I never liked Donald “FAKE NEWS” Tweeter Trump. I thought he was one of the most thoroughly disgusting and disreputable blowhards in public life long before he ever had a TV show. I am not saying that he was or is either disgusting or disreputable, but that those were and are my own personal reactions to him.

I suggest this: Don’t believe me. And don’t believe him. With every twitter posting, every speech, every statement, ask yourself, “Who’s lying here?” “What is this an attempt to distract us from thinking about?” ‘“What’s getting covered up?” Be your own honest judge of all that. Just don’t lie to yourself, or tell yourself that you’re not lying to yourself when you are. It’s not too late to save your soul. If you voted radically wrong, thinking president #45 would look out for regular folks when its obvious that he’s serving the interests of the ultra-rich (including himself), it’s okay to admit it. You can be truthful with yourself IN THIS MOMENT.

So. . . don’t believe anything #45 says unless you’ve verified it with truly unbiased sources. Why? Because he’s one of premier con men in the world today. He lies about almost everything. Can he actually recognize truth when he sees or hears it? It’s an open question But apparently he figures he can cover up that particular personality defect by insulting anyone and everyone who disagrees with him.

Nonetheless, #45 has done us a tremendous service. He has taught us ever so much about the word “fake.” Of course he exaggerated when he egotistically claimed that he invented the word, as any dictionary printed before he was born will show. Still, he clued us all in about how useful it is.

Fake news” is one of his favorite tweets. He apparently dislikes CNN most, and worships Fox. But he’s all mixed up there. No other mainstream media source broadcasts biased opinions and pretends that they’re genuine news as consistently as Fox. I don’t mean the local news anchors—I like those in my own area. I mean the network’s national programs. In fact, much of what we get from all the mainstream media is fake news, in which I include s real events that matter little and are meant to distract us from paying attention to events that matter much. But that’s just the start.

            Fake importance is #45’s personal specialty. That’s something that may or may not be so, but it has nothing to do with our main concern and is meant to make us think about something else entirely. Logicians this is called a “red herring. It means dragging a fish across the trail of a scent to confuse a dog that’s tracking someone or something. #45 typically does this again and again in any given week, so that you and I and his fervent supporters won’t think about whatever he wants us to forget.

            Fake labels, usually personal insults of one kind or another, are hurled out onto the net by the Great Faker himself with careless abandon. Many of these are projections. Typically #45 refuses to acknowledge anything even slightly negative about himself or his own behavior, refuses to take responsibility for almost anything, and accuses or blames someone instead. The best known example is his incessantly mantra “that crooked Hillary Clinton.’ Crooked, he claims, for using personal email servers for business just as Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice before her did. But not a word about his own truly crooked actions in bilking hundreds of contractors working for him out of two thirds of what he owed them, or setting up an illegally named “university” that resulted in his having to pay $25 million to hundreds of students who say he cheated them out of their tuition money.

Fake patriotism also can’t be overlooked. When one football player, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, knelt instead of standing as the national anthem was played, to protest treatment and especially police treatment of minorities, throughout the nation, instead of saying “The Constitution guarantees freedom of expression. Now let’s fix what’s broken in the system,” #45 tweeted that all football players who kneel during the anthem should be fired. Meanwhile he himself stashed billions of dollars of profits in overseas and offshore banks and shell corporations to avoid paying U.S. taxes on them. That’s fake patriotism if I’ve ever seen it. And if it’s not, then selling U.S. democracy down the river to the Russians to help himself get elected surely is. Some are calling it treason.

Fake government is even more important. #45 has appointed heads for most of the main government agencies whose entire careers have been devoted to opposing the objectives those agencies were set up to realize. Like militantly anti-environmentalist Scott Pruitt, who now heads the Environmental Protection Agency and spearheaded letting coal companies dump their waste in the nation’s rivers and people’s drinking water and trying to kill alternative energy so Big Oil and Big Coal can make Bigger Bucks. (Thanks for nothing, Mr Pruitt. And no thanks, #45, for appointing him and the rest of your cabinet members who have no business whatever being put in charge of their agencies.) Go down the list. #45 is using a sledge hammer to turn almost every agency in the executive branch into a Creature from the Black Lagoon who is dedicated to sabotaging the agency’s mission and screwing he American people and nation

Fake democracy goes hand in hand with fake government. Alexander Hamilton would probably have loved #45. Hamilton was responsible for putting the electoral college into the U. S. constitution. He was afraid we would elect Presidents who would truly serve the people’s interests instead of the moneyed aristocrats. And so a Republican-dominated Supreme Court stopped the 2000 election in which Al Gore won the popular vote and appointed George W. Bush as President, and our fake election overruled a popular vote in which Hillary got two million more votes than #45, but #45 became President anyway due to the electoral college system. And then instead of bringing a divided country together by assembling a government that reflected the diverse interests of the country, #45 went “winner take all” with a billionaires-first agenda that is tearing the country apart more deeply than has been seen in more than a century.

