Posts Tagged ‘maturity’

Inspiration, idealism, frustration, and maturity

November 12, 2013

nonsense

 

Inspiration is innate. We do not need to learn it. However, we can be trained to focus away from what inspires us. We may be distracted.

We may notice that all around us are powerful social influences. Certain people and groups have guided our attention and our behavior.

In our families, schools, and churches, we may be trained in various forms of idealism. Idealism means a specific model or pattern of how to relate.

Idealism organizes what we expect, what we respect, what we reject, what we value, and how exactly we respond to whatever we first notice and then value. So, we have all been exposed to these programs. The programs organize our lives, governing our experience. They systematically direct our values and our interpretations. They govern what we display, including what we may pretend to be.

The importance of idealism

Why is all of this important? Idealism can lead to us repressing some experiences and even rejecting them completely. We may numb ourselves to huge ranges of our own experience. What if instead we were suddenly respectful of all of our experiences?

Note that idealism has already trained us in what to respect as well as in what not to respect (or even to disrespect or reject). We respect certain things more than others. For instance, which do you respect more: the current laws where you live now or the laws that used to be dominant a few thousand years ago in a location far away from you? Do you give more respect to your native language or to a language which is foreign to you and totally incomprehensible?

Idiota identificate idioma idiotica.” (To the one who is ignorant, everything unfamiliar will be labeled nonsense. What a fool in the dark does not perceive or comprehend, they may even claim cannot exist. They close their eyes to relax, to cope with their fear of the dark and what horrors may be in it.)

A new respect

So, here are two realms that we could respect now (which we may not have been respecting already). First, we could respect the systems which have influenced our experiences. Second, we could respect all of our own experiences which we have been rejecting (perhaps even some experiences that we have been rejecting so completely that we might be totally ignorant of them).

Once we recognize that there are systems that have been influencing us, we could respect the various systems which have influenced our experiences. We can begin to notice the extent of their influence.

Have you ever noticed people investing huge amounts of time and energy in to ferociously competing with each other over which idealism is ideal, glorifying one ideal and condemning all the rest? It can be exhausting just to witness.

What if we respect all systematic programming of idealism as fundamentally similar? What if we respect the programming of a variety of ideals? The diversity of conflicting idealisms can lead to masses of people polarizing in to opposing concentrations of fanaticism. These opposing factions of idealism may erupt in to animosity, rivalries, feuds, and wars.

Respecting condemnation

All of those behaviors correspond to the experience of feeling threatened, as in insecure, as in afraid. Of all experiences that are systematically repressed and condemned, the condemnation of fear may be the most common.

Of course, condemning itself is a frightened behavior. The condemning of condemnation is the logical extreme of irony (and hypocrisy).

English: Managing emotions - Identifying feelings

English: Managing emotions – Identifying feelings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Respecting the full range of emotions

We can categorize human emotions in to two basic groups: emotions of attraction and of repulsion. Further, we can consider a spectrum of inward and outward variations, like emotions of withdrawing or retreating as distinct from combative emotions of aggressively repelling. These “fight or flight” responses are both frightened reactions.

Among the emotions of attraction, there are receptive or inviting emotions like gratitude, delight, and enthusiasm, but also more assertive or aggressive emotions of attraction like inspiration, lust and greed. Some emotions are considered more masculine or more feminine, as well as more encouraged or discouraged.

English: Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

English: Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Respecting frustration

Notice that frustration is one of the most conflicted of emotions. There is an interest in a possible outcome, then a sense that the possibility has been frustrated. A particular method had been identified in the hope of fulfilling the interest. However, after investing energy in to that method, the results have not been fulfilling but disappointing.

There is an interest, a hope in a method, an investment in to that method, and then a disappointment. But there is more to frustration.

Frustration is not mere disappointment. In the case of mere disappointment, there may still be a sense of calm and curiosity. If the initial interest is still a priority, then the curiosity will result in the exploring of other methods besides the method that was disappointing.

Frustration implies not only disappointment, but fear. There is a fear of failure present- a recognition that the interest might not be fulfilled. However, even with the disappointment and fear, there is also a distress. That distress is the conflict of being afraid and disappointed, but also being afraid to admit being afraid and disappointed.

