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WISDOM ENQUIRIES
Exploring Our Human-Transcendence


Written, Compiled,
& Edited
By
Joseph
with Sharon

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This book concentrates on the enquiry aspect of this human-transcendent  wisdom
for the deepening of one's understanding of his-her human-transcendence; and
with this deepening understanding comes a gradual conscious transformation that
can translate into one's daily practice, or living patterns.
____________________________________________________________

1

Having read the passages in A HUMAN-TRANSCENDENT WISDOM page, the reader will now explore more deeply selected passages taken from that part of the book – or from any other topic on this site. This is done through what I term wisdom enquiries.
We can consider the meaning of “wisdom enquiries” as a look into the depths and heights of our human nature and transcendent being. By “wisdom” we mean deliberating and acting well both humanly and transcendently. By “enquiry” we mean seeking inwardly for both knowledge and truth. We choose “enquiry” instead of “inquiry” because of the added meaning of the 'en' prefix: “cause to be," which is not included in the meaning of the prefix 'in'. The phrase “cause to be” can be used as the source, the “first cause” (compare Aristotle) – God – as well as its particular meaning (“endear,” for example)
So, the process of wisdom enquiries is the search for truth leading from human psychology to human-transcendence. By questioning, probing, delving – Why? What? Wherefore? – into the meaning of human knowledge, we are reaching for the abiding truths of our being – being here alive.
Through this enquiry, we are plumbing our depths (psychology) so that we may reach our heights (transcendence).
Through this enquiring process, we are bringing to our consciousness the truths that we “know” intuitively, but cannot articulate. We are not only making our unconscious-subconscious conscious, but we are making our transconscious (where essential, universal truths are set) conscious. So, in effect, we are using our reason to make our intuition articulate.
So, wisdom enquiry is a human transcendent questioning so that we understand not only our psychological nature, but our transcendent nature as well – both in relation one to the other.


2

Here then, in brief, is how wisdom enquiries proceed.
The enquirist (or facilitator or moderator) chooses a topic of interest or concern, to read from eminent and perceptive persons.
Having read the passage through for an initial understanding, the next step is to understand it in its parts as well as its whole in relation to our own understanding. And to achieve this understanding, we approach the passage from the following four perspectives: through interpretation, association,  meaning, and projection.
Through interpretation of the passage, we analyze the meaning of its essential points (where necessary) and synthesize it as a whole. Through association, we name the ideas that we associate with the point of the passage. Through meaning, we ask ourselves what this passage means to us personally. And through projection, we project the meaning of the passage into historical, anthropological, geographical, cultural, political, artistic fields in light of our humanness and our transcendence, and their balance: human-transcendence.
Regarding interpretation, you might ask "What is the main point of this passage?" or "What does that particular statement mean?" or "Why is that?" Regarding association, you might ask "What ideas and feelings do I associate with this passage as a whole, and/or in particular?" or "What examples might help clarify that particular statement?" Regarding meaning you might ask, "Do I agree or disagree with the point or message of this passage, and why?" Regarding projection, you might ask, "Would the same idea apply to the Germans, or the Chinese, or the Samoans?" Or "How will this idea contribute to human-transcendence?"   

This four-fold exploration of the passage I term wisdom enquiries from which the aspirant will most likely have arrived at a truth of wisdom applicable to his life. This wisdom enquiry process is, in the abstract, a matter of transforming intuitive, inarticulate knowing to conscious, articulate understanding.
So what we have in these wisdom enquiries is not so much an intellectual discipline or study, but rather an intuitional transformation. The task is to bring forth into the light of conscious awareness from our un-sub-pre-consciousness the truths of our intuitive mind – what I term  as our transconscious. From this source derives the wisdom of our species.
Accordingly, these enquiries, as mentioned, is called wisdom enquiries; and the personal process through which this human-transcendent wisdom will be called self-enquiry.

3

In closing, the enquirist's comments on these passages are only explorations, interpretations, and impressions, and are not to be taken as necessary truths; nor will every passage be completely thought through. As a matter of fact, the enquirist tends to raise more questions than to frame answers; thereby, leaving the participant to arrive at his own truths, his own self-understanding. Accordingly, the participants' contribution is, of course, crucial to this process of enquiry, otherwise their intuitive truths remain dormant.
4

A person who believes himself or herself qualified to preside over a small group, or one per- son, can take the passages from the books on this site – and to be published – and formulate his or her own enquiries. But I caution those persons to be well prepared to explain the pas- sages they choose for discussion, as well as related and projected matter pertinent to the passage; otherwise the participants will not return. You do not have to know all the answers related to a passage, but you do have to have pertinent questions that will lead to reasonable interpretations by yourself or by the others. These interpre- tations are not to be patchwork, or random passages but must fall under an overall psychological or philosophical worldview that your fellow participants are interested in.

5  

For those persons who, after reading the following enquiries, want to make and share their own comments on any one or more of the passages, they can feel free to do so through e-mail exchange with other participants of the movement. Here's how this e-mail exchange works: you e-mail us your question or comment with your e-mail address. We post it on our e-mail exchange page, which then will be in view for other participants to respond.  
For those who may prefer to exchange ideas and ideals with the enquirist – myself in this case – a small monthly contribution to the conscious transformation movement is required after the first e-mail exchange, which is free.   
For further information I can be contacted at thepublicbenefit@verizon.net

                                 A SAMPLE OF AN ACTUAL RECORDED ENQUIRY SESSION

[This discussion proceeds after reading a passage on morals]

Joseph: We're now going into the realm of morals after our excursions into the "murky" subjects of evil, sex, and the need to be needed.
     Now as an introduction, as we look at people in general, I think we can observe three or four basic types: the predominantly intellectual type, the predominantly emotional type, the predominantly active type; and the predominantly intuitive type.
     Now most people, as the world is, I would say are predominantly active in the sense that the active life of affairs, work, entertainment, social services,and the like, take up more of their interest than do the affairs of intellectual, emotional, and intuitive matters. By "intellec- tual," I mean matters of love for ideas as expressed in philosophy, science, literature, and so forth; by "emotional," I mean love of expression of emotions and feelings as felt and expres- sed through poetry, music, art, dance, drama, and so forth.  And the person who is predomin- antly intuitive is one who is mostly reflective, contemplative, meditative, who has a degree of insight and vision into human live, life in general, and existence. Any one of the other types: emotional, intellectual, active, can have a more or less strong strain of intuitive insight. Such a person is concerned, whether he knows it or not, more with wisdom than  with knowledge: meaning that the truths and meaning that he comes to understand about the world, he trans- forms into a living, practical reality in his life and conduct.
Anthony: [You mean] the person who reads between the lines; not reading the exact words only, not deriving knowledge only, but making the connections from the particular knowledge to a more universal sense of reality.
Joseph: That's right; and applies that knowing to his life so that it can help him turn into the man (or woman) that he aspires to be. this wisdom grows and grows [in him], and becomes more and more encompassing in his or her life.
     So, back to our original point that most people are more active than anything else com- pared to their intellect or emotions. And if these people are concerned with, aspire to, to some degree a spiritual height or widening consciousness, then what would be the connec- tion in their daily activities to get to that higher reality? Goodness, wouldn't you think? Goodness as regards justice, and the other social virtues: generosity, courage, honesty, consideration, sincerity, altruism, patience, integrity, etc. The intellectually predominant person isn't as concerned with the virtues as the active person since he tends  to live a more reclusive, contemplative life, and so does not prefer to deal with people mostly. Almost similarly with the emotional, sensitive type; he often is too vulnerable to the raw, vulgar realities of life; and so, on that basis, is not balanced enough to live and deal with people in close proximity, or comfortably with people; nor does he know how to very well. He appears to others as an eccentric, ill-adjusted to social propriety and niceties, and the like. But the active person has ample opportunity to deal with people of all types, with behavior of all types; and so if he is concerned with justice and sincerity and honesty, and all the rest of the social virtues, he has enough material to work with in relation to others and to himself; by which I mean: is he going to be generous or stingy in a given situation; is he going to tell the truth or lie; be honest or cheat, be controlled in his anger or give vent to it, and so forth. Such an active person might concern himself in such social issues as euthanasia, abortion, premarital sex, business ethics, and the like.
     Now what is the connection between the goodness, the morality, the justice, of an individual and his spiritual sense and quest? Well, if a person, so inclined, acts according to his principles, what he feels to be morally right, he is bound to feel fine in doing so; strong, if in so abiding by to his principles, he has to sacrifice his own good for another's good, or for a worthy cause. He feels a sense of control over his destiny, a feeling of power over the haphazardness of events; his justice has triumphed  over injustice, his order has gained a victory over disorder; he is contributing to the good and order of the world. His acts, he feels, are unifying, principled, rational. He is the warrior, the advocate of goodness in the world. There is a beauty to his goodness, a harmony; and this beauty and harmony lead to a sense of love and oneness with mankind. His goodness seems connected to unity in life; and since he sees this unity feels, manifested by the order in and of life, and in and of the universe-he can easily take the next step into postulating God as the source of this unity, or is this unity Himself (or Itself). And as a man of goodness, this individual feels that in his acts of goodness or virtue, he is contributing, is an agent of, the God of unity. Goodness binds, unifies, harmonizes, human beings; and so is a living manifestation of the divine Unity of existence.
     I think that this analysis of goodness is related to the philosophy of God as being the Good in Plato's philosophy, because of the basic, cohesive meaning  of the term "good.
     So, this connection between goodness and God indicates the importance of studying morality, virtue, ethics; not only in its practical applications, but in its metaphysical and spiritual meaning – Note that Spinoza titled his great metaphysical work Ethics – which is hardly about ethics as we normally think of it. And so it seems that one who practices justice, one who aspires to goodness, integrity, is living what we might consider a godlike existence; is approximating the nature of God as unity; since, as I've mentioned, goodness is a unifying element in human life.
     This matter of goodness is but one side of life and existence; we also have to consider evil as its counterpart; and how it fits in with this notion of God as the Good, or as Unity. This we will get into as we explore the subject of ethics further.
...

