Bartleby’s Pure Love Soap!
100% What Is / 0% What Is Not!
Yes!, Bartleby Willard is the same flim-flamming ad-man promising you both Pure Love in your soap and Something Deeperism in your worldview!
What does he mean? And how does he sleep at night?
He means well and is too fictional to require sleep.
See backside of this label for details.
What is Pure Love? What is Something Deeperism?
How can Bartleby Willard’s Pure Love soap deliver both?
Pure Love is the love that is 100% love; the love that does not push away or pull towards, but that holds and love-lifts everything and everyone.
To the degree that earthly loves truly love, they partake of Pure Love.
Something Deeperism is the worldview positing that there is an Absolute Truth, and people can relate to It meaningfully, but not in a literal/1:1/definitive kind of way, so what is needed is a whole-being (soul-stuff/heart/mind/body) organization around a Light within that alone Knows that and in what sense it is True to say “We are all in this together”. It is a worldview that proves itself to one from the inside out: As we grow in love we understand more what Love is.
The good news is that Pure Love is already all there is, and everyone is already a Something Deeperist!*
But the soap is pleasant and perhaps useful, and the advertising flim-flammery interesting to contemplate.
*Everyone can’t help but sense that the only way we can understand, care about, and/or believe in our own sensing/feeling/thinking/acting is by relating our sensing/feeling/thinking/acting to a Something Deeeper that actually Knows what is going on, what we should do, and that and in what sense it is True to say that Pure Love is all there really is (otherwise, we’re just slip-sliding randomly and have no meaningful-to-us way of choosing one direction over another).
And we all do indeed become internally-coherent (ie: make sense to ourselves) to the degree we pursue and realize that inborn insight.
But what is True is of course prior to our ideas and feelings; so we’re not looking for literal truths clasped with manic ardor, but for a whole-being organization of our sensing/feeling/thinking around a Light within (and thus accessible to our other aspects of thought) and shining through all things (since it is Absolute).
Helpful guidelines: Concomitant with the aforementioned sense of an inner Knowing-Light is the sense that human sensing/feeling/thinking/acting is meaningful to itself only to the degree it is aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, compassionate, and joyfully aware of and in sync with the interconnectedness of all beings.
Extra hint: Only aware, clear, honest, oh-so-gentle love is real.
How does Bartleby compare to Dr. Bronner?
You might be thinking,
“But the world already has one soap with labels espousing empty platitudes about the Oneness of everything! Do we really need another one?”
Let’s discuss how Bartleby’s Pure Love soap compares to Dr. Bronner’s line of All-One Magic Soaps.
First the soaps themselves:
Here the advantage clearly goes to Dr. Bronner.
With over a hundred years of soap-making tradition, they know their stuff.
Whereas we are just kind of finding our way towards a good soap blend that we buy from other companies and then mold into the shapes of our fancies.
That said, How long does a bar of soap ever last?
And how much difference is there in the experience of a good bar of soap versus a great one?
Or should the comparison be a pretty good bar of soap versus a really good bar of soap?
In any case, I think you’ll agree that soap is a pretty meaningless and quickly-consumed good, and that a person should aim for a high-quality, safe, sustainably-sourced soap; but not go crazy/all-vainglorious trying to secure the very best soap at all times and all places.
In conclusion, their soap is better, but our’s is pretty good, and soap is a small-portion of not just life, but the consumer culture in general.
You could buy there soap sometimes and our soap sometimes; nothing bad would happen.
You’re an inveterate consumer.
You don’t just buy products because they are useful and/or pleasant and/or worthwhile.
You buy products because they tell you who you are, where you stand, how you fit into the wider world.
In this you err terribly.
However, it is standard behavior and to some degree cannot be avoided.
We are fish in water.
We should be aware of our surroundings and not gulp needless draughts of water, but what good does it do to lie to ourselves?
Which brings up the second point of comparison:
What about the worldviews and philosophical pitter-patter?
Here we cannot speak so much of better or worse, but only of different approaches.
As (annoyingly?) dedicated Something Deeperists, we are very open to the notion that the world’s religions all tap into the same underlying Truth —
a Truth which could be sketched something like this:
We are all in this together, bound in and through a Light shining in and through all things, and we should love the Light within ourselves and everyone else with all our heart and soul and mind, and also love everyone else as we love ourselves — we are all vessels of the Light.
The gist of Dr. Bronner’s philosophy therefore fits the gist of ours; and as Something Deeperists, we would not ask for more than a gist to agree.
We particularly like this one from Dr. Bronner:
“Full-truth our God, hard work our salvation, free speech our weapon. All-One our soul, self-discipline the key to love, uniting All-One above! Above!”
Our dogma team has been mulling over this line for some time.
We think perhaps it holds the key to a problem we’ve been having with Something Deeperism.
