We human-things are not going to agree on everything. We’ll argue philosophy, worldview, religion, politics, style.
But we are all still human-things and can thus all agree that to the degree a worldview fails to help an adherent develop more and more aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, respectful, kind, joyful, loving thought and action; that worldview is useless to that adherent.
Because those are the ways we must think and act in order to understand, believe-in, care-about, and participate-in our own thoughts and actions. To the degree we are not aware … loving, our thoughts and actions clang meaninglessly about: we cannot travel with our own thinking and acting, and so rather than being steered by the clear light of conscious awareness, our bodies/minds are steered by the chaos of competing animal-flinches (“give me!” “get away!” “I know!” “I don’t know!” etc). This is the way downward.
Bone-trembling example: Suppose there’s a !True Religion! Suppose further that you know and believe all its dogmas, but not with awareness … love. What do you then possess? Muddled thoughts desperately trying to interpret ideas that they do not understand — or even really believe in or care about.
Flesh-shaking other example: Suppose there is a sense in which things like “Real” and “Not Real” don’t even exist. Suppose further you believe this dogma, but not with awareness … love. What do you then possess? Muddled thoughts desperately trying to interpret ideas that they do not understand — or even really believe in or care about.
And so while we will continue to debate worldviews, we should agree to never pretend that our worldviews justify or even tolerate any departure from awareness, clarity, … loving kindness. When one does that, one betrays that aspect of anyone’s worldview that is actually meaningful and useful to anyone; and so one sacrifices everything worthy for a moment’s bloated fantasy about “us” versus “them”.
Let us therefore work diligently together to fight for more awareness, clarity, accuracy, competence, kindness, shared joy and real togetherness.
Why do we fight to establish and maintain just principles, norms, procedures, and laws within ourselves, our families, our communities, our groups secular and parochial, our governments, our friendships? Not to be “right” while others are “wrong”, but to all join together around our shared starting point — the one whose betrayal amounts to betraying all our worthiest (ie: most meaningful/useful to whole-human-beings [creatures consisting of ideas, feelings, and thatolsoullight all working together]) principles.
We don’t agree on everything, but we nonetheless do have the ability and duty to work together on what we do agree on: awareness, clarity, accuracy, competence, kindness, shared joy, on how we are all in this together and beholden to one another.
Let’s permanently retire the crooked daydream that we disagree so fundamentally as to preclude any common ground, any shared identity and reality. That tired trope’s already responsible for too many fetid, diseased wounds deep-tunneling through century upon lonesome century. Let’s try more interesting, more enlightening, more productive, more beautiful angles.
Everything in its place: We don’t need to agree on worldviews to agree that none of our worldviews means anything to any of us in the absence of clarity, honesty, accuracy, competence, kindness and shared joy. And we don’t need to agree on worldviews to demand these goods of our organizations and governments.
Let’s not get side-tracked by details! Let’s keep our collective eye on the prerequisites for any meaningful worldview and any workable community, system, organization, or government!
Pudd N. Tane,
President of the “We can do it!” Society of North America,
A chapter in good standing of the the “We can do it!” International Body of Optimistic Realists.
“We’re optimistic, because we believe humans are capable of doing good!”
[Selection from “Love at a Reasonable Price Volume One: First Loves” (Actually, this version appears in “First Essays” — See Buy Our Books!]
STOP BEFORE THINGS GET OUT OF CONTROL
But what then?
We can probably get most everyone to give lip-service to awareness and the like. But what will that really change?
What we need is a shared starting-point.
Agreeing to the above values does suggest a collective agreement about some Absolute Standard: even if we don’t agree on all aspects of what beliefs and principles cannot under any circumstances be abandoned, we agree on some of them, on awareness and etc.
But where can we go from there?
