Human Potential

It’s safe to say that we are the premier creature of the planet Earth. No other species has the power to influence the planet as we do. Only humans can reason, philosophize, be religious, and leave legacies.

However, there is a growing movement that wishes to relegate humans to the company of apes, sharks, and other simple creatures. Even worse, we are depicted as a plague which must be eliminated to preserve the harmony of the planet. Schoolbooks dwell on the damage we cause to the rainforests, oceans, the atmosphere, and endangered species. College professors embrace atheism, the doctrine that we are the supreme beings of the universe. Paradoxically, atheism simultaneously places humanity on a pedestal and in a pit. If there is no God, then naturally man is very important, but man is also very meaningless, because we came from the same place as ants and microbes. Thus, there is no morality or higher purpose to the human experience. You should lie, cheat, and steal if you can get away with it, and the only thing you should fear is human punishment. Obviously, this is a hedonistic belief, and all hedonistic beliefs are also limiting beliefs which stifle your potential.

Unfortunately, “personal development” as a philosophy will always be associated with the “New Age” movement. This religion (and it is a religion) recognizes neither an all-powerful God nor the absence of divinity, instead embracing a no-man’s land of spirituality without substance. Prayer is replaced with yoga. “God” is replaced with “source,” and your connection to God is your “connection to source.” The Bible is replaced with The Da Vinci Code and The Matrix trilogy. Unlike atheism, which appeals to twenty-something liberal arts students who have no income or property and mooch off their parents, the New Age movement appeals to childless women in their late 30s and early 40s, and possibly gay men. The New Age movement embraces astrology, teleology, sun-worship, witchcraft, and the worship of animals. In many ways, it’s even more pathetic than atheism.

While practicing a traditional religion such as Christianity, Hinduism, or Islam is at a higher level than atheism or faux spirituality, religion always limits your potential by answering questions that are unanswerable. How do you reconcile the Pyramids and the existence of space aliens if God created us in his image? Are we one of many experiments? Can you really know if God exists for sure? Everyone has ghosts in their lives, so you cannot deny the existence of the metaphysical realm, but the belief in an all-powerful being who pulls the strings cannot be substantiated. Therefore, the most potent humans believe that they do not know the answer. It is very difficult to live with unanswered questions, but only highly developed people can accept that some paradoxes can never be resolved.

Humans have the most potential when they leave the most doors open. If you pigeon-hole yourself into a religion, race, nationality, or belief system, you close many doors for no good reason. Adopting a multi-paradigm perspective is always better than living with a narrow mind. Our allegiance should be to the truth first. God, nation, and family come second. If you find that your family members are marauders, your nation commits genocide, and your God is Molech, do you still remain committed to them? Of course not—your reject them and find a different God, nation, and family who are not evil. Fanaticism destroys your potential, because it forbids you from negotiating with the opposition. Entrenched beliefs may be good for a civil servant, but they are the antithesis of a human being with high potential.

Are you fulfilling your human potential? What beliefs are holding you back? What people should you cut out of your life? Whom should you spend more time with? Are you living your best life now? Or are you waiting for something or someone who will never come?

The Modalities of Existence

Music only has two true modalities of meter: duple and triple, from which all other meters are derived. A piece in 4/4 time is actually duple, just as a piece in 6/8 time is triple. Similarly, there are two modalities of existence: fear and love, from which all four modes are derived.

Fear only = the dark side
Love only = the light side
No fear and no love = death
Fear and love combined = insanity

This matrix is much like a Johari window.

Arena = the public self Blind spot = the private self
Facade = the blind self Unknown = the undiscovered self
COMPARE TO:
Fear and love = insanity Love only = the light side
Fear only = the dark side No fear or love = death

There are many shades of fear and love, such as sorrow, joy, guilt, forgiveness, rage, kindness, anger, and contentment. More importantly, there are two significant combinations yielding four results:

Fear of love = independence or phobia
Love of fear = courage or submissiveness

A living person cannot experience the absence of fear and love, just as a deceased person cannot experience both combined. The combination of fear and love produces all the evils of the world, including murderers, rapists, devil-worshipers, and the insane. The absence of fear and love can only be experienced in death. The quickest way to eliminate fear or love from your spirit is to kill yourself.

People with a love of fear sometimes become soldiers, firemen, astronauts, or daredevils, but more often than not, they get trapped in abusive relationships and accomplish nothing. In most of these relationships, women are controlled physically and men are controlled emotionally. A woman who loves fear will cling to a man who continually beats her, just as a man who loves fear will become obsessed with a woman who sees him as nothing more than a friend. The result is always a losing proposition for both parties. Opposites attract: a woman who loves fear will attract a man who fears love, and he will “run hot and cold” to create a “love-hate relationship.” The man punishes the woman when she demonstrates loyalty and submissiveness—he chases her when she shows any sign of courage and independence. At this point he will usually buy a bouquet of roses and a box of chocolates for her, and she will take him back once more. Once she becomes his slave again, he will return to his independent, aloof self, only demonstrating phobia when she demonstrates courage. Phobia manifests itself in “rage attacks” which always involve violence. This bipolar cycle can go on for months, years, or even a lifetime, resulting in the purchase of thousands of dollars of roses and chocolates. The entire floral and confectionery industries are built on this principle.

Similarly, a man who is obsessed with a woman demonstrates a submissive, “beta-male” attitude which repels his love interest. From time to time he will stop buying her chocolates and flowers and instead take a devil-may-care, “alpha-male” attitude which re-ignites the attraction. If he is submissive and fear-loving for too long, the relationship ends. Any couple who splits up and gets back together experiences this cycle.

