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Hm...so would Miller be pro-Role playing? I.e.I could invite him to join my Dungeons & Dragons
group? :)

"But there are also many positive aspects (not really insincere at all) to 'faking it' in social encounters and rituals."

It seems that the "If you don't feel like praying, pray until you do" approach is an illustration of this.

I feel like I'm faking it almost everyday of my life. I go to teach and pretend I'm not scared and pretend I don't feel inadequate. If I didn't fake this then I couldn't do my job. I do the same thing with my church calling. I pretend I'm happy at church so I can smile and teach a nice lesson. When we are in polite society we can't honestly answer the question, 'how are you?' No one really wants the answer. When I was younger I started answering it honestly and this did not go over well. I even call my work clothes, "my teacher costume". Indeed, outside my bedroom, my world is a stage. Is this not the case for everyone? I've decided this is what it means to be an adult. When I was a teenager I could go to school and sit in the back scowling and crying during class because I was miserable. Now, I have to go to work and do my job pretending I feel ok. Now, I wait until I come home to cry. Some of my friends say they have to take breaks during their work day to go to the bathroom and cry. Then they wash their faces and go back to the grind.

Sorry for commenting again but I just read the other half of your post about religion. I think the faking comes in with our interactions with others and the religiouis hypocrisy is when we pretend to obey the commandments or fake a relationship with the Lord. Church rituals are social so there is much room for acting, but the hypocrisy comes from what we feel, when our lips pray but our hearts do not. I don't think it's hypocritical when I pretend to be happy about teaching my lesson because I'm doing it out my love for God and my desire to serve Him. Part of being a better servant is teaching a better lesson, which means smiling even when I don't feel like it.

JL, I think we all tend to be too hard on our own motives and conduct. One of the conclusions the author seems to draw is that few people can pass a demanding "purity of motives" test. Even courageous soldiers harbor fear; even charitable gifts seem to have strings attached. So we really are too hard on ourselves if we expect what no one else (or darn few others) ever achieve. In fact, I think suspecting our own selves of doublethinking or even hypocrisy can be a good sign, indicating self-criticism. Those who never suspect their own motives are almost certainly self-deceiving to some degree, not morally perfected.

I'm only halfway through the book. I haven't really hit the "role-playing as desirable social behavior" part yet. I'll make further comments (assuming the classic role of know-it-all book reviewer) when I finish the book.

It's hard to pass a "purity of motives" test because we're obviously imperfect beings -- what we as individuals think we want isn't really in line with more eternal objectives at this point. Hypocracy in action is the inevitable result, I think, but as long as we're striving we're not in too bad a shape.

Arwyn, yes that seems to be a reasonable position: "as long as we're striving we're not in too bad a shape." On the other hand, I just read his critique of "habitual ironists" who are not comfortable in fully assuming any role and are always holding themselves a bit apart from every project or institution--this is striking closer to home.

Sounds like something Neal A. Maxwell would talk about: that little bit of ourselves that we hold back from full discipleship/consecration.

JL, have you thought about trying to find different, more fulfilling work?

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