All that is required to create an evil society is the manipulation of any population that is ignorant of the truth by those with evil intent. A wise society requires a critical mass of the population to independently choose to seek their own pathway towards inner wisdom. Is it any wonder that it is evil that so often prevails in this world? We live in a world that has been tainted and corrupted by those who promote division, selfishness and greed. They count on ignorance of others to realise their malevolent goals. It doesn’t have to be this way. Acting together, we can build a wiser world based on integrity, empathy and mutual responsibility. In this world people will be valued by their capacity to love rather than their addiction to greed and the amassing of wealth. The journey towards such a world starts with you. Are you prepared to surmount the barriers of ignorance that lay in your path and do what it takes to become a seeker of wisdom?
What is evil?
“In my work with the defendants (at the Nuremberg Trials 1945-1949) I was searching for the nature of evil and I now think I have come close to defining it. A lack of empathy. It’s the one characteristic that connects all the defendants, a genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow men. Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy” Captain G.M.Gilbert.
Evil is such a powerful and evocative word and for most of my life I thought it was a relatively useless word. This was until I came across this observation from Captain Gilbert, made after the Nuremberg trials, which was a complete revelation.
My initial exposure to the word evil was in the context of religion and the battle between good and evil in biblical terms. I found it very hard to differentiate good from evil as it seems that God would constantly punish humanity in the name of good using methods that I could only ever contemplate as evil. The Christian church would also regularly torture and burn people to death for the “good” of the faith to protect it from the “evil” of heresy. It seemed to me that good and evil could be used interchangeably depending purely on the perspective of the person using the word.
Captain Gilbert offered a far more powerful and objective description of evil, the absence of empathy. It is also no coincidence that it is one of the factors used in a psychological checklist for the diagnosis of psychopathic tendencies devised by Professor Robert. D. Hare. We can usefully determine that any society that is starting to lose empathy, particularly for its most vulnerable and marginalised citizens is becoming increasingly evil and also increasingly pathological in nature.
I could now observe the world using Captain Gilbert’s definition and the social and political dynamics that were evidently leading humanity towards evil. This was a big step forward in my understanding of the dynamics of society but if there was to be any hope in reversing these trends it was essential to understand the opposite of evil. What possible word could describe the essence of the dynamic that was leading humanity away from evil? Defining the opposite of evil as the possession of empathy seemed somehow inadequate. Good I had already surmised was an extremely unhelpful word as it was so often used to describe actions that I could now far better describe by utilising the word evil. After a lot of consideration, I have come to a conclusion that the opposite to an evil society is a wise society. This leaves the challenge of an adequate description of wisdom.
What is wisdom?
As with the word evil I have found most of the definitions of wisdom as being rather inadequate. Most definitions use the terms intelligence, sound judgement or good judgement. We only have to look at the world we live in to see a lot of highly intelligent people doing evil things to realise that intelligence and wisdom are not the same thing.
Was the complex development of an algorithm that was used to trade sub-prime mortgages wise? It certainly required a lot of knowledge and intelligence. The terms good or sound judgement again lead us to the situation that it depends upon the perspective of what is good or sound.
Are the huge profits made by the manipulation of government and the market by the US healthcare and US pharmaceutical industries wise? They certainly “maximise shareholder profits” whilst millions of Americans lack access to effective healthcare and US citizens are faced with probably the most expensive healthcare in the world.
Both of these examples benefit from the perception of Captain Gilbert. Both show no evidence of either empathy or compassion. Only with an absence of empathy could someone deliberately develop a financial product that would lead to global economic collapse and plunge millions of the poorest people in society into destitution.
Only a complete absence of empathy can result in millions of US citizens be condemned to suffering and death so that those running huge corporations can make even more profits to drag off to their respective tax havens.
These reflections have led me to the conclusion that wisdom requires the combination of both intellectual intelligence and emotional intelligence, a highly-developed capacity for empathy. We could also consider using the concept of the capacity to love in this definition but love is also a word fraught with difficulties and is very dependent upon context. I will come back to the nature of love later.
Many wisdom teachers and philosophers throughout the ages have suggested how humanity could create wise societies and the personal path that individuals should seek to find wisdom. Buddha, Socrates, Confucius, the writers of the Bhagavad Gita and teachings associated with the name Jesus are just a few examples of wisdom traditions that have tried and failed to collectively evolve wisdom in humanity.
Now in 2017 nearly every country in the world is involved in a war of some description, a situation that has been continuously repeated throughout human history. Precious human rights are being reversed through the rise of neo-liberal economics promoted by a ruthless new breed of narcissists and despots. We are seeing a terrifying rise in racism, bigotry and misogyny reversing hard won progress in previously liberal societies.
All the evidence suggests that humanity simply lacks the capacity to evolve and become a wise species. The primary and starkest difference now is that humanity is on the brink of destroying the delicately balanced eco-systems upon which all life is dependent. The very future of Mother Earth, the womb of all life, is now in jeopardy through human folly and the actions of powerful and influential people who undertake evil things. Equally culpable are a largely apathetic majority of humans who refuse to take on any personal responsibility and allow such people to get away with it.
There is also a major flaw in the wisdom teachers of history. The overwhelming majority of them were men and I am convinced that collectively it is the women of the World who have far greater capacity for empathy which is the foundation of emotional intelligence. If there is to be any future for humanity, and the other creatures who share this Earth, we need to start listening to the voices, guidance and wisdom of women. I firmly believe that the most intractable of human conflicts would end virtually overnight if we removed men and their inflated egos from negotiations and replaced them with women and especially mothers. Do we really think that the women of Syria would consider the best course of action for the future would be the continued slaughter of its children if they were empowered to stop it?
Many liberal thinkers in our society have been shocked by the sudden rise of what we would currently call populism and the success of “right wing” political groups and leaders. In many liberal societies, there had been great progress in improving rights for people with disabilities, of improved gender and sexual equality and protection from religious or racial discrimination. Surely these societies have proved to be wise and to have developed a heightened empathy? Why was it that the work of decades seemed to be unravelling so rapidly? The answer to this is that these societies had not been nearly as wise as they presumed. One of the most powerful drivers that fuels evil action and inhibits the development of wisdom is greed. With very few exceptions nearly all of our so called “liberal societies” have taken virtually no action to deal with the excesses of greed which has led to a dramatic rise in inequality and a widespread stagnation in living standards.
