Now those who take a SUPERFICIAL and unreflecting view of things observe the outward appearance of anything they meet, e.g. of a man, and then trouble themselves no more about him. The view they have taken of the bulk of his body is enough to make them think that they know all about him. But the penetrating and scientific mind will not trust to the eyes alone the task of taking the measure of reality; it will not stop at appearances, nor count that which is not seen among unrealities. It inquires into the qualities of the man’s soul.  -Gregory of Nyssa


My grandparents found reasons for the existence of their family and the fulfillment of their duties in serious writings, and they interpreted their special sufferings with respect to a great and ennobling past. … There was a respect for real learning, because it had a felt connection with their lives. … I do not believe that my generation, my cousins who have been educated in the American way, all of whom are M.D.’s or Ph.D.’s, have any comparable learning. When they talk about heaven and earth, the relations between men and women, parents and children, the human condition, I hear nothing but clichés, SUPERFICIALITIES, the material of satire.  –  Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind (New York: 1988), p. 60.


“The shape of evil is much more SUPERFICIALITY and blindness than the usual list of hot sins. God hides, and is found, precisely in the depths of everything.”  ― Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life


Generally, we are more concerned with handling and using things than with knowing them in their true nature. Thus we usually grasp in haste the very first few signals conveyed to us by a perception. Then, through deeply ingrained habit, those signals evoke a standard response by way of judgements such as good-bad, pleasant-unpleasant, useful-harmful, right-wrong. … A world perceived in this SUPERFICIAL way will consist of shapeless little lumps of experiences marked by a few subjectively selected signs or symbols. The symbols chosen are determined mainly by the individual’s self-interest; sometimes they are even misapplied. The shadow-like world that results includes not only the outer environment and other persons, but also a good part of one’s own bodily and mental processes. These, too, become subjected to the same SUPERFICIAL manner of conceptualization. – Nyanaponika Thera, “The Power of Mindfulness”


Superficiality  noun  Lack of: thoroughness, depth of character, or serious thought.

“The ignorance and superficiality of the media hinder a serious examination of the question”


The relationship of superficiality and evil consists of being more concerned with manipulating and using things (including people) for our own benefit rather than with knowing their true nature.

A thing perceived in this SUPERFICIAL way will consist of shallow experiences determined mainly by the individual’s self-interest. The illusory world that results includes not only the outer world and other persons, but also reaches into one’s own sensory and mental processes.


John 7:24 “Stop judging according to appearance, _but_ be judging the righteous judgment.”

Judging – Greek  κρίνω   (krinō)  Properly to distinguish, that is, decide (mentally or judicially); by implication to try, condemn, punish: – avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.

Appearance – Greek   ὄψις  (opsis)  ;properly sight (the act), that is, (by implication) the visage, an external show: – appearance, countenance, face.

Righteous – Greek   δίκαιος  (dikaios)   From  δίκη  (dikē); equitable (in character or act); by implication innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively): – just, meet, right (-eous).

Greek    δίκη  (dikē)  ; right (as self-evident), that is, justice (the principle, a decision, or its execution): – judgment, punish, vengeance.

In the meaning of the Greek words:

Stop distinguishing or deciding; by sight or an external show, but be distinguishing or deciding with equitable (considering innocent, holy) or right (as self-evident) judgement.

So if we judge something as pleasing to our own eyes rather than judging it in a fair and impartial way; we are treating it in an unholy fashion?

Sounds like evil (selfish) intention to me; it’s how we can look at a single person or small group within a large group and define the large group because a single person or small group are different from us.

Let’s look at a hot button issue; Muslim Ban. Because of Islamic Extremist Terrorists we judge all of Islam by them.

Islam – from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Islam (Arabic: الإسلام‎, IPA: [alʔɪsˈlaːm] is a verbal noun originating from the triliteral root S-L-M which forms a large class of words mostly relating to concepts of WHOLENESS, SUBMISSION, SAFENESS, and PEACE.

Sufism – from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Sufism, or Taṣawwuf (Arabic: الْتَّصَوُّف‎; personal noun: صُوفِيّ‎ ṣūfiyy/ṣūfī, مُتَصَوّف‎ mutaṣawwuf), which is often defined as “Islamic mysticism”, “the inward dimension of Islam” or “the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam”, is a mystical trend in Islam “characterized … [by particular] values, ritual practices, doctrines and institutions” which began very early in Islamic history and represented “the main manifestation and the most important and central crystallization of” mystical practice in Islam.

Sufism is one of the most peaceful nonviolent practices in the whole world.


Extremist groups like ISIS promote the idea that Sufism is a heterodox form of Islam, and then go further to declare Sufis legitimate targets. But it’s not just violent extremists who foster the heterodoxy misconception. In Saudi Arabia, for example, crown prince Mohammed bin Salman claimed on Sunday that “the greatest danger of extremist terrorism is in distorting the reputation of our tolerant religion”yet intolerance with regard to Sufism is the bedrock of much of the purist Salafi approach that underpins the Saudi religious establishment.


So even a single person or small group within the same large group can be judged as different and the small group can be discriminated against or even persecuted by the same group it is in; with no twinge of conscience.

Now a list to reflect on in the light of superficial decisions: Race, Gender, Sex, Nationality …complete the list yourself. You can reflect on this for a very long time if you want to avoid SUPERFICIALITY!

Polonius: This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Hamlet, act I, scene iii, lines 78–80.