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Fear corrupts, absolute fear corrupts absolutely. Power mellows, absolute power mellows absolutely.

Arjuna 2012/04/08 11:55:23
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The great spiritual leaders of the world lived lives of piety and engaged the world with clarity, compassion and a desire to succor those in pain. Their lives were epitomized by a complete lack of fear and a confidence in the belief that what they thought, said and did was not only right but mutually consistent. They wielded (and still wield) an enormous power to inspire human effort and give people confidence in themselves and their fellow beings. The same can be said albeit to a lesser degree of the Lincolns, Kings, Ghandis and Mandelas of this world. They never sought power, yet, their lack of fear and their compassion vested power in them and that power made them ever humbler, ever more compassionate.

Nelson lincoln Martin Luther Gandhi
Unfortunately, it is not possible to say that about our current crop of leaders. From cradle to grave, fear seems to drive their lives. Every milestone of their careers, every stance, every ideology is based on minimizing the impact of that fear in themselves while leveraging the fear of others to push themselves to the top. The higher they go, the greater becomes that fear. At the top – in government or business or any other human endeavor, in their vanity, they call themselves the most powerful in but in reality, they are the most fearful. At the top, they wield that fear ruthlessly, believing that as long as they remain at the top, other, equally frightened people cannot touch them. Or, they believe that they can neutralize real or imagined danger from external entities by using fear to command and wield the people and the weapons at their disposal again such threats.

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It is time to re-write the old adage. Power never corrupted. Fear always did.
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  • Beccy 2012/04/08 15:54:26
    Both fear and power corrupt
    Beccy
    +4
    Great post. I think as long as you are trying to do right by the world you can bring about the change that is needed. I just wonder when we will get another real leader.

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  • sockpuppet 2012/04/11 21:12:52
    Power corrupts
    sockpuppet
    +1
    I understand your line of logic, and it's well worth considering. I have an idea that fear does motivate us, but I don't see it as a corrupting force. If anything, it's sort of a fail-safe mechanism-- they say that (to paraphrase): a dictator is a man who rides about on a tiger, and the tiger is growing hungrier, all the time.

    I'd say that there are many places in this world that actually DO require a dictator, and that the inevitable overthrow of these leaders (or dynasties) is akin to natural selection. Fear, in such cases, inevitably becomes anger-- and anger is the great equalizer.

    The populace realizes the actual magnitude of its power when it becomes a mob. Thankfully, it's only a fleeting phenomenon. :O)
  • Arjuna sockpuppet 2012/04/12 04:37:51
    Arjuna
    +1
    Correct. A benign dictator (or monarch) like one sees in Thailand or Butan can be a massively unifying force. Unfortunately that is the exception rather than the rule. On the matter of fear, this thought process was triggered by, of all things, Star Wars where when Yoda asks Anakin if he is is frightened and Anakin says "What's fear got to do with it?", Yoda responds thus: "EVERYTHING. Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hatred, hatred leads to suffering".
  • sockpuppet Arjuna 2012/04/12 05:01:50
    sockpuppet
    +1
    I was talking about malevolent dictators, actually. There are places where such tyrants are necessary to keep a nation unified-- Iraq, under Hussein, for instance. Never heard of the Shiite/Suni conflicts until he was deposed... and then, all hell breaks loose within the country, and at every border.