Joseph. Can one's moral ideals, or ideal image, be  a hindrance to his well-being? For example, a person who wants to tell the absolute truth because he wants to get close to perfection or certainty, which are offshoot concepts of the Divine, – would his attitude be a hindrance to his progress toward a higher, broader consciousness of the Soul of the world? Or does he have to realize that in this world of flux, of cause and effect, of opposites and diversity, and contingencies of all sorts, that the truth just can't be told absolutely? Or do you have to be an absolutist in the moral realm to be a spiritual-minded person, a transcendentalist?
     It seems that as I'm asking these questions, they're turning out  to be almost rhetorical questions, aren't they?
Anthony. In order to be moral, you don't necessarily have to be spiritual; but in order to be spiritual, there has to be morality.
Joseph. Agreed. But a question is: Why do you have to be moral to be spiritual? Why can't one be a scoundrel, and evilist, so to speak, Like Genet, and be spiritual?
Anthony. To be spiritual, and I consider myself as such, is to be a disciple of Truth. I'm searching for the Truth; that's my final objective, whatever Truth may turn out to be; the Truth may turn out to be that the whole thing is just a dream, a falsehood, an illusion.
Joseph.  Are you talking about truth  with a capital 'T', or the truths of life as well?
Anthony. Both. If there isn't a Truth of a God to begin with, or of a supreme, essential Reality, there wouldn't be a capital 'T' with the truth; for the truth would be that there is no final, absolute Truth, with a capital 'T'. And this is my goal.
Joseph  I might add, just as a sideline, by your "goal," would that be your intellectual goal, your emotional goal, your intuitive, or active goal? Because if you're primarily an active person, you would find your Truth through selfless action dedicated to this Truth. Or if your goal was mainly intellectual knowledge of this Truth that you're seeking, then you would read and contemplate and discuss the truths of reality, or the Truth of reality, whichever you came to believe the Truth to be: either absolute or relative.
Anthony. For myself, I have all these tendencies that lead to this Truth: the intellectual interest, the emotional feeling, the active doing.
Joseph.  Good. Now what if I said that the only way you could find this Truth, this God, is to go beyond reason, beyond emotion, beyond action; that the direct route to this Truth is through no-thought, and through egolessness – the dissolving of your ego interests and concerns? Indirectly  you might reach this Truth through your intellect, through your emotions, through your good works; but you will not experience the essence of this Truth except through egolessness. Now would you take the direct route if I convinced you of what I'm saying about egolessness? and you will find this Truth, and it will "set you free," as Christ said; and you will be able to live your days out in the hands of your God. You don't have to go through all this falderal of intellectualizing this Truth: no speculation, no theories, no metaphysics, no science, no philosophy. All you have do is get in a meditative state of mind for life. Could you do it?
Anthony. No, I would not do it.
Joseph. Now what do we conclude from that?
Geoffrey. That he is one who has to go through the long route, through the labyrinth rather than through the secret door.
Joseph. So, you don't really want  Truth as Truth; you want to find the fascinating, colorful ways  to the Truth; the ways that give you your sense of meaning, your sense of well-being; your suffering, too; you'll want that.
Geoffrey. But as we said, these are [individual] truths – [in the plural; truths that he will find. He will get truth out of his search, but not the ground of those truths, the essence of them –Truth itself.]
Anthony. May I ask a question? What makes this way quicker than that way: in the way I'm progressing: living with my thoughts, coming to these discussions, reading spiritual literature?
Geoffrey. Because the way of egolessness, or self-transcendence, goes directly to the Truth; it's an arrow going right to the target, and you don't have to look backwards, and hold a mirror to do it; it would take more time to aim your shot right if you could do that. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and egolessness is that straight  line; and so obviously is going to be shorter, quicker, than saying, "Well, I have to spend a month  now absorbed in what Nietzsche said; and after I've finished with Nietzsche, then, oh, time to go on  to Schopenhauer of course, then to Wittgenstein and 'The world is all that is the case.'" Then after them, you might have to get into Shakespeare, what he meant and connect his King Lear to evil; and from there to Genet, and on and on.
Anthony. That's all intellectual.
Geoffrey. If you have that intellectual bent in you, then you're going to have to go this route, because you deal with all these views that help you out in your progress toward the Spirit.
Anthony. Well, we can eliminate that, because I'm not that bent toward reading books; in fact, reading is rather difficult for me. So that's not my way.
Joseph. So knowledge of the Way, or the Truth, is not so important to you?
Anthony. Yes, it is. Knowledge might help me to express myself in this realm of truth;[though it's not my main way].
Holly. Okay. I want the Truth really bad, and I want to get there the quickest, most direct way. so I tell you, "Yes, I'll start this evening, do whatever you say to get me there, because this is what I want." Now, can you guarantee me that I'm going to reach this Truth? I want It very badly, but I might not have gone through what I have to.
Joseph. You're asking me hypothetically?
Holly. Yes.
Joseph. No, I couldn't guarantee that for you. I would have to know you more, knowing whether you could take a direct route or not. You would have to come to me saturated, intoxicated, dazed, stunned, transfixed in this Truth before I could are say that you are definitely ready for the direct route; since there could be nothing  more you could do but go directly to It. But if you're an average person  who wants this Truth, then I can't say, "Well, okay, it's been my way through reading and meditation; and so, that is the way; it works for me, but it may not for you. Are you predominantly intellectual, more emotional, more active, more intuitive, more devotional, more prone to ritual than contemplation, and so forth." This is where psychology comes in . Just where do you fit in relation to your character, your frame of mind? You might take a route that doesn't fit your particular temperament, and you'll be very frustrated. There are variant radiations of this Truth. In most cases, I would say we can't go that direct route of arrow to the target. We do have to go through our humanity and find out who we are in relation to the world, to life, before we can find out who we are in relation to this Truth, this God.
     Perhaps one day we might have a type of psychologist who will have the requisite knowledge of temperament and of human nature in general in relation to the issues, not only of sex and personality dysfunction, but of evil and of need; and have the wisdom to guide people to this Truth or Wisdom according to their unique temperament, constitution, and mind.  This new psychologist would have the spiritual psychology as well as the human psychology of human nature. He would have to be a very rounded individual. He wouldn't say, "Follow me; I have the answer," for the simple reason that the individual in question might have a different bent than he has. His task is to open the inward spiritual door of the individual according to his own natural self, to offer alternatives, possibilities.
Does that answer your question?
Holly. Yes.
Joseph. Good. Now to return to what I might term as our transcendent psychologist.
     There seems to be  a need of such a psychologist to treat – if that's the word – the growing number of individuals who are spiritual-minded, but who do not, nor cannot, fit into the dogmatic, theological, ritualistic religious mold. They can't regiment themselves to a dogma that they don't need. This is one of the major problems of our day, and one that must soon be dealt with. I remember reading that the great psychiatrist Carl Jung said that most of his patients over forty years old had at bottom a spiritual unresolved problem that he himself could not help them with. To me, this idea of a transcendent psychologist is related to the beginnings of psychoanalysis which began for a specific purpose, for the advancement of man's understanding. We could call this transcendent psychologist a doctor of the spirit or soul. should such a doctor open an office, or what?
Geoffrey. Take the individual who is 60 to 75 percent transcendent, and the rest humanist; and he is the transcendent humanist. Now what is the perfect occupation for a transcendent humanist? To be a transcendent psychologist. Now, if you're going to be that, then you obviously have to open an office, somewhere so that people can come to you. Is such a new psychology possible? Yes. Important? Tremendously, because there are the individuals who can't go to the priest, and can't go to the psychiatrist, because neither are going to under- stand  his existential situation deeply enough. The transcendent psychologist is the in-between the priest and the psychologist or psychiatrist; and we don't have such a person in today's society. And he's the kind of person who is required for the individual who we [the priest, psychologist, psychiatrist] don't know what to do with.
Holly. Aren't these the people who are joining so many of the new religions, encounter groups, and so forth?
Joseph. Yes, exactly. They join the various cults and sects. They're looking for answers that the mainstream  religions can't give them. And many of these people eventually become disenchanted with more methods and ways that are standardized according to the leader of these groups. So this transcendent psychologist has to be able to touch the spiritual nerve of the individual, his particular malaise, melancholy, perplexity.
     Now further, does this new psychologist charge a fee? If not, then he is going to have to maintain his practice only part-time.
Holly. There would be a charge, of course; but not a $75 fee that psychologists are charging now. He should be paid enough  to support his staying in a modest location; not to enrich himself.
Geoffrey. A fixed fee that goes up with the cost of living. So, if there's a ten percent increase in the cost of living, his fee goes up 10%; so that he's always with what is the minimum cost of living.
Joseph. Which means there is no large staff, no luxurious office and furniture. It has to be that way. with the psychologist and psychiatrist, we can understand that they have to have the facade and image; but not this transcendent psychologist, because his representation is as a man or woman  of Transcendence, of wisdom. He has to be first and foremost what he is teaching, and that is wisdom, Transcendence; just as Freud was very much of a neurotic (his own admittance to Jung), which made him understand neurosis so profoundly. So this new psychologist is primarily concerned with his transcendence; so, for him to be concerned for  profit by his profession shows more a concern for profit than for his transcendence.
Geoffrey. Such a person would have to begin his training at a very young age.

_________________



Selections for Wisdom Enquiries


I: OUR HUMANNESS
[In Relation To Human Love]


Torres


Self-Love
Love as essentially self preservation, self-identity
[This aspect of love expresses the predominant concern for one's own preservation
             and well-being, excluding or including the concern for, and well-being of, others.]



 Eminent Persons


[Self-love In a Positive Sense]
Soren Kierkeggard / Danish religious philosopher
1.  When it is said: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," therein is contained what is presupposed, that every man loves himself.

Thoughts for Consideration
   Which follows that if, then a person does not love himself, he would not be capable of loving his neighbor. In other words, how could you love anyone else if you don't love yourself?
   If you are at odds with yourself – entangled in confusion and insecurity, self-negation and unresolved conflicts – you would naturally carry all that weight over to any other person that  
you might be attracted to, or involved with – lovers, spouse, children, and friend alike.
    In what way do these comments refer more to intimates than to acquaintances, coworkers,
comrades, and the like? With these relationships, it is comparatively easy to love at a distance from one's own neuroses; they lack the day-to-day personal and interpersonal interactions.
     With people outside one's intimates, there mostly occur only the interpersonal, superficial interactions; whereas with one's family and lovers, and friends; one's personal traits, moods,
quirks, etc. play a great part in these relationships. And for these relationships to work, one's
love of self plays an essential role – though not a necessary role, since neuroses feed one
another, in one's own self and in relation to other selves. This is where the masochistic-sadistic interplay and interdependence play off each. And then there is one's need to be needed that accounts for relationships that prevail even when one or the other or both parties not only do not love themselves but do not love each other.

Herman Hesse (German novelist/poet)
1. Without self-love it is impossible to love our fellow-men. Self-hatred is exactly the same thing as blatant egoism; it leads in the end to the same cruel isolation and despair.

Thoughts for Consideration
Self-hatred equals blatant egoism? Seems like a self-contradiction at first thought;
since we normally associate egoism with excessive self-love or pride. Yet, self-hatred
does have the tendency to turn in on itself so as to act against the world; otherwise
such persons would shrink into madness or some form of autism, or end in suicide
– which, of course do happen but not in any large or alarming proportions; not all the
psychiatric wards in the world could contain the vast numbers of self-hating people.
     So how do all these self-haters, survive outside of institutions? Do they not introvert
this hatred into "blatant egoism" through various delusions of multiple personalities
(masks, of obsessive compulsions, of distorted truths, deranged fantasies, and so forth?
   Here we have people who have turned themselves inside out so as to be, and to
present themselves, as other than they are, either destructively or creatively. In either case they remain so distant from their true selves that they are veritable shadows on the wall, so to speak; and it is these shadows that these individuals must love since they assuage, camouflage, the underlying void of person-hood.
    As to why these persons have never come to love themselves as themselves is a dark
study in human contortion and abuse – and more to the point: in human misunderstand- ing.     

Somerset Maugham / English novelist
1.  I do not much care if people agree with me. Of course I think I am right, otherwise I should not think as I do, and they are wrong, but it does not offend me that they should be wrong. Nor does it greatly disturb me to discover that my judgment is at variance with that of the majority. I have a certain confidence in my instinct.
     I must write as though I were a person of importance; and indeed, I am – to myself. To myself I am the most important person in the world; though I do not forget that, not even taking into consideration so grand a conception as the Absolute, but from the standpoint of common sense, I am of no consequence whatever. It would have made small difference to the universe if I had never existed. Though I may seem to write as though significance must necessarily be attached to certain of my works, I mean only that they are of moment to me for the purpose of any discussion through which I may have occasion to mention them.


Thoughts for Consideration
What seems to be the tension of conflict in all of which Maugham is declaring? Is he not wavering between self-importance and self-effacement?


 Perceptive Persons


[Self- love In a Positive Sense]
1. a woman
What is conceit and what is ego? and why are they being put down? If I write a song, is that conceit? If I have ideas about sets and the orchestrations and productions, is that ego? Why do I have to be ashamed of what I do? What is wrong with a very healthy ego; anybody who creates does. To have ego means to believe in your own strength. To not have the fear that anyone can take something away from you. And to also be open to other people's views, because they can't take your view away. It is to be open, not closed. So, yes, my ego is big, but it's also very small in some areas. I'm very secure in  one way and very insecure in another. I'm consumed with self-doubt, which I believe, is also necessary. I value other people's opinions, which I mainly use to clarify my own. My ego is responsible for my doing what I do – good or bad.

