Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagree?

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Jenna Padayachee
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Re: Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagr

Post by Jenna Padayachee »

Hi Mr Hughes

PAGE 75 has raised some wonder in me in terms of the below:


. "A conscious person will typically share that instinctive empathy for certain things or creatures, even if the empathizer does not believe the things or creatures with which it empathizes are conscious.

For example, when reading a fictional story, the readers may find themselves empathizing with a fictional character. Some may even cry tears of genuine sadness about some nasty thing that fictionally happened to the fictional character, despite knowing it's fictional and lacking in true consciousness. That instinctive empathy, of which even a philosophical zombie is capable, is very different from the special extra empathy that results from true conscious love, from empathizing specifically with the consciousness of a creature or in other words the conscious experience of the creature, not just the physical creature itself."


I find the example you use here very interesting simply because I experience fiction to be a means of exposing/ delving into conscious reality serving as a time portal ( Newtonian time being part of a range of possibilities).
Our human imagination I believe contains secrets that reflect the truths of who we are ( shadows / light /combination), like a code that is deciphered through our artistic( in this context, written /cinematic) expression. I refer to JRR Tolkien and also Peter Jackson as both their respective constructs of fantasy ( Lord of the Rings Trilogy)are embedded partly from inherent reflections combined with their respective external stimulus through their unique life journey. Tolkien’s fantasy and Jackson’s cinematic expressions of such, connects people from all walks of life, delving deeply into universal truths for minds that are ready to explore such. Take for instance the character Gollum in LOTR we empathize with this character, although fictional, this character engages our minds and senses, allowing us to reflect on our inherent characteristics that relate to Gollum. Gollum represents a battle of light and dark within, which tends to be a reality for most of us in real-time. The same can be said for most characters in this plot. We either identify with our ego or True consciousness through such “fictional” creations and explore our conscious truths through their fictional shells ( either as their creator/ reader /viewer).
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Re: Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagr

Post by Jenna Padayachee »

Hi Mr Hughes

PAGE 75 has raised some wonder in me in terms of the below:


. "A conscious person will typically share that instinctive empathy for certain things or creatures, even if the empathizer does not believe the things or creatures with which it empathizes are conscious.

For example, when reading a fictional story, the readers may find themselves empathizing with a fictional character. Some may even cry tears of genuine sadness about some nasty thing that fictionally happened to the fictional character, despite knowing it's fictional and lacking in true consciousness. That instinctive empathy, of which even a philosophical zombie is capable, is very different from the special extra empathy that results from true conscious love, from empathizing specifically with the consciousness of a creature or in other words the conscious experience of the creature, not just the physical creature itself."


I find the example you use here very interesting simply because I experience fiction to be a means of exposing/ delving into conscious reality serving as a time portal ( Newtonian time being part of a range of possibilities).
Our human imagination I believe contains secrets that reflect the truths of who we are ( shadows / light /combination), like a code that is deciphered through our artistic( in this context, written /cinematic) expression. I refer to JRR Tolkien and also Peter Jackson as both their respective constructs of fantasy ( Lord of the Rings Trilogy)are embedded partly from inherent reflections combined with their respective external stimulus through their unique life journey. Tolkien’s fantasy and Jackson’s cinematic expressions of such, connects people from all walks of life, delving deeply into universal truths for minds that are ready to explore such. Take for instance the character Gollum in LOTR we empathize with this character, although fictional, this character engages our minds and senses, allowing us to reflect on our inherent characteristics that relate to Gollum. Gollum represents a battle of light and dark within, which tends to be a reality for most of us in real-time. The same can be said for most characters in this plot. We either identify with our ego or True consciousness through such “fictional” creations and explore our conscious truths through their fictional shells ( either as their creator/ reader /viewer).


Kind regards

Jenna Padayachee
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Re: Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagr

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Jenna Padayachee wrote: January 19th, 2024, 3:45 pm Hi Mr Hughes

PAGE 75 has raised some wonder in me in terms of the below:


. "A conscious person will typically share that instinctive empathy for certain things or creatures, even if the empathizer does not believe the things or creatures with which it empathizes are conscious.

For example, when reading a fictional story, the readers may find themselves empathizing with a fictional character. Some may even cry tears of genuine sadness about some nasty thing that fictionally happened to the fictional character, despite knowing it's fictional and lacking in true consciousness. That instinctive empathy, of which even a philosophical zombie is capable, is very different from the special extra empathy that results from true conscious love, from empathizing specifically with the consciousness of a creature or in other words the conscious experience of the creature, not just the physical creature itself."


