Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Analysis of the Self: Actions, Words, and Intent

It is often said that we judge ourselves based on our intentions while we judge others based on their actions. Even if we work to give other people the benefit of the doubt by associating their actions with good intentions, it is still a factor we cannot know. We are essentially guessing a motive or reasoning behind a conclusion in order to make someone look better, but this way of looking at things is not always a positive thing. We would still be biased because our intent is to make a person out to be better than they probably are. It is often better than the opposite, where the worst intentions are assumed, but the best thing to do is act more like a third party and recognize the level of ignorance that is still going to be present even in a situation where you are directly involved.

A person cannot judge another perfectly, as there will always be some element of guesswork in the observed action, even when something seems proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Humans are simply complicated creatures despite some of their baser instincts, and individual circumstance adds even more complexity. Once you take into consideration everything you don't know about a person, you can start to understand how many assumption have to be made in order to judge another human being. We can determine in a lot of scenarios whether an action is right or wrong, moral or immoral, but we rarely get a full look at what goes on in someone's head or what is felt within their heart. It is a fundamental barrier to human understanding that can only be partially reduced by communication.

It is said that actions speak louder than words, and in most cases that is true. However, we still make similar assumptions about words as we do actions. We cannot always tell what a person means when they communicate, just as we cannot know the significance or reasoning behind what they are doing. In fact, on the most basic level, both talking and writing are actions, so judging words or general communication is going to require from us the same sort of reasoning that is applied when we attempt to understand what a person is doing physically. Both actions themselves and words themselves are going to have associated values that we will automatically attribute to them when no context is provided. In both scenarios, accurate judgement requires true knowledge of intent. We have to know what someone is trying to communicate just as we would need to know what someone is trying to accomplish and why.

Making assumptions about what is being communicated also means we are assuming what logic they are using, because personal reasoning is what gets us from step A to step B. If we ask somebody a question, the answer may be dependent on why we are asking or how the question was formulated. This is especially an issue when one person recalls empirical information in their mind to form a question, but does not share the information that is recalled. The answer is likely going to just involve the basic reasoning behind the more generic version of the question because it cannot be assumed that the empirical information is known by the one asking the question or is even relevant. The one answering the question may also not know such empirical data as well. To truly communicate, one must also share the context behind their words.

Let me give an example. If I were to ask another person why the next generation of a phone has greatly improved specs or functionality, the answer is obvious. Why wouldn't the next generation be a better product? The question itself would make you think the other person is stupid or not thinking clearly. The problem is that this ignores the whole history of the type of phone that has been produced for several years. If the device has had a negligible level of improvement over the years, but then experiences a drastic change in performance the next year, it no longer remains a simple successor of the old device. Looking at history can create a scenario where details jump out at you because they alter the status quo, but the more general question about why the status quo is what it is instead of why it is specifically changing will naturally cause people to respond negatively. Instead of addressing something specific, you ask something vague, and a person cannot properly make the assumption about what has yet to be communicated.

In many cases, this problem can be solved by restating a question or simply trying to better illustrate what is meant. However, this is not always possible. If someone reacts violently to a misunderstanding, there might not be a chance to alter their perception. If you comment on something online or type an email, there is considerable delay before you can straighten something out because you must wait for someone else to fully state their  response (which will be impacted by their misunderstanding). The real way to solve this is for both sides to withhold judgement until it is clear the intent or logic behind the words is known. It can be as simple as asking followup questions, but such a thing can be impossible if we form an emotional response first that directs future activity. The ideal way to communicate is to stop all emotional responses until the values associated with the words are properly validated or corrected by confirming the intent of the individual, and that requires patience.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Semantic Misunderstanding: Time and Paradise

(120.3) 11:2.11 Roughly: space seemingly originates just below nether Paradise; time just above upper Paradise. Time, as you understand it, is not a feature of Paradise existence, though the citizens of the central Isle are fully conscious of nontime sequence of events. Motion is not inherent on Paradise; it is volitional. But the concept of distance, even absolute distance, has very much meaning as it may be applied to relative locations on Paradise. Paradise is nonspatial; hence its areas are absolute and therefore serviceable in many ways beyond the concept of mortal mind.

My thought is that people get the wrong idea when they read that time does not exist on Paradise. They see it as being able to experience the past and future all at once. But such are concepts of time only, which is not real on Paradise as all action is volitional. Time is a reality within space, and one does not experience anything within space on Paradise. Duration might be individually sensed by the personality, creating a relative experience of what time might be like on the Isle, but the movement of space does not impact anything in the vicinity like it does with the planetary bodies within it.

