Posts Tagged ‘divisiveness’

what does life value

February 12, 2012

in reply to:

I liked the article. However, the way of presenting an idea along the lines of “all men oppress all women” is odd to me, though.

, *1938-07-21, 78th Attorney General of the Un...

, *1938-07-21, 78th Attorney General of the United States (1993–2001) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the West, there is a great value on young, virgin femininity- or at least the appearance of feminine, virgin youthfulness. Certainly men value it, as do women. No, a crumpled old George Burns at age 95 is not especially sexy and neither is Janet Reno or Margaret Thatcher– at least not to any heterosexual men that I know.

English: Margaret Thatcher, former UK PM. Fran...

Margaret Thatcher –  Image via Wikipedia

Yes, there are ideals of male and female physique– some more universal and some more cultural. Besides physique, other qualities are valued in a mate. However, with the whole thing about women being the ones who actually get pregnant and bear and nurse children, maybe it is a simple fact of nature that for the future evolutionary viability of an offspring, the health and physique of the female parent is more important than the health and physique of the male parent. (Also, I have noticed that among the healthy, fit, teenage women that I know, there may be a relatively low frequency of complaints about societal valuations that honor healthy, fit, teenage women.)


In the West, it is sometimes celebrated that in recent decades, women have become more involved with commercial activity, like taking on jobs more or less the same as men have since the industrial revolution and concentrating of humans in to cities to work at factories. When a society‘s population grows to a point of excess or saturation relative to present resources and infrastructure, it is natural for the social value of the act of child-bearing in particular (and in general the value of women and children) to decline, sometimes suddenly, like during wars.

Girls may be sent off to public schools just like boys. That does not indicate a huge value by families on their children of either sex, but a lack of value. A society in which children are more valued shelters them and apprentices them- at least the aristocratic ones. A society in which children are less valued sends them off to warehouses, but that is a much more sheltered life than abandoning them totally, or shipping them to an orphanage, or selling them like slaves (which may happen much more in impoverished families than sheltered westerners may wish to think).

So, let’s say that in a particular society and culture, there are a set of values in my midst- though those values are subject to change. I could be a newborn or a visitor from afar or a native of many decades. So what are some ways that I could relate to the values in my midst? Do I reject the actual values in my midst? Do I condemn them, or question them, or insist that they are inherently the best, denying the entire history of anthropology and economics? Values change. Values vary.

Institutions organize society by influencing different folks in different ways. The same is true in a bee colony in which one embryo (though genetically the same as hundreds of sisters) is nourished distinctly (with nutrient-rich “royal jelly” rather than the regular honey for the masses of bees). Should we condemn this injustice and intervene to bring equality to bees? If beekeepers tried to do that, it might hasten the extinction of bees.

Life has dictated that bees favor particular embryos and nurture those in to queens. All of the other bees cooperate to gather honey for the “lower class bees” and to gather royal jelly for the selected future queen. The queen is not elected democratically after maturing and campaigning. She is “advantaged” from the earliest age. However, to say “advantaged” is a bit odd.

Are the heart and brain “advantaged” over the skin or the digestive organs when there is a hormonal shift resulting in the directing of resources like oxygen-rich blood to those organs and tissues rather than toward others? Isn’t it that for the benefit of the entire body, lower priority functions like growing hair and growing fingernails will lose nutritional resources (resulting in things like baldness) when other functions are “valued” by the hormonal system of the physiological genius of that particular creature (which could be a mammal or a fish or a reptile)? Is the hormonal system of mammals or fish or reptiles “the best?” It is a silly question, right?

Many humans have been programmed or indoctrinated to relate to life (through language) as something to be rejected, judged, condemned and fixed. When I relate to life as something to be rejected, judged, condemned and fixed, I am life too.

Do I criticize celebrities (including politicians) arrogantly, as if I really know what their lives are like and have some special insight that they should have known to humbly come to me to learn? Do I criticize their arrogance or their naivete or their ambition or what?

Spiritual traditions may teach us to refer to that manner of operating as hell or sin or maya or agonizing or even mental illness like anxiety or paranoia. The archetype of the accuser or slanderer (or, from the Greek word “dia-bolos:” the devil) is referenced as a particular spirit or attitude and many humans are warned about it. We may be taught of “the spirit of the divisive one” as distinct from the spirit of the sage: one who recognizes persona as like a branch of a larger tree. Ego or the identifying of individuality is a process in language as in a process of symbolic metaphor or spirit, and the process is not observable in matter, or at least not without mapping complex neurological patterns of language and perception.

The ego is just a process or pattern of neuro-linguistic biochemistry, and that process is the system of the filtering of all perceiving. The ego cannot remove the ego. The ego is not a mistake. The self-image is the relating to life as if one is isolated from life. We can label the ego as a distinct developmental stage among others.

The ego is one linguistic function of life, like reading these wordy letter shapes is a linguistic function of miraculous neuro-chemistry. Reading does not require the linguistic identifying of an isolated individuality, but reading does require language. Likewise, the perceiving of an ego does not require reading, but the perceiving of an ego isolated in language and through language and by language does require language.