I find the example you use here very interesting simply because I experience fiction to be a means of exposing/ delving into conscious reality serving as a time portal ( Newtonian time being part of a range of possibilities).
Our human imagination I believe contains secrets that reflect the truths of who we are ( shadows / light /combination), like a code that is deciphered through our artistic( in this context, written /cinematic) expression. I refer to JRR Tolkien and also Peter Jackson as both their respective constructs of fantasy ( Lord of the Rings Trilogy)are embedded partly from inherent reflections combined with their respective external stimulus through their unique life journey. Tolkien’s fantasy and Jackson’s cinematic expressions of such, connects people from all walks of life, delving deeply into universal truths for minds that are ready to explore such. Take for instance the character Gollum in LOTR we empathize with this character, although fictional, this character engages our minds and senses, allowing us to reflect on our inherent characteristics that relate to Gollum. Gollum represents a battle of light and dark within, which tends to be a reality for most of us in real-time. The same can be said for most characters in this plot. We either identify with our ego or True consciousness through such “fictional” creations and explore our conscious truths through their fictional shells ( either as their creator/ reader /viewer).


Kind regards

Jenna Padayachee
Jenna Padayachee

Thank you for highlighting that passage from the book and providing your thoughts on it. I don't fully understand the context here; are you saying you disagree with what I wrote in that passage, or are you just saying you agree and expanding on it?


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagr

Post by Jenna Padayachee »

I feel that this is a disagreement or a misunderstanding on my part perhaps:

You use the example of a conscious person "empathizing with a fictional character. Some may even cry tears of genuine sadness about some nasty thing that fictionally happened to the fictional character, despite knowing it's fictional and lacking in true consciousness."

I believe that such "fictional" characters contain forms of our consciousness simply from being created and expressed. Our engagement with such characters as " Gollum" ( high fantasy character from LOTR) in my view is an example of true conscious engagement.
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Re: Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagr

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Jenna Padayachee wrote: January 20th, 2024, 4:13 pm I feel that this is a disagreement or a misunderstanding on my part perhaps:

You use the example of a conscious person "empathizing with a fictional character. Some may even cry tears of genuine sadness about some nasty thing that fictionally happened to the fictional character, despite knowing it's fictional and lacking in true consciousness."

I believe that such "fictional" characters contain forms of our consciousness simply from being created and expressed. Our engagement with such characters as " Gollum" ( high fantasy character from LOTR) in my view is an example of true conscious engagement.
Hi, Jenna Padayachee,

Here is the sentence you quoted as the one with which you disagree:

"A conscious person will typically share that instinctive empathy for certain things or creatures, even if the empathizer does not believe the things or creatures with which it empathizes are conscious."

So, to be clear, that means that you believe that a conscious person will NOT typically have empathy for for things or creature that it believes are not conscious (e.g. fictional characters)?


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagr

Post by Cryptic Spy »

Well, I'm currently reading the book and so far, I must say that there was no point where I thought that I could easily disagree with this. etc
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Re: Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagr

Post by Chinazo Anozie »

I read this book previously, but I'm happy to reread it again. In the chapter "We can't help starving children because we can't help ourselves," I don't agree with this position. I mean, I understand the part about not being kind to ourselves/treating ourselves cruelly. But I believe that a person who does not practice self discipline aka spiritual freedom can, for example, donate to charity, which may just be tailored to helping starving children. What I mean is I don't think that it has to be an either/or situation with helping starving children vs helping ourselves.
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Re: Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagr

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Chinazo Anozie wrote: February 6th, 2024, 2:08 pm I read this book previously, but I'm happy to reread it again. In the chapter "We can't help starving children because we can't help ourselves," I don't agree with this position. I mean, I understand the part about not being kind to ourselves/treating ourselves cruelly. But I believe that a person who does not practice self discipline aka spiritual freedom can, for example, donate to charity, which may just be tailored to helping starving children. What I mean is I don't think that it has to be an either/or situation with helping starving children vs helping ourselves.
Hi, Chinazo Anozie,

Can you quote the very first sentence with which you disagree, rather than the entire title of the chapter?


