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p://myemail.constantcontact.com/Richard-Rohr-s-Meditation--The-World--the-Flesh--and-the-Devil--The-Spiral-of-Violence.html?soid=1103098668616&aid=r62BMzf_2MM


This is a great essay, and (i, hope when i get around to it) a good stimulus for meditation.

The sources of evil/violence are the world, the flesh, and  the  devil, in that order.

By "the world" Rohr and his source (Camera?) mean "systemsL" economic, political, family, religious, educational, legal, welfare, health, military, public safely, etc. systems.  The 19th century comedian (Dunne?) said that when business get to be more than buying ten penny nails in a brown paper bag, its hard to distinguish it from murder.  There is really nothing wrong with trading something i need (nails) with something you need (money); but when exchange becomes systematized, it is no longer fully controlled by i and you.  Like Mary Shelley's monster, we created the systgem, but it has a life of its own and we tend to become servants of rather than masters of our systems.*

The "flesh" which is not  the natural body but the body as imagined by humans, usually in a systemic context is where the monotheistic religions place their moral emphasis.  Even the dictionary comes close to defining morality as :"sexual morality."  No doubt we have inflicted much violence on each others' bodies in modern times, but it is not certain that there is  more violence in Industrial societies than there was in Agrarian, Pastoral, or Complex Horticultural societies.  I am convinced that there was far less violence, sexual or otherwise in Gatherer-Hunter and Simple Horticultural societies.  Chesterton's assertion that that the Christian doctrine of Original Sin, saved Europe from the pagans' natural view of the body is as laughable as it is tragic. in my opinion.  Freeing the body from the rules imposed by economics, politics, family, education, etc. could scareely make things any worse than they have been since the first "chiefs" imposed the first non-consensual rules.

The devil sits atop the spiral of violence. not because of its power but because of its powerlessness.  Evil's power, says  the Tao Te Ching, cannot harm people if they are in sync with the Tao.  If we cannot acknowledge and address the violence inherent in systems, talk about "the flesh" and "the devil" is pointless.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
maadmike
Oct. 24th, 2015 10:35 pm (UTC)
I doubt that there is need in thinking that deep and hard if people will be violating the simple commands like - don't lie, don't be greedy, don't kill and others. Do you remember how did you Americans started a war in Iraq which brout so much pain for so many people and killed hundreds of thousands? It was a simple lie...

"Cheney's arguments in favor of the war - the lies and historical falsifications David Walsh and Barry Grey September 14th, 2002 This article was published on the English page of the WSWS September 2, 2002.

Last week, US Vice President Dick Cheney (Cheney) twice gave speeches, marking the beginning of a political offensive of the Bush administration, taken to America to push America into war with Iraq. The two almost identical speeches were designed not to convince American society regarding the justification of the military plans of the government, but rather on what to do to gain the support of the ruling circles."

After this small lie your country was killing people for free and you are going to meditate now about where the evel is coming from? It is better to change the word "meditate" to something more appropriate like m... but it is only my point of view of course...
bobby1933
Oct. 24th, 2015 11:50 pm (UTC)
Yes. There was a popular book about twenty years back titled Everything I Ever Really Needed To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. We think that the world is too complicated for basic decency but we are wrong.
maadmike
Oct. 24th, 2015 10:48 pm (UTC)
My point of view is that there is no need to seek where an evil comes from while the people will be endlessly shitting each other, there is no devil to blame while everybody will be willingly lie, kill and so on...
bobby1933
Oct. 24th, 2015 11:44 pm (UTC)
Yes, i agree. Operation Iraqi Liberation (as it was called before someone noticed that the acronym was OIL) was an act of aggression, which, when committed by individuals is called Assault, home invasion, theft, and murder. We should be ashamed of ourselves, and some of us probably are. We have committed other atrocities and found excuses for them -- as has every other country that i know about.

My point was that people can only justify such behavior if they are sociopathic OR if they are acting in some official capacity. People who are members of city council, school boards, county commissions, provincial and national legislatures, etc., act like sociopaths while they and others get to think of themselves as decent human beings. Dick Cheney is a Christian and Christians are not supposed to lie. Dick Cheney was Vice President of the U.S.A. and heads of state and their assistants lie all the time. Telling truth during wartime is called "giving aid and comfort to the enemy." Christians give aid and comfort to their enemies; politicians and soldiers are called traitors if they do. Our systems make liars of us, and killers, and monsters.
maadmike
Oct. 25th, 2015 12:15 am (UTC)
I understand your point but again and again, the Roman "Christians" had became the tortures at the Inquisition times you are telling that it is a system to blame but it is not. Man has always a choice and maybe it is the main reason while we are here yet.
Do you remember Snowden? You could call him a traitor whatever you like but he simply had made his choice and if every person on Earth will do it - we will live on another planet at once...
bobby1933
Oct. 25th, 2015 03:57 am (UTC)
Yes, i remember Snowden and admire what he did. An honest man in a job that called for subterfuge; he remained honest and so is called a criminal. Exactly my point.
bobby1933
Oct. 25th, 2015 03:59 am (UTC)
And i completely agree with you.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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