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Duties of a Republic’s Citizenry

Duties of a Republic’s Citizenry

If you have the good fortune to live in a representative democracy, your should work with your fellow citizens to keep an eye on the rulers of your land. Sure: engage in the policy debates of your day. But don’t let those debates and the oft accompanying excitations and divisions separate you from your most fundamental duty: serving as a final check on madness and corruption. To the degree we let our leaders sacrifice good-government (open, honest, fair, without favoritism or bias following the laws, rules, and protocols) for political expediency, we let madness and corruption in.

What is corruption? Indifference to the basic rules of right thought and action: awareness, clarity, honesty, accuracy, competency, selflessness, kindness, generous fearless overflowing joyfulness. What is madness? Incompetency as regards those same basic rules. Corruption and madness encourage each other, are interrelated, and generally go hand and hand. To the degree madness and corruption rule, it is easier to succeed and/or gain and keep power while being unhelpful (dishonest, underhanded, cruel, foolish, selfish, arrogant, incompetent, clueless) and harder to succeed and/or gain and keep power while being helpful (honest, open, clear, kind, wise, selfless, humble, competent, aware). To the degree we let madness and corruption in, we let folly rule, and so harm ourselves and others.

Madness and corruption is when decisions come not from clear, honest, informed, accurate, competent, kind, thoughtful consideration; but rather from confused, dishonest, clueless, incompetent, cruel, mindless violence. It’s maybe sometimes kind of fun to watch movies about gangsters and rulers weaving their way through corrupt states; but it is neither fun nor helpful to live under such conditions; and it is beyond reckless to let politicians reduce the openness, honesty, accuracy, clarity, competence, and good-will in our government. Just as individuals cannot travel with and meaningfully guide their own thinking and acting to the degree those individuals do not keep to the fundamental spiritual values; groups of individuals cannot travel with and meaningfully guide their own thinking and acting to the degree those groups, their organizations, systems, and structures do not keep to the fundamental spiritual values.

“They’re all the same!” No, they are not all the same, and your self-righteous half-assedness is killing everyone.

“It’s all the other side’s fault!” OK, then, stop talking to them: that will help us to all better fulfill our shared responsibility to our shared nation. (no it won’t!; we were being facetious)

“The history and/or structure of this nation is such that it cannot but destroy itself, and that’s what it deserves anyway!” But wait: at least from this human vantage, there’s no a priori knowable rule for the way history must unfold; and if this ship sinks, we all go down with it: so let’s work together to acknowledge where we’ve been, where we are, and where we want to get to; and to simultaneously seek a newer world together.

I mean:

The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices.
Come, my friends,
‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.

There’s only one hope: let wisdom rule.

And we all know what wisdom looks like: aware, honest, clear, competent, accurate, kind, selfless, sharing joy, knowing how to help and putting that knowledge into action. Let’s think, speak, act, and vote accordingly.

And so once more with feeling: 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.

This public service announcement paid for by:
The Community For A Better USA: Come, On, Let’s Succeed Together For Real: From The Inside Out!
BW/AW
copyright AMW

Susan Runs The Edges (prose)

Susan Runs The Edges (prose)

There’s a big difference between the world of Water Runners, Tree People, Plainsmen, Mountain Folk, Sea People, and The Flying Ones and our world.

On our world, all the humanoids have a common ancestry, an essentially identical physical makeup, and the ability to produce fertile offspring. That is to say, we are all the same species. And so while we may sometimes form identities and organizations based along racial lines, when different human populations smash together, we inevitably begin to desire each other and to mate and share children; and so soon enough, even without possessing enough wisdom to always innately see past superficials and into our core commonality, given enough time calm and freedom (within a given time/place/power-system), we inevitably fade into one another body, heart, mind and culture.

On Planet X, all the humanoids evolved from other animals. They don’t find each other particularly attractive (I mean, there’s always going to be somebody …), and they cannot produce fertile offspring (we know because, again, there’s always somebody). So their humanoid identity is not as fluid as ours.

However, on Planet X, all humanoids possess opposable thumbs (granted, the Air Ones’ thumbs are on their feet), and roughly human heads and limbs (OK: a shark-like tail replaces the Sea People’s legs, and their earless noseless grey-blue heads flow into their hulking forms so seamlessly that it is difficult to discern where head ends and neck begins or where neck ends and body begins; and the Air Ones have wings instead of arms; and the Plainsmen look more like antlerless elk than humans as they bound across the plains with long arms tucked along glistening torsos), and brains with the awareness and intellectual and emotional complexity to sense the Truth shining through everything and—given the right ideas, disciplines, and supports—to adequately translate spiritual insight into human words and deeds.

Divinity students can debate whether the opposable thumb pulled the brain into consciousness or consciousness pulled the various creatures along towards itself, using opposable thumbs and the tool-making, signaling, and hand-holding they make possible to enlarge minds and hearts. But whatever the ultimate origins, the fact remains that all humanoids on Planet X evolved opposable thumbs first, and spiritual awareness second. Despite their different physical family trees, all humanoids can, with a modicum of spiritual maturity, perceive their common spiritual origins, and so while the different species of Planet X humanoids have not, at least in the era where our story begins—roughly equivalent technologically and politically to the bulk of North America right before European arrivals—ever lived peaceably under a cross-species government; however, though they are as a group far from free of speciism, they don’t generally go so far as to claim either that other humanoids lack souls or that non-humanoid animals have individual souls akin to the eternally spiritually- and ethically-bound cores humanoids enjoy.

Personally, I’ve never been able to figure out exactly how much awareness, to take two widely separated examples, a dog or a pillbug have. It is hard to imagine that dogs don’t at least catch a little sense of the divine joy and eternal presence of the Soul Light. But what about pillbugs? Their sense of the holy must be quite tiny—musn’t it? Since they are almost like machines, having very little presence within their own desires and panics. But even supposing dogs own some sense of the holy, can a dog be wise?, can a dog grow spiritually to a degree warranting an individual soul? Some say when a human misbehaves, s/he’s reincarnated as a dog or, in extreme cases, a pillbug; and then s/he has to work back up to human form. But does this make practical sense? Compare the number of individual humans to individual animal lifes, and it seems that you soon run out of human-souls to fill all the animal bodies. So then some animals have animal souls or perhaps no individual soul (being only hulls around the One Soul), but some animals have doleful remorseful oh-so-penitent human souls?? Explaining, perhaps, the rare cockroach: one with more shame and ego than the average bug??? (I’m being facetious: this is not a phenomenon I’ve ever observed; although I grant you I’ve made little to no effort to discover spiritual differentiation within cockroaches.)