When someone is frustrated, they may say things like “I wish this was working, but it clearly is not, and yet it really SHOULD!?!?” There is an element of confusion in frustration that is not present in disappointment.

Respecting confusion

What could be the source of the confusion that frustrates us? Could we be confused because of respecting an ideal which we have been trained to value and defend, but which is clearly inconsistent with our own direct experience?

Idiota identificator omniscient, humiliati!” (The one who is ignorant and claims to know everything, they will be humbled.)

It can be stressful to pretend that an ideal is realistic when here is extensive evidence contradicting a particular presumption or ideal. Such a pretense can lead to intense frustration.

“How do I advance my own interest without discarding an old model which I do not want to admit might be obsolete? I could keep trying what is obviously not working! I could complain loudly and hope that someone cares enough to come and rescue me from my confusion and distress. I could have a tantrum of frustration!”

Respecting tantrums

“I should NOT be frustrated! It is not that my ideals are idealistic. My ideals are self-evident, which is why I desperately avoid reviewing the original logical process which led to the forming of my sacred, self-evident ideals.”

“So, I will viciously ridicule or even physically attack anyone who questions my ideals. I will blame them for my frustration. I will have a tantrum, and then another, and then finally some more tantrums, all along blaming other people for annoying me with their attention and their unfamiliar perspectives, which they should have kept to themselves, especially if I directly asked them to share. They deserve to be the targets of my abusive tantrums of self-righteous, justified frustration.”

“By the way, I am NOT frustrated. I am not in distress. I am not in hell. I’m a very happy person! I was always totally happy until THOSE people came along and frustrated ME by witnessing the disappointment that I desperately am afraid of admitting is present.”

“Things should not be how they are. Things should fit my sacred idealism. I do not feel guilty for questioning my ideals because they are self-evident and I do not doubt them at all. In fact, I resent anyone who suggests that I might have ideals clouding my perception.”

“My ideals are the very best ideals in the history of idealism. I might admit that everyone else says the same thing, too, but they only say that because all of them are naively sincere, while I am clearly heroic in my loyalty to my ideals which are definitely not obsolete now because they never will be. My ideals are eternal. Everyone else’s ideals (unless they agree with mine, of course) are temporary and passing and idealistic. My ideals are the best. That is why I am always so happy and never ever frustrated, you know, like all of those other people who are so negative that they condemn contempt and so on. Don’t you just hate people like that? They are just SO dramatic, right? Plus, they could really use some more sincerity. By the way, naïvely sincere loyalty is in no way connected to frustration. So, in conclusion, because I do not deserve to be frustrated and because I should not ever be frustrated, therefore I am not now and never have been. Seriously, do NOT question me on this!”

Respecting terrified ill will

There are many social institutions designed to measure the spectrum of mental health or mental illness in a governed population. Those who demonstrate certain remarkable behaviors are likely to be identified and regulated (such as medicating them to subdue them or immobilize them).

I consider many emotions to be behaviors. Agonizing is an activity. Frustration also requires activity to escalate the original disappointment in to a full-blown tantrum of distress.

When we think of emotions like delight or rage, we can also think of facial expressions and physical gestures. However, all of those may be the results of a more subtle form of behavior: linguistic behavior.

English: Emotions

English: Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Respecting maturity

Recall that social institutions train us in what to value, what to repress, and what to pretend. We are trained in how to relate to our experiences in regard to how we label sensations and organize them in to perceptions.

What portion of reality do we perceive? A tiny fraction. With all of the sensations available to us, we filter out the vast majority of them and then focus on certain details as “important” and then organize those important details in to our experience.

How does one shift from the experience of frustration to maturity? First, one must admit to having had the experience of frustration, plus consider how it could be important. Without recognizing the importance of frustration, there would be no interest in learning from the process of frustration. There would be no distressed discontent to drive us toward maturity.

Maturity involves being perceptive of frustration and of idealism. The more precisely and quickly that I can identify frustration and idealism (in others but also in myself), then the more mature I am.

What is the distance between me and inspiration? There is no distance. Frustration arises only because there is an underlying inspiration which has been frustrated.

