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From “I didn’t do it” to Manipulation

My wife just bought an orange mug saying on one side “I didn’t do it” and on the other “It’s not my fault”. We have often heard these two famous sentences from our children when trying out who did hide the key of the apartment or who was responsible for a new scratch on the wall. But I also observe more subtly this excusing oneself with myself, when something doesn’t work out as I want it to go or when I don’t find an object – where it sometimes turns out that not the children, but myself placed it in an unsuspected corner.
Not seeing one’s own part and involvement in a situation is very far spread. I just observed with a friend how out of seeing the others reactions as cause of her situation causes quite some suffering to her. We don’t like accepting the responsibility for an awkward situation.
The media just reported yesterday that Beirut-based freelance Reuters photographer Adnan Haji had altered some photos from the war between Israel and Lebanon with Adobe Photoshop – and not even very subtly. On one of the photos there was darker smoke coming out of bombarded houses, on another you could see an Israelian airplane throwing “added” bombs. He excused himself by saying that he just had tried to remove dust from his photos… Reuters gave a statement that they immediately terminated their relationship with the photographer and withdrew all photos from their database.
Altering pictures is very common in the “war of the media”, trying to influence the masses. However, it is a spiritual law that manipulators will get manipulated themselves. While excusing is an expression of laziness of mind, manipulation distorts one’s sense of truth and gives with the time a queer perception of reality with a logic of one’s own.
Honesty and openness are the bases for building up a lasting foundation of trust, so that we don’t get entangled in a labyrinth of lies. And it requires truthful living for a long time before you can enter into the more subtle realms of wisdom.

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