There is no measuring stick outside of space to catalog the movement of things in space, at least not in a way that is fully experiential for a Paradise Citizen. So the question is not if Paradise Citizens can experience all time at once, it is if they have nonsequential consciousness of sequential acts of volition. Do they share the omniscience of Deity, at least in relation to all acts of volition before they occur? It is doubtful. To some, it may be true that value can be obtained from such things in a matter that deems sequence irrelevant, but to a perfected human raised in space, continuing sequence is inherent in one’s conscious understanding of reality.

The lack of time does not remove one’s value of past time experience, nor does it invalidate how one sees reality. It simply means that would-be finaliters are still conscious of and can keep a close eye on sequence and (to some extent) duration, despite there being no reference point to refer to in real-time. While on Paradise, nonvolitional acts cannot be observed nor used because all variables related to the inanimate are absolute in nature. They do not change, and thus have no events to be recorded in conjunction with one’s sense of duration, nor set a standard for measuring said duration. Hence, no objective time can be stated on Paradise, and it is hard (if not impossible) to use time measurements of space as a reference point because Paradise itself is the absolute reference point of the time-space universe. All derivations from such would be relative and non-serviceable in a realm of absolutes.

Time within space does not usually matter at all on Paradise, so it need not be measured or even thought about unless (for instance) one were to have a time-dependent mission requiring a temporary stay on the Isle. However, these are rare circumstances, and do not represent what is common. On Paradise, one values not the willed movement of impersonal things, but the will of personal beings and all subsequent personal activities derived from such sources. Since the impersonal motions of time-space realty has no direct impact on a being on Paradise, all that can affect such a being is either himself/herself or the will of another. All that can be experienced (in relation to others) is direct volitional action, or acts of personal willpower. It is a qualitative element that is devoid of the quantitative variables so often perceived in the time-space realms.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Logic Puzzles: Conscious Living

The point of conscious living is to consider all three aspects of time: past, present, and future. You must use the experience of the past to understand where you are going in the future. Because the now moment is always the present, this can actually be discarded in the decision-making process. Focusing on the now moment only means we are focusing on our own will, and is only important when we must be reminded of its potency. Instead, focus on the future, whether it is the next week, day, or minute. Since there is a natural lag in time between choice and action, choice and action cannot happen at once. The choice is always a thing of the past when it is reached. The activity is always a thing of the future until done. Will is what connects the two together in seamless motion. The usage of will requires awareness of the individual’s placement in time and space. Without that awareness, stimuli automatically create guaranteed effects on the body and its surroundings. Without will in the present moment, causality rules all, and because that causality was triggered by the usage of some force of will previously, then the absence of consciousness is actually the state of being controlled by another.

Will stops the effects of past experience from automatically inducing choices for the future. You are instead able to create new ends and means that have no relation to the given variables introduced. Because we have surmised that conscious awareness of time means there is no true present (at least when observing behavior), only an unfolding future and a fleeing past, then the existence of will in the present means we are continuously acting because of it in the future. The absence of it means we are forced by the past into a particular future potential until the future potential of awareness is once again actualized. But nothing solely from the past can actualize such a potential in the future because such a scenario indicates that control is always given to another, and that the results of that control have already occurred. This tells us that the presence of will is absolute. It is either present or it is not, and that we cannot truly give up will or life with the power to pick it back up again. Without will, we must depend on another to grant it to us, often God in this case.

God can only create life from nothing. God can only reanimate the dead. God can only bring awareness to us, so that we may once again see our place in the unfolding timeline of nonstop doing. God must also sustain our will in the present moment forever, because will cannot come about from a lone action in the past. This implies being controlled by another's action, because we cannot choose to reject the offering of will since the will to do so would not be present until after it is gifted. Thus, for God to grant us free will, the gift must be given at the same time will exists. It must be given at all times once the conditions for it are appropriate. It is turned on and left on like a light switch, and this switch likely exists through the Father's personality circuit.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Analysis of the Self: How to Understand Evil

Definition of Evil

Evil is the immature choosing and the unthinking misstep of those who are resistant to goodness, rejectful of beauty, and disloyal to truth. Evil is only the misadaptation of immaturity or the disruptive and distorting influence of ignorance. Evil is the inevitable darkness which follows upon the heels of the unwise rejection of light. Evil is that which is dark and untrue, and which, when consciously embraced and willfully endorsed, becomes sin.
There are many ways of looking at sin, but from the universe philosophic viewpoint sin is the attitude of a personality who is knowingly resisting cosmic reality. Error might be regarded as a misconception or distortion of reality. Evil is a partial realization of, or maladjustment to, universe realities. But sin is a purposeful resistance to divine reality – a conscious choosing to oppose spiritual progress – while iniquity consists in an open and persistent defiance of recognized reality and signifies such a degree of personality disintegration as to border on cosmic insanity.