What has frustrated our inspiration? Idealism about how we should be and how we should not be serve the function of repressing certain inspirations and encouraging others.

Respecting social institutions

Will there ever be a social institution which does not repress certain inspirations and promote others? Will there ever be a social institution that does not bias people and train them in what to respect, what to reject, what to pretend, and so on?

What if the sole purpose of social institutions was to influence or govern human experience? What if my attention has been influenced? What if my behavior has been influenced?

Is this something to hide? Is this something to be ashamed of? Is this something to pretend is impossible because it conflicts with a social ideal that I may have been worshiping in idolatry?

Embracing maturity

Those who are open to frustration and grief (as in disappointment) have a remarkable opportunity. Because they are not terrified and ashamed of fear, frustration and grief (as in disappointment), they have a unique perceptiveness and clarity.

They are like people who are beginning to open their eyes as they live amongst a culture whose eyes are closed. Their advantage over the masses may be enormous. They may perceive things sooner and much more precisely than the masses.

They may accurately assess opportunity and danger, rather than rejecting all perceptions of danger in a hysterical, paranoid, new age panic of “anti-fear condemnation.” They embrace balance, rather than pretend that there is such a thing as a one-sided piece of paper. (In fact, they simply reject the idea that there SHOULD be such a thing as a one-sided piece of paper.)

Further, they may value the contrary opinions of others, at least occasionally. They may value interaction with others who are mature and respectful and insightful. They may seek out such interaction and divest from what is not working well in order to explore more attractive opportunities.

What is your interest in such conversations? What frustrations are you willing to release? What threatening idealisms are you willing to stop condemning, if only for a moment so you can pause to close your eyes and relax?

 

Maturity: results vs sincerity, hope, regret, & blame

August 30, 2013
Attention ne pas couper le courant électrique

Attention ne pas couper le courant électrique (Photo credit: zigazou76)

 

If you value results, then sincerity and hope are just minor factors. Sincere hope that some method will work is not an access to reliable results.

 

 

Intergrity. Sincerity.

Intergrity. Sincerity. (Photo credit: Renato Ganoza)

 

 

It takes maturity to accept responsibility for producing results. People who present their sincerity as an important historical detail may be quite immature. They want approval and validation, not responsibility.

It is wise to target delegating responsibility to those who are focused on actual results.  You can ask yourself: who wants results and who just wants attention (which they may attempt to distract with dramatic breakdowns and tantrums about who is to blame or what is their very interesting excuse)?

 

 

Mere good intentions are not enough and do not replace research, planning, skill, and dedication. Excitement and passion is not enough either. Nervous excitement or arrogant “confidence” are not signs of reliability.

 

 

Can you qualify for the Green Berets?

Can you qualify for the Green Berets? (Photo credit: U.S. Army Korea (Historical Image Archive))

 

 

Maturity also involves being open to experiencing disappointment about results without justification or blame. No one is ever the victim of the choices they made and the methods they used. Results are the sole basis of assessing the value of the methods and procedures that were used.

 

 

How fast will someone dedicated to results discard a method that is clearly not working? How long will they take to get frustrated enough to be open to a new approach?

 

 

If you value results, then sincerity and hope are just minor factors. If you value being congratulated for your amazing sincerity, then the actual results that you produce are just minor factors.

Imagine a parent complaining that their children just do not appreciate them enough- or that their teenagers should value them more. Imagine a grandparent whining that their infant grandchild does not give them enough attention.

 

 

An infant

An infant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

If you ever get frustrated that people are not congratulating you “enough” for your sincerity, then it may be time to focus on results. If it is time to focus on results, then it may be time to focus on what results to measure and when, plus how to track which results come from which methods. Willingness to revise or discard methods is maturity.

 

 

 

 

Where do you invest your time and energy? There is no “wrong answer” to that question. However, the accurate answer will reveal what you have been valuing.

 

 

Are you willing to face the precise details of how you have been investing your time? Have any issues or topics been “dominating your thoughts?” That is where your energy (emotion) has been invested.

 

 

Just how committed to results would you like to be? Right now, are you more committed to the future than to defending the past (or avoiding it)?

