Goodness and Ending War by James Adrian

March 14, 2023

Introduction       Tap on the arrow for the 2 minute video.

      I love humanity. Love of all people seems too rare. I feel that goodness has not been universally appreciated for what it is. We have been beseeched many times to care about each other. Policies and behavior are perfected by caring about the wellbeing and happiness of every living person. Extending this to love is a measure too far for many.

      I fault the common understanding of Human Nature. Resentment, fear, envy, jealousy, anger, revenge, blame, hate, hostility, frustration, dismissiveness, arrogance, and wishing for power over the choices of others are widely regarded as natural to all people. Children play competitive games with toys imitating machine guns. They play King on the Mountain and Simon Says, cultivating a joy of power. Writers of cartoons condition children to cheer when a cartoon character is evaporated by a bomb. As of now, armies of countries have yet to engage an aggressor with non-lethal weapons. Competition is promoted as inherently more fun than constructive cooperation.

      This could be otherwise. As some agree, infants can learn a different path, but they imitate their parents. Add to that the wishes of those who have been rewarded for manipulating the culture toward bad ends and it seems that it will be centuries before people regard each other as cherished siblings.

      Those who do wrong are not to be hated, lest we become haters who produce nothing good. We might wonder how those who do wrong come to be so misled. How indeed. To understand how, is to understand their misfortune. There but for the grace of God, go I.

      Each of the feelings and supposedly natural reactions listed above can be purged by the individual. They are not part of goodness. They are the seeds of war. They hold us back. They do us harm. They form the substance of barbarism. Become free.

The Higher Self

      Every religion that represents the belief in God has essentially the same understanding of the Higher Self.

      The higher self is a mode of thinking and feeling where all feelings and thoughts are consistent with love.

      This definition would be slightly more compact if there were a word that conflates thinking and feeling. Nearly all, and perhaps all thoughts are also feelings. Suspicion is the clearest example, but one can detect feelings in thoughts if attention is payed to that.

      Living continuously in your higher self is unlikely if you have recurring memories that disturb you. Such recurring memories can be purged in the sense that they no longer automatically recur and can be thought about without distress.

      Living continuously in your higher self cannot be done if you sometimes have destructive feelings.

      The higher self is recognized by spiritualists and virtually all religions. The consciousness of a person's higher self is characterized by emotional associations and implications within every cognitive operation and episode of reasoning. This can be understood as a coherent blending of feelings and thought. In the higher self, feeling and thought are the same. This emotionally sensitive thought is not rare. Many thoughts are inextricably melded with named feelings, even if those feelings are not consistent with love. The higher self can observe, reason, conclude, wish, pray, speculate, and in general, perform any type of function of mind while always feeling the meaning. A person's higher self is never the source of feelings or wishes inconsistent with love.

      Thinking may happen without words.

      This is not to say that the people who react to disappointment, pain, or alarm by feeling frustration, fear, or anger are not well intentioned. They are not willful perpetrators. They are unwitting victims of their enculturation - victims of the influence of a culture that is both constructive and destructive. With the help of your higher self, destructive reactions can be purged. They do not serve you. You need not identify with them. You are not only human.

Tranquility and Peace

      You know how people get to be the way they are. The paths to displaced revenge and selfishness are famous. When you are attacked, verbally or otherwise, your understanding of people and your tranquility will do much to protect you, where fear or anger would place you in greater peril; but peace is often opposed, not just by attacks and rudeness, but by memories of unfortunate events.

      Recurring memories or dreams of misfortune or injustice or of regret for your own past actions need to be purged from the events and feelings that make up your life. Thoroughly examining and reliving these events and all of their surrounding circumstances, and also grieving your preoccupation with them, must eventually allow you to forgive. Forgiveness of yourself and the others involved will lead to joyful peace. The same can be done to purge destructive feeling. The feelings that are inconsistent with love do you no good. They are painful and useless. You need to grieve your tendency to feel them, whatever the circumstances.

      You can learn to become tranquil in situations that formerly prompted you to feel resentment, anger, or fear. Tranquility can be the reaction that serves as the antidote and substitute for destructive feelings.

      There are times for various kinds of sorrow and grief. This is needed. Such feelings need not prompt any of the destructive feelings mentioned earlier, but if sadness is chronic and generalized, that type of sadness needs to be purged.

      You can remove the grip of painful past events by understanding that these are not what you are becoming. They are not components of your higher self.