From this, we can see that:

1.       The heart of evil is selfish actions and desires.
2.       The fundamental cause is either immaturity or ignorance.
3.       The effect is losing sight of truth, beauty, and goodness, which warps the mind’s perception of associated values.

The Evil of Rebellion

One of the major mediums of evil is control, especially that over others. Controlling things to satiate the self is, in a sense, taking control away from God or controlling things like God. Controlling things like God is not a problem when following the will of God, but the issue is that this is done while serving the self instead of others. God’s will is linked with His values or ideals. They are inseparable. God is love; therefore he must be good, and his goodness is so great and real that it cannot contain the small and unreal things of evil. To turn away from that associated will is essentially the same as turning away from truth, beauty, and goodness.
Taking these things into consideration, for a spirit to rebel against God, they must alter their previous moral code because it was built with God as the source. You basically have to dismiss the morals existing as part of God’s will in order to dismiss that will itself. For instance, rejecting an order from Deity means you either do not wish to follow that will, or you are confused as to how such an order reflects values of truth, beauty, and goodness inherent in Deity action. Such a refusal likely results from the desire to pursue one’s own desires, or a misunderstanding of what that will represents and leads to. Such issues of rebellion erupt from the same causes of evil: immaturity and ignorance. In other words, a lack of knowledge, experience, or wisdom leads one to make bad choices. Such is true in both spiritual and human affairs, but the dynamics of each can be very different given the context found within each group.

Experiencing Good and Evil

Good and evil are merely words symbolizing relative levels of human comprehension of the observable universe. If you are ethically lazy and socially indifferent, you can take as your standard of good the current social usages. If you are spiritually indolent and morally unprogressive, you may take as your standards of good the religious practices and traditions of your contemporaries. But the soul that survives time and emerges into eternity must make a living and personal choice between good and evil as they are determined by the true values of the spiritual standards established by the divine spirit which the Father in heaven has sent to dwell within the heart of man. This indwelling spirit is the standard of personality survival.
Goodness, like truth, is always relative and unfailingly evil-contrasted. It is the perception of these qualities of goodness and truth that enables the evolving souls of men to make those personal decisions of choice which are essential to eternal survival. The spiritually blind individual who logically follows scientific dictation, social usage, and religious dogma stands in grave danger of sacrificing his moral freedom and losing his spiritual liberty. Such a soul is destined to become an intellectual parrot, a social automaton, and a slave to religious authority.
Goodness is always growing toward new levels of the increasing liberty of moral self-realization and spiritual personality attainment — the discovery of, and identification with, the indwelling Adjuster. An experience is good when it heightens the appreciation of beauty, augments the moral will, enhances the discernment of truth, enlarges the capacity to love and serve one’s fellows, exalts the spiritual ideals, and unifies the supreme human motives of time with the eternal plans of the indwelling Adjuster, all of which lead directly to an increased desire to do the Father’s will, thereby fostering the divine passion to find God and to be more like him.
As you ascend the universe scale of creature development, you will find increasing goodness and diminishing evil in perfect accordance with your capacity for goodness-experience and truth-discernment. The ability to entertain error or experience evil will not be fully lost until the ascending human soul achieves final spirit levels. Goodness is living, relative, always progressing, invariably a personal experience, and everlastingly correlated with the discernment of truth and beauty. Goodness is found in the recognition of the positive truth-values of the spiritual level, which must, in human experience, be contrasted with the negative counterpart — the shadows of potential evil.
Until you attain Paradise levels, goodness will always be more of a quest than a possession, more of a goal than an experience of attainment. But even as you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you experience increasing satisfaction in the partial attainment of goodness. The presence of goodness and evil in the world is in itself positive proof of the existence and reality of man’s moral will, the personality, which thus identifies these values and is also able to choose between them.
By the time of the attainment of Paradise the ascending mortal’s capacity for identifying the self with true spirit values has become so enlarged as to result in the attainment of the perfection of the possession of the light of life. Such a perfected spirit personality becomes so wholly, divinely, and spiritually unified with the positive and supreme qualities of goodness, beauty, and truth that there remains no possibility that such a righteous spirit would cast any negative shadow of potential evil when exposed to the searching luminosity of the divine light of the infinite Rulers of Paradise. In all such spirit personalities, goodness is no longer partial, contrastive, and comparative; it has become divinely complete and spiritually replete; it approaches the purity and perfection of the Supreme.
The possibility of evil is necessary to moral choosing, but not the actuality thereof. A shadow is only relatively real. Actual evil is not necessary as a personal experience. Potential evil acts equally well as a decision stimulus in the realms of moral progress on the lower levels of spiritual development. Evil becomes a reality of personal experience only when a moral mind makes evil its choice.