 

 

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus (Photo credit: rwoan)

 

 

There is a constant publicizing of scandals and trivia and controversy. Have you been obsessed with learning the latest detail or on spreading the word heroically about the “big” issue?

 

 

You’ve probably obsessed over at least a few things at some point in your life. Some people’s job is to create sensationalized magnets for your attention. Many issues may be

Can't Be Tamed

Can’t Be Tamed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

worthy of SOME of your attention, but how much?

 

 

 

 

Painful Maturity

Painful Maturity (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

They will promote to you pre-packaged hopes and blames and values. So what?

 

 

The biggest barrier to focusing on results may be regret. Investing in regret tends to lead to exhaustion, blame, resentment, resignation, and cynicism.

 

 

Being disappointed is much more functional than nursing regret. Welcome disappointment. Even welcome fear. Allow yourself to be vulnerable to reality- to partner with it rather than be dismissively terrified of it (AKA arrogance). This is how to learn from the past.

 

 

For sincere people, the past is what justifies the alleged heroism of their most dramatic regrets. For mature people, the past is a series of results that can be lessons for which we are grateful. Maturity may seem a bit more boring, but if you are actually interested in results, maturity is valued over familiarity.

What could be more boring than focusing on what is already familiar to you? What could be more interesting than learning about what you actually value?

 

 

If you value results, then sincerity and hope are just minor factors. If you value being applauded for your latest new hope, then the actual results that you produce may be just minor factors.

 

emotional maturity and the root of all Eve

August 8, 2013

 

naturaleza viva - living nature

naturaleza viva – living nature (Photo credit: jesuscm)

 

 

Welcome. Thank you for your openness to experience something new.

 

You are about to learn about the distinction between innocence and maturity. Maturity is extremely useful, supremely practical, and immensely valuable. Here is a short, simple example of how maturity makes such a difference.

 

 

 

Innocence

Innocence (Photo credit: Suresh Eswaran)

This image shows a whole and a cut lemon. It i...

This image shows a whole and a cut lemon. It is an edit of Image:Lemon.jpg to reduce blown highlights and slightly darken image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was a small child, my big sister and I would argue about many things. Sometimes an adult would respond to our outbursts with some mature attention.

 

My sister would say “this is a lemon.” I would say “no, that is a fruit.” She would say “yes, but is it an apple?” I would say “No, stupid, anyone can see it is not an apple. Apples are red.” She would say, “I’m not stupid. You are the one who is stupid. It is clearly a lemon. Plus, apples can be yellow or green, too, not just red, stupid!”

 

Today, reflecting back on a long past event, you may be able to relate to that kind of an interaction. We could have been talking about politics or religion or some other possible subject of controversy, but we were just talking about different kinds of plants.

 

 

 

Apple

Apple (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

So how were we talking about plants? We were arguing, right, but what else?

 

We were sincere. We did not know any better. In other words, we knew not what we were doing. We were unaware or innocent.

 

We were also competing with each other and even confused and distressed, right? Maybe we were even seeking to have an authority clarify things for us, to present some new language for organizing our conversations, to set things in to order. Maybe we were inviting a new maturity in to our lives.

 

 

 

So what could a mature adult do in response to those two little kids arguing so sincerely and innocently? First, it is obvious that more sincere arguing would not be anything new or distinct. But what about insincere arguing (or joking around)?

 

“Okay, this is clearly a little yellow round thing, but are you sure it is a plant? I don’t know. What do you think? And you, what about you, do you also think that this might be a plant? Well yes that is true, but what else can you tell me about this that proves that it is some kind of a plant? Okay, so you both agree that it is a plant.”

 

The mature person might find an uncontroversial point of agreement. By bringing in the idea of skepticism, the kids are challenged to prove that it is a plant. Their sincerity is welcomed and encouraged. The actual controversy is simply ignored at this stage.

 

Lemon tree02

Lemon tree02 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I agree with both of you that it is a plant. However, have either of you ever heard of the species of plant called citrus limon? No? Well, how about you? AHA! Well, now we all know what the problem is! You people did not even know what a citrus limon was, did you? What are you asking about a species? Ah, yes: what does species mean? Now that is a very good question. Thank you for asking. A species means a specific kind of thing, a special thing that is similar to other things in certain ways, but also a little bit different.”