      Forgiveness of yourself and others in the process that thoroughly examines and recounts troublesome memories will cause these sad thoughts and feelings to cease and you will no longer be bothered by past events. You can also rid yourself of any tendency to experience harmful feelings, purging them from your personality. You must be persistent to accomplish this. For myself, even before I was rid of bothersome memories, I let go of hate and anger. I had gone through so much of those feelings that it was apparent that they needed to go. A great effort was required.

      As an example, if the success of another prompts you to feel envy, pray to your higher self or God. You know that such feelings do not belong to your higher self. So it is with the all of the other destructive feelings.

      Perfect behavior stems from perfect intentions. If you intend no harm, and your every thought and feeling is constructive, you are at peace.

Who Has A Higher Self?

      Everybody has a higher self. Its existence in you does not depend on your religious and spiritual beliefs, although the degree of your belief in goodness affects everything that you do and think and feel, whether you are in your higher self or not.

      Anybody can purge recurring recollections of disturbing past events - dismissing them from your life. You can also purge any tendency to feel destructive feelings. In the event that you are asking yourself "Why bother" I would point out that living without resentment is its own reward, as is facing misfortune or threats with tranquility. Tranquility does not reduce the likelihood of rational solutions, but fear does exactly that. If you reflect on all you know about how people get to be the way they are, hatred becomes increasingly inappropriate, even outside of your higher self. Anger solves nothing. Teaching envy by example spoils the culture. It does not enrich it. If you purge destructive feelings, you will soon care about the wellbeing and happiness of everybody.

Intrinsic Good

      Goodness and love are built into our universe and built into our reality in such a way that even the misled who engage in hurtful acts inexplicably regard their successes as good. The only path to constructiveness, beauty, and happiness is the path of goodness and love. The root cause of goodness is love. Such is our universe.

Purging Disturbing Memories

      Purging the involuntary recall of disturbing memories is not successfully done by trying to suppress them or avoid them. Their issues, accusations, grief, or other hurtful reactions must be addressed for what they are as they happened. Forgiveness of yourself and others involved must be accomplished, if blame is an issue. Concentration on the memories, one at a time, will reveal the issues. Grief must be faced and resolved rather than burying it. Everything about the disturbing memories must be clearly realized. If this work is done, the past will loose its hold on you.

      It is the unintended recurrence of the disturbing memories that is stopped by this work. If you are asked to recall some horrible event, you can do it, and probably with great accuracy; but when your work is done, such a memory never occurs unless you try to remember it. There is no unconscious activity of such memories to invade dreams. The events are known, and they are not disturbing anymore. It is the mental activity of these thoughts that is purged. Fear, embarrassment, blame, guilt, resentment, or whatever makes them disturbing have been addressed and they are gone.

      You are truly free of being bothered by the past. Nothing is suppressed. No memory is reinvented. If you ever blamed yourself, you have forgiven yourself. In many cases you may never have blamed yourself. These events, most importantly, no longer contribute to your personality, attitudes, beliefs, etc. They are no longer who you are.

Purging Destructive Feelings

      Purging destructive feelings is a matter of questioning their utility and questioning their presumed advantages. These feelings are habitual. They are conditioned by upbringing - mainly through the imitation of adults. They are everywhere characterized as normal and natural.

      Envy is one of the least controversial. Some people learn not to be envious. It can be related to loving humanity and wishing the best for everybody, but it can also be a matter of finding that success in positive goals is desirable in all cases. Envy is a negative feature of one's character. It doesn't take much reflection to dismiss it.

      Resentment, dislike, and hatred are greatly reduced simply by reflecting on the way you know people get to be the way they are. A detailed knowledge on that subject tends to make these feeling increasingly inappropriate.

      Fear does not enhance your chances. Conditioning yourself to react to alarm by feeling tranquil is a great help is contending with threatening circumstances.

      Revenge, blame, anger, the habit of arrogance, and wishing for power over the choices that belong to others can be reduced and eventually eliminated by understanding their incompatibility with goodness.

      Purging all destructive feelings is a lot of work, and it involves a lot of your personal history. This is very much worth the effort, as you will see.

Work In Progress

      This article is a work in progress where feedback allows me to address weaknesses in the persuasion.

      There is a common reluctance to believe that one can purge destructive feelings because we all grew up with them and most consider them natural; but consider what answers you get when you consult your higher self. Your higher self does not participate in feelings that are not consistent with love.