Given such considerations, I’m wont to cross out the whole idea of individual souls and replace it with a buddhisty notion of spiritual energies that perhaps continue after death, but that must eventually dissolve into the One Soul. No, I’m sorry, but I cannot see my way to a belief in individual souls—at least not eternal souls. Please don’t be alarmed by these metaphysical musings! If they happened to point adequately well towards Reality, that wouldn’t imply that the you who now exists will necessarily die upon death: maybe there’s reincarnation into other creature life and/or into spiritual beings until one finally flows into God; and while I cannot believe in or hope for the eternal continuance of any spiritual energy except God Light’s, everything that ever was could still remain as a memory of which God had awareness both from the outside (God’s infinite perspective encompassing all things) and the inside (God looking through from that being’s individual perspective, and so in some sense retaining its identity, although this is a little worrisome, because then wouldn’t all kinds of horrible states remain forever, not just in cases of complete spiritual disaster, but also infinite moments of everyday delusions and follies—wouldn’t those moments also have to hang forever in God’s two-sided memory??).

Fortunately, we humanoids are not required to riddle out eternal mysteries within our limited little lives. And so let us accept what is required for human joy and decency, and which anyway blares unambiguously through our ever conscious moment: we’re all in this together and must work to be ever more aware, clear, honest, kind, wise, good, joyfully together (true: you cannot define these goals perfectly in words; but words can still point our intellectual/emotional thinking towards an adequate sense of these goals, a sense that will grow as we get better and better at reaching said goals). Let us accept what we must know to win any traction in our own thoughts and feelings, and work to know/understand that knowledge better and better (by better and better organizing our ideas and feelings around the Light within that is both Reality and The Truth, and thus capable of sharing Certain Knowledge with one’s thought-as-a-whole, though naturally—owing to the mismatch between What Is and ideas and feelings about What Is—not perfectly/literally/definitively/1:1, but instead as insights that can, given enough awareness, clarity, honesty, and open-heart/mindedness, get better and better); let us not fret our small mortal noggins overmuch over details which we’ll not anyhow ever figure out, and which we could not really make much sense or use of even if we were somehow gifted with the “whole story”; no, let us stick to the basics: awareness, clarity, honesty, kindness, wisdom, goodness, joyful all-inclusive community.

Susan had told her parents she needed to go run the edges—to clear her thoughts, of late scattered and confused, as if she were a watermouse caught in an eddy, frantically and mindlessly panicking. Her father told her not to journey past her limits (second bend downriver [a little over a mile]; the advent of the tumble rapids upriver [a little less than a mile]); her mother told her not to be late for dinner (dinner always at sunset). They both told her to obey rules that she already knew about. She agreed to obey the rules she’d already planned on obeying and which you might argue they needn’t have mentioned, seeing as they were well established and faithfully followed, and slipped into the cool clear gently rippling river beneath their cabin door.

Susan chases the edges, like the elders had instructed.
Everything moved as one as she skates across the waters.
The river wide as a lake out here; far from town.
Susan’s town of bamboo rafts and shacks floats silent
in the rounded distance, at the edges of her eyes.
She follows slow-spreading green round a rocky bend.

A water skater, a river chaser, she-who-belongs.
How easy it is when you can!
Wide flapped froggy feet fold up down the center,
thin black legs stab into liquid glass, push against,
jam her spindly body the otherwise, setting up
a falling slice from that side’s folded flipper.

Nothing compares to water skating,
the concentration of never-hating.

On and on she flies, forgetting everything but
her motion, calm, the swoosh of her water strikes.
Deep inside, pushing out from within, searching
for the edges, to stay within yet go beyond,
to chase the edges, catch the light, know all joy.

The village out of sight when she unfolds her flipper feet
and skids to a spraying stop, standing breathless on wide
strange crinkling river flowing to a sea she’s never seen.
On the banks the Tree People gather timber in their way,
many on the lines and one flailing at the base;
two hatchets, steel glinting in passion’s blur.
A youth rests upon a rock, his short legs crossed.
She waves her thin webbed hand, he, long arm
thick as her torso, waves a broad flat hand.

Susan’s overcome by joy and fun
She’s able, she’s one
Who runs the river
That leads into the sea.
Focus on gratitude
on the wonder of running
with those who rule the rivers,
who travel to the sea.

At dinner Mama wonders what Susan’s seen and heard.
A squick-squick bird diving beneath the water
coming up empty-beaked.
The Tree People hunting timber.
Waterhoops rolling wild–she had to jump over them.
Mama tsks.
Father shakes his head.
When will the council address this matter?
The waterhoops are outgrabe!

BW/AMW

What Can We Say 1 & 2

What Can We Say 1 & 2

1

What strange times! What can we say?

Let’s start with what we all can agree on and go from there.

Example 1: Let’s demand aware clear honest thought searching for truly better ways of thinking and acting, with the whole process guard-railed by the understanding that to the degree we do not prioritize sharing kind joy we are going in the wrong direction. Any human dogma that fails to accept that principle (not so much those words, nor even those concepts, but the inner-senses-of-things they imperfectly but not therefore necessarily inadequately point towards) is meaningless/boring/not-believable to human minds and hearts. So to the degree one abandons it, one disappears from the conscious moment and becomes an amoeba, pushed around by whims that rise up, as whims always will, declaring themselves, as is their spurty want, great Truths. Much wiser to keep working to better and better center oneself around the Truth–deeper and wider than human ideas, and thus not liable to literal/definitive descriptions, but not therefore completely severed from human ideas (think of how a good poem can, when read with an open mind/heart, imperfectly but still meaningfully recreate the author’s experience within the reader’s conscious moment). That way one can compare a given whim’s claims against the Joy within that alone knows that and how human thought and action actually matter. We don’t need to be enlightened to agree on this principle, and we aren’t hypocrites if we agree to it and don’t always live up to it. The point is to agree that this is the goal and to throw back words and deeds that do not live up to it: “please try again!”, not “you’re out of the club!”, which anyway clearly violates the sharing kind joy rule.