 

You can think of many other things that a mature person could say to the kids, or things they could do without saying much at all. They could just grab the lemon and then say “This is mine now. It was your problem, but now I took the problem from you and it is my problem, so your problem is over. So, now I am wondering how quickly can you two find something else to argue about? Can you even find another problem at all? I dare you!”

 

Surprise is a key factor in the actions of the mature person. Surprise interrupts the prior momentum of the interaction.

 

The mature person welcomes the sincerity of others and even encourages their initiative, their approach, their momentum. But a new approach can surprise the innocent arguers. A new momentum that is more powerful can effectively resist the old momentums- creating a new conflict- or the new mature approach may even avoid the conflict between the prior approaches.

 

 

Sincere Happiness

Sincere Happiness (Photo credit: gianna.ratto)

“This reminds me of the time that I was going to your favorite restaurant and I walked in and then sat down and soon someone came over and asked me what I wanted as a drink. Have you ever had someone ask you that? So anyway, what I said is that I wanted some water with a slice of lemon. They came back a few minutes later with an entire lemon though. That was a problem. I repeated that I wanted just one slice. They said what about an entire lemon tree. I said no, I do not want a plant or a fruit or a whole lemon, but just one slice. They said that there are several slices of lemon inside of the whole lemon and I just needed to cut open the citrus limon and then I could have a slice of the fruit plant in my water. I said no how do you put a bunch of slices inside of a lemon, because that is impossible. They said they put the slices in the lemon the same way that they put the lemons on the lemon tree. Then we all laughed and I cut up the lemon in to some slices and squeezed some juice in to my water and had a sip.”

 

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve (Photo credit: mikecogh)

 

 

But that is not what most people do when there is a bunch of sincere, innocent arguing about politics or religion. All the sincere innocent people will not welcome the statements of others which conflict with what is most familiar to them, most comfortable, most reassuring, most safe, least dangerous, least threatening, least terrifying. They will intensely resist certain statements or even avoid interacting with people who categorize reality in unfamiliar ways.

 

Mature people may welcome new ways of categorizing their experience. They may even intentionally approach new ways of labeling life and relating to reality.

 

 

 

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve (Photo credit: autowitch)

So, there are four basic patterns of activity: welcoming or resisting and approaching or avoiding. All four of these have value or else they would not ever happen. The mature approach to life is to recognize that every method has value, but no method is always the best.

 

Each method is valuable specifically for the results that it can promote. Welcoming is the default method of newborns. They innocently welcome everything. However, some of the experiences they have are so rewarding that they begin to develop a familiarity for certain things and then they begin to not just welcome but to approach those things, like an appealing sight or intriguing sound or pleasant smell. Young children are not just open anymore but also curious, even passionately (and annoyingly).

 

Innocence

Innocence (Photo credit: Mohammad A. Hamama, A reflected version!)

Eventually, though, that does not go so well. They learn to resist certain things and even avoid certain dangers. That is all part of the process of maturing.

 

 

 

Every pattern has value. Every method is valuable to the one who is mature.

 

Arguing has value. Blaming others has value. Condemning and resisting and avoiding all have value, at least in certain specific circumstances.

 

Saying that only certain things have value also can be valued. Saying that nothing at all ever has any value can even be valuable. Sincerity and joking and deception all can be valuable, such as the ritual deception of children with the Santa Claus myth.

 

English: Santa Claus as illustrated in , v. 52...

English: Santa Claus as illustrated in , v. 52, no. 1344 (December 3 1902), cover. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

So, the value of any thing is not in the thing. Value is a way of relating to something, like welcoming it or resisting it or approaching it or avoiding it.

 

It is valid or valuable to call the same thing by many different labels, such as plant, fruit, lemon, or to even use a different language like Latin and call it a “citrus limon.” Those variations in language are just distinctions of precision. They are all entirely accurate.

 

Arguing over which label is most accurate can be an innocent error. Noticing the function of arguing is part of the process of maturing.

 

English: Fruit on a lemon tree in Stratford, V...