We live in a world that has readily acquiesced to just 8 men accumulating enough wealth as the poorest half of the global population, over 3.5 billion people. In the UK, my country, we have levels of inequality last seen in Victorian times. In the 6th wealthiest country on Earth we have over a million people regularly reliant on foodbanks to survive. We have a Government that continues to deliver tax cuts for the wealthiest whilst undermining the essential public services that the rest of society depends upon.
Is it any wonder that the millions of people who have felt disenfranchised and unrepresented have chosen ever more radical solutions through spurious promises of change? Superficially attractive politicians with evil intent have no qualms about lying and have no intention in delivering on the promises that they make.
Greed corrupts and corrodes all that it comes in contact with. It is an addiction that is far more damaging to the addict and society than heroin or crack cocaine. Greed is a terrible affliction that prevents the human psyche from evolving. It will be impossible to develop wise societies unless the excesses of greed are rigorously constrained. Many highly progressive political movements have been undermined and corrupted because they have failed to understand the malign influence of greed and failed to develop robust policies to tackle it.
It is no coincidence that wisdom teachers throughout history have warned that those who are motivated by greed and self-interest will never discover the path to enlightenment. The statement attributed to Jesus “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” was not just some arbitrary moral judgement. It actually showed a highly-developed understanding of the nature of the human psyche if we reinterpret the “kingdom of God” as attaining any degree of enlightenment.
Addiction to greed inhibits the development of wisdom and there is no possibility of following a path towards enlightenment without wisdom. This applies as much to the development of enlightened societies as it does to individuals. A society is merely a reflection of the state of the collective psyches of its citizens. No society that is primarily influenced by the interests of a small exceptionally wealthy elite will ever become a wise society that cares about building a positive future for all of its people.
One of the greatest of human rights is considered to be freedom. Freedom of expression, freedom in religious practice and freedom from persecution. How many thousands of wars have been fought in the name of freedom? What is virtually never considered is that the first step in freedom is freedom from the bondage imposed on rationality by the human mind or psyche itself. It is impossible to build free societies without first having a critical mass of citizens with free minds.
We all like to think that we have freedom of will but this is virtually absent in much of the population. Real freedom of will begins with the development of insight into the extraordinary power that the human unconscious has over our conscious minds and our consequent actions. It is the instincts and emotions that hold sway over most human action with our rational consciousness being a mere puppet pulled by powerful strings. If human emotions, amplified by powerful instinctive impulses make an attachment to a person or an idea, then virtually no amount of evidence can break this bond. This is not freedom, this is a form of slavery. The most important battle for freedom, the most important battle that any of us will ever undertake starts within ourselves. It is this personal battle within our own minds that is the focus of virtually every wisdom tradition and teacher throughout the millennia.
The religions based on the worship of the Abrahamic God are an excellent example of emotional attachment taking control over rational thought. The Bible, particularly the Old Testament, is contradictory to virtually all historical, biological and geological evidence and yet the dedicated followers of these religions choose to steadfastly ignore any evidence that is contrary to their beliefs.
Here is just one example of the obvious clash between historical evidence and religious myth in the Bible. In the Exodus the Bible claims that the first child of every family in Egypt was slain by God and that the army of the Pharaoh was drowned in the Red Sea. Yet despite this there is not one single hieroglyph that mentions this and at the dates stated by Jewish scholars for the Exodus were amongst the most militarily successful in Egypt’s history. In fact, there has only ever been one hieroglyphic mention of Israel which was in the Merneptah Stele of approximately 1200 BCE which claims “Israel is laid waste.” All the historical and geological evidence suggests that the Bible is a book of colourful tales and Myths. It has no more credence than the wonderful myths about Greek or Norse Gods or King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
Millions of people can be called to arms and to indulge in the bloodiest conflicts in the name of religions that have virtually no evidence to support their ideologies. These are not millions of people with free wills choosing to fight. These are millions of virtual slaves controlled by their emotions, anger and fear and attachment to powerful ideologies programmed into their psyches since their birth. In many parts of the world the denial of the legitimacy of Abrahamic myths is still punishable by death. This is why many religious orders are so keen to run our schools so that they can programme impressionable young minds when they are at their most vulnerable to suggestion.
A human mind that has made an attachment to an idea or another person with a powerful ego will defy virtually any amount of evidence if it contradicts their established world view. Christian, Jewish and Islamic scholars even bizarrely grasp at the existence of the single mention of Israel in the Merneptah Stele as evidence of the Bible’s truth. They completely ignore the fact that the absence of thousands of hieroglyphs depicting “Egypt’s terrible plight at the hands of God” is concrete evidence that it is a complete myth.
If humanity is ever to aspire to the creation of wise societies, it first has to understand the powerful psychological barriers to wisdom and find a way of overcoming them.
Wisdom, evil and the human mind
For those of us who choose to seek wisdom the first step is to understand the bindings that hold us back. It is necessary to first observe the strings of the puppet master in action before we can begin to cut them and free ourselves.
To help in our understanding we need to look at the evolution of the human psyche from birth and the development of conscious thought.
When we are born, our minds are virtually without consciousness but have an extraordinary amount of preconditioning through primal instincts and emotions which we commonly share as a species. This unconscious mind is often referred to as the id after the work of Sigmund Freud. C.G. Jung, once a student of Freud, called our programmed instincts the collective unconscious and there are elements in its make up that we even share with other species which shows that, through evolution, aspects of this collective unconscious even predate our evolution into the human species.
After we are born, our minds are bombarded with stimulation through our senses. Survival depends upon the mind developing a capability to mediate between our instincts and emotions and the external environment in the outside world. This development of consciousness is otherwise known as the development of the ego. As we get older and process more and more information our consciousness develops and we develop a sense of “I.” All the while we are still being influenced by unconscious emotional attachments that are continuously made and these directly influence our rational thoughts and behaviour. Fundamental to this is understanding that the information from our senses, for example sight, hearing, smell, taste and feeling, passes through our unconscious before ever reaching conscious thought. This means that every thought we have has already been pre-conditioned by our unconscious instincts and emotions before we can even begin to rationally process it. This is of fundamental importance in understanding the barriers to wisdom within our own minds.
The impact of this is that all our desires and prejudices embedded in the unconscious id influence information from our senses before it reaches our consciousness. This is where most of the filtering takes place that inhibits our ability to create rational thought. When we have established powerful emotional attachments to people and ideas, the human id will filter out most of the information that opposes these attachments but it will amplify any impulses that correspond with its existing world-view. As an example, to someone who has been educated and programmed from birth to believe in a specific religious faith, virtually every impulse that contradicts that faith is filtered out. On the other hand, every small influence that reinforces that faith is amplified and is a powerful stimulus that manipulates our conscious thoughts and subsequent actions.
