saw them peopled with maleficent presences; one did not lightly venture beyond the town; men went armed. This condition is close to that of the white middle-class inhabitant of New York, who doesn't set foot in Central Park after five in the afternoon or who makes sure not to get off the subway in Harlem by mistake, nor does he take the subway alone after midnight…”
"Scary. He’s obviously talking about the U.S. Recall, this will NOT be the first major society to crash in modern times. Each of the countries of Europe had their time on the stage. They were warned. But because of the Seven Deadly Sins, and the current political structures, the leaders and politicians will never accept the responsibility to institute such changes. So, due to the ‘LEGACY PROBLEM’, society is always forced to change through collapse and rebirth.”
Basic principles for stability
[Nanook is talking with Ben - &, Father Vincent +, and George %]
&"Let me read something from Bertrand Russell.”
- “It has at last become technically possible, through the progress of machinery and the consequent increased productivity of labor, to create a society in which every man and woman has economic security and sufficient leisure … But although the technical possibility exists, there are formidable political and psychological obstacles. It would be necessary to the creation of such a society to secure three conditions: first, a more even distribution of the produce of labor; second, security against large scale wars; and third, a population which is stationary ( stable in size ). Until these condition are secured, industrialism will continue to be used feverishly, to increase the wealth of the richest individuals, the territory of the greatest empires, and the population of the most populous nations, no one of which is of the slightest benefit to mankind.”
&"Did you hear that last statement: ‘no one of which is of the slightest benefit to mankind.’ This is the Seven Deadly Sins at work on the global scale.”
- “The obstacles to a better utilization of our new power over nature are all psychological, for the political obstacles have psychological sources. In a world where there was leisure and economic security for all, the happiness of all would be greater than that of ninety-nine percent of the present inhabitants of the planet. Why, then, do the 99% not combine to overcome the resistance of the privileged 1%? Partly from inertia; partly because they can be swayed by appeals to hatred, fear, and envy. INSTEAD OF COMBINING TO PRODUCE COLLECTIVE HAPPINESS, MEN COMPETE AND PRODUCE COLLECTIVE MISERY.”
&"Did you hear that last statement?”
"I know, I know, the Seven Deadly Sins on a global scale.”
&"Bingo! How clear can it be.”
- “Since this competition among subject populations is useful to the holders of power, they encourage it, under the name of “patriotism”, in the schools and the press. Consequently the worst elements in human nature are artificially strengthened , and everything possible is done to prevent the realization that cooperation, not competition, is the road to happiness.”
+ "And that’s why a commandment is needed to stop this crisis. But also to give direction to the solution.
Commandment seven: Thou shalt not permit unfairness.
+"Do you see the similarity in thinking between this commandment, the previous one and proportionate rewards? The difference is that the rewards commandment was focused mostly on financial compensation. The efficiency commandment was focused mostly on processes. Fairness is focused primarily on outcomes.
What does fairness mean? Society is going to have to figure that out. It surely doesn’t mean equality. We’ve put that to rest. What it means is balancing alternatives. So the role of the individual is to become logical enough in their thinking to understand absolute fairness.”
"You’re going to have to explain that Father.”
+"The principle of being absolute means to be consistent with basic assumptions. Humans don’t like that. They want to eat their cake and have it too.
&"So, the ‘rejection of unfairness’ commandment becomes a foundation to establish values that describe true pride, stop greed, restrain anger, and temper envy. False pride comes from pride that is based on performance that isn’t there. Greed and envy come from an assumption that a person has a right to more than they’ve earned. To believe that, they have to believe that they are unfairly being denied something. Anger is often based on an assumption of unfairness which is not there. ”
%"Finally the Seven Deadly Sins get their due attention.”
+"Precisely! And that’s the key to implementing this commandment. Society needs to clarify the psychological drives and situations that rile up the Seven Deadly Sins. They then need to describe the rational basis for all of the false assumptions that people make. That creates the foundation for fairness. Once a foundation for fairness is laid out, then individuals can give up their ulcers.”
%"More true than you think. One of the greatest causes of cognitive mental illness is the lack of a sound universal value system. People feel mistreated. It causes ulcers and depression. It blocks paths to recovery. Good selection making this commandment seven. If we can make it work, it will truly be a lucky seven.”
Commandment 12: Thou shalt study the Seven Deadly Sins.
+"The role of the government in this commandment is to support the study of the psychology behind these human behaviors until we understand practical ways to counter them.”
%"This is what we discussed related to bleeding heart psychology. Society can’t just tell people to be rational. The instinct of FEAR is way too strong. So, we must develop stop gaps until the fears from early human development can be bread out of the human brain. Who knows. We might find a whole new set of fears that should be bread into people to deal with the new world. The fear of ugliness or a fear of environmental damage might be useful.”
Need for Personal development
The most important one is personal development. George, do you want to comment on this?”
% ( George ) "Sure. The Seven Deadly Sins will be with humans for quite awhile. A2 brains will dominate society. To overcome these limitations,, people will have to continually study the limitations of these human traits and learn to overcome them. Commandments 12 through 14 address that. This requires a personal commitment to the ongoing process of discussion and exploration of the fundamental social issues.”
+ "That’s where the National Opinion Collection System comes in. Everyone in the society should be involved in building this structure. That takes involvement and substantial commitment.”
"It sounds like everyone will have to become a philosopher.”
+ "Precisely! That’s what it says. And that’s where the responsibility comes in. The Seven Deadly Sins will drive people to be lazy. In the new society, being lazy will be accepted, but it will also be matched with an appropriate reward. What people need to see is the justice of that system. And when they can’t, they will need medical attention.”
"Whoa, whoa! Are you saying that people who don’t agree with the system are automatically insane?”
%"So naïve, the young one. Nanook. Mr. Grim is pulling your chain. If the new society is based on reality, and a person can’t understand that, or rejects it, how else would you define their behavior?”
"Ugh… well… Can’t people just have their own opinions?”
%"Sure, commandment 3 - respect the individual.. But not without having those opinions challenged against reality. The actual guidance comes from Commandment 11:‘do not deny material reality.”
"Now it sounds like I’m in a Bible study class.”
+ "Nanook. Your house of cards is falling down. There’s going to be a lot of confusion for you. Grim will tell you to fight or run. You need to resist those feelings. Just hold your ground. You don’t have to react. It’s time to learn. And there is nothing wrong with Bibles. You just need to use the ones that are reality based, like the ones you use for engineering.
Commandment 4: rewards in proportion to social contribution
+ "George. I think this is your territory.”
