Many (if not all) ills of humanity are psychological / emotional.

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Many (if not all) ills of humanity are psychological / emotional.

Unread post by Shortyafter »

There may simply be some psychopaths out there. I think that happens, but I think it's a minority.

I think, firstly, you have the issue of the desire for power. The desire for power stems from, IMO, a feeling of emptiness / insecurity that can only be filled by more and more power, achievements, money, etc. This is a pretty basic one. The solution is to learn to make peace with our limitations and mortality, but that requires painful and uncomfortable inner work. I think most of our leaders and elites suffer from this, because "normal" people aren't willing to grind as hard in order to make it to the top. They are OK as they are. (It's interesting that our politicians have to campaign in order to get elected. Why are they begging for votes? If we are asking them to serve, if it is truly a service, then we should be begging them to serve. Not vice versa.)

Secondly, you have ideology, dogma, and religiousness. These things stem from an inability to say "I don't know". Religion is a good example of this. Blind patriotism, too. Blind belief in the free market could be another example. It means discarding evidence and only believing in that which fits in with our limited and incorrect world view. The other day I saw a video of a kid in Gaza expressing his situation in very advanced English. To me, an English teacher by profession, it seemed like this guy was some sort of savant. Super gifted. I commented this. One user commented that "he's not a savant, he's reading a script". I told him "you literally don't know that". He said "it's obvious". It's really as simple as saying "I think it's obvious, but I could be wrong". This is the most truthful possible statement. But people are not willing to admit that they could be wrong. They are not willing to admit that they don't know. Because that leads to a psychologically uncomfortable vacuum. (As for my perspective, I don't think the kid was reading a script or being prompted, but it's entirely possible that he was.)

Thirdly, you have an inability to place ourselves in another person's shoes. It is related to point number two. The notion that we understand what's going on in another person's life, so much so that we can say what this person should or shouldn't do, or should have or shouldn't have done, is rooted in a hubris that cannot say "I don't know". The most truthful statement would be, "well, I wouldn't have acted that way, but I don't really know what's going on in that person's life". We choose to believe, 100%, in our own biases and judgements, based on our limited perspective, rather than concede any possibility that the person's perspective (which is infinitely more informed and real to that person) may have some grain of truth or reason in it.

It is all psychological. It is all emotional. It is too uncomfortable to admit "I do not know", therefore we cling to ideology, we rush to judgement, and we seek power in order to forget our powerlessness.

How many ills could be avoided if we simply learned to make peace with the unknown?
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