Thoughts for Consideration
This certainly is a healthy view of the ego; she justifies pride in oneself quite well. One
problem though is that, since her argument applies to all of us, when one ego clashes
with another ego, one will tend to deflate, defeat, the other's ego, so that only one reigns
supreme. It makes one wonder how any collaborative effort gets done when so many egos
are vying for the prize. Someone has to give way. Which ego wins the day? The more
influential, or the more insightful, or the more talented, or the more intimidating, or the
more willful, or the more fortunate, or the more powerful, or ...?
    And where does justice, being fair, love, come into this scenario?

a man
I have had to hide my emotions and appear strong. It has been this way most of my life; I have always had to pretend that I was strong when I wasn't ... I had always bridled in the presence of masculine men and frequently got into fights with [them]. I felt I had to be aggressive with [them], that I had to defeat them.

Thoughts for Consideration
Here is a man whose pride will not be trampled on by anyone, who is not naturally aggres-
sive but aggressive by anger – at the least slight on his pride, his anger turns him into an aggressive, intimidating fighter.  And depending upon the threshold and the range, of one's anger, will determine how overtly aggressive he is.
    So we have the person who is naturally aggressive, who is naturally a fighter, who acts
accordingly with or without anger or pride; and he or she who is conditionally aggressive,
conditionally a fighter, stemming mainly from various manifestations of anger.
     It would be interesting to compare and contrast these two types of individuals.



Franklin


Erotic-Love
Love as the Erotic Bond of Life
[The love between the sexes that attract them to each other sexually, sensuously, sensually, so
as to mate them as one; or more precisely: two-as-one. Offspring normally results from this love
 which binds parents to children, children to parents, siblings to siblings. This erotic love extends
into a vital relationship in which "blood-to-blood" defines the passionate bond between family
members.]


 Eminent Persons


[Our Sexuality]
Carl Jung (Swiss psychiatrist-psychologist)
Eros [the mythic god of love] is a questionable fellow and always will remain so, whatever the legislation of the future may have to say about it. He belongs on one side to man's primordial animal nature which will endure as long as man has an animal body. On the other side he is related to the highest forms of the spirit. But he thrives only when spirit and instincts are in right harmony. If one or the other aspect is lacking to him, the result is injury or at least lopsidedness that may easily veer towards the pathological. Too much of the animal distorts the civilized man, too much civilization makes sick animals.

Thoughts for Consideration
What might Jung be conveying in this passage: that we are is first and foremost sexual
or spiritual ? Is this not against the spiritual sages who pronounce through the ages that
sexual activity is a deterrent  to spiritual growth and enlightenment. Does he deny any
value of celibacy? Was Gandhi, lopsided, somewhat pathological, – Did he need to be?
– in his life-long vow of chastity, as necessary as it was for him to keep single-minded
enough to gather all of his countrymen around him so as to free India from England's rule?
   Perhaps that is why he took to sleeping, howbeit celibately, with young naked girls in his
old age so as to keep his sanity rather than to test his vow of celibacy, as he avowed.

Albert Camus / novelist-philosopher
Sexual life was given to man to distract his perhaps from his true path. It's his opium. with it everything falls asleep. Outside it, things resume life. At the same time chastity kills the species, which is perhaps the truth.

Thoughts for Consideration
And what is man's true path? The path of Jesus? Of Buddha? of Krishna? of God?
Perhaps. Yes, the sexual life is man's opium, his drug, his Lethe (forgetfulness), the
way of least resistance. It creates psycho-biological life, but stagnates life in its
transcendence; since life includes so much more than the orgasm, than the beauty
and charm of the sexes – and yet, is it true, as Hesse writes "most of what we do in life,
even if we advance other reasons, is done because of women"; and I would add "and
vice versa"?
     Yet man's bane (boon?)is that if he does not straightway commit to chastity, he strides
the margin of life practically always on the verge of sexual arousal. Is this inevitable?
and if so, what then? I remember reading Schopenhauer, the great philosopher-psychologist pronouncement on this matter, in words to the effect, that what temptation you cannot resist,
resign yourself to it.
     Is this too defeating an attitude? will we ever make progress transcendently, if that is the
case? do we have to make headway transcendently?

[Man-Woman Relationships]
De Stendhal (French novelist)
I am full of admiration for the shrewdness and unerring judgment with which women seem to me to grasp certain details; and yet the next moment I find them praising some dullard to the skies, allowing themselves to be moved to tears by a platitude, or gravely treating some hollow affectation as a sign of character. I cannot understand such folly. There must be some general law beyond my ken governing these matters.

Thoughts for Consideration
Could it be that this general law is related to women's (and men's) natural attraction to
deceptive appearances, like physical beauty, intellectual superiority, masculine mystique; to
to the strong, silent type; to their fascination with the power, prestige and wealth of men of
means; to their  biological urge to mate for offspring with the strongest appearing, appealing,
male type; to simply sexual attraction, or in the simplest analysis: plain stupidity? As for the
general law itself, could it simply be the law of the male-female attraction? What also might it be?

Eugene O'Neill / American playwright
THE WOMAN WHO UNDERSTANDS
Somewhere she waits to make you win
Your soul in her firm white hands –
Somewhere the gods have made for you
The woman who understands.
As the tide went out she found him
Lashed to a spar of despair –
The wreck of his ship around him,
The wreck of his dreams in the air –
Found him and loved him and gathered
The soul of him to her heart;
The soul that had sailed an uncharted sea –
that had thought to win and be free –
The soul of which she was part;
And there in the dusk she cried to the man:
"Win your battle –you can – you can!"
Helping and loving and guiding –
Urging when that was best –
Holding her fears in hiding
Deep in her quiet breast –
This is the woman who kept him
True to his standards lost,
When tossed in the storm and stress and strife,
He thought himself through with the
game of life
And ready to pay the cost,
Watching and guarding and whispering
still: "Win – you can – and I know you will!"
This is the story of ages –
This is the woman's way –
Wiser than seers or sages
Lifting us day by day.
Facing all things with courage
Nothing can daunt or dim;
Treading life's path wherever it leads –
Lined with flowers or choked with weeds,
But ever with him – with him.
guardian, comrade, and Golden Spur
The men who win are helped by her.
Somewhere she waits, strong in belief,
Your soul in her firm white hands;
Thank well the Gods when she comes to you –
The woman who understands.

Thoughts for Consideration
Compare the biblical paean (Proverbs) to the "Eternal Feminine" in women:
A good wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant,
she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and tasks for her maidens....
She opens her mouth with wisdom
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all."
And yet to have such a woman as the wonder of one's life, still men are inclined to jeopardize
this blessing by their wayward ways, whether it be another woman, another drink, another
drug, another bet, another extravagance. Is this the self-destructive part of the male psyche?
Or the need – organic? psychological? – for diversion, stimulation, thrill, threat, and so forth?
Could it be the male's basic hostility to the female sex buried in his collective unconscious?  

D.H. Lawrence / English novelist-poet-philosopher
[from Kangaroo] Perhaps he knew his wife much better than anyone else. At any rate, he did not feel it necessary to keep an eye on her. If she liked to look at Somers with a strange, exposed smile, that was her affair. She could do as she liked in that direction, so far as he, Jack Callcott, was concerned. She was his wife: she knew it, and he knew it. And it was quite established and final. So long as she did not betray what was between her and him, as husband and wife, she could do as she liked with the rest of herself. And he could, quite rightly, trust her to be faithful to that indefinable relation which subsisted between them as man and wife. He didn't pretend and didn't want to occupy the whole field of her consciousness.
    And in just the same way, that bond which connected himself with her, he would always keep unbroken for his part. But that did not mean that he was sworn body and soul to his wife. Oh no. There was a good deal of him which did not come into the marriage bond, and with all this part of himself he was free to make the best he could according to his own idea. He loved her, quite sincerely, for her naive sophisticated innocence which allowed him to be unknown to her, except in so far as they were truly and intimately related. It was the innocence which has been through the fire, and knows its own limitations. In the same way he quite consciously chose not to know anything more about her than just so much as entered into the absolute relationship between them. He quite definitely did not want to absorb her, or to occupy the whole field of her nature. He would trust her to go her own way, only keeping her to the pledge that was between them. What the pledge consisted in he did not try to define! It was something indefinite: the field of contact between their two personalities met and joined, they were one, and pledged to permanent fidelity. But that part of each of them which did not belong to the other was free from all enquiry or even from knowledge. Each silently consented to leave the other in large part unknown in word and deed and very being. They didn't need to know--too much knowledge would be like shackles. Such marriage is established on a very subtle sense of honour and of individual integrity.

Thoughts for Consideration
Lawrence's message in brief: Be true to yourself in your way while being true to your
spouse in her/his way that forms the unique bond between yourselves.  Your spouse is
he subset of your life, not the universal set.
    Lawrence's perspective on man-woman relationships calls in question the view of
"total honesty" between marriage couples,of keeping nothing hidden, of complete fidelity
body and mind to the other, to the family, and so on.
   What might be some of the consequence, both good and ill, of such a view?


 Perceptive persons



[Our Sexuality]
1. a woman
Everyone's so lonely. It's very difficult, and I find that as I get older my sex drive increases more and more. I was sitting with one of my girlfriends the other day, and we were thinking about this. I've always had this virginal concept of sex, that you could only go to bed with  someone you were madly in love with and [who] was in love with you. I hung on to this tenaciously – my Catholic upbringing. But it was so silly, because I've only fallen in love once in my life, and of course you don't fall in love every week. So what I would do is pretend I was in love, and that made my life very difficult, because any time a lie is going down, you get in[to] trouble. so my girlfriend and I decided that the best reason to go to bed with somebody was pure love, which includes friendship. and after that was pure lust. The third reason would be curiosity. So I decided that all those reasons are valid and just have greater degree of quality. And the best thing in the whole world is to fall in love with somebody you trust and that you can share with, and who will permit you and you'll permit them – to grow. Boy, I'm telling you, I would love to have that; I think that would be wonderful. But I'm not desperate for it.

Thoughts for Consideration
Is this a healthy attitude, or one that justifies a indiscriminate sex life? Yet she tempers her lifestyle with the respectable, conventional outlook of finding a dream lover, the ideal man to bring out in her the ideal woman. And she's right in a way, because what is a passionate young woman with a strong sex drive to do while waiting for the right man, stay at home and knit? Who knows when that prince might come along, if at all.

a man
I don't think I was constructed to be monogamous. I don't think it's the nature of any man to be monogamous. Chimps, our closest relatives, are not monogamous; neither are gorillas or baboons. Human nature is no more monogamous than theirs. In every human culture men are propelled by genetically ordained impulses over which they have no control to distribute their seed into as many females as possible. sex is the primal force of our and every other species. Our strongest urge of all is to replicate our genes and perpetuate our species. We are helpless against it, and are programmed to do as we do. There may be variations from culture to culture, but whether it is in Margaret Mead's Samoa or modern Manhattan, our genetic composition makes our sexual behavior irresistible.