So, life prioritizes by favoring certain functions and capacities over others. Hormones do it when directing blood to various organs and tissues. Bees do it when selecting an embryo to nourish in to a queen. Human populations do it through wars and propaganda and trade- with particular human populations coming to global dominance or regional dominance or local dominance or whatever. When trends of the behaviors of lending and borrowing balloon prices of real estate, that reflects a temporary shifting of social values. When prices of fuels (like crude oil) rise from $11 in 1999 to $148 in 2008, that reflects a temporary shifting in social values.


Values change, sometimes quickly, like when your child starts choking or when a war ends. How do you relate to the fact that there are values that vary from place to place and time to time? How do you value your own life, life in general, and human social values?

Do you reject, judge, condemn, and obsessively to try fix? Do you practice the spirit of inner and outer divisiveness, of the devil? Do you condemn condemnation? Do you judge against judgmental systems of valuation and evaluation? Do you de-value values? Do you value the relationship between that particular function of life labeled “language” and all of the other functions of life?

Is language better than the rest of life? Is language isolated from the rest of life? Is language a function of the rest of life?


spirit of clarity or divisiveness

January 17, 2012

Image by sirwiseowl via Flickr

What color shirt do you have on? Are you absolutely sure?

In other words, would you argue about it? Would you ask someone else’s opinion of it, or can you directly determine it for yourself?
Beware of those who would argue in animosity. Their animosity may reveal that they are not speaking from their heart, from direct experience, from the spirit of clarity. Perhaps they are repeating something from another source without an understanding of the thing they are repeating. Perhaps they are clinging to a particular interpretation without recognizing it as an interpretation. They may be like someone who argues about the color of a shirt rather than looking at the shirt and seeing what color it is.
They may speak of what color the shirt should be or must be or cannot ever be. They are full of talk and may be avoiding looking at the shirt with all of their talking.
Many people may use the word truth, but do they even know what truth means? Truth is not just the word true (as in accurate), but the word truth… as in the actuality distinct from a label in language for the actuality.
Some may repeat the word truth like a little child mimicking a sound, but it is like copying a foreign language to them, like singing a song of sounds that might as well be nonsense. They may use the word, but listen to how they use it and it is obvious whether they know what it means or not.
Now, why would someone argue? Is that a sign of clarity and confidence or of ignorance and defensiveness? From ignorance, one may seek to communicate with others with an attraction to identifying an expert who knows from direct experience, an expert who neither argues nor validates a particular interpretation or label as having some monopoly on the absolute truth.
A label is not the thing that the label is used to label. An interpretation cannot be the absolute truth. Words are all interpretations. Those who are anxious about words have been hypnotized by words and prefer words about truth over truth itself. They may defend ignorance with argumentativeness and accusations, but does the one who knows what color a shirt is have any distress about the issue, any contempt, any anxiety?
Why would someone prefer words about truth over truth itself? Could they fear that they would be ashamed if they were to confront truth? So, they may argue about words as a way of hiding from their shame, their condemnation,
their judgment that they should not be however they are.
If they fear many labels, then they may cling to a particular label. If they fear the absence of labels, they may cling to some label and then worship it. That is idolatry. It is very common. It is a normal developmental stage in relation to an awareness of the functioning of language, of symbolic labels, and of interpretations.
We may have trained in some ways how we should be as well as in several ways that we should not be. That training is not an inherent truth. It is normal and useful to have such training, but the training is specific to a context in which that pattern of training formed and persisted.
We may have been trained in language about how we should be and how we should not be. Some may argue about the language of what should be or should not be. That is in accord with their training.
Others may actively seek the opinions of others about what should be or should not be. That is the stage of experimenting with new ways of thinking and speaking. Soon, one may actively seek the opinion of others about how one should be or should not be. That is the stage of exploring alternatives to any original training about how one should be or should not be, at which time questioning the authority of those speaking was not part of a child’s or subordinate’s process.
Consider a new employee in an old business. It is normal and functional to ask about what should be and what should not be. It is even normal and functional to ask about how should I be and how should I not be.
However, there is also a stage at which one is very clear that labels in language about “should” are all interpretations, not truth. Truth is not the realm of what should be or what should not be, which is just a matter of training. Truth is the realm of what is.
Recall that there is a very simple answer as to the color of a shirt. Recall that there is a very simple process as to determining it’s color.
Further, notice that there could be a very simply answer as to what I am. There could even be a very simple process as to determining what that answer is.
One who knows the answer may not be so interested in words about it. Arguing about it would not interest them. Other people’s interpretations might be, to that one, just the business of those other people.
What would be the fruits or signs of such a clarity? Playfulness might be one, but it may be enough to say that in the presence of that clarity, there is no shaming.
If one who is arguing is actually seeking to identify one who is beyond shaming and arguing, offering to argue would be one way to test for a response of counter-arguing. If who seeks to identify one beyond shame, offering shame would be one way to test for a response of counter-shaming.
Beware of those who would argue in animosity. Beware of those who worship shame.
Do not try to change the color of someone else’s shirt before you know how to determine the color of your own shirt. Do not try to persuade others about truth until direct experience is present of what you are, not as a label in language, but as truth.

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