“From what should be to what could be”
by J.R. Fibonacci
The written “script” is below the audio playback windows.
Part 1: from struggling to peace
Part 2: from resistance to promotion
Part 1 (of 2): from struggling to peace
When we focus on some idea, we concentrate attention on that possibility. We cause our experience to organize around that point of reference. We express our values through our choice of focus. We magnify, nourish, and develop what is important to us by investing our attention in that possibility.
Note that in certain conventional moralities, there are exactly two distinct linguistic categories of behavior (and even of reality): good and evil (also known as right and wrong). A certain idea of how things could be, but may not be, may be emphasized as “should.”
Should is worshiped, and reality is judged against the pre-existing conceptual standard of should. Any reality which violates the particular shoulds of a certain morality is identified as “a problem.” The response to a problem is to either single it out or pretend it is not there, then to repress it or fix it, to hide it or solve it.
This paradigm appears not only in morality but in certain traditions of medicine. The emphasis is not on functionality, but on problems of functionality. The problems or symptoms are identified and named, so that people “have” some condition, like they have blindness or they have scurvy or they have dehydration. Any symptoms categorized as illness may be aggressively interrupted, repressing the natural healing processes of the body’s immune response. Or those problems may be “solved,” such as with eye glasses or a “seeing eye dog.”
In a case like “having dehydration,” medical specialists recognize that the situation is actually not one of having some excess, but lacking something essential, such as hydration (water). So, water is provided.
In a case like “having scurvy,” medical specialists may not recognize for centuries that the situation is actually not a situation of having some excess, but lacking something essential, such as a nutrient recently identified and named vitamin C. So, ignorant of what is missing, and often presuming that something is present which “should not be happening” (the body’s natural healing immune response), medical specialists may relentlessly interfere with the immune system, perhaps in the sincere hope of delaying death. However, the perceived problem of “having scurvy” (which is actually lacking or being deficient in vitamin C) is never “fixed” by adding interventions to interfere with symptoms.
Since someone starving from a lack of vitamin C may also be missing other nutrients, such as water, a nurse can provide relief of certain symptoms, as well as mechanical adaptations like electric wheelchairs. Having a wheelchair is not as healthy as being able to walk. Having a “seeing eye dog” is not as functional as being able to see clearly without glasses or other “corrective” adaptions. Of course, corrective glasses do improve functionality and “remedy” the problem, but the actual health (including vision) of the person is not the focus of the medical system. The focus of the medical system is problems of health.
Further, while most disease conditions are not specifically considered evil, there is still so little emphasis on a functional immune system that people may be afraid of contagion, with evil representing anything feared, and contagion as terrifying. Note that contagions may only be dangerous to people with immune systems that are functioning below natural levels.
For people without healthy immune systems, germs may be considered dangerous (bad). Certain foods may be considered bad. Certain practices may be considered bad. In the context of symptoms being deemed bad, certain practices are judged for contributing to or diminishing the appearance of symptoms (the functioning of an immune system).
Fundamentally, there could be a model of how life should be and that model may be worshiped instead of how life is (reality). The white-robed priests of the medical profession, along with the black-robed priests of the legal profession, direct the behavior of their wards. They look for problems, address problems, and even issue curses. The same goes on in politics and business and many other realms, such as education systems in which incorrect answers are highlighted and correct ones are ignored.
Correctional systems and remedial systems sometimes do not work, though. In the realm of financial trends, a certain trend may be deemed unfavorable to a person or group, then identified as a problem by that person or group, producing a struggle to stop the trend, reverse the trend, and prevent the trend from ever returning. However, developments in financial markets, just as in all other realms of reality, are singular expressions of the overall conditions of reality. Any single development or phenomenon always fits the rest of reality.
Calling winter or summer “wrong” is a distinctly human process of linguistic labeling. Summer and winter will be back, no matter how many heroic celebrations are made for the latest alleged “victory over the past.”
Further, some people react to the various symptom-focused systems of remedy and correction by saying “that is not the way it should be” or “focusing on problems is a problem” or other ironies clearly indicating that someone is still operating within that same paradigm. Actually, that paradigm is just “the way of what should be.”
It works how it works. It does not work how it does not work.
The way of “what could be” is a distinct realm as well. While many people may be attached to arguments about the way it should be and even about “the way it is” (which may actually just mean that they are attached to arguing), it is typical that people do not argue over “what could be.” Some people may deny any particular possibility, and they may even fear and attack it or try to prevent it, but then there is always some other possibility to deny, resist, or fix! In fact, by arguing against a certain possibility, people are really saying “it should not be” and if they are talking about it at all, that may be because they at least conceptually recognize the possibility that it could be, or they would not be resisting it or struggling to prevent it or arguing against it!
Some struggle against reality. Some struggle against what should not be. Some struggle against what could be. Consider that struggling is something that could happen, but also might not.
Struggling could be optional. Peace could be possible. Peace may not be possible, but it could be possible, couldn’t it?
Part 2 (of 2): from resistance to promotion
Consider that behind the two linguistic categories of “right and wrong” are the human processes of promoting and punishing. That is, whatever we promote, we call good. Whatever we punish, we call wrong or evil.
