Sixty or more years ago there was much egghead lamenting about being alienated from humanity about one. I believe that that whole angle was off-target and irrelevant. Alienation existed and was a real problem, but its properties were ill-defined and misidentified, making it impossible to write about the subject in any helpful way.
Each person, leading a collectivist life, is alienated from those around her. She is lonely in the crowd.
But far more significantly, as a collectivist exister, she is alienated from herself. That is the only important issue regarding alienation as a state of being. Only as an individuator existent, can she cause alienation from herself to dissolve and disappear. Right-living makes it a non-issue.
Paradoxically, as she becomes attuned to the rhythms of her own existence, she is self-harmonized. Only the self-harmonized individual becomes less alienated towards other s around her.
If she is quite free and developed, but another is group-enslaved and modestly developed, that other is a dishonest person, alienated from others and himself. The developed woman in question will remain somewhat alienated from him for his inauthentic existence robs them both of an honest, rewarding connection.
She is no longer alienated from herself and her communal alienation from another increasingly withers away as the other in question leads a more free and developed life, much reducing his alienation from God, himself and her, the authentic exister and non-alienated winner.
You are incurious to discovering why you were put here on earth, and to what is the proper response to uncovering why you are here. You are incurious because you have not yet come alive. Turn on that psychic switch and let in an infusion of light. Clear away the cobwebs and commence pondering.
God put you here on earth to do your duty to De. Your first obligation is to select the duty to be performed. Your second obligation, imposed upon you by the Higher Power, is to spend the remainder of your life fulfilling that duty.
Your duty to God is to live and act in God’s image and light. God is the Great Creator. You are to make your mark as one of billions of mini-creators following your personalized path to self-realization. All are called but only a few ever bother to try, let alone work at it much beyond a feeble, youthful attempt that soon withers away to mediocre surviving. By actualizing your potentiality, you magnify the gifts that God has given you, and you send them right back to a smiling Deity receiving your gift as you help extend the reach of De’s domain. By actualizing your potentiality, you will have made the world a little better and a little more beautiful. At life’s end, that would not be a poor epitaph for inscribing upon your tombstone: “She made the world a little better and a little more beautiful.”
Throw off your excuses. Shed your body of the garments of alibis. Detach yourself from the ready, shabby justification that group identity is destiny. You are a separate, unique person. If you have just been released from Folsum Prison after serving a 17-year term for molesting children, it does not matter. If you are a 38-year-old accountant and mother, decent but otherwise unremarkable, it does not matter.
Your personal story, your personal ethnic identification, your inherited value system, none of these crutches ultimately matter. Throw them off, rise and walk. The journey of a thousand miles begins with this first step. Your background is your foundation to build upon. Your story informs your actualization process. Grounded in its peculiar orientation to the world, it will inform your personal narration, and that will be your gift back to God and to the world.
If you are an elderly bachelor that drifted through life, never hurting anybody but never helping anyone either, it does not matter. From today on, for the rest of your life, for the few years that you have left, you will self-realize as well and as completely as you can. God will forgive any sincere sinner. There is always hope. Redemption is available right away should you ask to receive it, and work steadily and calmly to live and die as the mini-creator that God anticipated that you could become should you endeavor to try.
Move on. Move forward. Develop. Grow in love, skill, knowledge and wisdom. The past is your base, not an insurmountable barricade. No longer allow your obsessing, about this base from whence you sprang, defeat you. Deny not your base history or repudiate it. Celebrate it as it is. Embrace it but move on. Build on it. Reflect. Gain insight from your experience. Move forward and upward.
Dennis Praeger states that lying is the source of great evil. I know that Eric H. and others lament that committing a crime is one thing, but far more vitiating is the attempt to cover it up. The cover up is a pattern of lies that makes evil done become systemic. The rot spreads wide and deep.
Only as an awake individual does one exist in the truth, breathe the truth, feel the truth and cogitate along the lines of veracity. Where that acute individual loves and enjoys a close relationship with the Higher Power, the interlocking connections to truthful being is powerfully reinforced.
Group living, with all its demands for conformity of thought and behavior, is living the lie. Therein, reside dark powers. There resides the heart of darkness.
To be thirty years old or older: one had gained weight and gone soft. One’s hair is thinning and premature gray hair is showing. Youthful idealism has long deserted one. One’s career and relationships have not panned out as one once planned.One feels that time has passed one by. One no longer feels relevant. One’s life feels like a wasteland. One’s hope is shattered. The future looks like an infinite horizon, where each day is just a bleak copy of the boring, dreary, and previous day.