%"And it’s a tough one. The objective of this commandment for individuals is to learn how to identify and fight the drives of the Seven Deadly Sins in themselves. On one hand, people easily agree that, quote, ‘everyone’ should be rewarded in proportion to what they contribute. But the words aren’t off their tongues before they are looking for special privileges. And when they do something wrong, they look for a way out, rather than looking for learning. The reason I say this is so hard is because teaching people to understand this and practice it is one of the core functions of all religions. And even with the threat of eternal damnation, or the struggle of having to live thousands of reincarnations, humans, as a RULE, can’t do it. So, we are going to have to be more clever than all the great sages of history to pull this off.”
&"Yeah? So, don’t you think we can do it?”
+ "Gentlemen! Gentlemen! Sheath your swords! The answer is a resounding YES. And why do I say that? Nanook. Do you want to tell us?”
"Yeah RIGHT! Like I’m Aristotle or something.”
+ "Aristotle is a good start. Keep going.”
"What? What do you mean a good START? Do you mean like Plato, or Socrates, or Confucius or something?”
+ "Keep going!”
"Keep going? Keep going? . . . . . .
Oh yeah. Now I get it. It’s so funny. All of these guys have already been working for ages to help us find the answers.”
+ "Precisely! No human in history could ever have figured this out alone. And we haven’t come to the end of the road either. BUT, we can take the knowledge of the ages and assemble our corner of the puzzle. As far as George’s concern, I’ve already heard him describe multiple systems that, working together, can go a long way to solving this problem.
So, musketeers. Fill your coffee cups. Onwards!”
Commandment 5: promote sustainable life for man and the environment
This is a conflict between material reality and the Seven Deadly Sins. Humans want to avoid anything that doesn’t bring them direct gain and deny things that can potentially bring them harm. When they encounter things that will bring them gain, they want as much as they can get. For individuals to comply with this commandment, they have to understand the limits set by the earth, and do their part to achieve an optimal plan.
&"Remember what I read from Marquis Childs: ‘The root of the evil is that we have production in excess of our ability to use it intelligently’. Individuals need help to understand how to find happiness for them. They must then focus on that. They must also control themselves and not go chasing things at the bottom of their wish list before they achieve the things at the top of the list.
Commandment 7: Thou shalt not permit unfairness
%"This is also going to be a hard one. The Seven Deadly Sins will relentlessly drive people to think that others are getting a better deal than they are. So, to comply with this commandment in a way that isn’t hypocritical, people will need to learn how to accept the provisions of the Social Contract and see how their mind will try to distort for the worst what they see as their own status in the system.”
+ "So, again, a large number of social rewards will have to be offered to people who play by the rules so they learn how to respond in an adequate way. And for those who don’t, the current approach to punishment, i.e. fines and jail, needs to be either replaced or supported by social pressure.”
"So, give me an example.”
+ "Sure. The SCARLET LETTER.”
+ "You know what that is, don’t you?”
"Sure. Hester Prynne - Nathanial Hawthorne.”
+ "Precisely! So, here is a case where the baby was thrown out with the bath water. Social stigma is a huge factor for people driven by the Deadly Sin of pride. So, we can play that game both ways. People who commit minimal crimes can be forced to wear special clothes or markings on their clothes during their rehabilitation.
Commandment 8: live in harmony with nature; recognize man’s animal nature
+ "You sure are good with those commandments. As I mentioned before, I want to say that ‘living in harmony with nature’ here does not mean creating a sustainable society. That was commandment five. What commandment eight tells us is that people have to acknowledge that humans are a product of millions of years of animal evolution. When we deny that, we get into no end of problems. So, where do we start to address this? Sir Nanook? Would you like to do the honors this time?”
"Well. Thank you, honorable Father Vincent. Yes. I believe, I can answer that august query.”
&"What’s an august query? We’re talking to an idiot.”
"The . . . proper . . . foundation . . . upon which . . . to base such a query . . . is indubitably . . . the profound observations … of the great … Dr. Abraham Maslow. … Thank you. Thank you.”
&"We’re talking to an idiot!”
+ "Very good Nanook. And very well stated I might add.”
%"And also correct, I might add. In other words, we need to put air, shelter, water, etc., high on the priority list for human well being.”
&"Yeh? So, who would argue with that?”
%"Directly, no one. But what about air pollution? What about lack of shelter for the homeless? What about water pollution? However, when we move up the ladder to physical body interaction and sex, society goes into rigor mortis. And when it comes to understanding that Maslow’s hierarchy also establishes the basis behind the Seven Deadly Sins, society goes into denial. This is such an important thing to get under control because it is the MAJOR LIMITATION to AFFLUENCE for the entire world society.”
&"Bingo! Let me say that in a slightly different way. The MAJOR LIMITATION TO AFFLUENCE FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD IS INTER-HUMAN CONFLICT!”
+ "Precisely! And every individual on this planet needs to understand this. They need to drive conflict with other humans out of their hearts and out of their lives. To do that, they have to remove the drive of the Seven Deadly Sins from their hearts.
This is probably the greatest failing of the religions. For example, Jesus gave us just two commandments: love God and love thy neighbor. But, what do Christians do? They look at their neighbors and see demons. They fight with them and kill them. They burn them at the stake. Why? Our animal nature and how it evolved.”
"OK. We are going to come back to the Seven Deadly Sins with commandment 12. But what else do people have to learn about their animal connection?”
+ "They need to accept the consequences of George’s discovery of the A-square brain system. The A2 brain will continually dumb down logic. The A2 brain is unable to understand systems. It is violent and competitive by nature."
%"And accepting A-square will not be easy for A2 brains. The A2 brain blindly drives for dominance. It will even attack trivial things like the ‘3’ in A3 having a higher number than the ‘2’ in A2. Or, the notion that the A3 brain is more evolved. So A2s will deny this concept and fight it. Society will have a very difficult challenge with this. The limitations of A2 thinking will need special assistance. This would include things like dumbing down logic; reducing predatory competition and violence in resolving disputes; and special books with titles like A3 for Dummies etc.. Classes for Single Sentence Logic etiquette will be mandatory. But participating in this will require A2s to fight their own drives. In the middle of that battle, society needs to implement the things that A3 thinking brings to the world and allow them to flourish, even though they appear opposed to what A2s believe to be right. Some examples are the ability to organize, to plan broadly and respect the complexity of systems.”
&"The irony in this is that the fate of society hangs in the balance. If the transition isn’t made, the claim of the greatest good for the greatest number will just continue to be the greatest good only for a few in this life with promises of rewards in the after life for the rest.”
Harmony with our animal nature
+ "Now, add in the need for people to come into harmony with their animal nature. Individuals must understand the whole concept of George’s A-square model. Only when they understand these fundamentals, will they be able to see their current place in the universe and the options they have for pursuing happiness.”