Namely: How to know to what degree one’s individual self is living in, by and through the Light; and how to know to what degree a group is doing so?
In both cases, there is no perfect self-knowledge, but we think that discipline is at least a key to love.
What is a disciplined love?
It’s not the same as disciplined rule-following.
How does it relate to disciplined rule-following?
What is an effective love?
When is love in tune with Pure Love / The Light?
And how does all this relate to Heraclitus’s point:
“Listening not to me but to the Logos it is wise to agree that all things are one.” -Heraclitus (Fragment 50)
Our dogma team will continue to hammer out the details of our response;
for now, let us say that we find no material difference between our approach and Dr. Bronners.
But we are trying to lay out the internal logic a little more clearly.
To see what we mean, please read and consider our label, and refer perhaps later to our Something Deeperism Institute.
One quibble with Dr. Bronner:
We cannot see our way to assigning metaphysical significance to Halley’s Comet.
In a similar vein:
Dr. Bronner is a committed Something Deeperist, as are we.
As such, we agree with his (implicitly stated) position that you cannot point directly at the Truth (It being prior to human ideas, let alone human words), but must point towards It poetically (not perfectly precise, but still onto something; not objectively verifiable, but verifiable within each conscious moment to the degree one sense/feels/thinks/act aware and clear).
Hence Bronner’s “All-One-God-Faith!” and “Listen Children Eternal Father Eternally One!” slogans.
However, in our attempt to make Something Deeperism a more rigorous philosophical position, we’ve found it necessary to prioritize a minimal dogmatism which underlies and explicates the more colorful poetries.
This is helpful to individuals because it can serve as an internal check on their own sensing/feeling/thinking/acting: “Am I keeping first things first? How well are my various dogmas, feelings, thoughts, and actions serving those core values and goals that I must follow and attain in order to inhabit, understand, and care about my own actions?
After all, I could have the truest dogma possible, but if I woefully misunderstand it, I miss the Truth by a woeful mile!”
And a minimal dogmatism is helpful in groups for the same basic reason:
By keeping their focus on those values and goals without which no human worldview is meaningful to any human, the group’s members are able to work together to create and maintain organizations that are sufficiently open, free, honest, accurate, competent, and responsible for their members to meaningfully communicate with one another and to meaningfully share governance or — in large organizations like nation states — together monitor a representative government and serve as a final check on madness and corruption in their representatives.
It is hard enough to keep to the minimal dogmatisms required for individuals and groups to live and behave well. Therefore, Something Deeperism suggests that we all agree on and work together on these minimum standards for internal-coherency, and not allow ourselves to get distracted with endless debates about more specific dogmas.
This is not to belittle other dogmas, but merely to say:
“By together consciously/awaredly keeping to the core dogmas, we can communicate and collaborate meaningfully; and we cannot be our best selves without working with our fellows within the framework of our essential dogmas; therefore, let’s stick with the critical/universal dogmas, and not get distracted arguing over dogmas that are not absolutely essential for human thought to be meaningful to human beings.”
The minimal values/goals:
We should work to always sense/feel/think/act more and more aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, compassionate, and joyfully-together; which goals imply a belief in truly better and worse ways of being, which implies something along the lines of an Absolute Standard or Truth that we can relate to meaningfully.
But an Absolute Truth would have to be Absolute, and our thought is not, so we could never relate literally/1:1/once-and-for-all-edly to It.
Therefore, the best approach is to seek an inner Knowing-Light within our conscious space (and thus accessible to us) that Knows (ie: isn’t just guessing) how to best organize our sense-of-things, feelings, thoughts and acts.
(the existence of such an inner Touchstone is attested to by many a mystic, as well as our own inner sense:
“Listening not to me but to the Logos it is wise to agree that all things are one.” -Heraclitus (Fragment 50)).
Granted: this description is of necessity rather poetic.
For internal meaning within a group, and for some individuals, it is perhaps a little too open for interpretation.
Therefore, for individuals who hear it calling to them, we can leave the aforestated bare minimal dogmatism; but for groups and for individuals who don’t like the flowery talk of an inner Knowing-Light, it is good enough to agree to work together to keep ourselves and our organizations aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, compassionate and joyfully-together.
Why do all this?
Because we can’t understand, care about, or believe in our own (individual or shared) thinking and acting except to the degree it is aware … joyfully-together.
These psychological truths and the relating metaphysical/epistemological attempts (whole being insight around the Light within [pray, meditate, think, start over again and again]) should not be used as an excuse for perfectionism!
It is a favorite trick of tyrants to call imperfect but functioning democracies corrupt while claiming their way is somehow Higher, or at least (depending on the audience) more manly. The goal is not perfection (nor even manliness, whatever that may be), but gently working to think and act a little more aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, compassionate, and joyfully-together.
The goal is gentle resolve around the Kind Light.