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There is a price we pay for peace

Alaric593

Well-Known Member
I was listening to a podcast interview and the following was said that really hit home.

"Is there a usefulness in having a nemesis? I try not to make enemies of ideas or people in my profession but I do miss the fire that is lit when going after a person or groups ideas. There is a price for living in peace"

"That's an interesting question. There's many who think there is a usefulness. But there's also an external and internal nemesis. I would say those who think it's useful to have a nemesis to drive them, that they look harder for the nemesis inside themselves because we all have the capacity for evil deeds. But those evil deeds also generally manifest from people who only see the nemesis outside of themselves but never within themselves. Totalitarianism is born out of that flawed thought process"

It hit home because much of my problems stemming from my military service was rooted coming to terms with my real level of capacity and competency for violence.

It wasn't until I accepted the nemesis as a part inside me as much if not more than it is out there in the abstract ether in other people that my life turned right side up instead of being upside down.

Accepting it's a part of me but one that must be controlled and only applied in defense of those who can't defend themselves, never in service of desire or in an offensive manner again to live as moral of a life as I am able, that my flashbacks stopped and I worked through that pain.

Something to think about. Back to work. I just wanted to get that out in case it slipped my mind for whatever reason .
 
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Neonatal RRT

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I agree and can relate to some of this in a bit of an abstract way. You mentioned the "fire inside yourself being lit",...in my life, this is a result of having a goal,...and then having someone, or something, standing in my way. In this situation, you ask yourself, "How motivated am I?". Of what importance is this to you? You then decide, "Do I give up without trying?", "Do I give 50% effort,...and then fail?",...or do you truly give it your all,..."Hell or high water, I will do this, and God help anyone or anything in my way." Now, as you suggest, a nemesis may be in your way,...in times of war,...the enemy. In government and politics,...the fight against authoritarianism and totalitarianism when there are large groups of people with fanatical ideology at play. In business, it may be an unreliable supply-chain supplier. In sports,...your competitors. In education,...yourself. The list goes on an on.

Other questions are, "At what point does this internal drive, this fire, become pathologic?". When your competitive juices become laser focused,...you create "blind spots",...your environment, the people around you, personal responsibilities, even your health. In this situation, you risk becoming your own worst enemy,...your own nemesis,...that others see, but you might not.
 
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Rodafina

Hopefully Human
V.I.P Member
@Alaric593, I really don’t know anything about military service (I find the idea of a military scary and confusing), but I just wanted to say that this seems like very brave and honorable thinking for a military man. To be willing and capable of reflecting on your service in this way is really courageous – I have known men who were never set free from their service because there was no way they could ever look the nemesis within in the eyes and somehow make sense of what fighting in wars does to people.

Your post feels very brave and very meaningful, even to a naive civilian gal.
 
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Knower of nothing

Well-Known Member
Shadow (psychology) - Wikipedia

Edit because I got to thinking:
I have, as everyone else, looked for a nemesis too. Consciously and unconsciously. And you really do find one wherever you look, be it out or in. Which is quite the clue if you ask me. That this nemesis is actually bolted to the inside of your eyes with which you look. To me this makes me think the real nemesis would be the one that bolted itself there. And in that idea you'd find a chasm of personal responsibility. Too deep for me. From what I can tell, too deep for most. Easier to say we probably learned something by encountering it and then going back to looking for a nemesis. What's that blasted government up to these days? Something like that.
 
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Silhouette Mirage

The Antichrist
V.I.P Member
I think it's perfectly healthy and normal to recognize that everyone has a dark side. As with working in the military, I'm sure a lot of perfectly peaceful people could be pushed to violence if somebody they love was being seriously threatened, and those protective instincts are probably extremely capable of doing whatever the situation calls for.

The only time when I see this as a bad thing is if it completely takes control of a person, or they use these special abilities to manipulate others and get their way, but thankfully most of those people can even keep it within society's norms (even if I'd rather avoid that type of person altogether).

In the case of a real-life nemesis, who's to say that we aren't highly resonating with that person's darkness, and we just can't stand the thought that the same potential for darkness is lurking within ourselves?
 