English: Fruit on a lemon tree in Stratford, Victoria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

If you want to avoid maturing, then it is important to avoid arguing and also avoid having a sister. Having a sister is one of the leading causes of arguing over whether a plant is a fruit or a lemon, which is a dangerous thing to welcome or approach.

 

Resist sarcasm and reverse psychology or else I will have no choice but to threaten you with slicing your lemon in to a bunch of lemon slices, which will permanently destroy the lemon, making it completely worthless. That would be like having an apple that was green, but then turns yellow and finally red, which is a horrible color for an apple and must be prevented or else the entire world will be tempted in to tricking someone in to biting the wrong apple, thereby cursing everyone with the opportunity to develop maturity. In conclusion, that is why arguing over forbidden fruit is the root of all Eve.

 

English: Apples on an apple-tree. Ukraine. Рус...

English: Apples on an apple-tree. Ukraine. Русский: Яблоня со спелыми плодами. Украина. Latina: Malus domestica (Borkh., 1803) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Part 1- Immaturity and Maturity (turning away from evil)

January 17, 2013

Immaturity and Maturity

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maturity is a label for inner peace or inner orderliness, even in the midst of external chaos or transition. Immaturity is required for the development of maturity. Immaturity is attempting to prevent some particular pattern of activity within the universe.
For instance, it would be foolish to attempt to stop the wind from blowing in a particular direction, unless you simply want to exhaust yourself.  However, rather than energizing something by resisting or protesting or attempting to prevent it, we can simply promote a contrary possibility.
View of the "Evil Bridge" in "V...

View of the “Evil Bridge” in “Vasilevo” open-air architecture-ethnography museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As another example, can anyone prevent any particular bridge from ever collapsing no matter what- despite earthquakes and meteor strikes and so on? It is not possible to totally prevent the collapsing of all bridges or any bridge, but the stability of any bridge can be measured and then the bridge can be strengthened (or blocked for safety).
Side-view of the "Evil Bridge" in &q...

Side-view of the “Evil Bridge” in “Vasilevo” open-air architecture-ethnography museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The immaturity of attempting to totally prevent a particular pattern is also called terror or disturbance or shame or sin or panic, as in judging against any pattern at all. This is why ancient traditions remind us that “if a pattern disturbs you, simply turn away from it.”
In other words, turn away from evil. This is a sign of maturity and of faith and the result of turning away from evil is the maintaining of inner peace (or swift return to inner peace).
Abstain from contempt and condemnation. Renounce these as sin (immature, unproductive, ineffective). Recall the teachings of the famous Jewish prophet, Jesus, and some of his early apostles:
 
“Condemn not.” (Luke 6:37)
 
“I say to you, not to resist the evil“ Matthew 5:39
 
“I am conscious of this, and am certain in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself; but for the man in whose opinion it is unclean, for him it is unclean [vilified, evil].” Romans 14:14
 
“To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and without faith, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted [vilified, evil].” Titus 1:15

 

English: Amulets against the evil eye fron de ...

English: Amulets against the evil eye fron de Basque Museum of History of Science and Medicine Español: Amuletos contra el mal de ojo del Museo Vasco de Historia de la Ciencia y la Medicina Euskara: Begizkoaren aurkako kutunak (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

maturing beyond sinfulness

December 22, 2011
Sin = ANY error  (not just moral violations) or ANY act of misconduct (including even a failure to take responsible action)
3 types of sin (in the tradition of the ancient Hebrews): negligence, shame, and malice
 