Two people who fear love will usually never talk to each other, even if they cross paths regularly. Two people who love fear will do the same. It’s like trying to turn a magnet backwards and stick it on your refrigerator. It just doesn’t work.

Someone who fears love may become an independent, “lone-wolf” type, blazing his own trail of creative excellence. However, he is more likely to become schizoid and phobic. His downfall is his inability to connect to other people. While he wishes to create works of art that stand the test of time, being inherently valuable even if never viewed, his human ego prevents him from finding satisfaction in anything but adulation. Typically, he (or she) becomes a narcissist who accomplishes little but exaggerates greatly.

A person who experiences fear only will do everything he can to increase his power and invulnerability. He may hire bodyguards, build a bomb shelter, invest in cryogenics, and research immortality. Fear is just as strong a motivator as love. This people typically become politicians, religious leaders, business tycoons, or even healers. However, their purpose is never to help others—it is only to increase their own power. These people are less dangerous than the unlucky few who experience love and fear simultaneously. Their mission is to build an empire, not to destroy the empires of others. They may kill millions, but this is only “collateral damage” in an unrelated mission. It is not the central objective.

A person who experiences love only will demonstrate loving kindness to his friends and enemies alike. He will be like Jesus. His downfall is his trusting nature. His enemies will become more enraged the less they are able to provoke him, and they will eventually crucify him, literally or figuratively.

The coexistence of fear and love is a special case reserved for schizophrenics and murderers. A man who is absolutely obsessed with a woman is much more likely to kill her than a man with a healthy worldview. While fear and love are polarities, they are in fact very close to each other. Your closest friends become your most bitter enemies, just as your most bitter enemies become your essential allies. Fear and love are like East and West Berlin, with neutrality being on the other side of the world, 12,500 miles away. While most people alternate between fear and love, a man who embodies both at once experiences a living death worse than death itself. He cannot kill himself because he is already dead—he feels only agony because he is hardly living. He is insane. The most secure place for this man is a life sentence to a supermax prison, but this only minimizes his agony. If left unchecked, he will become a monster of Frankenstein proportions, destroying everything in sight, either overtly or covertly. Overt destruction produces a mass murderer who is quickly captured. Covert destruction products a psychopath who hurts a huge number of people emotionally and physically, without conscience, often into old age. Some will mistake him for a passionate, complex, and eccentric visionary, but he is no more than a rotting corpse who has died in the spirit but not in the flesh. David Rockefeller fits this profile. So does Hugh Laurie from “House, M.D.” seasons 1-5.

Love is to Jesus as fear is to Lucifer. While “Lucifer” means “to illuminate,” the devil in fact casts darkness on everything. Just as the “Ministry of Love” is the hotbed of torture in Nineteen Eighty-Four, “Lucifer” is the Prince of Darkness, a conniving, hypocritical figure.

A deceased spirit who indulges in fear will throw himself into a hellfire of his choosing. Usually, he will never even realize that reality is in his hands alone. A deceased spirit who indulges in love will go to whatever he perceives heaven to be. Sometimes, he will not realize he has chosen the path of light, but more often than not, he will be self-aware. Jedi are much less likely to experience “learned helplessness” than Sith. A man who places himself in hell deliberately is a frightening creature. His drug of choice is sado-masochistic self-torment.

Anyone who believes a divine being will condemn anyone to eternal hellfire is walking the path of fear. Sadly, this includes most church-goers. “Repent or you will burn” is nothing more than a scare tactic. Any preacher who espouses this is rooted in a position of fear, not love. No torment, even God’s torment, is so great that it cannot be escaped by sheer willpower. Even if your body is feeling terrible pain, you can end your life and escape to the afterlife, where you will not be bound by the rules of reality. While love and fear make interesting mixtures, true power lies in choosing one of the two modalities. Choose love or fear whole-heartedly and you will see that YOU ARE POWERFUL.

True Love is Conditional

Anyone who practices unconditional love must apply it to everything. It is not possible to love one person or thing unconditionally and love others conditionally (or not at all), just as it is impossible to have an inclusive society that excludes some group of people. Therefore, anyone who loves unconditionally also loves murder, lies, adultery, rape, child molestation, genocide, witchcraft, idolatry, hypocrisy, death, darkness, and evil in general. Conversely, anyone who loves conditionally can choose to hate evil and exclude it from their life.

Anything unconditional is devoid of substance and meaning. Do students learn anything from a class if their teacher accepts any answers? If you are unconditionally guaranteed food, shelter, and luxuries, does hard work or personal growth have any reward? Parents who love their children unconditionally provide just that, and their children are always spoiled brats who have no reverence or humility.

To understand the lunacy of unconditional love, consider its alternative: unconditional hate. Would it make any sense to hate someone no matter how much love and kindness he or she demonstrated toward you? Does it make any more sense to love someone unconditionally who continually murders your family and friends?

Does God love liars, killers, homosexuals, and gluttons unconditionally? No—he condemns them to death or eternal hellfire (depending on your religion). Does the State love criminals unconditionally? No—it imprisons and executes thousands of them. Unconditional love is unbounded, undefined, limitless, and expects no reciprocation. Unconditional love is insanity, and, like an infinite number, no examples of it exist in life.

Why then is unconditional love such a staple of romance novels and philosophical discussions? Doubtlessly, it stems from Romanticism, a period from 1789 to 1850 which emphasized feeling over truth and intuition over reason. A bunch of morons wrote a slew of poems about unconditional, unobtainable love for married or deceased women, and now children and college students of all ages have to waste precious time analyzing and praising the morons and their moronic poems.