Thoughts for Consideration
Is this an exercise in self-justification of. Someone familiar with this person would most
likely say something to the effect: Well, being the promiscuous person he is, and always
has been, he  naturally would lean to the sexual-animal side of his nature.
     Then I read this from an anthropology book  "For many mammals, especially the
higher primates, including humans, female involvement in reproduction minimally includes
pregnancy,  gestation, parturition, and lactation – and in some cases, prolonged years of
caring for the young. for males, on the other hand, the minimum involvement is a short
period of time and the relatively small amount of energy in the act of mating and the
process of sperm production. As a result, men and women evolved with different
motivations. Men sought to mate as often as possible, and were, therefore, more
promiscuous and less discriminating, while women, for whom, the consequences of
mating were greater and longer-term, were less promiscuous and more discriminating."
     This supports this man's contentions. Yet, on reading further " Because women were
more discriminating in their choice of sexual  partners, men competed for the opportunity to
become one of these partners. Inevitably, some men were chosen for sexual relationships
and some were not, and this had two consequences: more men than women never reproduced,
and some individual men had far more offspring than did any women."

[Man-Woman Relationships]
 a woman
Dick is a lovely, supportive man, and money, per se, doesn't matter that much to him. I like earning it because I enjoy knowing that I have a high value in the working world. Dick is more of an artist, more the perfectionist than I, and he needs the satisfaction of doing something beautifully even if he loses money on the job. I can accept that, because his priorities, although different from mine, seem equally  valid.  

Thoughts for Consideration
Here is a woman who apparently has integrated very well her husband's values with her own. Yet, on the other hand, could this concord between them hold up were she to be a housewife, and dependent upon him for financial support? Would he not have to modify his values to fit into their unit rather than just his own individual mind set?
What do these considerations say about  circumstances determining the status of a loving marriage?
In other words, is a love relationship - even a deep love relationship -  dependent upon circumstances?
a woman  
When my husband first met me, he said we were going to get married. That made me feel relaxed. I picked a man who was extremely dominant. He provided me enough irritation to keep me growing.

Thoughts for Consideration
Here is a woman who perhaps is an inverted dominant person, who achieves her control over circumstances and people by taking the role of controlled passivity.
(i) In what sense might she be "extremely dominant?
(ii) How long might she be able to abide his "extreme dominance" while she is "growing?"
(iii)In what sense might he be "extremely dominant"?
(iv) Might not his extreme dominance tend to cross over into areas that would hinder her growth? How might she deal with that state of affairs. Does it depend on the type of person she is?
(v) Does she come across as a dominant or passive woman?




Vital-Love
Love as the Vital [blood] Bond to Life and between Human Beings
      [The intense force of attraction that binds us to life, or to another human or
        sentient being. Sympathy, affection, compassion and empathy are the main binding
        sentiments of this form of love. It is this form of love that is organic to our being as
        indicative of our self-preservation, physical homeostasis, psychic balance. Agony,
        grief, despair, anguish, loneliness, compassion, futility, empathy, horror, rage, fear,
        the sense of tragedy; and the "blessed" relief or appeasement of these various
        types of suffering – are some of the incisive emotions associated with vital love.]


Balzac / French novelist
The spiritual is less satisfying than the physical; I am growing old, I feel the need of companionship.

Thoughts for Consideration
Is this another indication that aging is a reverting back to the dependence of the child? that human love is essentially more vital, comforting, warmer, than God love?  What does this say about the value of the spiritual life? Is it merely a saving grace, a necessary illusion, a substitute human comfort, a palliative to ease the misery of this life? "A concept by which we measure our pain," to quote John Lennon?


Hermann Hesse / German novelist-poet
Don't say that any emotion is insignificant, that any emotion is unworthy! They are all good, very good, even hatred, even envy, jealousy, cruelty. We live by nothing else than our poor, beautiful, magnificent emotions, and every emotion we disregard is a star that we extinguish.


Thoughts for Consideration
I suppose Hesse's meaning here is that nature – or Who/What/ever it might be – implanted these emotions into our human makeup, so that, necessarily, they all have their place in the human scheme of things. In which case, he is forced to condone violence; since jealousy, hatred, and the like, certainly lead to violent reactions. Does that then make the peacemakers bubble blowers?


 Perceptive Persons


[The Tragic Sense of Life]
a man
Mother never fully recovered from my father's death. The suddenness of his passing was too great a shock after fifty-three years of total devotion. Her mind started to wander. She would sit in a chair saying her Rosary, then look up and say, "Jenaro, when you go to play dominoes, would you please stop at the baker on the way back? You know the cookies I like, the ones with the coconut. I would like a dozen. and if you should think of it, perhaps a half dozen of the chocolate. Now go along and have a good time." And she returned to her Rosary.

Thoughts for Consideration
(i) What might be the psychological factors that contributed to her sinking into this grievous zone?
(ii) Might this be the consequence of  deep love or dysfunctional dependency?
(iii) Would she have wanted it any other way? Is this just a psychological way of bearing her grief, so that she is able to survive? Or is it a death-in-life an alternative to the drastic measure of suicide?
(iv) Might  anything be done to bring her "out of it"?
(v) How might repeating the Rosary ease her pain of loss aside from her belief that she would meet him again in Heaven?






Nihilistic Love
Love as the Nihilistic [destructive] Will in Nature and in Human Nature in Particular
[The form of love that attracts a person to destructive behavior – self-destruction included. This
person loves, is attracted to, enjoys, thrills to, breaking down persons, relationships, situations –
anything; its main concern is ill-will rather than good-will. The hard-natured, psychopathic,
psychotic and narcissistic (to some extent) individual is indicative of this type of love.]


 Eminent Persons


Dostoievsky / Russian novelist [from Notes from the Underground]
Man likes to make roads and to create, that is a fact beyond dispute. But why has he such a passionate love for destruction and chaos also? Tel me that! But on that point I want to say a couple of words myself. May it not be that he  loves chaos and destruction ( there can be no disputing that he does sometimes love it) because he is instinctively afraid of attaining his object and completing the edifice he is constructing? Who knows, perhaps he only loves that edifice from a distance, and is by no means in love with it at close quarters; perhaps he only loves building it and does not want to live in it, but will leave it, when completed man is a frivolous and incongruous creature, and perhaps, like a chess player, loves the process of the game, not the end of it. And who knows (there is no saying with certainty ) , perhaps the only goal on earth to which mankind is striving lies in this incessant process of attaining, in other words, in life itself, and not in the thing to be attained, which must always be expressed as a formula, as positive as twice two makes four, and such positiveness is not life, gentlemen, but is the beginning of death. Anyway, man has always been afraid of this mathematical certainty, and I am afraid of it now. Granted that man does nothing but seek that mathematical certainty, he traverses oceans, sacrifices his life in the quest, but to succeed, really to find it, he dreads, I assure you. He feels that when he has found it there will be nothing for him to look for. When workmen have finished their work they do at least receive their pay, they go to the tavern, then they are taken to the police station - and there is occupation for a week. But where can man go? Anyway, one can observe a certain awkwardness about him when he has attained such objects. He loves the process of attaining, but does not quite like to have attained, and that, of course. is very absurd. ...I admit that twice two makes four is an excellent thing, but if we are to give everything its due, twice two makes five is sometimes a very charming thing too. ....
     And why are you so firmly, so triumphantly, convinced that only the normal and the positive - in other words, only what is conducive to welfare – is for the advantage of man? Is not reason in error as regards advantage? Does not man, perhaps, love something besides well-being? Perhaps he is just as fond of suffering? Perhaps suffering is just as great A benefit to him as well-being? Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately, in love with suffering, and that is a fact. There is no need to appeal to universal history to prove that; only ask yourself, if you are a man and have lived at all. As far as my personal opinion is concerned, to care only for well-being seems to me positively ill-bred. Whether it's good or bad, it is sometimes very pleasant, too, to smash things; I hold no brief for suffering nor for well-being either. I am standing for my caprice, and for its being guaranteed to me when necessary.
...
I think man will never renounce real suffering, that is, destruction and chaos. Why, suffering is the sole origin of consciousness. Though I did lay it down it the beginning that consciousness is the greatest misfortune for man, yet I know man prizes it and would not give it up for any satisfaction. Consciousness, for instance, is infinitely superior to twice two makes four. Once you have mathematical certainty there is nothing left to do or to understand. There will be nothing left but to bottle up your five senses and plunge into contemplation. While if you tick to consciousness, even though the same result is attained, that is, there is nothing left to do, you can at least flog yourself at times, and that will, at any rate, liven you up. Reactionary as it is, it is better than nothing.


Thoughts for Consideration
      (i) "a passionate love for" Love is the key word here and justifies the truth of man's    
      attractiveness (love for) to suffering (destruction, chaos).
(ii) Compare Oscar Wilde's thoughts on this matter of suffering: "For the secret of life
 is suffering. It is what is hidden behind everything – Now it seems to me that love of
 some kind is the only explanation of the extraordinary amount of suffering that there
 is in the world. I cannot conceive of any other explanation."

Tolstoy / Russian novelist [from The Kreutzer Sonata]  
When people say they don't remember what they do in a fit of fury, it is rubbish, falsehood. I remembered every- thing and did not for a moment lose consciousness of what I was doing. The more frenzied I became the more brightly the light of consciousness burnt in me, so that I could not help knowing everything I did. I knew what I was doing every second. I cannot say that I knew beforehand what I was going to do; but I knew what I was doing when I did it, and even I think a little before, as if to make repentance possible and to be able to tell myself that I could stop. I knew I was hitting below the ribs and that the dagger would enter. At the moment I did it I knew I was doing an awful thing such as I had never done before, which would have terrible consequences. But that consciousness past like a flash of lightning and the deed immediately followed the consciousness. I realized the action with extraordinary clearness. I felt, and remember, the momentary resistance of her corset and of something else, and then the plunging of the dagger into something soft. She seized the dagger with her hands, and cut them, but could not hold it back.


Thoughts for Consideration
"Frenzied" is the key word, which means that we're not in our "right mind" when we act or in
what we say. We have gone over the edge into the realm of animal instinct for "the kill". We
have then lost our individuality as this person, such-and-such. We are then drawn to blood-
letting, cruelty, barbarism, rape. The blood-lust surges in us from our viscera up through our
brain unrelentlessly, uncontrollably. And yes, as Tolstoy records, we may very well be conscious of what we are doing, but only in this "other" realm that our minds have switched us; since this other person (Mr. Hyde) does have to know how to execute what he is about to do.     


 Perceptive Persons


[Inherent Evil]
a man
All people in their hearts have little murders that they commit often; the other guy gets the raise that you didn't, and you feel that horrible thing we've all felt. War is nothing more but those murders given a place where they can actually happen. That's what the Vietnam War was to me. The real issue was inside the human being; you can't talk about it politically because three hundred years ago people had their set of politics, and the wars kept going on. So it has to have something to do with the human soul rather than the politics of the day.     


Thoughts for Consideration
(i) "All" people? Isn't that somewhat risky to make such a universal statement? or is there
some truth to his belief? Are we all potential murderers, given the appropriate circumstances?
(ii) Is jealousy  or envy a murderous emotion with all people, in many cases?


[Hard-natured Persons]
a woman
My mother was an ice maiden, cold. she had condemned me to hell.

Thoughts for Consideration
(i) Might this be because of the daughter herself or because of the mother herself? Or both?
(ii) Would her mother enjoy abusing her daughter? I was about to use the word "mistreat";
then the stronger word "abuse" came to me. What is the difference between the meaning of
the two words?

a woman
The only way I could hold and rock Jim when he was small was if I clutched him desperately to my breast. And he had to be in one of those baby blankets, so tightly wrapped that his arms and legs couldn't get free. If I didn't do that, he would grab the arms of the chair and try to pull himself free from me! This was when he was only about four months old!

