Towards My Rational Morality


... or of me-ness and other-ness.

By a "rational" morality i mean one not based upon Faith.  This is not to object to faith from religion.  Many people turn to those sources to guide their morality ... and the morality and inspiration they get from it  works just fine and they thereby are guided into leading fine and moral lives.  But for me that does not work ... it is insufficiently motivating to stand up to the onslaught of sense and offense ... perhaps because my faith is insufficiently strong. 

Still and all I need a morality, else the only motivation for my life would be my own pleasure, fun, and what love i might glean from living.   But my problem with relying on only emotion for motivation is that it apparently is not sustainable. It does not last.  In fact the more I live for only the fun of it, the less fun i end up having as such fun tends to decomposes.  I think my constitution is such that the internal gestalt of my being (some people will call that my ego) tends to decay and along with it my fun and pleasure unless i have some project to sustain and enliven it.   Apparently merely having fun does  not sufficiently nourish my "self-gestalt".  

So for me the only rational thing to do is to hobble together whatever narrative   or network of narratives the manifestation of which is sufficient motivation to maintain the gestalt necessary to withstand the slings and arrows of an outrageous fortune.  Then manifesting that narrative is the goal against which i can measure or judge my actions as either moral or not. 

There are a couple of wise sayings which I have found useful to formulate rational from time to time:
source: Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:1-5)
"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
This saying forms the basis and lends authority to a conception which i frequently refer to as "otherness".  For me, otherness is not to be judged rather it is to be loved, respected and tolerated.  I reserve judgement shame, and guilt for my own actions and those in which i participate.  And I should use that judgement prior to the act ... perchance to prevent it ... rather than after the act to feed guilty and be shamed.

And the Golden Rule which is also about otherness:
source: unknown
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
For me this is basically empathy.  It too relates to otherness.  Even though i  cannot feel directly what an other person feels, still and all i can imagine how they feel in a given situation because i can imagine how i would feel  in that situation ... then i should act toward that person as if they were me. 


* Thanks, Wendy Usually Wanders for the illustration of the "I".

Tags

  1. morality
  2. ego gestalt
  3. the project
  4. wendyusuallywanders
  5. golden rule
  6. matthew 7-1-5
  7. otherness
  8. narrative
  9. specificity
  10. leviathan
  11. i
  12. ego

Comments


Mark de LA says
Interesting!
In the last paragraph, with what do you judge? ..  maintaining the survival (against the slings & arrows) of your self-gestalt?

Sounds a bit like the first few verses of Genesis !


Seth says
Re: Towards My Rational Morality
source:  The last sentence of my last paragraph
Then accomplishing that project is the goal against which i  measure and judge my actions as either moral or not. 
source: M above
In the last paragraph, with what do you judge? ..  maintaining the survival (against the slings & arrows) of your self-gestalt?
Well, given the thrust of this item, i would put it more literally, like i actually did in my last sentence (repeated above).   So it would be "the project" and not my "self-gestalt" which maintains "the survival".   Rather the project itself is what maintains the survival of the "self-gestalt".  That is a variation of "You are what you do".   Is that not the rational thing to do? 

Here also "the project" is left undefined ... for me what that refers to has varied from time to time ... so when one dies, as with me they do, a new one must needs be "hobbled together" else the moral decay, of which i spoke in the master item, will of the nature of my being, ensue.

I have always posed the question "What do i do this for?" ... rather than the question "What am I?"  ... or "Who am I?" ... or "What does this or that?". 

When it comes to judging, I try to only judge myself and what i do ... all else is otherness ...  and it does not help anything to judge it, least of all me.   But when I interact with it (as project), I become part of it, and it becomes part of me  ... that interaction changes it and me ... so were it of need of judging, then i will be judging myself.

Yet, bear in mind, i don't claim always to be rational, I am just talking here of moving towards it. 

Does that answer your question? 

Mark de LA says
This conversation is rapidly merging with the blue vortex.  I'm not diving all the way in this time 15925
ZZzz...

