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« A Plea for a Pluralist Metaphysic | Main | Mary Midgley on Dawkins »

22 July 2007


sri hari

I think truth cannot be defined, although it can certainly be experienced. But experience is not a definition. Definition is done by the mind, experience is done by participating. If somebody asks, "What is a dance?" how can we define it? But you can dance and you can know the inner feel of it.

Maybe God is the ultimate dance.

Well, you have not danced with the author of the mentioned book, that is for sure. So much malice, I wonder does he deserve it really if he appears to be so stupid and incapable? This comment tells more about you than about him.


I believe personalities can be divided into two categories. One, we call the T-personality, toxic, and the other we call the N personality, nourishing.

A toxic personality is always looking at things in a negative way. The whole world view of the toxic personality is depressing, sad. The toxic personality hides in beautiful faces. A perfectionist is a toxic personality. You cannot say that something is wrong in a perfectionist, but the whole idea of being a perfectionist is to find errors, mistakes, loopholes. It is a trick. You cannot find any fault with a man who looks for perfection, but in fact that is not his goal; perfection is a device. He wants to look at loopholes, mistakes, errors, anything that is missing, and this is the best way — to keep a goal of perfection so that he can compare them with the ideal and always condemn.

This toxic personality always thinks of that which is not and never looks at that which is, so discontent becomes natural. A toxic personality poisons his own being; not only that — he drips poison.

It can be a heritage. If we have lived with people in our childhood who had a negative attitude towards life.... It may be hiding in glowing terms, beautiful language, ideals, heaven, God, religion, the soul; they can use beautiful words, but they are simply trying...and they talk about the other world just to condemn this one. They are not concerned with the other world. They have no interests in saints, but just to prove that others are sinners, they will talk about saints.

It is a very morbid attitude. They will say, ‘Become like Jesus.’ They are not interested in Jesus at all. If Jesus were there they would be the last person to go to him, but just to condemn you, this is their device. You cannot become Jesus, so you become a victim. They always condemn you. They create values, moralities, puritan attitudes. They are the moralists, the moralisers; they are the great poisoners of the world.

And they are everywhere. These people tend to become teachers, educationalists, professors, vice-chancellors, saints, bishops, popes; they tend to become these things because then they can condemn. They are even ready to sacrifice everything if they are just allowed the joy of condemning others. They are everywhere, hiding in many ways. And they are always doing things for our good, for our own good, so we are defenceless against them. Their heritage is real, big. They have dominated the whole history.

These people immediately become dominators. Their very ideology helps them to dominate because they can become condemnators. And they talk in rational terms. Rationalism is also part of the T personality. They are very argumentative...very difficult to defeat them in argumentation. They are never reasonable, but they are always rational.

We must know the distinction between a reasonable man and a rational man. A reasonable man is never only rational, because a reasonable man knows by experience that life has both — the rational and the irrational; that life has both — reason and feeling, the mind and the heart.

A reasonable man is reasonable. A rational man is never reasonable. He forces logic on life — and logic can be perfect; life can never be. He always looks to the ideal, and he tries to force life to follow the ideal. He never looks into life and the reality of life. His ideals are against life.

The second personality, the N personality, the nourishing personality, is totally different. It has no ideals, really. It just looks into life and the reality decides its ideal. It is very reasonable. It is never perfectionistic; it is wholistic but never a perfectionist. And it always looks on the good side of things. The N personality is always hopeful, radiant, adventurous, trusting, not condemnatory. These are the people who become poets, painters, musicians.

If an N-type person becomes a saint, then there is a real saint. If a T-type person becomes a saint, there is a false saint, a pseudo-saint. If an N-type person becomes a father, then there is a real father. If an N type person becomes a mother, there is real mothering. A T-type is a pseudo father and a pseudo mother. That is just a trick to exploit the child, to torture, to dominate, possess and to crush the child, to feel powerful by crushing the child. The T-type is in the majority, so we may be are carrying a heritage, everybody is. But once we become aware, there is not much of a problem. We can travel from T to N very easily.

A few things to remember. If we feel lazy, don’t call it laziness. Listen to our nature; maybe that’s what fits us. That’s a reasonable man. What can we do? If laziness comes to us, then that’s what we have to do. Who are we to decide against it? And how can we win against it? Even in our fight we will be lazy (smile). Who is going to win? We will be constantly defeated, and then we will feel unnecessarily miserable.

We should be realistic. Listen to our own being. Everybody has his own pace. A few people are very active, rushing; nothing is wrong in it. If they feel good in it, it is good for them.