There is also a part of our id which Sigmund Freud called the ego-ideal that has a specific function to hold the actions of our ego to account to reflect the existing world view embedded in the id. The ego-ideal actually engages in conflict with the ego should it try to stray from its prescribed path. This can lead to, shame, remorse, guilt, feelings of inadequacy and lack of self-worth. It can manifest itself in depression, stress, anxiety, self-harming and ultimately even suicide if this struggle within our psyche cannot be reconciled.
Understanding this also gives us our first clue that steers us towards the path to wisdom. It is only by reconciling this conflict and building a relationship between the unconscious id and the conscious ego that we can develop a sense of inner harmony. It is also this understanding that can help us to develop empathy because our nature is largely governed by the impulses that we consciously reinforce. If we choose to amplify our feelings of nurturing, caring and compassion our minds can reach out beyond our own needs to identify the needs of others. If we choose to amplify selfishness, intolerance, greed and anger then we lose our ability to develop empathy and consequently follow a wise path.
There is a Cherokee Indian legend that explains this far more concisely than I have.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Narcissists and despots around the world know that they first have to destroy empathy in the population. It is only by deliberately feeding our unconscious prejudices that they can successfully manipulate society to their will. In a recent and very sinister development, some shadowy political groups are developing complex algorithms for deliberately targeting specific groups of people through Facebook and other social media. They use snippets of information that they know will reinforce existing attachments and prejudices in the unconscious ids of their target audience in order to change their voting behaviour and attitude towards different political figures.
One of the most important challenges our conscious ego’s face is to examine our own prejudices, fears and anger, understand the filtering that has taken place in our unconscious, and choose to look objectively at the sources of these feelings. Another important challenge is to develop this important understanding. It is only by nurturing our thoughts about our responsibility to each other and beyond that to the very Earth we live upon that we can follow the path to wisdom.
The human psyche at birth
At this early stage our actions are virtually all a direct reflection of our unconscious impulses, in effect we are slaves to our instincts, emotions and emerging powerful attachments. The most powerful initial attachment is to our mother who is the source of life, security and comfort.
As we grow older our egos develop to deal with an increasingly complex environment and the resulting associated decision making. It also starts to realise that some of the impulses and influences from the human unconscious are undesirable and it therefore begins to repress these influences.
Developing human psyche
This can lead to tensions in the mind between desires and acceptable behaviours. The ego-ideal has also developed and it begins to act upon the ego on behalf of the unconscious id. The ego-ideal holds the ego to account to embedded attachments and desires and sits in judgement upon its performance. As previously mentioned, differences between the demands of the ego-ideal and the decisions made in the ego can result in conflict which may result in guilt, shame, anger and a host of other manifestations.
It can be seen from this illustration that far from being a single “I” the human mind is in a constant flux through a complex set of interactions. In this illustration the point of focus of this of this activity is the ego, the id is very much focussed on manipulating its own ego to realise its own selfish needs and desires.
A mind that is totally focused on its own selfish needs and its ego is unlikely to have any scruples about what actions it may take as long as it is perceived to be in its own interests. Such a mind is fully capable of being manipulated into carrying out evil actions as empathy is virtually absent and the only constraint on action is the fear of external sanctions.
A conscious ego that has also become fully aware of its susceptibility to the manipulation of its own id’s instincts and emotions is extremely hard to manipulate by the mind of another. This is a mind that has started to develop a truly independent will and is capable of exercising a degree of freedom of thought. It is aware of the prejudices, attachments and filtering of information that has taken place and will seek to objectively re-examine the evidence which has been presented before making decisions. Through this process, it readily detects when it is being selectively fed information by others and can observe the attempts of others to manipulate them with virtual impunity.
Such a mind is however rare in the human population as it often requires great determination and discipline to gain such freedom from the dominating power of the id. Very few minds develop this capability purely through natural evolution. The vast majority of people in the human population are utterly oblivious to the fact that they are virtual slaves to the demands of their id’s desires. Actions that are the direct result of irrational emotional attachments fed to the ego are considered as “free will” although such an ego can be considered to be virtually robotic. To even begin to suggest this is considered by most people to be the height of insult and will be met with incredulity and denial. This is with some justification as most people are completely oblivious of the degree of manipulation that is taking place within their own mind. Anyone rash enough to question most people’s capability for rational thought is likely to cause serious offence and to be met with outright hostility.
It is a strange quality of people with psychopathic tendencies that they can readily identify this process going on in the minds of others and can effectively subvert this process for their own ends. It is because most people see the demands of the id as the truth that if someone manages to successfully influence emotions and attachments in the id of another they can readily manipulate that person to their will. The words and actions of a manipulative person who has created a powerful emotional attachment in the id of another person have an incredibly powerful resonance and are believed to be true. It is actually even worse than this. Once a powerful emotional attachment has been made in the id, even obvious and blatant lying and manipulation by the dominant ego is unlikely stop the now submissive ego of another from following its commands.
Donald Trump said in his election campaign that he could shoot people down in the street and the majority of his supporters would still follow him and the terrifying fact is that he was almost certainly correct. What has in effect happened is that within the ids of many of his supporters, the needs of Trump’s ego have taken precedence over their own. In the id of the supporter’s mind, the two egos are now virtually indistinguishable. The id is equally happy to create a relationship with another ego other than its own and may actually find an external dominant ego more attractive than its own if it has found it wanting. The id will then judge and bully its own ego through the function of the ego-ideal if it failing to comply with the demands of the dominant ego.
The function of the supporter’s ego, and as a result the supporter’s actions and behaviour, have now become a mere extension of the dominant ego and yet the victims of this process remain blissfully unaware throughout. They still believe that they are exercising free will whilst in fact their own ego has become a virtual slave of the demands of their id and the manipulation of the dominant ego.
One of the most terrifying example of this ego transference is when a dominant ego also claims to be speaking in the name of God and claims God’s authority when making its demands. In a population that has been largely conditioned from birth to believe in God, the words of those claiming to be speaking with God’s authority wield extraordinary power over the minds of followers. This can be seen the world over and is particularly prevalent in Islam where thousands of those engaged in armed conflict launch themselves at each other with the cry “Allahu Akbar” God is greatest. In this situation, the ego of the follower has been virtually enslaved by the attachment made to God and the person leading them on who has assumed God’s authority.