Fake brains ought to be self explanatory. #45 plans to build a phenomenally expensive wall between the U.S. and Mexico when he knows that the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea is riddled with literally hundreds of tunnels, some at incredible depths and some twenty miles long. And the U.S. Air Force and Army have deep undermountain bases composed of vast networks of tunnels that are said to be able to withstand nuclear bomb hits. Check out Google Images on your computer, search for “tunnel drilling machines” and you’ll be amazed at what you find. Former Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano summed it up: “If you build a 50-foot wall, it won’t be long until someone perfects a 51-foot ladder.” Except that in this case the ladder is likely to be a tunnel.

And you sure can’t get much stupider than firing most of the government’s climate scientists because you don’t want to know the facts they might find out and bring to your attention. But wait—it is possible to do something else at least as stupid. That’s to put enormous efforts into reducing immigration, while at the same time cutting off all funds for family planning and birth control, especially in high-birthrate countries that send many immigrants in our direction because they can’t find work or food at home—and going even farther, exerting heavy pressures on other countries all around the world to stop funding family planning and birth control. The two goals totally contradict each other. And the “libertarian” ideal of letting each woman be in control of her own body? Oh, I guess we just won’t think or talk about that. (For the record, “Mr. Conservative” Barry Goldwater was strongly pro contraception and abortion.)

There is also fake conservatism. Our country has seen some real conservatives who had a measure of honesty and integrity—like Goldwater. They’ve almost all gone down the River of No Return at this point. We’re left with a motley crew of fake conservatives, who make up most of the present Republican Party’s senators and congresspersons. When a big corporation wants to build a pipeline across your land (such as the Keystone XL) and you say “No thanks, I’d rather conserve my farm and environment as it is, you are the conservative, and the company is a wild, screaming radical, and so are any legislators who support it. Real conservativism has nothing to do with most of what gets that label today. Much of it is just plain greedy or even actively vicious.

The Emperor has no clothes. With every new tweet, it becomes more obvious that we have a fake president. Two million more Americans voted for his opponent than for him. He’s tearing apart the government by destroying its agencies’ abilities to carry out their missions. His invective, insults, and unending stream of just plain lies are setting the worst possible example for our young people who need a role model who is honest and responsible. Captain Conman campaigned on a platform of helping working people and instead is helping the country’s billionaires get even richer.

So thanks, #45, for dredging up the old word fake and making it more useful. You’ve helped to make it easier for us to see and hear its meanings—which are mostly just the opposite of what you try to tell us they are.

But just getting rid of #45 via impeachment creates a whole new set of problems, since today’s Republicans who hold power and would succeed him are committed to fake democracy as a fig leave to cover plutocracy. It’s a real dilemma. We can make a start toward solving it by doing our best to become aware of what’s real and what’s fake in contemporary politics and politicians.
From <consciousnessandculture.com>.  No copyright. Permission granted (and encouraged) to forward this as widely as you like, as long as you include the whole thing, or if only part of it, a link back to the original post on consciousnessandculture.com


Supreme Court Justices – 3 thoughts

photo of Oliver Wendell Holmes

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

 A few thoughts on the Supreme Court.

One of the issues in this year’s presidential elections is the appointment of new Supreme Court judges.  Long ago Plato wrote, “Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as it firs resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens.

      That’s an admirable ideal. It is also often violated. French poet, journalist, and novelist Anatole France said, “Justice is the means by which established injustices are sanctioned.” In a similar spirit,  U.S. Supreme Court Justice Olier Wendell Holmes once told a young man who had a case before ethe court, “This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice.”

