T Nation

Root of All Evil?

Here in the POW forum, there is all these threads about the evils of capitalism, the evils of christianity, evils of atheism, socialism, Islam, etc… All this hate and rage. So out of curiousity and interest, I embarked on a journey (however short it was…) to discover the root of evil. Below is what I came up with (heavy influence by krishnamurti, tolle, mahajari)

Thinking is evil! Bam-- said it. Thinking is based on the past. The past is knowledge (yup, knowledge is never new). Knowledge is beliefs and ideas and concepts. So these beliefs and ideas create patriots, political parties, religions, … basically it creates division between mankind, which in turn creates wars and disputes – ie killings. You have one side vs the other.

Thinking about the past and future also creates insecurity, anxiety, worry, --basically FEAR is produced. Fear of the unknown really. Fear that you might not have enough money in the future or that your health might decline. So these fearful people run to beliefs about how one should act, how the world really is in order to feel certain, to feel comfortable. To feel happy. But they are never truly happy though because they are thinking about the past or future, always wanting more, more,more…and getting sad if they dont get it.

solution: Awareness. Being aware of these dividing beliefs, ideas, concepts can dissolve them. Being aware of your societal, national, parental, religious influences–You are able to be free of them. Being aware of emotions and thoughts - You are able to end them.

If we are thinking, we are never in the present. But that is where we have to be if we want to transcend violent, fearful thinking. You must accept the unknown as unknowable and be detached from the known (from the past). And once we have done this…and we are in the present. We will be able to experience LOVE. JOY. BLISS. ECSTASY. and PEACE. And evil will no longer be able to exist.

…with that said, lets just Love eachother and be friends you guys. Peace, joy, and happiness-- how bout it?

[quote]THE_CLAMP_DOWN wrote:
Here in the POW forum, there is all these threads about the evils of capitalism, the evils of christianity, evils of atheism, socialism, Islam, etc… All this hate and rage. So out of curiousity and interest, I embarked on a journey (however short it was…) to discover the root of evil. Below is what I came up with (heavy influence by krishnamurti, tolle, mahajari)
[/quote]
It seems you chose to look at the workings of a western bulletin board through a eastern/Indian looking glass.

[quote]
Thinking is evil! Bam-- said it. Thinking is based on the past. The past is knowledge (yup, knowledge is never new). Knowledge is beliefs and ideas and concepts. So these beliefs and ideas create patriots, political parties, religions, … basically it creates division between mankind, which in turn creates wars and disputes – ie killings. You have one side vs the other.

Thinking about the past and future also creates insecurity, anxiety, worry, --basically FEAR is produced. Fear of the unknown really. Fear that you might not have enough money in the future or that your health might decline. So these fearful people run to beliefs about how one should act, how the world really is in order to feel certain, to feel comfortable. To feel happy. But they are never truly happy though because they are thinking about the past or future, always wanting more, more,more…and getting sad if they dont get it. [/quote]

I have no wish to insult you. This, however is pure nonsense. Thinking is not evil, though we can do good or evil with the products of our thoughts. Thinking is what makes us more than mere animal. It is what, most likely, makes us “in the image of God.”
In its simplest form, thinking is simply a process of asking ourselves questions, evaluating and answering those questions, and continuing the process until we are stumped or come face to face with a “revelation.”
Knowledge is often new, if at least from a new perspective. Our very natures are ones of expansion and growth. When this process becomes abberated, then comes the problems you mention.
Thinking about the past and the future also creates happiness, love and desire. It is all in how you focus your thinking and how you ask yourself questions.

[quote]
solution: Awareness. Being aware of these dividing beliefs, ideas, concepts can dissolve them. Being aware of your societal, national, parental, religious influences–You are able to be free of them. Being aware of emotions and thoughts - You are able to end them.

If we are thinking, we are never in the present. But that is where we have to be if we want to transcend violent, fearful thinking. You must accept the unknown as unknowable and be detached from the known (from the past). And once we have done this…and we are in the present. We will be able to experience LOVE. JOY. BLISS. ECSTASY. and PEACE. And evil will no longer be able to exist.[/quote]

Thinking is only ever done in the present. The object of our thought can be an event in the past. If we allow ourselves to become fixated on this event and lock into a circular line of questioning such as “how did I manage to fuck that up so badly.” “Why do I always make such a mess of things,” well we will only be able to come up with answers that are as dis empowering as the questions.