%"So, this commandment has given you some very important concepts to take home with you. You’ve just had your eyes opened to a whole new way of thinking for parts of your life that seemed as ordinary and simple as the sun rise. That’s what we’ve been trying to teach you all summer.”
"OK. My head is full.”
&"That’ll be the day. I see sunshine going in one ear and coming out the other.”
"This is pretty discouraging. The chances that society will measure up to this are pretty slim, right?”
Role for Women
%"You’re right. I’m not too hopeful. And, we pretty much agree that the U.S. as we know it will not be one of the survivors. But even in smaller segments of life than nations, transitions will be difficult. For example, take another major A2, A3 struggle - the role of women. The A2, alpha, authoritarian, male brain cannot find a place for women other than as slaves.”
"You mean equality for women, right?”
%"Actually, no! The whole drive of the women’s lib movement for equality is the A2, alpha, authoritarian female’s attempt to gain their own upper hand. It’s just one more version of the A2 brain. Of course, it wouldn’t be politically correct for women’s libbers to come out and say that. So, they are trying to sneak up on it by using the word ‘equality’. In the end, however, even if given major social rights, the women’s movement will fail. Men and women can never be equal because of their biological differences. What society needs to do is allow people, as individuals, to be classified by their strengths and to promote those strengths. We need to get away from the collective stereotypes: men vs. women; management vs. labor; government vs. individuals. In some ways, men will typically be superior, like weight lifting. In others, women will typically be superior, like bonding with infants. But even these stereotypes have to be shed because of the wide variations within sub groups. 240 pound women weight lifters will always out-lift 140 pound male weight lifters. Some men are much better with children than some women. So, gender, by itself, is a poor way to classify people.”
Commandment 10: personal RESPONSIBILITY for your own development, people in your care and the needs of society
+ "This is a big commandment for the individual. In medieval times, the word for this was CHIVALRY. Without personal responsibility, society can’t have truth. Without responsibility, society will collapse into corruption. The concept of proportionate rewards won’t have any meaning. Responsibility is widely absent in U.S. society. We are brought up to follow the ‘three pigs’ model, not the ‘red hen’ model. To establish responsibility in a society, we have to be very pragmatic about human weakness. Do you remember how I defined responsibility.”
"Sure. We talked about it yesterday. You said, ‘responsibility means standing up for principles when you are at risk and have something to lose.’ ”
Responsibility - Providing an environment to do right
+ "Precisely! And because most people blindly react according to the Seven Deadly Sins, their greed prevents them from standing up in the face of loss. So, we have to create social structures that make responsibility easy. For the individual, this means looking at each role an individual plays and designing a structure to support responsibility around that.”
"And I’m assuming you are totally ruling out negative reinforcement in relation to this?”
+ "Precisely! If hell can’t scare people into being responsible, everything else is in a distant second place. So, let me give you some examples.
Breakdown of family structures
Society will demand that parents take very good care of their children because there will be so few of them. So, let’s say good people are chosen to raise kids. But things somehow go wrong for them. What can we do about that to shore up their responsibility?”
"Hmmm… I see. If you place ALL the responsibility on someone, they have no reserve when things go bad. ”
+ "Precisely! So, if a family got into financial trouble, instead of society forcing them to figure everything out by themselves, there would always be trusted agencies they could go to for help. Food, medical care, clothes etc. would ALWAYS be readily available.”
"But why wouldn’t lazy people just take advantage of that?”
+ "You are thinking Single Sentence Logic again. Because simple things like food and clothes would not be available without being part of a larger response. In the new society, NO ONE is expected to be in financial difficulty. If they got that way, the individuals have failed, BUT the system has also failed. So, a request for food aid is viewed as a responsible act of the individual to cue the system to a defect. The responsibility of the system is to fix the SYSTEM, of which the individual is just one part. And a lazy person is NOT part of a NORMAL system. A lazy person would be discovered and helped to improve.”
"Ah. I see. There is NO negative here. No loss.”
+ "Precisely! So, it’s easy to do. But to address your concern about people taking advantage of the system, the whole story will come out. The individual will probably have to go through a lot of rehab training. But they will be motivate to do that as well because their life will be improved by doing it.”
"I don’t understand. How can society always be the giver? Why don’t the people involved have to take responsibility for their own success?”
+ "Your brainwashing is showing through. Why is it a given that society has to be a struggle?”
"Because, that’s the way it is.”
+ "Precisely! And that’s what needs to be changed. Society, today, is a struggle because the elites running the system keep it that way. It’s only a few steps above slavery. They milk the average person for every nickel they can. And if the average person trips and falls, they are called lazy and irresponsible. This is a smoke screen for corruption.”
Commandment 12: Thou shalt study the Seven Deadly Sins ( All TWELVE of them )
Pride - Reinventing the wheel
+ "OK. Let’s take it from the top. PRIDE. Consciousness of the present is a very powerful emotion. People today are dazzled by the present as so many new discoveries are unfolding. The youth of today are also just dazzled by the new expanse of knowledge they are being presented about the world. So society as a whole doesn’t think people in the past understood much about the world. This means, when a modern person takes on a new task, they don’t bother to research what happened before. The result is that they waste huge amounts of time and energy recreating the wheel. The sad thing about it is that, so often, they do a poor job of it. This problem pervades everything society does. The action for individuals: DO THEIR HOMEWORK. Start from an assumption that earlier humans, and those from foreign backgrounds, have known many great things. Try to understand what they were. We aren’t smarter in brain capacity than our predecessors. We just bring new knowledge to the scene. If people do this, they will quickly find humility.
Greed, entitlement, abundance denial
Standard of living
"Second: GREED. And let me start with a specific form: entitlement.
Most people reject the idea that they are well off. Sur¬veys show that the majority of Americans think only the rich are ‘well-off,’ despite the fact that MOST Americans live quite well compared to more than 99 percent of the human beings who have ever existed. Let me read about this from The Progress Paradox. Here he talks about the common view that the rich have everything and have it in higher quality, while the average person has NOTHING. The facts, of course, don’t bear that out.”
- “… this [wealth] does not nec¬essarily make them [the rich] happier … [they] have about the same education, drive on the same roads, visit the same hospitals, and, for good or ill, share the same elemental cultural experiences, namely television and the movies.
- Through the past century the inventory of experiences a rich person can have that an average person cannot has shrunk steadily, to the point that there aren't many entries left on such a list. … by the standards of history, these are nothing compared to previous chasms in food, shelter, health care, and education…
- Until the twentieth century, it was common everywhere in the world for the upper classes to live significantly longer than anyone else, owing to better nutrition, health care, and exemption from physical toil. As recently as 1870, the av¬erage lifespan of the British upper class was 17 years longer than that of the population as a whole, while today the difference be¬tween the richest and poorest Briton is less than two years. In England in the nineteenth century, the typical adult male from the working class was five inches shorter than the typical male from the upper class. Today, there is no class distinction in average British height.
