Tag Archives: virtue

What’s Your Answer to Hamlet’s Existential Question?

The last post, How Do You Define GOOD, opened with a basic law of nature: in duality, every coin has two sides. “Whatever has a front, has back. The larger the front, the larger the back.” It  explains why surface appearances are often deceiving.

I bring the Two Sides Law up here again in answer to comments from a recent LinkedIn post, To Be or Not To Be PC? There, political correctness was defended:

PC is often viewed incorrectly, fundamentally it is a collective societal attempt to correct social inequity – the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.

I responded:

Understood . . . As an Ed Admin grad student, I wrote a paper for a law seminar on Affirmative Action. I observed that, however worthy the goals, the legislation missed the point. Not only was it unenforceable. It would trigger backlash. Which in time proved to be a correct assessment. I recommended Positive Action as a viable alternative for achieving the legislation’s worthy goals then — and still do. The surface definition of PC is, of course, impeccable. But applications and abuses have drifted so far afield from the verbal window dressing and original intent as to be unrecognizable. “Good intentions . . . “

These days, when promises seem too good to be true, I instinctively know they’re a ruse — a cover for something opposite and equally awful. A Shakespearian observation captures the gist. “Methinks he doth protest too much.”

“Change we can believe in?” “Social equity?” Methinks such slogans are market-tested veneer, engineered by behind-the-scenes puppet-masters to tap into and exploit our deepest desires and highest aspirations. They mask political agendas that have nothing whatsoever to do with seductive but empty wrappers. When politicians protest too much, you can depend on their front being a cynical cover for unacceptable, unspeakable motives.

To Be or Not To Be PC

Remember Daniel-san and Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid? After Daniel wins the tournament, John Kreese, abusive Sensei of Cobra Kai, corners Miyagi in the parking lot and swings at him twice.

Miyagi simply ducks. Kreese misses, smashing first one fist and then the other through a parked car window, shattering the glass and lacerating both hands.

In Karate Kid III, Kreese calls on a Vietnam war buddy to act as the agent of his revenge. Treacherous but slick, Terry Silver, wealthy owner of a toxic waste disposal corporation, confuses Daniel to the point of self-destruction. Daniel mistakes his best friend for his enemy, and vice versa.

“Have no mercy,” was Kreese’s creed.

Silver gives Daniel three rules for winning an unfair fight. First, “If a man can’t stand, he can’t fight. So break his knees.”

Second, “If a man can’t breathe, he can’t fight. So break his nose.”

Third, “If a man can’t see, he can’t fight. So gouge out his eyes.”

That brings us back to the theme of an earlier post, “Change the Rules of the Knowledge Game.” The progressive/atheist Rules of the Politically Correct Game prevent believers (along with those they try to control) from being able to see and take a positive stand against evil.

PC advocates confuse the public, presenting true friends of the people as enemies, and vice versa. Even the existence evil is cast into doubt. It’s quibbled away in double-talk speculations, relegated to the fringes of speculative theory – outside the “accepted” rules of what can be known.

By PC standards, the concept of evil is demeaned, presumed to be a moralistic, judgmental, prejudiced fiction. This is a Yes and No. But denying the existence of evil by an exclusively materialistic standard prevents believers from being able to see grave danger, name it and protect from it – much less fight intelligently and successfully against it.

Is there method to this madness? Take a moment to think about it. Who stands to benefit from this blindness? Who stands to lose?

This picture of the PC problem may help:

Can't See.sized

Here’s how the Motive/Purpose/Intent (MPI) standard – the Why/How/What – applies to Daniel’s situation. He sees the surface What of Mr. Miyagi’s refusing to train him for another karate event. He compares it to Silver’s sly What – an all-too-eager willingness to act has his trainer.

What Daniel doesn’t know because he can’t see them are the underlying intangibles. Mr. Miyagi doesn’t support the fight because there’s no worthy Purpose. His Motive is to protect Daniel’s best interests. In contrast, Silver has set Daniel up to fight, even pressured him into entering the contest. But his ulterior Motive (the Why) is to exact revenge. His Purpose (the How) is to defeat and humiliate Daniel as painfully as Kreese was beaten, breaking Miyagi’s heart in the process.