Seth says
M 2012-04-29 07:01:07 15969
Almost!  I am honing in on judgement: think, judge, suppose, opine (from etymology) . If there is a word I am trying to figure out or get the root meaning I generally go for the etymological root.  After all the dictionary is a walled garden. Judgement seems to be about declaring an opinion - ultimately the value of what you are doing for yourself & others. Most people seem to think that you need external definitions of what is good to do that: hence religion & the like. Untimately, whether I like it or not, I judge against the Golden Rule & my feelings & grokings about LOVE as aided by what shows up in my heart chakra. I can check on that periodically as I do something by asking myself the question, similar to yours, "Who am I being as I do this?"  GW called judgement a function of Ego: (also more like a declaration).
P.2693 (TaiShu commentary): ...

".... The question of illative force is controversial in some minds.  In our book every Ultimate Particle has Consciousness, a Category concomitant with others such as Unity, Extension, Persistence, Motion i.e. each UP has an Ego, whose function is JUDGEMENT, which is expresses as a "statement" or "equation" properly quantified & qualified.  Note that not the statement but its MEANING is what FORCES you to assent, i.e., if you are a reasonable person.  Speech & Reasoning are equivalent : See what I mean when I say "Look Jane see Dick" - two levels. "



 

The meaning of my use of the word "judge" here in this context is the very same meaning used here ...
source: Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:1-5)
"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
... so if you though i was talking here merely of "opinion", you might want to go back and reread. 

source: M further asks
... So is your rational morality accomplishing a project which you can declare to yourself as good by some value you hold & determine yourself?

Strange i have made no conscious requirement that "i can declare to myself a project as 'good' ".  No, i do not call myself "doing good".  For me, its more like, being pertinent, being aware, being honest, being alive, being dramatic and passionate, perchance even to improve  possibilities of life.   And yes, that is for me to determine.

Seth says
M 2012-04-30 13:57:25 15969
Seth: ...
Strange i have made no conscious requirement that "i can declare to myself a project as 'good' ". No, i do not call myself "doing good". For me, its more like, being pertinent, being aware, being honest, being alive, being dramatic and passionate, perchance even to improve possibilities of life. And yes, that is for me to determine.

... OK so your "good" has all the properties bolded above; but would want to be accused of doing "good" eh? Presumably those are your "positive" values at this time. That's all I meant!


got it

Seth says
M 2012-04-30 15:22:20 15969
seth 2012-04-30 15:18:27 15969
M 2012-04-30 13:50:49 15969
seth 2012-04-30 13:39:32 15969
seth 2012-04-30 13:36:20 15969
M 2012-04-29 07:18:34 15969
A side question might be "Are you rationally immoral if you are not doing something?"
... more like you are immoral if you are doing nothing.

But were you thinking more of a suicide bomber having a reason to be immoral?
Your rational morality seemed to be wrapped up in doing things; the flip side of that coin is not doing things - hence the question.
Got it, then my first answer is my response which i have bolded italicized and blued. But then that's just me.
Only the dead are doing nothing; maybe they are rotting which is still something. I am breathing & so nobody is immoral! kewl!

It's all in the point of view ... rotting is not doing anything ... it is something happening to you.  That is kind of the point here.  Note the part in the main item about "the internal gestalt of my being tends to decay".  When a Spruce log decomposes on the forest floor it is not the living force of the Spruce tree making the compost.  Again it's all in the point of view.   Are you a microbe?

Mark de LA says
seth 2012-05-06 13:56:18 15969
seth 2012-05-06 13:37:59 15969
M 2012-05-06 13:29:15 15969
seth 2012-05-06 12:27:15 15969
I changed my word "project" to "narrative".  I think it fits better for what i am saying here.
You now just want to tell a story? .. & then manifest it? Maybe you should make movies
narrative (adj.) Look up narrative at Dictionary.commid-15c., from M.Fr. narratif, from L.L. narrativus "suited to narration," from L. narrare (see narration). The noun meaning "a tale, story" is first recorded 1560s, from the adjective.
It's more like believing in a story I am living ... else-wise i have just random reaction to sling-and-arrows and the passion of the moment. 
It's not very deep ... not useful to overthink or intellectualized ... just straight forward answer to the question: What do i do this for? 