      Resentment, anger, envy, and all of the rest of them, are habits. They are never products of your higher self.

      I will continue to try to find the words to persuade those who are reluctant, but your help in this is invaluable.

Who Are The Undeserving?

      Criminals, devil worshipers, corrupt officials, crooked bankers and rude people are not undeserving of your help. Nobody is undeserving of your help. If they are willing to listen, you should be willing to tell them what you know that has made your life good.

      There is no doubt that some people need to be incarcerated to protect the public, but don't confuse your safety needs, or your need for justice under the law, or the bad reputation of a person with a reason to classify any person as undeserving of your help. Their willingness to receive the help you can give them is the only permission you need. Helping the misled illustrates your love of humanity and perhaps strengthens it; but seeing people move toward goodness is glorious.


      During the Pleistocene, Our vocabulary increased dramatically from one and two syllable calls to many terms, mostly derived from metaphors. At a time when the only legs in the world were the legs of animals, the term "leg of a table" became a name for an inanimate object identified unambiguously to this day. We have an ability to associate one thing with another on the basis of similarity, and on other grounds as well.

      The terms "soldiers of God," fight for goodness," "armed by wisdom," warriors of prayer," "weapons for good," "victory in battle", are used by religious and spiritualist speakers.

      The connotations of words learned in childhood are not easily eradicated.

      While it is possible to construct thoroughly non-violent and charitable definitions for these terms, they usually have the effect of stiffening the heart against some person or group. Their over-learned connotations are powerful. To become completely immune to the original meaning of these terms when used in a religious or spiritual context is a cognitive stunt achieved by very few.

      I suggest being aware of this issue. You might consciously edit or ignore these terms. Your higher self does not engage in any feelings inconsistent with love.


      Many people have no religious or spiritual beliefs, but exceedingly few of these people hate humanity. The willingness to do good things is not limited to those who believe in God. Every person has a higher self. Regardless of religious or spiritual beliefs, a person can purge recurring memories that they find disturbing and also purge destructive feelings.

      For all of us, policies and behavior are perfected by caring about the wellbeing and happiness of every living person.


      Confusion about competition has spread throughout cultures, governments, and companies. The purpose of competition is to foster improvement, but defective incentive systems together with destructive feelings sometimes leads to a defective understanding of competition that can foster enmity, combative feeling, and rancor. This is avoided by recognizing that policies and behavior are perfected by caring about the wellbeing and happiness of every living person.


      The phenomenon of murder is supported by destructive feelings and recurring thoughts that are disturbing to the murderer. In addition, the murderer is rarely committed to reacting with tranquility in the face of alarming circumstances.


      People who want a divorce from their spouse often accuse their wife or husband of being selfish and disagreeable. They may accuse each other of these things.

      Loud arguments that end in hard feelings simply do not happen between couples who have purged recurring disturbances and who have purged destructive feelings.


      Workers who must deal with people in their work are enormously more successful if they have defined themselves as loving, undisturbed, tranquil, and not a participant in destructive feelings.

Strangers, Acquaintances, Friends, and Relatives

      Understanding the typical upbringing of people in our culture is essential to being helpful. Exercising compassion without pity or blame is much more productive and instructive than lecturing and criticizing. Love must not be compromised by insisting first on justice for yourself. Those who are never rude or combative teach by example.


      Most events happen without your permission; however, your reactions are up to you. You are the only person in charge of your feelings. Your conditioning to date may start a destructive reaction, but even so, you can stop it immediately. You have done so whenever circumstances have quickly changed. In all such circumstances you are now in possession of the wisdom of your higher self which feels only what is consistent with love. By refraining from taking physical or verbal action for even a second, you can change how you feel and begin to deal with the unwelcome circumstances rationally.

External Influence

      The world often presents us with advertising, news, propaganda, opinion, attempted brainwashing, and statements variously prompted by constructive, destructive, or confused motives. If you are sensitive to the feelings implied by thoughts, there is an efficient question that you might ask your higher self: Are these suggestions consistent with love?


      Much harm has been done by those who hate. The suggestions and examples made centuries ago have cultivated the belief that destructive feelings are often natural and justified. Some of this propaganda was intentional. A great many people would characterize such actions as of those who should be regarded as enemies. The higher self does not have enemies. Those who regard us as their enemy are themselves victims. Our help and love must extend to them as it would to any person, regardless of their current state. We can cherish every living person, including those who would defame or assault us. Every perpetrator of crime is fist a victim. No living person is beyond our caring and forgiveness. Every living person can be healed. We each need to be among those who work to heal all of humanity without revenge.