- Yet despite steady gains, it is common to hear Americans say, ‘My parents had it better than I do’… as they climb into a luxury SUV to head off for a restaurant meal… In one … poll-taken during an economic boom, 52 percent of respondents said the United States was worse off than when their parents were growing up, 60 percent said they expected their children to live in an even worse country, and a mere 15 percent said they felt overall national conditions were improving.”
+ "Since such views are so inconsistent with reality, but so common, there must be some common explanation.”
- “In the 1950s, when most American families lived in small houses, owned one car, and few if any family members attended college, people were in good spirits because they expected soon to earn and possess more. Now most families live in larger houses, own at least two cars, and send most children to college - that is, they have what people of the 1950s [only] dreamed of having. But because most now have so much, it's hard to expect that the coming years will bring even more.”
Eating does not quench confusion
%"Very good example of the spiral of emotions. When people are confused, it registers as the emotion of anxiety, which generates hunger. To satisfy hunger, people eat. They eat food, but they also metaphorically eat all kinds of things. The buy STUFF. But what happens when all that stuff and a full stomach doesn’t make the ‘confusion’ anxiety go away? What if all that stuff leads to more confusion? Simple, but sad. The hunger doesn’t go down. It goes up. They need MORE! GREED! The spiral keeps going. Why? Because EATING does not quench CONFUSION. Keep reading.”
- “… most Americans and Europeans already have what they need, in addition to considerable piles of stuff they don't need. ‘He's or she's so hard to buy for because he or she already has everything!’ This was said of the rich in our grandparents' day. Now it can be said of perhaps 500 million people in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the European Union.
Work and leisure
- The typical person’s total hours of life spent working has been declining. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the typical person spent 50 percent of their waking hours working. Today it is a little under 20 percent. Some of the rise [decrease] comes from higher numbers of longer-lived retirees.
- This means leisure, once an exclusive province of the elite class, now is increasingly available to almost everyone - and, in parallel, the category ‘recreation and leisure industries’ now accounts for a larger share of the economy than the category ‘pe¬troleum and utility industries.”
Denial, denial defense
%"Let me read something Eric Hoffer had to say about this. From Reflections.”
- “The untalented are more at ease in a society that gives them valid alibis for not achieving than in one where opportunities are abundant. In an affluent society, the alienated who clamor for power are largely untalented people who cannot make use of the unprecedented opportunities for self-realization, and cannot escape the confrontation with an ineffectual self.”
"I don’t understand the significance of this.”
%"The key is remembering what I called the DENIAL DEFENSE. Using this psychology, as long as anything is wrong, then the whole thing is wrong. So when you come across people claiming they are denied their equal rights, that they are discriminated against, but you can see that they already have a lot, but aren’t doing much with it, this is the explanation. They are in the house of mirrors.”
"Meaning, their world is filled with false beliefs that they use as excuses for their failures?”
Discontent of elites
But I want to be clear that this is NOT just a characteristic of poor people or minorities. There is a major component of this among the rich elite as well. Remember, wealth and wisdom are not synonymous. Let me continue reading from Reflections.”
- “Next is a preference for bad news on the part of elites. Some of this might be explained as a conditioned yearning felt by the privileged to look down on the societies that create the favored lives they enjoy. To much of the elite ethos, if things are bad then the privileged may float above events feeling superior and asserting that they knew it all along. In Ivy League universities or similar places, depressing or pessimistic news is received with a welcoming sigh, as if the preferred outcome, while favorable news or optimistic trends are viewed as at best some sort of deception.”
"So, he’s saying that when things in society are going well, the universities don’t find that encouraging?”
%"Right. Because then, the small folk of the world can manage on their own and don’t need to go crawling to the intellectuals for help. The authoritarian religions think the same way. Let me read something about this from the Progress Paradox. Page 103.”
- “If elites like bad news, then the eagerness of intellectuals, artists, and tastemakers to embrace claims of ecological doomsday, population crash, coming global plagues, economic downfall, cultural wars, or the end of this or that become, at least, comprehensible. The riposte here might be that for every one tastemaker programmed for pessimism, there are a hundred middle-class suburbanites who could not care less what intellectuals say at the sherry hour. But the fact that elites prefer bad news has disproportionate impact, as elite views are disproportionately represented in the media.
- …More generally, when things really are bad we naturally turn to eminent or powerful people for their advice and succor; when things are fine, the elite classes are of diminished importance to society. Important people like to feel important, and thus are biased toward viewing events in bleak terms. Consider that, … when nearly everything in the United States was trending positive, left-wing leaders as exemplified by the Manhattan chardonnay circuit, and right-wing leaders as exemplified by the Heritage Foundation circuit, slugged it out as though the world was ending: the left claiming religious fanatics were taking over the country, the right claiming the left was destroying the family and opposed to reading of the classics, to name a few totally cooked-up charges of that period. As Orlando Patterson, a Harvard University sociologist, noted … ‘It's astonishing how the Washington and New York elites, who benefit so much from the improvement of the United States, are so out of sync with it, endlessly talking about how things are getting worse when the country is clearly improving.’
- To those who benefit from bad news, either by fund-raising or increased self-importance, problems are not just problems but crises - the health care crisis, the farm-bill crisis, the tax crisis, the welfare crisis, the litigation crisis, the postage-rate crisis. Surely we will awaken some morning to read about a presiden¬tial commission declaiming the bridge-abutment peeling-paint crisis. Problems are inflated into crises in part because, during a crisis, elites gain stature. World War II was a crisis; the current Middle East situation is a crisis; [but] 99 percent of the issues facing the Western world are not crises. But in contemporary public discourse, everything is a crisis - a notion talk shows and media outlets have an interest in promoting. The other day, I heard a foundation president being interviewed … proclaim a ‘SE¬RIOUS crisis.’ What the ‘serious crisis’ was doesn't matter here; what mattered is that the word ‘crisis’ has so been devalued by overuse that now we must speak of the ‘SERIOUS’ crisis.’
- Like elites and intellectuals, most politicians prefer bad news to good. In contemporary Western politics, the party out of power drastically exaggerates all negative trends while denying all positive developments, in hopes of creating voter anger and getting back into power. … when Democrats were the party out of power and most things were getting better, Democrats spoke as if the nation were going down for the third time, … saying … that the United States faced ‘the greatest calamity in the history of man.’ A few years later, when the Republicans were the party out of power and practically everything was getting better, Republicans spoke as if the nation were in deep catastrophe . . .”
