Sunday, 16 February 2014

The virtue of self interest?

A few article/comments into this article/page at the Daily Bell: The Virtue of self interest:

*1
If the ONLY motivation in all circumstances without exception is towards pleasure and away from pain - as we define the situation in relation to us, then we set up our own curriculum by what we accept and therefore share, teach or demonstrate.
When we seem to choose against our will or happiness it is because we have belief in greater loss by choosing other than as we do.
The sense of disconnection that comes with a negatively defined self leads to the urge to dominate and possess. The fear of the negative leads to the attempt to coerce and moralize.
Whatever Reality is - we only experience it through the filters and distortions of our beliefs and definitions, but the reality of our joy is of a recognition that transcends experience to the sense of knowing or being that cannot be in any way divided. This is the Singularity of the Indivisible and the true root of individuation.
Consciousness responsibility is inescapable because one can believe and experience accordingly - but never actually become something other than Consciousness. While any structure of self-construct holds meaning or value, it persists. What is without value or meaning is inherently disregarded.
Part of the implication of the above is that humans tend to use 100% of their Consciousness to experience themselves limited to perhaps to a few % or their capacity.
By far the most of Consciousness is unconscious to our 'waking mind' in a not dissimilar way to the front end of this computing medium being only an interactive experience on top of a complex multi-leveled structure of software code and hardware configuration.
The scientifically oriented mentality seeks to perceive and understand Life in material terms with material or external reality being primary and consciousness being somehow within this (presumed to be) singular Universe of energy stuff. It sees transactions in place of real relationships. This reduction of Consciousness to linear forms and processes in time is the result of disconnection from Source Consciousness - awareness of which has been effectively neutered or disregarded so as to maintain a specific focus in the personality structure.
Religious approaches have tended to believe separation from Source as being inherent or absolute - and sought to maintain the segregated self sense upon the sin, guilt and fear of the 'separation' of 'fall'.
As Physics expands, it will be seen that the God Idea is not external as a separate agency from All That Is - nor a special personage or power within it acting coercively upon 'stuff'. Everything is recognisable in Consciousness, but the freedom to experience it in terms of tangible light, energy, physicality extends the structure in which to experience itself through a personality complex - with all the facets of experience that that opens.
The fundamental Spiritual Recognition is of our oneness with Life, with others who share and are of the same Life, and with the world that reflects our unique multifaceted interplay in perception, action and experience.
The two commandments quoted by Jesus speak of an Already Truth that our consciousness covers over. As we do unto others, we DO unto our Self. What we give DOES set the measure of our receiving. Our experience does reflect this as faithful feedback but we are not receptive while engaging victimiser and victim-hood roles.
Without a guiltless - (read truly scientific desire for truth) - appreciation of consciousness, the game of guilt and fear and dissociation persists - no matter what kind of package or scheme it is presented in.
So yes to self-interest but YES to a true understanding and realisation of Self - for to take anything out of its living context is in a sense to kill it and engage in fantasy associations with the dead.
The Golden Rule presupposes loving yourself. If you actually believe you are worthless you will treat others in like manner - again regardless of the masks or presentations used. A self that hates or fears itself is not a true self and not a basis for the ideas of social, economic or political and personal harmony.
Be true to thyself and it follows as sure as night follows day, thou canst be false to no man. But if one invokes ingenuity, one can act in order to get or take by deceit, and use all one gets to bolster and develop one's 'power'. It's a choice.

PS: Sympathy can mean one of the most destructive devices in our capacity, or (the term) can be used for a true resonant recognition of the 'other' as one's self - for which 'compassion' is better suited. To confirm another in their weakness or error, undermines their own innate capacities and masquerades a 'loving kindness' when it is a mask for those qualities or facets in the other that we cannot tolerate in our self. To be powerless or helpless is considered invalidating, yet it is an apparent humiliation that through willingness, honesty and trust, becomes a truly humbling receptivity - and capacity for compassion.
No one feels another's pain or pleasure. These usage shortcuts came to usurp an intimacy each unto our Self. (Used to be called 'our God' and for some still is and might still carry that core meaning). The joining is a core aspect of what power is - but to join in hate or weakness is to strengthen that which undermines our true Spirit - and of course seduces us into giving away our true power for 'external' validations and protections'.
Trying to marry our experience with the truth of our being, intellectually, is impossible, but we can come to a clearer knowing of our being, which then fruits in a less coercively filtered and distorted experience of ourselves in our relations in our world. Its always a choice as to whether to fit Life into our mentality, or cooperate and fit in our relation with Life - with that which is aware through you, sustaining and giving existence. Life is what we make of it. But we do not make Life, because it is infinitely more Intimate than any self-construct in its particular focus - though not absent - or you would not be.