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagr

Post by Chinazo Anozie »

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: February 6th, 2024, 4:31 pm
Chinazo Anozie wrote: February 6th, 2024, 2:08 pm I don't agree with this position. I mean, I understand the part about not being kind to ourselves/treating ourselves cruelly. But I believe that a person who does not practice self discipline aka spiritual freedom can, for example, donate to charity, which may just be tailored to helping starving children. What I mean is I don't think that it has to be an either/or situation with helping starving children vs helping ourselves.
Hi, Chinazo Anozie,

Can you quote the very first sentence with which you disagree, rather than the entire title of the chapter?


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
Sure! Here it is: "It's not extreme selfishness, let alone full-blown psychopathy, that is the cause of our failure to save starving children among needy others, but rather the opposite: it is our self-destructiveness."

I'm also quoting the follow-up sentences to the above in the book for more context with what I disagree with:

"We may behave cruelly and behave in seemingly unsympathetic ways toward starving children and others who suffer, but it isn't because we selfishly treat them worse than we treat ourselves. The sad opposite is the case: We treat them so cruelly because we treat them like we treat ourselves, which is cruelly."
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Re: Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagr

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Hi, Chinazo Anozie,

The sentence you have quoted appears on page 22, which means we both agree with this sentence that appears one page earlier one page 21:

"Thus, the reason for our failure to help the extremely less fortunate is neither psychopathy nor simple selfishness."

That's a great helpful starting point: You and I both agree that it is NOT selfishness nor psychopathy that causes our failure to help starving children.

With that helpful agreed premise in mind, let's move on to the first sentence in the book with which you do disagree:

Chinazo Anozie wrote: February 7th, 2024, 1:38 am Sure! Here it is: "It's not extreme selfishness, let alone full-blown psychopathy, that is the cause of our failure to save starving children among needy others, but rather the opposite: it is our self-destructiveness."
Okay, so you disagree with me that our self-destructiveness is the cause of our failure to save starving children. So then what do you think is the cause of our failure to save starving children?

We both agree that it isn't selfishness or psychopathy. And you (unlike me) believe that it is also not our self-destructiveness (i.e. it's not that we treats others such as starving kids as bad as we treat ourselves, meaning it's not an unfortunate following of the golden rule).
So then what do you think the cause is? Since you don't believe it's any of those things, what in your belief is the cause of our failure to save starving children?

I look forward to your answers because I love learning about different perspectives. :)

With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagr

Post by Chinazo Anozie »

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: February 7th, 2024, 11:54 am Hi, Chinazo Anozie,

The sentence you have quoted appears on page 22, which means we both agree with this sentence that appears one page earlier one page 21:

"Thus, the reason for our failure to help the extremely less fortunate is neither psychopathy nor simple selfishness."

That's a great helpful starting point: You and I both agree that it is NOT selfishness nor psychopathy that causes our failure to help starving children.

With that helpful agreed premise in mind, let's move on to the first sentence in the book with which you do disagree:

Chinazo Anozie wrote: February 7th, 2024, 1:38 am Sure! Here it is: "It's not extreme selfishness, let alone full-blown psychopathy, that is the cause of our failure to save starving children among needy others, but rather the opposite: it is our self-destructiveness."
Okay, so you disagree with me that our self-destructiveness is the cause of our failure to save starving children. So then what do you think is the cause of our failure to save starving children?

We both agree that it isn't selfishness or psychopathy. And you (unlike me) believe that it is also not our self-destructiveness (i.e. it's not that we treats others such as starving kids as bad as we treat ourselves, meaning it's not an unfortunate following of the golden rule).
So then what do you think the cause is? Since you don't believe it's any of those things, what in your belief is the cause of our failure to save starving children?

I look forward to your answers because I love learning about different perspectives. :)

With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
Hi Eckhart, thank you for your response! I don't believe that both helping starving children (or needy people generally) and being cruel/self-destructive run concurrently. In fact, I believe you can be cruel to yourself/not practice self discipline aka spiritual freedom and still donate to charity. I say this because I've seen it many times; in fact, I'm an example.

Except you mean people who are on the extreme end of addiction or self-destructiveness (whether sex, drugs, food, alcohol, etc.), who actually have a serious problem that they require professional help, then I would tend to agree because, honestly, I've never met anyone like that, so I wouldn't know for sure if they do or don't give to charity.

