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NoME Part Three: Chapter 7: Session 850, May 2, 1979 7/38 (18%) idealists idealism kill shalt Thou
– The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events
– Part Three: People Who Are Frightened of Themselves
– Chapter 7: The Good, the Bad, and the Catastrophic. Jonestown, Harrisburg, and When Is an Idealist a Fanatic?
– Session 850, May 2, 1979 9:49 P.M. Wednesday

[... 7 paragraphs ...]

Give us a moment… Let us look at the many forms idealism can take. Sometimes it is difficult to identify idealists, because they wear such pessimistic clothing that all you can see are the patterns of a sardonic nature, or of irony. On the other hand, many who speak most glowingly, in the most idealistic fashions, underneath are filled with the darkest aspects of pessimism and despair. If you are idealists, and if you feel relatively powerless in the world at the same time, and if your idealism is general and grandiose, unrelated to any practical plans for its expression, then you can find yourself in difficulties indeed. Here are a few specific examples of what I mean.

[... 1 paragraph ...]

He cited many instances of nefarious acts committed for money’s sake. A lively discussion resulted, but no countering opinion could enter this man’s mind. Roger, let us call him, is an idealist at heart, but he believes that the individual has little power in the world, and so he did not pursue his personal idealism in the events of his own life. “Everyone is a slave to the system.” That is his line of belief. He took a routine job in a local business and stayed with it for over 20 years, all of the time hating to go to work, or saying that he did, and at the same time refusing to try other areas of activity that were open to him — because he was afraid to try.

[... 2 paragraphs ...]

If you want to change the world for the better, then you are an idealist. If you want to change the world for the better, but you believe it cannot be changed one whit, then you are a pessimist, and your idealism will only haunt you. If you want to change the world for the better, but you believe that it will grow worse, despite everyone’s efforts, then you are a truly despondent, perhaps misguided idealist. If you want to change the world for the better, and if you are determined to do so, no matter at what cost to yourself or others, no matter what the risk, and if you believe that those ends justify any means at your disposal, then you are a fanatic.

(10:14.) Fanatics are inverted idealists. Usually they are vague grandiose dreamers, whose plans almost completely ignore the full dimensions of normal living. They are unfulfilled idealists who are not content to express idealism in steps, one at a time, or indeed to wait for the practical workings of active expression. They demand immediate action. They want to make the world over in their own images (louder). They cannot bear the expression of tolerance or opposing ideas. They are the most self-righteous of the self-righteous, and they will sacrifice almost anything — their own lives or the lives of others. They will justify almost any crime for the pursuit of those ends.

[... 4 paragraphs ...]

Our session is late this evening because Ruburt and Joseph watched the beginning of a (television) movie in which a young woman I will call Sarah appeared as an actress. Sarah wrote Ruburt a letter, telling him of the movie. Sarah has abilities, and she is banking on them, developing them in a practical way. She believes that she forms her own reality. She quenched doubts that she was not good enough to succeed, or that it was too difficult to get ahead in show business. The satisfaction of performance leads [her] to more expansive creativity, and to her natural sense of personal power. Through developing those abilities personally, she will contribute to the enjoyment of others. She is an idealist. She will try to bring a greater sense of values to the screen, for example, and she is willing to do the work necessary.

[... 2 paragraphs ...]

A young man from a nearby town came here recently — a highly gifted, intelligent young person. He had not gone to college. He attended a training school, however, and has a fairly technical position in a nearby factory. He is an idealist, given to great plans for developing novel mathematical and scientific systems, and he is highly gifted in that area. He wants to change the world for the better.

[... 9 paragraphs ...]

(Jane’s delivery had been good, almost driving, throughout the session; just about as fast as I could write most of the time. “I’m so glad to get back on the book,” she said. “I know I’ve done it with every Seth book — wondering what he’ll talk about, how he’ll handle this or that…. I remember those examples about the idealists, and the new commandment he gave. I didn’t have any of that in mind before the session — but at my table tonight I did get some things from him that he never mentioned….”)

[... 5 paragraphs ...]

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