"I’m sure this all points to some useful lesson?”
%"And so it does. Just let me keep reading.”
- “… although average income, health, and living standards have improved steadily in the last two generations, people often are unhappy, because their expectations for the future are not positive. Recent studies of relative levels of happiness among nations show significant differences. One study of western countries found Netherlands, Iceland, Ireland, Denmark, and Sweden at the top with Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, and Bulgaria at the bottom. The United States fin¬ished number eight for national well-being. Scandinavian countries have such high well-being, many have speculated, because their governments have gotten almost everyone to the level of middle class.
- A fundamental reason that acquiring money does not sync with acquiring happiness might be stated in cool economic terms: Most of what people really want in life - love, friendship, re¬spect, family, standing, fun - is not priced and does not pass through the market. If something isn't priced you can't buy it, so possessing money may not help much.”
"This is a pretty profound observation. I know we’ve come across it before. But it is so important.”
%"Exactly! And profound in multiple ways. It explains that material wealth doesn’t bring happiness. But it also gives us the key link to the Twelve Deadly Sins. When people don’t understand their true goals in life, they will be like squirrels in a cage. They will get on the treadmill every day and run their legs off and never feel they are making progress. They will lie, steal and cheat to amass a fortune, and then drown themselves in drugs and alcohol to evade the emptiness they still feel. These are profound words indeed. But where does this leave everyone else?”
"You mean the poor and middle class? I guess, if they measure success by the wealth of the elites, they feel like failures.”
%"Exactly! So, what do they ALL conclude?”
"That their doomed!”
The failure of individualism
+ "Precisely! But that’s the opposite of what humans should feel. So, in a new society, we have to start from some very different foundations.
Freedom, we said, is a primary goal for humanity. But if freedom is taken to an extreme and results in individualism, it becomes isolationism. When things go wrong, there is no support structure to fall back on. When things go right, enjoyment by oneself is sterile. It lacks the richness of a social structure that multiplies the enjoyment by the number of people who can also share it. Let me reread something that I think summarizes this well from Paul Kurtz. Page 41.”
- “Historically philosophers have recognized that happiness is a basic good of life, though they have long argued about its nature. Hedonists have maintained that happiness is the attainment of pleasure and the avoidance of pain; self-actualizers have said that it is the fulfillment of our potentialities. I submit that both ideas are involved in the good life, that we want enriched enjoyment and creative realization of our talents. If an individual is to achieve a state of happiness, he needs to develop a number of excellences. I will only list these, without explication: the capacity for autono¬mous choice and freedom, creativity, intelligence, self-discipline, self-respect, high motivation, good will, an affirmative outlook, good health, the capacity to enjoy pleasure, and aesthetic appre¬ciation. MEN AND WOMEN DO NOT LIVE IN ISOLATION BUT FULFILL THEIR HIGHEST IDEALS IN CONCERT WITH OTHERS.”
+ "George. Please keep reading from the Progress Paradox.”
- “Testing of multimillionaires on the list of the world's richest men and women found they have only slightly more life satis¬faction than people living at the median income. Nearly all well-being research supports the basic conclusion that money and material things are only weakly associated with leading a good life.”
- One study suggests that at today’s prices, the magic number at which money becomes unrelated to happiness is about $1,800 per person per year. Average income in the United States right now is $5300. The United States is long past the statistical point where, on average, money can buy happiness.”
- As to why money stops buying happiness once people reach middle-class, there are several theories. First there is a difference between NEEDS and WANTS. A person needs food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, and transportation. Once these are obtained, desires are driven by WANTS.”
%"And because of what Maslow tells us, and the Twelve Deadly Sins explain, WANTS can never be totally satis¬fied. The more you want, the more you acquire. But the drive doesn’t go away. Believing that buying things should bring peace, a person quickly becomes angry if buying things doesn’t do the job. Their first defense is to seek higher priced goods. But then we run into the SECOND KEY driver of the Twelve Deadly Sins: ENVY!”
"Hmmm. Key number one is Maslow’s basic biological drives to stay alive. Key number two is Maslow’s secondary biological drives, measured by your position relative to others in the society. Again, drives to stay alive based on fear.”
%"Excellent! If rich people constantly drive past huge homes of people better-off than they are, or who are even not as well off, but who have some things they don’t have, they will still be dis¬contented. They feel this even though, objectively, they are so immensely better off than most humans who have lived. Let me keep reading.”
- “Today the average person’s real income is sevenfold greater than in 1918, and yet Americans feel dissatisfied and tell pollsters they believe life is getting worse. Back in the year 1958, one of the top-selling books in the United States was The Afflu¬ent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith. One thesis of The Af¬fluent Society was that Americans already had so much they were becoming spoiled; another contention of the book was that standards of living had risen so high that they couldn't be ex¬pected to rise much farther.
- The materialistic summit, Galbraith thought in 1958, had been reached because the typical family possessed a home, a car, and a television, and included one person who had graduated from college. One generation after The Affluent Society de¬clared that America would not get much richer, average real in¬come in the United States has more than doubled, huge houses with three cars and a wide-screen television have become com¬mon, the majority of children attend college: What were once luxuries are now necessities, and polls show most people think they do not have enough. Typically, regardless of how much money an American today earns, he or she estimates that twice as much is required to "live well.”
Entitlement – American Dream, the word NEED - cave as a baseline
%"And this leads directly to a better understanding of what we call ENTITLEMENT. Because humans are myopic and narrow minded, they only see a very small world around themselves. Today, that world includes television. So ENVY and DENIAL drives them to believe that they should have the best of what they see on TV. Instead of sorting out what a human NEEDS, from what they WANT, they demand that they NEED all of this stuff to achieve happiness. The word NEED, then reaches the BLEEDING HEARTS, who are driven to despair that some people in the world are not happy. The media has a field day with these cries of despair which stirs up the envy and denial further. This cycle needs to be broken. People need to confront themselves with reality.”
&"And I know just how to do it. DIG CAVES!”
+ "This is going to be good.”
&"Yeah! Look. We dig a bunch of caves. Then we guarantee that society will guarantee everyone a place to live. Everyone who can’t afford a home will get a cave.”
+ "OK ? I’m sure you have a basis for this.”
&"Right. The idea is that it will force people to be objective about what our society has achieved over the last 10,000 years. It will create a baseline environment against which to list out all the things people living today do have. We can then set out milestones so a person starting from their cave can achieve those milestones based on effort.”
%"Pretty clever Ben.”
&"And take this one step further. The whole concept of considering a stupid cave as one end of the social continuum that society will support, will create a model for how the other end of the continuum is also defined. Do you see it?”
