Joe Morishige - Musings on human nature
Human nature is a strange thing.
I grew up with the Christian perspective of it's nature which classified me as a sinner (aka broken, lost, doomed, headed for disaster, etc etc) without the supernatural help of an outside God, Jesus Christ. I spent a lot of time in fear living under this perspective.
After 7 or so years (starting in my late teens and coinciding with leaving the home) I drifted away from this philosophy as it didn't make sense to me personally and seemed to keep me in a constant sense of fear.
I then spent 5 or so years wandering down the largely opposite path of Buddhism which at its heart says we are inherently perfect and that everything is always perfect, BUT if you read the fine print it's also saying everything is not perfect. I spent a lot of time thinking everything was perfect and missing the truth of the duality also found in buddhism.
I now have found unity in both religions, my father doesn't like to use the work religion so I'll use the word he likes, "Reality". I have now come to the conclusion that both realties are largely true and in perfect harmony/disharmony with one another.
Based on those findings I loosely am feeling the following conclusion:
All humans have the potential to become good or bad and this outcome is largely dictated by social conditioning. I do believe that genetics does play an enormous influence in the creation of our personal realties, in addition I also believe it may be possible for someone to become "evil" even with the most balanced upbringing. However, the foundation of what I now consider to be "good" is simply one who believes in the necessity to nurture himself or herself for the good of the community their actions directly effect. The good of the community is defined as being mindful that any actions whether it be internal or external are attempted to be directed toward the harmony of the greater community. Only in living a selfless life can true self be actualized, although there is a very real ego in each one of us the extinction of the ego drops the veil of the polar reality of being an island unto ones self. We are both an island and a whole. When we truly realize we cannot exist without the other there is no choice but to work towards the harmony of all things. The ideal goal is to create a community where sustainability is a given and self discovery and self potential are realized in as much of ones life as possible. Good and evil are simply terms our society has chosen to use to describe things the like and do not like.
In addition, no one is ever wholly perfect or wholly evil. The moment we convince ourselves that we wise we become the fool. Truly the one who listens to all like a child and doesn't jump or hang on conclusions will taste wisdom.