What is even more alarming in this situation is that the Abrahamic God is a rather terrible role model exhibiting alarming psychopathic tendencies. This God would tick virtually every box in professor Hare’s psychopath checklist. The God that is shared by Judaism, Islam and Christianity is unfortunately narcissistic, genocidal, misogynistic, petulant and vengeful. It is absolutely no coincidence that despots the world over are so keen to act in his name as virtually any excess can be justified using God as a role model. Many of these dominant political and “religious” figures may actually have no belief in God whatsoever but consciously choose to associate themselves with God to justify their actions and manipulate the population.
This situation is illustrated in the following diagram. This person’s id has made a powerful attachment to a dominant ego and has filtered virtually all contradictory information before passing the demands of a dominant ego through to its own, now submissive ego. Any attempt by the submissive ego to challenge the influence of the dominant ego is met with severe judgement from the Id and any resistance or repression by the submissive ego is now undermined and is weak and ineffectual.
What has to be understood, and this is of fundamental importance, is that the submissive ego has virtually no idea that this process is happening. It thinks it has rationally chosen the dominant ego as an influence and role model and still believes that it is following free will although this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The submissive ego is now acting virtually robotically to the will of the dominant ego. This is thanks to the powerful attachment made by the id and the judgement of the ego-ideal on any attempts at resistance. If the attachment is powerful enough a person may actually be prepared to die if it believes that this is desired by the dominant ego. Through this process, a powerful narcissistic person can manipulate literally millions of people to its will and then keep them there through fear of reprisal. This situation makes it explicitly clear why it is impossible to create a free society if the citizens of that society have not developed the capacity to develop true freedom of thought.
Once a powerful egotist has gained a position of power in society they then all tend to follow a very similar pattern of behaviour. Firstly, they actively set out to destroy empathy by identifying different groups in the population, particularly groups that refuse to submit to their will, as subversive, dangerous or inferior and unworthy of compassion or sympathy. Once the emotional bond created by empathy has been broken within a significant element of the population, these minority groups become incredibly vulnerable. They no longer represent people, they now represent threats or become mere statistics.
The egotists then usually set about controlling the media, shutting down news outlets and publications that don’t reflect their views. This gives them yet more control to manipulate the information that is being fed to the minds of the population through lies and propaganda. They also often identify external threats from other populations creating fear and insecurity. Fear is probably the most powerful human emotion and it is extremely difficult to override through rational thought.
Once they have a fearful and insecure population they then begin to systematically remove human rights in the name of “morality” or “security,” particularly from vulnerable target groups. This is followed by heightened surveillance of the population, justified as a security measure and increasingly draconian policing, justification of detention without trial and the justification of the use of torture. By this point the population is virtually enslaved as all the democratic means to remove the despots running society have been removed. It is then just a small step to whip up a desire for war and humanity will once again embark upon pointless mass slaughter at the whim of evil people. Society itself has now become pathological.
This process could be seen in the development of Nazi Germany, it can be seen in North Korea and has largely become manifest in Putin’s Russia and Erdoğan’s Turkey. It is also being adopted by Trump’s new US administration at a frightening speed.
The UK is also well on its way down this path. It has been virtually enslaved by a small, powerful and extremely wealthy establishment. This establishment was terrified after the financial collapse in 2007 that the population might finally recognise that it had been ruthlessly exploited by a greedy minority. The coalition Government, dominated by an increasingly right wing Tory Party embarked on a cynical but highly successful campaign to deflect blame and responsibility in the minds of the population.
Instead of highlighting the culpability of the bankers in creating the conditions that led to the unavoidable collapse of the financial markets they began a campaign to blame the poorest and most vulnerable in society. In the UK it was not necessary to subvert much of the media as 80% of the press was already owned by 6 billionaires who already used it as a vehicle to pump out extreme capitalist propaganda. The Government and the press started a campaign to divide what they called “workers and shirkers” and the cost of welfare. First it was the unemployed who were targeted, closely followed by disabled people and a ramp up of rhetoric about immigrants “taking away your jobs.”
Despite the fact that the cost of welfare to vulnerable citizens is a fraction of the systematic tax avoidance being extracted by a tiny but extremely wealthy minority, this was virtually never highlighted in the mainstream media.
Draconian and confrontational new processes within the Department of Works and Pensions implemented a regime of punitive sanctions that has led to the death of thousands through suicide, hypothermia, hunger, malnutrition and homelessness. Mental health services have virtually collapsed and the NHS is in crisis through underfunding. The Government insists that austerity and cuts to public services are unavoidable because there “>is not enough money in the economy to fund them. A quick look at this graph shows the utter absurdity of this argument.
This withdrawal of empathy and compassion from society has been a systematic and deliberate move towards the politics of evil. There is an evolving policy of euthanasia of the poorest and most vulnerable citizens that a toxic establishment have decided are not capable of financial exploitation. This was an unimaginable situation before the banker induced collapse of the financial markets. If you deliberately sanction someone and remove financial support from someone who has no source of income, who may be disabled, who may have severe mental health issues, you know this will inevitably lead to hunger and despair. How soon will it be before we see the introduction of Victorian workhouses again or the first concentration camps for “socially undesirable or unproductive” citizens? Meanwhile the plundering of the nation’s resources by a small pernicious minority continues unabated.
Citizens have become mere commodities in an ever more aggressive market place. They are encouraged to blame and exploit each other in a pointless race for material gain rather than support and care about the wellbeing of each other in an inclusive society. Schools have become exam factories rather than places to nurture new balanced and responsible members of society. This has led to an explosion of mental health issues in the population and particularly amongst the young. Any developing mind that is sensitive and caring recoils in horror from the cold brutal society that it is being asked to grow up in. It is not the minds of these young people that is the problem, in any wise society the vast majority of these young people would be flourishing. It is the fact that our society is becoming increasingly pathological that is the real problem.
We have examined how easy it can become to manipulate large numbers of people within the population for malevolent reasons. Escaping from this situation and the possibility of building a wise, compassionate and caring society that meets the needs of all of its people is much harder. It requires millions of people to decide that they will no longer be open to such manipulation and to decide to embark on their own personal journey on the path towards wisdom. If sufficient people cannot be motivated to do this then the future of most of life on Earth is in severe jeopardy. As a reader of these words, what choice are you going to make? Are you prepared to undertake the arduous journey on the path to wisdom that is required to bring another small light of hope into a world that is becoming rapidly enveloped by the shadowy forces of evil?
The development of empathy.
To develop empathy the focus of the human psyche needs to evolve beyond the narrow interests of the self. This allows the emotional attachments to start to focus on the needs of others, sometimes at the sacrifice of immediate wellbeing.