Forms of Evil

Your Father, by endowing you with the power to choose between truth and error, created the potential negative of the positive way of light and life; but such errors of evil are really nonexistent until such a time as an intelligent creature wills their existence by mischoosing the way of life. And then are such evils later exalted into sin by the knowing and deliberate choice of such a willful and rebellious creature. This is why our Father in heaven permits the good and the evil to go along together until the end of life, just as nature allows the wheat and the tares to grow side by side until the harvest.
Evil exists as an action or activity, with its root existing within the personal goals of the being. The decision-making process, or that of cause and effect, is what moves one from evil as a potential to evil as an actuality. A person first needs the thoughts or goals that lead up to the evil act, followed by the willful decision to continue. But without the activity, a person is only evil in potential, though it is certainly possible that some individuals are guaranteed to act in such a way if allowed to do so.
What leads to the choice is either decay in the moral standards of the individual, or the lack of learning such standards in the first place. Evil is not necessarily seen in the changing of personal ideals, but the consequences of that change. However, the selfishness that can result from such a change in views leads one to allow the option of harming others in the pursuit of goals. This is because there is a lack of love for others compared to the love for the self, which means such love for others is inferior to the goals the self creates. It is also possible that since the benefits of selflessness are largely spiritual in nature, those who are not in touch with their spiritual side are less likely to see or feel such benefits since they are more intangible. In the end, there are two basic forms of evil born from action:

1.       Evil means – causing harm in order to reach a goal or make reaching it an easier task
2.       Evil end – a personal goal that can cause harm if achieved

Causing harm can be defined as:

1.       causing physical, mental, or spiritual injury
2.       killing, either physically or spiritually
3.       forcing one to regress or give up the benefits of personal growth
4.       manipulating or controlling the will of others
5.       reducing the potentials of an individual
6.       decreasing the ability of others to benefit from a situation

Mediums of Evil

1.       Power – The freedom to reach goals through the utilization of personal strengths, resources, social influence, or authority. Power is often exploited because it increases the likelihood of gaining reward from personal action, which means selfish behavior can create better outcomes for the individual.
2.       Control – A form of power initiated over a situation, person, or environment in order to alter it. Similar to power, control is used as a means to an end. It is absolutely worthless as an end itself because its value exists in what it can help achieve.
3.       Fear – An unpleasant feeling caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. Fear drives a person to act in abnormal ways, altering the perception of values in a fight or flight response to stress. Because of this, fear is able to get us to act in ways that often contradict our own moral code, and works as an excuse to validate poor behavior.
4.       Anger – A strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. Anger can lead us to doing terrible things to others, even those we care for. It creates an inner stress in the body that has to be released through either: eliminating the cause, venting frustrations mentally, or physically relieving tension. Our pursuit of these things often makes us blind to the consequences of our actions.
5.       Hatred – An intense dislike or ill will. Not only does this require a serious lack of love for the subject in question, but it can also be created by emotions like fear and anger. Hatred keeps us from assessing the situation fairly, and leads to us being more judgmental – especially toward the subject in question. It creates situations where we find it okay to cross the line because we feel that others are deserving of the consequences. It even makes future hardships we may take on in response to such behavior more bearable, because we may feel validated for doing wrong against a person we greatly dislike.

Examples of Evil

What is provided below is a list of the seven sins often identified as sources of negative behavior. In the end, these are niche expressions of human thought, emotion, and action, which ultimately increase the likelihood of future evil.