Example 2: Let’s demand clean government. We will not all agree on everything. However, we can all agree that our only hope is 1) clear honest well-considered win-win policy decisions are superior to randomly generated / whim- & prejudice-based ones (if not, we humans have no method for coherently thinking our way to truly better thoughts and actions, and are thus at the mercy of chance and history, which would imply there’s no point having political opinions, or any ideas at all [note that you have no good reason to suppose this, and to the degree you do suppose it, you don’t suppose you should bother thinking anything, and so you undercut all your thoughts, including that attempted-supposition]) and 2) our individual and group decisions are, on the whole, clear … win-win. So let’s agree that we will not tolerate dishonesty, nor will we stand for doing any old stupid thing, no matter how much money or other powers request that stupid thing. Ah! But here’s the rub! For most will assent to these principles, but then, in the same breath, they’ll come to completely different conclusions about which politicians are lying and which ones are doing any old stupid thing for the sake of money, ego, or blind worldly dogmatism grabbed with religious fervor. How? What is going on here? And how to fix it before it critically undermines our shared interests with the persistent myth that we are not on the same team and cannot share kind joy?

Example 3: Let’s agree that human ideas and feelings are not Gods, and that we must therefore ask over and over again for the great God to bless us and make us wise enough to understand that and how it is True that what we say and do really does matter, and that we really are all in this together and cannot escape one another and so must find a way, if it takes us eternity!, for everyone to share kind joy with everyone.

2

What strange times! What can we say?

Upon death, I’ve heard, the soul is led to the River Lethe, where it forgets all but its deepest, most profound, most spiritual lessons. There, every bit of you that is not Love disappears. Everything not soaked through with Love is, as some have put it, burned in the fire. And so, the theory concludes, the eternal purpose of human beings is to understand and live Love. Insofar as we accomplish this, we succeed. Insofar as we don’t, we fail and gently disappear.

Another, related, line of thought runs thus: We are all in this together and the whole rises and falls in accordance with how well we all treat each other, and also by how well we all treat shared resources: our immediate and larger environment, our governments and their organizations, our written and spoken thoughts, and so on–these structures within which all live.

There are of course those who hold that it doesn’t matter what we do. After all, the game goes on forever and there’s no stopping until all are saved. Even, they reason, if we blow up this world: that’s cool–we’ll just inhabit other forms in another world and keep on rocking. Perhaps. I couldn’t say for sure from where I sit, on a tall stool at the great front window of some no-account SouthEasternConnecticut coffee shop, watching the rain stop and a wintry droop-leafed rose bush wobble in the gray winds, the various accounts drifting see-saw all around me. However, it seems safe to say that as far as we know it would be best to not blow our hand. Better to go easy on one another and our shared physical and mental space, to seek more and more wisdom and, no matter the details of our lives, to focus first and foremost on sharing kind joy. Granted: that’s the sort of thing everybody knows, irregardless how foolish we all sometimes are and how high-flying our theories sometimes get; but, you know, at Christmas we remind ourselves of these platitudes, and that, trite as they may be, they are still True, which still Matters.

Authors: Bartleby Willard & Andy Watson
Editorial Concerns / Copyright: AMW

[correction to CNL 2018: delete “no-account”]

A Belief in Goodness

A Belief in Goodness

Dear God,

Please give us Goodness. How hard it is for us to believe in Goodness! What if Goodness is real? What if this life really is most fundamentally for sharing kind joy? How great! But also scary. Because it would mean we have to put loving compassion ahead of our longings to look out for ourselves and those closest to us. It does not mean we should not look out for ourselves and those closest to us, just that we need to relax that goal and open ourselves up to a higher one. But what if the higher one isn’t even there? Or what if we misunderstand the higher goal and so end up hurting ourselves and those we’re closest to for no good reason? What is the faith from which we must begin? That Goodness will harm no one? It’s not supposed to. It is supposed to be infinitely kind. But how much time, energy, and wealth does Goodness really want me to give away? And in what form am I to make this sacrifice? I guess calling it a sacrifice only shows that I’ve no real insight into Goodness, since all Goodness is trying to do is create lives that we can stand. As we lie dying, what must we have accomplished in order to know we made a decent effort?

Please give us Goodness. Please guide us well. Please keep us safely folded within the Light. Please help us to have whole being insight into how it is True that our top priorities should be to love the Goodness shining through all things and ourselves and everyone else with all our being. Please center our ideas and feelings around that Goodness meaningfully, and help us to keep improving the way we relate ideas, feelings, words and deeds to Goodness. Please help us to understand the Love that transcends ideas and feelings, that is prior to them, that is of God. Please keep us within kindness, within Joy.

Sincerely,

All Your Children Here
in this ragged fire
where we learn the faith
that heals the soul
so when we die its fine because we’ve learned to see the Light even when blindfolded by ideas, feelings, and other illusions that can either be fun and beautiful or ugly and destructive–depending on how we relate to them. They’re for the Light to play and laugh within, not to smother the Light in boring lies. Right? If it is right, help us to more and more whole being insight into how it is True and how its Truth should move us through this life. If it is not right, there is no Truth that means anything to human beings, and so we’ll never know anything since as we try to know what is meaningless to us, our brains and hearts turn off and we know nothing, peeling out into the chaos of blah blah blah

Author: Something Deeperist Committee, 2017 Convention

Editor:BW
Copyright: AW

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

What is Something Deeperism?

What is Something Deeperism?

A Quick Intro To Something Deeperism

1) Basic Definition: There is a Truth (aka: Light; God; True Good; etc — we’re pointing with words imperfectly but not therefore necessarily inadequately towards a shared vista). The Truth shines through each conscious moment. The path of wisdom is relating the rest of our conscious moments (ideas, feelings, etc, all working together) better and better around the Truth so that there is less and less gap between the Truth and our words and deeds. In this way the Truth guides our thought-as-a-whole (feelings, ideas, awareness, and the Truth shining through all things, all working imperfectly but still meaningfully together) better and better, allowing us to translate the Truth better and better into words and deeds.

The path towards wisdom is the seed of wisdom: By following our inner push towards aware, clear, accurate, competent, honest, compassionate, kind, joyfully-together thinking and acting, centered around the Light within ourselves and everyone else; our ideas and feeling get better and better at following and understanding the Light; allowing the Light to guide our thought-as-a-whole to more and more aware .. joyfully-together thinking and acting.