But my disagreement stems from if you're referring to the average person that isn't yet 100% practicing the spiritual freedom taught in this book, who falls off the wagon sometimes in either going to the gym or occasionally gives in to their food cravings or worries constantly about things they can't control, then I believe that person, even though they can be considered to be cruel/not kind to themselves, is still able to donate to charity and, where the case may be, help starving children. Again, I don't believe that it has to be an either/or situation with helping starving children vs helping ourselves or that because we can't help ourselves or are self-destructive, it unequivocally and directly affects our ability (or willingness) to help the needy.

In response to your question, I honestly don't know why some people don't give to charity just as I don't know the heart of the man buying groceries in front of me right now. But I believe charity is something so personal that you do not need to be mandated to do it; it is something that comes from the heart that is done willingly. However, I do know my heart, so I'll just speak for myself here. I actually didn't always give to charity and I'll tell you why. It was because I never thought I had enough to give. It took some self-realization and work on my part to realise that if i couldn't give, or thought i didn't have enough, with a 100 dollars, I'd still feel the same way with a thousand, ten thousand, or even a hundred thousand dollars. As soon as I realized it, I made it a point to remedy my mindset and start giving—no matter how little i thought i had. This was years before this book came out or I knew/heard anything about spiritual freedom aka self discipline as referred to in this book. In fact, I was doing almost all the things that brought about self-inducing misery/being cruel to myself aka self-destructiveness. I was always tummy-churning anxious about things I couldn't control; I always, always beat myself up for the littlest error I made, etc etc. The fact that i was practicing these awful habits and being unkind to myself didn't stop me from my decision to actively give. But this was just my personal reason for not giving to charity previously. I don't know if that grocery guy gives or doesn't give to charity. And if he doesn't, I suspect his reason would be different from mine. And this is why I don't agree with the overgeneralization and simplification of "We can't help starving children because we can't help ourselves" or even presume to answer for anyone else other myself the question: what is the cause of our failure to save starving children? It's because I believe there's no one-size-fits-all answer.
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Re: Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagr

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: February 7th, 2024, 11:54 am you disagree with me that our self-destructiveness is the cause of our failure to save starving children. So then what do you think is the cause of our failure to save starving children?
Chinazo Anozie wrote: February 7th, 2024, 2:13 pm In response to your question, I honestly don't know why some people don't give to charity just as I don't know the heart of the man buying groceries in front of me right now.

Hi, Chinazo Anozie,

Thank you for reply.

Correct me if I am wrong, but you seem to be incorrectly conflating very specific tasks, namely "giving to charity", with actually helping starving children. Certainly, someone who can't help themselves might occasionally throw a few bucks to some charity; I absolutely agree with that. Likewise, a given alcoholic can go to AA meetings every single day, and spend a lot of time and money and effort on AA or rehab services, but still also choose to go to the bar and drink every night.

People wisely say that the road to hell is paved with seemingly good intentions.

Generally speaking, effort is the enemy of success, not the path to it. Miserable effort and "trying" are generally a brood parasite that by pretending to be what they aren't thereby trick one into choosing them over the actual graceful honest doing that they poorly and miserably mimic.

In yet another analogy, a morbidly obese person claiming to want to lose weight might, despite eating 6,000+ calories per day, then spend 15 minutes in the gym working out really hard and think that's "helping" them lose weight or describe that as "helping" them lose weight, when clearly it's not, and can definitely be counter-productive, such as by increasing appetite, mental fatigue, and simply distracting from the actual deciding factor (the calorie intake). Generally, such as "trying really hard" or so-called "helping" is the antithesis of grace. Grace is to do without trying. But those who don't do what they can do will often as a lame consolation prize engage in tons of exhausting trying and mis-label it as "helping" or mis-label it as "doing what little they can" when they could absolutely do not only more but more importantly do at least some of something that actually works a little instead of a lot of something that is counter-productive. One can't exercise their way out of a bad diet, and a few bucks thrown at a so-called charity in the grocery store is likely in the same way not actually "helping"; it's a distraction that helps one feel like they are helping, meaning it's basically a form of dishonest "trying" rather than actual honest doing. It's the kind of thing someone who can't help themselves does and falsely calls "helping", whether that pseudo-helping (a.k.a. trying) is for themselves, for someone else, or for some external cause. When dealing with someone who can't and/or doesn't help themselves, it's very wise to be extremely suspicious and cynical about their ability to accurately label something as "help". It gets even crazier when the person who can't help themselves (e.g. the morbidly obese person who eats 6,000+ calories day but claims to be doing things that "help" them lose weight and claims to be "trying" really hard to lose weight) then attempts to help someone else (e.g. attempts to help me lose weight or tell me how to adjust my diet or exercise plan). I discuss that concept more in my topic, Don't take any advice from unhappy people. They can't help themselves but now they want to help me? It's a very common thing to see, and is closely related to toxic enabling and toxic codependency and abuse which are all discussed in detail in my book.