[quote]
…with that said, lets just Love eachother and be friends you guys. Peace, joy, and happiness-- how bout it?[/quote]

Look at it through a Buddhist perspective. The desire of material possessions, or of anything beyond what we absolutely need on the most basic of levels, is the root of all evils. Most people will never have everything they want or be everything they want to be, and so resentments build toward those who have more than us or toward those who stand in the way of us having everything we want. Naturally, this can progress to all sorts of extremes. The most extreme is probably war.

Of course, one could easily argue that war is human nature, so by extension humanity is the root of all evil. But that does not make mankind inherently evil. Man will always have…an evil aspect, for lack of a better description. Christians would refer to this as “original sin”. But people are inclined toward different levels of evil. Some people never act in an evil way, others rarely DON’T act evil. But we ALL have the ability within us to act evil; some just don’t act that way and others do.

Man also has a “good aspect” by the same logic. We all have the ability to do good for ourselves and for others, but we don’t all act this way to equal extents. Hence, good guys and bad guys.

So thinking is not the root of evil by any means. Desire is, but desire in and of itself is not solely evil either. Desire can lead to many good things; it all depends on what those desires are and/or how they are sought or fulfilled.

Also, fear is not the root of all evil. Fear can be a motivating factor that produces great things. Fear of failure can lead to great success, without any evil acts committed in the process. Likewise, awareness is hardly the antithesis of evil. In fact, awareness is most likely a condition that must exist in order for evil to exist. I’ll let the OP think about why that is…

Irrational thinking is evil.

Eastern thought isn’t the solution, it’s just another version of the problem.

[quote]THE_CLAMP_DOWN wrote:
Here in the POW forum, there is all these threads about the evils of capitalism, the evils of christianity, evils of atheism, socialism, Islam, etc… All this hate and rage. So out of curiousity and interest, I embarked on a journey (however short it was…) to discover the root of evil. Below is what I came up with (heavy influence by krishnamurti, tolle, mahajari)

Thinking is evil! Bam-- said it. Thinking is based on the past. The past is knowledge (yup, knowledge is never new). Knowledge is beliefs and ideas and concepts. So these beliefs and ideas create patriots, political parties, religions, … basically it creates division between mankind, which in turn creates wars and disputes – ie killings. You have one side vs the other.

Thinking about the past and future also creates insecurity, anxiety, worry, --basically FEAR is produced. Fear of the unknown really. Fear that you might not have enough money in the future or that your health might decline. So these fearful people run to beliefs about how one should act, how the world really is in order to feel certain, to feel comfortable. To feel happy. But they are never truly happy though because they are thinking about the past or future, always wanting more, more,more…and getting sad if they dont get it.

solution: Awareness. Being aware of these dividing beliefs, ideas, concepts can dissolve them. Being aware of your societal, national, parental, religious influences–You are able to be free of them. Being aware of emotions and thoughts - You are able to end them.

If we are thinking, we are never in the present. But that is where we have to be if we want to transcend violent, fearful thinking. You must accept the unknown as unknowable and be detached from the known (from the past). And once we have done this…and we are in the present. We will be able to experience LOVE. JOY. BLISS. ECSTASY. and PEACE. And evil will no longer be able to exist.

…with that said, lets just Love eachother and be friends you guys. Peace, joy, and happiness-- how bout it?[/quote]

…in theory this is true, all of it, but there’s a reason why in practice it doesn’t work: the rigours of everyday life. Yes, if you take the time to resolve your issues, meditate and realise the folly of thought, which is the illusory state of self, then many things in life become much easier to deal with, but it doesn’t mean they’ll end…

…only a few have the luxury to live in a place, like a monastery, to ponder the nature of self in seclusion without the worry of where your next meal is coming from, or having to deal with the stresses of work, family and the everyday commute…

…in the early 00’s i was very much into exploring the depths of self and mind, and i had the pleasure of attending a satsang hosted by John de Ruyter: http://www.johnderuiter.com/ For me it was more of an experiment, just to see what a socalled self-realised person is all about. Sitting motionless for 3 hours in a chair answering similar questions from people who could barely compose themselves was the jist of it, basically…

…the fun part was though that, at the time, i worked in a lunchcafe in Amsterdam opposite Hotel l’Europe, a five star hotel, and guess what? This guy stayed there during a holiday later in the year, and he came in for a chicken sandwich and a beer. The perfect opportunity for me to study him in the wild! Turned out that he, from appearances, didn’t act or behave any different from anyone else that came in. He was actually pissed-off we didn’t accept his Mastercard…

so, tl;dr: yes, there’s a benefit to living the theory, but the end result is fiction…

Thinking about the past is only part of the picture. What about those things that are not empirically knowable yet require deductive logic to figure out – for example, geometry and economics?