Thoughts for Consideration
This is certainly not a child, a person, in need, or want, of affection.  This certainly reveals something about the inborn nature of a child? He did not learn to recoil at affection.  
(i) What does it reveal, specifically?
(ii) Should the mother cease demonstrating affection toward her child? Can she without terrible inner conflict? And if she can't, then will she not establish a reverse dependent relationship with her son – he being in control.
(iii) And what is the husband's role in this unfortunate situation?

a man
It was so hard for me to feel warm toward this child. I felt cold. I felt so bad feeling that way. I wondered what on earth was wrong with me. But...inside...I felt so uncomfortable, so strange. I knew this child wasn't like our other children. She had this plastic, phony smile. It wasn't like a real smile at all.

Thoughts for Consideration
(i) Why might he have felt bad?
(ii) Did he really believe that there was something wrong with him?
(iii) How might he have to behave toward her?

a man [Josef Stalin / Russian dictator]
To choose one's victim, to prepare one's plans minutely, to stake an implacable vengeance, and then to go to bed...there is nothing sweeter in the world.

Thoughts for Consideration
The epitome of the evil-natured person bent on murder – murder of the body, or the mind, or
the soul, or a reputation. How do we deal with such a person? How do we detect him or her?

[Self-destruction]
a man
I lost at gambling because I have this need to humiliate myself?
Thoughts for Consideration
This man is able to give expression to his masochistic streak through his gambling
losses. Another man or woman  would express it through sexual humiliation. Another
man or woman would give expression to it by marrying an  overly-dominant mate, and
so forth.
     The paramount question, of course, is why do some people need, want, to be
humiliated in its various forms? Is that part of our inborn latent, self-destructive
tendency, only predominant in some people? Why this tendency?Why the inverted
pleasure in its pain and suffering? (You might want to reread the above Dostoievsky
passage under "eminent persons"). A few answers would be that this tendency
results from boredom, ennui, from satiety, from curiosity that becomes habit, from the
lust for stimulation. These are just surface, obvious answers, though.  
     Might this tendency be related to thanatos - the death principle underlying all our life
processes, being that death is "part of life?" Death results from destruction – deterioration,
in our case. Its tendency is in the cells. Humiliation is a type of self-destruction, since it
debases our self-esteem often to the point of depressing our will-to-live, of making rash
decisions, of committing fatal acts. These are all indicative of a kind of dying to oneself.
Can the desire to be humiliated then be a form of suicide?

a young woman
Why do I take drugs? It happens at night. when I hear the stereo, I think of Hollywood, cruising, being at parties, and I can't stay in; I have to be out there with my friends – even with strangers.

Thoughts for Consideration
And so she loses control, as we all do when our emotions and sensuality engulf us. What is
more natural, when you think of it? Does not pleasure – however wayward -- dominate us? It
is a matter of which pleasures a person is inclined, attracted, to (loves). Those who derive
little pleasure from the intellect will most likely derive much pleasure from their sensuality;
and since the conditions and consequences of sensuality are much more precarious than the consequences of the intellect, one's life can become a series of misjudgments and mishaps.
This is mainly because  the gratification of one's sensuality depends mostly on other peoples'
responses to you based on your personality, looks, assets, and the like; whereas the gratification of the intellect ensues from one's intellectual merit which is respectable rational, and measurable. And though the intellectual types are also susceptible to their sensuality, the are not governed by it; they somehow find a place to put it in their lives while continuing on with their intellectual pursuits. Da Vinci once wrote "intellectual passion drives out sensual passion." And I add to this saying: Yes, temporarily.
   It is obvious that this young woman is a victim to her sensuality – she succumbs to it probably against her better judgment.  And yet, it could be that "victim" is the wrong word, even though she will most likely suffer much in her life if her sensual nature is not evened out;  for if her sensuality is the predominant factor of her nature, then the pleasure that comes with it might very well be worth the suffering that follows it in the long run.
     Yet when certain facets of a person's sensuality become addictive, as with drugs or alcohol or sex, or whatever else; and this addiction becomes destructive of her well-being, and that of others related to her – what is a person to do? I suppose that's why so many people turn to religion or analysis. For there are many people who, though they would destroy themselves without a second thought, do not want to destroy their loved ones, or their relations with them.


Redon


II: OUR TRANSCENDENCE
[ In Relation To Transcendent Love ]


 PRELIMINARIES


 Eminent Persons


Anton Chekhov / playwright-short-story writer [from The Three Sisters]
1. It seems to me that a man must have a faith or he must be searching for a faith, otherwise his life is just empty, empty ... To live without knowing why the cranes fly, why children are born, why there are stars in the sky...Either you know why you are living or else everything is foolish, no point to it."

Thoughts for Consideration
Well, the truth is, we cannot really know why cranes fly, or why children are born, or the
why of anything, whether we have a faith or not. By "faith" does Chekhov mean blind
faith? or religious faith? or a personal faith? Are we to  choose a faith according to our
predilection?  What is more, is this a faith in "Something" – call It what you will: God,
Energy, Will, Mind, Spirit, Love – that created the world in its entirety? Is this faith
supposed to console us, put meaning into our lives, without which life itself is meaningless?
And if so, how? Does the meaning of the world depend on whether we have faith or not
in that meaning?
     Perhaps I'm just knit-picking. Perhaps all that this character in Chekhov's play is saying in
his simple way, is that, yes, the world does, must,  have meaning; but since we cannot really
know this meaning, our only recourse is to have faith in it; and that  faith is our salvation in
life, and hopefully beyond life.

Einstein / German physicist
The most beautiful experience we can have is mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery– even if mixed with fear – that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds – it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity; in this sense, and in this sense alone, I am a deeply religious man. I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.

Thoughts for Consideration
(i) Why would mystery be "mixed with fear"?
(ii) How might a person be convinced that Einstein is mistaken to think that only
"feeble souls" and absurd egoists "conceive of an individual that survives his
physical death"?
(iii) Do you think that Einstein believed, or hoped, or cared, that upon his death he
would become "the Reason that manifests itself in nature"?


 Perceptive Persons



PRELIMINARIES

a man
I am not a pessimist. I believe there is a slow conquest toward the divine state of man.

Thoughts for Consideration
(i) Might this slow conquest include or exclude mainstream religions?
(ii) What might this "divine state of man" be like?


Michelangelo

Love-As-God
Love as God, the creator and destroyer of all being
[God, as the spiritual word given to Love as the bond of all unity - that which binds all things and
creatures into individual and absolute unity. The term "God" has been given a personal demarcation so that human beings can identify with It anthropomorphically.]


 Eminent Minds



D.H Lawrence
1. Every living soul believes that all things real are within the scope of a Great will which is working itself out in all things, but also and most vitally in the soul itself. This is called a belief in God, or belief in Love – what you will.

Thoughts for Consideration
"Working itself out in all things"? What is it working out? Does this imply that there is a
purpose behind this "working out?" "Most vitally in the soul itself"? Why most vitally? Is it
the human soul to which Lawrence refers? And if so, why the human soul?


St. Peter
1. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

Thoughts for Consideration
There it is! God is love, love is in us – potentially; and so God is in us – potentially.
A valid syllogism, inasmuch as if the first two statements are true, then the conclusion
would have be true: that God is in us – potentially. But is this syllogism, or argument,
sound; that is, are the three statements true? If so,then we are saved! We are God! We
are immortal! We are everything! We are Love itself!
     But the misfortune is, we can't prove these statements to be either true or false
– or true and false if you want to stretch it into physics and poetry! Their truth or falseness
or meaninglessness is beyond our ken; anyone in science or philosophy or psychology will
tell you that.
     So, where does that lead us? To faith? Intuition? Self-experience? Another thorn in the
side is the phrase "who abides in love" and "abides in him." Do these mean that if I act in
love habitually I am in communion with God and He-It with me? And if I don't live in love,
which most of us hardly do or can – in the broad sense of the word –does that mean that
God absences Himself-Itself from me? Seems paradoxical and unconvincing to me.

LeoTolstoy / Russian novelist-essayist
1. To be like God, one has to desire nothing and fear nothing, just love. As soon as one loves, one does not desire anything or fear anything. To be like the god Jupiter, God the creator, or the God of Sabaoth, is obviously an insane pride and sin, but to be like the God whom we know only through love and reason is not only no sin but a necessity in order to get rid of suffering and be calm and joyful. To be like God one need only love. To love one need only open up and take off what has shut off the source of living water, the divine life which is in us.

Thoughts for Consideration
Well, here is a prescription as to how to "abide" in love and God. But desire nothing? Fear
nothing? And is this what we want of ourselves "to get rid of suffering and be calm and joyful?– all the time? Day in and day out, hour and after hour, with person after person, activity after activity? Is this realistic, is it possible? Hardly, so long as we're alive and awake.
     So is Love, or God, death? Dream? Consciouslessness? If so, that is the end of being like
God. Is there some other answer to Tolstoy's position? Is he a " a fool on the hill"? A dreamer? Or is there some truth to what he says? Perhaps the key word here is "some" truth.


 Perceptive Persons



a youth / man
I've said years ago that the best way to reach God is through loving another human being and having your love returned. I've many times heard the expression "God is Love." Saying that we have God in us is synonymous with saying we have love in us; and if we are God, we also are love. It's true that human beings are created out of love. Love can also begat love - just like a bee can only  reproduce other bees, or a swan can only reproduce other swans. The Bible says that God-Love created man, does it  not?

Thoughts for Consideration
We certainly do become more human when in love – more energy, more insight, more drive,
more inspiration, more, more, more. Yet, as we all know, when we are no longer in love with
our beloved, but loving of her/him and loved by him/her, then we return to our former selves
sans all our more-than human sensations and feats. While in love we can be said to be in
touch with the God of Love; when that passes, so does our touch with God; yet we still love,
if not deeper, our beloved. What happened? Is love then simply a heightened biological
response to mate? Look at the animals, dogs in particular; the male goes crazed for the
female in heat; he'll overcome all barriers to reach her or go mad trying. During this period,
he is no longer our dog, but nature's dog; and nature is relentless – god-like in its ways to
propagate itself.
     So in this light, this young man is right in saying that "we have God in us is synonymous
with saying we have love in us"  – yet this god seems more a biological god than a transcendent, or spiritual, God; blind will, as Schopenhauer would put it.
   And yet this young man is on to something spiritual inasmuch as Love is spiritual. What is
the difference between biological love and spiritual love?   


Deits



Love as Essential Being
    [Love conceived as the essential Being of all things – that is, of the force or power or will that
      binds all things into unity.]


  Eminent Persons

Walter Scott / Scottish novelist-poet
1.  In peace, Love tunes the shepherd's reed
     In war, he mounts the warrior's steed;
     In halls, in gay attire is seen;
     In hamlets, dances on the green.
     Love rules the court, the camp, the grove,
    And men below, and saints above;
    For love is heaven, and heaven is love.

2. It [Love] is the secret sympathy
    The silver link, the silken tie,
    Which heart to heart, and mind to mind,
    In body and in soul can bind.

Thoughts for Consideration
Love is everything, everywhere, of both good and evil – And beyond good and evil? Does this
poem imply that love is evil as well as good, affection as well as hate, war as well as peace?
Is it subject to the opposites in life? Or is love beyond duality, yet determining it?

Freud
Libido is an expression taken from the theory of the emotions. We call by that name the energy (regarded as quantitative magnitude, though not as present actually measurable) of those instincts which have to do with all that may be comprised under the word love. The nucleus of what we mean by love naturally consists (and this is what is commonly called love, and what the poets sing of) in sexual love with sexual union as its aim. But we do not separate from this-what in any case has a share in the name love-on the one hand, self-love, and on the other love for parents and children, friend- ship, and love for humanity in general, and also devotion to concrete objects and to abstract ideas. Our justification lies in the fact that psychoanalytic research has taught us that all these tendencies are an expression of the same instinctive activities; in relations between the sexes these instincts force their way towards sexual union, but in other circumstances they are diverted from this aim or are prevented from reaching it, though always preserving enough of their original nature to keep their identity recognizable (as in such features as the longing for proximity, and self-sacrifice).
    We are of the opinion, then, that language has carried out an entirely justifiable piece of unification in creating the word love with its numerous uses, and that we cannot do better than take it as the basis of our scientific discussions and expositions as well.