But sum is deep, very deep!

Seth says
I don't know of this sheds any light on the question here, but it's obviously related ....



Seth says
seth 2012-05-28 08:23:38 15969
There are billions of persons on the Earth and many many more who have already passed away.  Each of those lives have their unique context and predicaments.  Sure there is much commonality in all of those lives ... but there is also much that is particular, peculiar, and unique only to each.   My own life is one of those.  It is that uniqueness ... that peculiarity ... that is the important substance of my life.  It is that peculiarity that my narrative address.

obviously this relates also to specificity

Seth says
source: on facebook here.

Incidentally here is *my* interpretation of the Golden Rule.

I use it in situations where I don't know  how someone will feel when i do something *to* them.  Strangely enough that is almost always the case.  The thing is, i almost always do know how *i* would feel in that situation.  So i treat them the same way as i would prefer them to treat me in that same situation ... in other words i imagine that our situations are switched.

The rule is, however, an over simplified rubric which i cannot apply to all situations even thought the basic thrust behind it which values others feelings on par with my own seems to be  good.  In general i act to cause others to feel good.  However situations do happen where to get another person to feel good would cause me to feel bad.   There are frequently ways to change the situation in those cases, but in general i am responsible for my feelings and they are more important to me than are the others ... and i assume that is reciprocally the same for them ... consequently i act accordingly. 

In general i have no problem in being someone to somebody ... it is fun ... and if i so choose, and they so choose,  i do it.  For example, my wife is blind, i am quite literally her eyes.  It gives me a lot of fun to describe things to her.  Yet it does happen that she will want me to look at something, and i will want to look at something else.  In those cases i look at what i want even knowing that it is causing her pain.  Usually my wife understands when this happens.

There are lots of other cases like that one where the Golden Rule appears not to apply.  Perhaps a set of rules could be constructed with priorities like the rules for robots ... but i don't really think that is necessary for me ... my heart almost always knows what to do ... and doesn't need any stinking rule to figure it out.
...

Seth says
MR 2013-03-05 09:49:17 15969
Yep, go test it out in reality with a random group of people or just the U.S. Congress!

the problem with Congress is that they have two different and perhaps contradictory views pulling against each other and destroying the value in each.  groups do not always function well ... nor do people.  some people are so conflicted that they are quite dysfunctional. 

Seth says
MR 2013-03-05 08:08:58 15969
seth 2013-03-05 06:41:17 15969

Well, if my leviathan conjecture is true, then it would not be MINE .... i could not claim it ... not own it, as it were.   No, it would be the country, party, or group that would own the morality or whatever other thing i was a part of. 

The "new age" philosophies ... Watts/Ralston, whatever ... have this train running thorough that talks of giving up the bondaries of the ego and seeing those as arbritrary and trancending them. Yet, me thinks, when it comes right down to it they *insist* on a coherent sovereign ego.   Well it seems to me that is a contradiction.  That which is not me is otherness ... that does not mean that i cannot be part of it ... just because i am a part of it ... does not mean that i am the same as all of it ... and it does not mean that our awarenessess (or counsciousnesses) are identical.
Your title may be wrong, then. Ralston is NOT a New Age philosophy or whatever. Who insists on a coherent sovereign ego? - first time I've heard this from you. The Golden Rule for a group of people is absurd because the group does NOT have a Group Ego nor a Group Soul nor a group Heart Chakra - functioning like the individual ones.  Now you can make up anything you want for your own Rational Morality & even call it Rational - basically it is ALL yours.


Ok, maybe it is just *you* who, as i say above, is insisting on "a coherent sovereign ego" ... and certainly i did make it up ... though not out of thin air.  But to me the history here of who said what when is not all that very important or even interesting. 

What does interest me is that that coherent sovereign ego is not necessary ... being can emerge from a background of not being quite without it.  Perhaps you assume ... perhaps even with good authority ... perhaps even with direct apprehension ...  that it cannot.   Me, i am testing here whether it can.

