Thursday, December 25, 2003

During the holiday season our better selves strive to feel compassion for others.

Scott Peck offers us some related words of wisdom in People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil:

"At one point I defined evil as the exercise of political power -- that is, the imposition of one's will upon others by overt or covert coercion -- in order to avoid ... spiritual growth."

"I have learned these past years that evil -- whether it be demonic or human -- is suprisingly obedient to authority. Why this is I do not know. But I know that it is so."

"The spirit I witnessed at each exorcism was clearly, utterly, and totally dedicated to opposing human life and growth. ... When asked in one exorcism why it was the Antichrist, it answered, "Because Christ taught people to love each other." When further questioned as to why human love was distasteful, it replied, "I want people to work in business so that there will be war." "

"In the Road Less Traveled I defined mental health as an ongoing process of dedication to reality at all costs."

(Sounds much like Gandhi's definition of Satyagraha, doesn't it?)

"I think it is necessary that we should hate Satan as well as fear it. Yet, as with evil people, I think it is ultimately more to be pitied."

"It is characteristic of those who are evil to judge others as evil. Unable to acknowledge their own imperfection, they must explain away tyheir flaws by blaming others."

"Remember Saint Augustine's advice to hate the sin but love the sinner."