       But justice is possible at all only if the Justices aspire to it.  Article III, Section I  of the U.S. Constitution declares, “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their Offices during good behavior.” “Good behavior” must surely include fairness. Fairness must surely include removing oneself from being a judge in cases where the judge owes something to one of the parties in a case before him. Two recent and present justices have violated this principle. Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas have both refused to recuse themselves from cases in which they or their spouses had received substantial sums, primarily in cases that involved the promotion and defense of extreme right wing ideology.

       This is odd for two reasons:  One, their personal gain from imposing their ideological biases on the country; Two, because the Supreme Court was not meant to “legislate from the bench.” It gave itself that power when John Marshall was the first Supreme Court justice, with no checks or controls on its opinions, and Thomas Jefferson declared himself horrified by this action and precedent.

         Failure to recuse in a case that involves a supreme court justice’s conflict of interest must certainly be termed “bad behavior.” The Constitution specifies that a Justice shall hold office “during good behavior,” but unfortunately does not specify a mechanism for removing a judge who engages in bad behavior. And in the country’s entire history, no Supreme Court judge has ever been impeached or otherwise removed for bad behavior.

           Therefore it seems clear that a brief Constittional Amendment is needed that clearly specificies the conditions under which a Justice shall be removed and exactly how he or she shall be removed — and what constitutes an acceptable defense against such removal. With such a provision, Alito and Thomas would both have been off the court long ago.

           Furthermore, consider the contradiction between right wing extremists’ screams that the Court shoudl not “legislate from the bench” and their calls for the appointment of a justice to replace Scalia who is at least as ultra right-wing as Scalia himself. That’s not a call for impartial justice, but rather exactly a call for legislation from the bench in accord with their own agenda.

Finally, there is the pathetic disgrace of the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate refusing to engage in confirmation hearings for the President’s  nominee to replace Scalia. This complete dereliction of their constitutional duty is unprecedented in the entire history of the United States. There ought to be a provision for the removal from his responsibiiities of any Senate leader who acts in such a disreputable manner. When there is more than enough work for nine justices, and one of the eight who remain is checked out much of the time (Thomas),  then it is absolutely incumbent on the Senate to put confirm someone in his place. I advocate a provision that if the Senate has failed to act after a specified time,  the President’s nominee will automatically assume the position.

For more detailed thoughts about the judiciary and Supreme Court, see “Justice for Whom — Down the River of No Return?” in The Radical Wrong: Lies Our Founding Fathers Never Told Us (online booksellers — e-book or hardcopy,




Trans Pacific Partnership


  WARNING:Mind-Exploding Outrage (that is, the Trans Pacific Partnership) Ahead,” writes the Hightower Lowdown. “Unbeknownst to most people, a cabal of corporate and political elites (including Presidents Clinton, Bush II, and Obama has stealthily negotiated international trade deals during the past two-plus decades that have fabricated, piece by piece, what now amounts to a privatized world government. It’s a secretive, autocratic, plutocratic, bureaucratic government of, by, and for the multinational corporations.” Its 29 huge chapters include “rules limiting what our domestic governments are permitted to do, plus new rights and privileges for corporations enforced through supranational closed-door tribunals. This adds up to a privately gated ‘government.’”

 Wolves in sheep’s clothing? For a long time some folks have been worrying about a “world government.” Well, its closing in on us. And it’s a corpocracy. Obama is also promoting a Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union.

But the TPP is closer. Negotiations have been going on since 2005. It’s almost done. And who wrote it? CEO’s of giant multinational corporations, and their lawyers and lobbyists, in secret, behind closed doors. These include Halliburton, Chevron, PHRA, Comcast, and other such companies you know and love. Congress is being intentionally kept in the dark about what the TPP document says. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden says, “More than two months after receiving the proper security credentials, my staff is still banned from viewing the details of the proposals that USTR is advancing. Economist Robert Reith states, “It is incomprehensible that the leaders of major corporate interests who stand to gain enormous financial benefits . . . are actively involved in the writing of the TPP while at the same time, the elected officials of this country. . have little or no knowledge as to what is in it.”

Shhhh!—the remarkable media blackout

There is an almost complete news blackout about the negotiations. I did find one 2013 article in the Washington Post. Otherwise, silence, Almost everyone I mention it to says, “The TPP—what’s that?” It would change our society forever—but almost no one has even heard of it, despite great daily coverage of such events as a cat rescued from a telephone pole. But then, who owns the media? Maybe some of the folks who are writing the agreement—but that’s not for you and me to know.