*2
Because we separate from Spirit - from intimate living presence - in order to think alone, we then separate all things from it and make it seem as if a goal at the top of the Pyramid. The filter of our thinking is not much appreciated because we generally are engaging it and suffering its reflections as our reflection. Every belief generates a corresponding reinforcement. The belief and the believer are of course two facets of one thing - neither being you, nor separate for each other. These tools for experience can get the better of us if we use them unwisely.
Our true social expressions arise from our connect-ness within ourselves - hence the divide and rule maxim, for once you can divide someone from their own consciousness, you can substitute or interject coercive will. This deceit is endemic because it is the foundation of a false sense of self that has as much real wealth as the financial shenanigans that are traded in today. It is a lure or illusion whose only power is in its acceptance as valid currency.
So as has been observed - though without much transformation as a result perhaps, is that social transaction is generally a substitute for real relationship; a receptivity of consciousness in some direct communication or interaction. The masculine without the receptive merely projects a show of force or farce, and yet has a protective sense of surviving as if it alone is holding the fort.
The observation of consciousness in action is itself an act or movement of focus and awareness within Consciousness itself - and the primary basis for truth in such observation is trust and self honesty.
It is well known that living with such integrity can cost one's job, and perhaps one's social relations - simply because one's current society is embodying a different sense of value. But sometimes existing relations open to the new level - and in time, new connections and relations occur that are in resonance with the uncovered 'you' in a true self-value.
When we can be ourselves - truly ourselves, with another, we feel loved and naturally loving. It doesn't oblige the other to 'supply' nor obligate us to them - excepting gratitude for sharing the gift of simply being alive - in whatever movements of interest, need and desire move us.
What does it profit to gain the world and lose our Soul? In this sense, economics reveals the truth - but who in their attempt to grasp the ephemeral pauses long enough to notice the hollow emptiness or restless dissonance that drives us to persistent distraction - for when is now to be the true expression that we are?
It only seems a spark to the mentality that redefined darkness as the conditions in which to see. The all pervading light of Consciousness is too close to see - except in reflection. But the veil of disconnected thinking runs a different economical model: divide and rule.
Coercive intent is the unmistakeable sign of a fearful non-acceptance of current reality. Reacting in like kind confirms its shadow perceptions to it. There is a 'social' dimension in refusing to pass the buck of one's discontent onto others, and instead being willing to work to the integration of the situation - as willingness allows.
If we try to force the good it no longer is good and we are operating the disconnected coercive will. But we can hold and demonstrate a true willingness for honesty in our relations - so as not to join in hate or false witness, nor to seek to use others for our own private agendas.
God is in a sense quite indifferent to what you choose to magnify. If you hate, abundant hate is given you. But of course we are both teacher and learner to ourselves - although the guidance that is implicit in our connectedness is absent and unbelievable to the disconnected sense, and so is often an idea in a special Other that saves us - simply because our self-definitions are ruling our experience.
If anything in what I write has any significance to anyone, it is because they recognize something of themselves. This is your Intimacy that I would serve simply because the nature of joy is to shine. There is not a special 'knower' in my person - quite the reverse!
But consider... if we have it upside down and back to front, the reintegration of our consciousness is going to have to accept some radical shifts. As willingness allows. But the persistence in what does not work and is no longer supported generates increasing intolerable conditions, and so the unthinkable has to become thinkable and bargaining for self has to make way for a deep and urgent need for self honesty and the sanity and peace that only comes with it.