Thoughts for Consideration
Does this passage clears up once and for all any misguided notion that Freud's psychology
rested strictly on sex, or sexual love? Is it now Clear that he approves of the word love –
world sex (creative energy), in his terminology – in its world or universal sense? Where would
we No more need be said. Now let us look at his work in this light.


Pierre de Chardin / paleontologist-Jesuit-mystic
Love is the most universal, the most tremendous and the most mysterious of the cosmic forces.

Thoughts for Consideration
And being mysterious, we cannot say for sure that love is or is not the only cosmic force,
of which all other forces: gravity, electromagnetism, for two, are manifestations of the one
force of love.

Vivekananda / Indian spiritual sage)
1. What is it that makes atoms unite with atoms, molecules with molecules, and causes planets to fly towards each other? What is it that attracts man to man, man to woman, woman to man, and animals to animals, drawing the whole universe, as it were, towards one centre? It is what is called love. Its manifestation is from the lowest atom to the highest being: omnipotent, all-pervading, is this love. What manifests itself as attraction in the sentient and the insentient, in the particular and in the universal, is the love of God. It is the one motive power that is in the universe. Under the impetus of that love, Christ gave his life for humanity, Buddha even for an animal, the mother for the child, the husband for the wife. It is under the impetus of the same love that men are ready to give up their lives for their country, and strange to say, under the impetus of the same love, the thief steals, the
murderer murders. Even in these cases, the spirit is the same, but the manifestation is different. This is the one motive power in the universe. The thief has love for gold; the love is there, but it is misdirected. So,  in all crimes, as well as in all virtuous actions, behind stands that eternal love. Suppose a man writes a cheque for a thousand dollars for the poor of New York, and at the same time, in the same room, another man forges the name of a friend. The light by which both write is the same, but each one will be responsible for the use he makes of it. It is not the light that is to be praised or blamed. Unattached, yet shining in everything, is love, the motive power of the universe, without which the universe would fall to pieces in a moment, and this love is God.

Thoughts for Consideration
Here the meaning of love shines forcefully in all its magnificence and wonder from the mind of the giant spiritual philosopher, Vivekananda. It can't get much clearer than this. Here love is presented as the bond of unity, as I have termed it, to all things from the atom to the cosmos. Here love is presented as one force or power of which all others are manifestations of it.

D.H Lawrence
1. Every living soul believes that all things real are within the scope of a Great will which is working itself out in all things, but also and most vitally in the soul itself. This is called a belief in God, or belief in Love – what you will.

Thoughts for Consideration
 "Working itself out in all things"? What is it working out? Does this imply that there is a purpose behind this "working out?" "Most vitally in the soul itself"? Why most vitally? Is it the human soul to which Lawrence refers? And if so, why the human soul?


 Perceptive Persons


[The Outward God]
a youth / man
I've said years ago that the best way to reach God is through loving another human being and having your love returned. I've many times heard the expression "God is Love." Saying that we have God in us is synonymous with saying we have love in us; and if we are God, we also are love. It's true that human beings are created out of love. Love can also begat love – just like a bee can only  reproduce other bees, or a swan can only reproduce other swans. The Bible says that God-Love created man, does it  not?
    I want to express one more idea, and at the same time get personal. I still somewhat  believe in a God of wrath, which is part of my problem. It's mainly  because of this belief of mine that I have closed myself off to the world. Believe me, I didn't do it because I wanted to. I did it because I felt I had no choice. It deals with God, my father, and the Campbells.
     Strange arrangement? Maybe. You see, I'm very God-fearing, and a firm believer in the Ten Commandments, one of which says that I must honor  and obey my father. Well, my father is very fond of the Campbells, to the point that I feel that their words are his words – Get the idea? to obey the Campbells is to obey my father; and to obey my father is to obey God. Well, one day Randy Campbell told me that I shouldn't have anything to do with women because they aren't worth anything at all. His sister believes that men shouldn't chase after women, or even speak to them. I didn't want to do it [what they say]; but I felt that God wants me to obey them, and I must obey God no matter what. That's the reason I've closed myself up. Do you know that I can no longer hug or kiss my mother because of this? As I said before, I have a real yearning to get involved with people again.  These rules are the only thing stopping me. Believe me, I'm more crazy  about women than ever; but there is nothing more important than keeping in line with God. if I fall out of line, I know He will severely punish me, and doom me to eternal hell; maybe not fire and brimstone, but something incredibly horrible for sure.
    You're probably thinking that all this sounds like something out of the Dark Ages in which a king's words were God's words. But if God gives power to someone, such as my father, can't my father bestow that power on anyone he chooses?
     Anyway, if it weren't for these rules, I'd open myself up tomorrow! If you think of this as absolute nonsense, I only wish I could.

Thoughts for Consideration
How can this person be so insightful as to make the statement: "Saying that we have God in us is synonymous with saying we have love in us; and if we are God, we also are love"; and yet be so locked into the "God of wrath" syndrome? What almost impenetrable, |irreparable,
irreplaceable harm, havoc, can conditioning do to us when we are young and impressionable!
Are the first imprints on our memory bank that ones that go deepest so that only the most
severe, continuous opposing secondary imprints from then on can alter the primary ones, if
even then? If so, then. ..? If not, then...?

2.  We're all seeking God in one way or another, it seems; but something just occurred to me. What exactly is the reason we're seeking God? For what purpose? I mean, what does God have that we want?

Thoughts for Consideration
Could it be that we want ourselves – as God? That we are at times home-sick for our
kingdom of heaven?

a man
I think I run the universe. I think we all run the universe. I do have a sense that I am respons- ible, that all of this is my creation. I don't think it's power or control. I think it is the real sense of being one with the universe. Perhaps spirituality is the correct word: that thing that is in all of us and in the universe; and that is what God is. That's what the Great Spirit is that the In- dians talk about: that spark of life that's not your mind and not your body. I know that people have experienced it, but sometimes I guess it's so far out that you think: This can't be the truth. I think that spirituality took different forms – or religions – to be able to explain some of these things that people feel. We can't describe it, so we lamely try to label it. religion is a feeble attempt to share this sense of God. [Everybody  has experienced this kind of oneness or spirituality], and damned near everybody will deny it. I tell you that I know that because I know that our oneness with this spirit is true. I know that. You don't have to go to church to know God, though you don't necessarily have to stay away. My own experiences up to now is that religion gets between you and any sense of the spirit. It's a barrier between me and God.

Thoughts for Consideration
Well! He's certainly sure of himself, isn't he. He is God; simple as that; not "a" god, God itself?
    Do animals experience this oneness? Plants? Minerals? Atoms?
    Not to belabor this matter any further, I can see that he certainly is on to something –
something that the Easterns and individuals of all climes and times have experienced and
recorded. Is it not time for the bulk of us to move in this direction? Where do we start?

Mallett

Love-As-Divine
Love as holy, sacred, all-good, beauteous
[Love conceived aesthetically as "beauty is truth, truth beauty," (Keats); as the good of
creation apart from all created things; and as that which is sacred, spiritual, holy, and
metaphysical]

  Eminent Persons

Miguel De Unamuno (Spanish philosopher)
The essence of the divine is Love, Will, that personalizes and eternalizes, that feels the hunger for eternity and infinity. It is ourselves, it is our eternity that we seek in God, it is our divinization.

Thoughts for Consideration
The following is an exercise in philosophical logic.  Does it have any relevance? By the
"essence of the divine" as love, does De Unamuno mean that the divine is something
other than love? I mean, the use of the prepositional phrase "of" entails a separation
from that of which the prepositional phrase relates. For instance 'the father of the bride'
has the father separate from the bride. So, the 'essence of the divine' has essence as
separate from divine; which means that the divine is something other than its essence.
     Furthermore, this essence, not the divine, is identified with Love. In which case,
Love = essence. So, by interchanging words, we have: Love of the divine is love. Hence,
love=love; which obviously is saying nothing.
     Is De Unamuno therefore writing poetry or philosophy or faith?

Percy Shelley (English poet)
That profound and complicated sentiment which we call love is the universal thirst for a communion not merely of the senses, but of our whole nature, intellectual, imaginative and sensitive. The sexual impulse, which is only one, and often a small part of those claims, serves from its obvious and external nature, as a kind of type of expression of the rest, a common basis, an acknowledgment and visible link.


Thoughts for Consideration
In other words, the sexual aspect of love no one can deny. But sexual love is not a profound
sentiment, nor is it a "universal thirst" that occupies the totality of our being; and because
love is a profound human sentiment and a universal thirst for communion of all sorts, we
accordingly ascribe to it a divinity, a deep mystery.

 Perceptive Persons

a man
I read Genesis. It's the most magical poetry. "Let us make man in our image and likeness,  both male and female." When I read something that gives me joy – when I'm smiling at this wonderful discovery – that's the real thing. Every once in a while I get pulled into despair when I see what the world's full of or how little I've accomplished, but then something reminds me that the good is so beautiful, and there's more and more good ... finding somebody somewhere to express our feelings to and get some compassion from. You don't have to look in the Himalayas to find holiness. There is a loving [editor's italics] energy always attending us, and that energy has provided, in this world, people to hold on to in times of difficulty.
Thoughts for Consideration
(1) To what "good" might he be referring ?
(ii) Beauty is what seems to connect this person to the holy. In what way does beauty
relate to holiness?


III: OUR HUMAN-TRANSCENDENCE
[in Relation to Human-Transcendent Love]



Humanistic Love
The Love of Humanity
         [The concern we feel and show toward other human beings, exclusive of erotic or
          self love. Mild affection, sympathy, are some of the sentiments of humanistic love.   
          Comradeship, camaraderie, companionship, sociability, cordiality, moral acts,
          loving-kindness are a few of the manifestations of humanistic love.]

Thoreau / philosopher-naturalist
1.  Our whole life is startlingly moral. There is never an instant's truce between virtue and vice. Goodness is the only investment that  never fails.
Thoughts for Consideration
This noble statement obviously applies only to the moral-minded. As for the amoral
and the immoral types, I'm not sure that they would be likely to invest their life in such a
(for them) profitless venture.
2.  Absolutely speaking, Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you is by no means a golden rule, but the best of current silver. An honest man would have but little occasion for it.
Thoughts for Consideration
Why would an honest man have but little occasion for the golden rule? Is it that he naturally
does good by his neighbor, and so requires no rule to do good however golden it is?

Confucius / Chinese sage
1. Tsze-kung asked, saying, 'Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one's life?' The Master said, 'Is not RECIPROCITY such a word? What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.'

Thoughts For Consideration
This, of course is the inverse of the saying Do unto others as you would they do unto you. Is
there a notable difference between the two? Is it like the different attitudes between a  glass
being half empty or half full? Bernard Shaw turned the "Do unto others" maxim into Do not do
unto others as you that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same." Could this as well apply to this Confucian maxim?

D.H. Lawrence
1.  BUT I SAY UNTO YOU:
      LOVE ONE ANOTHER
Oh I have loved my fellow-men
and lived to learn they are neither fellows or men
but machine-robots.
I've loved the working class
where I was born
and lived to see them spawn into machine-robots
in the hot-beds of the board-schools and the film.
How I loved the thought of thoughtful people
gentle and refines and lived to find out
that their last thought was money
and their last refinement bluff,
    a hate disguised,
and one trapped one's fingers in their brassy, polished
works!

