Crime

America has a problem with crime. The statistics are demoralizing: 40% of all African-American males will spend time in jail. Meth usage is estimated at 4 million. Corporate malfeasance has left pension plans with tens of billions of dollars in unfunded commitments.

Formally, a crime is prosecuted as a violation of law. But why pass a law with punitive measures for failure to comply? Only with the goal of preventing harm to individuals or society as a whole. We wish to deter evil acts, as I have defined evil herein: a systematic strategy to deny us the resources needed to sustain and enhance our power.

In murder trials, the prosecution differentiates between "premeditated" and "unpremeditated" acts. This thinking pervades legal practice. There are acts taken solely for the purpose of denying power to others. Then there are acts - the most auspicious currently are crimes against the global ecology - that are "incidental" to the production of value. Our legal process tends to be far more forgiving of the latter, perhaps because we believe that the undesirable consequences of productive endeavor are distributed across many actors, making it nearly impossible to anticipate their magnitude until the crisis is upon us.

Both deterrence and premeditation are dangerous concepts.

Deterrence is not a solution to crime. It is part of the problem. It focuses our attention on the things that we as mature adults must not do, rather than the way we should be.

An anecdote is illustrative. As I was seeking a context to relate my message, I was guided to a spiritual counselor. In the course of our discussions, we would have moments of frision. After one particularly intense episode, he looked at me accusingly: "I worked as a minister in a drug treatment center, and I know the signs of cocaine addiction."

As I've never used illegal drugs in my life, the only response I can formulate to this accusations is: Drug abuse is a way of bringing into our lives the sensations and energy that love should to supply. However, while love's energy is liberated from efficiency and dimensional deepening, drug abuse draws down our physiological store. If unchecked, abuse leads to disability or death.

"Love is the anti-drug" is the wrong way around: "Drugs are the anti-love." Substance abuse is a consequence of the absence of love from our lives.

This work should also make clear that a failure to foresee ruin in distributed systems is a premeditation of ignorance. It is ignorance sustained by cultural choices that partition the domains of masculine and feminine influence. (The partitioning has diverse psychological motivations, but one worthy of mention is the prejudice that masculine and feminine integration requires sexual congress. This is an avenue for initiates, but I believe we will find that it is not a requirement to the cognoscenti.) When the domains integrate, feminine awareness couples to male innovation to address the crisis before it occurs. That the partitioned system survives is due to the general lack of awareness of the benefits of masculine and feminine integration. This has made it impossible for the lower classes - the ultimate victims of greed - to reflect ill will back onto the perpetrators of their loss.

What these two declarations illustrate is that criminal behavior is a form of self-hatred. It is encouraged and sustained by choices that make us less than we could be. The best way to combat it is to open our eyes - and the eyes of our children - to the full possibility of human potential, and the role of self- and other-love in that development.