What are the benefits—and what aren’t?

All of the above is presented to “We, the People” as a Very Good Thing. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative touts the TPP as a step “to enhance trade and investment among the TPP partner countries, to promote innovation, economic growth and development, and to support the creation and retention of jobs.” Doesn’t that resemble a replay of NAFTA, of which there have been far more complaints than kudos? Just a for instance—all those new jobs it promised—well, just as many old jobs have dematerialized as the new ones that materialized. Perhaps President Obama has not seen the figures that show that the income gap between the rich and the rest of us has widened since he took office. Not his doing, but reality nonetheless. Economists who have seen leaked drafts of TPP chapters say it would accelerate that trend. Economic growth, yes. But for whom? It would supercharge the growing gap between the great corporations and the very wealthy on one hand and working people and the poor. And between the nastiest of the Great Corporations and their competitors. For instance, in the U.S. Big Coal and Big Oil have already gotten penalties enacted to make biosolar energy less competitive. Some solar panel manufacturers are going broke, Almost everywhere the interests of giant corporations and those of ordinary citizens conflict, the megacorporations manage to slap The People and their smaller business competitors down (despite all those pretty ads you see on TV).

A short list of what’s wrong with the TPP proposal.

  • Protections against toxins and other unhealthy ingredients in food are weakened.
  • Laws requiring “country of origin” labeling on many foods vanish.
  • Freedom of speech is reduced, such as a company putting “Not GMO” on its labels.
  • Safety laws can be invalidated.
  • A law to protect people or the environment can be struck down, in the Lowdown’s words, simply if it shows that “the expected future profits” of corporate investors might be lower.
  • States or countries with environmental or health standards higher than the TPPs can be sued for lost “expected future profits.”
  • Present laws to favor local businesses are weakened or vanish. A company can sue a town that wants to keep its local character instead of getting overrun by big chain stores
  • The approval process for generic drugs is slowed down.
  • Some drugs will be delayed for years, such as one to fight cancer
  • It makes it easier for big multinational corporations to swallow up smallr local corporations and companies worldwide.
  • S., state and local governments could not have “buy equipment made in USA” when possible policies. The same thing goes for other countries.
  • The document is being written in secret behind locked doors.
  • Corporate challenges to laws protecting people or the environment are decided by   secret tribunals with almost nothing to prevent conflicts of interest.
  • A decision by such a tribunal is FINAL, with no appeal possible
  • The conflict of interest is blatant. It is being written by those who stand to gain from it.
  • All aspects of its negotiation, adoption, and implementation are designed to prevent citizen participation.
  • It is written in obtuse, complicated language that appears designed to confuse.

The Devil in Disguise: Fast Track

Only one U.S. Congressman, Colorado Republican Hank Brown, read the full text of the 1994 GATT agreement. He had previously favored the agreement, but changed his mind after reading it. He didn’t have much time to read it. In 1974 President “Tricky Dick” Nixon devised a uniquely undemocratic ploy to bypass congressional consultation, one that appears unconstitutional to me, and conned congress into buying it. The U.S. Constitution charges congress with giving advice and consent on trade agreements. It says,

[The President] shall have power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the senators present concur.

Fast Track requires congress to act on legislation sent to it by the White House with a simple “yes” or “no” response, and no chance to offer any amendments, It never goes to congressional committees. It must be voted on within 90 days, with minimal debate. To me that doesn’t look much like the “Advice of the Senate” required by the Constitution. The Constitution also says,

All treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution of laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding. (Article VI, Clause II)

Secretary of State John Foster Dulles reinforced that point: “Treaties make international law and also they make domestic law. Under our constitution, treaties become the supreme law of the land.

President Bush the First lobbied heavily to renew Fast Track, which had expired. With its assistance, President Clinton managed to get NAFTA approved. It expired in 2007. Now Obama is asking congress to resurrect it for the TPP deliberations. In other words, congress would vote for or against whatever the corporate lobbyists put into the Treaty.

Trade is not an end in itself but a means to other ends. To declare that completely unrestricted trade is appropriate everywhere, in all circumstances, is like saying, “Penicillin is a great drug, so lets use it to cure everything.” France knows all this. It has “stubbornly” refused to lower certain tariff barriers that protect its farmers, because its farms don’t just provide food, but they’re part of the whole structure of French society.

