Human beings like to change history, especially when it comes to
sinning. A new thrust is underfoot to revise the famous
Seven Deadly Sins to reduce guilt and shame, and open the door for the
Beast of Terror to have easier access to our behavior. Find out
which one, if any, you think should be changed.
11, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 698
Revising The Seven Deadly Sins
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Aug. 11,
2003-- Moral guidelines are hard to find these days. One of the
reasons is we humans like to rewrite history, mollify our duties, and
abandon the rigors of character that attempt to force us onto narrow
versus wide, vermiculating paths that separate "right" from "wrong."
guidelines, as suggested by Mark Twain, are hard to find, and
harder to follow once found.
I know. I'm no saint. Like most people, I prefer
to take the path that requires the least effort, the one that glitters
with all the fundamental human temptations.
But I also know that unless I have some guideposts, signals
and roadmaps, I get lost in the darkness of Pride, Anger, Greed, Lust,
Envy, Gluttony and Sloth and eventually bump into the belly of the
Beast of Terror who waits for us all at the end of the wrong road.
A group of French chefs was organized
by Lionel Poilane to petition the pope to replace 'gourmandise'
Maybe our desire to soften our path, to pad
our moral progress on life's often rocky road, is the reason the Seven
Deadly Sins (SDS), listed above and capitalized, are under attack.
The Christian Science Monitor newspaper reported today
the current trend to revise "moral history." The story sparked
my attention because a group of French chefs are petitioning the Pope
John Paul II to remove or alter "Gluttony" from the SDS list so
people can gorge themselves without guilt or shame.
Then there are the ice cream makers. It seems
they have commercialized the SDS into various flavors. Consumers
can lick a cone filled with Envy, or smack their lips over the
deliciously tasting Lust ice cream flavor, or shut all the blinds, dim
the lights and consume a couple pints of Sloth or Pride--in any flavor
Intellectuals are also putting the SDS to the
test. Authors, both religious and secular, have been
conducting talks at the New York City Library, offering their takes on
how and why the SDS should be altered to conform to "modern times."
Theologian Evagrius of Pontus originally proposed eight deadly
The Monitor's story by Kim Campbell cites the
history of the SDS as reaching back to the end of the 6th Century when
Pope Gregory I refined the list some 1,400 years ago. The
original list proposed by 4th-century monk Evagrius of Pontus listed
eight deadly sins: gluttony, lust, avarice (greed), sadness,
anger, acedia (spiritual sloth), vainglory, and pride. Ms.
Campbell notes that Gregory I added envy and merged vainglory with
pride and acedia with sadness, which, she says, eventually became
mythology, the seven deadly sins are trapped in a box by Zeus
until freed by Pandora
Oddly, she did not mention the original
source of the SDS. They came to light in the Greek fable
about Pandora's Box, sent to earth by Zeus to punish humans for
defying his commands. When opened, out flew the SDS to
haunt human beings, who previously had lived in what religious
scholars would call Paradise.
The advent of Pride, Anger, Greed, Lust, Envy,
Gluttony and Sloth changed the nature of humans from peaceful
coexistence to selfish self-righteousness, and launched the Beast of
Terror's trek through the human spirit.
The bright side of the coin in the Greek
myth was that in the bottom of the box, hidden beneath the "evil
demons" of the Seven Deadly Sins was salvation. It was the
single word "Hope," designed to be the antitoxin to the noxious
emotions geared to cripple humans from evolving into creatures of
peace and prosperity.
Spiritual advocates argue the need for moral
guidelines to provide checks within our nature to "not lick the ice
cream cone of the Seven Deadly Sins" no matter how attractive the
taste. Phyllis Ticle, an author and expert on religion,
argues that "without sins there would be no faith." She claims
that sin drives us back to the path of righteousness, and goes further
to suggest that without it, there is no human progress.
There is no tension forcing us to overcome our defects.
Deadly Sins are "Footprints of the Beast"
From a Vigilance point of view, I view the SDS as
simply "Footprints of the Beast." They are mere reminders
to me that the "Beast" exists within us all, and that our defects are
nothing more than the stress and strain we were born with that makes
us not only question what is "right," but drives us to achieve it.
Mathematically, the SDS are the minus (-) or the
gravity that holds us down. In a more terse form, the SDS are
the sum of Terrorism, for they blind us to the future.
They make "right now" more important. They make "what's right
for me" overpower what's right for the Children's Children's Children.
Countering the SDS takes as much effort and
specificity as allowing the Sins to roam within unchecked.
Again, mathematically, the goal is to counter the minus (-) with a
Vigilance provides the counterbalance.
Over the years, I've become more and more
convinced for every thought that drives us down into the muck and mire
of our "Beast's" nature, we need to defend with our Swords and Shields
of Vigilant Thoughts.
I converted the SDS into the word P-A-G-L-E-G-S,
standing for Pride, Anger, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony and Sloth.
But, I couldn't stop there. On a
purely mechanical format, it seemed the only way to defend one's self
from the assault of the SDS was to deal with each one as an entity.
Since each can be a "time bomb" to defuse them requires an antidote
I chose to exercise my Powerless for Pride.
Powerless simply means to me I am humble, not better than or less than
any other. Pride wants me to think I am either a Loser or
a Winner, either below or above others.
The Seven Deadly Sins (SDS) into P-A-G-L-E-G-S
A defense mechanism of Vigilance
For Anger, I chose to convert its power over me
with Acceptance. If I could find some way to accept the
situation I was in, even if that acceptance included only One Percent,
I could crack the wall of anger that boiled my blood and turned my
innards into the entrails of a Beast, desiring to lash out at the
world for victimizing me.