Thoughts for Consideration
I wonder if Lawrence really has a full grasp of the meaning of this saying.
    He's saying, in effect, that he can't love shallow, money-bound people. Are these people
not worthy to be loved?
    Are we to love only those who are worthy to be loved? What value is in that? Anyone
can love  a person worthy to be loved at least, at a distance. The value, or better still, the
truth, of this saying is to love even the unworthy – or "sinners," as Christ put it. But then
what kind of love would that be? Could there be affection in such love? Sympathy?
empathy?
     I can understand that Lawrence is hurt by the shallowness, the pretense, the money
consciousness of these people. But, was he himself totally free from shallowness, pretense,
money consciousness? I doubt it. Who is? Who is going to cast the first stone? Lawrence? I
don't think so.
     This saying has much deeper roots than his interpretation of it.

[The Basis of Morality]
Percy Shelley
The great secret of morals  is love; or a going out of our own nature, and an identification of ourselves with the beautiful which exists in thought, action, or persons, not our own....A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own. The great instrument of moral good is the imagination.

Thoughts for Consideration
     (i) Why would love be the great secret? Is someone keeping something
         from us?
     (ii) What is this "beautiful" that "exists in thought...not our own?
    (iii) What does it take for a man to be "greatly good"?
    (iv) Why must a person "put himself in the place...others"?
    ( v) What is this supreme role that imagination plays in morals?

  2. [Love is] the sole law which should govern the moral world.

Thoughts for Consideration
      (i) Why should love govern the moral world? I thought it did, according to the above
passage: "The great secret (truth?) of morals is love".
     (ii) Does Shelley mean here that if everyone knew about the "great secret" of morals,
that love would govern the moral world?

Schopenhauer (German philosopher)
1. Only insofar as an action has sprung from compassion does it have moral value; and every action resulting from any other motives has none. As soon as this compassion is aroused, the weal and woe of another are nearest to my heart in exactly the same way, although not always in the same degree, as otherwise only my own are. Hence the difference between him and me is now no longer absolute.
     This even is certainly astonishing, indeed, mysterious. In fact it is the greatest mystery of ethics; it is the primary and original phenomenon of ethics, the boundary mark beyond which only metaphysical speculation can venture to step. In that event we see abolished the partition which, by the light of nature (as the old theologians call the faculty of reason), absolutely separates one being from another.

Thoughts for Consideration
(i) I wonder if this is absolutely true? What about an act of honesty that does not involve
compassion for another person, such as choosing not to cheat on a test  when every
opportunity offers itself without getting caught? Certainly honesty is a moral value. Is there
some element of compassion buried in this situation, every moral act involving people?
     Do we ever act in a moral vacuum; or does whatever we do somehow involve others
however remotely?
(ii) Schopenhauer considers compassion as "the great mystery of ethics." Is this thought
related to Shelley's "great secret of morals"? And is it true that only metaphysics can
approach this mystery? What about physiology or psychology, or religion?

Aristotle / Greek philosopher
1. Moral virtue is formed by habit....None of the moral virtues is implanted in us by nature...we are by nature equipped with the ability to receive them, and habit brings this ability to completion and fulfillment....We become just by the practice of just actions, self-controlled by exercising self-control, and courageous by performing acts of courage.

    Thoughts for Consideration
What becomes clear is that Schopenhauer's moral theory of compassion is primarily
social-oriented -- morality in relation to others; whereas Aristotle's moral theory is
primarily individual-oriented - morality in relation to virtue,or moral excellence.
     So the two theories do not conflict;  they are just, each of them, incomplete so far
as the total moral-minded person is concerned. Yet how do we reconcile the two?

[Moral Character]
Freud / (psychiatrist / psychoanalyst)
1. [Freud to James J. Putman: I believe that when it comes to a sense of justice and consideration for others, to the dislike of making others suffer or taking advantage of them, I can measure myself with the best people I have known. I have never done anything mean or malicious, nor have I felt any temptation to do so, with the result that I am not in the least proud of it...When I ask myself why I have always aspired to behave honestly, to spare others and to be kind wherever possible, and why I didn't cease doing so when I realized that in this way one comes to harm and becomes an anvil because other people are brutal and unreliable, then indeed I have no answer. Sensible this certainly was not. In my youth I didn't feel any special ethical aspirations, nor does the conclusion that I am better than others give me any recognizable satisfaction!...So one could cite just my case as proof of your assertion that such an urge toward the ideal forms a considerable part of our inheritance. If only more of this precious inheritance could be found in other human beings!

Thoughts for Consideration
(i) I wonder why Freud states so categorically that his  goodness does him harm, that
people are so brutal and unreliable? On what basis did he make this judgment considering
the relatively few people he knew in his life? From his readings? What about the millions
upon millions of people that he could never know? Were they all no-goods? He sounds as
though he considers himself  the only good-natured person that he knows. His dour pronouncement on mankind seems more like bitterness to me than the truth -- and he most likely knew it.
(ii) He appears to be indifferent to his basically good nature, that it had little influence on his
life; yet he seems to relate this goodness with "the ideal" in which he states that he has an
"urge toward the ideal." If someone has an urge toward something, it is not likely that he can
be indifferent to it. He may suppress or sublimate it in some way, but he can hardly pass it off
lightly, as Freud seems to be doing.  Perhaps his rigorous scientific training put him on guard
against "ideals" lest he become too philosophical, too intuitive; his scientific works had enough philosophical speculation in them as it was.
(iii) These considerations, including the inconsistency that  he did, yet did not, aspire to moral
ideals, seem to place Freud in a moral crisis. What might that crisis be in particular? How might it have affected his life?

Aristotle
1. All men think that each type of character belongs to its possessors in some sense by nature; for from the very moment of birth we are just or fitted for self-control or brave or have the other moral qualities.
2. One must be born with an eye, as it were, by which to judge rightly and choose what is truly good, and he is well-endowed by nature who is well-endowed with this...and to be well and nobly endowed with this will be perfect and true excellence of natural endowment.

Thoughts for Consideration
By inference, then, is a person who is not "well-endowed by nature" to "judge rightly and
choose what is truly good" to go through life using poor or inconsequential judgment
about crucial matters of right and good? Is this the natural order (or disorder) of things,
since so many people fail to possess this unerring inborn moral sense? Is this why
Shakespeare would have one of his characters in Hamlet  say that to be honest is to be
one man in a thousand; or why the old Greek went about with a lantern in broad daylight
seeking an honest man?

Schopenhauer
1. The fundamental element, the positive factor, in the moral as well as the intellectual and the physical, is that which is inborn; art can everywhere only help. Everyone is what he is "by the grace of God," so to speak. ... Susceptibility to the motives of selfishness, malice, and compassion, which differs so widely in different men and on which the whole of man's moral worth depends, is not a thing that can be explained from something else or acquired through instruction, and therefore something originating in time, and changeable – in fact, dependent on change. On the contrary, it is something that is inborn, unchangeable, and incapable of further explanation.

Thoughts for Consideration
As seen, both Schopenhauer and Aristotle agree that a person is either born morally inclined
or he is not. On the other hand, they seem to disagree regarding the application of this inborn
moral sense. Schopenhauer claims that com-passion is the underlying worth of all moral acts,
while Aristotle claims that it is habituated moral virtue. Is there anyway to reconcile these two views considering that they both agree with the starting point.

[Moral Maxims]
Ecclesiasticus
1. Be not wanting in comforting them that weep, and walk with them that mourn. Be not slow to visit the sick: for by these things thou shalt be comforted in love.

Thoughts for Consideration
A great exhortation. A human heart-to-heart love connection, first, for those who so need
it though they cannot return it in the funereal circumstances., and second for those who
transcend themselves to make the effort either  from love, or from duty, or right – both forms
of love, though without the love feeling. Is the person who visits the sick or mourning from a
love-feeling a more or less worthy person than one who does so from duty or right?

Proverbs
1.  Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, come again tomorrow I will give it" – when you have it with you.

Thoughts for Consideration
Assuming that the person asking is worthy of being helped Why would someone not give
at the time of being asked if he has the means of giving then and there? Is this a quirk of
human nature: to say no first, then yes? Do we enjoy taunting the asker? Is this an extension
of control over others? Superiority? Having the upper hand? Is it just the sheer stinginess of
a person? Or...?

[Moral Excellence]
Confucius
1. The Master said, 'It is all over! I have not seen one who loves virtue as he loves beauty.''

Thoughts for Consideration
     i) Does not this saying clash with the meaning of the following passages?
          Beauty is truth, truth beauty,
          – that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
                                                                                            - Keats
and:
    What is beautiful is good, and who is good will soon  also be beautiful.
                                                                                                       - Schiller
      and:
     When beauty fires the blood, how love exalts the mind!
                                                                                - Dryden
If then beauty and truth and goodness and love are so intricately related, what must
the Master have meant by "beauty" which is so contrary to virtue?
(iii) How might  this enthralled attraction to beauty interfere with one`s good works
toward others?

Proverbs (The Old Testament)
1.     A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Thoughts for Consideration
Harsh words can be humiliating; and who, with any sense of pride, can bear humiliation?
Harsh words can reveal a brutal truth; and who, with any sense of pride can face a brutal
truth? Harsh words can be insulting, and who, with any sense of pride can bear insults?
Harsh words, then, cut into one's pride.
     Could harsh words as well cut into one's self-esteem, or is there a different set of
circumstances associated with self-esteem? In answer, we might consider the next related
saying. ...

 Perceptive Persons

a man
Yes, it's good to be peaceful, but sometimes one has to fight, because he is not always facing peaceful people; and so he has to adjust to them, and deal with  them sometimes on their terms.

Thoughts for Consideration
Here's a person who seems to be all for living peacefully; yet realizes how tenuous such
an attitude is; since we live and interact with others who in many cases are not so peaceful
– including those in our own household – who inclined more to fight rather than to embrace.
And against those, we either resist or submit; there is no in-between.
(i)  How does one resist such persons especially (1) continuously – since such people do
not seem to let go; and (2) if they are in one's own household?
(ii) Is there any way to ease the tension continuously between such adversaries: the
peaceful person and the fighting person? If so, how would this be done in one's own
household where the peaceful person has to deal with the other on a daily basis?



        




Ideal Love
Love as Ideal Perfection
 [Love conceived or intuited, as perfection, purity, order, beauty; the good, truth,  integrity, as
exemplified in Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, etc. et al and the human  inspiration, aspiration, and
struggle to approximate this ideal love, this ideal state.]

 Eminent Persons


Hesse
Men of courage and character always give others a very queasy feeling.

Thoughts for Consideration
Why? Because such men prick the conscience of those who do not, or cannot come up, to their ideals of courage and character; men who have failed themselves, who perhaps have "sold out" and cannot look back or face the hollow of a  person they have become. These are the basically good men to whom courage and character matter; but "mammon" have taken over their lives.
     But then there are those who are basically weak and cowardly; yet, perhaps have long ago reconciled themselves to that fact, and live accordingly. When confronted with such a man, anxiety, queasiness, pervades them for fear that they are recognized for what they are; the disguises have been peeled away by one by one penetrating glance of such a man. Their unconscious fear is: What is he going to take away from me? My wife, my job? my facade?
Thoreau
1. I believe there is an ideal or real nature, infinitely more perfect than the actual, as there is an ideal life of man.
2.  Love tends to purify and sublime itself. It mortifies and triumphs over the flesh, and the bond of its union is holiness.

Thoughts for Consideration
And what is this "ideal life of man"? Thoreau answers it thusly: there is an ideal nature
beyond natural nature; and that ideal nature is love, as stated in the first passage. So
it is the ideal in man that pushes him to strive for that ideal – the idealist is justified thereby.
     As for the stark realists, let them mock as they will,as they must; yet they are as far from
the mark as a bulls-eye is to a blind archer.
     How might a stark realist defend his position that there is no such ideal in man that could
make him in anyway more-than-human except a little self-sacrifice and devotedness here
and there – which even dogs are capable of, if not moreso toward their masters?