Seth says
MR 2013-03-04 17:35:49 15969
seth 2013-03-04 17:23:28 15969
MR 2013-03-04 15:08:22 15969
One wouldn't expect it to apply to groupings of people like a political party or a country of people since they can't possibly all feel alike nor think alike.


i don't know precisely what your "it" refers to. 

But every part of my being does not "feel alike or think alike" either.  In that sense i expect that grouping of people, political parities, and even a country of people are not all that very different than one human individual in regards to just about whatever "it" from this item you choose.  That actually is one of my conjectures about leviathan.
The "it" you were confused about is the Golden Rule which you were talking about.  You & I think & feel differently over many classes of things. I guess we would never be together in a group which had to apply the Golden Rule as a group.

Sure we could ... and probably did ... and probably do.  Perhaps you are still ignoring what i said.    A being does not necessarily need to be considered of one rational coherent mind to function quite effectively.  In fact, there may well be a whole lot of evidence that indicates the contrary.   Quite possibly the more diverse the rational processes of the group, the wiser and more effective it will function.


Seth says
MR 2013-03-05 10:04:48 15969
If two people can't have a shared experience (as you & others suggest) , how can they share the ingredients necessary to carry out the Golden Rule except with lip-service or on behalf of themselves individually & not as a group of two.

Well i have not suggested people cannot have a shared experience, perhaps you have me mixed up with d'A.  In fact just about everything i have said would contradict it.  Right now, you are I are sharing an experience ... albeit from different points of view.

In fact it is the feature that a group awareness encompasses multiple views that makes it work so well.  it is good for survival.

Seth says
MR 2013-03-04 23:33:23 15969
seth 2013-03-04 19:23:55 15969
MR 2013-03-04 17:35:49 15969
seth 2013-03-04 17:23:28 15969
MR 2013-03-04 15:08:22 15969
One wouldn't expect it to apply to groupings of people like a political party or a country of people since they can't possibly all feel alike nor think alike.


i don't know precisely what your "it" refers to. 

But every part of my being does not "feel alike or think alike" either.  In that sense i expect that grouping of people, political parities, and even a country of people are not all that very different than one human individual in regards to just about whatever "it" from this item you choose.  That actually is one of my conjectures about leviathan.
The "it" you were confused about is the Golden Rule which you were talking about.  You & I think & feel differently over many classes of things. I guess we would never be together in a group which had to apply the Golden Rule as a group.

Sure we could ... and probably did ... and probably do.  Perhaps you are still ignoring what i said.    A being does not necessarily need to be considered of one rational coherent mind to function quite effectively.  In fact, there may well be a whole lot of evidence that indicates the contrary.   Quite possibly the more diverse the rational processes of the group, the wiser and more effective it will function.

Then call it YOUR Irrational Morality!

Well, if my leviathan conjecture is true, then it would not be MINE .... i could not claim it ... not own it, as it were.   No, it would be the country, party, or group that would own the morality or whatever other thing i was a part of. 

The "new age" philosophies ... Watts/Ralston, whatever ... have this train running thorough that talks of giving up the bondaries of the ego and seeing those as arbritrary and trancending them. Yet, me thinks, when it comes right down to it they *insist* on a coherent sovereign ego.   Well it seems to me that is a contradiction.  That which is not me is otherness ... that does not mean that i cannot be part of it ... just because i am a part of it ... does not mean that i am the same as all of it ... and it does not mean that our awarenessess (or counsciousnesses) are identical.

Seth says
It is a logical fact that me, and not me, can be a whole, which i am not.

Mark de LA says
seth 2013-03-06 06:34:21 15969
MR 2013-03-05 13:36:33 15969
seth 2013-03-05 13:28:32 15969
MR 2013-03-05 13:06:57 15969
seth 2013-03-05 12:13:26 15969
MR 2013-03-05 11:54:15 15969
seth 2013-03-05 10:16:51 15969
MR 2013-03-05 10:04:48 15969
If two people can't have a shared experience (as you & others suggest) , how can they share the ingredients necessary to carry out the Golden Rule except with lip-service or on behalf of themselves individually & not as a group of two.

