There is a really funny Western Telluri notion that the absolute WORST thing in the world is being “fooled” or “tricked” by someone. There was a really strange Happiness Charge Precure episode about that (which was one of the episodes that really made me think that Happiness Charge was much less sound than other Precure series, by the way).
But, when one thinks about it… is it REALLY all that horrid? I think it is far, far more damaging to become cynical and distrustful than it is to be occasionally “fooled” or “tricked.” It took me time to understand that, and at times, my False Self still can tempt me.
I think that is really the key… all of us have a True and a False Self… and that is where the battle between Good and Evil really begins and ends. That is an interesting difference between Western media and Eastern media that I have seen. Western media tends to portray Maids as intrinsically Good or Evil. In the Anime I have seen, Maids are rightly portrayed Axial Beings who have the choice between Good and Evil… and that choice is a day-by-day, and sometimes minute-by-minute choice. Here we do our best to nurture our True Selves and to fight our False Selves… and we support each other in that. We use what we can find around us to do that.
I guess what I am saying is that the truest defense is to be wise against the tricks of our own False Selves and to hold on to the Light! So long as we choose the Light, the Light WILL keep us safe.
I am reminded of the essay “Reflections on Naivete” by Frithjof Schuon. It doesn’t appear to be available online, but a point that struck me was:
“To the cheat and the sharper, the mentality of the normal person always seems naive”
Not an exact quotation I am afraid as I don’t have the text. But this is a very telling point, I think. Current West Telluria is a world of cheats and sharpers and of their grim-faced, wary victims.
Another thing I am reminded of is something that happens in the town my friend lives (probably one of the most cynical, westernized towns in Japan). The Nativity lights are a great attraction, and one thing advertised in the flyers is the “Great Blink” – a moment when all the lights are turned off very briefly and then on again. It helps people to appreciate the magic of the lights and people are asked to please enjoy the Great Blink.
This is just the sort of thing that would make Western people terribly cynical. “All they’re doing is turning the lights off and on. What’s so great about that? We’re being tricked!” But nobody thinks like that even in one of the most cynical cities in Japan.
There are times to be on our guard, of course. But living life in the soul-world of the cheats and sharpers and building our souls around their petty shrewdness, robs us of far more than the cheats and sharpers themselves could ever take from us.
Petite Sorcière said:
A thing Tellurians sometimes note about “terrorism” is that its actual physical effects are comparatively small. Its real effectiveness lies in the amount of reaction it can provoke. Whole nations are put on a security-war footing as a result of a few relatively economical actions by the adversary – who gains vastly disproportionate “value for money” from those actions.
I think the same is true of cynicism. The actual instances of “trickery” are relatively small in comparison to the entire re-engineering of the soul that happens in supposed “response” to them.
And, just as many in Tellurian governments are actually using the “response to terrorism” as an excuse to enact tyrannical measures they would have liked to enact in any case, so the cult of “wariness” gives the forces of deracination (and the false self) the excuse they need to promote cynicism. You can’t live in simple wonder and appreciation or you’ll be tricked! You’ll be laughed at!
Could well be. But I think I’ll take my chances.