Goodness and Ending War by James Adrian

December19, 2023

      I love humanity. Love of all people seems too rare. I feel that goodness has not been universally appreciated for what it is. We have been beseeched many times to care about each other. Policies and behavior are perfected by caring about the wellbeing and happiness of every living person. Extending this to love is a measure too far for many.

      I fault the common understanding of Human Nature. Resentment, fear, envy, jealousy, anger, revenge, blame, hate, hostility, frustration, dismissiveness, arrogance, selfishness, and wishing for power over the choices belonging to others are widely regarded as natural to all people. Children play competitive games with toys imitating machine guns. They play King on the Mountain and Simon Says, cultivating a joy of power. Writers of cartoons condition children to cheer when a cartoon character is evaporated by a bomb. As of now, armies of countries have yet to engage an aggressor with non-lethal weapons. Competition is promoted as inherently more fun than constructive cooperation.

      This could be otherwise. As many agree, infants can learn a different path, but they imitate their parents. Add to that the wishes of those who have been rewarded for manipulating the culture toward bad ends. It seems that it might be a long time before people regard each other as cherished siblings.

      Those who do wrong are not to be hated. If we hate those who do wrong, we become haters who produce nothing good. We might wonder how those who do wrong come to be so misled. How indeed. To understand how, is to understand their misfortune. There but for the grace of God, go I.

      Each of the feelings and supposedly natural reactions listed above can be purged by the individual. They are not part of goodness. They are the seeds of war. They hold us back. They do us harm. They form the substance of barbarism. Become free.

The Higher Self

      Every religion that represents the belief in God has essentially the same understanding of the Higher Self.

      The higher self is a mode of thinking and feeling where all feelings and thoughts are consistent with love.

      This definition would be slightly more compact if there were a word that conflates thinking and feeling. Nearly all, and perhaps all thoughts are also feelings. Suspicion is one of the clearest examples, but one can detect feelings in thoughts if one pays close attention.

      Living continuously in your higher self is unlikely if you have recurring memories that disturb you. Such recurring memories can be purged in the sense that they no longer automatically recur and can be thought about without distress.

      Living continuously in your higher self cannot be done if you sometimes have destructive feelings.

      The higher self is recognized by spiritualists and all religions other than devil worship. The consciousness of a person's higher self is characterized by emotional associations and implications within every cognitive operation. This can be understood as a coherent blending of feelings and thought. In the higher self, feeling and thought are the same. This emotionally sensitive thought is not rare. Many thoughts are inextricably melded with named feelings, even if those feelings are not consistent with love. Resentment is an example. The higher self can observe, reason, conclude, wish, pray, speculate, and in general, perform any type of function of mind while always feeling the meaning. A person's higher self is never the source of feelings or wishes inconsistent with love.

      Thinking may happen without words.

      This is not to say that the people who react to disappointment, pain, or alarm by feeling frustration, fear, or anger are not well intentioned. They are not willful perpetrators. They are unwitting victims of their enculturation. They are victims of the influence of a culture that is both constructive and destructive.

      With the help of your higher self, destructive reactions can be purged. They do not serve you. You need not identify with them. You are not only human.

Tranquility and Peace

      You know how people get to be the way they are. The paths to displaced revenge and selfishness are famous. When you are attacked, verbally or otherwise, your understanding of people and your tranquility will do much to protect you, where fear or anger would place you in greater peril; but peace is often opposed, not just by attacks and rudeness, but by memories of unfortunate events.

      Recurring memories or dreams of misfortune or injustice or of regret for your own past actions need to be purged from the events and feelings that make up your life from now on. Thoroughly examining and reliving these events and all of their surrounding circumstances, and also grieving your preoccupation with them, will allow you to let go of those feelings and forgive.

      Forgiveness of yourself and the others will lead to joyful peace. The same can be done to purge destructive feeling. The feelings that are inconsistent with love do you no good. They are painful and useless. You need to grieve your tendency to feel them, whatever the circumstances.