1.       Wrath – An extreme form of anger and whatever that happens to lead to. This is more of an emotional imbalance for people who cannot cope with their environment or situation, leading to disgust for others. The two parts of this are what can trigger wrath, and how such anger is expressed through the individual. Wrath is not technically evil if it does not lead to action, although it can retard spiritual growth and acceptance.
2.       Greed An intense selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or basic resources. This is commonly known as the root of all evil, but such is not really the case. Greed often comes about through many personal reasons, often boiling down to either fear or misinterpreted needs. The desire in question can also range from the tangible (wealth, food, property) to the intangible (power, authority, social influence). It is very similar to both lust and gluttony.
3.       Lust – This often exists as an unnaturally large craving for sexual pleasure, but the root of it is any sort of unnecessarily large desire for something. Here, the thing in question does not always matter. What is important is how much the desire twists the personality. Lust is frequently categorized as a continual yearning for things of a carnal nature, and in the worst case can lead to rape, but there are still many sources of pleasure one could be uncontrollably striving for. At the end of the day, it is one more example of a person devoting their attention to something of little spiritual importance.
4.       Gluttony – This is defined as habitual greed or an excess in eating, but its root is addiction. Another way of looking at it is that you are being greedy over your food, and that you are consuming more while reducing the amount other people can have. In a lot of cases this isn’t exactly true, but it still remains an addiction to a physically pleasing activity that offers no value for the soul.
5.       Pride – This is a feeling, deep pleasure, or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is associated with, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired by others. Pride can keep a person from being humble because humbleness often keeps the traits associated with pride from being expressed. Pride may even require someone to stand out among the crowd, or rise above others. The method of which depends on the environment, but it undoubtedly requires the use of corrupted power.
6.       Envy – A feeling of discontented or resentful longing created by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck. Envy is often driven by a lack of self-love. You want to be like someone else because you don’t like who you are, or don’t see the value in your current self. This usually indicates that a person already does not operate with the eyes of spirit, because they do not know what is truly valuable. As for wanting things other people own, this is more so a variant of greed.
7.       Sloth – A reluctance to work or make an effort. The main problem with such laziness is that it keeps people from doing good, even if it also means they may not be doing anything bad to others. It follows that such personal idleness or apathy stops a person from improving situations they come across. Also, laziness not only reduces the speed of growth and ascension, but increases the likelihood of spiritual regression. It is ultimately the act of allowing mediocrity in one’s life.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Analysis of the Self: the Existence and Meaning of Power

I have explored the topic of evil quite a lot. I have looked at what triggers such responses in people, what their goals are, why they form, etc. The root source is selfishness, so the main way to analyze evil is to look at what increases selfish behavior. One aspect of it is ignorance, another is amorality, and the most obvious: the reward gained is great enough to counter or twist the spiritual ideals of the individual. Ignorance is often present from a lack of intelligence, knowledge or experience. Amorality is linked with a lack of experience, but also comes from emotional retardation and a lack of empathy. Finally, there is the issue of rewards, which stimulate certain behaviors that appear to have positive benefits for the individual. 

Regression and damage to the soul is often not understood by the mortal mind until after death, so often the only things that are left are the observed consequences of action. Humans often continue behaviors that have positive reinforcement, and some will even adjust their thinking to ignore the negatives or turn them into positives. Such could be cognitive dissonance, or it could be altering one's own moral principles to validate personal behavior. In any case, if certain behavior leads to reward, that reward coincides with personal goals, and said behavior is perceived as the most efficient root to said reward, then it is likely that the behavior will continue. When a person finds it easy to reach their goals, the given method of goal progression exists as an example of power.

Power has many expressions, and people have a lot of reasons for obtaining it, but what is it ultimately? At its root, power is the ability to create change. More specifically, it is the ability to control a set of circumstances, likely impacting the individual in question. Physical strength, money, social influence – all of these are examples of power, but only when they can fulfill a goal. None of these can control any situation, but it is likely that a person has pursued the form of power that best suits their needs. It is also likely that those with some kind of advantage in life will pursue goals and positions that best work with that advantage.

Power is rarely the only goal of an individual, because the point of power is the ability to reach other goals. Those goals often relate to personal circumstance, so it is no surprise that people will use power to alter those circumstances. Power can be controlled by both the divine and the wicked, but ultimately, power makes it easier to change reality. Power need not corrupt, but it will increase the likelihood of gaining reward from behavior, which means selfish behavior can create better outcomes for the individual than it used to, at least in the short-run. Because more rewards can be gained from immoral action with the use of power, there exists a greater temptation to betray moral codes. It is not so much that power corrupts people, it is that power offers a greater ability to alter one's reality in one way or another, and it is up to the individual to use such an ability correctly.