+ "OK. Pretty clever. So, you’re saying, society would never actually go with the cave idea. There would be some type of contemporary home. But it may be fairly primitive. On the other end, however, the upper scale might not be so exaggerated either.”
Happiness - Greeks didn’t have ball point pens
+ "And while we’re on a simplicity tangent, answer this question: did the Greeks have ball point pens?”
"WHAT???? Here we go again with the ball point pens.”
They all broke up laughing.
&"Hey, don’t look at me. That wasn’t my example.”
%"Ught!!! Not me either.”
Now I was laughing too.
+ "OK. I got that from Bill. But do you know the answer?”
"Actually, yeah. He told me about it. It was a big eye opener. It goes along with what you’ve just said. The answer to happiness can’t be found in having more stuff. The Greeks obviously knew how to be happy without ball point pens, or TVs or refrigerators, or cars. So we don’t need all the junk our world is filling up with to be happy.”
+ "Precisely! Let me keep reading.”
- “Suppose your great-great-grandparents, who lived four genera¬tions ago, materialized in the United States of the present day. Surely they would first be struck by the scale and clamor of present-day life... The physical speed of contemporary life would also shock our forebears, who considered New York to London in a week to be a blazing-fast transit… When newfangled Great Western Railway steam engines left Lon¬don in 1844 to pull coaches at forty-five miles per hour, com¬mentators expressed horror at such unnatural swiftness, while physicians urged passengers to avoid the trains on grounds that anyone moving so rapidly would surely suffocate. Now much greater speeds go unnoticed in daily events; we live, work, and try to relax surrounded by steel objects whizzing past, many of them guided by teenagers.
- The psychological speeds we must sustain, and the attendant anxieties, are in their own ways as hazardous. Add in nuclear bombs, global terrorism, and the in¬escapable inanity of mass entertainment, and your great-great ¬grandparents' initial reaction to the present day might be to recoil in dismay and demand to return to their own time. Yet … they would be dazzled. Unlimited food at affordable prices, never the slightest worry about shortage, un¬limited variety - strawberries in March! - so much to eat that in the Western nations, overindulgence now plagues not just the well-off but the poor... Four generations ago, the poor were lean as fence posts... To our re¬cent ancestors, the idea that today even the poor eat too much might be harder to fathom than a jetliner rising from the run¬way…
- At the beginning of the twentieth century, the average American lifespan was forty-one years; now it is seventy-seven years, equating to almost twice as much time on Earth for the typical person. History's plagues - polio, smallpox, measles, rickets - ¬have been defeated… Everyone of our great-great-grandparents would have known someone who died of a disease that today is shrugged at...
- Many other aspects of present-day life would strike our re¬cent ancestors as nearly miraculous. The end of backbreaking physical toil for most wage earners. The arrival of leisure, the typical person now engaged in exertion (either for pay or within the household) about half as many hours as in the nineteenth century. The advent of instantaneous global communication and same-day travel to distant cities... Mass home ownership, with heated dwellings every¬where, cooled homes almost everywhere. The entire senior¬ citizen demographic cared for financially and medically, ending the fear of impoverished old age. Complete, and usually low¬ cost, access to information, art, and literature…
- Today we live a long time, in fairly comfortable circum¬stances; enjoy goods and services in almost unlimited supply; travel where we wish quickly and relatively cheaply; talk to any¬one in the world; know everything there is to know; think and say what we please; marry for love, and have sex with whom¬ever will agree; and wail in sorrow when anyone dies young, for this once-routine event has become a wrenching rarity. All told, except for the clamor and speed of society, and for trends in popular music, your great-great-grandparents might say the con¬temporary United States is the realization of utopia.”
+ "OK. Pay attention. I’m really getting to the punch line.”
- “Yet how many of us feel positive about our moment, or even be¬lieve that life is getting better? Today Americans tell pollsters that the country is going downhill; that their parents had it bet¬ter; that they feel unbearably stressed out; that their children face a declining future… The percentage of Americans who describe themselves as "happy" has not budged since the 1950s, though the typical per¬son's real income more than doubled through that period. Hap¬piness has not increased in Japan or Western Europe in the past half-century, either, though daily life in both those places has grown fantastically better, incorporating all the advances noted above plus the end of dictatorships and recovery from general war…
- NEVERTHELESS the citizens of the United States and [Europe], almost ALL of whom live better than almost ALL of the men and women of history, entertain considerable discon¬tent. Far from feeling better about their lives, many are feeling worse… the incidence of clinical melancholy has been rising in eerie syn¬chronization with rising prosperity: Adjusting for population growth, "unipolar" depression, the condition in which a person simply always feels blue, is today TEN TIMES as prevalent as it was half a century ago… As Alan Wolfe of Boston University has noted, a leading question of our moment in history is: "Why cap¬italism and liberal democracy, both of which justify themselves on the grounds that they produce the greatest happiness for the greatest number, leave so much dissatisfaction in their wake."
"OK. I think you’ve made your case, Greeks without ball point pens and all that. Something is seriously wrong with the whole picture.”
+ "Precisely! So, what is it?”
". . . . . . . “
%"Come on Nanook. You don’t have to learn anything more. We’ve already given you all the answers to analyze all these problems.”
"You have? Hmmm… So, this is just greed? It’s just the Seven Deadly Sins expressing themselves through human nature as emotions? It’s just Maslow’s hierarchy?”
+ "Precisely! And greed is based on FEAR. So, until the human race learns to understand and manage these psychological forces, they will not be able to shake their misery.”
&"And there is a big reason that fear in society keeps growing higher. Let me read from Ethics in a Business Society. Let’s see, page 54.”
- “ . . . it is not surprising that a pessimism … should color the outlook of many thoughtful people. A reason, and perhaps in itself a sufficient reason, is the phenomenon of mass warfare unique to the twentieth century. The best of a whole generation walked out to death at Passchendaele, the Somme, the Argonne in the first world war. War had been confined before largely to the professional soldiery and only in rare instances in history, when catastrophe was piled upon catastrophe, had entire peoples been subjected to prolonged suffering, famine and death.”
&"Do you understand what he’s saying? I’ll tell you. During WWII, 20 million people died in Russia; 10 million people died in China; 9 million died in Germany. Over 50 M in all died during WWII. HALF OF THOSE were civilians. And with the continuous barrage of world conflict presented by the media, people can no longer get away from this fear. Those with bleeding heart mental patterns are scared our of their minds.”
%"But, there is, of course, one more trump-card issue that even surpasses war. Go for it Nanook.”