A powerful example of this shift would be the birth of a child which in most cases will cause a powerful and immediate emotional attachment from the mother to the child. When this attachment does not take place, it can cause enormous distress to both mother and child. This capacity for developing a powerful attachment or love of a child may well explain why the majority of women tend to have a greater propensity for empathy than men. This is a tendency and is by no means universal, some men develop a great capacity for empathy and the capacity to love whilst in some women this never develops at all.
An interesting ratio is reflected in the number of diagnosed psychopaths in the male and female populations. The ratio is approximately 7:1, for every female psychopath in the world there are 7 males and the ratio between men and women in prison is even more enhanced. This deficiency in empathy in much of the male population is also a result of deliberate conditioning.
Jung maintained that embedded within the psyche of men was the anima, the female aspect of the male psyche. The anima is the main source of compassion and empathy within men but rather than being seen as a cause of joy and nurtured, it is ruthlessly repressed. In the male world of competitive rivalry, kindness and compassion are seen as weaknesses and are systematically repressed by education and cultural norms.
An extreme version of this process is manifest in the English Public School system (for overseas readers, by a strange quirk in history, in England schools called public schools are actually expensive private schools) which was specifically designed to supress any onset of empathy. For any sensitive pupil, these public schools are often places of childhood misery from which many never fully recover.
Traditionally many ex-public school pupils ended up in the army where the last thing the commanders wanted in their efficient killing system was kindness and compassion for the enemy. In modern times, many end up in financial corporations or in politics. The men and women who emerge from this system are actually victims of systematic abuse. The consequences for society are calamitous as they are disproportionately responsible for spreading evil, although they would not recognise the description. Why would they even for a single moment stop to consider that pandering to the insatiable demands of their needy egos was a source of evil when this is exactly what they have been conditioned to do?
In order for a mind to begin the difficult path towards the acquisition of wisdom the conscious ego needs to become aware of its susceptibility to the id’s impulses and decide to evolve to free itself of the id’s domination. Through the process of self-observation, the strings of the id, the puppet master, can begin to be identified and the bonds loosened. The ego can also start to consciously repress negative emotions and instincts and amplify those which it sees as desirable, reflecting the old Cherokee teaching about choosing which wolf to feed.
The most powerful force that can be called upon to help us on our journey to wisdom is the power of love but as previously discussed this is a word that has many meanings. Love can be seen as an evolution from narcissistic love to possessive love, selfless love, conscious love, and unity of love, consciousness and being or enlightenment. It is the power of love that creates the ability to empathise and it is this, combined with the development of rational intelligence in the ego that leads to the path of wisdom.
Narcissistic love is purely selfish focusing entirely on the ego. These people tend to have extraordinarily high opinions of their own worth and their entitlement to hedonistic pleasures. You will find plenty of billionaires, politicians and “celebrities” whose capacity for love has not evolved beyond narcissistic love who genuinely think they are worth so much more than their fellow humans. Sadly, some people with the acquisition of wealth or celebrity regress back to this point having been previously capable of giving so much more.
As their wealth grows they have to start to repress their own empathy as the opportunity cost of how this money could be better spent to the benefit of all becomes more acute. Their minds start to tell them that the poor and disadvantaged in society have only themselves to blame for not being rich as well. It is not their job to look out for the needs of others. Numerous people who were previously balanced have psychologically regressed through the acquisition of wealth. Once generous and empathetic, many even begin to participate in elaborate tax avoidance schemes as their wealth grows. They start to hoard wealth as their sense of entitlement develops and become resentful about sharing any of their wealth for the wider benefit of society. This is why wisdom teachers have warned so strongly against greed. It destroys the capacity to develop empathy within their psyche and inhibits any ability for them to evolve.
Possessive love is where the object of love is treated as a virtual possession. This is often associated with sexual attraction which is an instinctive attraction from another aspect of the human psyche. This is in effect merely another aspect of selfish love but where powerful attachment has been made to another person. This attachment also creates insecurity and jealousy and can be the root of increasingly controlling behaviour or even psychological and physical abuse directed at the person who is the object of desire.
This love is highly prevalent in the human population and can lead to terrible hardship and misery for its victims. Women in particular often find themselves subject to possessive attachment, increasingly controlling behaviour and all too often physical abuse. It is estimated that at least a third of women will suffer abuse in their lifetimes and tragically far too many actually die as a consequence of the obsessive controlling behaviour of a partner.
Selfless love is where the ego has been transcended and the needs of the object of this love transcend the needs of the lover in the lover’s mind. The love of a mother for her child has already been mentioned and this will be replicated in the other parent if they are in touch with their inner anima. Becoming a loving parent is a powerful first step on the path towards wisdom but it is still capable of exploitation by those with manipulative intent.
Many politicians will seek to erode empathy in the community by trying to persuade some parents that the only way their child can thrive is at the expense of other children. They will target groups within the community such as immigrants, those on welfare, those of different races or religious persuasion. They will seek to convince the parents that their own child’s future is at stake because of the actions of these other groups and their children. In the UK at the moment the Government is deliberately allowing many refugee children to be ruthlessly exploited or even killed rather than offer them refuge. They try to persuade the UK population that there are not enough resources for them. Most of the Government Ministers involved have accumulated many millions of pounds in wealth and yet would readily deprive an innocent child of a future and let them starve.
Many parents succumb to these vacuous arguments and regress back to selfishness with the difference that their own child sits within the boundary of their selfishness. All the insecurities reappear as they compete to get their children into the best schools and teach them to ruthlessly compete with other children. Empathy starts to fade and often the children suffer as the ids of its parents start imposing their ambitions and aspirations onto the child. They start to employ the same sanctions on their own child as they used to lay upon their own egos. Pity the poor child that now fails to meet the aspiration of its parents.
These manipulative attempts to dissolve the population’s capacity for empathy can be avoided by the realisation that every child is precious and deserves the right to compassion and protection. A person who has developed this degree of selfless love realises that it is impossible to build a harmonious and wise world when others suffer as a consequence of selfishness. A refugee child starving of neglect should be as appalling to a parent as if it was happening to their own child. Selfless love is not confined to parenthood, anyone can develop a capacity for selfless love for the rest of humanity and will stand against acts which cause harm to others.
People who have developed this level of love are very difficult to manipulate as they refuse to accept evil actions at the expense of others. If this is matched with a development in the consciousness for rational thought, it creates wisdom as their empathy for others is embedded in a rational framework of what is possible. Selfless love that is naïve and not in partnership with the development of reason, although an essential element of wisdom, is not an end in itself. The development of a wiser world will require people who seek the path of wisdom to develop both their emotional and their rational intelligence.
