K: Disdain for humanity, misanthropy (visible in many intellectuals) is just another means of avoiding what we are, of doing the work of deconstruction and divestiture. It is a psychological defence mechanism, a displacement.
Likewise those with ideals, engaged in activism over and over, have you ever asked yourself why you have ideals? Is it healthy to possess ideals? Does a sane individual live this way? When one goes into this deeply, the answer is surprising. But one must be 100% honest, that is the trick; otherwise there will be inattention.
Questioner : It seems right to want to strive to better humanity, be that they are enlightenment ideals, if these efforts can be called activism. I assume that conflicts arise when ideals clash. However, it’s hard to imagine a world without ideals. My question is inevitably laced with an ideal, as is yours. Would it be better then to put more effort in studying/practicing peaceable methods of resolving differences?
K: The point to make here, one I am lending to and one you have already mentioned is that ideals, noble some of them may indeed be, do not in the end unify humanity but instead divide it. One group form behind one ideal and another group behind something else, where there is division conflict is then inevitable. It is difficult to imagine a world without ideals because we have always lived this way. It is a tradition we would do well to examine. To live a life without psychological conflict; in freedom, in beauty and in morality can only happen when there is love. Love is a moving thing, it is never fixed, never imported, never an ideal because it is not thought generated. Ideals create ‘what should be’ which is a source of conflict. We can only resolve our differences if we ourselves are peaceful, if we are free of inner conflict. If the inner is still corrupt then whatever we create in the outer world will also be corrupt. The inner always supersedes the outer; this is why (in our current mode of living) we cannot organize for peace. Look at the evidence: nation against nation or at the more micro scale family against family. Instead of striving to better humanity i suggest to people have the patience to better ‘yourself’ which means being free of the need to better ‘yourself’. It is a curious humility. Activism rooted in love is the only activism that will ever bring about meaningful change. There are no appeals to power and power cannot prevent it. Mucking about in the playpen designed for us is the very distraction that power has put into place in order to prevent such a revolution. Ideals are part of the problem, not the solution.