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.
(304) Part of the program includes my learning of terror and trust.
(305) If I do not trust the universe, my action options are:
- Being willful—of others (domination and self-righteousness).
- Being willful—of self (domination and/or discipline).
- Running away (scared — fearfulness).
- Collapsing (scared — laziness).
Except for the option of discipline, these are all forms of acedia.
(306) Acedia is the ultimate response to being overwhelmed in my lack of trust.
It is any combination of profound fearfulness, laziness, or self-righteousness.
It is a stance in which I object to the effort required to achieve good outcomes of living, to achieve a stance of authentic love and charity.
(307) If I do trust the universe, my action options are: discipline.
(308) The way out seems to be trust and discipline.
(309) Yet this does not mean passivity, especially towards the violations of others.
One of my favorite definitions comes from the 19th century:
A gentleman does not hurt the feelings of another unintentionally.
(310) Much of my life, I have refused to say “Yes!” to life—and I am alienated. How do I learn to turn around, to repent, to live in surrender to the moral imperative!
To be civil is to live consciously motivated in this stance. A major part of this is to struggle with my own truths and priorities.
(311) I also do this by contributing to life in all its fullness, taking a moral stance to the universe.
My core moralities center on:
- graceful aging,
- striving for authenticity,
- midwifery—contributing to the life and growth of others,
- being in community with others,
- being my word, and
- celebrating life.
(312) Life is irreversible.
For effective living, I need to gather data and make choices.
Much of the gathering of data is biologically inherent—if I trust my experiences.
(313) Each choice I make excludes other options. There is a certain amount of pain in this!
I lose possibilities, dreams, satisfactions; in my choosing, I may not get everything I want! Especially if my choices are too small and lack integration with who I am.
(314) Yet, not making choices traps me in the pain of being in limbo, of drifting, of fear of consequences.
(315) When stuck between a rock and a hard place, I prefer to choose how I am crushed!
I have more power and freedom when I choose the consequences with which I wish to live.
(316) It is easier to get forgiveness than to get permission.
Some of my choices necessitate interaction with others. Others may not want change or forced choice—yet they can often live with the change if I simply act rather than seek agreement before action!
The cost may be loss of relationship!
(317) When I change, others will adapt, albeit slowly.
When I change, it requires approximately 13 weeks or 3 months for the change in the system (the family, work, et cetera) to settle.
(318) If I can consistently change for 3 months, the system will adapt. If I don’t like the new status, I can change again!
(319) Frequently I expect the system to adapt within days or at most a week!
This is a form of suffering!
(320) I do not know the meaning of this journey and I believe that there is meaning. The universe fundamentally is a mystery, one that mankind has called God. This mystery for me appears to be based in love and play.
I believe that there is personal mystery, a relationship with mystery. There are many paths.
I believe that I am a channel for mystery, that mystery uses me to contribute to the betterment of the universe (myself, others and nature), that I have purpose even though I do not know what that purpose is.
(321) God must have an riotous sense of humour!
What else could account for this vibrantly chaotic universe? this self-organizing mosaic of every conceivable possibility!
(322) Ultimately I will die. Not a possibility, nor a maybe—I will die! My life, my contribution, my way of being will cease to exist.
I will also share in the deaths of my friends and family—to be no more, other than in my memories.
How will I live? How will I die? I believe that it is possible to be at peace with these questions.
(323) To the best of my knowledge, there is a moral imperative to the universe, an imperative such that we as humans are in relationship with the universe, with each other, and with our environment.
When I ignore this imperative, I am alienated.
(324) I also believe that there is, for lack of a better term, something that is called evil, both a part of mystery and a part of me.
What expands me is mystery; what contracts me is evil. What alienates me from relationship is evil. Often it is a subtle process, not easily identified. For examples, raging (not my rage per se, but being trapped in my rage) may be a manifestation of evil. My laziness is often a movement towards evil. To be trapped by fear may a form of evil—to be cautious is not.
A major part of journey is learning authentic response to mystery and evil.
(325) When sustained, acedia is a major advance towards evil.
(326) Violation of self or others is ethically unacceptable, a form of evil.
(327) The universe appears to be based on the moral imperatives of:
- subjectivity (interiority and choice),
- differentiation (growth),
- community (relationship), and
There are no obvious absolutes, everything is different, everything grows/matures, and everything is related to everything else. And everything is evolving or devolving.
(328) Violations however invariably breech one (if not all) of these precepts of the universe.
(329) These imperatives also form a rich basis for ethical judgment. To ignore them is evil or, at the very least, borders on evil.
To be continued.