The full development of selfless love leads to the realisation that we are embedded in the world of nature and that we are part of a highly complex set of interdependencies. The realisation that every creature and plant is precious and the love of belonging that comes through this realisation leads towards enlightenment.
Many cultures have understood that humans are interconnected with the energies of the natural world that surrounds them and view nature with great reverence. Ultimately the true destiny of humanity may well be to be the custodians of our Earth, to nurture and protect it in all its aspects. Many women have a particularly intuitive relationship with the natural world, often called wise women or witches. These women have suffered terrible deprivations at the hands of the followers of the Abrahamic God who have systematically persecuted them throughout the ages.
Models of different types of love
Narcissistic love, both the attachment and focus of the id is firmly focussed on the self.
Possessive love, an emotional attachment is made to another person or another object of attachment but the id is still focussed on the needs of its own ego. In this case the object of attachment is merely an enhancement to the person’s own ego. This can create very controlling and abusive behaviour as the id develops insecurity in its attachment.
Empathetic love (such as love of a child), both the emotional attachment and the focus of the id are on the object of attraction. In this case the needs of the person, or perhaps an animal, take precedence over selfish desires of the person’s own ego. The conscious ego also becomes aligned to the needs of the object of attraction, this has transcended selfishness and created empathy. This could in many ways be seen as similar to the attachment to a narcissist in our earlier model. The big difference is the power relationship in empathetic love, this is not a situation where the ego has become submissive to the will of another. The will is still independent but has chosen to emotionally identify with needs and wellbeing of another.
As wisdom develops, the consciousness realises that the wellbeing of others and the wellbeing of the self are intertwined. If sufficient people start to develop this understanding there is the basis for the creation of a wise society. This is a society based on the needs and aspirations of all and the wellbeing of the natural environment in which the society is embedded.
Someone who approaches the love of enlightenment will begin to feel unity with the natural world and the energies and dynamics within it. There is virtually no residual focus on the person’s own ego if someone’s journey on the path of wisdom approaches enlightenment. They develop an overwhelming sense of one with the natural world that transcends individuality.
Since the dawn of history, with very few exceptions, human societies have been influenced by male cultural norms. Societies have celebrated power and greed and even when cooperative societies have been established they have usually been corrupted and ultimately usurped by power craving narcissistic individuals. Even women who have managed to gain positions of power and influence in these societies will have had to compete in environments very hostile to individuals with a developed sense of empathy and love.
In the last 100 years, in certain parts of the world, women are finally starting to have more influence in developed democracies and a heightened degree of equality between the sexes is being established. The prevalent understanding of the goal of feminism is the establishment of equality between the sexes. The pursuit of a wise society requires much more than equality, it requires a new type of society that values cooperation and empathy above greed and self-interest.
Collectively women have a far greater capacity for empathy than men. In nearly all the caring professions women have a much greater representation than their male colleagues. As previously mentioned, the female prison population is tiny compared to the male population and in their lifetime a third of all women will suffer abuse from a male.
Feminism is far more important than obtaining equal rights under the current law. The very natures of most societies have to be reshaped from their historically patriarch dominated cultures to cultures influenced by matriarchal values that are compatible with the nature of the majority of women.
The very existence of the natural world is being destroyed by evil people, cultures and philosophies. The environment is being exploited to destruction. Political and religious intolerance are fuelling conflicts across the world. New nuclear arms races are being planned. Human rights are being rapidly eroded by “right-wing” ideologies and even the progress made towards female rights is being reversed by narcissistic politicians with controlling personalities. It is no accident that one of the first things to be attacked by Trump’s administration in the USA is the rights of women to control their own bodies.
Feminism is not just about equal rights. The protection of women from abuse depends upon developing societies predominantly influenced by matriarchal values. Feminism is existential, the very survival of most of life on Earth is at stake.
We are developing massive inequality in most western “democratic” societies where our political processes have been virtually usurped by powerful vested interests. In the USA the richest 1% now hold more wealth than the poorest 90%.
In the UK, successive right wing governments and their establishment financial backers have been purposefully engaged in the development of a financial apartheid system aimed at excluding a large section of society from the levers of power.
There is now extremely limited access to legal aid which means that only the wealthy have true access to justice. If you are unfairly dismissed, employment legislation is meaningless unless you can afford the £1200 fee for a tribunal.
The National Health Service is being starved of essential finances so that only those with private healthcare insurance will be able to access comprehensive healthcare in the near future. There are already signs that for the first time in modern history, longevity has stalled or is even falling in some parts of the community.
Inadequate funding to education is leading to growing class sizes and teachers are leaving the profession through overwork, stress and poor pay. Increasingly it will only be the children of those who can afford to pay for private education who will get high quality education. Children who do succeed incoming out of universities with good grades despite the growing barriers find themselves shackled by huge debts. They also find themselves barred from many professions as they cannot afford to work as the unpaid interns that many employers now demand.
Most of the current generation, saddled with educational debts, trying to survive on low pay or subject to zero hour contracts will never be able to afford their own home. Their incomes are being systematically extracted by often wealthy landlords who exploit them with exorbitant rents fuelled by a chronic housing shortage created by deliberate government policy to shore up property asset values.
All the measures of social mobility are now in reverse. With racial apartheid, your race at birth and the colour of your skin prevent you from receiving equal rights as a citizen. With financial apartheid, the financial circumstances of your parents at birth are rapidly excluding you from many basic human rights and the opportunities that the previous generation had taken for granted.
The politics of wisdom and evil
From the perspectives of wisdom and evil we find a fundamental flaw in the existing depiction of politics. The discourse is dominated by discussion about “right-wing” and “left-wing” politics. Political pundits will talk about politicians belonging to the hard right, hard left, or centre-right and centre left as if any of this actually made any kind of sense at all.
The Nazi Party was called an “extreme right wing” ideology whilst Stalin’s Russia was considered as the “extreme left” because it had a communist label. This is a ludicrous proposition, it is virtually impossible to tell these regimes apart. They were both without doubt evil regimes with millions of people being killed off by the state through the implementation of brutal political dogmas.
The general understanding of left wing politics is of a political movement which believes in social equality and egalitarianism and right wing believes in a natural order of hierarchy supported by capitalism and hereditary privilege. Neither of these routes will necessarily lead to a wise society although the right wing’s political fixation on rewarding greed and promoting inequality precludes it.
