This time, it’s between fairy tales and why we speed when there’s no police around.
The answer: because we’ve externalized our conscience.
Let me briefly summarize:
- We know what is right.
- But we also have “desires, drives and temptations” “toward indulgences and amoral activities.”
- This often conflicts with our conscience—that, like Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio, bugs us to do the “right” thing.
- Problem is, we really don’t want to follow our conscience, but would feel relentlessly guilty if we don’t follow it.
- The solution: we “…test the system, bend the rules, and exploit its weaknesses…[often adhering] to the system as minimally as possible so as to not be expelled, suspended or otherwise punished, scraping by and passing to get ‘through.’” so we don’t feel as guilty betraying our conscience. This act is called “externalizing,” or, making it not a part of us until the situation sways to our advantage.
- Why do we do it? Because “with a conscience that is outside and distinct, we can maintain a superficial identification with a good and holy system, yet simultaneously do as we please – as long as the system doesn’t ‘catch up’ with us and castigate us. We are much like a fellow who will speed as long as he sees no policeman.”
The problem is, Pinocchio didn’t become fully human until he brought the “extrinsic” Jiminy Cricket into his heart.