People who practice unconditional love, in reality, hate themselves and the human species. They are child murderers, devil-worshipers, back-stabbers, and animal rights activists. True love is conditional.

Egregious Failures

2009-12-20 Update: Don’t be a jerk toward others and take this article with a grain of salt as it has a lot of negativity in it.

It sucks when you fail hard. That sentence will get a lot of search traffic, right?

I had you all set up for an awesome article before I typed that opening. Seeing the unusual title, you expected me to share one of my massive failures in the first paragraph. Instead, you got a joke that is annoying rather than funny. The sad part is it probably will get search traffic.

50% of you are hovering over the red “X” now. This opening is an egregious failure… unless you’re writing a post about egregious failures.

Six of my readers don’t know what “egregious” means. It means awful. Terrible. Massively wrong. Glaringly horrible. “Conspicuously bad or offensive,” as the dictionaries are fond of.

In life, you will become a master failer. Sooner or later, no matter how cautious you are, it will happen. The only way to avoid it is to never risk anything. You might be able to pull this off by holing up in a trailer, writing a blog about personal development while trying to make money with ads, ordering everything you need online, and barely covering your utilities. But then, your whole life is an egregious failure. You have a doctorate in failure and a cabinet full of awards.

Yes I am describing myself. It’s funny in a depressing sort of way, and my mission in my nineteenth year is to change it. If you’re failing now, there is still hope for the future. As a human being you are allowed to fail. You’re allowed to write your budget and totally forget groceries. It is okay if you give a whole speech in second person. You can release a WordPress plugin and crash hundreds of blogs for days on end (I’ve done this sadly). Failure is not only okay—it is a necessity. The more egregious, the better.

If you don’t believe you are allowed to fail, I can’t do anything to change you. The best I can do is this: I offer you my personal permission to fail. You may now disconnect success from your ego. Massive failure does not have to dent your self esteem. You have to do that. When you fail miserably, you have not failed as a person. Your actions, your ideas, your words, and your implementations have failed. Not you. You are not your actions, because you remain constant while your actions change. You change as a person but you do not morph into your neighbor. You are always unique.

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

– Winston Churchill

Churchill was an evil man, but he has some damn good quotes, and that’s one of them.

There is huge risk in tying your ego to success. After a string of egregious failures, you will feel like crap. Combined with your battered ego, these feelings will allow your superego to indulge in sadistic torture¹. You will begin to unconsciously sabotage your new projects and you will continue to fail. You will lose all enthusiasm. At the extreme end, you might ruin your life, becoming an alcoholic to numb the pain. You may also convince your children that alcohol is an admirable escape hatch. I learned this two days ago, while taking my Traffic Laws and Substance Abuse Education course on the way to my Florida driver’s license.

What’s worse than committing an egregious act? Never forgiving yourself!

A year ago, I created a URL shortening service called Th8.us and a WordPress plugin called Tweet This, which puts “Tweet This Post” links on your blog with URLs shortened by Th8.us. In 2009 July I was going to spend the entire month not dealing with email or my websites. I checked my emails anyway on the 12th, and found that my URL shortening service had been completely shut down because of too much server load.

It turns out I had some very bad MySQL queries on the home page and preview pages. They showed the latest shortened URLs, the most clicked URLs, and the other short URLs for a given domain. I always knew the code was bad, but I let it slide because the URL shortening service itself gets almost no traffic. It’s the API (application programming interface) that does, through the Tweet This plugin. Still, those few visitors completely crashed me. The functions worked fine with one million short URLs, but two million was too many. Lesson: It’s really bad to do a wildcard SELECT with a wildcard LIKE query on a MySQL table with two million rows. But, I digress. I’m a bad programmer.

Due to my untimely response, my host was adamant that they would NOT continue to support me unless I started paying them $160 per month instead of $90 per month. Out of the question. After two days of begging, pleading, and promising to repent, I was back online. Rather than fixing the poorly coded features, I completely removed them. I also removed hit counters to be safe, because WiredTree said it would be over if this ever happened again. Since then, Th8.us has been a spartan URL service, and the integration with Tweet This has been flawless.

Where was the egregious failure? During the three days of downtime, I completely crashed the nearly 1000 blogs that used my plugin with my URL shortening service. I had contingency code in the plugin to switch URL shorteners if this happened, but it was also badly coded and completely failed. Because Th8.us stalled, all the blogs accessing its API without a backup plan (e.g. using my plugin) stalled. There are about 15 accurately negative blog posts about it. I mentioned it on Twitter at the time but chose not to blog about it.

One of the options I had at the time was to completely abandon both services, make profuse apologies, and exit with a black reputation. Instead I continued with a black reputation.

Some people switched short URL services to fix the problem. Others removed the plugin and came back recently. Most removed the plugin and vowed never to use it again. Ruining peoples blogs is a BIG DEAL.

How did I estimate that this affected 1000 blogs? Tweet This 1.3.X would phone home data to my server. If you used Tweet This between 2009 February and early July, I have your email, your blog URL and title, your description and language, your WordPress and Tweet This versions, your blog’s post count, and your exact Tweet This settings. I caught flak for this, rightly so. I stopped collecting this data at the same time I fixed Th8.us. Recording this data helped crash my server. Every time you updated your settings, activated the plugin, or deactivated the plugin, I’d save a copy of all your information. I’ve removed the database from my MySQL server and the 105MB MySQL dump containing thousands of blogs is stored in an encrypted file on my computer. I never have and never will use it for anything bad. I thought about using the list of emails to notify people of new Tweet This versions, but never did.