Like their right-wing counterparts, many left-wing movements also seek to impose their views upon society, if they deem it necessary by coercive force. The French Revolution was followed by “The Terror” when over 16,000 people were sentenced to death in just 13 months. This was not the reflection of a wise society shaped by respect for human rights, empathy and compassion. It was just another face of the politics of evil, the imposition of political dogma through force by power possessing individuals.
A wise society requires both collective responsibility and individual rights and freedoms. It requires the intelligence to develop effective economic policy and support businesses whilst constraining the excesses of greed and protecting the environment. Above all it requires every person, whether the CEO of a corporation or an unemployed poet to consider the opportunity cost of their actions on others and to be held accountable for their actions when they cause harm.
Pagans, have a saying “An it harm none, do what ye will” which underpins the Goddess based nature beliefs of witches so terribly persecuted throughout history by patriarchal God faiths. This gives individuals freedom to live their lives as they see fit provided they seek to do no harm to other people as a result of their actions. All wisdom teachers recognise that it is impossible to truly understand the consequences of your actions but they do require actions to be carried out with positive intent and with due consideration of their possible consequences.
The politics of wisdom requires a balance between our obligations and responsibilities to each other and our individual freedoms. This will require constant reflection of the consequences of policies and legislation and frequent revision if the results prove to be harmful. It does not require the strong powerful leadership of the narcissist, it requires frequent contemplation, the exercise of doubt and frequent reflection.
The real spectrum of politics is therefore not an, often artificial, separation between left-wing and right-wing politics. It is between the politics of evil, devoid of empathy and compassion and the politics of wisdom, emotional and rational intelligence in partnership.
Creating a wise political system is however fraught with difficulty, it faces the same challenge and developing individual freedom. The lure of the narcissist and ego transference make simplistic evil policies attractive and appealing and they can mobilise the masses by the cynical manipulation of embedded prejudices and inner fears.
The politics of wisdom require a critical mass of individuals to choose to undertake their own journey on the path that will lead to the creation of a will that is truly free. By seeking out others embarked upon this journey and, through cooperation, it is possible that they can create a dynamic in society for change. The development of inner wisdom protects people from the emotional manipulations and hidden agendas of the self-serving egoists and narcissists who seek to corrupt our societies.
To create a wise world may require 700 million seekers to take up a journey on their own path towards wisdom.
For the reasons previously explained, the wise cannot be easily manipulated by those with evil intent. The agendas of those who would manipulate society for their own ends are readily identified and resisted. It will however require a critical mass of the population to be resistant to evil to prevent evil from prevailing. People truly seeking wisdom have an influence on others who come into contact with them through the example of their actions. If perhaps 10% of any population truly became seekers it would be enough for wisdom to take root and for society to be protected from those who would have us abandon empathy and compassion. In the UK this would require over 6 million seekers. In the USA it would require 32 million seekers and globally 700 million. This is a daunting proposition but the world is spiralling rapidly towards catastrophic change. The future of life for millions of other species and in all probability the future of humanity itself is at stake.
There are already many organisations and groups that are working hard to build a wiser world. The problem that is faced is drawing all these different groups and individuals together. There is one important factor that gives rise to hope. The truth is, it exists, and it is the destiny of seekers that they can only hope to approach truth by stripping away the layers of illusion that conceal it. It is however a common aspect of all who seek the truth that, whatever path they take, as they make progress along their pathway they are all drawn towards a single point which is the true nature of things.
Those who acquire wisdom will find that other seekers will share similar perspectives and values that they will have gained on their own journeys. This is the foundation for developing a common sense of purpose. The big hurdle that has to be faced is one of identification. We have feminists, environmentalists, political activists, pressure groups and thousands of individuals who seek to create a wiser world. What is required is a common identifier that links people together through a sense of shared values and objectives. I shall call such people, for want of an existing description the “seekers.”
Such an identifier will allow anyone who genuinely seeks the acquisition of wisdom to also describe themselves as a seeker. They could be a “feminist seeker” an “environmental seeker” a “social justice seeker” a “political seeker” but everyone will know that they have a common bond that can draw them together in coordinated action. All that is left to start this new global community is a common set of values that the seeker movement holds to be true, a sort of seeker constitution if you will.
A seeker constitution
Such a set of values should be honed through conscientious debate and much reflection but as part of this article here are 11 values that I would like to put forward to fellow seekers for consideration.
1. Act with integrity
2. Act with empathy and compassion, value love
3. Do not knowingly do harm to others
4. Reject the worship of the angry vengeful male God
5. Reject exploitation and greed
6. Embrace our responsibilities to each other
7. Respect diversity and gender equality
8. Reject violence and physical oppression
9. Become custodians of the Earth
10. Rejoice in life
11. Embrace the politics of wisdom
1. Act with integrity. Integrity has almost vanished from the modern world. We are surrounded by manipulation, fake news, spin and deliberate deceit. Any seeker should value integrity and this starts within. It is very difficult to be honest with yourself as the mind develops all kinds of rationalisations to justify thoughts and actions that it finds uncomfortable. A seeker should pledge to value integrity and not to deliberately use deceit to manipulate or coerce others.
2. Act with empathy and compassion, value love. All seekers should value empathy and compassion as without emotional intelligence it is impossible to acquire wisdom. A seeker should not try to deliberately shut out the pain and suffering of other people and other species that are the consequence of human action. Seekers should act to protect the vulnerable and disadvantaged and be prepared to make sacrifices to support the needs of others. This is a true manifestation of empathetic love. As seekers, we must accept our responsibility for the harm that humanity is causing to the environment and do whatever we can through our actions to make the world a kinder and more caring place.
3. Do not knowingly do harm to others. Try to act without causing harm to others. Before acting, a seeker should consider the potential consequences of their actions and examine the opportunity cost of their actions on other people. Life should be enjoyed and individual freedom of action should be valued and cherished but this comes with a responsibility that your joy should not come at the expense of someone else’s. This will never be simple, it is sometimes impossible to act without consequence and this may require difficult compromises and choosing a path of least harm. Protecting the vulnerable sometimes requires confrontation against malign interests and the wise path is not always obvious.
4. Reject the worship of the angry vengeful male God. The Abrahamic God is a terrible manifestation of a rampaging male ego, a patriarchal excuse for the oppression of women and is completely incompatible to the path towards wisdom. He is vengeful, psychotic, misogynistic, narcissistic and genocidal. There can be no worse role model for humanity and the values of a wise society are incompatible with the values of such an entity. This does not require the absence of belief in such a God, just the rejection of the values that such an entity represents. Even if a seeker believes in the existence of such a God they should have the courage to reject the active worship of him. The existence and nature of God and individual belief will ultimately resolve itself if a seeker stays committed to their path to strip away the layers of illusion that mask the true nature of things.
