We are all aware of rationalization. This is making a decision and then finding an excuse with which to justify that position. Well, I don't really need a pair of jeans but I may be going to that party a three weeks from next Friday. There is a more subtle form of this.
I once had a psychology professor who claimed that modern psychology has proved that we really don't know why we do anything at all. This caused a problem for him. When he did something his wife didn't like she would ask, "Why did you do that?" This, he said, put him in the position of either saying "I don't know," or making up a reason that psychology had proven to him was a lie. The first answer angered his wife. The second made him feel like a liar. He wasn't comfortable either way.
Hopefully, that little story illustrates something I am having a bit of a difficult time communicating.
Sometimes, we 'know' something about a person. This is an intuition, feeling or psychic prompt about a person that is so quiet that we really don't realize we felt or know anything at all. Yet, we think this person is A) dangerous B) prone to act in a certain way C) is a thief D) insert any other undesirable behavior here E) has a major issue with X. The problem is that we don't know really know much about X or any other of those examples and how X really impacts the person. So, in order to satisfy this internal prompting, we find things in this person's life related to X and chastise him or her for those actions. This is a form of rationalization BUT we have no idea we are doing. It is very hard to catch.
For instance, let us say an occult student is very good at divination. In fact, she is so good that she can spot things that make people so uncomfortable that people are afraid of her. They feel fear being exposed. Even theurgists who are more or less accepting of this exposure are very uncomfortable. This person may be accused of prying into people's private lives when she isn't asked to for her own personal advantage. Given she never does a reading on a person without being asked, she is offended by this accusation. Eventually, so many similar accusations are made, she leaves the group or quits divination altogether. This is a tragedy. Such a person could be of value to others.
The real problem, which no one is really aware of, lay in the fact that when she divines she is even more connected than she knows and doesn't know how to break the connection to her querent at that level. Sure, she does the normal methods but her connections run deeper than those can get at. So, from some sort of continued connection she senses where her former querents are emotionally and uses that information, unbeknownst to herself, to her advantage. Sometimes, that advantage appears very selfish to others. However, when we really know something is about to happen most humans naturally use that to their advantage personally. Only the advanced may use that to heal, comfort or prevent tragedy. It isn't that the rest of humanity doesn't know how to do those things but people get in denial when they 'know' things. It scares them into inaction. Also, when people figure out you 'know', they become afraid of you, belittle you or try to make you feel insecure about your abilities.
People explained their fearful emotions with accusations against this woman. They knew something was off or not being said and she appeared to be conniving and using her divination not to help others but for her own advantage. Yet, the core issue was that she a) wasn't breaking away from the divination connection properly and b) had no idea where she gained the information she used to her advantage. Nothing unethical was really occurring.
I have experienced this in other ways in my occult career. I used to think it was hypocrisy or projection on the part of my teachers and others. I am now thinking it was much more along these lines. They had subtle prompts about issues but couldn't define them. So, they looked to things in my life that may have explained those prompts and acted based on those things.
That isn't hypocrisy or projection. While those mistakes were quite damaging in many ways, it falls more into the area of very easy mistake to make. That said, I have no idea how to avoid this problem other than being aware it can happen.
There may be a use for this information. There was a time I felt very targeted in a group I was in. There was a HUGE double-standard being employed. I was on the wrong end of it. While the double-standard was wrong on its face, maybe there was a deeper thing going on.
Now this is a very subtle thing. You have to determine if you are dealing with jerks, confused people or something like this. Frankly, the only way I can tell for sure is the jerks. They do repeated and varied things that are just so flat out wrong you can't help but see it. The confused people and the deeper things going on are so much harder.
So, my conclusion is that perhaps when social garbage occurs, maybe, just maybe, rather than condemning the idiocy, it can be used as a clue to something else. Maybe, we can suss out the underlying and hidden prompt that secretly motivates people that even they don't know, we can learn and grow.
Frankly, I have no idea if this post is insightful, full of $(&@ or is the product of Lon DuQuette's critique of me that, [I have] a tendency to read more magical meaning into a situation that is perhaps warranted"
So, comments will be even more appreciated than usual on this one.