Details. But important ones. For lack of inner awareness, Daniel was steered into a world of hurt. As are we all in similar circumstances.

Here’s another example of confusions resulting from operating on limited and limiting PC rules taken taken directly from an ongoing LinkedIn discussion in the New Philosophy Network. The thread is called HOW DO YOU DEFINE EVIL?

I entered the discussion, thinking my viewpoint would be interesting, perhaps even helpful, by offering this comment:

I’ve written to this subject, so let me sum up a few basics from my perspective. First, morality is technically an ephemeral social construct at the surface of the Life Wheel, whereas virtues (compassion, including kindness, gentleness, courage, etc.) are inherent potentials residing at the middle level of the Wheel. Evil in Positive Paradigm context is defined as destructive acts or intentions which violate the integrity of the whole, the aim of destroying the life pattern itself. If there’s further interest, pictures and explanations are available online. Pls. see http://wp.me/p46Y5Z-9B (“How Bad People Become Leaders”).

There were two responses. One dismissed the definition as a bit obtuse. The other seemed like a back-handed compliment – condescending, perhaps flirtatious. Thanks Patricia, nice and simple for a simple mind like me to understand. I would love to read some of your books 🙂

Not sure what to make of this, I reviewed many of the 523 comments posted over the past 24 days. They were sickening, both literally and figuratively.

The opening statement, made by medical doctor and research scientist, is this:

Christians condem anyone who does not follow their beliefs to live forever in Hell ( the bosom of all evil) , Fundamentalist followers of Islam believe everyone who does not follow their beliefs are evil and condem them to death via evil attrocities, Other religions have gods to protect them against evil, and gods to explain evil. Society explains evil through Freudian concepts of psycopathy and sociopathy. It would seem that evil is perpetuated by intolerance of other peoples beliefs?
And is this not the basis of human conflict throughout all history? What are your philosophical views on this concept?

(Turns out, it’s the platform for promoting a forthcoming book.)

But a wide range of contributors — atheists, agnostics and theists – chime in. The first comment reads, Evil is just anything contrary to the norms of the one judging and no more. The concept rests on inauthentic or authoritarian thinking.

A “top contributor” takes it upon himself to moderate the discussion, repeating the same mantra, straight out of the PC progressive handbook – evil is what effectively undoes or blocks any progress to greater purposeful complexity and abundance.

Suffice it to say, the level of discourse quickly degenerates into a testosterone-saturated, contentious and extraordinary disrespectful exchange. “Childish” comes to mind. The troll word is thrown back and forth. On the defensive, one commenter states:

I would prefer your responses were less transparently hostile (and as abusive of metaphor as you have accused me of being, I suspect to win the point). : ) I am not a member of any sort of ‘guys’ and my pants are on.

One remark criticizes the self-nominated moderator: Your sarcasm is showing; you should at least try a little to be more balanced, your post is so one-sided and shows such negative bias you should be embarrassed at the lack of balance. It’s so unbalanced it reminds me of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg. . . .

To some extent, I empathize with the deep, underlying frustration. They’re struggling inside the box of dysfunctional paradigms. Trapped as if in a Japanese wicker-woven finger-prison, the harder they struggle to get out, the stucker they get. They sense that somewhere, somehow, something is terribly wrong – but without a comprehensive paradigm, they have no way to identify the heart of the problem much less find positive solutions.

I’ll speak further to important issues from this heated discussion in the next post, “The Great Reconciliation.” But here, the subject remains defining evil.

In “How Bad People Become Leaders,”I offered another picture, defining “evil” as anti-life: intentionally shattering and fragmenting the creative pattern. In Positive Paradigm context, the intentions and actions of any person (or group) that destroys its own and/or threatens to annihilate enemy groups, devoid of respect for the inherent sanctity of life, are defined as evil.

In metaphysical circles, by the way, in addition to extremes of black and white magic, there are shades of gray and yellow, depending on the extent of harm done and degree of intentionality.

In Karate Kid III, the central villain runs a toxic waste disposal business – an apt metaphor for abusive defenders of toxic PC ideas and attitudes! Why do I take such exception to PC “ideologies?” Because misleading, dysfunctional paradigms are life-threatening, a danger even to human survival itself.

