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Do me a favor, dear cherry-pickers

The true problem of bad faith (self-deception) stems evidently from the fact that bad faith is faith.
- From a chapter titled The "Faith" of Bad Faith of Existential Psychoanalysis by Jean-Paul Sartre

I'm still on a writing binge in the middle of a funny survival game between the dying PC and the dying me, whose rule says whichever survives the other is the loser. Actually I was working on something to be titled Burning desire for international recognition or collective narcissism of the yellow Hottentots. But I suspended it, because as usual I felt it would be useless to come back over and over to my audience trapped in a perpetual mauvaise foi with such a no-nonsense argument. Now, for one last time, let me tell you what the real implication of cherry-picking is for our online interchange. Sorry for my nasty curveball. I'm not good at tickling your ears.

I launched this website solely for my Han-Anpo (anti-security treaty) advocacy. To that end, I was focusing on political issues in early days of my blogging. Then I realized I had to talk more about social issues underlying them. When I learned that didn't work either, I shifted the focus to cultural issues. I talked a lot about art, especially music, but again to no avail. Finally it belatedly dawned on me that our fundamental difference lies in philosophy although I was reluctant to resort to it. When I was young, I studied philosophy a lot. But I knew a retired businessman could be nothing more than a lay philosopher.

Still today the way(s) American visitors to this site view the U.S.-Japan partnership remains unchanged. They don't think it's an essential issue. They think, "Let's keep it there until the problem solves itself; it can't be helped if the ambivalent feelings grow on both sides of the wrong partners. The same thing often happens in our families."

All along I have tried to share my first-hand observation and experience because for better or for worse I am the only one in this community who knows the politics, society and culture of this country inside out. Most of the time you said you understood me, by and large. In fact, though, you didn't, at all.

Not that you were lying

In 1936 Billy Mayhew wrote a lovely song titled It's a Sin to Tell a Lie. But the Civil Rights Act of 1964 imposed a new rule that said: It's a Sin to Tell the Truth. For an intriguing reason, however, the new rule has never superseded the old one that all boiled down to this notion: "Honesty simply means not telling lies." That is why the American people still keep singing the same old tune about the sin. Now it's a sin whether you tell a lie or truth. Actually, you are totally at a loss over what to say to remain innocent. All you can do is to engage yourselves in incoherent talks over invented issues.

Unfortunately, the same intellectual and moral vacuum has spread over the entire Pacific-rim region, from which I'm inclined to exclude China. This epidemic has left Japan in the most disastrous situation because the country is where the East has met the West in the most unfortunate way. Now Japan has turned into a cultural wasteland.

If the climate in the European cultural sphere is a little different, it must be attributable to the fact that unlike the Pacific-rim nations, European countries, including Russia, were immunized against the fake culture reimported from the "New World."

Amid WWII, Jean-Paul Sartre wrote an essay on phenomenological ontology titled Being and Nothingness. The French philosopher devoted its Part 1, Chapter 2 entirely to the topic of mauvaise foi (bad faith or self-deception.) Ten years or so later, he wrote Existential Psychoanalysis to elaborate on this point in which he detailed the essential difference between falsehood, i.e. lies, and mauvaise foi.

Sartre argued that although you may say nonchalantly that bad faith is "a lie to oneself," there is a subtle but fundamental difference between the two. There, he almost sounded like saying that lies are far more benign than bad faith, although being an atheist himself, he never implied bad faith is a sin, either. According to him, "a man does not lie about what he is ignorant of." In other words, an ignoramus will never lie.

This really clicks because Hitler wasn't a liar. He was a legitimate leader of the nation who was elected by the German voters under the Weimar Constitution just like the Black Kenyan Monkey was by their American counterparts 76 years later.

Don't take me wrong, however; this is not to say there's anything categorically wrong with your habit of cherry-picking. Apes don't cherry-pick because they will never be in bad faith. The ability of cheating self is inherent only to a creature in a more advanced stage of evolution. Since bad faith is a double-edged sword, you can use it effectively if you have a certain amount of creativity. But if you are one of those change-resistant people, you will end up cutting conjoined twins into two dead pieces.