In my topic, There will always be more externals to chase. Those who seek to save the world as a means to save themselves do neither, I wrote the following: "You cannot fill other people's cups with your empty one. But you sure can make an effective scapegoat out of the futile attempt to do it."

What the person who doesn't/can't help themselves calls "helping" or "trying" is often a scapegoat or distraction. It's no surprise the person who is eating 6,000+ calories a day wants to pretend the gym issue and how hard they work in the gym is the one that matters when it obviously isn't. They can say they are "trying" to lose weight by working out really hard for 20 minutes a day, despite eating 6,000+ calories. They can blame their weight gain on not having enough time in the day to get to the gym for long enough with their busy work schedule. "I try so hard to lose weight, but I just don't have enough time because I'm so busy lately," they might say. They may say, "I use the little time I can find, such as about 10 minutes a day, to workout because every little bit helps! I am doing my best to lose weight!" Then they may donate $1 to some poorly rated charity that a grocery store dishonestly uses as a tax break, and then say, "I'm helping starving kids too! I'm doing my best to help starving kids!" Indeed, they are doing their best to help starving kids as much as they are doing their best to themselves, which is not at all.

If you can't even help yourself, how in the world do you think you can know what's best for someone else let alone have the wisdom and incredible self-discipline to implement that alleged solution in an actually effective and graceful way? If you can't even rule yourself, how can you rule the world? If you can't even save yourself, how you can save the world?

Proverbially speaking, what I wrote in the book (which you claim to disagree with) is the same as me saying that if you cannot clean you own backyard you can't clean your neighbor's backyard--because that's even harder, by a huge and arguably infinite margin.

A few key topics in the forums about this are as follows:

Whether you are looking for a savior or someone to save, or both, look into a mirror.

All the do-gooders are troublemakers: A plague of virtuous people | A perfectly pestiferous mass of a million saints


Similarly, I think you might be incorrectly conflating trying (which generally involves some kind of dishonest or self-deception) with actually doing.

The same people who try (but fail) to lose weight surely also often try to save the world and try to help starving children. Many, if not most, charities are counter-productive towards their stated goal, presumably because they are run and funded primarily by miserable triers who can't even help themselves. I plan to never ever donate to a charity run by someone who doesn't have the true happiness that is free-spirited inner peace. A lot of miserable run charities, donate to charity, and run or donate to political causes or campaigns. I'd rather literally flush my money down the toilet than give it to them. That's partly for their own sake as much as all the other people they would harm if given more money or power. For more on that, please seem my following topic:

Typically, the best way to destroy a man is to give him what he thinks he wants. | "More money, more problems."



With all that said, perhaps the key obstacle in even interpreting your alleged disagreement with me is the lack of an alternative. You say you disagree with me that X is the cause of Y, but when I ask you then what is the cause of Y, you said you don't know, which makes it nearly impossible to understand or weigh out your allegedly counter view.


In any case, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I love learning about different perspectives. Likewise, if anything I wrote above is unclear or disagreeable, please do let me know. :)


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott

With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagr

Post by Chinazo Anozie »

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: February 8th, 2024, 1:05 pm
I discuss that concept more in my topic, Don't take any advice from unhappy people. They can't help themselves but now they want to help me? It's a very common thing to see, and is closely related to toxic enabling and toxic codependency and abuse which are all discussed in detail in my book.

In my topic, There will always be more externals to chase. Those who seek to save the world as a means to save themselves do neither, I wrote the following: "You cannot fill other people's cups with your empty one. But you sure can make an effective scapegoat out of the futile attempt to do it."

Proverbially speaking, what I wrote in the book (which you claim to disagree with) is the same as me saying that if you cannot clean you own backyard you can't clean your neighbor's backyard--because that's even harder, by a huge and arguably infinite margin.
Hi Eckhart,

Thank you for this insightful response. The above analogies were very helpful in comprehending the sentences I disagreed with. As an addition/further example to the above analogies, would it be correct to include the biblical principle to first take the log out of your eye before removing the speck from your neighbour's eye?
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Re: Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagr

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Chinazo Anozie wrote: February 8th, 2024, 7:20 pm As an addition/further example to the above analogies, would it be correct to include the biblical principle to first take the log out of your eye before removing the speck from your neighbour's eye?
Sure, as would the non-religious proverb about cleaning your own backyard first and Jesus's teaching about letting he who has not sinned throw the first stone.