*3
In the work of Adam Curtis's documentary "All watched over by machines of love and grace', are some ironic references to Ayn Rand's 'rational decision' to take one of her already married inner circle as a lover, and of that one's rational decision to dilute or adulterate his marriage, and that one's wife to rationally justify altruism.
So I don't use rational as a basis for living - but simply integral - integrity - which is a congruency of being that includes rational or logic. Words and concepts can become gods - and then one rationalizes or logically extends such assertions.
The attempt to rationalize human experience is trying to put Humpty Dumpty together again. What I mean is that there is always already a pre existing harmony or law at work that seems to work against us in our split off mentality. And so we attempt to make it work for us from a split off compartment that is not really split off at all - but we each have extremely compelling experience of being isolated, threatened and in need of protection and control - that we are then biased to seek alone due to the withdrawal and defensive separation from each other - and from the greater dimensions of our conscious existence.
The capacity of humans to assert concept over relationship, is that if growing and creating a model of the self and its world that substitutes for living participance. It seduces as if a frontier of discovery, possession and control for the explorer and it runs on top of Life like a mass hallucination.
The harmony reveals itself in that the very things that 'go wrong' or are dissonant to us - offer custom feedback to the resonance and relevance of our own conscious unfoldment of our being - which is integrally joyful when not invalidating itself. But we don't want to listen - for the most part, but would rather assert our power - perhaps through victim-hood, or in some reaction to something we are sure is 'wrong' so that we feel more alright.
I'm not suggesting humans are wrong in a blameworthy sense but that we have the map the wrong way round - as if to confirm and validate a manual control over life - when it can be used to open the conscious embrace and relationship in which alignment occurs without coercive force. There is every call to use force as an expression of truly caring. retraint and limitation are appropriate results for self harming or violence against others.
But note the personal element of revenge, hatred and self-righteousness are not called on when standing in and expressing from one's integrity. Forms of idea, form of action, can be ascribed meanings by othersto suit their own agenda, but each of us is the living context of our idea and act, and so the way we do it - is embodied energetically in what we do. Not because we 'say so' like the manipulator who tells you how to feel, but because we are essentially unselfconscious about what others - or ourself - thinks about us - because we are wholly embracing and extending our integrity such as unfolds. One can only work with the material in hand.
Of course we evolve complex cooperative strategies of 'getting what we want' and avoiding what we hate, but I feel that these tend to extend the idea of separateness rather than integral-ness.
As you can tell (and no doubt already knew) I can run on and on about this. I trust you can feel, (in what we call between the lines), that I am entering this in a willingness for communication and not to use the energy and sharing of your article to make cheap points - though that very dynamic - of using the creativity of others - or Life Itself - to raise a facade of a self and then assert it as if to then become real, valid, respected and loved as a specialness of some achievement or ascendency over others, is also a theme within the human consciousness that is played over and over in as many ways as can be imagined. But is it simply a simple but 'prodigal' error?

*4
Moral coercion is one aspect of 'self-interest' when self interest embodies or expresses self-concept. Who does not find themselves trying to 'guilt' another into either doing or not doing something that seems to be one's interest. The term 'self' can mean any of a range of identifications - so we can see that we 'make a self' by accepting and rejecting aspects of our thought and experience. But the consciousness in which (and as which) this occurs, pre-exists any rational or irrational act. So we are not identical to our self image or concept and yet tend to act from the distorted and biased perception, that such image filters - somewhat like a lens.

I am with you that self interest is the only game in town, but feel to add that we are entirely and demonstrably capable of doing what we don't want as if we do - or indeed doing what we want and then suffering our own assertion that it is forced upon us - because made me do it!

Turning a blind eye enables fantasies to be lived out as real, but brought into the light of an honesty of awareness, they dissolve to reveal a self-definition that was chosen - and can thus be re-chosen or choose differently.
Then if I own what is and always was my own part, I can redefine the situation from a clearer and more conscious appreciation of what really resonates with me - with the truth of what enlivens and moves me in life.
"Follow your bliss" said Joe Campbell - but this is a stirring within that may or may not conform to concepts of society or even one's own conceptual capacity to define.
I feel that self interest is the capacity to live from a sense of value, whereas conceptual approaches tend to put fulfilment in some future moment - which brings in the carrot and the stick - coercive mentality.

I did manage to keep this one shorter. I obviously an using concepts here - but always toward the recognition of the conceptual as a tool rather than as a box in which to be buried.
 

*5 (reply to the phrase "No one hates his own flesh"). 

It's all a matter of definition. My next door neighbour but one has just experienced her only son's suicide.
Self hatred in one form or another is a perversion of self love. That is to say a love given to that which usurps and denies the loving.

The 'flesh' has in many ways been defined negatively and hated - and a source of inadequacy, shame or ungovernable will.
So what exactly might your phrase mean? There are innumerable examples of infanticide or fratricide - not to mention irritation! I feel that all hatred begins with self and projects out - for what we hate in others we cannot abide in our self - so we are obliged to put it out there until we change our mind about our mind.

No man ever hated his own reflection - excepting he wake from the dream he makes by looking there for himself.
One might SAY they hate it and act out the hate - but yet keep looking there.
The narcissus myth serves well for the love we have of our own thoughts,
which are like a first born son to us - and which we generally are loath
to release - even if they wound us so.

We join in making illusions of hate or judgement - and so it is no surprise that the undoing of such negative self definition uncovers a cooperative will. But it is not the result of the ingenuity of the desire for exercising power over. It's more like when I abandon my attempt to be who I am not, I start to meet and discover others for who they really are - in a living way that does not seek to bind another to my will as if thereby it would make me safer amidst the uncontrollability of a world in flux.

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