"Hmmm? Oh yeah. Club of Rome - POPULATION. So, the Seven Deadly Sins still pretty much cover the waterfront.”
%"Exactly! The Seven Deadly Sins, which are PRIMARILY driven by the human fear of STARVATION which was written in the human brain 5 million years ago..”
+ "And that fear is founded on ignorance and superstition. Now listen very closely. I’m going to read this slowly.”
- “Statistics show … that in order to avoid becoming poor in the united states… you must do only THREE THINGS: graduate from high school… marry after the age of twenty… and marry before having your first child… Only 8 percent of those who do these three things become poor as adults, whereas 79 percent of poor adults have failed to do these three things.”
+ "Did you hear that? Can a simpler start to solving the poverty problem be stated! Every one of these things is something an individual can achieve by taking conscious actions. And this message is so simple that every individual can understand it and learn it.”
"And, I guess your point is, it doesn’t take rocket science at the individual level to do?”
+ "Precisely! And the only reason people don’t do it is they are told that other things in life, which conflict with these, are more important.”
"There are two factors here. The first is related to young males not finishing high school. If they get into trouble before they graduate and get dumped into prison, that’s a pretty bad start, for sure. The second factor, which covers dropping out of high school for girls and the other two issues are all related to a single factor: having a baby.”
+ "Precisely! And that brings us to the sin of LUST. George, please jump in here.”
%"Sure. The exact meaning of this sin has changed radically over time. But, at it’s base, is the drive of the human animal nature to reproduce.
Because of the Judeo-Christian religions, and their unstated drive for power and social control, our social codes have been filled with all kinds of social restrictions. Some have had a practical meaning at times, like food restrictions, when disease was not understood. But most of the restrictions were socially destructive because they were not aimed at equipping society to work on its own like the Buddhist laws. They were laws for authoritarian rule. This has not changed. And the biggest tragedy in the laws is the unrelenting religious pressure for unrestricted population growth of its members. But since they can’t admit that, they have to cloak it in moral pronouncements. The problem is, for world society, those ancient rules are causing the emerging disaster of expanding population which will go down in history right along with the inhumanity of the INQUISITION.”
Violence prevention through touch pleasure
+ "Nanook and I discussed the whole discovery of the impact of BODY PLEASURE on human development. This was part of my reasoning for Commandment 8: recognizing man’s animal heritage. Let me read directly from the article.”
- “Clearly, if we consider violent and aggressive behaviors undesirable then we must provide an enriched somatosensory environment so that the brain can develop and function in a way that results in pleasurable and peaceful behaviors. The solution to physical violence is physical pleasure experienced within the context of meaningful human relationships.”
%"And I think your point here is this doesn’t just mean reducing pain and physically abusive child upbringing.”
+ "Precisely! As you’ve explained to me, we need to consciously add to the levels of physical pleasure given to children.”
&"But you know what a reaction suggesting this would bring from the religious fundamentalists.”
+ "Sure I know. But it wouldn’t be any greater than all the other attacks that will eventually come from them as society wakes up to the carnage they have brought on humanity. Let me keep reading.”
- “For many people, a fundamental moral principle is the rejection of creeds, policies, and behaviors that inflict pain, suffering and deprivation upon our fellow humans. This principle needs to be extended: We - should seek not just an absence of pain and suffering, but also the enhancement of pleasure, the promotion of affectionate human relationships, and the enrichment of human experience.”
+ "Notice, Prescott addresses that here. He is depending on medical and scientific professionals, plus informed citizens to recognize that we are already rejecting creeds that proclaim value to pain. It is those people who can take further steps once they understand the basis behind the need for pleasure. Let me read his summary.”
- “If we strive to increase the pleasure in our lives this will also affect the ways we express aggression and hostility. The reciprocal relationship between pleasure and violence is such that one inhibits the other; when physical pleasure is high, physical violence is low. When violence is high, pleasure is low. This basic premise of the somatosensory pleasure deprivation theory provides us with the tools necessary to fashion a world of peaceful, affectionate, cooperative individuals.”
&"It’s been awhile since we talked about this. The big denial raised by people who won’t want to hear this will be promiscuity. Did he have something to say about that?”
+ "He sure did. He addressed it directly with a very interesting answer.”
- “We should give high priority to body pleasure in the context of meaningful human relationships. Such body pleasure is very different from PROMISCUITY, which REFLECTS a BASIC INABILITY TO EXPERIENCE PLEASURE. If a sexual relationship is not pleasurable, the individual looks for another partner. A continuing failure to find sexual satisfaction leads to a continuing search for new partners, that is, to promiscuous behavior. Affectionately shared physical pleasure, on the other hand, tends to stabilize a relationship and eliminate the search. However, a variety of sexual experiences seems to be normal in cultures which permit its expression, and this may be important for optimizing pleasure and affection in sexual relationships.”
&"So, he separates promiscuity from body pleasure, in fact saying that the ability to experience body pleasure REDUCES promiscuity. However, he also adds that in some body pleasure permissive cultures, there might be more open attitudes to broader experiences.”
%"Sure. And denying this is just another attempt to justify the monogamy stereotype, which we know is both false and, through denial, harmful to society. Father. Keep reading.”
- “Available data clearly indicate that the rigid values of monogamy, chastity, and virginity help produce physical violence.”
&"So, where does this lead in Prescott’s view.”
- “The denial of female sexuality must give way to an acceptance and respect for it, and men must share with women the responsibility for giving affection and care to infants and children. As the father assumes a more equal role with the mother in child-rearing and becomes more affectionate toward his children, certain changes must follow in our socioeconomic system. A corporate structure which tends to separate either parent from the family by travel, extended meetings, or overtime work weakens the parent-child relationship and harms family stability. To develop a peaceful society, we must put more emphasis on human relationships.”
+ "Do you see the connection with what I proposed? This kind of thinking was the basis for my new commandment number 2: Thou shalt create every ORGANIZATION of individuals at the Pleasure of society for the primary benefit of the INDIVIDUALS in the society, and hold each organization responsible for the social welfare… This is the point I’ve been trying to drive home about corruption of the primary goals of our nation. The way things are now, business has been made the primary focus of life. Things are backwards. And the basic needs of the child as a creature are being miss-taught.”
- “Family planning is essential. Children must be properly spaced so that each can receive optimal affection and care. The needs of the infant should be immediately met. Cross cultural evidence does not support the view that such practices will 'spoil' the infant. Contrary to Dr. Benjamin Spock, it is harmful for a baby to cry itself to sleep. By not answering an infant's needs immediately and consistently we not only teach a child distrust at a very basic emotional level, but also establish patterns of neglect which harm the child's social and emotional health. The discouragement of breast feeding in favor of bottle feeding and the separation of healthy newborns from their mothers in our 'modern' hospitals are other examples of harmful child-rearing practices.”