I acted like Google. I collected as much personal data as possible, regardless of its usefulness, and stored it indefinitely. Acting like Google never works… unless you are Google.

I’m surprised people weren’t outraged, or at least, not many publicized it. If a plugin did this to me I’d be angry and would defame the author (I need to become kinder). Many of the blog posts acted like this was a common occurrence with plugins. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. WordPress has never been enterprise or mission-critical software, what with the constant bugs and security flaws. When you use WordPress or a WordPress plugin, you expect problems and you learn to deal with it.

So, I have two big black marks on both the reputation of my programs and my person, because my name is directly tied to this software. The Internet is forever. People will always be able to find this information. If I apply for a job as a computer programmer at a software company, the personnel department might Google me and find out about these egregious failures. I may never be able to get a job as a programmer!

Does this bother me? Yes it does. I don’t want a marred reputation and I don’t want to wreck peoples livelihoods. I’m sure I cost my users a few hundred dollars in ad revenue, since many of them rely on Google AdSense as I do. I can’t dwell on it though, because there is no turning back.

Two weeks ago another URL service, tr.im, which receives a thousand times more visitors than I do, announced they would close at the end of 2009. They could not guarantee that their URLs would keep working due to their bills and lack of income, though they made no attempt at collecting donations from their tens of thousands of users. Two days later, Eric Woodward, tr.im co-founder, flip-flopped, citing overwhelming public response. He made no apology, only stating “perhaps we should have taken a different course.”

Even though I don’t use tr.im and expressed callous disregard for my service’s users recently, I was very angry at Woodward’s post because I found it patronizing. Really it was self-directed anger, because I was seeing someone else do the same sort of thing I did. These are the statements I dislike the most: “We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the popular response, and the countless public and private appeals I have received to keep tr.im alive,” and “This was not a public-relations stunt. At all.” The first is condescending. I hate it when people hide behind “we” when they mean “I,” and Woodward slips up here by saying “we have” and then “I have.” Both times you know he meant “I have.” The second statement is simply patronizing, and I still believe it to be patronizing.

What action did I take? I posted a comment calling the tr.im developers “rotten people” who get a “sadistic thrill” out of playing their users for fools. It was the single harshest comment in the list of 200. When I do something evil, I take it really far. It is an unfortunate character flaw and it diminishes my credibility in the personal development field. I’m sorry for that comment.

Remember that egregious failures are only good if they teach you. For example, my hard learned lesson from the Tweet This incident is that you must create stable systems if people are counting on you. I don’t care if my home network is stable, because I am the only person who uses it. However, if the failure of your software really hurts people, you must ensure your software does not fail, or implement fail-safes. If I kept making the same mistake again and again, the value of the failure will be null.

Microsoft, did you hear that?

Microsoft Windows is an egregious failure. It’s done a few revolutionary things, but that happens less and less often. It’s buggy, inconsistent, has many incompatibilities, and crashes way too often. Every new version has more bugs than the previous. The latest version only becomes usable after a few years and a few service packs. Bill Gates never learns. And now it doesn’t matter because he’s hardly involved in the behemoth.

I released Tweet This 1.6 yesterday. It’s been downloaded 1000 times already. Most people don’t care what happened six weeks ago—they only care if it works now, which it does. Just as I continue to use Windows despite its big problems, bloggers continue to use Tweet This despite my egregious failure.

Not long ago I would rarely challenge people even if I believed them to be wrong. Now I’m working on kindness because I do it all the time, even if they mean no disrespect. I’ve become overly mean. Eventually I will reach a middle ground where I don’t get stepped on and I don’t step on people. You can’t do this if you stay a nice guy all the time, because you will always harbor hidden resentment for what you could accomplish if you became a jerk. If you don’t ever try being an ass, your personal growth will hit a glass ceiling which you will never be able to break through. If you are smart, you’ll try being a jackass for a while. If you’re average you won’t ever try it, or you will stay a jerk permanently.

2009-12-20 Update: Don’t do what I suggest below because it’s just mean and wrong. :frown:

I recommend running a one week trial in jerkiness. Adopt aggressive postures and attitudes, within reason. Try the things in my article, Becoming Evil. Just the stuff that’s fairly harmless. See what results you get. You will find that certain areas of your life improve, while others decline. If you don’t tell them about your trial ahead of time, you will alienate friends and family. People stop opening doors for you when you stop opening doors for them. You will become a lone wolf. You will stop yielding at the grocery store checkout and while driving, which will save you time. If the cashier refuses your Juicy Juice coupon, you will not give in. You will assert its validity and get the manager involved. If you are a man, women will become attracted to you for obscure and complicated reasons. If you are a woman, you will repel everyone except submissive lesbians.

Your experiments as a jerk will fail, possibly egregiously. Believe it or not, you will still have to run multiple trials in jerkhood, or if that is your default state, multiple trails in niceness. Only through practice will you implement the good qualities of being a bad boy and the good qualities of being a nice guy while discarding the rest. Any article on becoming attractive to women will tell you this.

To be a balanced person, you must try both sides. Not the extremes of both sides; just the moderates. Go extreme if you want, but remember the high costs in both directions. Being extremely evil obviously has high costs, but being extremely good has hidden costs. You give too much and get burned out. You don’t respect yourself enough. The truly wise don’t go all the way. Gandhi had respect for his time, and Hitler cared for his henchmen. In Star Wars, the emperor kills his henchmen left and right. Even for evil people, this does not work. There is always honor among thieves. If you are evil, your henchmen will only serve you as long as they know you will be good to them. Fear can only take you so far. Even the devil is nice to people.