      You can learn to become tranquil in situations that formerly prompted you to feel resentment, anger, or fear. Tranquility can be the reaction that serves as the antidote and substitute for destructive feelings. You need not insist on justice for yourself, but instead, you need to feel a heartfelt desire for goodness for the world.

      There are times for various kinds of sorrow and grief. This is needed. Such feelings need not prompt any of the destructive feelings mentioned earlier, but if sadness is chronic and generalized, that type of sadness needs to be purged.

      You can remove the grip of painful past events by understanding that these are not what you are. They are not components of your higher self.

      Forgiveness of yourself and others in the process that thoroughly examines and recounts troublesome memories will cause these sad thoughts and feelings to cease and you will no longer be bothered by past events. You can also rid yourself of any tendency to experience harmful feelings, purging them from your personality. You must be persistent to accomplish this. For myself, even before I was rid of bothersome memories, I let go of hate and anger. I had gone through so much of those feelings that it was apparent that they needed to go. A great effort was required.

      As an example, if the success of another prompts you to feel envy, pray to your higher self or God. You know that such feelings do not belong to your higher self. So it is with all of the other destructive feelings.

      Perfect behavior stems from perfect intentions. If you intend no harm, and your every thought and feeling is constructive, you are at peace.

Who Has A Higher Self?

      Everybody has a higher self. Its existence in you does not depend on your religious and spiritual beliefs, although the degree of your belief in goodness affects everything that you do and think and feel, whether you are in your higher self or not.

      Anybody can purge recurring recollections of disturbing past events and dismiss them from your life. You can also purge any tendency to feel destructive feelings.

      In the event that you are asking yourself "Why bother" I would point out that living without resentment is its own reward, as is facing misfortune or threats with tranquility. Tranquility does not reduce the likelihood of rational solutions, but fear does exactly that. If you reflect on all you know about how people get to be the way they are, hatred becomes increasingly inappropriate, even outside of your higher self. Anger solves nothing. Teaching envy by example spoils the culture. It does not enrich it. If you purge destructive feelings, you will soon care about the wellbeing and happiness of everybody.

Intrinsic Good

      Goodness and love are built into our universe and built into our reality in such a way that even the misled who engage in hurtful acts inexplicably regard their successes as good. The only path to constructiveness, beauty, and happiness is the path of goodness and love. The root cause of goodness is love. Such is our universe.

Purging Disturbing Memories

      Purging the involuntary recall of disturbing memories is not successfully done by trying to suppress them or avoid them. Their issues, accusations, grief, or other hurtful reactions must be addressed for what they are as they happened. Forgiveness of yourself and the others involved must be accomplished.

      Concentration on the memories, one at a time, will reveal the issues. Grief must be faced and resolved rather than burying it. Everything about these disturbing memories must be clearly realized. If this work is done, the past will loose its hold on you.

      It is the unintended recurrence of the disturbing memories that is stopped by this work. If you are asked to recall some horrible event, you can do it, and probably with great accuracy; but when your work is done, such a memory never occurs unless you try to remember it. There is no unconscious activity of such memories to invade dreams. The events are known, and they are not disturbing anymore. Fear, embarrassment, blame, guilt, resentment, or whatever makes them disturbing have been addressed and these recurring feelings are gone.

      You are truly free of being bothered by the past. Nothing is suppressed. No memory is reinvented. If you ever blamed yourself, you have forgiven yourself. In many cases you may never have blamed yourself. These events no longer contribute to your personality, attitudes, or beliefs. They are no longer who you are.

Purging Destructive Feelings

      Purging destructive feelings is a matter of questioning their utility and questioning their presumed advantages. These feelings are habitual. They are conditioned by upbringing. They are learned through the imitation of adults. They are everywhere characterized as normal and natural.

      Envy is one of the least controversial. Some people learn not to be envious. It can be related to loving humanity and wishing the best for everybody, but it can also be a matter of finding that success in positive goals is desirable in all cases. Envy is a negative feature of one's character. It doesn't take much reflection to dismiss it.

