There are aspects of our own nature that can cause us to unconsciously loose sight of what we really care about. This happens when these parts of our nature get into the driver's seat and make more immediate, instinctual and short sighted objectives into our highest priorities.
Some classic examples of this are:
When two people who have the integrity of their shared love as an ultimate objective nevertheless each relentlessly pursue the lesser objective of "being right".
When a person who seeks respect from others as an ultimate objective invariably sticks to their guns in pursuit of the lesser objective of saving face.
When a person, group or nation has as an ultimate objective to be emotionally or physically safe but, in pursuit of the lesser objective of needing to feel innocent, turns away from exploring how they may be contributing to their own lack of safety.
When a person, group or nation has improvement to any of the various systems under which they live as an ultimate objective, yet pursues the lesser objective of distraction from the current state of that system.
When two opposed persons, groups or nations that must deal or work with each other to enable the achievement of one or more of their ultimate objectives end up hindering this pursuit by engaging with the lesser objective of mutual condemnation.
We are particularly vulnerable to this displacement of our objectives when we are in emotionally charged situations. Pretty much everyone understands this. But understanding the depths to which this phenomenon affects us, and reducing this affect is a challenge which I believe is one of humanity's greatest and most important.
I think the first step towards more consistently serving one's ultimate objectives is to attempt to decisively define them in every situation. Furthermore, I think it is equally important to adopt the practice of repeatedly referring back to the objectives one defines in order to check how well one's actions are aligned with them.
Incidentally, one of my project-wide intentions is to illuminate some rarely recognized commonalities we all share that I believe can provide for a profound understanding of one another. I believe such factors represent a deep kinship between us all for which we have a great lack of understanding. I believe this lack of understanding is one of the greatest forces that divide and disrupt us and that an overall increase in the understanding of these commonalities stands to bring to us a greater sense of unity and connection. From greater understanding comes more relevant, or functional action.
So I am suggesting here that one of the factors that deeply relate us to one another is that most, if not all of our ultimate objectives are the same. We are all doing different things for the same reasons.
I believe every one of us has, or at the very least once had as our highest objectives the desire:
To love and be loved.
To be respected, both by others and very importantly, by ourselves.
To be safe.
To have some control over what happens to us.
Love. Respect. Safety. control. Survival.
These are some of the most basic higher goals or ultimate objectives that deeply relate us to one another. If you observe someone using an approach in life that is very different from your own, chances are they are still in pursuit of one of these objectives, even if in a misguided way.
Throughout the rest of this project I want to explore specific human related topics many of which are tendencies or behaviors. I, and you if you join in, will be trying to determine the ultimate objectives that are classically involved with each behavior, and how each behavior affects those objectives. I will also try to define my own ultimate objectives: what I'm trying to get at with the exploration of each topic.
I think it is also beneficial to define and keep in mind some of the the classically disruptive objectives that we often replace or attempt to pursue our highest ones with. Some of them are present in the examples that I opened this offering with. There was:
The establishment of superiority.
The preservation of image.
The unquestionable status of innocence.
The imaginary shelter of distraction.
Self validation through the condemnation of others.
To these I also add the primal pursuit of convenience.
And very importantly, I think what can provide for perhaps the most benefit is to become comfortable with the fact that we---that is you and I as human beings---are indeed vulnerable to the driving force behind the pursuit of such short sighted objectives. If we are unable to accept this, I believe our potential for growth is severely disabled.
I also want to revisit here, and throughout the project, objectives such as we may automatically recite to ourselves.
What kind of steps are we taking towards leaving a better world for our children? How much effort do we put towards following the various parts of our classic moral or religious creeds such as refraining from judgment and violence against one another? How well do we use these pursuits and others as standards by which we choose our conduct and as priorities we continually seek to improve upon? Is it convenience or the need to feel simply O.K. about ourselves that dictate how often we act on the behalf of future people? Is it mostly within warm fuzzy moments or in regard to scenarios that we are emotionally removed from that we express a deep acceptance of others and a prescription for "brotherly love"?
I'm not here to attack humanity. This isn't about expressing non-acceptance for how we ourselves presently are. That would be totally counter productive and hypocritical on my part. But this is suggesting there is benefit to coming to grips with how we presently are. In fact it's about becoming comfortable with our inconsistencies as something that is necessary for us to do in order to move forward. It is important to be able to admit and forgive the least comfortable ways in which we fail in this human drama, in order to improve our ability to succeed.
More and more of what we do as individuals sends stronger waves of cause and effect out across our world and ultimately, back to ourselves. We are realizing more and more how this is so. In this expanding world with our expanding awareness there are so many high stakes things to care about. It seems as though it can now actually be painful or even jeopardize our very mental health to care too much about certain things. But I think this is because to us, care is linked with expectation. For us to care about a problem is to expect it to get better. It is important that we find a way to care about the disturbing issues in our world, and at the same time accept the status of what we are caring about. Finding a path to this is yet another pursuit of this project. Because action can only come from caring. And the possibility that what we care about will be secured or improved upon can only come from action. If we give up on caring about a better world because it seemingly brings frustration, pain or even a threat to our mental well being, we throw away much of our constructive power. We give up all possibility of having a say in the world that develops.
You will not find me often dictating to you in this project.
But for what it's worth: don't... give... up... caring.
In the realm of human behavior there are simply certain things we cannot decide to succeed at or manifest. We can't necessarily change our present nature with a decision. We cannot necessarily decide that we are going to be less judgmental and more caring. We cannot decide that we are going to become more aware of the ways in which we hinder the future world. But we can decide to continually and sincerely work towards being less judgmental and more aware. And specifically, we can sincerely work towards accepting the degree to which we succeed---or fail---at that. Where these types of behavioral objectives are concerned, expecting successfully change can get one stuck in a self depleting quagmire. Where these kinds of objectives are concerned, expecting change has failure built into it: not just periodic failure, but the failure to continue to even try for change or growth at its most challenging---and important---levels.
In light of the way our world is developing, it is the very objectives which present the utmost difficulty to us that are the most important to continually pursue: the reduction of our own righteousness, condemnation and expectation and the increase of our care, understanding and self exploration. Expecting success with these personal objectives will not produce the best outcome and may indeed sour us to pursuing them at their higher levels. I submit that where our own growth is concerned, to just continually and sincerely act in the direction of success rather than expecting it creates the greatest opportunity for its achievement.
So the objects of this offering are:
To suggest there is immense worth in making a practice of thoughtfully defining and continually revisiting our ultimate objectives in everything we do, so they may become a more present part of our awareness.
To become more deeply aware of the concept that parts of our own nature can switch our objectives around on us resulting in that the most important ones can be left on the sidelines or even made unattainable. But also to become more comfortable with this as part of our humanity and a truth that must be accepted to be worked from.
To define some of the objectives that we all share so we may better understand each others actions and begin to see more of how we are all in the same boat.
With the first two offerings I laid down the assertion that we are still growing and then clarified that this is our time. With this offering I believe I've now fully set the stage for the rest of this exploration.
Next is where things really get interesting, and really important in my opinion. We're going to go right to the basis of what I believe, in order to further a sustainable approach to our world, is imperative for us as human beings to both understand and integrate into our systems of education. We're going to go right to the very substance by which reality itself unfolds and explore the very special relationship we as human beings have with that substance in an offering called "Reaction".
Go with care my friends.