      Efforts to defend against assaults by means of non-lethal tools have not been successful. Too many voters and representatives have believed in enmity. One woman responded to the suggestion of non-lethal means with this comment: "If non-lethal means were known and effective, I would not want police to use them because these people deserve to die."

      This person is hardly alone in this sentiment. This is the feeling that we must help change. To live in a loving world, we must love each other.


      When we see an injustice avoided, we acknowledge that this is good; but justice is not the entirety or essence of goodness. Cruelties, great and small, are routinely prompted by a sense of justice that is devoid of love.

      The unfair actions of those feared to be powerful often perverts the ability to be determined, resolute, principled, and fair. We can be tempted to become warriors. We are not warriors, we are teachers. If the misguided will not listen, then let them learn by our examples.


      Evil means profoundly immoral and wicked.

      Events and actions can be profoundly immoral and wicked, but the term is sometimes used to characterize a person. In such a case, additional assumptions are often made. When applied to a person, the term does not mean permanently immoral and wicked. Also, it is used to imply that the person in question is deserving of extreme revenge, and even that the person is not human.

      The misuse of language is a major tool of the art of brainwashing. Characterizing a person or group as evil, particularly with these further implied meanings, has been done to encourage violence and start wars.

      Recognizing despicable acts should prompt us to help ensure public safety and rehabilitate those who are responsible for immoral acts. Calling them not human and exacting severe punishment accomplishes nothing good. Insisting on the belief that wrong doers cannot change is merely an excuse to stoop to revenge. Even if such a wrong doer never shows any sign of rehabilitating, it is not for us to join and give credence to that person's immoral beliefs.

      Peace is created by loving those who hate.

      If your young child were to become influenced to hate or wish harm, you would react with concern. In every way you would try to help that child understand what is good. Your love for your child would not be modified in the slightest. Why is this so seldom one's reaction to destructive changes in friends, acquaintances, and strangers?


      One of the goals mentioned in the video introduction is purging thoughts and dreams that are unwanted and recurring. This purging is not any kind of suppression or amnesia. These recurring thoughts and dreams are to be available as normal memories, for whatever purpose. They may be part of your history, but they will no longer be painful, and they will not automatically recur.

      Another goal is to purge the common destructive feelings listed in the second paragraph of the text.

      The third goal mentioned in the video is to master tranquility. This is to become or remain tranquil in the face of events that are normally alarming to people.

      Most of what I have said so far gives reasons for wanting these results and emphasizes the importance and value of achieving these goals. The first step is to fervently want these changes.

      There is more that can be done.

      These changes are personality changes. When a person can change personality features, then habits, aversions, inclinations, and many other features can be changed. This includes the reactions (such as alarm and destructive feelings) that have been my main concern.

      While there are other approaches, a very effective one is the intentional invention of daydreams featuring yourself as a changed person. This may result in sleeping dreams having content similar to the daydreams, if you remember your dreams. The method is as follows:

      A few time a day, imagine your self with people in circumstances that usually prompt some feeling or action that you want to eliminate from your behavior. See yourself acting differently - not reacting as usual, but as you wish you would react. - not feeling what you usually feel in those circumstances but feeling empathy or love or understanding or courage as you would wish to feel in those circumstances.

      If this sort of daydream in done a few times a day, you will see changes (verified by others) within a few months, but certainly within two years. That is my experience and the experience of a great many others.

      There is no need for a theory as to why this works. It is an empirical fact.

      Everything is much easier when you care about the wellbeing and happiness of every living person. When a person does harm, you know how that person got there. You are not a warrior. You are a teacher.


      By arranging to have constructive things to look forward to, the task of purging automatically recurring memories of tragic events is much easier. In general, arranging to have good things to look forward to stimulates, furthers, and helps to safeguard happiness. If you would not characterize yourself as happy, then some element of planning needs to be applied to your future. What you look forward to can even counter despair.

      This is not to say that the past is completely useless in contributing to happiness. You might recall that you have felt the warmth of friendship; or the awe inspired in you by beauty; or the many instances of gratitude or serenity or laughter or wonder or admiration. These, of course are merely a few examples. Arrange to feel them all again. Arrange to look forward.