However, to take it one step further, I think it's important to realize that in that context your backyard is never clear, the log is never fully removed from your eye, and all humans are sinners.

So those proverbs and analogies ultimately lead to the following conclusion: Never clean your neighbor's proverbial backyard; never remove the proverbial splinter from your neighbor's eye, and never throw proverbial stones.

For instance, if you practice the principle of cleaning your own backyard first, then you never trespass on your neighbor's backyard because there's always more cleaning to do in your yard. It's never perfectly clean. Likewise, your vision, both proverbial and literal, is never perfect.


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Jenna Padayachee
Premium Member
Posts: 44
Joined: November 5th, 2023, 1:23 am

Re: Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagr

Post by Jenna Padayachee »

"There Is No Problem of Evil"

Well this matter is a little complex in my understanding and life experience, leading me to the present.

I have a mixed view as I agree with some parts of this chapter, but I disagree with "Evil not being a problem / existing".
Evil in my view is a deeply dark and unnecessary problem that can be avoided with deep love and understanding by us as human beings through the act of acknowledging the inherent levels of darkness present within ourselves, and thus, igniting our souls fire leading us through it into a state of illumination, which impacts our holistic existence positively .

I believe that there are different levels of darkness with different impacts to our existential trail.

I do agree with majority of the chapter (Pgs. 139-149), as it has valuable inputs concerning matters that are natural such as animal instinctive behavior (e.g. a lion hunting for food part of the food chain), our process of accepting things we cannot control such as life, ageing, suffering and death.
Experiencing intense levels of darkness (betrayal, alcoholism, loss, cheating, excessive pleasure , pain and so forth) is sometimes necessary
( losing ourselves to find ourselves), to forge our spirit of fire , access our divine love and innate creative ability, propelling us forward.

I have battled with the concept of an "All loving God" whom allowed dark things to happened due to an agreement with a battle against the Devil
( a popular example).
However exploring different religion and cultures I am now viewing things from the perspective that, the conditions of our existence on this earth in this lifetime, consist of both light and dark at different connecting levels of interplay.

Many beings (including me) were taught to hate/mute "all "things associated with darkness until after death...with the purpose of life being popularly deemed as serving the objective of attaining a path to heaven, by performing "good " deeds ( with abstinence from what is deemed bad) to counter negative energy, such actions affecting ancestorial lines , which would inevitably affect the hereafter position of the soul.

I have come to agree at this point (based on my experiences) and a good range of books :D that heaven and hell can be found in the present moment. However certain things are what they are and then I also believe that there are also at the same time, those things which we DO have the power to transform. However, the key is lies in the “wisdom to know the difference” (Serenity Prayer).
The act/awareness of tapping into our divine essence transitions into our inherent guide to navigating this world and our paths through our familiarities together, however at the same time this is purely accessed through our authentic individual expression of freedom ( a divine contradiction), .Existence, being a bittersweet contradiction on purpose ( To truly live on earth is to accept death, to accept this we surrender to the divine eternal essence of the universe [Shivasna] ).

However, I do believe that not dealing with our darkest shadows, is what consumes us and causes delusions, clouding the beautiful truth.
In the same breath, fixating too long and fighting in the dark fueled with fear, has its problems too,
"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." Friedrich Nietzsche.
Therefore, a centered approach is an optimum approach (reflected in the symbolism of Ying yang)

To conclude, a definition of Evil for me, is when our neglected dark thoughts turn into a reality through action inflicting on the freedom of another soul or fabric of existence e.g. one human becoming so angry, he decides to act on this dark thought, with rape, torture, murder. These acts cause damage and destruction that is altering to existence in the now and the future. The surviving victim of such acts though can choose to grow in strength and love despite such evil acts from occurring or also perhaps instead choose to now be consumed in a destructive prison of hate, remorse and further amplified dark thoughts, which then in turn can contribute to evil actions (by focusing on "Should" and "should not haves").
The initiator of such evil acts also has the power to choose better actions forward or they can continue to be consumed in darkness until they become a monster in a hellish reality. So therefore the concept of "should" for me , is related to this particular definition or view , as as a reactive possible approach of fueling evil actions instead .
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