Well i have not suggested people cannot have a shared experience, perhaps you have me mixed up with d'A.  In fact just about everything i have said would contradict it.  Right now, you are I are sharing an experience ... albeit from different points of view.

In fact it is the feature that a group awareness encompasses multiple views that makes it work so well.  it is good for survival.
You have many times suggested that your experience is your own & is unique - are you now back-tracking?

no back track here ... apparently you mis-understood me.  Our experiences are our own, but that does not mean that they are not shared.  When something happens which causes you to have an experience, it can also cause an experience in me ... i see no reason not to call that a shared experience ... after all it is the same thing that is experienced, but just from a different point of view.
Well go back & review some of our discussions on the truth & relative truth & I think you will find that you at least changed your mind. 

the only thing that my have changed is subject and point of view and emphasis.  truth is relative to each of us ... it is relative to our minds and our experience.   sharing is what happens when different people participate in the same events.  i guess you could say that the more people think the same truths about events, the more they share those events.  for me that is a level of abstraction here i don't find useful.  what if they started off disagreeing ... continued sharing the events from their differing views ... but finally came around to thinking the same truths.  when were they sharing and when not?  this is all just a linguistic semantic quibble.  what is important to you here?
None of it.

Then why waste my time bandying words about it?
I thought it would be interesting but you slipped into your deframing-contrary mode & lost it for me.

Mark de LA says
seth 2013-03-08 12:18:59 15969
MR 2013-03-08 07:04:06 15969
Like what?  I watched it & all I got was yet another guy going "New Agey" half-assed zen or "I" . Anthroposophy is a lot more coherent & explains the so called "higher ego" and even differntiates that one.


Well perhaps Buddhism, and in particular Alan Watts, definitely has a train of thought about seeing the ego as illusion and or an arbitrary boundary and transcending it.   Most, perhaps Western religions, certainly do have a train of thought that elivates and sees a personal spirit as coherently persistent.  The very term, "highter ego", itself implies this latter train.  I heard that in Jordan's video. 

It seems to me that those trains need to be different facets of the same thing.  Seeing it that way would be the mystery of my message.
To quote another(misspellings and all): yes i know ... and South American Emoos are funny.

Seth says
MR 2013-03-05 13:36:33 15969
seth 2013-03-05 13:28:32 15969
MR 2013-03-05 13:06:57 15969
seth 2013-03-05 12:13:26 15969
MR 2013-03-05 11:54:15 15969
seth 2013-03-05 10:16:51 15969
MR 2013-03-05 10:04:48 15969
If two people can't have a shared experience (as you & others suggest) , how can they share the ingredients necessary to carry out the Golden Rule except with lip-service or on behalf of themselves individually & not as a group of two.

Well i have not suggested people cannot have a shared experience, perhaps you have me mixed up with d'A.  In fact just about everything i have said would contradict it.  Right now, you are I are sharing an experience ... albeit from different points of view.

In fact it is the feature that a group awareness encompasses multiple views that makes it work so well.  it is good for survival.
You have many times suggested that your experience is your own & is unique - are you now back-tracking?

no back track here ... apparently you mis-understood me.  Our experiences are our own, but that does not mean that they are not shared.  When something happens which causes you to have an experience, it can also cause an experience in me ... i see no reason not to call that a shared experience ... after all it is the same thing that is experienced, but just from a different point of view.
Well go back & review some of our discussions on the truth & relative truth & I think you will find that you at least changed your mind. 

the only thing that my have changed is subject and point of view and emphasis.  truth is relative to each of us ... it is relative to our minds and our experience.   sharing is what happens when different people participate in the same events.  i guess you could say that the more people think the same truths about events, the more they share those events.  for me that is a level of abstraction here i don't find useful.  what if they started off disagreeing ... continued sharing the events from their differing views ... but finally came around to thinking the same truths.  when were they sharing and when not?  this is all just a linguistic semantic quibble.  what is important to you here?
None of it.

Then why waste my time bandying words about it?