And we shouldn't create any ideals that we have to do this. We should't have any ‘shoulds’. The ‘should’ creates a sort of neurosis. Then one is obsessed. The ‘should’ is always there, standing and condemning us, and we cannot enjoy anything. Enjoy! Kill the ‘should’ completely and be herenow. Whatsoever we can do, do; whatsoever we cannot do, accept. That is the way we maybe are, and we are here to be ourself, nobody else. By and by we will see that your T is turning into N. We will become nourishing and we will enjoy more, we will love more, and we will become more meditative.

In fact, for a lazy person to become meditative is easier than for an active person. That’s why the whole East became lazy — they meditated too much. Meditation is a sort of passivity. An active person feels very restless. Just to sit silent is the most difficult thing. Not to do anything is the most difficult thing to do for an active person.

We should just enjoy and move as fits our being — no shoulds, no ideals, otherwise they will poison you. Look at life with deep hope. It is really beautiful. Just look at it, and not wait for perfection. Not think in terms of us enjoying things only when they are perfect; then we will never enjoy.

If a T-type person encounters God, he will immediately find some faults in him. That’s why God is hiding...because of T-type people. He reveals himself to the N-type, never to T-types. He reveals only to those who can take nourishment from him — not only that, but to those who can nourish him.

So we should just relax, enjoy, accept, and the problems will disappear.

Dawkins seems like a very T person, very unhappy.He is so affraid of existance of God that, well...maybe deep down it is because He attracts him so much.

Jonathan Led Larsen

I guess you didn't get much sleep that night, being busy reading the book and writing this rather lengthy review - which, by the way, is really good!

- Jonathan, Denmark

Argumentative Essays

On Dawkins, Delusions and All That<-----that's what i was looking for

Lisa Nanette Allender

Absolutely captivating essay, David Brazier!
I only quibble with educators being the so-called "T" types.I'm not a teacher myself, but have many dear friends, who are.I think those who teach MAY do so out of a need to dominate, but frankly, ALL the ones I know, truly LOVE others, and want to GIVE of themselves.Same for many religious/spiritual folk I know.Nuns, Priests, Rabbis, Monks, etc...Thank you for your thoughtful (and inspiring!)response to Dawkins' "The God Delusion".

C Omorochoe

What strikes me most, and this is just my perception of things, is how much Prof. Dawkins appears to suffer. I cannot know this to be true, of course, but it is the impression I have and it makes me want to give him a hug. That sounds rather condescending, I know, but I don't think what I feel is actually condescension. Prof. Dawkins reminds me of the fear we share regarding the big existential question and, in that shared anxiety, I want to put an arm around his shoulder and say: I know, it's very tricky, this being business.

Competing Interests: raised agnostic; tried on monotheism for a time but was not a good fit; for many years now an independent, agnostic, unorthodox Buddhist human being.

Nick Prance

I read the God delusion and found myself agreeing with so much of what Richard Dawkins said, and i certainly didn't feel bullied by him. In fact i understand the passion with which he speaks out against something which, in his sincerely held view, has caused so much damage, and i agree with him. I have experienced this first hand own life, and in my work have heard many stories of the damage done by religion. But i also know that it has brought much comfort to people and cannot be argued away, its excesses however are totally fair game.

I also have to say that the following statement in the above piece is far too simplistic

'when we look at the various twentieth century experiments in creating societies without religion we immediately think of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot and we quickly understand why any right thinking person shrinks with horror from the prospect.'

Come on, this surely is about the above dictators wanting absolute power and control, it is their own perverse and distorted thinking, and not some kind of de facto 'what happens' when you try and do without religion.

Anyway, i raise a glass to Richard Dawkins. He seems to me to care about the human, and about this life..... not some future land, pure or otherwise

David Brazier

# Lisa - thank you - Oh, and I'm a teacher myself :-)
# Wade - not sure I've got your point - I'll have to reread the essay
# Christina - Thanks. I know what you mean.
# Nick - well, of course, I disagree with most of what you say :-), apart from what you say about your own experience which, of course, only you know directly. It is not the case that Dawkins is not concerned about a future pure land - he is clearly a utopian and in general (see Isiah Berlin, etc) it has been utopians, especially the non-religious ones (like Pol Pot) who have been the worst dictators and it is easy to see why because if you think that your vision is so right (as Dawkins) and you think that there is no power in the universe higher than yourself then that is the basic formula for become a megalomaniac. Their "perverse and distored thinking" is closely related to their rejection of the idea that there is anything higher than themselves and their ideal. Dawkins is perilously close to such a position. Fortunately he does not have the political clout to put his ideas into practice. Science is wonderful as science, but it simply does not have the tools to provide guidance for life. Science can tell you how to do thing but it give no guidance on what to do so people with social platforms that purport to be "scientific" need to be treated with extreme circumspection. Anyway, thanks for contributing - Dawkins is always good for raising the temperature.

David Brazier

@ Wade - Oh, sorry, yes, I see now, you are responding to Dwaraka.

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