%"But let’s go back to the family structure question. Giving kids more body pleasure will get them off to a much better start. But if they are then thrown into dysfunctional family situations, the tragedy comes back. Doesn’t he talk about that?”
+ "Sure. Let me keep reading.”
- “About 60** percent of marriages in the United States now end in divorce, and an even higher percentage of couples have experienced extramarital affairs. This suggests that something is basically wrong with the traditional concept of universal monogamy. When viewed in connection with the CROSS-CULTURAL EVIDENCE of the PHYSICAL DEPRIVATIONS, VIOLENCE, AND WARFARE ASSOCIATED WITH MONOGAMY, the need to create a more pluralistic system of marriage becomes clear... We must seriously consider new options… Communal living should not, of course, be equated with group sex, which is not a sharing, but… an escape from intimacy and emotional vulnerability.
- No matter what type of family structure is chosen, it will be important to encourage openness about the body and its functions. From this standpoint, we could benefit from redesigning our homes along the Japanese format, separating the toilet from the bathing facilities. The family bath should be used for socialization and relaxation, and should provide a natural situation for children to learn about male female differences… The family bath should be large enough to accommodate parents and children…”
- (** The number, 60%, is for the U.S. in 2008. It was only 25% in the Prescott report, and that was already assumed to be UNACCEPTABLY high.)
%"And, if the Eskimos have anything to say about it, the family bath would have room for at least two families.”
&"Yeah, right. Except an Eskimo wouldn’t have any idea what a bath tub was used for.”
%"Hey. I just used my “get one free Single Sentence Logic statement” card. Back to your cage.”
+ "Gentlemen! Gentlemen! You too Ben.”
George got in a big smile.
%" It should be obvious that big changes like this can’t happen over night. Before body awareness can be provided to children, adults first have to get their act together.”
&"Getting their act together isn’t what they have in mind.”
%"We don’t even have gutters up here, but your mind heads right for them anyway.”
+ "We’re doomed.
Would you two like to fight for the next sin?”
"It’s MINE! Anger!”
Seven Deadly Sins seen as an illness
+ "What people have to learn about anger is what it really is and what to do about it. Do you remember I explained that the sin of Anger is the emotional process that converts fear into violence. It’s what we call blind rage. So, the biggest role for individuals is to learn to spot out of control rage and see it as an ILLNESS.”
"Hmmm… See it as an illness.”
+ "Correct. So let’s borrow an idea from Samuel Butler here and turn the whole world upside down. In the new society, when someone encounters the expression of one of the Seven Deadly Sins, that is, any of the 12 of them, they are to react as if the person is SICK! If they can help that person calm down with an aspirin, good. If the person is out of control, they should call an ambulance.”
"Neat. The ambulance would then take them to a hospital where they would be greeted by their friendly local shrink.”
%"Keep going wise guy. Try to shoot a hole in this concept. Think about each of the Twelve Deadly Sins in their extreme form. How are any of them distinguishable from mental illness?”
"OK! OK! I apologize. This is actually pretty profound. We know the sins are driven by emotions from Mr. Grim who, when they occur, are over reactions to learned traumas.”
%"Exactly! Over reactions equal mental illness.”
+ "Now, move on to Gluttony and do the same analysis. Whether it is gluttony, or anorexia, it’s a deviation from a healthy diet driven by mental distress.”
"Wow. I get the point. And I guess society already does accept the sickness approach when a person is super heavy or super thin.”
Now look at envy.”
%"And particularly in the form of jealousy. Jealousy is not actually a direct sin itself. It is a modifier of the other eleven Deadly Sins, driven by fear, that turns the driving emotion from being self focused to being outward focused. The problem with this is that a person can never make progress understanding or changing their own behavior if they place the cause on someone else. They will never find understanding that way. So, jealousy is a strong cue to get medical attention.”
Sloth - clinical depression
"Wow! I never heard jealousy described this way. This is such an easy model to understand.
Now, what do you think about sloth? This ought to be good. I can just see humanity calling an ambulance every time someone is lazy. There won’t be enough ambulances or hospitals.”
%"Come on, Nanook. Have more faith in us than that. You are right about not having enough ambulances.. So, we need to make a distinction. Step one is to distinguish what I call CLINICAL SLOTH from human laziness. Clinical sloth is what psychiatrists call depression. When a person’s life is dominated by depression, you should very surely call an ambulance. Depression, uncorrected, often leads to suicide. Not what a humanity that prizes life wants. The other kind of sloth, what we call laziness, is only an irritant to those powerful elites that try to dominate everyone else. So, there is no issue there. A laid-back life style is not a sin. Just let those people be. And, if you remember, we discussed that non-conformance is also viewed by the elites as laziness, because they can’t direct it. If a society has enough incentives and rewards in proportion to effort, then the system self corrects for laziness.”
"OK. I understand.”
%"But that brings up the issue of our CURRENT society. Current society doesn’t have incentives and rewards in proportion to effort. Our society is dominated by corruption and the Twelve Deadly Sins. The result is the emotion we call FRUSTRATION. And frustration plays out in a simple cycle.
Frustration - Ambition
Frustration is the emotion that Grim sends us when he is unable to resolve any acceptable options to some threatening problem. In the face of that threat, the dominant drive is still fear. So the other drives don’t just disappear. One of these drives we call greed. And greed aimed at achieving a higher position in status, power or wealth, we call BLIND AMBITION. AMBITION amplifies the FRUSTRATION and provides Single Sentence Logic examples to support the frustration. Along comes ‘ambition’ again and the cycle continues.”
"And I can see that spiraling out of control because a key thing is missing: REALITY.”
%" Exactly! And spiral it does. The next step is anger. Then rage.”
"And without reality as a control, I guess it ends up in BLIND RAGE.”
%"Exactly! And now, you’ve defined a continuum. It has depression on one end and rage at the other. And the factor that makes the whole continuum dark for anyone is frustration.”
"Wow! Neat. Sure. And you call it dark because frustration means ignorance - lack of options. Anywhere on the continuum, the person is in the dark. They don’t know how to escape. But, eventually, Grim probably realizes he can’t fight because there is nothing real to fight against. So he turns to flight.”
%"Exactly! Now keep following the logic. You’ve connected the depression-anger continuum to another continuum - fight vs. flight. So, how do you think this gets expressed when Grim can’t find anything real to deal with?”
"Ah! I see where you’re going. Insanity. The person runs away to a world of denial. They bounce between attacking false foes and hiding in despair from the same false foes.”
%"Exactly! The house of mirrors. And that’s the insane world we live in.”