      Resentment, dislike, and hatred are greatly reduced simply by reflecting on the way you know people get to be the way they are. A detailed knowledge of how people get to be the way they are tends to cause destructive feelings to be increasingly recognized as inappropriate.

      Fear does not enhance your chances. Conditioning yourself to react to alarm by feeling tranquil is a great help in contending with threatening circumstances.

      Revenge, blame, selfishness, anger, the habit of arrogance, and wishing for power over the choices that belong to others can be reduced and eliminated by understanding and feeling their incompatibility with goodness.

      Purging all destructive feelings is a lot of work, and it involves a lot of your personal history. This is very much worth the effort, as you will see.

      There is a common reluctance to believe that one can purge destructive feelings because we all grew up with them and most consider them natural; but consider what answers you get when you consult your higher self. Your higher self does not participate in feelings that are not consistent with love.

      Resentment, anger, envy, and all of the rest of them, are habits. They are never products of your higher self.

Who Are The Undeserving?

      Criminals, devil worshipers, corrupt officials, crooked bankers, and rude people are not undeserving of your help. Nobody is undeserving of your help. If they are willing to listen, you should be willing to tell them what you know that has made your life good.

      There is no doubt that some people need to be incarcerated to protect the public, but don't confuse your safety needs, or your need for justice under the law, or the bad reputation of a person with a reason to classify any person as undeserving of your help. Their willingness to receive the help you can give them is the only permission you need. Helping the misled illustrates your love of humanity and perhaps strengthens it; but seeing people move toward goodness is glorious.


      During the Pleistocene, Our vocabulary increased dramatically from one and two syllable calls to many terms, mostly derived from metaphors. At a time when the only legs in the world were the legs of animals, the term "leg of a table" became a name for an inanimate object identified unambiguously to this day. We have an ability to associate one thing with another on the basis of similarity, and on other grounds as well.

      The terms "soldiers of God," "fight for goodness," "armed by wisdom," warriors of prayer," "weapons for good," "victory in battle", are used by religious and spiritualist speakers.

      The connotations of words learned in childhood are not easily eradicated.

      While it is possible to construct thoroughly non-violent and charitable definitions for these terms, they usually have the effect of stiffening the heart against some person or group. Their over-learned connotations are powerful. To become completely immune to the original meaning of these terms when used in a religious or spiritual context is a cognitive stunt achieved by very few.

      I suggest being aware of this issue. You might consciously edit or ignore these terms. Your higher self does not engage in any feelings inconsistent with love.


      Many people have no religious or spiritual beliefs, but exceedingly few of these people hate humanity. The willingness to do good things is not limited to those who believe in God. Every person has a higher self. Regardless of religious or spiritual beliefs, a person can purge recurring memories that they find disturbing, and also purge destructive feelings.

      For all of us, policies and behavior are perfected by caring about the wellbeing and happiness of every living person.


      Confusion about competition has spread throughout cultures, governments, and companies. The purpose of competition is to foster improvement, but defective incentive systems together with destructive feelings sometimes leads to a defective understanding of competition that can foster enmity, combative feeling, and rancor. This is avoided by recognizing that policies and behavior are perfected by caring about the wellbeing and happiness of every living person.


      The phenomenon of murder is supported by destructive feelings and recurring thoughts that are disturbing to the murderer. In addition, the murderer is rarely committed to reacting to alarming circumstances with tranquility.


      People who want a divorce from their spouse often accuse their wife or husband of being selfish and disagreeable. They may accuse each other of these things.

      Loud arguments that end in hard feelings simply do not happen between couples who have purged recurring disturbances and destructive feelings.


      Workers who must deal with people in their work are enormously more successful if they have defined themselves as loving, undisturbed, tranquil, and not a participant in destructive feelings.

Strangers, Acquaintances, Friends, and Relatives

      Understanding the typical upbringing of people in our culture is essential to being helpful. Exercising compassion without blame is much more productive and instructive than lecturing and criticizing. Love must not be compromised by insisting first on justice for yourself. Those who are never rude or combative teach by example.