Plain and simple, it is aggression that is evil.

[quote]Makavali wrote:
Irrational thinking is evil.

Eastern thought isn’t the solution, it’s just another version of the problem.[/quote]

Agreed.

Problems and (limited) solutions exist in all schools of thought/contemplation/awareness. They all have their own demons and saints that come with them.

Eastern thought has not created anything like a utopia in the East, and never did.

Great thoughts!!

Is that an issue?

Perhaps we are getting lost in definitions (what is good , what is evil?). By the way - I meant to say Thinking is root of evil. Not that thinking was evil. Obviously we need to think to drive a car, for science and math, etc.

Or creates the image of God?

Can questions be answered through observation? Can we not just sit back and watch a lion play to know how a lion behaves? Can we not do this with ourselves and others to develop empathy and understanding?

ok. So we have all these facts and such in our head. From the past. And we are introduced to a new fact. Say socialism. What happens? We compare. We make judgements. We are biased from past knowledge and we cannot see socialism for “what is”. Its a tainted perspective. And the continuation of past knowledge keeps on growing without us checking ourself. W/o awareness…

The mind produces dualities. If you can experience pleasure, you can experience pain. And that is what thinking of the past and future produces – pain or pleasure. Love though… is a state of being and exists beyond the mind. Now I can think about love… but that is not love. That is rememberance. That rememberance is producing pleasure. I am basically saying “I want that again”. But it is not love. This is something I did not realize till this year. I thought love was our response to our highest values. I thought you needed a reason to love. Basically, I thought love was desire and attraction. I was thinking! - shit.

You disagree. You state it is and that is fine. We all have our own definitions. But love for myself is unconditional. Without expectation or attachment or desire. If I love someone - I dont need them. I dont depend on them for happiness.

The desire to become somebody is the cause of war. The thinking that we need to make this much money, move ahead at work, need these resources, need this much power is the cause of agression and competition. And this desire … this more, more, more… where does it come from? Why must we always have more? Are we not satisfied? Are we totally unhappy? Can we be happy without having a reason?

You can turn off thinking. You can bypass programming. You can live in the present w/o the worries of not having more.
You can, also, turn on the thinking when it benefits you. But too often…way too often (speaking from experience) - we get lost in our thoughts. Lost in the trivial details of life. We forget the big picture. Perhaps we never know the big picture.

So awareness is definately not easy. And some people may never be able to do it. They shall forever stay in prison. but for the ones that do escape… love and happiness await them.

thinking can produce evil. awareness and observation (no thinking) produces none. How is thinking not the root? Maybe I’m lost here.

Ok-- little clarification here. I think Fear is evil. Sadness. Anxiety. Cripply depression. I do not consider those good. With that said, what is desire? Its wanting something. Right? And if I get that something, I am happy. Correct? What if I dont get that something? What happens? You get sad. You get pissed off. You didnt get what you wanted. So when you desire something, there is always that fear that you may not get it. To me, that makes desire evil. Desire, which is, produced by thinking and cannot exist outside
thoughts.

Difference of opinion I guess. I have never been a fan of fear. I dont run from it, but if you are fearful – Love cannot exist in your life. So… does the means justify the end? Fear…which is bad… produces great things, according to you. Can great things be produced without fear??..without sacrificing ones life?

And I dont understand how evil exists during awareness. Can you explain? Also your definition of evil as well. Evil to me is unawareness. Unintelligence. The absence of self-knowledge. From that springs the horrors of the world which you call evil.

What is rational? What is irrational?

Is it irrational of me , born in a Muslim home in Iraq , raised my whole life in Muslim culture, conditioned to defend the Islam religion and to clear the land of infidels even at a price of death, is it irrational of me to blow myself up to kill 30 infidels when my whole life pointed to be doing this?

Is it rational of me, born and raised in Irwin Schiffs home, study economics my whole life, receive all the proper information and knowledge about investing, is it rational of me to buy gold while the dollar is falling when my whole life pointed to this?