Thus, we could practice language in the realm of moralities of “should,” like “right and wrong” or we could simply describe a spectrum of possibilities. There are behaviors we could promote, such as by rewarding them economically in a variety of ways. There are also behaviors we could punish through a variety of punishments.
We can consider that some behaviors are highly rewarded, some are moderately rewarded, some are neither rewarded nor punished, some are mildly punished and some are severely punished. That is the spectrum of promotions and punishments.
However, while that is far more detailed than a simple “either/or” paradigm of “right or wrong,” that spectrum is also incomplete. There are actually behaviors that may be punished if people fail to do them (like paying taxes). There is also the issue that certain behaviors are only rewarded (or punished) when performed by certain people in certain restricted ways.
For instance, when one person takes something from another person involuntarily, what is that called? In general, it is called stealing. However it can also be called confiscation, seizure by authorized personnel, disarming an enemy combatant, or repossession of collateral.
If we were describing the interaction of some wild animals, we would say “one taking something away from the other.” We could also use those exact words with people, but we could also include a label for the social relationship between the people: stealing, confiscating, borrowing, purchasing, and so on- with the psychological assessment of any agreement between the parties being distinct from the physical transfer of possession of some tangible object.
In simple terms, a particular behavior produces a particular result. That is like chemistry. However, in complex social systems, a certain behavior produces a specific social consequence only relative to the specific social status of the one performing the behavior…. That is like the physics of navigation: you have many variables: speed, altitude, direction, changing wind, visibility through clouds, other air traffic, fuel reserves, and on and on.
Consider that the same household chore might be rewarded when performed by a young child (to encourage them to practice that task and develop competence), then… go unrewarded for an older, more mature child (when that behavior is considered their opportunity to contribute to their own well-being and the functionality of the household), and finally, for a mature child, they might even be punished for failure to perform that behavior (as their responsibility or duty). So the same task could be a practice, an opportunity, or a responsibility.
One example is washing clothes. A young child is prohibited from washing clothes, then later encouraged with supervision, then eventually allowed without supervision or obligation, then expected to do it and do it well.
In some cases, someone might even be punished for doing something that is “below” their social status (or “above” it). For a military officer in an emergency protocol, they might be reprimanded for washing their own clothes because other staff are assigned to do that specifically and that officer has other functions that are (also) highly valued and can only be done well if the officer is focused on that rather than on washing clothes.
Similarly, people may be punished for digging in their yard without permission, such as if their digging could have damaged an electrical wire. Only after going through a zoning permission sequence so their proposed digging project can be checked against the map of buried wires, people are allowed to dig without facing punishment. The issue in this case is not that digging is “above” or “below” their social status, but that there are certain precautions that governing regulators may deem prudent and enforce with punishment. Thus, people could be punished for failing to use a certain standard procedure to maximize the possibility that their digging project goes well for them personally and for everyone that could be effected (such as by interruptions in electrical service). Someone might say “you could be punished for digging without a permit” or even “you should get a permit before digging” or just this: “you could favor the results only available by getting a permit first.”
The Church of Blessing promotes the explicit use of rewards and punishments, as well as the reality of diversity (as in inequality- including physical inequality, social inequality, and technological inequality). The practice of shaming, blaming, and cursing (as well as guilt and “making wrong”) is deemed optional. In fact, all practices are deemed optional, though the reality of consequences (including possible social punishments) is recognized.
Conceptually- not as how it should be, but as how it could be- the entire idea of punishment is also considered optional. In an efficient social system, it might be that no behaviors were punished, but that the rewards available by contributing to social value were so attractive that people would focus their attention on performing those behaviors for their own direct natural consequences or for the indirect rewards available through social transaction.
As for all behaviors considered dangerous or injurious, those could be minimized through an emphasis on safety and discretion. Activities known to be dangerous could be performed only after selecting and training appropriate personnel. Vulnerable members of society could be supervised and kept in areas that were maintained as safe by having those areas be accessible only after formal qualifying steps were completed to the satisfaction of those responsible for maintaining the sanctity of the sanctuary.
Generally, there could be four basic social categories or functions: those who primarily operate beyond the sanctuary, those who operate at the boundary of the sanctuary, those who operate within the sanctuary for the internal functioning of the sanctuary, and those vulnerable members of the social group that stay within the sanctuary unless accompanied by an attendant responsible for their well-being. Implicitly, of those who primarily operate beyond the sanctuary boundary, those who are recognized as having approved access into the sanctuary are distinct from those who are not recognized as having access (or are explicitly repelled).
There could be places and occasions for “public assembly” (where “everyone” is invited to attend) and places of private sanctuary (only formally accessible by invitation). There could be training in socio-linguistic distinctions such as “should,” “could” and even “would.” There could be specific services available in the realms of promoting health, relationship, prosperity, and technical competencies (like how to garden, repair automobiles or install plumbing).
Would you be interested in participating in such developments? If so, how?
more on youtube from J.R. Fibonacci:
For a more concise (and visual) presentation of similar content, see http://jrfibonacci.wordpress.com/534/
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