      Most events happen without your permission; however, your reactions are up to you. You are the only person in charge of your feelings. Your conditioning to date may start a destructive reaction, but even so, you can stop it immediately. You have done so whenever circumstances have quickly changed. In all such circumstances you are now in possession of the wisdom of your higher self which feels only what is consistent with love. By refraining from taking physical or verbal action for even a second, you can change how you feel and begin to deal with the unwelcome circumstances compassionately.

External Influence

      The world often presents us with advertising, news, propaganda, opinion, attempted brainwashing, and statements variously prompted by constructive, destructive, or confused motives. If you are sensitive to the feelings contained in thoughts, there is an efficient question that you might ask your higher self: Are these suggestions consistent with love?


      Much harm has been done by those who hate. The suggestions and examples made centuries ago have cultivated the belief that destructive feelings are often natural and justified. Some of this propaganda was intentional. A great many people would characterize such actions as of those who should be regarded as enemies. The higher self does not have enemies. Those who regard us as their enemy are themselves victims. Our help and love must extend to them as it would to any person, regardless of their current state. We can cherish every living person, including those who would defame or assault us. Every perpetrator of crime is first a victim. No living person is beyond our caring and forgiveness. Every living person can be healed. We each need to be among those who work to heal all of humanity without revenge.

      Efforts to defend against assaults by means of non-lethal tools have not been very successful. Many voters and representatives believe in enmity. One woman responded to the suggestion of non-lethal means with this comment: "If non-lethal means were known and effective, I would not want police to use them because these people deserve to die."

      This person is hardly alone in this sentiment. This is the feeling that we must help change. To live in a loving world, we must love each other.


      Evil means profoundly immoral and wicked.

      Events and actions can be profoundly immoral and wicked, but the term is sometimes used to characterize a person. In such a case, additional assumptions are often made. When applied to a person, the term does not mean permanently immoral and wicked. Also, it is used to imply that the person in question is deserving of extreme revenge, and even that the person is not human.

      The misuse of language is a major tool of the art of brainwashing. Characterizing a person or group as evil, particularly with these further implied meanings, has been done to encourage violence and start wars.

      Recognizing despicable acts should prompt us to help ensure public safety and rehabilitate those who are responsible. Calling them not human and exacting severe punishment accomplishes nothing good. Insisting on the belief that wrong doers cannot change is merely an excuse to stoop to revenge. Even if such a wrong doer never shows any sign of rehabilitating, it is not for us to give credence to that person's immoral beliefs.

      Peace is created by loving those who hate.

      If your young child were to become influenced to hate or wish harm, you would react with concern. In every way you would try to help that child understand what is good. Your love for your child would not be modified in the slightest. Why is this so seldom one's reaction to destructive changes in friends, acquaintances, and strangers?


      One of the goals mentioned in the video introduction is purging thoughts and dreams that are unwanted and recurring. This purging is not any kind of suppression or amnesia. These recurring thoughts and dreams are to be available as normal memories, for whatever purpose. They may be part of your history, but they will no longer be painful, and they will not automatically recur.

      Another goal is to purge the common destructive feelings listed in the second paragraph of the text.

      The third goal mentioned in the video is to master tranquility. This is to become or remain tranquil in the face of events that are normally alarming to people.

      Most of what I have said so far gives reasons for wanting these results and emphasizes the importance and value of achieving these goals. The first step is to fervently want these changes.

      There is more that can be done.

      These changes are personality changes. When a person can change personality features, then habits, aversions, inclinations, and many other features can be changed. These include the reactions that have been my main concern.

      While there are other approaches, a very effective one is the intentional invention of daydreams featuring yourself as a changed person. This may result in sleeping dreams having content similar to the daydreams. The method is as follows:

      A few time a day, imagine your self with people in circumstances that usually prompt some feeling or action that you want to eliminate from your behavior. See yourself acting differently and not reacting as usual. See yourself behaving as you wish you would. See yourself not feeling what you usually feel in those circumstances, but feeling empathy or love or understanding or courage as you would wish to feel in those circumstances.