We don’t start out with only what feels like inkling of the Truth. And the Truth would have to be deeper and wider than our (oh so human!) ideas and feelings, so we can never have literal / definitive / 1:1 / exclusive insight into the Truth. However, we cannot have literal certainty about anything; and we wouldn’t be able to understand, care about, or follow literal certainty anyway. And, as far as we know, we can do as the mystics suggest: via meditation, prayer, contemplation, and loving kindness practice; we can think and act more and more aware, clear, honest, competent, kind, and joyfully together; gaining more and more insight into that and in what way it is True to say “we are all in this together”.

We can’t have literal insight into the Truth. But that does not mean we cannot have an adequate whole-being insight into the Truth. Such an insight would allow our emotional and intellectual ideas to point adequately well towards the Truth. And it is such an adequate whole-being pointing-towards what is really going on and what really matters that our intellectual thought requires if it is to know how it should be used, and what it should be used in service of.

Ideas and feelings know they are limited. They know they should not run the show alone. Pursuing wisdom is pursuing adequate insight into foundational values that allow ideas and feelings to function adequately well and with adequately clear consciences.

We should seek a better and better organization of ideas and feelings around the Light within that alone Knows what’s Best. But ideas and feelings are notoriously limited; so we’ll never get it perfect: we need to keep reassessing, admitting errors, trying again, pushing out from within, pushing for less and less gap between the Light outside our thinking/feeling/perceiving and the Light within our thinking/feeling/perceiving.

2) Basic Argument for Adopting and Relentlessly Pursuing Truth, and Bounding that Pursuit with the Assumption that the Truth Ratifies Goods Like Awareness, Honesty, Kindness … : No human’s thoughts and actions can mean anything much to him or her unless the following requirements are met:
(a) the Truth is real (ie: some ways are truly more preferable than others)
(b) one’s thought-as-a-whole relate meaningfully to the Truth (ie: something along the lines of the following: one’s ideas, feelings and the Truth shining through all things can work together and understand each other adequately);
(c) Truth is infinitely aware, clear, honest, competent, kind and good and helpful; and is here equally for everyone. And we can grow in our understanding of the Truth by following our own inborn sense towards aware … helpful thinking and acting; reaching always for more insight and compassion by seeking always to be more and more centered around and aware of the Truth within and shining through all things.

The state of affairs (a-c) is the bare minimum required for a human being to be able to truly understand, care about, and believe in his or her own ideas and feelings. Of course we cannot have literal knowledge about such things, but we could work to gain more and more whole-being insight into that and in what sense (a-c) are essentially True.

Note that you don’t necessarily have to accept the metaphysics of (a-c) to follow, understand, or care about your own thoughts and actions. You have to gain the whole-being insight towards which (a-c) imperfectly, but not therefore necessarily inadequately points. You can play skeptic and doubt the existence of a Truth without particularly undermining your own thinking/acting; just as you can play believer while still drastically undermining your own thinking/acting. Wisdom is a whole-being insight into the Light within. To be coherent (for your own thoughts and actions to be meaningful to you), what you need is to find whole-being insight into that and in what sense (a-c) are essentially True. That is not going to be a literal insight.

So why bother with Something Deeperism? If success in Something Deeperism is not the same as agreeing to the ideas of Something Deeperism, why pursue a philosophy of Something Deeperism? Better ideas help to orientate one’s thought-as-a-whole better towards what’s really going on and what really matters, which in turn helps one gain more whole-being insight into that and in what way it is True to say we are all in this together. To the degree we lack whole-being insight into that sense of things, we cannot believe in, understand, or care about anything we think or do.

Intellectual thoughts are a really big part of how we relate to ourselves, other people and this life. So we want to choose ideas that point us more towards our real situation. That way, we are in a better position to gain whole-being-insight into the Truth, and that insight can flow more easily/naturally out into our ideas.

So, Yes: It is true that of course ideas without insight are not worth much, and it is very possible to be more or less wise than one’s ideas. Nonetheless, part of growing in wisdom is working always to replace worse sketches of what is really going on and what really matters with better sketches of what is really going on and what really matters. Hence the usefulness of philosophy, religion, and wisdom practices; and hence the usefulness of Something Deeperism, which is basically just a gentle (but persistent) reminder that there’s no point in either skepticism and faith unless they are helping us to gain more insight into the Light within that alone knows what’s really going on and what really matters (and that therefore alone knows that and in what sense false beliefs should be avoided [the raison d’etre of skepticisms] and true beliefs should be adopted [the raison d’etre of faiths]).

Furthermore, a philosophy of Something Deeperism can help groups recognize and make use of all the common ground their members have. Something Deeperism helps us to realize that none of our philosophies make sense to any of us in the absence of insight into and use of aware … helpful thinking and acting. And so Something Deeperism keeps us all on the same page: Whatever our differences, we can all agree on aware … helpful thinking and acting, and on the need for us all to seek wisdom; and to agree that wisdom is honest and kind, not dishonest and cruel; and to agree that it is counterproductive to pretend wisdom can fit into a literal set of metaphysical, political, and/or philosophical ideas. All this implies a shared starting point: a place of clarity we can refuse to abandon: we will disagree on much, but should we not agree on (no matter what! for if we sacrifice this, we sacrifice the only coherency any of us could have) awareness, honesty, clarity, competency, accuracy, kindness, and shared joy; all bound up in a respect for wisdom and for our different vantages on what surpasses all human feelings and thoughts????

3) Basic Argument for Seeking a Relationship with the Truth that is Founded Primarily on Direct Whole-Being Experience of the Truth, and for Always Push-ing Against the Human Tendency to Shift One’s Focus onto Ideas and Feelings about the Truth: Putting more focus on ideas and feelings about the Truth than on the Truth Itself is a grave and a common error. The Truth is not ideas and/or feelings about what is really going on, but what is really going on itself; the way forward is to relate ideas and feelings to the Truth more and more meaningfully — a process that self-defeats to the degree we confuse ideas/feelings with the Truth. When you put too much stock in ideas and/or feelings about the Truth, your focus turns away from a whole-being coordination around the Truth and you confuse and frustrate yourself by more and more pathetically/desperately clutching ideas and feelings that (since they claim a clarity and certainty you deepdown know they don’t have) are ultimately meaningless to you.

[Note that notions of “there is no Truth” combined with feelings of “I’ve got the Truth” are just as guilty of the above-sketched error as are notions of “I know the Truth” combined with feelings of “I’ve got the Truth”.]