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Alaric593

Well-Known Member
Shadow (psychology) - Wikipedia

Edit because I got to thinking:
I have, as everyone else, looked for a nemesis too. Consciously and unconsciously. And you really do find one wherever you look, be it out or in. Which is quite the clue if you ask me. That this nemesis is actually bolted to the inside of your eyes with which you look. To me this makes me think the real nemesis would be the one that bolted itself there. And in that idea you'd find a chasm of personal responsibility. Too deep for me. From what I can tell, too deep for most. Easier to say we probably learned something by encountering it and then going back to looking for a nemesis. What's that blasted government up to these days? Something like that.

It is bolted to our eyes because the idea of the nemesis can be seen in anyone we look at including ourselves because there is the capacity for it, so it follows we can see it wherever we look.

However, as I was telling one member on here, where he only sees the nemesis outside of himself leading to a misanthropy, I do not.

Yes, I know I have the capacity to be that to others and others to me, but I've also seen the most Noble of all human behaviors in sacrifice of one's life to save a child he had no connection to outside of being a fellow human, and innocent child in the situation beyond any of our control, and he did it anyway.

Our base capacity for evil to our fellow people isn't all we are but it's certainly part of it.

I've not seen the movie because I don't watch war movies about wars currently taking place as it's war profiteering to me, but I have heard the line from it from a man I served with. It seems to ring True in my experience with people but it is more complicated, there's gradients and overlap in each group.

There's wolves, sheep and sheepdogs as personality traits.

Sheep, the naive people who don't seem to believe evil exists and wouldn't know how to protect themselves when it shows itself, children especially and many adults.

Wolves, those who use their abilities to prey on the sheep for their own gain, bullies, rapists, child predators, abusers and the like.

Sheepdogs, those who have no qualms with using aggression and violence in the service of protection of the innocent. We don't like and won't allow the wolves to run wild through the population and dedicate some or their entire life to protection of the innocent.

I served with some wolves, but mostly gradients of sheepdogs if we assume the metaphors relatively accurate.

I am a sheepdog. I was born one. The violence in and of itself was never a problem to me. It's always been the manner in which it was applied that mattered. I've attempted to defend people from physical violence before I could even fight.

When we were cleaning my mother's home of unnecessary clutter because her dementia made the amount of things she had dangerous to her falling, my brother found a typed letter to all of my siblings and I from my mother written in 1987, we didn't know it existed thus hadn't read it.

In it she explained all she saw in us and why she left blew up our family, but stopped short of an apology and responsibility.

In it she described me at six years old as carrying the entire world on my shoulders and involving myself in every conflict between my siblings and cousins to put an end to their aggression toward each other.

That this trait could both be a saving grace for me and others or my destruction because I don't have the ability to protect everyone and trying to do it would destroy me.

I instigated fights with every boyfriend my one sister had from the time she started dating until I left for the military. Because I learned at age 10, she would tolerate them hitting her, but she wouldn't tolerate them laying their hands on me. I never cared that I took the hits and pushes or how big they were. It served a function, to rid them from her life. There's only two men she's ever dated who didn't beat her.

It was the disproportionality of capability between us and them that bothered me and the level of violence I was still comfortable with that shocked and frightened me. It made me feel like a predator, counter to my Nature.

Before 9/11 happened, a leader of mine had our platoon read Thomas Aquinas's Just War Theory portion of his work Summa Theologiae. It rang True to me and how I looked at using aggression before I knew anything about it. I still believe it's a Good guide.

It's just that even Afghanistan violated the most pertinent tenants of it which is what made me believe I was acting counter to my Nature as a wolf rather than a sheepdog, in participating in it.

It was when I accepted that even someone like me who for as long as I remember had nothing but the desire to protect could be wolf if I allowed it that my problems began to alleviate.

And further that no matter the intentions of the corrupt in government, those were not my intentions and I fought as Honorable as I could in the situation I voluntarily put myself in, I didn't violate Just War Theory, they did. Therefore I wasn't a wolf, but I had the capacity to be if I didn't control it.

@Rodafina this is also in response to yours. I just didn't want to write two responses. Thank you for your kind words.

Just War
 
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