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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:25 pm 
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I know Tom talks about improving yourself first, can you point to him talking about basically " evil flourishes when good men do nothing", should we make judgement calls on everything that we disagree with and be campaigners and active protestors, OR first thing is make sure you're being the best that you can be ?

If you can point me to either video or written word I'd appreciate it ?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:03 am 
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How much better would it be, if instead of having the belief, if they had the understanding that being kind, that being good is the fundamental purpose of our being here. That's also civilizing, but it’s for a different reason. Now you actually understand the big picture of what's going on, and your place in it, and how you fit. It's not just the idea, “I believe, so I’ll do this.” Both may end up in the same actions but they're not coming from the same intent. The one that has just the belief may not be able to get past that belief. They may get to a point where the right thing to do is to knock some heads together. The right thing to do is to stop some kind of terrible action. But they can't do that because they believe that you should always be nice. So okay, here's somebody and they're going around doing awful things. And someone has an opportunity to stop them, but they don't because that “wouldn't be nice.” They have to be nice all the time because that's a belief.

Whereas, you need to have the understanding that there are times when you need to stand up and fight. There are times when you need to butt in and say, “No, no more of this.” There times when you need to protect. So that's like the idea of being a pacifist. There is a time when turning the other cheek is the right thing to do. There are times when it's not the right thing to do. You have to not have this small idea that is run out of a belief, because that belief isn’t going to fit all the situations. Belief is very specific. And it's a piece of the pie. And it can be a very helpful piece if you believe nice things. As opposed to, “I believe I should take whatever I want and give as little as I can for it.” That's a belief of using others, of abusing others. That's the way the world works. You’ve got to look out for number one. You’ve got to take as much as you can get, and give as little back as you have to. That’s how you succeed. A lot of people believe that as well. That's not a nice belief. But that belief may end up making people wealthy. They may end up getting higher positions in their companies because they believe that way, because they take advantage of people. They step on people on the way up. They set up situations where their competitors fail. They kind of poison the well, and other people's neighborhoods, because it makes their own well more profitable. So that kind of stuff may actually allow you to succeed in a world such as ours. But it’s not good.

Beliefs may have some practical value in a small picture. But in a big picture they're limiting. They're very limiting. Whether it's the civilizing belief of, “do good things,” or the antisocial belief of, “It's all about me.” Both of those beliefs will help you make decisions according to your beliefs. They'll give you direction according to your beliefs. But neither one of them is probably going to help you grow up. Because if the reason I help this little old lady cross the street is, “I have a belief that’s a good thing to do.” Well, you helped a little lady across the street, but you don't grow up in it. It doesn't involve you in it because you're not doing it for the right reasons. You're doing it because you have this intellectual belief, not because it's the right thing to do at the being level. If it’s your choice to do it because it is right, that’s different than, you do it because you believe you should. They’re two different things.

It's not that you can't do both. Some people have a belief and they also feel that it's the right thing to do. That means they may have a religious component, but they have a spiritual component too. The two are not incompatible. It's not that if you have these beliefs you can't be a good person. It's not that. Even if you believe in stepping on other people's success, you might still be a good person in some aspects of your personality. It's not black and white. Just in general belief is limited. You’re less limited; you can make wider decisions and better decisions, if you're not basing your decisions on a belief. But rather, if you base your decisions on an understanding of the nature of reality, and what's important, and what our purpose is. If you understand the big picture then you know when it's time to turn the other cheek, when it's time to resist, and when it's time to push back.

Sure and there’s the old political statement, (I can’t remember who said it, but basically,) “Evil things happen when good men do nothing.[1]” I didn’t quote that exactly right, but we let terrible things happen when good men sit and do nothing. There is a time that you have to just get up and say, “No.” Or you have to oppose or not turn the other cheek. There's a time to fight back. You can't make these rules based on action. It’s not about what you do. It’s why you do it. It's the Intent that's really important. The moral values are attached to the Intent. They’re not attached to the action. So, in some cases turning the other cheek is the moral action, the moral thing to do, but if you're doing it for the right reason. You could do it for the wrong reason, and it wouldn’t be moral and carries no more value. And the same applies to standing up. Sometimes if you say, “No, I won’t allow that.” That's the wrong thing to do. You shouldn't be imposing your view of the world on other people and other times you should. And you say, “It’s very confusing. How do I know which to do, when, and whatever?” There is no morality tagged to action. It's not about the action. It's about the intent. And if your intent is informed by belief, then it’s a pretty much an uninformed intent.