Let's assume you have two candidates from whom you are going to pick one as your girlfriend, you certainly select the one who falls on your type. But once you've made her your girlfriend, you become aware she has too many shortcomings to be an ideal mate. Now you are prone to developing ambivalent feelings toward this woman. Most likely, you choose to stay with her. Are you not cherry-picking by doing so? Although you are unwilling to admit it, that's exactly what you are doing, a little belatedly, and without success.

Likewise, you often develop a love-and-hate relationship toward something, e.g. the country you live in, the political party you vote for, etc. Here I'm not talking about a business decision where a quantifiable tradeoff between benefits and costs, or opportunities and risks is all that matters. Like Sartre, I'm talking about life.

The former yakuza member I mentioned in my previous post has chosen to stay with his home country he thinks should perish, primarily because he can't live without the welfare benefits and tax-exempt status granted by the nanny state. It's a vicious circle; the more he becomes dependent on the nation, the more his grudge flares up, and the more his resentment intensifies, the more he is addictively attached to the country. To him the only conceivable solution to what Sartre termed "inner disintegration" was to fence himself in a real or imaginary prison, almost voluntarily, where he doesn't have to face his real self in the mirror.

If you are a skillful cherry-picker, you can draw a picture of a utopia while staying with a dystopia, or vice versa. Basically your dilemma is none of my business. Yet, I don't think you are playing it very fair if you keep floating aimlessly back and forth between pros and cons entailed in the subject at hand. It's counterproductive, to say the least. We always go round in circles because we keep speaking the same ill-defined words over and over. We stop only when we get tired. And every time we resume our discussion, we start at the point where we started the last time.

As I already wrote, it's a different story if you are a Type 3 visitor to this website. Anyone who defines himself as a doer with professional expertise knows how to solve his inner conflict, or better yet, ours, even without discussing it either online or offline. ·

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Do me a favor, dear cherry-pickers
Authored by: Diogenes on Sunday, August 04 2013 @ 08:16 AM JST
It appears to me that you're presenting is a kind of Gordian Knot that implies: If you answer yes, I'll give you forty lashes. If you answer no, I'll still give you forty lashes. Quick, quick, what is your answer?

It seems clear to me that if anyone has the inclination to look under the carpet, where the real dirt of history is swept, one will find a conglomeration of lies and truths that have been purposefully hidden. As coroners of history, we have to determine the elemental facts. Perhaps Caine didn't slay Able. Perhaps it was his uncle, or his father or mother, or perhaps it was a stranger—perhaps the first serial killer. What does the evidence show us?

Then, again, perhaps this is old moldy document is just a metaphorical parable, created by a tribe that needs a fictional tale to elevate themselves above others in their society. “We are the chosen ones above all others.” If I understand your Sartrean argument, this, too, is a mauvaise foi. Is not the fear of death the biggest mauvaise foi of all? Ernest Becker attempts to argue that in his classic book, “The Denial of Death.” Without having read Sartre due to my inability to follow the English translation of “Being and Nothingness,” my guess is that is the moon he's really pointing his finger toward--death, not the illusion reflected in the lake—where looking down is less frightening than looking up and seeing Damocles Sword.

This documentary on Adolph Hitler begins with this quote, “The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.” If we are to believe the creator of this documentary, the invasion of of Soviet Russia was a justified form of self-defense by Germany. Perhaps this might be true, but the ideology that permeated the German soldiers was no different than the Jewish bible's self-delusion of “Choseness.” History shows us that the Germans and the Jews were simply the kettle and the pot calling each other black. Both the Germans and Jews committed atrocities on a level that was impossible only a century earlier. But as that old saw tells us, “History is written by the victors.” In the U.S., those jaundiced victors are the owners of Hollywood; the ones that repeatedly tell us that Jews were victims throughout history. How can they do this? Because they openly admit to owning the biggest illusion factory on earth.,0,4676183.column

And it's not just Hollywood. They also admit to owning the media.

