Goodness results from using our personal freedom regardless of social pressures. So, if we want a world with more goodness in it, it is up to each person, not to governments or charitable bodies. It therefore appears to be a potential manifestation of . We do not have to use our freedom in this way, but we can.
Bureaucratizing responsibility is one of the triumphs and disasters of modern life. The aim was laudable. As a person, I want others to be educated, to be cared for, to be fed. However, rather than doing something myself, I will simply pay and leave it up to the government (or to a charitable organization).
However, the government is not staffed by people who can act freely. You pay for good works in your name. The person delivering these does not pay: but rather wants to be paid to do these good works. Unfortunately, once a person is paid, then a sequence of purposive and emotional states are triggered: all of which are egotistical, and many of which are intrinsically harmful.
Mega-political and local power issues enter the mix and may lead to dire consequences. Beneficiaries are commonly corrupted and resources are wasted. So instead of the hoped-for good, there is diffuse long-term harm.
Whatever organizations can do for people—and they can do a lot—they cannot guarantee to deliver goodness. Given intrinsic temptations based on the need for power and resources, agencies are far more likely to serve their own members and develop arrogant, grandiose schemes.
Escape from Goodness. Many who might inherently follow anor find themselves in environments in which this path is difficult. They are reluctant to identify with society as it normally operates, for good reasons, and this leads to alienation. Some can create a role as an outsider, but many find the rejection difficult to handle.
Depending on factors like education, wealth and social status, they may end up addicted or suicidal or perverted. In many cases, the downhill spiral hits bottom, artificial solutions are abandoned, and a correct path is found.
Escape to Goodness. The reverse can be the case. Many who are on the path of enlightenment or seek spiritual experiences are actually suffering from a mental illness, damaged esteem, or a deep personality dysfunction. Because this disturbance interferes with the everyday joys of living, relating and working, some escape is desperately desired. Meditation, retreats, ritual obedience, and dogma can be useful.
Such escape is driven by the unknown trauma that devastated self-esteem and left a hole in the mind and a psychotic core too near the surface. In such cases, outside spiritual work, the person's mind is fuzzy and often filled with irrational anxieties. Because thinking straight is hard and feeling natural is difficult, ordinary work and intimate relationships are problematic.
More extreme sufferers are attracted to spiritual cults. Becoming a cult member or cult leader then provides an equilibrium that substitutes for healthy narcissistic activity. At the same time it generates a vulnerability that too often leads to exploitation, and sometimes violence and death.
Friendly assistance is usually insufficient to help cult members, and some form of psychotherapy may be beneficial. Readjusting elements of psychosocial reality that generate fear or inhibition or mishandling of relationships can free up genuine spiritual potential.
Originally posted: 31-Aug-2013