[Note that we need some principles to help us navigate human life, since ideas are necessary for interacting with this world and our own thoughts, and without any firm principles, you spend every second trying to build up to a coherent philosophy from scratch. The principles of Something Deeperism should be adopted, just not grasped too tightly. They know they are mere ideas and are therefore like evolving, never-quite-adequate ladders towards whole-being insight (ideas, feels, etc centered around the Light/Truth) into the Truth. The idea is to create a ladder that we can see fits adequately well with our inner moment; and then work to travel deeper and deeper into the Truth via that ladder, which will allow the Truth to explicate Itself to our thought-as-a-whole better and better, allowing us to understand better and better in what sense any given ladder is adequate and inadequate.]

[Note that we are all already Something Deeperists. We all already know we need insight into why it is TRUE that we are all in this together in order to believe in, care about, or understand our own thinking or acting; but we also know that we will never have literal insight into such a TRUTH, and that confusing ideas about the TRUTH with the TRUTH creates a great deal of trouble. Something Deeperism is not here to reject or contradict your philosophy or religion. It is here to work with all of us to help us all remember what our philosophies and religions are for: they are there to help us to understand that and in what way it is TRUE to say we are all in this together and should be kind and respectful towards one another, and happy together, enjoying each other’s company.]

AMW and BW, copyright AMW, although everybody knows this so why does he try to own it???

A Quick Intro To Something Deeperism

1) Basic Definition: There is a Truth (aka: Light; God; True Good; etc — we’re pointing with words imperfectly but not therefore necessarily inadequately towards a shared vista). The Truth shines through each conscious moment. The path of wisdom is relating the rest of our conscious moments (ideas, feelings, etc, all working together) better and better around the Truth so that there is less and less gap between the Truth and our words and deeds. In this way the Truth guides our thought-as-a-whole (feelings, ideas, awareness, and the Truth shining through all things, all working imperfectly but still meaningfully together) better and better, allowing us to translate the Truth better and better into words and deeds.

The path towards wisdom is the seed of wisdom: By following our inner push towards aware, clear, accurate, competent, honest, compassionate, kind, joyfully-together thinking and acting, centered around the Light within ourselves and everyone else; our ideas and feeling get better and better at following and understanding the Light; allowing the Light to guide our thought-as-a-whole to more and more aware .. joyfully-together thinking and acting.

We start out with only what seems to be an inkling of the Truth. And the Truth would have to be deeper and wider than our (oh so human!) ideas and feelings. So we can never have literal / definitive / 1:1 / exclusive insight into the Truth. However, we cannot have literal certainty about anything; and we wouldn’t be able to understand, care about, or follow literal certainty anyway. And, as far as we know, we can do as the mystics suggest: via meditation, prayer, contemplation, and loving kindness practice; we can think and act more and more aware, clear, honest, competent, kind, and joyfully together; gaining more and more insight into that and in what way it is True to say “we are all in this together”.

We can’t have literal insight into the Truth. But that does not mean we cannot have an adequate whole-being insight into the Truth. Such an insight would allow our emotional and intellectual ideas to point adequately well towards the Truth. And it is such an adequate whole-being pointing-towards what is really going on and what really matters that our intellectual thought requires if it is to know how it should be used, and what it should be used in service of.

Ideas and feelings know they are limited. They know they should not run the show alone. Pursuing wisdom is pursuing adequate insight into foundational values that allow ideas and feelings to function adequately well and with adequately clear consciences.

We should seek a better and better whole-being organization around the Truth within. But we’ll never get it perfect (for it to be an adequate standard of thought and action, the Truth would have to be perfect; and we are not perfect): We need to keep reassessing, admitting and adjusting missteps, trying again, pushing out from within, pushing for less and less gap between the Light outside our thinking/feeling/perceiving and the Light within.

2) Basic Argument for Adopting and Relentlessly Pursuing Truth, and Bounding that Pursuit with the Assumption that the Truth Ratifies Goods Like Awareness, Honesty, Kindness … : No human’s thoughts and actions can mean anything much to him or her unless the following requirements are met:
(a) the Truth is real (ie: some ways are truly more preferable than others)
(b) one’s thought-as-a-whole can relate meaningfully to the Truth (ie: something along the lines of the following: one’s ideas, feelings and the Truth shining through all things can work together and understand each other adequately);
(c) Truth is infinitely aware, clear, honest, competent, kind, good, joyfully caring/sharing and helpful; and is here equally for everyone. And we can grow in our understanding of the Truth in the way we sense we can: by following our own inborn sense towards aware … helpful thinking and acting, reaching always for more insight and compassion by seeking always to be more and more centered around and aware of the Truth within and shining through all things.

The state of affairs (a-c) is the bare minimum required for a human being to be able to truly understand, care about, and believe in his or her own ideas and feelings. Of course we cannot have literal knowledge about such things, but we can work to gain more and more whole-being insight into that and in what sense (a-c) are essentially True.

[The topic of undoubtables is covered in more detail in “Why Something Deeperism? Simple!” (the next essay in the book).
But let’s discuss (c) real quick:
If our inner senses towards clarity, honesty, accuracy, and competency cannot lead us to genuine insight; we have no intellectual path towards genuine insight that we can intellectually or emotionally understand or make use of. If our inner senses towards kindness and joyful compassionate generous and grateful togetherness cannot lead us to genuine insight; we have no emotional path towards genuine insight that we can understand, or even stand. We can only gain meaningful-to-us insights into what’s really going on and what really matters if to the degree we can gain insight into that and in what way (c) is essentially correct about the nature of Reality and our relationship to It.]

3) Basic Argument for Seeking a Relationship with the Truth that is Founded Primarily on Direct Whole-Being Experience of the Truth, and for Always Pushing Against the Human Tendency to Shift One’s Focus onto Ideas and Feelings about the Truth: Putting more focus on ideas and feelings about the Truth than on the Truth Itself is a grave and a common error. The Truth is not ideas and/or feelings about what is really going on, but what is really going on itself. The way forward is to relate ideas and feelings to the Truth more and more meaningfully — a process that self-defeats to the degree we confuse ideas/feelings with the Truth. When you put too much stock in ideas and/or feelings about the Truth, your focus turns away from a whole-being coordination around the Truth and you confuse and frustrate yourself by more and more pathetically/desperately clutching ideas and feelings that (since they claim a clarity and certainty you deepdown know they don’t have) are ultimately meaningless to you.