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the procrastinating prince debates the suicide option: To be or not to be, that was his question. He waivers and philosophies right up the the 11th hour. As a consequence, in the final act, the stage is littered with bodies – not only his, but also others whom he might have saved.

If rules of the knowledge game prohibit the general population from seeing genuine evil clearly for what it is and if they inhibit us from standing firm against it, they effectively prevent us from protecting ourselves and those we love from it’s toxic, destructive effects. In the name of tolerance, PC progressives pretend to be the best friends of minorities and women. In practice, they function as worst enemies. As a first step, would-be survivors must restore a full-spectrum reality map that allows them to recognize who’s who, and what’s what.

To be or not to be, asked Hamlet. That is the question. Today, to be or not to be PC is the burning issue. Whether to commit national, even global suicide through ignorance, or to WAKE UP to existing dangers of Titanic proportion and take a positive stand – while there’s still precious time left.

Use the Wheel as a Linguistic Tool

According to AXIOM SIX, “Used as a Linguistic Tool, the Positive Paradigm Wheel Promotes Clear, Accurate and Effective Communication.”

Like humanity itself, the English language is an endangered species. Clear and effective communication can no more be taken for granted than any other aspect of the civilization.

In tracking the meanings of words, their devolution is found to be systematic. In some cases, the same word means not only one thing, but its exact opposite as well. The inherent danger is that people often talk at cross-purposes. They think they understand each other when in fact they’re missing each other coming and going, only vaguely aware of the disconnect.

It’s well worth taking the time to pay attention to what’s meant by specific words in common use. Working with the Positive Paradigm Wheel explains the dynamics of shifting definitions. The same word takes on different meanings at different levels of the Wheel.

Here is one example of how the single word “discrimination” changes meanings depending on where in the Wheel it’s used.

Discrimination.sized

Another example is the word “positive.” Webster’s Dictionary lists seventeen (!) different uses. They span the continuum from center to surface, with many gradations along the route. At the core, “positive” refers to that which is absolute, unqualified, and independent of circumstances; that which has real existence in itself.

At the middle, energy level, the term is used describe an electrical valence. As an attitude, positive can mean either confident or dogmatic. At the surface, positive may mean showing forward progress or increase, making a constructive contribution.

As this one example serves to indicate, it’s extraordinarily difficult to communicate so as to be understood as intended. The “Tower of Babel” factor issue is addressed both in Rethinking Survival and Conscience. This excerpt represents ongoing concerns:

The Tower of Babel Factor

The gift of language sets humans apart from animals. It provides the building blocks of communication. It’s the foundation of civilizations and the necessary glue of cultural continuity.

That being said, humans are the only creatures capable of using language to rationalize greed, lie to others about their actions and deceive themselves. . . .

That’s was quite the opposite of the language I’d learned to love and respect in high school. There, we were taught to regard language as the premier tool of logic. When used with Sherlock-like diligence, applied the powers of keen observation and heightened awareness, it could solve mysteries — not only to detect the crimes of evil-doers and the nefarious plots of national enemies, but to reveal the mysteries of life and the universe.

Turned inwards, used with self-honesty, language becomes an essential means of introspection and cultivating self-awareness. For the truth-seeker, language is the necessary vehicle of information both on the inward quest and on return journey to share its benefits.

“Leadership” and the related concept of “power” are two words whose meanings require careful attention. They shift depending on the level that they’re associated with. “Power” is a word often associated with “lust” and “abuse.” But it’s also a key component of “democracy” defined as “power to the people.”

At the center of the Wheel, all-powerful is an attribute assigned to God the Creator. Omnipotent. At the middle level, power is associated with energy. High-energy people are said to be magnetic. Attractive. Sexually potent. Forceful. Vigorous.

Socially, towards the surface, powerful people are influential. Effective. They tend to dominate others and control material resources, whether formally (institutional authority) or informally (behind the scenes).

Lao Tze’s Tao Te Ching, translated as The Way and Its Power, hints at the possibility of linking the levels of power. Failing to do so results in dangerous either-ors. For example, a leader whose power depends on controlling material resources, but who has neither compassion for others nor a viable connection with the center, is likely to rule as a tyrant, bringing poverty and misery to unwilling subjects.

