I'm not talking about the actions a person takes, I'm talking about how I perceive them. If I choose to focus on all their negative qualities I perceive it will change how I react to and treat them. If I try harder to focus on what I perceive to be good qualities, well...you know.
Why do you need to think about people in terms of 'spirits' to do this? This is what most of us do every day without having to resort to thinking of them as spirits. Trying harder to focus on the good in people is not some sort of idea that requires us to be made of light.
How do you determine someone's negative qualities without first observing their behaviors?
So I could see a person as an 'asshole', or a being made of energy.
I think this is a bit of a false dichotomy... unless you are claiming that a being made of energy is not capable of being an ass hole at any time? That would be strange indeed. You have to look at someone's actions to determine whether or not their an ass hole, right? How does thinking that they are beings made of energy change your judgement about their actions? Can someone made of energy not be considered an ass hole?
Maybe 'asshole' is the right perception for the moment, but the moment is temporary, the energy is more their true nature, their essence, therefore if I can try to look past the temporary, and see it as such, and focus on the bigger picture, yeah, that does make it easier at times to let go of certain angers and what not.
Whoa! All the buzz words!! Energy, essence, true nature! A trifecta of vaguery. Throw in spirit and soul and you've got the five pillars of ambiguity!
Gill, you judge a person by their actions, but as you eluded to, the actions that you observe are not the sum total of the person. I think everyone knows that. This is not new information. Most of us are just trying to live a good life and do good things. I would say at least 95% of people we would judge as decent people if we were to be around them all day, every day.
Actions can be seen as good or bad, but its a lot harder to judge people that way, although people of all kinds do that every day. It doesn't take some sort of vague notion of a spirit in order to know that a few actions are not the sum total of who they are as a person. In fact, I find it a lot easier to forgive people knowing they are just imperfect social animals like me, and they are trying to get along and survive and be happy in this one life we get. I don't see how looking at them as spirits would make that any different.