      If this sort of daydream in done a few times a day, you will see changes (verified by others) within a few months, but certainly within two years. That is my experience and the experience of a great many others.

      There is no need for a theory as to why this works. It is an empirical fact.


      By arranging to have constructive things to look forward to, the task of purging automatically recurring memories of tragic events is much easier. In general, arranging to have good things to look forward to stimulates, furthers, and helps to safeguard happiness. If you would not characterize yourself as happy, then some element of planning needs to be applied to your future. What you look forward to can even counter despair.

      This is not to say that the past is completely useless in contributing to happiness. You might recall that you have felt the warmth of friendship; or the awe inspired in you by beauty; or the many instances of gratitude or serenity or laughter or wonder or admiration. These, of course are merely a few examples. Arrange to feel them all again, and arrange to look forward.

Your Heart

      The world, with all of its flaws and routine ills, can invite you to moderate your feelings - feelings like profound love and intense sympathy. Sensitivity to sadness and joy can be diminished in favor of readiness for conflict or any of various common reasons. This can become habitual and can unfortunately be maintained, even in the face of a desperate need to feel the truth.

      What does it meant be true to yourself?

      There are many reasons given to justify feelings such as resentment, anger, fear, envy, and blame. Your higher self does not defend those reasons. There are no valid reasons that nullify goodness; and none of that reasoning brings peace and tranquility.

      Every attempt by others to make you do what they want you to do fails, unless you give your permission. Can you still feel strongly about what you want to be?

      As you imagine yourself as you want to be, and as you wish not to identify with past feelings, and as you recognize that love is the source, let go. Feel the truth. Live in your higher self.


      When we see an injustice avoided, we acknowledge that this is good; but justice is not the entirety or essence of goodness. Cruelties, great and small, are routinely prompted by a sense of justice that is devoid of love.

      The unfair actions of those feared to be powerful often perverts the ability to be determined, resolute, principled, and fair. If the misguided will not listen, then let them learn by our examples.

      Most cultures have justified behaviors and policies which are not consistent with love. Mistaking justice for goodness is common. We are often urged to sternly stand up for oneself or others, vehemently insist on what is right, blame those who are wrong, and extol those who have the courage to speak out or act against evil people. Allusions to factors affecting one's self esteem are particularly effective in perpetuating this collection of values.

      Instances of injustice are routinely used to inspire anger (which is second only to fear as a tool of brainwashing). Justice, in itself, is entirely good; however, what is happening here is the maintenance of combativeness, resentment, and enmity. All three of these are made to seem natural. Not all of those who help to shape the culture care about the wellbeing and happiness of humanity. As we forgive them, we need not therefore follow them.

      You might wonder how we can achieve justice without fighting for what is right? Actually, we are not warriors. We are teachers.

      The misuse of language and our reiteration of those misuses constitutes an insidious influence that misleads us. "Fighting" implies a battle, not a discovery.

      Without enmity in your heart, your self esteem is secure.

Self Blame

      As a well-meaning person of the 1700s, if somebody pointed out that you were selfish, self-centered, and self-aggrandizing, you might consider what to do about it. It would not be the end of your world. People can change if they want to.

      In the current century, consider being told (however politely) that you have an ego. This is a very different matter. The meaning of this term, as understood by the vast majority, bears only some resemblance to the complicated theory offered by Sigmund Freud. It commonly means that, at a very young age, you acquired a cognitive malady (a stain on the brain) from which you will never recover. It is said that everybody has an ego; there is no therapy for it; it is part of you and your identity; and that's life.

      This identity factor is loosely tied to your day-to-day wish to physically survive. Presumably, you will not throw that away.

      If you accept this feature of yourself as part of human nature, you most likely get on with your pursuit of happiness by suppressing this ego rather than purging it.

      If the term is used in religious, psychological, or spiritual teachings, its intended meaning must be clearly defined, because the popular meaning is destructive.

      Selfishness, conceit, any desire or inclination to behave egotistically, any need for self-aggrandizement, or a habit of exhibiting a superior demeanor can be purged. These and similar elements are the elements of the popular understanding of ego.