Really. I dont know what these terms mean anymore.

Your right. Its hard. … but at the same time, the easiest, simplest thing you can do. Just observe. Thats it. You, however, state you cannot solve problems. Im assuming you mean issues like money and food. Do you always have to strive to make money, to get food? With striving, theres always conflict. Theres you saying “I want that” but you cant get it yet, so division and conflict is produced. Or can one follow their love… their passion… without any conflict… and be able to acquire these things?

Ha. I believe it. Awareness 24/7 almost seems unattainable. But that doesnt mean you cant practice it… and you that it cant better your life.


of course!


What Eastern thought? India is primarily Hindus and Buddhists, right? Bowing down to a God or conforming to a pattern is the furthest thing away from awareness/observation.

[quote]THE_CLAMP_DOWN wrote:

What is rational? What is irrational?

Is it irrational of me , born in a Muslim home in Iraq , raised my whole life in Muslim culture, conditioned to defend the Islam religion and to clear the land of infidels even at a price of death, is it irrational of me to blow myself up to kill 30 infidels when my whole life pointed to be doing this?

Is it rational of me, born and raised in Irwin Schiffs home, study economics my whole life, receive all the proper information and knowledge about investing, is it rational of me to buy gold while the dollar is falling when my whole life pointed to this?

Really. I dont know what these terms mean anymore.
[/quote]

Then you are pretty much beyond help. A Muslim is irrational for holding onto beliefs that have no proof and are patently false.

[quote]…in theory this is true, all of it, but there’s a reason why in practice it doesn’t work: the rigours of everyday life. Yes, if you take the time to resolve your issues, meditate and realise the folly of thought, which is the illusory state of self, then many things in life become much easier to deal with, but it doesn’t mean they’ll end…

Your right. Its hard. … but at the same time, the easiest, simplest thing you can do. Just observe. Thats it. You, however, state you cannot solve problems. Im assuming you mean issues like money and food. Do you always have to strive to make money, to get food? With striving, theres always conflict. Theres you saying “I want that” but you cant get it yet, so division and conflict is produced. Or can one follow their love… their passion… without any conflict… and be able to acquire these things?[/quote]

…teachings like the ones you referenced, project a state of continued bliss and understanding, thoughtless and aware. This might be true for some lucky individuals who remove themselves from everyday life, but for those who share their interests but live in a densely populated area that luxury eludes them…

…i am content with the money i make. It’s not a lot, but it pays for all the bills and i’ve something left over. No, i don’t want much, but i do want a roof over my head, have food on my table and be warm in the winter. That also means that i have to work, do my taxes and finding out that, somehow, i owe the dutch IRS 6000 euros in back taxes. I did something wrong i hope, but there you go…

[quote]The perfect opportunity for me to study him in the wild! Turned out that he, from appearances, didn’t act or behave any different from anyone else that came in. He was actually pissed-off we didn’t accept his Mastercard…

Ha. I believe it. Awareness 24/7 almost seems unattainable. But that doesnt mean you cant practice it… and you that it cant better your life.[/quote]

…absolutely. I spent the better part of a decade trying to attain enlightenment/truth, and when that quest ended things had improved tremendously…

Zionism

[quote]Makavali wrote:

[quote]THE_CLAMP_DOWN wrote:

What is rational? What is irrational?

Is it irrational of me , born in a Muslim home in Iraq , raised my whole life in Muslim culture, conditioned to defend the Islam religion and to clear the land of infidels even at a price of death, is it irrational of me to blow myself up to kill 30 infidels when my whole life pointed to be doing this?

Is it rational of me, born and raised in Irwin Schiffs home, study economics my whole life, receive all the proper information and knowledge about investing, is it rational of me to buy gold while the dollar is falling when my whole life pointed to this?

Really. I dont know what these terms mean anymore.
[/quote]

Then you are pretty much beyond help. A Muslim is irrational for holding onto beliefs that have no proof and are patently false.[/quote]

So it comes down to proof?

What if said Muslim was never presented with the proofs and facts against his religion. The proof that would disprove Islam. What if he had the perfect conditioning to believe in what he was doing… to never doubt the truth of it. Is it still irrational?

What if said investor had no reason to invest in gold. All his conditioning pointed to him investing in real estate, but on a whim he bought 10 grand worth of gold. Still rational?

Im not here to help nor to receive it. Just to inquire.