Everything in life requires practice. This bugs me sometimes, but you can’t do anything about it.

Remember that you can always apologize for your mistakes. Announcing that tr.im would close and then reversing the announcement was a failure on the part of the tr.im developers. However, they apologized and are launching a new project to make tr.im community owned, which is a noble effort. Today, I finally made a comment in apology.

I’ll be giving out a bunch of print copies of this article, so I’ve decided to include my slanderous comment and my apologetic comment so you don’t have to look it up on your own. The bad comment:

What is this bullshit? What kind of fools do you take us for, anyway? How dare you pull this shit?

First, you make a whiny announcement about how there’s no point continuing tr.im with no way to make money and no support from Twitter. Then, you announce that you’ll be breaking millions of links at the end of the year by turning off the tr.im servers. Finally, you tell us it was all a joke.

That’s what this is, anyway. A joke. An insult to your users. Do you get some sort of sadist thrill out of pulling these stunts? You obviously had no intention of ending tr.im. This was just a publicity stunt. A very bad one at that, because it alienates your users. How can anyone take you seriously again?

Until recently, Twitter favored TinyURL. Why weren’t you squawking then? Twitter shows disfavor to you now no more than they did then. GET OVER IT. If you can’t make tr.im popular without sponsorship from Twitter, then you don’t deserve to succeed. Do you hear Steve Jobs constantly complaining about Microsoft?

You were “overwhelmed” by the response? 300 comments and a handful of emails overwhelmed you? You have a popular service. When you announce that you will be shutting it down and breaking all your links, how can you not expect an overwhelming response?

A service like tr.im should not cost more than $1000 a month to host. If you need money, don’t pull this shit. Ask for donations. You would have gotten them. But now, you’ll get nothing, because you’ve proven what rotten people you are.

And the apology:

This is good news. Sorry I was so nasty about your reversal before. Everyone makes mistakes, as I did.

I wrote a blog post called Egregious Failures, where I included the scathing comment I gave you, and cited it as an egregious failure on my part. If you read it, you’ll realize I’m a hypocrite, because my URL shortening service Th8.us had a three day outage one month before. My service receives 1/1000 of the visitors that tr.im gets, but on principle my comment was wrong. Unlike my service, your service did not go offline at all. You just made an announcement which made people angry. TinyURL and Twitter have had major outages in the past few months. Your mistake was insignificant in comparison. If I did not read your blog or check your home page when you had the announcement up, I would not even know about it now.

Do you know what Twitter should do? Ditch all URL shorteners and just flag all URLs as 25 characters toward the 140, regardless of length. Problem solved.

Sorry and good luck,
Richard

Apologizing for a wrong doesn’t absolve you, but it helps, and you learn from your error. I will fail again in the future, even with Tweet This, but I am not afraid. *500 people uninstall Tweet This* :blindfold:

Note that my scathing comment, from a pragmatic point of view, is very effective. It stands out more than any other comment on that post, and it’s probably garnered me fifty hits. But it is rude, soulless, and incongruous with my image. It is definitely NOT what I want to project. That is why it troubles me.

Anyway, my gut tells me I will own tr.im as much as I own General Motors. “Community ownership” will be a failure. But the tr.im staff will gain a boatload of experience.

Egregious failures build wisdom. Sadly, failures detract from your reputation. Failures involving character flaws obliterate your reputation. Once it’s done, it’s done.

“Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!…
Lala how the life goes on…”

– The Beatles

You are not supposed to end an article with a statement intended to be profound, followed by lyrics from a light-hearted song. But we aren’t following the rules today. So here comes something really dark.

Murdering someone does not get you a free pass into evilness. You are only evil if you do not feel remorse over it. If you feel any remorse, you are not evil. I believe there are agents of pure good and agents of pure evil in this world. Like in The Matrix trilogy, some people become hosts to these agents. Good agents NEVER become parasites, because it removes free will—an act which is inherently evil. Unlike in The Matrix, evil agents must be provoked or invited to possess you. Only very strong people can resist the full wrath of evil forces in the nether realm. Weak people cannot. Sometimes they remain agents of evil their whole lives, feeling no remorse because they’ve been transformed, just like when Captain Jean-Luc Picard became Locutus of Borg in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Every once in a while a shred of their old self pops up, and in these moments they have the power to escape the grip of the evil agent, as Picard did.

Do not tempt fate! Do not tempt dark forces! Do not offer yourself as a host to an agent of evil! Do not use weegie boards or tarot cards! Do not try to communicate with the dead unless you have confirmed psychic abilities! Before attempting to communicate with the dead, make sure you have confronted evil forces numerous times and persevered! If you have great difficulty communicating with a dead relative, you’re doing it wrong! If anyone does communicate with you, it will be an evil agent trying to trick you! Do not think that being possessed by an evil agent will be a fun, interesting, or beneficial experience! Do not think you can “handle it”! If you think you can “handle it,” you most certainly cannot! You have no idea how powerful evil is! You will end up murdering numerous people if you become an agent of evil!

Sorry for all the exclamation points, but this stuff is really important, and we all know that when something is important you do lots of shouting. :grin:

Everything fades in time. Even being possessed by an agent of evil. It will fade when you die and cross into the afterlife, and you will only be punished there if you punish yourself. Still, it is the ultimate egregious failure. Everything else pales in comparison. Fortunately, evil forces do not unleash their wrath on you unless you challenge or invite them.

“Richard, you were doing really good up until all that metaphysical crap!”