Power is often associated with dominance, but again, this is only a single manifestation of what power truly is. There are many ways in which dominance can exist, and people can use that to their advantage in a way that benefits them. However, there has been an ongoing theme in life that the strong control the weak. If you are strong, then you have power. The problem is that there is almost never a worthy goal attached to the idea. Control is pursued for its own sake, but that is because it is confused with personal worth. The ability to make something happen alone is meaningless if no potentials are actualized. Obtaining power for the sake of having it serves no purpose when nothing is being done to enrich the inner life or perform some great task. Nearly any personal trait is pointless if it is obtained for the sake of having it. All in all, ability, power, strength, control, and influence are a means to an end. Whether either of those is evil is dependent upon the intention behind the end, and the effects of the means.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Analysis of the Self: Use of Consciousness

Self-consciousness is one of the first steps to both cosmic consciousness and cosmic citizenship. We simply must be fully aware of ourselves if we are to have some idea of where our thoughts and actions are taking us throughout life. This determines the direction and strength of our soul growth. It helps us truly appreciate our choices, our abilities, our achievements, and our character development. What is the quickest way to begin this step? You would have to deviate away from the workings of the subconscious and take an active role in understanding your personality and habits, and this begins by analyzing past, present, and future thoughts and actions.

Humans are often directed by their subconscious either unwillingly or unknowingly, and the only way around this is to engage the conscious mind in every minute decision appearing in one’s life, so much so as to not just knowingly decide, but to understand the root causes of why such a decision is the best course of action. The problem is that this expends two primary resources: energy and time. Humans have a finite amount of both, so people take shortcuts while making up their mind by trusting their gut. That gut reaction is the subconscious mind choosing the best alternative based on the current information stored within the brain, even if that information or the logic which stems from it is not perfect. More important decisions most certainly require conscious decision making, while smaller decisions are normally okay to be left to subconscious decision making.

Contrary to normal belief, big decisions should not be left to the gut, because this is ultimately left up to a previously constructed system that uses current knowledge, but this system can easily be inferior to a new method created on the spot. Relying on the subconscious only has its strength when the issue is not so much deciding the best course of action, but recalling the right fact. Here, the subconscious mind is the best link to memory since the subconscious, in order to create an answer to a list of possibilities, must rely on that memory to function. Therefore, when we must recall facts to figure out what to do, we should trust our gut, and when we must use facts in some form of logic to figure out what to do, we should not trust our gut.

That being said, it is wrong of us to let our subconscious mind judge others or use our present set of values to evaluate pretty much anything. As stated previously, the subconscious can only be used appropriately by recalling past information, and much of that information is going to result from our active use of the mind to understand the world around us. If one only uses the subconscious to recall past judgments, there is usually no issue (provided that judgement took an active involvement), but all future rulings must depend on the conscious mind’s ability to use and manipulate the information present. This ensures that we do not rely on old biases, or reject new information because it does not seem to work with our past views. And with that, we have taken a step towards a better form of consciousness by tempering its use.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

New Ideas: Ideals and Reality, Part Four

I find that curiosity is at its core the desire to discover truth. Yet, I also find that the more truth becomes uncovered, the harder it is to continue with the same unfocused curiosity that got us to this very place. Information overload rings a bell, as there is a certain limit to where a human can specialize. Discoveries, especially new ones, have to come from those who have developed a specialty in that field, but as we travel further toward the essence of the truth we strive for, we forget ever more about the world around us. To continue being curious over our original drives, we have to abandon what we used to know. We have to forget our childlike senses, and embrace a harsh reality where we cannot know the answer, and as we reach closer to one solution, others become ever more distant.

The truth we often seek becomes ever more specialized. We find facts and experiences that do not quite accomplish what we seek, no matter how minor the differences. The more we care, the less we can care about. Yet to avoid fixation completely abandons both curiosity and discovery, and discovery should be what drives our evolution in mind, spirit, and body. It must be held that absolute truth, though remaining as the anchor of our own pursuits, is simply unobtainable by a single individual in a single lifetime.