It's these two tools, perfected over the decades, that have been utilized to stop all rational thought from emerging, to induce mauvaise foi, if you will. But in an Israeli publication, an honest Jew exposes the Jewish atrocity within the Soviet Union, where the second largest mass murder in history was carried out by a clique of Jewish psychopaths (Mao being number one).,7340,L-3342999,00.html

Then, we have this damning statement by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the author of the book “200 Years Together.” The "together" are the Russian people and the Jewish interlopers from Kazaria , who were/are not Jews in the biblical sense—part of the so-called twelve tribes. They are converts from the seventh or eighth century. They entered Russian territory approximately 200-years-ago, and are, what author Arthur Koestler calls, “The Thirteenth Tribe.”

"You must understand. The leading Bolsheviks who took over Russia were not Russians. They hated Russians. They hated Christians. Driven by ethnic hatred, they tortured and slaughtered millions of Russians without a shred of human remorse.

"The October Revolution was not what you call in America the 'Russian Revolution.'

"It was an invasion and conquest over the Russian people.

"More of my own countrymen suffered horrific crimes at their bloodstained hands than any people or nation ever suffered in the entirety of human history.

"It cannot be overstated. Bolshevism committed the greatest human slaughter of all time.

"The fact that most of the world is ignorant and uncaring about this enormous crime is proof that the global media is in the hands of the perpetrators." (Meaning Jews need to amplify their story about death camps, while the mass murders they did in Russia are kept quiet.)

If we step back from recent history and bend the horizon to look back across time, premature death and unjustified slaughters seem to be the norm rather than the exception. Why is this the case? The story of Cain and Able appear to be a form of fictional, creative justification—the world is just this way, so live with it. Is it? Andrzej Lowbaczewski provides us the best evidence of why this cycle repeats itself, and what kind of creatures are the perpetrators in his study, “Political Ponerology: (A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes).”

This goes beyond Sartre's philosophy. There is no self-delusion in a psychopath. They know exactly what they are doing and why. The have no conscience nor feelings of guilt—a requirement that seems to be necessary for Sartre's vision of man. These creatures—the ones that float to the top of the historical record as “kings and/or leaders of invading armies,” and, depending on who has written the final chapter—are either “great men” or demonic monsters. This feature of history seems to have emerged after the transition from hunter-gatherers to the emergence of city-states after the birth of agriculture.

If we go back in time a few centuries, we find that before the three kingdoms of Korea were united to create the modern state we knew up until the communists took over the north, there was a historical figure known as the Great Queen Seon Deok—the first woman to become the leader of a Korean state—Shilla. While historically this woman existed and her basic biography is likely correct, a 62-part docu-drama was created on her life, utilizing much poetic license. Essentially, this story revolves around the dualistic concept of good vs. evil, or in this case, a justice-seeking person vs. a psychopath. Of course, this queen figure is a mythical one, but nevertheless, that's what most people need to believe that suffer any form of leaders.

In the dialogue in this clip, beginning at the 51:46 point, the princess (the good figure) explains how she is going to dis-empower (the evil, psychopathic figure) Mishil by taking away her ability to trick the masses with her illusions of magical powers—likely how many historical thugs maintained their control. While this dialogue is written by modern persons, it is a timeless example of figures that don't seem to me to fit Sartre's delusional man, his self-deluded man. Sartre, if alive today, might argue that both these figures are delusional. Perhaps, but if that's true, they are likely the least delusional kind from a historical standpoint.

If we cast our net wide enough through the historical past, this example is likely what we will keep pulling aboard our boat. We have to come to terms that we are not our brother's keeper, that our brother doesn't want our aid, if it involves painful truths. What painful truths am I guilty of; what self-deceptions do I harbor? My sins of deception will only end when my breath ceases and my heart ceases, and I go back into the ground either as a decaying corpse or as a can of ashes. Each of us are living a Shakespearean tragedy. A dying woman named Beth summed up our dilemma this way.

There is a sadness growing
Within me
I do not want it so, but
I know
I cry with bitterness
Filling me.
It doesn't not hurt the way
It did
There is only room for
Just so much sorrow.
What will I put in
It's place

Do me a favor, dear cherry-pickers
Authored by: Y.Yamamoto on Sunday, August 04 2013 @ 09:30 AM JST

As usual it will take me a couple of days to fully digest your comment here. I'll get back to you if the situation allows.

In the meantime, I'm not interested in lies, or truth for that matter. I'm only concerned about self-deception primarily because we can never change without artfully cheating ourselves.