You are soul. Soul is attention. Attention is the source of words. Words are your creation, not your source. Words can direct the attention of the young and impressionable, but, when the soul matures, attention is stabilized beyond words.
It is an error to believe in words. Belief in words is the root of all malice or ill will. In particular, people may identify themselves with or against certain words. That is the root of all psychological suffering (guilt, anxiety, depression, etc…).
That misidentification with linguistic labels is also the root of idolatry, which inovlves mistaking a word like “sacred” or “holy” with Divinity itself. When one is ignorant of Divinity and then labels as “holy” some mere word or phrase or idea or physical object or pattern, that is idolatry. The word Divinity is not what is symbolized by the word Divinity. Worshiping the word Divinity or even a particular scripture (including the US Constitution) is idolatry.
So, sin includes ignorance, negligence, shame malice, as well as the resulting actions. While some uses of the word sin refer in particular to actions, that usage diverges from the traditional Jewish (Hebrew) or Greek usages, as well as the words of the most famous religious figures such as Jesus, Buddha, and Isaiah.
Sin is not just a category of action, but also the source of some behavioral reaction. Consider this translation of a famous heretical prophet: “you have been told that to put someone to death is sin, but I say to you that even to be angry or hold ill will toward another is sin,” as well as other famous instructions: “Condemn not,” “Judge not,” “Let the one among you without sin cast the first stone” and of course “Forgive one another.”
Ill will requires language. Resentment does not arise from action or inaction, but from the language that we can use to ongoingly produce an experience out of our commentary and imagination relating to a memory. Resentment requires first creating shame from a past incident, then blaming someone else for our experience (while we mature in the capacity to accept the experience). In other words, our challenging experiences are part of our development.
The cultivating of antagonism through language is the root issue. From antagonism, many actions may arise, such as war, murder, rape, theft, fraud and so on. However, as Jesus said, it does not require the action of a murder or rape for antagonism or jealous lust to be a disturbance to one’s well-being.
First, we are totally ignorant. Then we begin to learn but still are developing discipline and thus are subject to negligence (which can also be viewed as any failure to be responsible for our reputation). Next we construct linguistic rationales to blame others for our results, which is malice or ill will or resentment, but also shame and pride. We create pride as a barrier to accepting responsibility for our overall results (by focusing on particular results while we ignore the rest of our results, of which we may be quite ashamed and quite hysterical if anyone attempts to direct attention at those results for which we may have been constructing a linguistic identifying or labeling as shameful). In other words, on the foundation of shame, we may develop malice toward those who fail to agree with us about our prides and shames.
That experience of malice might be called hell or purgatory. There may be access to “heaven” at a later stage.
These are the three basic stages of human socio-linguistic development: ignorance, shame, and malice. Next, however, is maturity. A comprehension of the role of language in the constructing of shame and malice allow for an attention to that linguistic process, the realization that inattentiveness or negligent language itself is what creates the malice, so the only remedy required is to cease the negligent language and remain attentive, and that is freedom from sin. That is spiritual rebirth.

stages of adaptive appreciation

October 14, 2011

The above audio contains a lot more clarification and information than the text below.

First, people begin innocent. Then, they are trained in how things should be and so become naively presumptive, though that is adaptive relative to the first stage.

Then, if the presumptive way does not work very well, some slight revisions are made in regard to the updated idealism of how things really should be, and now the reformed and refined presumptiveness becomes arrogance (as in self-righteousness). Again, that may be adaptive relative to the prior stage- using a more adapted model of presumptiveness.
Next, after perhaps a few distinct idealisms have been tried and have all failed to correspond to reality, a cynical perfectionism may develop. This is a reaction against all forms of presumptiveness, all models. This is a criticism against all forms of what allegedly should be. This can be called hypocrisy, for it is presuming that presumptiveness about how things should be is what should not be, which implicitly presumes that an innocent naivete is all that should ever be. Again, that may still be more adaptive than prior stages.
However, once that does not work well either, then humility and grace may eventually develop. Then there is an appreciation possible for every stage: naive innocence, naive presumptiveness, arrogant presumptiveness, arrogant cynicism, and humility.
These stages of adaption can be regrouped in to three distinctions: innocence, perfectionism, and humility. Perfectionism includes naive presumptiveness, arrogant presumptiveness, and arrogant cynicism.
We can even look at these as stages of appreciation. Initially, everything is equal. Then, various priorities and values are identified, learned and refined. Then, there is an appreciation for all models and all values and all priorities- just one at a time.
In other words, all of the models and presumptions are recognized as similar in that they are just models and presumptions. In any particular case, one or more models may be most relevant or useful. There can be an appreciation for each model as unique and for all models as only being models. There can be an appreciation for the creation of new models and discarding of old ones and naively or arrogantly clinging to certain ones or rejecting certain others.
Humility and appreciation may be two words for a single adaption. We might even call it “maturity.”

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