The question then concerns the value of relative truth, a value which cannot be equally judged among the many, for such judgements would come from others who also abandoned flexibility for focus, a focus that most likely differs entirely from the subject at hand. And even if such a conglomerate is excluded, what then? We are left with those who either chose to focus on anything and everything, or those who chose nothing, and neither of these kinds of people would possess the expertise to rate the value of the relative truth a chosen few have so tirelessly pursued. So we are left at a standstill. To reach for a truth that approaches the absolute, we must abandon a perspective that respects that which we do not search for – all while a perspective that appropriately gauges all relative truth, or seemingly supernal truth, cannot exist. In truth, diverse people will hold diverse opinions about both different and seemingly similar things.

We cannot know all things, for it is hard enough to know one thing, and even if we could know about everything we could discover, there can be no real consensus on the value of such discoveries or the various truths they uncover. Thus, even if the human race had the same level of curiosity existing within each individual (which is impossible), the developing fixation could never be expressed in the same way. Discoveries may become similar when we each develop similar drives, but the relative truth derived from those discoveries can only be appropriately valued by those with the original experience of them, and there could still be a lack of agreement among those in a single field.

We will defend the truths we have either uncovered or created for ourselves, and when we fail to discover anything else, we will spend our time discrediting the ideas of others with similar experiences. And worse yet, if another with an entirely different background is in disagreement with the conclusion of our curiosity, then we lash out against them and all people who exist outside of our walled-in existence. How dare those foreign to our area of proficiency cast doubt on us because of their own lack of understanding. Such is curiosity for all the wrong reasons! Instead, we must shine light on our areas of knowledge, and toil away as we attempt to represent the value such experiential truths hold for us. After all, if we hold enough sway, a new childlike mind will direct its focus upon our work, and become fixated on the unknowable.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Logic Puzzles: Possibility and its Usage in Language

"Anything is possible." It is a common phrase that is used when one wishes to acknowledge the existence of other possibilities. The problem is that "anything" is not possible. To truly accept this is to destabilize the foundation of all human knowledge. While it is indeed true that many facts rely on assumptions as a foundation to build upon, discrediting all foundations is equivalent to eradicating the value of information, knowledge, and learning. It declares all truth unobtainable by mankind. And, of course, such a philosophy can only be regarded as a belief, because it would be contradictory to have a truth that discredits all truth. Truth must be compatible with itself.

The idea that anything is possible leads us to the idea that none of us can know about anything the idea that all thoughts, affirmations, or assertions cannot exist in the realm of certainty. While this puts truth on the ultimate pedestal, it also makes it unreachable. And when something cannot be found, you might find people who lose interest in the idea of discovering it. Now the general idea does not go about vilifying any particular belief, or beliefs in general, nor does it reproach man's desire to not believe something. In fact, the philosophy itself does not cause too many issues itself because there exist a great number of cases where mankind cannot know the answer. However, it does man a great disservice whenever an individual or a group uses it 1) for the excuse to abandon discovery, or 2) to accept improbable causes or effects on the same scale as probable ones.

Yet this post is not about this philosophy, per se. It is more about accepting the broad idea within the confines of a single case of circumstantial ignorance. Just because you yourself do not know whether a fact is actually true or probable, that does not mean you should accept the potentiality of absolutely anything. It is a case of temporarily adopting a philosophy in order to explain away one's lack of information or logic. This means, that through the usage of a simple phrase, one ignorantly believes an idea when the foundation previously required to establish such an idea is not present. Not even the values of the philosophy and the individual are compared. It is simply a lapse in judgment we all have at some point when trying to communicate.

The simple solution? Instead of saying anything is possible, say that you could be wrong, or that something specific is unknowable.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Analysis of the Self: Wisdom vs. Vision

The intellectual struggles for people are often split between the attempt to be wise, and the attempt to become a visionary. Both of these traits, wisdom and vision, are both exemplary and complimentary. However, this means the lack of one can make the other unsatisfactory to some degree.Vision without wisdom and wisdom without vision each create unique pitfalls for the individual, so it is imperative that if one means to use one trait, the lack of a complimentary trait must be identified before action is taken.

What is wisdom? It is having the combination of experience, knowledge, and good judgement. Experience is the foundation of this trait, because with experience naturally comes knowledge, and hopefully, improved judgement. Wisdom is all about learning as you live, and then taking what you have accumulated to create a method of thinking and doing. Life lessons can be extracted from personal events as well as facts, so experience ultimately guides what information a person possesses, as well as how an individual uses said information.

