Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hypocrisy, Part 2

To avoid the constant buzz of low level stress, judge less and accept more. In other words, knowing but not doing, such as not taking out the garbage, is normal human behavior, not hypocrisy, and does not require a lot of guilt, punishment and fear, some maybe, but not a lot. Be careful what you label hypocrisy. Still, espousing Christian ideals and lacking compassion for all human beings, is hypocrisy, and people who do this might want to fear the ‘last judgment’.

So, to me, the difference between hypocrisy and normal human behavior is scope - the extent to which the lives of others and the functioning of society, and our higher order ideals and aspirations are involved. If the inaction or action will seriously harm or diminish others, here and now, whether to save their souls or not, it reaches the level of hypocrisy.

Still, whether hypocrisy or normal human behavior, the goal is to close the gap between knowing what to do and doing it. If I know what to do and don’t do it, the goal is to close the gap between them. A number of options are available to do this. I can let go of my certainty – of my knowing. I can question, research and be open to other ways of perceiving the situation. Maybe I really don’t know what to do – maybe the garbage can go out every other day instead of everyday. Maybe compassion is more important than punishment.

If I’m going to persist in doing what I know I shouldn’t do, maybe I should just ‘de-criminalize’ it, make it legal and eliminate the fear of punishment and pain. So if I take out the garbage once a week, there’s no punishment but the stink, and that may not be a ‘punishment’ if I don’t mind the smell.

Anyhow, the goal is to close the gap, to get my behavior in line with my ideals or my ideals in line with my behavior. As long as there’s a gap, I’m a hypocrite.

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