See Also

  1. Thought Moving from 2 to 3 dimensions with 523 viewings related by tag "otherness".
  2. Thought Thoughts are singular and unique to the person thinking with 488 viewings related by tag "specificity".
  3. Thought The psychology of Inside Outside Story with 400 viewings related by tag "narrative".
  4. Thought Thought, Feeling, and Will with 380 viewings related by tag "Ego".
  5. Thought Buddah Lied with 338 viewings related by tag "specificity".
  6. Thought cognitive dissonance with 258 viewings related by tag "Ego".
  7. Thought How very unique we are ... with 239 viewings related by tag "specificity".
  8. Thought You are part of my SubConscious with 207 viewings related by tag "Ego".
  9. Thought Teasing out the "will" with 188 viewings related by tag "ego".
  10. Thought Sensing ... with 167 viewings related by tag "otherness".
  11. Thought Win Win Interactions with others with 165 viewings related by tag "ego".
  12. Thought Thoughts re freedom & Christ ... i don't want to forget ... with 161 viewings related by tag "Ego".
  13. Thought about: The #RWG - comment 67967 with 159 viewings related by tag "ego".
  14. Thought The ego bubble plane with 152 viewings related by tag "Ego".
  15. Thought Contemplation: what is my ego? with 140 viewings related by tag "ego".
  16. Thought Inquiry: what isolates us? with 124 viewings related by tag "Ego".
  17. Thought [title (23904)] with 119 viewings related by tag "ego".
  18. Thought Tools in my peculair bag ... with 101 viewings related by tag "otherness".
  19. Thought #iSwim with 86 viewings related by tag "otherness".
  20. Thought Eropa with 79 viewings related by tag "Ego".
  21. Thought The Objective World vs The Occurring World with 76 viewings related by tag "otherness".
  22. Thought I can walk and chew gum with 72 viewings related by tag "otherness".
  23. Thought about: Unhacking Wars - comment 67183 with 68 viewings related by tag "ego".
  24. Thought about: Reversal of signification - comment 80112 with 52 viewings related by tag "otherness".
  25. Thought Value of Thought & Story with 52 viewings related by tag "narrative".
  26. Thought Bring it ... with 49 viewings related by tag "ego".
  27. Thought Golden Rule Dialog with 45 viewings related by tag "GoldenRule".
  28. Thought Free will of another with 39 viewings related by tag "otherness".
  29. Thought The trick is to enjoy the prick with 38 viewings related by tag "ego".
  30. Thought How do you know you are practicing The Golden Rule? with 38 viewings related by tag "golden rule".
  31. Thought Golden Rule with 38 viewings related by tag "golden rule".
  32. Thought Listening with 32 viewings related by tag "otherness".
  33. Thought Pride & Thanks feel Good with 26 viewings related by tag "otherness".
  34. Thought Golden Rule with 23 viewings related by tag "golden rule".
  35. Thought Contrast ... with 18 viewings related by tag "ego".
  36. Thought A New Respect for The Specific with 17 viewings related by tag "otherness".
  37. Thought The World As Person with 15 viewings related by tag "leviathan".
  38. Thought Distinctions that I can make that make more sense to ME with 14 viewings related by tag "i".
  39. Thought Sequence of Encounter reply in Newsletter with 13 viewings related by tag "golden rule".
  40. Thought What if there were no stars? with 10 viewings related by tag "leviathan".
  41. Thought The Leviathan (Chapter 1) with 9 viewings related by tag "leviathan".
  42. Thought Is nothing by an oobey feeling of death with 7 viewings related by tag "ego".
  43. Thought about: Introverts: You're Not Responsible For Other People's Feelings with 6 viewings related by tag "otherness".
  44. Thought Awareness, Attention is the function of the Ego with 5 viewings related by tag "ego".
  45. Thought Towards a recognition ... with 4 viewings related by tag "ego".
  46. Thought Different types of Facts with 4 viewings related by tag "Ego".
  47. Thought Life is boring repitition ... with 4 viewings related by tag "ego".
  48. Thought The Future does not belong to those who slander others with 4 viewings related by tag "golden rule".
  49. Thought Privacy is antithetical to the semantic web with 4 viewings related by tag "leviathan".
  50. Thought about: what’s so scary about caitlyn jenner? with 4 viewings related by tag "specificity".