    I reckon a coup is always inevitable, but that hatred leads to an uprising, once fear has been overcome. Witness the Arab Spring. Won't be a benevolent ruler to emerge from any of that. The cycle will begin all over again... but it won't play out as quickly as it would in a Duly Elected Democracy. Those people need a tryant, for their own safety.
  • ronbo51 2012/04/11 14:11:16
    Both fear and power corrupt
    ronbo51
    +2
    corruption is never seen in the eyes of the corruptor.
    just keep going unitl they get caught and then deny!
  • Arjuna ronbo51 2012/04/11 14:18:02
    Arjuna
    +2
    *chuckles* true!
  • ronbo51 Arjuna 2012/04/13 00:46:55 (edited)
    ronbo51
    +1
    John " he did it" Edwards, Bill " flavor savor" Clinton, and a host of other dimwitted corrupt individuals.
    not saying any one party is more corrupt than the other. but what the hell. when you have the likes of Nancy Pelosi & Hairy Reid what els can we say.
  • Arjuna ronbo51 2012/04/13 04:48:44
    Arjuna
    +1
    I look back over the last 100 years and see maybe 10 genuine statesmen - in the entire world. Of the rest, all I can say is this: "If something is rotten, there is no pointing in grading it - one can only reject it"
  • ronbo51 Arjuna 2012/04/14 01:43:26
    ronbo51
    +1
    yep. i can concur!!!
    5 stars
    5 stars
  • Sir Bud. 2012/04/10 15:01:21
    Fear corrupts
    Sir Bud.
    +3
    Power is a slave to fear.
  • doc moto 2012/04/10 13:46:02
    Both fear and power corrupt
    doc moto
    +1
    “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi
    “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche
    “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
    ― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
    “How often the priest had heard the same confession--Man was so limited: he hadn't even the ingenuity to invent a new vice: the animals knew as much. It was for this world that Christ had died: the more evil you saw and heard about you, the greater the glory lay around the death; it was too easy to die for what was good or beautiful, for home or children or civilization--it needed a God to die for the half-hearted and the corrupt.”
    ― Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory
    There is but ONE WAY out of the corruption and casting off of our fear! We can but HOLD FAST to...
    “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi
    “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche
    “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
    ― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
    “How often the priest had heard the same confession--Man was so limited: he hadn't even the ingenuity to invent a new vice: the animals knew as much. It was for this world that Christ had died: the more evil you saw and heard about you, the greater the glory lay around the death; it was too easy to die for what was good or beautiful, for home or children or civilization--it needed a God to die for the half-hearted and the corrupt.”
    ― Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory
    There is but ONE WAY out of the corruption and casting off of our fear! We can but HOLD FAST to the ONLY ONE that made a PROMISE HE CAN KEEP, The ONLY ONE that can clean us without Gutting us and killing us; The God Jesus Christ, as He died for our SIN and Proven that He can give us Eternal Life with HIM and that is through allowing HIM to help us in this WALK Here and throughout ETERNITY With HIM! He is GOD! Absolute POWER did not corrupt HIM and the FEAR we have of HIM is "CLEAN" and brings us Close to HIM! His FEAR or our fear of HIM has PROMISES and Purpose! And after we start a RELATIONSHIP with HIM, He ask us to help others, in HIS NAME! May other have given man's ways after seeing a portion of that (Jesus Christ teachings) light and have helped mankind, but we are not just talking about just an Earthly walk, it starts here, but we are talking a forever WALK, that walk throughout Eternity, See you there!
    (more)
  • Arjuna doc moto 2012/04/10 19:06:50
    Arjuna
    +1
    Excellent observations Doc *smiles*
  • stevmackey 2012/04/09 03:06:58
    Neither fear nor power corrupts
    stevmackey
    +1
    This is in respect to the person's values. It does not apply to fear or power. Extreme cases, such as a kidnapping and other threats, change the perspective.
  • Arjuna stevmackey 2012/04/09 11:46:42
    Arjuna
    +1
    Of course. You are quite right. "Values" are at a more foundation level than either fear or power and those will drive how one responds to either of the other two (or their lack). Here steve, I took my cue for this post from the old saying about power and asked myself if that were really true. Going with the purest form of the meaning of the word "power", I realized power had nothing to do with corruption since the purest form of it comes to you because it is vested in you and not because you seek it. Those who seek it on the other hand do so out of fear and the "power" they have is already have compromised by their desire for it.
  • TerryAgee 2012/04/08 19:38:06
    Neither fear nor power corrupts
    TerryAgee
    +2
    Vanity corrupts
  • Arjuna TerryAgee 2012/04/08 20:07:35
    Arjuna
    +3
    At the top – in government or business or any other human endeavor, in their vanity, they call themselves the most powerful in but in reality, they are the most fearful.
  • Shirley 2012/04/08 17:32:37
  • Arjuna Shirley 2012/04/08 20:10:56
    Arjuna
    +2
    As Alvin mentioned Shirley, if we look at mundane power, you are correct they both feed off each other. If one were to look at the absolute meaning of the word power, by the example of the most powerful, fear has no place in their makeup. Hence the mellowing effect :)
  • Shirley Arjuna 2012/04/08 20:38:13
  • Arjuna Shirley 2012/04/09 12:26:51
    Arjuna
    +2
    Friend, I hate to be the cloud that wipes the sunshine from the face of anyone and more so a friend. Humble apologies friend.

    My point was that what people call the corrupting influence of power is actually the corrupting influence of fear. The great teachers had power vested in them and lack of fear was a required condition for that investiture. Those of the darker flavor sort power and fear was a requisite in their hunt and acquisition of it. Thus the underlying core for mundane "power" is not power at all. It is fear. They believe they have power. They don't. All they have is the ability to influence others through force and/or fear. The powerful never needed to do that, only the fearful. However, since the world is so awash in examples of the baser variety we have almost forgotten the meaning of the word power.

    Here is a quote I have believed in from the time I was very young:

    "We are not human creatures on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual creatures on a human journey" - pierre teilhard de chardin

    This is for a smile:

  • Shirley Arjuna 2012/04/09 23:47:22
  • Rore73 2012/04/08 16:46:32
    Neither fear nor power corrupts
    Rore73
    +2
    It all depends on which the individual feeds, or allows to devour them.
  • Beccy 2012/04/08 15:54:26
    Both fear and power corrupt
    Beccy
    +4
    Great post. I think as long as you are trying to do right by the world you can bring about the change that is needed. I just wonder when we will get another real leader.
  • Arjuna Beccy 2012/04/08 17:06:42
    Arjuna
    +5
    Beccy, I've been waiting for decades now. We have seen a lot of politicans have their day in the sun and then go under the cusp of a bridge to a place where dark things grown. Very few statespeople who were born into sunlight, make everything they touch grow and remain shining to the end of their days.
  • Alvin 2012/04/08 12:57:34
    Both fear and power corrupt
    Alvin
    +4
    While I agree with your basic premise, I have to take issue at the choice of words. The Power of which you speak is not a temporal power, but a spiritual one. It is the power of understanding beyond the obvious, it is the power of truth, empowerment of the individual and love. Most people still associate power with temporal power, the military, dogmatic, political power that , as the old saying goes does corrupt absolutely because it is bases on greed and the desire to control others, not to free them. I fear the English language is not adequate to the task of classifying power in the way you describe it. It is similar with the English word "love" for which the Greek has three separate words; agape, philios and eros that leave no doubt as to what is being discussed..
  • Arjuna Alvin 2012/04/08 17:11:22
    Arjuna
    +3
    True true. I agree Al. Most languages are semantically challenged with one word meaning many different things at many different levels and many different perspectives. You are right in that I use the highest possible ideal of what "power" means. I simply tried to demystify the more mundane idea of power and substitute fear in its place since it seems a more representative word to describe the import of the things you describe - weapons, politics, money etc.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾ 2012/04/08 12:29:53
    Both fear and power corrupt
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾

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