Idealism & Compassion Lead to Violence

“Idealism leads to disdain for the present. A man destroys his world in hopes of gaining a better one.”  – Confucius*

In astrology, all events move through semi-predictable stages just as the planets move through the signs of the zodiac.

Compassion & idealism, though frequently touted as the antidote to violence are- astrologically speaking- the very things which give rise to it. A quick glance through history will confirm that sickening violence is usually preceded by a mass outbreak of idealism. But why?

Some points to consider:

  1. Idealism can lead to disenchantment with the way things are, making the present seem to have no value.
  2. Idealism can lead to disdain for the people around you, magnifying their flaws and making them seem to have no value.
  3. Idealism can blind you to the reality that things could be much worse.
  4. Idealism gives wings to your imagination, making you hope and believe in things that cannot be- at least not in the here and now.
  5. Compassion- which I define as love that has been spread out impersonally over large groups of humans- can have a dehumanizing effect, causing the value of an individual to shrink to insignificance next to the good of all.
  6. Idealism and compassion are linked to our higher self, but disconnected from our animal nature. Therefore, in high doses, they lead to abstraction and derealization. This disconnect from physical reality also leads to impractical thinking.

So the net result of extreme idealism is extreme dissatisfaction with the present coupled with a feeling that life could easily be much better. The people you encounter are fallen and insignificant. The people you desire to save are faceless and infinite. Who would not risk the maggot filled sandwich of the present for the banquet of the future? Who would not pull the fingernails off one bigot to guide a flock of lambs into heaven?

Violence becomes justified and impersonal. The idealistic man is primed for destruction. But will he have the energy to destroy? And what led him to become an idealist in the first place?

That is what we will consider next.

 

 

 

* Not really said by Confucius (as far as I know). But he might agree with the sentiment, since he was all about treating your current situation with dignity rather than yearning for a better one.