5. Reject exploitation and greed. There is nothing wrong with aspiration and ambition to create a joyful life and this is often linked to a degree of material acquisition although this may become less important as individual seekers make progress on their journeys. Addiction to greed is however something that all seekers should guard against as it creates a barrier to empathy within the human mind. A society based on greed will always ultimately fall into evil ways. A wise society would need to act to limit the capacity of the greedy to feed their addiction. Extreme wealth and corresponding inequality corrodes society, undermines democratic processes and causes unnecessary suffering to others through the opportunity cost of acquisition. Seeking does not require a pledge of poverty but material acquisition does have an impact on the planet’s limited resources and competes with other species that have a right to exist. Gandhi correctly observed that “the world has enough resources for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed.” Seekers should constantly reflect on their individual wealth Should it start to become excessive, they should self-regulate its acquisition when such resources could be better used in the service of others. Wise societies will regulate the individual’s capacity to acquire wealth when it becomes excessive and starts to cause harm. Political parties reflecting seeker values should never appoint excessively wealthy people to political office. These people have already proved that they are not seekers and lack wisdom. Even if they start out with good intentions they will inevitably succumb to their addiction to greed, regress towards egoism and put perceived self-interest before the interests of society.
6. Embrace our responsibilities to each other. Many of the drivers of division, selfishness and greed are caused by insecurity. In our individualistic world, there is very little security in society and this is encouraged by the wealthy power seeking elite that have corrupted our social and political institutions. We are encouraged to constantly compete with each other in a society where there are few winners and many losers. Seekers should embrace the message that a society should be best judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable. Creating an embracing society that nurtures its citizens rather than treating them as exploitable assets creates harmony in both society and the minds of the individuals living within it. Our society is now so devoid of empathy and compassion that there is an explosion of mental health problems as sentient people cannot thrive whilst living in such a pathological environment.
7. Respect diversity and gender equality. Seekers should embrace the wonderful diversity of our world and avoid prejudice and discrimination that limits the ability of others to live a rewarding and fulfilling life. No one should be discriminated on the basis of their gender or sexual orientation or their beliefs, providing those beliefs are not actively causing harm to others or promoting division and disharmony. Sadly, there are some belief systems, both religious and economic, prevalent in the world today that repress human rights and promote gender inequality. Seekers have a responsibility to stand up and challenge such beliefs.
8. Reject violence and physical oppression. Women and vulnerable children and adults all too often find themselves subject to physical violence or are intimidated by the treat of violence. In the history of humanity it is often those who have the strongest physical capability, either individually or collectively through force of arms, that have used it to impose themselves on others. This should be an anathema to any seeker. We also live in a world that glorifies war and conflict as something that is heroic and it is no coincidence that the vast majority of countries are engaged is some kind of armed conflict. In a world where narcissists and psychopaths readily gain access to power it is sadly naïve to think that free societies may not have a need to defend themselves. Self-defence is universally accepted as a basic human right for both individuals or societies that are threatened with violence. Violence conflict should however be seen as a necessary evil of last resort, a subject of regret not glorification. The seeker’s aim should be to change the world by the example they set. Creating harmonious and thriving societies is the most powerful way to persuade others to follow our example and reject violence.
9. Become custodians of the Earth. Seekers realise that all life is interconnected and that our actions impact all other life on Earth. Seekers should embrace their responsibility as custodians of the planet. The Earth is not a consumable to be exploited for meaningless short term financial gain, it is precious and fragile, perhaps even unique in the universe. It is a terrible indictment on humanity that so many long for a paradise in some future life whilst actively destroying the earthly paradise that already embraces us. We have a responsibility to nurture all life on Earth and a responsibility to hand over a sustainable Earth and preserve its wonderful diversity for generations to come. For those seeking spiritual meaning in a materialistic world, open your senses to nature and let her in. There can be no more rewarding meaning to life or focus for selfless love than embracing our unique role as custodians of something so remarkable and beautiful as mother nature.
10. Rejoice in life. There is nothing that a controlling establishment likes better than imposing all kinds moral impositions and constraints on people as to how they should live their lives. Religious groups devise all kinds of notions for what they consider to be sinful and frown upon fun and frivolity. They seek to use guilt and shame to rigorously sanction and control the behaviour of their followers. Capitalists see people as exploitable assets whose sole function is to create wealth that can then be extracted to feed the narcissistic egos of the greed obsessed. Billions of people work for poverty wages and are subject to the misery of ruthless exploitation. Seekers should reject all such notions. Life should be enjoyed, it should be creative, rewarding and stimulating. Provided that the principle of due consideration for not deliberately causing harm to others is embraced, seekers should joyfully live in the way they choose on this wonderful island of life in the universe.
11. Embrace the politics of wisdom. Support and nurture politicians and political groups that promote seeker values. We live in a world that largely accepts the premise of democratic politics although most existing democratic political systems have been badly corrupted by greed and avarice. There are however politicians and political groups developing that largely embrace values resulting from wise reflection. It is essential that these are supported, nurtured and developed if we are ever to realise the type of society that reflects seeker values. Many seekers and empaths are repelled by existing political systems but it is only through building a democratic mandate that change can occur. The existing establishment will do everything they can to preserve the politics of evil. Politicians with kindness and empathy such as Bernie Sanders in the USA and Jeremy Corbyn in the UK have been subject to a constant stream of vitriolic abuse from a media largely controlled by billionaire plutocrats. It takes a special kind of courage to stand up to such powerful vested interests but there is strength in solidarity through shared values and there is strength through the individual acquisition of wisdom.
Evil only requires ignorance to thrive. Wisdom requires sustained conscious effort. A wise world will require the active engagement of millions of people who seek to live in a world that embraces conscious love rather than division, hatred and greed. The prospects are bleak, in our world the darkness of ignorance seems to be growing and the light of wisdom seems to become ever fainter. Yet where even a glimmer of light remains there is still hope for a different future for humanity. This is the choice for you, the reader. Do you have the resolve to feed the flame that burns in the darkness, bringing with it the light of wisdom, or will you sit back and watch while it is extinguished? I hope you choose the path of wisdom. Without your resolve and the resolve of millions of others there is little prospect of a sustainable future for humanity and little hope for the wide diversity of other life that exists on our precious Earth.