*50 people unsubscribe from my blog* :blindfold:

Earlier I said that Churchill was evil. Churchill appears to be evil because he got England involved in World War II to make a name for himself. He did not do it for the benefit of his people. His cowardice is well documented. 65,000 English civilians died needlessly because of him, and numerous colonies were lost, yet he is now deified. England would be much more powerful now if not for him. He deserves no praise. I judge him to be evil because as far as I know, he expressed no remorse. His actions may not represent him, but you take that risk when judging someone. Your judgment is often wrong because you do not have complete information. The only person who can judge correctly is God. However judgment is convenient, powerful, and often necessary, even though we can’t get it right. We get as close as we can, and we use a sliding scale. A man must be proven guilty “beyond a shadow of a doubt” to be executed, however the accuracy requirements are appropriately lowered when the stakes are lower.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Before writing this, I had defined my beliefs on the meta-physical less completely, but the beliefs came to me intuitively while drafting this. They may not accurately represent the realities of the metaphysical world, but I will use them until I uncover better beliefs. I hate putting a codicil on this, but I have to.

This post is so OVER!

¹ As opposed to torture used to extract information.

Heartless People

2009-12-20 Update: Be careful not to become too jaded or polarized from reading this.

It’s easy to forget how heartless most people are when you’re not around them.

At the beginning of the semester, my speech teacher asked all the students what their majors were, and what they were going to do with their lives. What did he get?

Boring replies.

No conviction. No one was committed to anything they said. There were a lot of “I don’t know”s. Those are bad, but even worse are the people who have been brave enough to “choose” a path… but they’ve chosen one that inspires no confidence. You know these people. Often, they’ll even say what they really want to do with exciting enthusiasm, but then in the same sentence they’ll say how unrealistic it is. These people think they’re really smart. They think they’re being “grounded” and “down to earth” by choosing a “reasonable” career. No one will tell them anything different.

But really, what are they?

Heartless people.

They’ve sold out. They’re not even twenty, and they’ve already committed themselves to doing what they hate for life. And that’s reasonable? We’re telling the children of the world that selling out is reasonable?

Shame on us.

You can’t have a heart if you’ve already sold yourself out. Sure, you can have compassion, kindness, love, friendship, bravery. But you’ll just have a shadow heart. A sliver of these things. A crumb, when you should have a whole pie.

The way to bring others back to their hearts is not to comfort or support or empathize. It’s not to stick by them. It’s not to bring yourself down to their level.

The way to help others is to follow your heart to the end. When you find someone like this, it’s like meeting Jesus. You’re meeting someone so brilliant and spirited that his heart transfers to you. It’s like a wildfire meeting a blighted forest. His fire becomes your fire.

So how do you overcome heartlessness? Phase heartless friends out of your life, and bring heartfelt friends into your life. That means: get away from negative people.

Once you’ve built up a network of positivity, go back to those negative friends. You’ll find they aren’t so negative after all. Their completely positive now. Were you mistaken?

No, you made them positive. Whenever you embrace your heart, others do the same. When you deny your heart with lies, excuses, and limiting beliefs, others do the same. It doesn’t matter if you’re a hermit. You still hold other people back when you hold yourself back. What you do to my brothers, you do to me.

This is the perfect manifestation of chaos theory and the ripple effect, because it means that we’re all pretty much the same. You have an ethical duty to do the work that does the most good for yourself and others, because if you don’t, you’re bringing down humanity. This isn’t something that can or should ever be mandated or legislated, because no one but you can find your heart. I can push you in the right direction, but only you can drink the water.

You have quite a responsibility. Every minute you waste working for more fake money, you take away from humanity. You think you’re being good and staying out of trouble, but you’re actually being evil.

How good would it be if I decided to stop taking pictures and stop sharing these articles, to instead play the violin or open a shop selling widgets? It wouldn’t be good at all, because that isn’t where my heart is. I’d be doing something I enjoy far less than this, so I’d contribute far less to the lives of others. If I picked a safe path like becoming a computer-science teacher or a government-funded librarian, I’d actually be doing something completely evil. That’s where heartlessness comes from.

One of the greatest ways to have a heart is to choose your career. Your career is what you do that makes money. It is not what you do to make money; it’s what you do that also incidentally happens to make money. Also: it is not what you do, but how you do it. My photography and writing is always focused on the growth and inspiration of others. If I found that I could better inspire others by composing music or giving speeches or returning to pencil sketches, I’d switch in a heartbeat. But I don’t, because my talent + heart makes photography and writing the most effective mediums for me right now.

You can’t choose a career in advance. You have to do it and then see if you like it. This is costly and takes years. To speed up the process, you must choose what you really like now, as that’s the closest thing to your mission that you currently know.

Ask yourself: “What would I do if I had all the money and possessions I need to live? What would I do if I’d found my mission? What would I do if I’d created my religion? What would I do if I had a loving wife and family? What would I do if I’d overcame limiting beliefs and made peace with the world?”

What would I do? I’d write this.

My gut reaction is that I should make my life perfect first, and then write this. Once I eliminate my problems, I’ll have peace.

This is putting the cart before the horse. Problems give you peace. ‘Unhappiness’ gives you a mission, because it’s actually happiness in disguise, telling you what you need to be doing. It’s that little voice (your conscience) that watches out for you. You have to follow your intellect (the voice) instead of your gut (not the voice). You have to be open to hear him. You have to listen real close. God’s not going to help you if you refuse to help yourself. Be thankful for the voice, because no other species has it. We’re special. We have a voice.

