self-deception

Fear seeks fear, love seeks love

Imagine a rich man, driving expensive cars and everything. Some people would say: “You should give me some of your money, you have so much and I so little.” They arrogantly, in mental convenience, disregard any possible hardships that person might have gone through to make it happen. Yes, there are many rich people who got it through ruthlessness and uncaring, but you don’t know a stranger’s story. Maybe the guy with the feeling of entitlement even would have been rich himself if he hadn’t spent all his money. Maybe he has led a relatively enjoyable life, but still wants more.
Imagine the added difficulty that such envious people can pose for your efforts to fulfill a dream. Those who choose to live the problem are often the ones expecting the cure to stoop to their level and join them in their misery so that it doesn’t cause them mental inconvenience. The same mental inconvenience that made them choose to live the problem.
(Right now I remember a symbolically related scene from What Dreams May Come.)

I am not rich, but I have other qualities that have equally been under attack for as long as I can think back. I always had a fine sense for the smell of something rotten in people and an equal sensitivity that made it impossible for me to give in to that like many others do.
And such people are not satisfied with making my life a hell with their silly jealousy, but further burden me with their envious resentment for still exerting the strength to defend the best in me against their very repression efforts. The more I suffer under it, the more they claim it unnatural and unreasonable to resist their barrage. They hate that I make their weakness visible to them through exemplary contrast. By this they are sliding down further in their own hell, too, and feed their nemesis. I don’t like filling that role at all, but it is not my choice. All I want is to be myself; the best that I can be. Those who are too inflexible to accept that can just fuck off, for they only cause me more grief. The more they build their castle of avoidance, the more difficult it might be to figure them out. It is an impressive castle, after all. But a cold one. And any effort you invest in them they can shatter in an instant.

I had virtue and they tried to destroy my self-respect. They made me a virtuous altruist. Eventually I became too sick of their shit. They made me a virtuous egotist. Now they’re really fucked. Because now they’re not only in misery, but alone in their misery; without help. I am alone in my virtue. Not caring for those who have shown to not deserve it will be a win for those who do deserve it, and thus for me, too.
Very many people are just too damn inept to comprehend win-win situations.
Well, no surprise there. As I often point out: Fear makes stupid.

Have you ever tried to make yourself less intelligent? You can’t with love. But fear does it all the time. If fear is your enemy and not your friend, don’t even try. You will only torture yourself.

People may not know that they fell. They don’t want to know. They see themselves in pressing, relentless action and consider themselves daring and courageous, not realizing when they have built or invited a strong fear-motivation for themselves that keeps them busy with building their cold castle. They are merely productive.

In some people you can only feel it. In others you can also see it.

We don’t need people to do more. We need people to realize what they are doing.

“Out of respect…”

There’s no point in opening your statement with “Out of respect” as an indication that you deliberately decided not to pursue a certain course. If you say it, you signal that you don’t want to keep the fact from them that there is a reason for disrespect in your mind. So while it is less deceptive/secretive/closed and more sincere and open, it also implies disrespect and a closed mind, already considering its own standpoint final. The openness of this choice of words can come from a feeling of superiority, which itself can work as an insult.
It’s somewhat similiar to saying “I could call you names, but…” or “Some people might say that you…”.

As a sidenote: It also reminds me of the somewhat related issue of “No pun intended”. I love puns, so when people keep saying this, it would piss me off if they weren’t the ones dissing themselves by openly showing their fear of not appearing in the proper light. It basically means you want to suck up to an uptight crowd, but at the same time be fun. You want to have it both ways, all the benefits with none of the drawbacks, but you really gain none.

For further details on that matter I can simply refer to this very good essay, a favorite of mine because it covers the topic thoroughly:
http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=puns

Proud Christians

On Youtube someone commented:

“I am a Christian and I am damn proud of it.”

This was such an obvious setup for a concise response:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_deadly_sins#Pride
“In almost every list, pride (Latin, superbia), or hubris (Greek), is considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins, and the source of the others.””

Add to that the fact that he even added “damn” to it, thus rightfully bringing damnation into the mix, while unaware of how much this damnation had slipped into his mind.

His response, as could have been expected, based on avoidance of cognitive dissonance:

“That’s not the pride I’m talking about. There is both good and bad pride.”

