A Standard Theory of Pure Love [From “Our Shared Something Deeperism”
The whole essay will be in First Essays: LAARP Companion Essays, assuming we finish it.]
“A Standard Theory of Pure Love”. A silly sci fi plot! And yet, how to make progress in our individual or collective thoughts without acknowledging that we all need “truth” and “goodness” and “meaning” (not those words or concepts so much as that inner direction to which they imperfectly but not therefore meaninglessly point)? Who can stand any of their own thoughts or actions without first understanding that we humans are all fundamentally the same and in the same boat? Who can understand, believe in, or care about anything said or done that does not adhere to our inborn drives towards productive thought: awareness, clarity, honesty, accuracy, kindness, shared overflowing selfless joy.
[We’ve moved an expatiating page to Outtakes (I can’t find that expatiating page right now)]
Let’s accept the necessary and possible nature of these basic spiritual values (“spiritual”: Absolute / more than a perspective, opinion, or anything relative / for sure — we are certain not of any given exposition of these values, but of their general existence and of our ability to—with open minds and hearts and good intentions—relate our feelings, ideas, words and acts adequately well to these Truths) as the background of public debate. Together accepting the need for awareness, clarity, honesty, accuracy, kindness, and shared joy is something of a shared vision about what matters, a shared reality where we can all meet together to work on shared concerns; it is something of “A Standard Theory of Pure Love”, something of a shared starting point for collective progress.
We have different philosophies, theologies and attitudes; but can’t we all agree that no philosophy, theology, or attitude means anything to human beings unless it helps one gain more and more whole-being (ideas, feelings, and the Light/Truth within [that alone is beyond prejudice, speculation, and ego-drives, and thus alone truly knows and cares about what’s really going on and what should really be done] all working meaningfully together) understanding both that aware clear honest competent kind shared joy is actually correct and how/in-what-way such wise joyfulness is to be understood and lived? And so why not all admit we agree on this much? On individually and collectively respecting and pursuing basic standards for thought and action. Why not agree to agree upon awareness, clarity, honesty, kindness, gentle and thoughtful speech and actions centered around a constant effort to understand what is really going on and what we should really do? Without satisfying those inner directions and boundaries our thoughts and/or feelings jumble meaninglessly within us and we can make no sense to our own minds/hearts, which prevents us from journeying with our own thinking and feeling to our own conclusions. To the degree we ignore and/or misconstrue—either alone or in groups—, these basic spiritual values we—as individuals and/or groups—have no meaningful connection to our own
thinking and acting. To the degree a human’s conscious attentions loses meaningful traction in her or his own thoughts and actions, s/he cedes control to mindless and ultimately-directionless animal urges (including the urge for perfect intellectual solutions to the human reality, which of course has a scope much wider than can be addressed in purely intellectual terms). Into the ensuing confusion steps desperate lunging power-, pride-, and etc-lusts that push our thinking, feeling, and acting chaotically and oft evilly about.
Agreeing to these universal values (“universal” here = any coherent thinker will agree that a religion or philosophy that does not prioritize them is meaningless/useless to human beings) is about all the Standards of Thought and Action we should have—so as to avoid the dangers inherent in demanding people agree on religious and other sacred-to-somebody dogmas. Such demands tempt both individuals and groups to insincerity in the most profound and serious matters. Plus, combining political and spiritual authority is a dangerous, and oft corrupting, consolidation of power. Anyway, surely we can all agree that faith without insight is worse than useless, and human experience is wider and deeper than any human dogmas; all of which means not that we should have no dogmas (for we need some principles about how to think and act—a big part of the human experience involves using ideas and without accepting some basic intellectual assumptions, one’s ideas slip and slide all over the place), but that we should always remember that dogmas are there to help us find our way meaningfully forward in life—they are not themselves the meaning of life.
Friends, let’s not get carried away! I’m not proposing Something Deeperism as a state religion! I seek merely to, in the space of this unobtrusive and smooth-flowing little essay, direct our shared attention to our need for a shared reality, while also encouraging the shared realization that we already basically have one: we just need to stand back, catch our breaths, accept that we all do have some sense of and preference for “clear” and “true” and “good” and “honest” and “meaningful” and “not corrupt” and “competent” and “kind” and “fair” and “fun” and “joyful” and “fellowship”—and have fun together thinking, feeling, creating, debating, building, choosing, growing.
Signed, 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!”
Currently this essay lies in the “A Few Essays” section of “Love at a Reasonable Price, Volume 1: First Loves”. Previously it dwelt higher up, within the “Theories of Purest Love” section. But then the editorial team, God bless them! God keep them!, decided it best, Oh they have their reasons!, to replace this essay with one they deemed “simpler”.