It's just belief applied the same way in every situation. Well it doesn't necessarily fit in every situation. Turn the other cheek is a very wonderful thing to do. That says that you don't flare up your ego because somebody else has flared up their ego; that you are above that. You don't have to throw gasoline on that fire. You can do something more intelligent. That's a very good thing. But in some cases it doesn't work. So you have to work from the Intent. What does the most good for the most people? Where is the low entropy path? What is the right action here in terms of fundamentals, in terms of evolving the quality of your consciousness, in terms of being Love? Not, “acting” like you’re love, but actually, “being” Love at the being level.

That's the point. People want to be given a prescription, “What should I do? Should I turn the other cheek in every instance? I’m a pacifist. That’s just the way I am. I believe in it. If my country gets invaded then somebody else will have to fight. I won't do that. Or if my family gets invaded, I’ll just have to let them take my wife and children because I can't be violent.” Well nonsense, that's what happens when you work from belief. It's not really tied to what's real, what's important. That's the point about belief. So yes, belief can make you a kinder person, can make you a meaner person. So it's not that all belief is ugly and mean. People who get through because of their beliefs, it’s true they're getting value out of those beliefs. People can end up being millionaires because of their beliefs. Because they don't mind walking over people and taking advantages of situations. Then they'll say it was, “their beliefs” that made them successful. And that's probably true too.

But none of that is the way you want to live. None of that is optimal growth. None of that is optimal evolution of your consciousness. That's why I don't say, “Here's what you should do. Listen to me.” I say, “Here are the basic fundamentals of reality. Now go out and apply them, grow, do what you can with them. Always try to get rid of your ego and fear and become Love.” But those are real general things. And people say, “That's nice but tell me what to do.” And that's not a good question; and I don't answer those. I’ll give you the basics, but you have to grow from the inside out. Nobody can tell you what to believe - how to grow. I tell you, “Don't believe anything. Just be open-minded, skeptical. Understand how this really works, and live your life the best way you can. And if you are always open-minded and skeptical, and if you have a desire to evolve the quality of consciousness, you will succeed.”
[1] "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Edmund Burke Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)

viewtopic.php?f=259&t=8460&p=75275&hili ... ure#p75275


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:08 am 
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Thanks Sainsbury

That stuff is mainly about belief, fair enough.

What I'm trying to get at is should we, can we know how to, make informed choices about the many varied things that are presented to us all the time, or should we act more like observers most of the time ? Obviously we can't be observers all the time, but for example take the climate debate, I really don't know how anyone can make a decision , the whole thing has been politicised into a mush ? Many things we may have strong opinions on, when more deeply investigated, turn out to be less cut & dried than we thought.

We may intuitively feel that some things are wrong and should be changed, but are unable to help for various reasons. I think I am an emotional person, and am guilty of letting things get to me, this was probably the reason for my stroke, so now I try not to let things get to me, for the sake of my families well-being. Enlightened people like Eckhart Tolle, don't appear to be running around, hair on fire, being pro or con anything from what I can see ?

I know it is all about making the right choices with the right intent, but I guess what I'm asking is should we make the choices as they appear in our lives or should we seek them out ?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:38 am 
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Q1. how do you live an ethical life when many goods you buy come are produced using slave labor – she had just discovered Apple Incorporated have had many accusations made against them some of which include the use of children under the minimum work age for work in several factories, the falsification of many factory records, and the poor working conditions and abuse of factory workers – Linda is completely concerned you live an ethical day when you are living off the pain and suffering of others and perhaps are even unaware of it.

Tom: You cannot be held responsible for what you don’t know – unless your ignorance is purposeful (i.e., you go out of your way to avoid knowing things. The moment you find out about an unethical process to which you are a contributor is the moment that you gain the responsibility to stop (or minimize if stopping is against the law or does more harm than good) contributing, encouraging or enabling the unethical behavior. Of course, one should always be actively open to, and be searching for, new data. However, be aware that there are people bending and coloring “the truth” on all sides of any issue. The world runs on belief, image, and propaganda, not truth. Unfortunately, truth is most often only a minor player in decision/choice making. It is very difficult to get honest, straightforward information, and even more difficult to assess that it is so.