As he observed, bad faith is faith, which also means faith (in "truth" for instance) is bad faith. The only thing I've learned from his "moldy document" is that everything starts with my own self and ends with my own self. That's why it's important, so I believe, always to face my real self so I can have a life-size view of it.

It's not "a metaphorical parable created to elevate themselves above others" but I've always found it extremely boring and too simplistic.

Incidentally I suspect the name of the translator who made you give up in the middle was Rollo May or Hazel E. Barnes.

Yu Yamamoto
Do me a favor, dear cherry-pickers
Authored by: Y.Yamamoto on Monday, August 05 2013 @ 11:35 AM JST

Before getting started with the issue at hand, self-deception, let me clarify something. I’ve talked a lot about Sartre recently. But actually the French philosopher has never been my guru. Likewise, Being and Nothingness has never been my bible. I read Being and Nothingness for the first time some 57, 58 years ago. I may have reread it a couple of times in subsequent years but I’ve never read it again in the last half century. It’s that one day when I was in my late-30s or early-40s, I suddenly realized that I had “lived out” Sartrean way of thinking, and thus, his logic and terminology would best describe my adult life.

Then, again I have to explain my view of professionalism. So many people underestimate the significance of professional expertise in life because they haven’t engaged themselves, in their lifetime, in the value-creating chain in the real world. People tend to mix up different things, only to cherry-pick one of them at a later point in time. The same can be said of professionalism. They first mix it up with amateurism. And only when they think referring to professionalism serves their purposes, they start talking about it. They treat professionalism this way primarily because if they admit they have to pursue professional skills or knowledge, that means they have always to subject themselves to “the pain of study.” The lazy guys simply can’t tolerate this idea. But the matter of the fact remains that while you can SAY anything you want to say without professionalism, you can’t DO anything you want to do or others want you to do without it. All that people can expect from an amateur is an empty lip service. These are why I value professional expertise.

After 9 years of my futile effort to get my message through to my audience, I thought my last resort would be philosophy. At that time, I realized anew that I’m nothing more than a lay philosopher. So I decided to borrow these words from Sartre. I keep referring to his name and quoting his words. But actually Sartre is nothing more than my alias. Therefore, when I say in my writing, “Sartre thought this way,” it actually means I think this way. I always remain ME. And that is the single most important lesson I've learned from Sartre.

You brought up a variety of subjects, such as the Russian Revolution, the biblical feud between Cain and Abel, Jews’ dominance over Hollywood, etc. These subjects may have some indirect relevance to our issue at hand, Bad Faith, but after all these are all concerned about the same old “Truth-vs.-Fallacy” issues, which has absolutely nothing to do with phenomenological ontology. "What is truth?" Answer: "Truth is something that is not false." "What is fallacy, then?" Answer: “Fallacy is something that is not true.” And so on and so forth. For that reason, let me single out the “Life-vs.-Death issue here.

Actually Sartre never juxtaposed life and death in the way Ernest Becker or his opponents may have done. Like the Buddha, he neither feared death nor denied it. Maybe it’s hard to imagine for those who have blindly swallowed everything they are taught to believe, but there is a simple reason. Sartre saw DEATH WITHIN LIFE, and LIFE WITHIN DEATH. I’m not very sure that he expressed his thought exactly this way. But he famously wrote: “Hell IS other people.” This should be interpreted as a clear statement that death is at the very core of life.

Sartre wouldn't have come up with this idea if he had taken it for granted that a death is yet another death, a life is yet another life, which actually means my death is the same thing as your death, I live essentially the same life as the life you live. It's really frightening to know these days people are taught only to think of death in general and life in general. People's total inability to dialectically communicate with one another all stems from their proximity to the ape in that respect.

As we all should know, there are 60 trillion cells in our body. And 1 trillion of this 60 trillion die every day. Which means what? In a matter of 60 days, you are a 100% different person than you were 2 months ago. If you still remain the same person, you have just wasted the 2-months time primarily because of your fear or denial of death. .

So many people talk so lightly about a Man of Integrity. But my definition of him goes like this: “A man of integrity is one who has the courage to face his real self in all his bad faith, in the mirror, or wherever it is, so he can effectively use (what I call) the double-edged sword.”

Yu Yamamoto