The Lowdown goes one step farther. It says, “This is not a decision about trade—the TPP represents a tectonic shift in public policy that would radically alter the fundamental structure of our society and thrust a global corporate plutocracy on us. Shouldn’t we have something to say about that?

It looks to me like leaked sections of the agreement show that the god its drafters worship above all others is to gain the maximum possible profits for their corporations. Period. That attitude takes us along a path likely to end in a world where any form of democracy can exist. With the multinationals calling the shots, I do not imagine that the proposed treaty would be more advantageous for the smaller, poorer countries that would be part of it than for the U.S., and typically much less so.

There are always politicians and technocrats ready to show that the invasion of ‘industrializing’ foreign capital benefits the area invaded. In this version, the new-model imperialism comes on a genuinely civilizing mission, is a blessing to the dominated countries, and the true-love declarations by the dominant power of the moment are its real intentions. Guilty consciences are thus relieved of the need for alibis, for no one is guilty: today imperialism radiates technology and progress, and even the use of this old, unpleasant word to define it is in bad taste.” Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan journalist and author.

Instead of Fast Track, I suggest a SLOW TRACK procedure in which the entire draft that is to be submitted to congress must be posted on both White House and all Congressional websites so that every interested citizen can read it and communicate concerns and suggestions to his or her congresspersons. Perhaps it could be put up at the rate of 50 pages a week, giving people time to digest it—and perhaps meet and discuss it in community groups. How about moving toward democracy rather than away from it? After all, it has been ten years since TPP was proposed. If there is going to be one, it ought to be one that benefits the people and protects the earth.

What you can do now: Derail FAST TRACK. The vote may be as soon as March. The first link below will tell you which congressperson to contact if you’re not sure.

See also www.cwa-union.org/no-tpp

http://www.hightowerlowdown.org/ (January 2015)




MEDITATION: THE ESSENCE II – Concentration & Focus


Basic Meditation Instructions, Part II

  FREE: Right here, right now, no charge.



Concentrative meditation develops your ability to know what you are doing with your attention at any given moment and to focus your attention (and often that of others with whom you are conversing) where you wish.  This ability has been shown to be useful in diverse areas of life.  It is also essential to witness consciousness or mindfulness meditation, which will be described in Part III. Two different forms are described here, and you can choose the one you prefer or use them both at different times.

Counting style.  Choose any object to focus your eyes on. As you did just above, count from one to ten.  This time silently count one number on each incoming breath, from one to ten. Then count the same number ten times on each outgoing breath.  Like this: 1-1, 2-1, 3-1, etc. up to 10-1.  Then take a single  breath in which you do not count.  Then count a second sequence of ten, like this:  1-2, 2-2, 3-2, etc. up to 10-2.  Another empty breath, then ten breaths with the number 3 on your exhalation, etc.  Ideally you will do this for 110 breaths, up to 10-10.  Then do ten more snapshot breaths to end your session.  Whenever you lose count, continue from the last pair of numbers you can remember clearly. If you don’t have time or don’t want to count up to 10-10, stop whenever you wish and end your session with ten snapshot breaths.

On each outbreath, notice all the chatter and images that have formed themselves in your mind and imagine them flowing out of you and away as you exhale, leaving your mind calmer and clearer. Whenever you notice that you have forgotten your counting or you are no longer looking at the object you chose for your visual focus, first notice where your mind has gone in case it’s to something important you need to remember (you might want to keep a pad and pen to jot down a word or two as a reminder when things occur to you.) Then gently move your mind back to your counting. Don’t try to keep things out of your mind – just bring your mind back to your counting, again and again if needed.

Mantra style.  Select a mantra that feels agreeable and useful to you.  You can find one by looking at the index at this link, or by doing a web search for “Sanskrit words” or “mantras.” Or even choose a word or phrase in your native language that refers to a quality you want to cultivate. Just as with the counting above, choose an object for your visual focus. On each inhalation, silently repeat your mantra to yourself.  On each exhalation, you can either (1) count the same number for ten numbers as described just above, and then move to a second number for the next set of ten breaths,  or (2) just repeat the mantra on your inhalation and let your mind go silent on the exhalation, allowing the thoughts that have formed themselves to flow away.  When you notice that you are no longer repeating your mantra, return your thoughts to it. DO NOT, however, use repetition of the mantra to try to “push” other thoughts, feelings, or sensations out of your mind. You could end up pushing out things you very much need to notice or hear. Just notice where your mind has gone, jot down a reminder of that if it’s important and you wish to, then bring your attention back to your mantra. Here too, ten snapshot breaths are a good way to end your session.