What is vision? It is being able to envision probable potentials, especially relating to one’s behavior or goals. The ability to envision what we should do points us in the right direction. It also enables us to select the stimuli that is most important so that we know what to react to and how. Vision acts as a kind of knowledge. It influences our judgment of both the present and future, and is impacted by past experience.

Vision without wisdom is like a fruitless idealism. You may take action toward a specific end you actually have no hope of reaching, or your actions could create unforeseen circumstances. It is the same with possessing knowledge without experience or good judgment skills. The right information (or goal) is there, but the person just doesn't know what to do with it or how to progress.

Wisdom without vision implies one often knows what is best in the present moment, but preparing for the future is rather difficult. Too many possibilities seem real or relevant. It can also be difficult to make progress on one’s goals, especially if they are more long-term. A lack of vision is similar to a lack of knowledge, which means there is ignorance. However, a wise person often takes such ignorance into account as well, so there may not be a reduction in judgment, but direction. It just depends on what goals and circumstances are involved.

Both of these qualities have an impact on how an individual reacts to the determiners of choice. Wisdom, for instance, may create a heavy focus on details, most commonly values, though any specific category could become important depending on the situation. However, vision relates heavily to goal progression, so things such as time and growth have a big influence. Values also impact the original goal of the individual, so such could frequently impact decisions as well. Ultimately, both are very similar, as each is a quality that influences the decision-making process in a positive way. Wisdom is more so the ability to deal with events as they come, while vision foresees the events beforehand. However, wisdom deals with so much more than just environmental or social changes, so such a comparison is only cursory.

Obtaining wisdom is not too difficult, provided the individual is an avid thinker. However, it seems like such thinking makes seeing the bigger picture more difficult, especially when trying to know how that picture will look in the future. Thinking about all one does implies there is a high probability of learning from said actions. The more this happens, the more you know about yourself, and the better your judgement becomes. This is not universally true, as you may still make poor decisions in an area you are unfamiliar with, but wisdom indicates you are properly using the information available to you. Vision, on the other hand, is closer to extrapolating information, and knowing how the reality of such a projection will change the physical, mental, or spiritual landscape.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Analysis of the Self: Time in Relation to Decisions

The relative value of time is dependent on the goals of the individual. Increments of time will often be valued less if more time is needed to reach a goal, as the increment of time the goal gets pushed back is small compared to the total amount of time needed to reach it. The reverse is true as well. If the time needed (or if the time remaining) to reach a goal is short, then very few distractions will be allowed.

Time is also valued differently depending on the importance of the goal in question (or how troublesome or difficult it is). Progressing on important goals often becomes the primary use of one’s time, just as unimportant goals become more long-term, eventual affairs. The same is likely true for unclear goals. What this means is that we are more often distracted when a clear objective is not before us. If a person does not know how to properly use their time, he or she will instead create new and easier goals to spend time progressing on, even if they are clearly less important from an objective standpoint.

The point is that we are often driven to do something, even when it is not clear what that something should be. Validating our actions later is easy, because all we need to do is compare our actions to doing nothing. Of course, there is no guarantee that such behavior is really constructive, just as there is no assurance that future actions will be either. We may get distracted for some other reason, or we might fail at a task completely.

As time exists as a determiner of choice, it must fight other motivations or values. If our primary concerns were about guaranteed effectiveness rather than presumed efficiency, then the actions of our entire race would differ. Yet time is an ongoing component of temporal life. It holds its own value just as our own interests do. We cannot pursue interests without time, so an interest of ours becomes making time, or at least utilizing it well.

Time is invaluable, but only because it is so scarce. This scarcity exists as part of our temporal nature, but is also impacted by all we wish to accomplish within a time frame. However, this does not mean time is valued properly, because in order to judge this resource correctly, we must know what our goals should actually be. Time is not important so long as our goals are not important. Future time is valued by future goal progression, just as past time is valued by our accomplishments. This is our subjective perspective of how time is valued as a resource. An objective stance would require knowledge of the best usage of time in every situation. Then, one could truly know how much a segment of time could possibly be worth. Naturally, such knowledge requires unlimited foresight, seeing the ongoing repercussions from a continuous stream of action. Since this is impossible, we estimate the impacts of our decisions, and we only do so for the amount of time that appears needed. Thus, we are caught in an ongoing struggle in our decision making: "For how long do I consider the consequences, and at what point does my questioning worsen the situation?"

To summarize, time exists as a determiner of choice because it limits both our choices and our ability to make choices. It is valued based on the choices available, our ability to progress toward goals, and how much we desire making the right decision.