#127 – Self-Affirmation

I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.
    Philippians 4: 11

It might very well seem to our readers that we in writing these current events essays suffer a surfeit of hubris pretending to know what’s happening in the Global Village. But the facts are, that seen from the perspective of the Simple Reality worldview, life is not that complicated. Anyone can match wits with smarty-pants philosophers if they stay grounded in the common sense paradigm that our inner wisdom provides for us.

Why is our species insisting on the self-destructive behavior revealed by the media headlines that greet us each morning? For example let’s challenge Socrates who has the reputation for being something of a smarty-pants philosopher. What did he have to say regarding human behavior? “It is, as Socrates himself says, the claim that to know the good is to do the good.” (1) As we observe what is going on in the human community, it must be that people either can’t distinguish what is good from what is bad or Socrates did not understand his fellow homo sapiens.

We could also say that Socrates probably didn’t understand, as we do, that the average person is unconscious, in that they are functioning in a dream-like state not able to see the difference between what is real (good) what is an illusion (bad). Now we bring Freud into our analysis to flesh out the problem of current human behavior. “As for Freud and for contemporary psychiatry, the unconscious is understood as a ‘seething cauldron’ of powerful desires against which reason is weak and helpless.” (1) Even if we could discern the difference between good and bad behavior would we be able to resist self-destructive behavior?

We are neither short on facts as was Socrates nor as ignorant of the complete structure of human consciousness as was Freud so why are so many of us choosing the “seething cauldron of our powerful desires” over “good behavior?” Could it be because an unconscious person often cannot tell the difference between good (life-affirming) behavior and bad (self-destructive) behavior?

Acceptance is one way of saying “don’t react” or “be in response.” The great Indian teacher J. Krishnamurti put it this way: “I don’t mind what’s happening.” From a legend about Siddhartha Gautama as a boy: “Here, not picking and choosing is something a boy wanders into; it is the natural state of an undisturbed mind. Then the boy notices that thoughts and feelings are always rising and that they are not themselves disturbing: thoughts and feelings are things in the world as much as flowers and parasols, and he doesn’t have to either agree with them or quarrel with them. He feels happiness not born of desire.” (2)

For more guidance on how to distinguish life-affirming behaviors from self-destructive behaviors click on the link below.

Insight # 127:  Affirmation then means the loving acceptance of your own unique individuality. Such affirmation will lead you to your own inner discoveries and attract from the deepest portions of your being the particular kind of information, experience, or perception that you need.     Seth (3)

Link:

References:

  1. Lavine, T.Z. From Socrates to Sartre: the Philosophic Quest. New York: Bantam, 1984, page 17.
  2. Schaef, Anne Wilson. When Society Becomes an Addict. New York: Harper, 1987, page 38.
  3. Roberts, Jane. The Nature of Personal Reality. New York: Bantam, 1974, page 436.

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