OR, you can regard the starting sequence and a period of concentrative meditation as the first two stages of your sitting, and then go on to mindfulness / witness consciousness meditation or to a contemplative meditation.

Part I of this series of five mini-articles offered an introduction to what meditation can do for you and presented a useful meditation “starting sequence.”

Part II describes concentrative meditation.

 Part III will describe witness consciousness (yogic term) and  mindfulness meditation (Buddhist term) and They overlap considerably but not totally. (not yet posted)

 Part IV will describe contemplative meditation. (not yet posted)

 Part V will be on everyday awareness practices. (not yet posted)

All this is just “the essence.” If you’d like this and many advanced practices all in one handy place, you will enjoy Matrix Meditations, by Victor Daniels and Kooch N. Daniels. Click on the cover to go to the book’s home page. You can get the e-book for under $10.00, and used copies online for little more than postage. Of course, a brand-new hardcopy (from your local bookstore, the publisher, or another online vendor) is a treasure. 


Matrix Meditations: A 16 Week Program to Developing the Heart - Mind Connection

Matrix Meditations: A 16 Week Program to Developing the Heart – Mind Connection









The Perils of Self-Righteousness

man with sword raised facing backward on horse at edge of cliff

We all have our pet peeves. One of mine is self-righteousness. “I am good and righteous and just and you are bad and maybe even wicked and evil.” Not that I never fall into it myself, but I try to notice it and pull out when I do. What are the earmarks? The self-righteous person fancies himself or herself better than others who think or act differently, or who look or sound different. If it’s one of your own tendencies, the chances are you don’t much notice it. You think you’re just in touch with reality. If it’s someone else and you agree with them, you may react that same way. But if you’re anything like me, you probably curl your lip with distaste and dislike (even if only internally and invisibliy) when someone else gets into a self-righteous schtick. It may be a raving rant like many of the venomous online “comments” sections or it may be snide and subtle, but either way it has several unfortunate effects.

First, it often involves projection, a common and often destructive psychological mistake that can easily torpedo our relationships. In projection I see you as the living incarnation of whatever qualities I dislike and refuse to recognize in myself. I deny my own inner reality and experience, project it onto you, and then either denigrate you or try to exterminate you, as if in doing so I could get rid of the disliked and unrecognized qualities in me. The projector does this over and over and over again. It is highly visible, and almost always present, in the phenomenon of self-righteousness.

Second, whether it appears in religion, politics, or in a marriage or other couples relationship, it often leaves whatever sense of shared community we might have had in tatters. After an incident or two, if you’re on the receiving end of the self-righteousness will always be at least a little on guard, at least somewhat reluctant to reveal your thoughts and feelings. This leads to a more distant relationship.

Third, you just might want to get the self-righteous SOB back, especially in contexts like politics and religion where in-group imperialism often runs rampant – WE are better than those other jerks and we’re going to run things our way and impose our ways on them. You end up with results like male committees and legislatures making decisions about women’s reproductive rights that take away women’s freedom (in some cases in direct violation of their own professions of a libertarian ideology). That can lead to a lot of bitterness and desire for revenge.

Fourth, self-righteousness often requires a person to lie to himself or herself. In something like eighty or ninety percent of situations there are at least two or three viable ways of looking at the situation, and sometimes half a dozen ways or more. The ability to consider such multiple perspectives increases internal communication within oneself and also increases a person’s creativity. A self-righteous attitude requires you to deny the possible validity of every view except your own. It commits you to your own monologue and makes it very difficult to engage in any potentially constructive dialogue. And who wants to listen to know-it-all blowhards besides people who already agree with them?

Finally, to anyone with the eyes and ears to see and hear, it boils down to ego. “I’m better than you are.” We’re better than they are.” And then it all to easily sildes into, “and so I’m justified in doing whatever I want to you,” or “we’re justified doing whatever we wish to them.” And of course often it turns into being the other way around. The organization, or our authorities, or some other influence requires me to do terrible things to you, and so I slide into the lie of self-righteousness to justify it.

But in the end, development as a person occurs when we work on shrinking our self-centered egocentrism, not when we inflate it. Self righteousness takes us in the wrong direction.