Aristotle
1. We must not follow those who advise us to have mortal thoughts, since where only men, and mortal thoughts, as mortals should; on the contrary, we should try to become immortal as far as that is possible and do our utmost to live in accordance with what is highest in us. For this is a small portion of our nature, it far surpasses everything else in power and value. One might even regard it as each man's true self, since it is the controlling part.

Thoughts for Consideration
The Philosopher has his finger on the quick of our transcendence, our immortality. He does
not name this immortal part of us as love, but as the "controlling and better part"; which,
anyone familiar with Aristotle's humanistic philosophy, knows he considers as reason.
However, we do not normally identify love with reason, or that love is a "small portion of
our nature". Accordingly, why is this passage included under the heading "ideal-love"? Yet,
on reflection, if we consider love as the bond of unity, must not this bond be in some way
"reason" since it binds all things to their form and place? Accordingly, we might have to
reevaluate this apparent discrepancy between reason and love – or as some would consider
love as non-reason, or the irrational part of human nature.


 Perceptive Persons



a woman
The beauty thing was fun - it's always nice to be told you're beautiful – but honestly, I think I look much more interesting now. I don't hanker after lost youth or any of that rubbish. And I'll never be one of those women who look in mirrors and weep. There is something I resent about age, however, and that's that you can't do the things you used to be able to. Believe me, honey, my days of staying up all night and then taking a shower and plunging on are long behind me.             
     A few years ago, something happened to me that I never anticipated. I had a stroke, which affected my walking and made my damn left arm just about useless. Having always been an active person, if I'd fully realized that I was even partially paralyzed, I would have jumped out of the window – if I could have made it that far. Instead, I went on. I had no choice: that's one lesson I learned very early in life. You have to persevere. And I learned to compensate, to take joy in sights and sounds and situations I once took for granted. One thing I've always known is that the process of growing up, growing old, and growing toward death has never seemed frightening. And you know, if I had my life to live over again, I'd live it exactly the same way. Maybe a few changes here and there, but nothing special. Because the truth is, honey, I've enjoyed my life. I've had a hell of a good time.
          Thoughts for Consideration
A very straightforward optimistic, wise, acceptance of old age, I would say. Yet, as she implies, this acceptance is more a grudging than a willing acceptance. But that is normal enough. After all, who wants to lose one's faculties and verve for life. Yet we do; and for some of us, that is all right. We do get tired of the same daily repetitions even though we're on the treadmill that we can't seem to exit.
     But let us imagine an old person of 80 or 90 years who still has the same verve for, and energy of, life that she always has had; and just does not slow down physically, mentally or emotionally.  How would this state of affairs affect her family, friends, co-workers who are much younger than she? Is there something not quite natural to this scenario?

a woman
[My message to America] is basically that we are all animals - mammalian organisms with incredible potential to rise above the dictates of our nature which are self-gratification and stimulation and to live for something more special. And that success and happiness don't come from acquisition and stimulation, but from nobler ideals.

Thoughts for Consideration
Here is a clear and distinct message, not of self-renunciation but of self-refinement. By "rising above" our ego-sensuality, we refine it so that is does not clash with our nobler ideals – and ideals they are, since they can never be totally attained, being all-too-human as we are. We can have our acquisitions and stimulations, but we are not to count on them for our success and happiness.
     We have this "incredible potential" to rise above our mammalian origins, and many of us
aspire to take this ascent; but are we willing, are we capable of, denying the imprints of our
mammalian origins to make this ascent? And since these imprints are just that – imprints, how do we consistently stay on this ascent of nobler ideals? Could we stay on it? Would we want to? In other words, how do we transform consistently the pain of pleasure-denial to the joy of pleasure-denial?


Rugh



Selfless-Love
Love as the Experience of Unity
[The stripping, refinement, of one's ego-sensuality so as to approximate the unity of Love that could lead to the "blissed" experience beyond self of Oneness, All, Nothingness, the Void, Satori, Nirvana, Bliss-Consciousness, Purity, or whatever else it may be named - though having no name]


 Eminent Persons


Hesse
It is a strange but simple secret, known to the wisdom of all epochs, that every act of selfless devotion, of sympathy and love, however slight, makes us richer, whereas every striving for possessions and power robs us and makes us poorer. The Indians knew this and taught it, then the wise Greeks, and then Jesus. It has been known and taught by thousands of wise men and poets, whose works have outlived their time, whereas the rich men and kings of their day are forgotten. Your preferences may lie with Jesus or Plato, with Schiller or Spinoza; in all of them you will find the ultimate wisdom, the message that neither power nor possessions nor knowledge brings happiness, but love alone. In every act of selflessness, of loving sacrifice, of compassion, every renunciation of self, we seem to be giving something away, to be robbing ourselves. The truth is that such acts enrich us and make us grow; this is the only way that leads forward and upward. It's an old song, and I am a poor singer and preacher, but truths do not grow old, they are true always and everywhere, whether preached in the desert, sung in a song, or printed in a newspaper.

Thoughts for Consideration
Succinctly put, the lesson learned here is that selfless love enriches our lives and enhances
our mind through which we become more universal, approximating closer to the ideal of love
itself. It's like a self-evident,irreducible proof, but one which very few people venture toward
beyond the fewest hesitant steps.
     It's a "simple secret" in that, firstly, it is a self-evident truth; yet, secondly, it is a secret
because only the very few know, or care enough to know, this simple truth. They themselves
choose to keep it a secret from themselves rather than venture out toward its domain. In
other words, they believe this truth, but do not prefer to make it their truth; they prefer to
keep it a secret to themselves; meaning, they don't really want to know this truth – even
though they do know it. Its truth is too demanding of them; the intoxication of their
humanness, their self-love, and the love of the erotic, in particular, keep it at bay, keep them
spellbound.

Ramana Maharshi / mystic-sage
The Master gave the true significance of the Christian faith thus:
"Christ is the ego.
The Cross is the body.
          When the ego is crucified, and it perishes, what survives is the Absolute Being (God) (cf. 'I and   my Father are one') and this glorious survival is called Resurrection."

Thoughts for Consideration
Here we have Christ's crucifixion and resurrection as symbolism rather than as historical
 fact; and, which, to me, makes eminent sense, and which accords with the great Eastern
religions. Now If this were the case, inasmuch as the author(s) of the Gnostic gospels
meant them to be symbolism rather than fact, how then would Christianity deal with this
sensitive matter in our times? Well, for one thing, there is the Gospel of Thomas, which
well accords with this view of Christ as God's Messenger rather than of Christ the Son of
God. In contradistinction, however, is Paul's avowal that if there were no resurrection, then there were no basis of religious belief or faith in Christ.
     There is much to be explored in this matter.

Oscar Wilde / Irish playwright
For the secret of life is suffering. It is what is hidden behind everything – Now it seems to me that love of some kind is the only explanation of the extra- ordinary amount of suffering that there is in the world. I cannot conceive of any other explanation.

Thoughts for Consideration
Does not, I ask wonderingly, astonishingly, the conundrum of life lie in this insightful
passage of woe! Love explains suffering!? That which we struggle all our lives vainly to
avoid is the secret of life!? Could it be that through suffering, we measure by measure
shed our "mortal coil" so that we bare ourselves to our ineluctable fate to love without
self, to die within love. And yet right to the end, to our last breath, we suffer in the flesh for
our life, for our poor, broken self that only death can really extinguish.

From The Proverbs (The Old Testament)
1. The wise man guards his mind which is unruly and ever in search of pleasure. The mind well guarded brings great happiness.

Thoughts for Consideration
     From this passage it is most clear that a wise man is as human as all of us; yet he has
     one virtue that most people do not have. Which is?

2. Accept whatever is brought upon you, and in changes that humble you be patient. For gold is tested in fire and acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.


Thoughts for Consideration
(i) How do we "accept" these reverses that humble us, especially if our family suffers for
them?  
(ii)Also, what reasons make us accept them?
iii) What frequently happens to a people when they are faced with a reversal of fortune that
tends to humiliate them? Why must they be patient?

From Classic Buddhist Literature
1. The wise man will not look for the faults of others, nor for what they have done or left undone, but will look rather to his own misdeeds.

Thoughts for Consideration
(i) This passage implies, of course, that even a wise man has faults, is guilty of omissions
and commissions that are perhaps reproachable. But I thought a wise man knows not only
right from wrong but acts accordingly. Isn't this the definition of practical wisdom, which a
wise man is supposed to possess?
(ii) Also, how does this wise man stack up against Aristotle's notion of the wise man who
is perfectly virtuous less minor faults? What would these minor faults be? Would we still
consider a person wise even with minor faults?
(iii) What is the purpose of a wise person?

Confucius
The Master said, 'It is all over! I have not yet seen one who could perceive his faults, and inwardly accuse himself.'

Thoughts for Consideration
 (i) If this were the case, how could anyone even begin to improve himself, grow into a
better person -- to which many people do strive? Is there some other way of improving
our character besides self-analysis?
(ii) Of course, what Confucius says here is almost a universal truth about human nature.
What then is it that  we are afraid of discovering about ourselves?
(iii) Granting that we can fairly well face our faults, the next hurdle is admitting our faults to others. Why is admitting our faults to others next to impossible to do?

 Perceptive Persons


a woman
I've traveled quite a bit over the past few years. And unfortunately, it seems that everywhere I go, I get a sense of crisis – we're living in a world of crisis. I sometimes think the problem is that we're over stimulated by media – there's so much  of everything today. In order to survive with any sense of yourself, you have to keep cutting out a little piece of it in your mind and defending it. You have to figure out what's precious to you and you have to keep that constant through the years and be willing to go to the wall for it.

Thoughts for Consideration
How do we keep ourselves intact amidst the din of our lives? How do we find what is
"precious" to us from the panorama of our frantic lives? Well, the first essential, I believe,
is "to know yourself," to quote Socrates. The second essential, which applies to our
times especially, is to understand yourself. And what is the difference between knowing
and understanding yourself? A crucial question, of which I'll just touch on.
     The first case is an obvious one: I know – am aware – that I am very insecure about a
matter; but do not understand the reason(s) why. The second case would be I may come
to know -realize  that I am insecure about a certain matter, and certainly in this case I
would not understand why I have that insecurity. The third case would be not only "do I
know that I am insecure about a certain matter, but that I understand why as well; the
problem lies in how do I treat this insecurity. I mean, do I accept it as an invariable part of
my makeup and let it go at that, or do I try to mini


Thoughts for Consideration
Is this what could happen to us as we get older and have fairly much had our fill of
"the surroundings"? In which case, coming to understand ourselves and others better
would not be of much use, since we would no longer be in the stream of events -- unless
we apply our new-found wisdom to our family and friends – which, of course has its
value; if not more value than with our acquaintances, and co-workers, and such.
    What if we were to gain this wisdom while still much in "the surroundings?" Would not
this be a boon to our lives and contribute significantly to our social success? But then
could we bear the truths about ourselves and others while still in the flow, or rather,
rapids, of daily striving and struggling?
   Yet, there is an important point I overlooked. She said to "put behind one's desire for
the life of the surroundings." This puts a whole different slant on the matter; for if our
desire to put behind us the surroundings is fairly much gone; yet we are still involved in
them, no matter what our age, then we are on top of the situation; we can have an
objective view of matters, rather than being blinded by our subjective desires. This, by
the way, is the wisdom of the scriptures, the Bagahvad Gita, in particular which proclaims
that we work and live for the matter to be done, without thought of reward.
[End of first installment]