As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.
As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.
(107 — continuing from previous) Some actions are more useful than others. They distinguish effectiveness from purity.
(108) Frequently, effectiveness and purity do not coincide. Do I want purity, or do I want effectiveness?
If what I get is recurrent pain, somehow I am contributing, somehow I am wanting purity.
(109) The mind is a pattern generator—a generator of behavior that becomes patterned behavior (habit and/or stuckness).
Purity is often pattern!
(110) I need to be careful of what I am choosing—I may get what I ask for!
Do I really want this outcome? I have known people to tell others “Drop dead!”¾and they have!
(111) I have a center, a place within myself, or a way of being where I am most stable, at peace and ready to be in action.
I can learn to be centered.
(112) Learning to be centered necessitates three things:
- developing a vision of who I am and where I want to go with my life, something greater than myself to which I am committed.
- developing discipline in my life.
- planning—keeping track of what I need to do on a daily basis, balanced with a philosophy of “just do it!”
(113) The meaning of life, being centered in life, always points to or is directed to something or someone other than self; strict orientation to self does not appear to be an effective stance.
This stance of being centered can be through creative contribution (achievement), exploration of relationship (affiliation) or by acceptance of unavoidable pain (the inward journey of freedom).
(114) To live is to have pain (sometimes); to live well is to find meaning in the pain.
Life ultimately asks that I take responsibility to find the answers to its problems, and to fulfill the tasks it repeatedly sets for me, for each and every individual. These tasks differ from individual to individual, and from moment to moment for the same individual.
(115) The word ‘self’ is frequently misunderstood; the word actually has many meanings, often derogatory.
The suffix ‘-ish’ refers to ‘having the characteristic of.’ How is it that ‘selfish’ is so derogatory?
(116) True selfishness means to be centered, to have the characteristics of a self!
However, such a state threatens others (and becomes ‘Don’t be so selfish!’), a focus on the other, the crab box (see #18).
(117) Meaning provides reasons; actions provide results.
(118) I am most centered when I am complete with the actions that I want to do, the actions that are effective, the actions that lead me to a sense of health and resolution of the tasks I have set myself.
(119) Invariably, this includes my environment. I am not ‘independent,’ nor am I a parasite on others.
I am dependent on my world in many ways though. And I need to be aware of the consequences of my choices.
(120) When I avoid my own need for action, I lose my center. Completeness does not mean that I have no issues that trouble me—it means I am at peace with my own actions.
(121) A friend of mine wants his tombstone to read “He couldn’t do everything—so he did something!”
(122) Progress in my life requires a balance of actions, those from myself and those from others. Completeness means that I am awaiting action from others.
I seek completeness.
(123) Some issues/conflicts of my life are more important than others. Conflicts trouble me when:
- I am in internal struggle with myself (my “shoulds”), or
- I am in external struggle with others (their “shoulds”).
(124) My “shoulds” present major issues for me, and I seek resolution; they are important to me.
The “shoulds” of others require that I delimit myself; I have the right and the responsibility to agree or to disagree—and to be at peace with my actions.
(125) As much as possible, I transform my “shoulds” into choices based on how I would manage the worst possible outcome of “Will I?” or “Won’t I?”
If I am willing to accept the risk of the worst case, I can always manage whatever outcome occurs. If neither option generates anxiety, I choose on the basis of what is the best that will happen.
(126) I also have a dark side, a part of me that I do not know well, and frequently do not wish to know well—lazy and arrogant amongst other characteristics.
Frequently my dark side is my most creative part. A big component of the second half of life is to learn from, and come to terms with, my dark side.
(127) Fish swim in the ocean; I swim in language!
Language provides the basis of giving meaning to my awareness and of being in action, of interacting with others.
(128) The discipline of monitoring my own language, of what I am actually voicing, is an incredibly powerful discipline.
(129) More and more, I recognize that I can only language in metaphor, an implied comparison with the intention to create meaning.
My best use of language is to strive for you (or me, in my self talk)¾the listener¾to have a detailed sensory experience of the meaning I am intending, either by telling you my actual experience as it happened, or by creating a metaphor with similar effect.
(130) Telling you my conclusions, rather than my experience, is fraught with difficulty.
It is very possible you will argue with my conclusions.
People seldom argue when told of experience.
(131) Language most likely developed as a process for cooperative behavior. Essentially by definition, cooperative refers to non-innate behavior, behavior that requires some form of future intent, and some form of self-conscious choice.
Given that we humans remain creatures of habit, most cooperation occurs via some form of ritual, some form of stylized agreed-upon habit.
(132) Once a culture or a species can generate language, the possibility of non-genetic inheritance (memetic) becomes an actuality; we call it tradition! enforced usually by ritual!
This inheritance may also be multi-dimensional, through time and space, to friends and neighbors, rather than simply thru time to our children.
Genes and memes: memes likely are transmission processes unique to our species.
(133) This form of inheritance (via memes) is extremely powerful.
Witness the furor of the Irelands over centuries, the devastation of Bosnia-Serbia, the terrorism of the 21st century. Consider also the influence of the family, where both genetic and cultural transmission occur!
(134) Changing my language may radically change my life!!
To be continued.