      The permanency of selfishness is a myth.

Consideration, Caring, and Empathy

      For most of us, consideration does not fully develop in early childhood. It remains imperfect in some for life. The conflicts between what you want and what others want are the circumstances in which this development unfolds.

      Caring is different. Children care about their parents and care givers at a very early age. This caring is a feeling. It is a feeling of attachment. Without this feeling of attachment, there is no caring. If one feels no attachment to humanity as a whole, then there is no caring for humanity. The love in your heart is the caring.

      If you have developed the capacity for consideration, and there are those whom you love, then the feeling of empathy becomes possible. To empathize with the circumstances of another person, and to understand and share their feelings, you must have a caring attachment to them; but if what you want makes you discount the importance of what others want, empathy is impossible.

      In order to become socially accepted, too many people grow up pretending empathy while not having both the caring and the capacity for consideration that would make their empathy real.

      Even this can be healed.

      Even you, so injured and disheartened, can at last appreciate the importance of what others want.

Purging the World of Bad Events

      The vast majority of people never commit a crime. In the United States, at least 97% of the population have never committed a crime. Over 99% have not committed a violent crime. Still, the vast majority suffer the resentments, anger, and pains of injustice that move a small minority to wrong other people. Also, some perpetrators commit multiple crimes; or even routinely commit crimes. Many more people suffer from destructive feelings in reaction to this.

      There are cultural factors that tend to support this unfortunate plague of destructive feelings. One is movies.

      Have you ever seen a movie in which the actors never demonstrate resentment, anger, or violence? Imagine a movie that depicts people cooperatively contending with a natural disaster while not engaging in petty conflicts. Has any such movie ever attracted a large audience?

      Many movies tend to justify and reenforce destructive feelings by means of dramas based on conflict between individuals or groups of people. Exceptions are hard to find. Some movies teach us that revenge is justified, or that resentment is often a natural reaction, or that envy is a common human tendency. The list of supposedly acceptable destructive feelings is long. Movies reflect the culture, and thereby perpetuate its failings.

      In real life, might impulsive murders be more rare if rage were more rare? How much less violence might there be in a culture that encourages the mastery of tranquility? How many more people would describe their lives as happy if they never felt destructive feelings?

      Because of our upbringing and our cultural influences, most people are combative to some degree, and some are substantially so. Is it all because we need a national defense, or do we need a national defense because we are warlike? What holds up the transition? Is it because non-lethal methods of law enforcement and national defense do not work, or is it because our enemies deserve to die?


      The efficient determiner of your approval is your identification with the ideas involved.

      Language has been used to tempt us to identify with being a proud warrior on the side of what is right and just.

      Combativeness is not a component of goodness.

      If you are being asked be a warrior, this request is an attempt, witting or unwitting, to hurt you. Such invitations confuse your readiness to understand and forgive.

      Those who identify with being a "good warrior" find themselves supporting revenge and finding circumstances in which violence is justified. It is easy to forget how people become perpetrators if they are regarded as the enemy.


      As explained earlier, purging a destructive feeling from your personality is far different from suppressing that feeling whenever it is prompted in the current culture; but there is a related misunderstanding that needs to be addressed.

      Purging several destructive feelings does not make you insensitive, or reduce your emotional appreciation of happy events. Just because I no longer feel anger or resentment does not mean that tears never fall from my eyes, or that my heart never feels crushed, when suffering is made known to me. Just because I no longer envy others or seek power over their decisions does not mean that don't feel the joy of beauty, goodness in others, and hope.

      Even when anger is not directed toward a person, as when regrettable events occur, this anger is not needed. It is not needed to dismiss blame or purge a sense of injustice. Anger can be completely eliminated from your personality without any ill effects. You can face misfortune with tranquility, and face the misdeeds of others without blaming them. You know how people got to be the way they are. Love of humanity and living in your higher self brings you everything that you could want from your existence.

      You care about the happiness and wellbeing of every person. Events may be evil, but people are not. Evil doers are always victims first. We pray for their enlightenment.


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