[Note that notions of “there is no Truth” combined with feelings of “I’ve got the Truth” are just as guilty of the above-sketched error as are notions of “I know the Truth” combined with feelings of “I’ve got the Truth”.]

We could not understand, believe in, or care about literal ideas about Reality (our ideas and feelings know they can have no literal purchase on Reality). The goal is, rather, a whole-being organization around the Truth within, allowing our ideas and feelings to flow out into the world adequately in tune with the Truth. The goal is to live in and through and for the Light that Knows that and in what way it is True to say “we are all children of the Light and must be kind to grateful for ourselves and each other.”

[Note that we need some principles to help us navigate human life, since ideas are necessary for interacting with this world and our own thoughts, and without any firm principles you spend every second trying to build up to a coherent philosophy from scratch. The principles of Something Deeperism should be adopted — just not clenched too tightly. Our principles are mere ideas and are therefore at best evolving, never-quite-adequate ladders towards whole-being insight into the Truth (ie: ideas, feels, etc centered around and adequately understanding and following the Light/Truth). The goal is to create an idea-ladder that fits adequately well with our inner moment; and to travel deeper and deeper into the Truth with the help of that ladder — which adventure (to the degree it is successful) will allow the Truth to explicate Itself to our thought-as-a-whole better and better, allowing us to understand better and better in what sense any given ladder is adequate and inadequate.]

[Note that we are all already Something Deeperists. We all already know we need insight into why it is TRUE that we are all in this together in order to believe in, care about, or understand our own thinking or acting; but we also know that we will never have literal insight into such a TRUTH, and that confusing ideas about the TRUTH with the TRUTH creates a great deal of trouble. Something Deeperism is not here to reject or contradict our philosophies or religions, except to the degree they cause us to self-defeat. By explicitly stating and discussing Something Deeperism we seek only to remind us what our philosophies and religions are for: to help us to understand that and in what way it is TRUE to say we are all in this together and should be kind and respectful towards one another, and happy together, enjoying each other’s company while we work together to grow in wisdom and make things better for everyone.]

4) Something Deeperism is helpful in group settings: A philosophy of Something Deeperism can help groups recognize and make use of all the common ground their members have. Something Deeperism points out that none of our philosophies make sense to any of us in the absence of insight into and use of aware, clear, honest, competent, kind, joyfully-sharing, truly-helpful thinking and acting. And so Something Deeperism keeps us all on the same page: Whatever our differences, we can all agree on aware … helpful thinking and acting, and on the need for us all to seek wisdom. And we can all agree that wisdom is honest and kind, not dishonest and cruel; and that it is counterproductive to pretend wisdom can fit into a literal set of metaphysical, political, and/or philosophical ideas. All this agreeing implies a shared space: a place of clarity we can together inhabit and defend. We will disagree on much, but we can and should agree on (no matter what! for if we sacrifice this, we sacrifice the only coherency any of us could have) awareness, honesty, clarity, competency, accuracy, kindness, and shared joy; all bound up in a respect for wisdom and the Light that makes wisdom possible. Without these standards, all humans self-defeat; it is therefore sensible for groups to adopt them and work together to better understand them and abide by them.

AMW and BW, copyright AMW, although everybody knows this so why does he try to own it???

What is Something Deeperism?

What is Something Deeperism?

What is Something Deeperism?
A self-circling, four-part obsession

Something Deeperism is the general position that we humans have insight into the Absolute (the Absolute is what is actually going on / what actually matters / what one should actually do–as opposed to mere opinions-about/perspectives-on what is going on / etc); but not literal / definitive / exclusive insight into the Something Deeperism. Picture the Truth as a Knowledge that is also Reality and therefore beyond doubt. The Truth is ultimately prior to human ideas and feelings about the Truth, so our ideas and feelings cannot relate perfectly to the Truth, but they can still relate meaningfully to the Truth (similar to how feelings are deeper/wider/vaguer than ideas, so an individual’s ideas cannot capture her feelings perfectly/literally/1:1, but her ideas can still relate meaningfully to her feelings). We humans can neither stand nor understand our lives without clear, honest thinking and feeling grounded in a certainty that knows that clear, open-eyed, joyous loving kindness is the way and that also knows how we can live in that Knowledge;therefore, we have no choice: we must assume such a Truth, and that our ideas and feelings can relate meaningfully to It, and–since the Truth will never be perfectly translated by our ideas and feelings and since our external circumstances are always changing whereas the Truth is always the same–we must never stop searching to better and better desire, understand, and follow that Truth within. So the path of Something Deeperism is centering your whole being (ideas, feelings, and etc) around the core of your and all being (the Truth) better and better: a task of constant pushing out from within, constant self-awareness and reassessment, constantly holding your feelings, ideas, and actions up to our inborn guardrails (insights we are born with and which we see more clearly as we learn to think, feel and act more clearly, honestly, gratefully, kindly): “am I being honest?”, “am I thinking clearly?”, “am I being kind?”, “or am I egotripping, showboating, grabgrabgrabbing?”

Naturally the foregoing is not literally true, but poetically true: poetically we point towards what is really going on and how we should deal with that circumstance. Like how a poem about a walk on the beach with a heavy heart can bring the attentive reader to a reasonably adequate sense of what the poet experienced: because we are all fundamentally the same and so–just as an individual’s ideas and feelings can, with clear, open heart and mind, can adequately understand and follow

Something Deeperism believes that human ideas do not literally capture their object, but rather point towards them imperfectly but still meaningfully. Mathematical ideas may become literal / definitive when written down, but when contemplated within human thought, they cannot help but take on deeper and wider meanings and so fuzz-out at the edges. Still, in practice math can be bracketed off from the question of what (if anything) it actually means and whether or not it actually matters. At least as measured by formal soundness, one can play the math-game perfectly well without worrying about those questions. However, topics like whether or not it matters what one does lose all meaning when bracketed off from questions about what they really mean and whether or not they really matter. And those are the questions most important to humans. But that’s OK, because human beings are not formal systems. We are ideas, feelings, vague notions, and etc all working meaningfully together; and there’s no reason to suppose that within human thought there’s not a Truth shining through that is both Knowledge and Reality and thus has the undeniable stamp of Truth within Itself; that is, for all we know human thought has enough wisdom within it to provide it with certain knowledge–not certain ideas and feelings, nor even a whole-being certainty, but rather a certain Truth that can adequately though of course not perfectly/definitively/no-chance-for-errorly guide one’s whole-being (ideas and feelings relating meaningfully to each other and to the Truth within).