Greed, for me, was nothing more than wanting more
than my fair share. I remember what Andrew Mellon once
said when asked, "How much is enough money." His reply:
"Just a little more than I have."
Greed, unlike gluttony, is about selfishness.
There is no endpoint to it. Gluttony has limits because you can
only consume so much before you burst, but Greed is avaricious, it has
not sated appetite.
To balance Greed, I chose the word Giving. When
the feeling of Greed strikes me, I try to ferret out of my Vigilance
weaponry the ability to Give, to find ways to be of service to others
for free and for fun, so that I am reminded my job on earth is not to
take but to plant as many gifts as I can. Such a gift
could be as simple as a smile to someone when I feel like frowning, or
opening a door for someone, or picking up a phone and calling someone
and saying "Hello" with no other agenda.
For Lust, I try to invoke the principle of Love.
Love is about caring for someone or something rather than wanting to
sate one's Greed through its possession, or desire for possession.
Envy is the hardest of all for me, for I often see
others as having what I deserve. I realize that is nothing more
than my victimization, my Anger at the fact I am not happy with my own
lot. To convert those thoughts, I ask for Enthusiasm.
I seek to try and be grateful that "they" have the Rolls Royce, or own
the island, or are financially free, or seem to have no demons riding
on their shoulders.
haunted by defects before Greek myths or religion's promotion of
Gluttony, as we have eluded to above, is about quick sating
of hungers. It's about stuffing our faces either with food, or
our minds full of false expectations. The compulsive gambler is
a glutton for losing. A sad, depressed person is a glutton
for victimization. A person who has given up all hope is a
glutton for self-flagellation.
To balance the hunger to consume that which I don't
have, I need to balance Gluttony with Gratitude. I need to look
in the mirror, and as hard as it often is, to be Grateful for what I
have. I force myself to make a Gratitude List and delineate the
great gifts I have, and stop thinking about what I think will make me
whole, happy, a rich human being within.
Sloth, the final on my list, is the worst of all. It
is, Complacency. It means I have given up Hope. It means I
have stopped trying, or, that my attempts to evolve are so sluggish
and imperceptible they cannot overcome the gravity of life itself.
I counter the negative Sloth with the positive of Service.
I force myself to think of the Children's Children's Children, and
ask, "What can I do today to help the world of the children be a
little better, safer?"
Service to me involves the duty I owe the future.
Someone paved the way for me, and I can sit on my butt and ignore that
responsibility to pave or repave the road I have used for the future,
or, I can think of some way to be of service to the future. I
can ask myself: "What have I done for the kids today?"
Pride vs. Powerlessness. Anger vs.
Acceptance. Greed vs. Giving. Lust vs. Love.
Envy vs. Enthusiasm. Gluttony vs. Gratitude.
Sloth vs. Service.
Each is a minus (-) vs. a plus (+).
Each is its own battle.
Each is a footstep of the Beast, or a Victory of
Each can be a reflection of inner Terror without
resolution, or proof that human evolution is capable of evolving above
the grip of the Beast's desire to drive us into Fear, Intimidation and
In the Greek myth, long before organized religion
institutionalized the Seven Deadly Sins and laid claim to them, humans
were haunted by these defects much as they might had they walked up to
a hornet's nest and whacked it with a club.
One doesn't have to be religious to accept the
history of the SDS. One only needs to remember that they exist,
and their goal is to cripple human development.
Zeus wanted human beings to run around
swatting at the SDS and waste the life that was given to them in a
vortex of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
But Hope had other plans.
Hope today is Vigilance. It means we need
to all carry our flyswatters with us, and when the mosquitoes of
Terrorism buzz around our heads, do we become Complacent and let them
sting our souls and cause welts on our human well-being?
Do we give up after a while and accept our lots,
surrendering to our Pride, Anger, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony and
Sloth? Or, do we draw our Sword and Shield of Vigilance
and attack the Beast's vermin with Powerlessness, Acceptance,
Gratitude, Love, Enthusiasm, Giving and Service?
In the 21st Century, the goal of many is to
alter the SDS. Give them new names and new faces.
But that is impossible. They exist despite the clothes we
try to dress them up in. We can't bury them, but we can
Even if the Pope bans the SDS from dogma,
and the intellectuals come up with euphemisms for them, they will
stand the test of time, just as they have over countless centuries of
But, you can alter their effect not only on
yourself but also on your children.
Teach your children the Principles of
If you like, make up your own
counter-words, create your own positive opposites to the negative
gravity of the Beast's footsteps.
But keep P-A-G-L-E-G-S simple.
Remind your children and loved ones that
for every thought that creates Fear, Intimidation or Complacency,
there is a counter-thought that creates Courage, Conviction and Right
Action for the Children's Children's Children.
Remind them that the ability to overcome
any defect is only One Percent more energy than that of the defect.
One percent more Courage than Fear banishes Fear. One
Percent more Conviction than Intimidation sends Intimidation running
for cover. And One Percent more Right Actions for future
generations sinks Complacency's ship.
The same is true of Pride. One
Percent more Powerlessness, or humility, sucks the energy out of
pride. One Percent more Acceptance over Anger
emasculates the rage, drives the resentment underground.
One percent more Love than Lust puts the need to sate one's hunger at
bay. One Percent more effort to provide Service to the
future puts Sloth hanging back on the Beast of Terror's tree by his
To insure you battle the SDS, take
the Pledge of Vigilance.
Use the Pledge as your reminder that
you can not only manage your life better with the Principles of P-A-G-L-E-G-S, but that you can pass on these principles to your
children and loved ones.
The Beast is sitting just behind you,
looking over your shoulder, hoping you'll forget what you've just
(link to various Seven Deadly Sins tests:
10--Women Of Vigilance Rule Over The Beast Of Terror
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