The nature of heartlessness

If Yoda from Star Wars has taught us anything, it is that the dark side is much more tempting than the side of light, because it makes progress much more quickly. Siths seem to have much more power than Jedi, because they blaze ahead while Jedi make slow advances. Siths rise to greatness in days instead of years. Strangely enough, however:

The dark side is powerless.

Heartlessness is powerlessness.

Good always triumphs over evil, because evil is a dependent system, whereas good is an independent system. Evil is the derivative of good. You cannot have a pure-evil world; evil can only co-exist with good. If you have evil, you must have good. But you can have good without evil. The phrase necessary evil is the dark side’s Trojan horse. Evil is never necessary.

You can’t have shoplifters without shoppers.

You can’t have thieves without customers.

You can’t have poison without medicine.

You can’t have corruption without honesty.

You can’t have hate without love.

You can’t have evil without good.

You can’t have heartlessness without heart.

You can have heart without heartlessness.

If everyone is wholly corrupt, how can anyone have anyone to take advantage of? You can’t have a society of leeches. Someone has to contribute something, or else there is nothing to leech.

Think of evil as cancer cells, and good as healthy cells. Cancer cells leech; healthy cells contribute. Cancer cells are incredibly powerful because they can reproduce and continue growing indefinitely. They expand exponentially. Cancer represents evil and heartlessness. Healthy cells, which represent light and heart, have no such privileges. But, there is a paradoxical fail-safe that protects the light side.

As cancer gets more and more powerful, it actually ends up committing suicide. Cancer is heartless, but it relies on something heartfelt (the body) to continue living. Once it becomes unstoppably powerful, it overwhelms its host. Both die. It’s like using Explosion in a Pokémon battle.

In a bad world, terminal cancer victims would be completely engulfed by the disease, becoming walking cancer zombies that roam the Earth spreading the disease to millions of others. They’d also be green and glow like Frankenstein. Evil would triumph.

In our world, evil can never triumph.

The best possible outcome for the dark side is the destruction of both good and evil, leaving nothingness. Evil can never win. If you’re evil, the best you can hope for is a stalemate with good, resulting in the death of you both.

The best possible outcome for the light side is peace on Earth with unprecedented abundance, freedom, and growth for all of humanity. Evil is completely removed, but not in it’s destruction, so much as it’s conversion to good. The evil men lay down their swords, stop murdering each other, and commit themselves to empowering rather than imprisoning their countrymen. We and the dead spirits forgive their transgressions, because there’s nothing else that should be done. There is no love in perpetual Hellfire.

Evil cannot be isolated. Pure evil does not exist; it is always tempered by good, be it 50% or .001%. Pure good does exist, alone and 100% independent of evil.

Which side will you choose?

If you pick heartlessness (evil), you’ve actually already given up on life, because the best you can hope for is a stalemate. But if you follow your heart (good), the sky is limitless.

How could this be any simpler?

When you give up your freedom to secure your safety, you’ve chosen evil. When you choose a safe, boring life over a risky, adventurous life, you’ve chosen evil. When you choose accounting over lion-taming, you’ve chosen evil.

Evil exists in everything you fear, everything that leads you into limits, shyness, and seclusion, away from your God-given power.

If you become heartless, you’ll make fast progress. . . toward death.

Your life has no meaning. It would have meaning if it was defined in terms of good, but by defining yourself in terms of evil you’ve obfuscated your heart into a cryptogram that serves no one.

Just because evil cannot triumph does not mean that you should not be concerned. The best endgame for evil is the destruction of good, and that is still really really bad. We want to keep good around.

Knowing that heartlessness depends on the heart gives you unstoppable power on the side of light. You may think power is evil, but it’s completely necessary. Anything that’s necessary is good, not evil. Power is great. It allows you to uphold goodness.

Just think: any heartless person, no matter how far gone, can be saved, because there is a sliver of good in him which can never be destroyed. To destroy that sliver is to destroy him.

If your evil is too strong, it might kill you to return to good. Or at least, critically injure you. But that’s much better than continuing in evilness. If you’re evil, you’re drowning alive.

If you cause a really heartless person to die, not through force but by his free return to heartfeltness, you’ve done something great. Although I’d prefer him to live, you’ve proven that impossible, and so his fate was best.

The way to combat evil is not to fight fire with fire, or murder with murder. In Gandhi’s words, “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” When you fight evil with evil, you become evil. Don’t cooperate with nor support evil.

A good example of disguised evil is pre-emptive and retributive punishment. You cannot rightly punish a man for his plans or his genes or his thoughts. “Hate crimes” and “thought crimes” cannot exist, because hate is irrelevant to a crime. So is “affirmative” action. Abortion is also pre-emptive punishment, because it’s meant to save a child from the horrors he’ll face in the world, being unwanted and unloved and all. All these things are touted by the evil-doers as “good,” but they are squarely in the category of heartless evil.

Don’t support evil.

Your thoughts are important, but for the purpose of justice, they’re only important after you’ve committed a criminal act. Then, in an ideal legal system, a jury of your peers reviews the evidence and decides unanimously if you (a) are guilty; (b) should be punished. You can only be punished if you’re guilty, but not all guilty people should be punished. If you accidentally kill someone, it’s a lot different then purposefully killing someone. The difference can be between no punishment and life in prison (not death, because death stifles your opportunities for personal growth). If you dive in the water to save a drowning child, it doesn’t matter how many “no swimming” signs are around.

Governments are not inherently evil. Our governments are evil. American was not evil, but it has become evil by would-be do-gooders standing idle while evil-doers like Abraham Lincoln, the income tax, and the Federal Reserve system rose to power.