After which I replied:

“That’s what Satan whispered in people’s ears.
It is troubling, yet natural, that Christians would so casually use the name of a deadly sin without humble self-reflection.”

I did that reflection. I wanted to find out whether I live pride. I read about the modern, supposedly different, positive definition of pride, and realized that I am not living that either. I can do what I do without the need to be proud of it. I look at my actions/accomplishments, reflect on their effects on the world and my life, draw conclusions and move on. Any form of pride is self-gratification of the ego. It doesn’t matter what outcome it produces. And it shouldn’t, because what is a beneficial outcome for one person, thus being defined as “good pride” by them, can be someone else’s suffering.
For example, altruism is good, but when you are proud of your altruism, you lose sight. It becomes a self-deception, a fake.
Very common.

In sheep’s clothes is how the wolf gains power over those who pride themselves with being smart enough to know what a wolf looks like.

– UPDATE –
The convo continues:

“If I was boasting, that would be a sin. Simply stating I am happy to be one isn’t a sin.”

See the rhetorical haggling? Simply. Innocently. Happiness. Is that the vibe you get from his initial statement?
Thus, my response:

“You keep deluding yourself. You talked about pride, not happiness. What you said was very much boasting. Even if there might be even clearer rhetorics for how to do that, what’s really relevant is the driving mindset behind saying such things. Thought shapes words and words shape thought.
The devil has his foot in your mind’s door. Tendendies can begin moderate and grow slowly, thus remaining undetected until it is too late.
It’s the same problem as when a Christian commits murder but then claims it’s not a sin because they didn’t kill a human being (just a negro, terrorist, infidel, criminal, etc.)
Trying to trick God with fine print and semantics is maybe the greatest of all heresies.”

Alliance of convenience vs. working together for the result

Apparently there is a common confusion, sometimes self-deception, about this difference. When people are working together, look at what it is that made them do it. Explore their motivations. They can vary a lot.

For example, when you look at a game like World of Warcraft, it’s one of the best examples for the worst kind of cooperation: Coerced by a ruleset, coercing loot-crazed egoists to participate in group activities because that’s the way to achieve their personal goals.
This kind of thing masks the real character of a person, and only when put to the test will it reveal itself.
Another type is like the above, but people putting up an act of altruism because they were subject to certain healthy social norms and don’t feel comfortable with themselves being an egoist unless they tell a better story of themselves.
This could lead to another phase where this self-lying is believed by the person themselves. (There’s a nice hint to that in Far Cry 2, or it’s literary source Heart of Darkness.) It’s like NLP, or self-indoctrination.
Then there are people who are not kidding themselves about their true egoistical motives and are OK with them. This is actually a step in the right direction. (Explaining why would require a lot more time. I’ll leave it for you to meditate on.)

All this will be very alienating to someone who is capable of real altruism, is doing sincere introspection habitually, is not just caring for themselves or for others only when it fits into their agenda, and is actually looking forward to enjoy seeing something accomplished, regardless of what’s in it for themselves.
Because it is a bit like this:

There is a game of everybody lying to themselves. It works as long as they all agree to keep playing by the rules. Only if someone introduces actual altruism into the game and the others realize it’s for real, they will fear that their game of deception might have to end. It’s like an insult to them, sometimes even the mere presence, because someone ‘thinks they’re better’ (They actually don’t, but the players ‘know’ (=believe) they’re worse and don’t like to be reminded of that). It’s an insecurity issue. Even if the altruist is understanding enough to not try and ruin their silly little game, it’s the nature of fear to always try to preserve itself.

That’s why it’s so important to sincerely hunt your fears, identify them, and then overcome them. One step at a time. Baby steps is much better than actively giving in to them out of convenience. The more people allow themselves that convenience, the more this burden will fall onto the very few who are too well-spirited to just stop caring and succumb. But, everybody has their breaking point, and they might eventually get majorly pissed and start gunning people down. And then, more than ever, having realized what the world has become, nobody wants to take responsibility, but instead revels in the dramatic rhetorical question “WHY?!” and their self-imposed convenient powerlessness. And those who do understand, but are naive enough to judge those people based on themselves and take it as a sincere question, will get demonized, making everything even worse.
And sometimes it seems things aren’t getting worse quick enough for people to get their shit together.

P.S.:
Someone whose personal aims are beneficial to yours is an ally.
A friend is someone who cares about you regardless of that.
Profound difference.