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I had a conversation with a friend a little while ago about the social effects religion sometimes has on a person. She had described a type of religious person that I’m sure many of us have interacted with, or at least understand.

The type that goes to church out of fear of punishment or as a feeling of need to represent it’s moral. Attending church often and identifying with its teachings yet not practicing them in full and usually acting in a manner that’s nearly the opposite of those teachings when in the outside world. A person who uses their participation in a religion and active visiting of a church, to act as a leverage for themselves to justify placing harsh judgment over others ­– especially to those who do not ascribe to a complimentary belief system.

Though I could see where she was coming from, the manner in which she emotionally associated to this type of person – frustration and agitation – seemed self-defeating. I fully agreed with her that those types of people have a history of existence and they’re pretty difficult to deal with, but when I asked her about how many people she knew in her life that acted this way; people who she interacted with face to face, she couldn’t really think of any.

“It’s interesting how we can put so much frantic energy towards a type of person that doesn’t even exist in our physical reality, ” I said to her. “The stereotype of religious person you described definitely exists, I mean, every culture has ignorant people but putting so much energy towards it as an idea alone seems a bit unnecessary. It’s like giving energy to the ghost in the machine”

We began to speak of archetypes and a place within the human mind where patterns of behavior exist as a potential and how we express those potential patterns through our thoughts, feelings, and actions. How consciously or not, our focus or belief energizes specific patterns to shine out in the world. When we allow ourselves to become frustrated, agitated, saddened, fearful etc. of a pattern or archetype that we don’t actually have present in our lives, we increase its likelihood to shine out in our world – somehow, somewhere. So it’s important to be aware of our ability to create a life to these archetypes because the last thing we need is more ignorant people.

You don’ have to waste your energy on things that don’t exist in your reality. Place that energy into supporting the constructive people in your lives, instead of stressing over the potential for destructive people who might exist somewhere else.


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6 Comments

  1. Joshua Walker Reply

    But James, we are all guilty of the behavior she describes. Not always on a religious platform but certainly moral platforms or even philosophical. There isn’t a person I know that hasn’t held their beliefs in higher esteem then/over someone else and either passively or aggressively made that clear either vocally or in action. These people exist. They’re in all of us. I think that perhaps such behavior is a side effect of feeling conviction. That when it comes to the way a person lives their life: pride is the dark brother of passion. The ignorance then would be of our flaws or the flaws of our own belief system. The questions then are: Do we try to rise above those flaws? Are we even capable of rising above them or is it enough that we constantly make the attempt? OR do we accept and revel in our flaws? The last choice would certainly solve the problem of pride while maintaining the passion. But that leads to another question. Are we capable/willing to really recognize our flaws? Or is that not something our ego/psyche can handle? What if our own flaws can never be fully comprehended or, once again, is it enough that we try?

    • jameswjesso Reply

      Every person exists inside of all of us…. it is important for us to address the aspects within ourselves that are destructive. allowing us to progress our state of being towards one of more conscious intention and constructive growth by Using an honest self reflection upon these ignorant and judgmental aspects as the compassionate marking point from which we progress. Yes we are able to observe, embrace, grow from our “flaws”. Though I like to look at it as growing in honesty with self and others, where in one’s increasing self-awareness works as a tool for recognizing one’s own dark aspects. Allowing it to be integrated into a holistic view of self — without being broken down or defeated by a recognition of this darkness (which is a serious challenge sometimes). This observation and integration of one’s varied existence working with constructive self-criticism can help for us to not only better understand who we would prefer to be as people, but also why these aspects of our selves exist. Providing leverage in a society of people lost in their own convoluted and harsh conditioning, as this understanding of the root of your own darkness works as a new framework by which we observe the darkness of another.

    • Joao Santos Ferreira Reply

      Well view !
      It’s really important to understand this mechanism of creation.
      And also, we need to control our need to juge, to compare our lives to others.
      We are all uniques in a world of diversity

  2. Dizzy Bizzle Reply

    I love the process of coming to recognize these shadow/ghost/flaws you’ve both mentioned.
    They’re within, but not limited to, the expectations I have.
    They’re moving fluently through the mind as I call myself names (in some voice unrecognizable as mine) and beat myself up over an unexpected outcome, despite the true feedback it may offer.
    ___—–___
    James mentions; Emotional Association, Energetic Depletion (through our own will) and then finishes his original post with ‘Not Wasting Energy on something that is not within our reality’ in his original post. I feel like offering a clarification, from my perspective, without any attachment to how others may understand it.
    (Although, George Orwell said something along the lines of – If someone doesn’t understand our message it is our own fault, as the communicator.)
    —–___—–
    This emotional association (logical or psychological or kin-esthetic ASSOCIATION) is where the ghost is. Let’s hone in on this together.

    If we have a feeling (kinesthetic/emotional) arise from our (mis)understanding of a situation, we can stop the process of reaction and if we do, become empowered to take action in that moment. We are honest and so we ask ourselves where this perspective came from, we then decide how we would like to view it, hear it or feel it differently.

    What is a common strategy we can use to freeze this frame?

    Where’s walden?

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