In this piece I explain how lack of self-worth is rooted in cultural notions of good and evil; due to them we are sort of broken in two and coming to terms with the “evil” part is important for our healing process. An all-embracing world view provides a very good framework for that. I therefore propose that you consider evil to be an “unpleasant good”.
Did you ever think: “I hate myself”? Personally I tend to repeat that over and over in some cases, for instance if I feel stuck or unable to succeed in some endeavor.
Actually I question myself too much in all kinds of situations. Then other similar lines of thought go through my head, like: “I am afraid to be wrong” and “the others won’t like me”.
I am not alone in this regard. Mostly all of us seem to have some self-esteem issues. Giving advice on personal development, it is therefore also very common to say that we should “love ourselves”.
But why don’t we do so in the first place?
Psychological issues are often assumed to be founded in childhood experiences but, if most of us have self-esteem issues, then it doesn’t seem to be only a matter of how we were raised.
In order to properly understand it, I think we have to apply a broader perspective and I believe that cultural notions of good and evil lie at the heart of this widespread problem.
Good versus evil causes an internal split
Actually, my reasoning on this matter is rather simple: We celebrate light and hate darkness. But since darkness is part of ourselves, logically we cannot avoid some measure of self-hatred.
The judgmental “good versus evil” kind of thinking is inherently unloving. It introduces a split between the worthy and the unworthy and promotes “conditional” love; that’s love which is only granted if we behave in the right way.
The split is internalized in the course of socialization where we learn to see ourselves with the eyes of others.
From there comes “repression”. The father of modern psychology, Freud (1856-1939), said that we repress unwanted parts of ourselves; that is, they become subconscious and so we cease to recognise their existence.
Repressed material may for example include greed, jealousy, anger and hatred.
However repressed, those feelings still influence our lives in unfortunate ways, for instance we “project” them and thereby put the blame on others.
Therefore psychological therapy involves rediscovering the repressed material in order to get a more balanced self-perception and to become whole again.
No judging promotes high self-esteem
You may think that there is no other option except to deem some kind of behavior as “good” and “praise worthy” whereas other kinds must be deemed “bad” or “evil”.
However, even if this morality is normal and habitual for us, there is in my opinion a higher kind of ethics in modern holistic spiritually like Martinus Cosmology.
Here darkness is named “the unpleasant good”. As such it is meaningful and easier to accept.
The holistic approach is so to speak “all inclusive”.
It involves several arguments for an all-embracing attitude of tolerance and forgiveness towards ourselves as well as others, for instance:
- Life experience depends on contrasts. Using white paint on a white canvas is pointless. We need the dark hues as well and so they are unpleasant but good.
- We all do what we can based on what we have learned. To judge therefore resembles blaming the kids in first grade that they are not yet in higher school classes.
- Due to the law of karma, we make our own destiny. Whatever you experience it mirrors who you are and what you created; and so you gain self-knowledge.
- To be confronted with suffering, or the so-called evil, is how we learn both wisdom and compassion. It is therefore good and beneficial to our own development.
I think one of the great benefits of this system of thought, or world view, is that it allows us to love unconditionally which heals the split inside us and promotes high self-esteem (as well as love for others). If everything is very good, as Martinus claims, then so are YOU.
Read my personal story about how I was taught self-loathing in a previous life: SELF-LOATHING: HOW I WAS TAUGHT TO FEEL GUILTY IN A PAST LIFE.
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