Something Deeperism seeks to clarify the confusion caused by the false debate between faith in Goodness/the Truth (used interchangeably since they both point poetically towards the same place) and reason. Sure: Goodness cannot be perfectly translated into human ideas and feelings; but that doesn’t mean we cannot relate human ideas, feelings, words and actions meaningfully to Goodness. And since we cannot make sense of, believe in, or care about our own ideas without intellectual and emotional rigor, as well as spiritual (ie: non-mutable, non-relative/perspectival/debatable) Love/Goodness/the Truth, we have no choice but to work to better and better translate between ideas, feelings, words, deeds and Goodness.

Note also that believing in the doubtability of the existence of Truth is just as intellectually undefineable and unprovable as believing in the existence of Truth. And whereas to the degree you believe there’s no Truth, you doubt the meaningfulness of your own thought and so doubt all your thoughts and so slip into the chaotic mush of self-defeating thought, to the degree you are able to discover that Truth exists and what Truth is, your thought has a firm foundation: it can understand, believe-in, and understand itself.

Something Deeperism posits that just as via clear thought and feeling one’s ideas and words can imperfectly but still adequately relate to feelings even though feelings are wider/deeper/vaguer than ideas and words, clear thinking and feeling can also allow one to relate one’s ideas and feelings imperfectly but still adequately to the Truth shining through each conscious moment. And so one can speak meaningfully of the Truth, but only in a poetic (not literally/mathematically, but not therefore either inadequately meaningfully or unTrue) sense: we humans are essentially the same in our inner and outer experiences, so just as I can recreate within my own conscious moment an adequate facsimile of a poet’s experience by reading her poem with an open heart and mind, I can get the drift of spiritual writings by reading them with an open heart and mind (I’m here assuming the writings are good ones).

Something Deeperism is not a philosophy that can be built up from undoubtable assumptions. Rather, it must be taken as a whole and explored from the inside out. However, you can summarize it quickly and the intellect and emotion can see therein their only only real chance for progress. Please also note that no philosophy can be built up from undoubtable assumptions: ones that pretend they can be just hide their assumptions about what is really going on, what really matters, and how one should really think and act (senses-of-things that the intellect cannot define with precision or prove one way or another, but that humans cannot dispense with; take, for example yon radical skeptic: doth he not feelingly grab the sense “I am actually right!” and so commit a secret dogmatism?)

********

If the Truth shines through my conscious moment; and if I can through aware clear honest thinking and feeling coordinate my ideas, feelings, words and deeds better and better with the Truth; and if the Truth supports my sense that we are all in this together and must be kind to one another and that shared joy is the way; and if that kind of meaningful communication is possible not only within me (ie: between the various aspects of my conscious moment) but also between me and my fellows: if all that is the case and my thought-as-a-whole (ideas, feelings, and everything else within my conscious moment working together) can discover that and how it is the case (not through literal knowledge of the Truth—which strikes me as neither possible nor, even if it were possible, usable by human thought—, but through an overall insight into the Truth that I can relate poetically [not literally, but still meaningfully and essentially accurately] to ideas, feelings, words and deeds)–if all that is possible, then I have a method for choosing one thought over another that is meaningful/interesting/stand-able to my thought as I cannot help but experience it. Otherwise, I don’t and I will make no progress in thought and action, which will continue to flap meaninglessly around as I try to pretend it means this and that to me and/or I don’t need my own thought to make any sense to me, and so on with the nonsense.

All individual humans and human organizations would do well to accept the essential dogmas I outlined above. Any individual dogma that doesn’t accept them is meaningless/useless to human beings; therefore they provide a dogmatic foundation for shared undertakings: none of our individual philosophies can be worth anything to any of us unless they help us to understand and live the Truth of those dogmas (not, of course, the words and concepts used to express the dogmas so much as the general internal sense-of-things those words and concepts point imperfectly but not therefore inadequately towards, but without words and concepts a human cannot communicate fully either with himorherself or with others, and refusing to use words and concepts that point adequately well towards senses-of-things prior to words and concepts is a type of lie: you’re throwing out a way forward on the grounds that it is imperfect, but you know perfectly well that that is not a legitimate reason to throw out a way forward). Therefore, we should not allow our shared dogmas to doubt those undoubtable dogmas (ex: if clear honest reasoning and relentless joy-spreading we-are-all-in-this-together kindness don’t matter, all humanly understandable and standable philosophies are out the window; therefore, we really ought to all agree to agree that we will together prioritize clear honest reasoning and relentless joy-spreading we-are-all-in-this-together kindness).

However, it is important to keep in mind that what human thought needs for a firm foundation is not ideas about the Truth grasped with the sense of “This is the Truth!”, but whole-being insight into the Truth; therefore, neither groups nor individuals should seek blind faith in the the dogmas outlined above. Forcing yourself to believe an idea you don’t understand just confuses you, muddying your thought and making it less meaningful/interesting/believable to you. That is why Something Deeperism advocates not literal belief in the bare minimum dogmas (“bare minimum” as in to the degree they either are not True or you cannot find a way to show yourself that and how they are True, your thought cannot believe/understand/follow itself), but a whole-being insight that is aware of its limitations: since you are relating what is prior to ideas and feelings to ideas and feelings, there will of necessity be some fudging/estimating/error; therefore: wisdom is never perfected and no one is in a position to assume they can get by without humility, without revising, seeking over and over again for a better nuance. So both individual and group dogmas should also include that nuance: the Truth is Absolute, but our insights into the Truth are not; so we should all keep seeking for more and more clarity, honesty, accuracy, goodness, kindness, and shared joy.

*****

We humans need ideas to help us navigate this human realm, and without some stable dogmas, all is mush and chaos, so we need some principles, even though the Truth is wider and deeper than human principles. But no worldview is worth anything unless it is helping its adherents relate their whole-being to the Joy within that alone knows that and how human life is sacred and how we should move and be; so our dogmas, though limited, must help relate us to the limitless Truth. A worldview is a type of moving platform that must be constantly revised and that must constantly guard against the temptation to confuse itself for the Truth that it is there to help one relate to.

The first goal is to reach a tipping point of whole-being (ideas, feelings, and deeper senses all working together) insight where it is more true for one to say “I believe kindness truly Matters” than to say “I don’t know anything for sure”. At that point, our inborn starting-point has brought us to a whole being starting-point. Again: it doesn’t count if you lie to yourself or trick yourself into this conclusion; the whole point is that you cannot believe in, care about, or follow your own ideas unless they are both clear and accurate, and relate to a Light within that knows that and how kindness truly Matters.

