When you hear a justification does it make your spirit soar?
Maybe it does, and it is only me who is weird. We are surrounded by justifications, entombed and our hearts pierced by the countless stakes of them. It appears all so reasonable. We have to justify pretty much everything we do in conversation, in job applications and even to the parrot in its cage. The endless stream of justifications, it turns the world grey and anodyne, bereft of colour. And by our justifications we do some pretty bad shit, it is OK though, because it is thoroughly justified.
To what part of us do justifications speak? Is it our hearts? Is it our pseudo-rational mind? Is it our linguistic core processor?
It is by justification that we silence and assuage the remnants of our conscience and muffle whatever residue of spirit lies mortally wounded within us. And we think we are so very clever in acting like this. Somewhere there is a mountain of babies, piled Everest high. And these are the babies we threw out with the bathwater, because of our insistence on justifications.
We do not see that there is a Dying of the Light. And in any case should we do, we can easily justify it away. And before long all we will be left with are our lovely justifications. We shall knit patchwork blankets out of them and lie beneath them in the hope that they will keep us warm, when the light is no more.
Whilst we shiver, in justification-world we shall feel thoroughly justified, if a little indignant.
To discuss this topic, I am going to come out of heart and back into concrete mind.
I’ll start with a question first. Do you notice when you start justifying something to yourself?
In justification-space many things seem to be OK. We can justify all sorts of stuff to ourselves and thereby feel thoroughly justified. We might seek to invade another country to remove its leader, so we look around for some justification that will mean that the upcoming slaughter is fine. At the merest whiff of weapons of mass destruction, we have our standard, our flag, behind which we can unleash hell. This is perhaps an extreme example. But we can find justifications for a whole bunch of stuff, that is mean, dodgy, cowardly, shabby, vindictive, greedy, you name it. We kind of know that we did not ought to be doing it, so we hunt around for a plethora of justifications so that we can bury our conscience under them. And then we share our justifications with others to justify our actions. If it is a group effort we can sample the justifications of others and increase the overall justification count. We can talk ourselves into something and we can talk ourselves out of something. We may silence our conscience so that we can indulge in whatever it is. Maybe later we may regret, but for now we want to do something so bad, that we in our cleverness can find sufficient justifications. Under these the basic spirit, the motive behind actions lies buried. We then start to think that because of our justifications “it” is great idea, good, true and thoroughly justifiable. We can get all caught up in an idea, even if it isn’t so bright and then we must execute that idea.
I’ll interject another question. Do we suspect that by the time we are looking to justify we are already straying from the path of what might be termed righteousness?
This tendency to justify is a part of the common dream. We all do it. We have to explain what we did over Christmas and justify our choice of holiday destination, car, career, partner, dog and political affiliation. It is part and parcel.
Under the flag of justification some pretty nasty shit is done. Justification is the primary method of silencing the conscience, the heart.
Having cued this up:
Are justifications a good or a bad thing?
Have I ever justified something to myself that was shabby and off?
Justify your answers.
Last night we watched a film called Green Zone in that film a unit of soldiers was sent to investigate the Weapons of Mass Destruction(WMD) alleged to have been in Iraq. This premise was used to “justify” the invasion and bloodshed. Behind this justification were of course the Egos of a number of people and a lingering US desire for vengeance and punishment. It is fair to speculate that even today we are dealing with a chain reaction, sparked, and the consequences thereof. No weapons of mass destruction were ever found, though they were a part of the sales pitch for war. This regime change mentality pervaded for a while and the middle east has continued to be a tinderbox ever since, with knock on effects for domestic security. People can justify a whole bunch of stuff, retrospectively even the grounds for that “justification” can be found to be made up. If we use the same “logic” then by rights the USA should now invade North Korea because it doesn’t like the leadership and from what we are told, it has a limited nuclear capability. We hear a lot about it. North Korea isn’t full of Arabs and middle eastern types and is next door to China, Japan and South Korea. These are markets with big economies. If there was a war on that peninsula we would not get our cheap consumer goods so easily. So, the justification used to invade Iraq is not so compelling when there may be an economic impact in Asia. The actuality of WMD has made some people think a little more.
I think the only safe thing to say about the middle east is that it is a tinderbox and one that is not amenable to solution anytime soon. Attempts to inflict things there nearly always tend to go wrong. It is more “interesting” than Africa because of the oil, the scars there run deep, and grudges are long held. But this does not stop people coming up with “bright ideas” and “cunning plans”. People in their minds have a fondness for inflicting these, with sparse justification and usually without consideration of the consequences. They set off a chain reaction which need never have been initiated were it not for the desire for personal advancement somewhere.
This dabbling in the world is common and exists in the day to day, away from geo-politics. The thing about chain reactions is that they can spiral out of control and quickly so. But humans seemingly can justify all sorts of things to themselves without considering the knock-on effects. One may not have sight of the consequences but that does not matter when a justification looms large and tempting. When a chain reaction has started to spiral, it is far reaching. And all it takes is a spark, which may be tiny. In the more local theatre of the day to day, one may say or do something stupid and before long a whole raft of consequences arrive. The knock-on effects start mounting and mounting. There is bifurcation after bifurcation. All one can hope to do is to manage the incoming shit storm and tidy up the mess as it appears.
This is cause and effect or karma. Once a chain reaction has been initiated the consequences amplify and mount. If the motive is / was dodgy, the karmic impact is high. Those “bright ideas” may not be so bright after all. The idea that one can control or contain a chain reaction is something of a fallacy. In the lab it can be controlled in the world it cannot. This is because of the interdependency of life.
At the moment I feel that the world has lost direction, there are a lot of firefights going on, trying to deal with the consequences of dabbling. There is not much accord, and some are even being pulled out of. Is the world really heading towards a massive Twitter spat backed up by munitions? I hope not. Yup human Ego, is such a great thing, for it lies at the root of many of the problems of humanity. That desire to dabble in the lives of other beings is strong in some, after all we know best and our world-version is the one we are entitled to inflict upon others, irrespective of consequence.
One never knows when a seemingly small act can start a chain reaction. An “injured” Ego, a nose out of joint and bang…
Is it really all about goats?
Hmnn.. it probably is….