Thus it is very hard to assess the existence and extent of unethical behavior unless you are a firsthand witness to all the issues and circumstances, all the acts, and all the intents behind the acts. We hear facts about acts and then often fill in the intent from our own fears, expectations, and beliefs. It is the intent, not the act, that matters most. Example: A 10 year old child working in a factory in the US is illegal and unethical. A 10 year old child in a country with no public education system, no social services, and no child labor laws; and who is working in a factory by his own free choice, (perhaps shuffling papers between offices, and delivering mail to the management staff) in order to keep his mother and five younger siblings from starving to death, is another thing altogether. Here, forcing this particular child (who is thrilled and very lucky to have the opportunity to do this work and save his family) to stop working because he is only 10 would be the immoral choice. If the factory manager was getting pressure to fire the child because of bad press (created by competitors or by watch dogs who need issues to justify their jobs, or by people who mean well but do not understand the bigger picture), he is ethically required to resist that pressure and maintain the child’s employment. If the country were under pressure to consider imposing child labor laws, they must figure out the balance of how much good and how much evil will be done because of the law and act only in ways that benefit the vast majority of its citizens now and in the future – and find ways to protect those it harms.

Also you may stop buying A’s products and start buying B’s products when in fact B is a much more unethical company but you are simply ignorant of their immoral behavior. B may have even funded the negative propaganda about A.

So, as always, one must learn how to live gracefully with uncertainty. That is, you must form your intents and execute your actions based on what you think is mostly likely to be the truth. One should always err on the side of caution (do no harm) and always remain open to, and actively seeking, more information that might modify your position. Employing open-minded skepticism is the key. You need to develop trusted sources and put serious effort into doing effective research. Remember, trust must be earned, not just given to someone or some organization because their PR machine is doing a good job.

There are two basic requirements to living an ethical life: Be a ethical person and (1) Make the best ethical choices you can, based upon the best information you can gather at the time (assess accuracy and completeness of data without adding distortions due to your fear, ego, and belief). (2) Learn to live gracefully with uncertainty (use open-minded skepticism to assess the truth in terms of tentative probabilities -- avoid adding distortions generated by your fear, ego, and beliefs). Accept that you will make mistakes and be imperfect -- that is okay because you will fix the error as soon as you discover the error and you are continuously working on it. It is not your responsibility to fix the world, your responsibility is to fix yourself, and if you are actively working on that as effectively and efficiently as you know how, you are doing your part. Beyond that, let the cookie crumble however it does – learning opportunities and challenges are provided for all.
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=6844&p=52047&hilit=ethical#p52047


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:22 pm 
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Thanks a lot, that's very helpful.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:33 pm 
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Quote:
Thanks Sainsbury

That stuff is mainly about belief, fair enough.

What I'm trying to get at is should we, can we know how to, make informed choices about the many varied things that are presented to us all the time, or should we act more like observers most of the time ? Obviously we can't be observers all the time, but for example take the climate debate, I really don't know how anyone can make a decision , the whole thing has been politicised into a mush ? Many things we may have strong opinions on, when more deeply investigated, turn out to be less cut & dried than we thought.

We may intuitively feel that some things are wrong and should be changed, but are unable to help for various reasons. I think I am an emotional person, and am guilty of letting things get to me, this was probably the reason for my stroke, so now I try not to let things get to me, for the sake of my families well-being. Enlightened people like Eckhart Tolle, don't appear to be running around, hair on fire, being pro or con anything from what I can see ?

I know it is all about making the right choices with the right intent, but I guess what I'm asking is should we make the choices as they appear in our lives or should we seek them out ?
SteveMac,

Just to add to Sainbury's great post... It seems you might be overthinking all of this. Be yourself - exactly as you are. Embrace it. Do your best to become better. That is it. It shouldn't be any more complicated than that. Trying to act or be one way or the other based on what you think you should be doing will end up being counter productive and winding you up in a knot.

Be yourself, accept yourself as you are, observe yourself honestly, and do your best to become more. That will lead you to exactly to where you need to be. As issues or topics come before you, use your intuition to make the best choice you can and accept the outcome - whatever it is. Then move forward to the next. If you screw up along the way, what can you do? Just keep at it. That is the only real way to make positive forward progress in terms of personal growth.

That is my limited understanding anyway.

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-"You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find... you get what you need"


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