A leader who holds the power of middle level charisma over followers may dazzle. However, cult leaders whose connection to the center is unstable (claims to the contrary notwithstanding), can seduce, but not truly lead from darkness to light.

Those whose connection to the center is secure, but whose grounding in the practical skills of day-to-day governance is tenuous, are also incomplete and undependable as leaders. Regardless of how inspired or well-intentioned, they may be forced to rely on staff who are less than loyal or honest, and find themselves undone because of misplaced trust.

Ideally, the true leader links the levels, balancing enlightened vision with compassion, charisma and practical administrative abilities. Plato recommended the total leadership of a philosopher-king, and training aspirants to be equally competent on all levels of the Wheel, able to integrate and balance them.

It’s especially important to define another pair of complimentary words. “Virtuous” and “moral” are often used interchangeably, with misleading results. Technically, “virtue” is an energy concept best used in the context of the middle level of the Wheel. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), compassion is a composite of complimentary virtues that includes empathy, courage, kindness, calmness, gentleness, and joy.

Each of the virtues is associated with a specific internal organ. When circulation is unobstructed and the internal energies are full and balanced, the mind is clear and virtues are present. When the circulation is blocked or stagnant, in excess or deficient, negative energy expressions present themselves as toxic emotions: anger, fear, cruelty, hate, anxiety, and grief.

Virtues are natural and inherent. They’re common to everyone, everywhere. The potential for positive expression of the virtues is primarily a function of good health, meaning, in Positive Paradigm context, unified wholeness. Conversely, the opposite, negative expressions (vices) are the result of poor health. Appropriate responses for healing them rest with medical interventions, not judgmental social sanctions.

In contrast, morality is a social construct, a relatively superficial layer of cultural conditioning that may or may not be compatible with the expression of deeper, inherent natural energies. Moral codes vary from place to place, and shift over time. Codes of conduct in subcultures, from medical and religious to military and underground gangs, are uniquely context-specific.

Some would say that moral codes are useful, even necessary for maintaining order within a social unit. However, when they’re enforced with harsh sanctions, including an unwholesome admix of self-interest, self-righteousness, and hypocrisy, they’re at best a mixed blessing.

It’s possible to be moral without being virtuous, and vice versa. It’s instructive to ask, How moral are we, and by what standard(s) of conduct? What about our leaders? If there’s a disconnect between virtue and morality, what are the consequences? What’s to be done about it, by whom?

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Corollary A. Using the Positive Paradigm model as a standard, the current worldwide leadership deficit and related budget deficits can be explained and (with good will and training) corrected.

Corollary B: In Positive Paradigm context, “good” and “evil” (as well as “friend” and “mortal enemy”) are defined in terms of those who honor versus those who violate or even intentionally tear the universal pattern of life apart. By this standard, those of good will in every land are friends of truth, while evil doers, whether at home or abroad, are the common enemies of humanity.

Corollary C: Politicians who would set nations against each other and who flirt with nuclear holocaust for the sake of petty ego satisfaction and personal power are evil-doers. Even when they cloak evil actions in moral terms, their rationalizations are a danger to us all. The ultimate good requires unmasking their double speak and rescuing the language in the interests of human survival.

Corollary D: Just as the basic genetic structure of all mankind stems from a few original strands of DNA, universal ideas and archetypes are inborn and inherent to our psyches. They’re not restricted by political or national boundaries.

The basic axioms of the archetypal Positive Paradigm pattern and its use as a clarifying linguistic tool offer a foundation upon which to build upon a common sense discourse, reestablishing the universal basics common to everyone, everywhere.

Corollary E: The Wheel gives us a model for redefining love, authority, science, crime, stress, and a host of other key concepts whose meanings are con-fused (lumped together inappropriately), making it difficult to communicate. The 64 Essays on Change in Conscience are a start in this direction.

Corollary F: The chief strategy of the “alien invaders” described in Rethinking Survival is to paralyze the populace by polluting the language and corrupting the paradigms. They prevent people from recognizing the difference between true friends and enemies, between true dangers and boondoggle distractions.

Restoring the Positive Paradigm to general use now is a powerful way to undo this damage, forge better alliances, and prepare to meet whatever dangers are to come.

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