“Without doubt, the most common weakness of all human beings is the habit of leaving their minds open to the negative influence of other people. This weakness is all the more damaging, because most people do not recognize that they are cursed by it, and many who acknowledge it, neglect or refuse to correct the evil until it becomes an uncontrollable part of their daily habits.”—Napoleon Hill
Recognize the 4th-5th step of Lonnie Athen’s formula for creating a career criminal? Remember the process?
1) Brutalization or violent horrification. Either YOU are hurt, or someone you empathize with is hurt, enough to generate powerful survival emotions and destroy complacency.
2) “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more.”
3) You begin to act out, with increasing success.
4) You seek out a community of like-minded people.
5) You internalize their voices.
He says that by the time you reach stage #5 there is no known method of rehabilitation that will change them. There are a few things to think about here.
1) It should be obvious how this can apply to both positive and negative actions/emotions.
2) It requires something on the level of a religious experience, a massive epiphany, an “ah-hah!” experience that shatters your ego shell once this hardens. A “pattern interrupt” of colossal impact, either positive or negative.
3) TAGR suggests that a combination of faith, love, and sex is the most powerful emotional stimulant, and that a combination of love and sex HAS rehabilitated criminals. I have no idea if this is accurate, although there is some anecdotal support and it would make sense, since the criminal is only doing what he does to seek peace and pleasure, and there is no pleasure beyond that of the aligned survival drive (personal and genetic survival, emotional connection). Nothing cures a broken heart like new love, and nothing gets you back on track like a sexual connection with someone who believes in you. Orgasm is a shattering of ego walls (Something Swiftdeer said once: “if you can remember your name, it wasn’t very good sex” sounds right to me!) and that shattering, even if temporary, gives you a new vision.
A good man or woman who gifts you with such pleasure, shattering your image of yourself, then holding you and reassuring you that if you walk a new path, additional such pleasures await?
Hell, almost irresistible. We are programmed to go in any direction that promises more pleasure and less pain.
Love, faith, sex…companionship, “the mastermind”, tribal affiliation…all of these interact. Tribe is safety while you sleep. Someone to watch your back.
WE NEED THESE THINGS, and seeking avoidance of pain and increasing pleasure in connecting with them can shatter morality.
The answer? Riddle it out until you can see how morality, love, honesty and compassion are natural expressions, in alignment with survival drives on the personal or social level. So far as I can see, when these things are in alignment this is ALWAYS also in alignment with the most basic sacred laws. When you find religious dictates that are NOT in alignment with this? That’s politics, friend. That is just cultural preferences melded to religious dogma. Be careful.