Browsed by
Tag: all in this together

A Simpler Shared Something Deeperism

A Simpler Shared Something Deeperism

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!]




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?


The Law

The Law

Here is a spiritual question.

If meditation is too painful for you because the hurt inside is yelling so loudly, should you still meditate? Or is it wiser to stop? And if the latter, is there some substitution you could make so that your practice might limp along until you, in a reasonably short eventuality, are in a position to resume meditation?

Here is a practical consideration.

One can well begin the process by demanding incrementally more dignity for oneself. By that I don’t mean to suggest that mopers can cure themselves by taking to the streets and demanding passerbys salute them, call them “Sir” or “Madam” and otherwise pay homage. I’m speaking rather of simple, private adjustments in one’s life. For example, tidying up one’s apartment, organizing one’s finances, keeping oneself and one’s dress clean. Or, calling forward a more specific example in order to awaken the senses and with it one’s imagination, suppose it was Saturday morning and you were alone in this apartment, eating a pomegranate; pomegranates, though delicious and healthful reminders of the wonders of international trade, can be rather messy; no great surprise, then, that you notice, while passing your bathroom mirror, that you’ve got some red streaking on your chin, adding a sort of Halloweeny ghoulishness to your aspect; now, you’re not planning on going anywhere for a while, and you hadn’t even noticed the juice stain until you’d seen it in the mirror, so it clearly causes you no physical discomfort; it may even be possible that a bit of pomegranate juice on the skin provides a little health and beauty benefit by infusing your flesh with antioxidants; perhaps you should leave well enough alone and continue walking past the mirror; but no: it is at this point that our method inserts itself, explaining that for the sake of your own private dignity, you break your momentum, turn back towards the mirror and wash off the pomegranate juice, also taking the opportunity to straighten your hair. Do you see? In this way, you communicate to yourself at a very deep level that you mean business, that you demand something of yourself and for yourself.

Indeed, even if a meditation practice must be paused, one’s spiritual practice need not collapse in upon itself. In addition to taking care of your space and your appearance, you can also focus on being mindful about what you say and how you present yourself. You can keep a journal each night, writing down how you felt and how you behaved and what you want to do next and how you might accomplish your goals. You can exercise. You can breathe carefully, taking care not to overbreathe and feeling the stillness created when you breathe air out but do not immediately breathe air back in. You can even add silent chanting meditation to your walk to work and to the time spent falling in and out of sleep. A good one is, “what should I do, what should I do, what should I do, ….” Another nice phrase to run over and over again in your head is, “how can I actually make things better for me and everyone else?”, or some variation like “how can we all make things better for everyone?”

We humans. Do you remember the spot in the creek where the channel suddenly and precipitously narrowed, creating a funnel of white water emptying into a deep (5ft?) and wide (10ft?) trench in the creek? It was between Napier Park and the bridge over Main Street that led from the front gate of GE to the downtown, which was of course nothing more than a small section of Main Street. Creeks ever evolve, and I don’t know how long after 1992 this slice lasted. Certainly, in 2010, it was no more. An awesome sight, but also a little terrifying. What I enjoyed doing at the time was tossing a stick into the creek (pronounced in this essay, out of nostalgia and shouldershrug, as “crick”) right above the diving tunnel and watching its fate. Because the water churned so violently both forward and backward at that spot, the stick would often spend several seconds jiggling back and forth in place before the chaos’s fickleness resolved into the inevitable suck-down under the white water. The water after the frothing was glassy green and deep, and from the right vantage you could see the water gushing into the deep spot as a straight white tube sunk into the green still waters. You never knew when the stick would emerge. It might be a few seconds, it might be five minutes. This private research of mine held me in good stead when my family went to nearby Niagara Falls and learned, in an incredible 3-D film with surround-sound and a surround-screen wrapping around the first fourth of the auditorium, of someone who went over Niagara Falls in a giant rubber ball with extra oxygen stored inside, but who, held under the falls for 14 hours with only three hours worth of oxygen in his tank, was found the next day inside his perfectly preserved one ton tomb.

“O divine Niagara, be prepared on July the 5th to receive a faithful worshiper of your beauty and of the mystery that covers you, and if you will to keep me with you eternally as your prisoner, I accept the sacrifice in the hope that your divine nymphs will spray my grave with flowers from the gardens of your palaces.” (George Stathakis, Buffalo Evening News from I guess sometime shortly after 7/5/1930)

If you’re just a human, tossed about by the noises inside and outside, a prisoner to the white water of stimuli and other physical slaps, how do you proceed?

Some say that asking any question except “how can we make things better for everyone?” will lead to the correct answer. Simply because all other questions miss out on the fundamental interconnectedness and spiritual importance of all sentient creatures, and so ask the wrong question. No matter how passionately, creatively, logically, interestingly you answer the wrong question, you still end up with the wrong answer. And, so goes the reasoning, it is this failure to even quite want to make things better for everyone, that keeps humanity breaking apart on the rocks all the time. Is this true? Didn’t, for example, Marx ask that question, and end up finding an answer that has not made everything better for everyone? I guess the nuance is that people ask questions that they may think answer that question, like “how can we give everyone material security?” or “how can we get everyone into heaven?”, but in focusing on these questions, they skip over the one they are purportedly answering, and actually answer something quite different.

But if that’s the case, then how can you ask anyone to ask this question, since in asking it they inevitably skip over it, and only think they are asking it? Well, we have to keep tuning ourselves, keep refining our approaches, keep coming back to the real question, the one that understands we are all in this together and must find and share kind joy together. We can’t come up with ideas, policies, or systems to once and for all correctly ask and answer our question. But we can agree that it is our goal and keep refining our ideas, policies, and systems with the understanding that they are not the answer, that the answer is known only to the inner joy that knows what this life is really for, and as such cannot be perfectly translated into ideas, policies, and/or systems, but that it be better or worse translated into such what we say and do, and so it can and should remain our shared goal and standard. Not to bring about heaven on earth or to force everyone into heaven. Those kind of goals make sense only for God. But to work together within the only framework that can possibly mean anything to human beings: how can we grow together in the understanding of how we are all in this together and how we should therefore treat ourselves, each other, and the resources (be they ideas, governments, raw goods, etc) we share?

Author: Susan Jes Sayin
Editory: B Willard
Copyright: AM Watson