It is an easy move to go from awareness … shared joy to anti-corruption in individuals and groups: we should fight for more awareness … shared joy; and we should work to make sure we (as individuals and as groups) are ruled more and more by states of mind that are rules by those values. OK, sure. But again: what can we really hope for here beyond lip service? Spiritual values cannot be perfectly captured in human ideas and words, but only pointed more or less meaninglessly towards. And since so many people are so unwise, there’s all kinds of room for self-serving manipulators to pretend to care about these values. Actually, many moral charlatans actually do care about these values, just not as much as they care about money, power, sex, prestige, food, drink, luxury.
What about the other half of Something Deeperism: the part that says we can relate to the Truth BUT NOT LITERALLY/DEFINITIVELY? Is that going to be more helpful? Here again, our human folly helps us to fool ourselves and others: how quickly we slide from a humble acceptance of our own intellectual, emotional, moral, and spiritual limitations to a flippant “so, I guess we may as well have a good time!” or a sly, crown-grabbing, “so, we’ll just have to guess as best we can–each to his own best guesses!”!!
Is there no hope?
I wanted a livable philosophy.
Something Deeperism’s always been there, and it is the only philosophy that can be lived:
Trying to live without the Truth makes no sense to our minds/hearts; trying to literally/definitively understand the Truth makes no sense to our minds/hearts; so let’s seek for more and more non-literal insight into the Truth: instead of trying to reason and/or feel to and from the Truth, let’s seek the Truth with our whole being and then let the Truth guide our ideas and feelings as best it can (the former strategy–which, however fancy the footwork, include existential creations of intellectual and emotional truths out of the thin air of truthlessness–goes nowhere because it tries to use ideas and feelings for a task [figuring out what is really going on and what should really be done] they are not up for; the latter strategy works because it lets the Light within do what only It can do [figure out what is really going on … done] and it allows that Light to connect meaningfully with ideas and feelings while still pushing against the tendency of ideas and feelings to overstate their wisdom/usefulness.
But of course, since it is the only livable philosophy, it is already everyone’s philosophy:
To the degree we turn our focus towards the spiritual realm within and do not over- or under-state our ability to understand, believe in, care about, and follow that spiritual realm; we can understand, believe in, care about, and follow our own thoughts and actions, travelling with them to our own conclusions.
So what then?
What can essays about Something Deeperism actually help with?
Everyone thinks they’re the ones who basically get the right balance between faith and skepticism, everyone thinks they’re the ones who do insight and humility right. Everyone is like: “Oh, yeah, I’m not quite there; but I’m muddling along as best I can”, but they secretly think, “and a damn sight better than you!”
What can essays on Something Deeperism do besides give the few interested readers (whatever their philosophical and theological inclinations) another angle on their own superiority?
I wanted to help
I wanted to have a philosophy that would help the nation and the world move away from corruption and towards more aware, honest, clear, accurate, competent, kind, joyful, fruitful discourse, decision-making, legislation and enforcement.
I can see we can’t find a common ground.
And I can see we actually have a common ground in the kind of values here sketched.
But I don’t know how to get us as individuals or as a group wise enough to actually gather around those values and live them.
On the other hand, I know very well that to some degree people always do that.
And so the failure I’m admitting is just this: I don’t know how to make things better.
At least not with essays.
Well, if you could set aside for a moment the question of whether or not you know how to sell Something Deeperism: what about just finding the principles within Something Deeperism: what does Something Deeperism say about how to get rid of corruption? of how to know how corrupt a system (be it an individual human being, a small group of individuals, or a giant nation state full of interwoven peoples, cultures, ideas, feelings, laws, organizations, economies, businesses, etc) is? of how to grow systems so that they naturally thrive (ie: grow away from corruption and into real Truth = Beauty = Goodness = Justice = Loving Kindness)?
Are the philosophical arguments for pursuing individual and collective Something Deeperism worth anything? Do they give our individual and collective thoughts any kind of a handle on how to best relate the experience of life (which cannot be caught in ideas and feelings, but only better or worse pointed to by them) to ideas and feelings, and to the interrelated systems (within and between individuals) that are largely built out of ideas and feelings?