For too many people, this is how they perceive their spot in the world. There is always hope. No matter how true the pessimistic viewpoint represented above was yesterday, tomorrow is a new day, a fine opportunity to make things better.
I am an optimist and an idealist.No matter where one is at, from that jumping off point, one can work tirelessly and shrewdly to better one’s lot and improve the world. We must envision that it can happen, before we will act and work to make it happen. Things will improve. Our life, even our suffering, will not be without purpose. We can make a difference. Things soon will be looking up.
J. R. R. Tolkien was prophetic in doubting that we can wholly trust anyone, especially ourselves. Even when we strive mightily to be strong and honest, we are weak. Often we fail and backslide. Worse yet, we often and willingly embrace temptation.
All humans are very corruptible. The more centralized and the more formally wielded and officially assigned are personal allotments of that available political, economic and institutional power, the more risky and corrupting it is for each person to wield that power.
Due to the predictable danger inherent in such power-wielding, is the answer to wield no power? No, the individuator and each undeveloped person must wield at minimum bestowed personal power. Too often the unprepared person even botches this responsibility.
The trick to moral, successful wielding of power is to decentralize its distribution into the hands of individuators surrounded by millions of other, free, democratized and willful power-wielders. So distributed, much lessened are the dangers of wielding such power.At the very least, they will not lust so much for the power of powerlessness. On this negative side of the equation, the competition among millions of wielders will lead to their canceling out pernicious side effects. The influence of power-wielding on society is kept harmless. On the plus side, the beneficial result of power-wielding is to make society grow and progress.
To get to this point, humans must pledge to take five steps and then do it. Here are the steps:
First, the life of individuating must have gained wide adherence among citizens.
Second, all must admit that they are sinners whose lives will be wrecked and whose souls will be fallen, should they choose to accumulate power to themselves.
Third, by accepting that people are basically evil, they will fear the handling of power in a destructive, centralized fashion.
Fourth, by admitting that none is exempt from the innate, human proclivity to be corrupted by amassing power to oneself at any time, each likely has the awareness and will to repel the compelling urge to amass power.
Fifth, each pledges and acts in such a way as to work ceaselessly to keep power decentralized.
This is no prelude to Libertarian political philosophy. I am not that deeply versed in it. From the little that I do know about it, I approve of many of their concepts. A political philosopher likely would admire their consistency, their clear statements of principles and their black and white description of how things work. Are they logically coherent in their reasoning, and factually accurate in their assertions? I don’t know but I dislike their over-consistency and fanatical beliefs. They are mostly right like Ayn Rand is, but, like her, their wrong-thinking, if it becomes popular finally, could be very dangerous.
Let me try be more specific. Libertarians believe that big government deprives the individual of life, liberty and the pursuit of property and happiness. So good so far. They advocate downsizing big government, back to the state level and even farther, to the local level. They are still correct.
They desire to see big government deinstitutionalized, but cartels, monopolies and wealth accumulation by the super-rich does not faze them. Their reluctance here is immoderate and shortsighted.
My political and social vision is one embracing the deinstitutionalizing of big business as well as big government (and all other huge, centralized institutions). This is the moderate, humane approach against all institutions.
Groupism is a biological drive supported by, furthered by and linked to institutionalized society. Individualism is made possible and is linked to a small, decentralized set of social institutions.
Let me quote Hoffer from The Passionate State of Mind: “Man’s being is neither profound nor sublime. To search for something deep underneath the surface in order to explain human phenomena is to discard the nutritious outer layer for a nonexistent core. Like a bulb man is all skin and no kernel.”
Hoffer regards the a posteriori surface of life as the most fruitful, the subtler area to research for solutions. Study effects more causes and you will gain insight into causes too.
He will not countenance Freud, philosophers or professional intellectuals the right to study and derive answers from the causal, the a priori, and the root origins of things. That is misguided, a waste of time.
The moderate in me agrees with Hoffer for the most part. Still, turn loose even researchers with a Freudian outlook. Any research will bear some fruit.
A society of individuators would be a society of upper middle class people. Some ascetics would renounce wealth, but that would be a personal decision, not a recommended, societal standard.
All would work and be expected to earn a living and volunteer. All would acquire nice things, but not be ruled by them. All would display the common touch among other prosperous peers, without the need to put on exclusive or haughty airs.