Either affirming that those essential dogmas are worth believing or doubting that they are worth believing amounts to making a poetic statement (declaring what should actually be believed oversteps what can be intellectually/emotionally known and understood); but when we doubt those dogmas without which human thought cannot believe in, care about, or understand itself, we contradict ourselves and spin our wheels hopelessly; whereas if we can find a way to get whole-being insight into the Truth of those procedurally undoubtable dogmas, we will have a workable way to connect our ideas and feelings to a Light within that alone knows what is worthwhile and that alone can provide our ideas and feelings with a firm foundation. That’s why religion is good, so long as it is not too literal: it gives people a shared vocabulary and framework to discuss spiritual growth and challenges, and it also helps to ground us in the kinds of practices necessary for improving our whole-being insight into the Goodness (ideas, feelings and etc all relating meaningfully to the Goodness shining through each conscious moment) that we all need to make any progress, and which no human will fully grasp, and which ego-trips constantly seek to co-opt. Blind faith in ideas amounts to forcing feelings of “this is so!” onto ideas you can’t really understand or even care about. In recognition that intellectual, emotional, and spiritual progress all require each other and that the Truth, not ideas and/or feelings about the Truth, must ultimately orchestrate any progress, Something Deeperism advocates pushing more for whole-being insight poetically (not intellectually literal or emotionally definitive, but still essentially accurate and meaningfully) expressed and lived than for dogmas believed and followed. Of course, there’s no perfection in human life, and some dogmatism is inevitable, so Something Deeperism doesn’t say “no dogmatism at all!”, but merely works to bend us towards dogmas like “let’s keep pushing to keep ourselves focused on the Light prior to all ideas and feelings by gently but consistently pushing against our human tendency to put more focus on ideas and feelings that make us feel meaningful than on the whole-being coordination of ideas and feelings around the Light within that alone knows that and how we are meaningful”. Something Deeperism is not pushy! It is gently pushing for better and better and …

****

But for real: what if one gets the Truth wrong? Indeed, so much trouble is caused by people thinking they know the Truth when all they know are intellectual ideas about the Truth! As we’ve noted: The Truth is not the same as ideas and feelings about the Truth, and declaring xyz statement “True” without whole-being insight into the way in which the statement is “True” causes one to clench misunderstood intellectual ideas tighter and tighter, which drives a larger and larger wedge from one and the Truth (which is of course prior to ideas and feelings, since the Truth is what is, not ideas and feelings about what is). Therefore, to accept the literal Truth of the undoubtable assumptions is to commit the same basic mistake as disavowing them: the error of pretending literal knowledge where only poetic insight is humanly possible.

That’s why Something Deeperism points out that while we can have insight into the Absolute, we cannot have Absolute insight: we need intellectual and emotional ideas to navigate this human reality, and without spiritual insight nothing means anything to us, so we need to meaningfully relate our intellectual and emotional ideas to the Truth, and both blind skepticism and blind faith work against that coordination of what is prior (the Truth) to what is post (ideas, feelings, words, and deeds). Therefore, let us keep trying and trying again for the correct nuance: Meaning is Real and ideas and feelings can relate meaningfully to Meaning, but part of that process involves a necessary error: we’ll inevitably confuse ideas and feelings about Meaning to some degree, so we have to work to keep reducing that error, so we drop down again and again to a little lower level: we must constantly reevaluate and refine our dogmas, which are structures that need to understand their own limitations to remain useful.

This essay is not literal. It points. It uses some reason and some emotions, but it points also past them. This essay is not unique in that. All human words and deeds do that. Even math, though able to live bracketed off from the question of Meaning when inside symbols and in computers, upon entering a human mind automatically becomes part of the human quest to figure out what is really going on, what really matters, and how one should really think and act. Let’s not pretend we are what we aren’t!

Author: Monsieur Pud En Taine
Editor: BW w/AMW
copyright: AMW

Prefatory Quote

Prefatory Quote

Have you ever been involved–no matter on what side or in what capacity–in a raped and pillaged village? More particularly, have you ever been struck down in the midst of such a fiery, hope-shattering melee: either by the downward-splitting blade of a horseback attacker or the whistling arrow of the resistance? Did you ever, while your lungs drew in cold shocked night air filling with stinging smoke and insanely bereaved/terrified bone-deep wails, suddenly understand the final stab and sink down from horrified pain to broken-hearted ache to sweet forgetful sleep?

If so, perhaps you’ll recall awakening to the soul plane just as you left the body level. And, still in and watching the scene but no longer liable to other bodily sensations, you looked around at the others. Some still animated and enveloped in the pell-mell; others, like yourself, no longer embodied, blazed like candle flames as the white-hot flickering outline of a tidier (the wounds healed, the dirt and blood gone) and still-alive version of your broken bodies. You and the other dead, look at the living and at each other, and you feel so sorry, so sad–no matter were you an innocent child now unjustly robbed nor a marauding villain (perhaps out of your teens, perhaps not) justly served. You feel guilty and terrible and you look at the other spirits who also feel the heavenly wind yanking them upwards, out of the fray and the two colliding communities. What is in their look? The same thing in your mind:

No matter who I am,
no matter my experiences,
my reasons,
unless “how can I make things truly better for myself and everyone else: how can I let the joyful sharing Love at the core of all experience win this world for responsible kind respectful joyous cooperation?”:
Unless that is my question,
I am asking the wrong questions and will keep getting the wrong answer.

But how, fading ghost soon to be reconfigured to await judgement, options, and another try: How will you remember this lesson with all intellectual and emotional ideas deleted? True: at it’s core, this insight is deeper than those things and partakes of the one spiritual idea, the Knowledge that is also Reality. But still: you’ll need a way to build a bridge between the mind/body you’ll wear next and that grand glimpse.

Preface Poem: Old Timey Hymn

Preface Poem: Old Timey Hymn

What was that wager
He put to me
On the road to Galilee?

What was that wager
He offered me
Upon the road by Galilee?

They say some Savior
He’s rescued us
Down by the Sea of Galilee.

But what is the wager
That sets us free
On our way to Galilee?

That Love is real
And Kindness right,
That within this stance
There shines a Light
To lead us home,
To break the night.

Copyright: AMW