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Response to Bailey (29 Dec. 2008)

The drama you are drawing attention to and reinforcing is the very attractive one of "good christian soldier," learning/finding ways to ward of "Satan's" various temptations/lies. We do this through vigilant attention to, and management of, our desires.

I like your encouragement of introspection, but I am
proposing that you too are offering something -- in your case, a strategy -- framed so that it will appeal to many at a very deep level, so that it draws one in before ample consideration. (Who doesn't want these days to imagine themselves especially well-armored to take on a threatening world?)

Personally, I would like to encourage people to consider that in fact the would-be manipulators are much more our puppets than they are our controllers. They don't so much manipulate our desires as they do play their prescribed role and do their damnedest to satisfy them. Their power evaporates, we get better politicians/corporate heads -- not when we learn to control our desires, but when our desires themselves change for the better. And targeting THAT problem requires finding a way to give love to those who received too little earlier in their lives (and who therefore possess desires that overwhelm, which are dangerous) -- that is, as much through desire and emotion as through intellect.

Link: The Tyee

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