Irresponsible debt is evil. If you mortgage your heart, you can’t expect anything but heartlessness. Most debt is evil, because most debt is irresponsible. Live beneath your means always, buy less than you need, contribute more than you take. Possessions and thoughts don’t matter; actions matter. Don’t put up with people who push you toward debt.

Thwarting the Death-Worshipers

The heartless have a plan right now. They want the best endgame for evil. The only path to that is the extinction of the human race (after a lot of pain and suffering, of course). The population of the Earth must become 0. Then, both good and evil will be gone, permanently. The evil-lovers worship death.

If you’re “neutral,” you’re evil. There’s good and evil, and neutral people are evil because they let evil people reign without matching evil with good. You have to choose between good and evil. This isn’t something you can wuss out on.

“The world is evil” syndrome

The main counter-argument of the dark side is this: nature, including the nature of man, is naturally uncaring and evil. Whenever we do something good, like sharing kindness or love, we’re doing it for ourselves. It’s selfish, because the end result is the betterment of ourselves. The betterment of others is merely a secondary result, making every person evil.

The problem with this theory is it objectively defines the self vs. the other, when such an objective declaration does not exist. When you redefine the world in terms of subjective reality, which is the only congruent system, you’ll find that other people are just projections of you and they represent the struggles and dreams of yourself. When you’re sharing your art or love or generosity with others, you’re being “selfishly evil,” insofaras that you are benefiting yourself. If the world was objective, that would be evil. But it isn’t, so love and compassion are always good and on the side of light, because you are other people, other people are you, you single-handedly represent all of humanity, and every other person on this planet is the exact same person as you.

Suicide is murder and must be illegal. Killing yourself is the same as killing someone else.

The environmentalism ploy

If you’ve read the Georgia Guidestones, the ten commandments of the death-worshipers, the first item on the list is “keep the human population below 500 million.” The way to do that is to kill 93 out of every 100 people. It’s going to take a lot of wars, nuclear attacks, famines, sterilization, abortions, and plagues to do that, and you can bet the illuminati are plotting right now.

If you support population reduction, let me tell you the truth: population reduction starts with you. Show your commitment to the 500 million milestone by taking the lives of yourself and your family right now. I’ll wait here.

Are you done yet? Very good.

Humanity is the calm within the storm. Humanity is the beacon of light that shines through all the smoke, fog, and mirrors that plague the lower forms of life. Humanity triumphs over adversity and heartlessness eternally, not by extinguishing the heartless but by converting them to the side of light and making them our strongest allies.

We’re strong together. It doesn’t matter if we have twenty-billion people; the life of each person is inherently valuable and sacred regardless. This is the path of heart.

Look at dogs for example. Before we came along, that had no mission. The race of the dog was a ship with no rudder, no engine, and no captain. But now, with man as the captain, dogs have love, abundance, and a mission like no other. By partnering with us, they’ve unlocked their true potential. It isn’t all sunshine and roses, because we’re killing dogs all the time, just as we’re killing people. Support the good things while denouncing the killing. Killing isn’t necessary; enough people die on their own.

Humanity is the most perfect and natural form of life on Earth. Don’t let anyone tell you this isn’t our planet. The planet is doing great, life is more diverse than ever, there is no global warming besides natural cycles of the sun, and pollution is minimal due to technological advances. The volcanoes of the Earth put out dozens of times more pollution than all of our actions combined. This is a secure, versatile planet; it can easily handle us. Mother Earth is not a fragile butterfly; she’s a solid rock with a will like no other.

Following your heart, day to day

If you’ve read everything I’ve written and am eagerly looking forward to my next articles, you’re one of a few. You’re reading a lot of other personal development books and blogs now, taking in all the information you can.

Yet you’re doing nothing.

You’re scared to do anything.

It’s much safer to read than to act.

It’s even safer to write than to act.

Right now, I’m just writing. You could say I’m being evil, because I’m encouraging other people to do nothing but read my writing, even if I say I want them to get out and see the world.

There is no personal development in sleeping, or reading, or even writing. Only in action.

You can read all you want, but you have to apply what you’re reading. If you’re merely amassing a list of quotes or a collection of books, you’re doing worse than nothing, because you’ve convinced yourself you’re making progress where really you’re making none. You have no heart.

When you forfeit your power to others, you give up your heart. You say that other people can make better use of your heart than you can. You’re afraid to wield power or personal responsibility, so the best you can is to let others guide you because they must be smarter.

The thing is, you can’t live with two hearts or zero hearts. You can only live with one heart. If we take that heart away or transplant a second heart next to it, it will kill you. Completely. When you become heartless, you’ve given your heart to someone else, and that person will die too because he can’t support two hearts. Heartlessness is the most pure form of evil, because it results in the death of everything.

It isn’t natural to live in fear. Courage is the natural state of man, but we’ve drifted away from it. When you’ve drifted off the path, the only thing to do is to get back on the path. Return to courage. Do something real.

Conclusion

Some people will say I’m naïve and idealistic for defining good and evil so concretely, or for believing in the goodness of man.

To them I say: :silly:

If you want something to pick on, I also believe in true love, real money, joblessness, purposeful happiness, and the sanctity of human life.

Always remember that the people who push atheism or Christianity on you the hardest are the ones plagued with painful doubt themselves. When people become highly angered, they’re never angry at you. They’re angry at themselves for not following their heart. Anger means that you’re either jealous of someone else being true, or unhappy that someone else is imitating you by being heartless.

Whenever I’m angry at other people, I’m actually angry at myself, because other people are me and I am other people. We’re the collective heart. It’s like the Borg, but ten times better. We’re working to consecrate the heart rather than extinguish it.

Live in the light.