CAN YOU ACTUALLY GROW IN CHARACTER, ASCEND IN ENLIGHTENMENT, AND BECOME A MORE SELF ACTUALIZING BEING WITHOUT A GOD, OR SOMETHING ‘GREATER THAN YOURSELF’?
That question, in a time of we like to call the ‘post enlightenment – post modern’ era of society is a poke in the eye of our now relativistic culture. let us just exam some of the tenants of that question that make it difficult to even answer in this virtueless world without having to break it down and define terms.
“character” and to ‘grow in character.
This alone shows you how far we have come from virtue. where in a society of ‘you deserve to be happy’,’do what you want to do’ and ‘if it feels good, do it’ culture. And I might add “if it ‘feels bad’ then it can’t be ‘good’.
Is there a emphasis or even a directive to do ‘what’ is right? this is evil at it’s best, to lure and delude society that YOU are the END of all things. If YOU are the end of all things, then of course whatever this ‘godlike’ top of the chain being wants, he should attain and of course there will be no recourse or repercussions of such a pursuit. what a lie born of hell. it is no wonder that so called ‘modern’ society is killing it’s unborn like it was the dark ages and suicides are at an all time high. it is no wonder that people lack a conscience and have no problem empowering large entities like government to ‘take from’ others to ‘give to them’ what they have not earned?
Imagine a society where as everyone is accountable only to their own malleable relativistic sense of what is ‘right’ and ‘true’. that is the society for which we are devolving into. more on that in another piece.
So what I am saying is that the concept of ‘character’ itself is by definition screams that there is ‘something greater than ourselves’ to aspire towards. This ideal has been diluted, revised and changed (verbicide). character, in the context I am using in this piece, use to mean having ‘moral integrity’ ‘aspiring to do what is right’. If you look up the word character in a search engine now, you will be hard pressed to find that definition at the top of the list because the concept of ‘morality’ (aspiration to virtue and a ‘higher’ set of ideals) is passe. I have to actually pull out a 1996 websters II HARD COPY dictionary where as the number 3 definition is simply: ‘moral integrity’. number 4 definition is simply: reputation. similar definitions in current dictionaries are listed as at 7 or 8 down the list.
The word enlightenment is no different. to be ‘enlightened’ now, in the elite acceptable, if I may say ‘politically correct’ social academic circles is to be ‘accepting of all things’ …again, moral relativism.
This is not the enlightenment of the renaissance. it’s quite the opposite: moral depravity that ‘all things are equal’ and it’s somehow ‘virtuous’ to give equal value to all things even if they contradict. this is the utter lie of evil to accept and had made your own personal journey that much more difficult as I will explain as we progress. let me put it this way: 2+2 and 2+3 cannot both equal ‘4’ at the same time in the same relationship. only one can be true – period. their is an objective reality of ‘truth’ no matter how many pinhead professors, psychologist, politicians, media card readers and social agitators scream otherwise.
It is so difficult and tedious to write such a simple concept as the question that heads this article without having to define terms. words have been twisted to mean anything that the speaker wants them to mean that they have no meaning at all!
This is what Oliver Wendall Homes described as ‘verbicide’ and later that made famous by C.S. Lewis
“But the greatest cause of verbicide is the fact that most people are obviously far more anxious to express their approval and disapproval of things than to describe them. Hence the tendency of words to become less descriptive and more evaluative; then become evaluative, while still retaining some hint of the sort of goodness or badness implied; and to end up by being purely evaluative — useless synonyms for good or for bad.” – C.S. Lewis
oh, by the way, I defy you to find a ‘meme’ with that quote on it.
This is one tool in destroying the moral founding of a great civil society as ours and a major obstruction to your ability to ‘self actualize’ in becoming free from the things that inhibit your growth.
The short answer to the question at hand is an obvious ‘no’. for if there is nothing greater than yourself to give meaning to your struggle, to your pain, to your failures then life is futile. if there is nothing greater than your imperfect perception of the trials of life – then why try? if there is no ‘good’ and ‘evil’ then why attempt to be ‘good’? yet you know that deep in your spirit that ‘having your way’ and ‘seeking to feel good’ has left you empty, alone and despondent.
That is why evil is always subverting the understanding of what is ‘good’ and conflating ‘good’ with ‘feeling good’ and constantly blurring the lines of objective morality.
I put forth to you, firmly and resolutely, that ‘we’ trying to be the ‘end’ that is, be our own ‘gods’ and feeding this delusion is what keeps us from actually experiencing truth growth, power and freedom that comes from submitting to a greater ideal or god.
We go after what we ‘think’ will make us whole or happy or content, yet we are limited in our understanding, being conditioned by an imperfect world, impacted deeply by imperfect friends and family trying to get our bearings in an unsane imperfect world. Is there any question, when you begin to wake up to this insanity why we have become so discontent? All things are not equal when it comes to right and wrong and we know this at our core. How can we have clear direction to navigate through a confusing confounding complex world of ‘imperfect’ ‘immoral’ ‘broken people’ if there is not a ‘north star’ if you will, to guide us.
Even Friedrich Nietzsche, who postulated the the ‘death of god’ realized that even the concept of god was imperative because “… moral doctrine provides people with intrinsic value, belief in God (which justifies the evil in the world) and a basis for objective knowledge. In this sense, in constructing a world where objective knowledge is possible, Christianity is an antidote against a primal form of nihilism, against the despair of meaninglessness.“
Now we know here are educo.biz that the concept of ‘god’ has been skewed by the imperfection of organized religion et al. that is why we tend to use the phrase ‘something greater than ourselves’ or ‘higher ideal’ because again, the word ‘god’ has been distorted by the actions and intents that those over the years have poured into the word.
Regardless, you have a ‘god’ one way or the other. whether that god be your own self will, the approval of others, your own self criticalness and unforgiveness (false humility), self ambition (notice the ‘gods of self’ are unlimited) or even place and prominence in the world. in the 12 steps they replace god with ‘higher power’. regardless you must define what is this ‘thing’ that is greater than you, even if it’s an ‘ideal’ to be honest, noble and virtuous. that alone can be your north star to guide you to start.
Remember, without me demonstrating how ludicrous the universe could have created itself, let alone ‘space – time’ (out of nothing comes everything) – if we are all just an accident hurling through time, evolving animals, then what hitler did is fully justified. and every act of rape, murder, crime and theft is fully permissible, because we are just ‘animals’ evolving, and hitler was just the natural expression of the theory: “survival of the fittest”. Yet you know in your heart and in your spirit that’s not true. not if you’re on this journey. it’s time to allow this ‘higher power’ to direct you by acknowledging that we are but the ‘effect of a greater cause’ and to merely ask, dare I say: ‘submit’ ones ego (pride) to ask the question into the cosmos: ‘what would you have me do’ or better yet “give me direction” will be the beginning of all understanding, which will lead to the death of ‘self’ as your own god, which in turns leads to greater awareness. awareness of how people places and things have conditioned you to failure.
When we can ‘see’ our programming it will be painful, for we’ve believed the lie that we are ‘in control’. they we are acting out of autonomy and it’s ‘other people’ that are the problem. even though we can see that we ‘choose’ things that are harmful to us and keep ‘finding ourselves’ in the same place with the same angst with different characters. this is painful to see that we have actually been looking through the distorted lens of our abuse or programming. it is painful to see and is a death nail to the ‘ego’ (self pride and will) to be corrected by something greater than ourselves.
It is humbling and we must embrace ‘humility’ of ‘not knowing’ for the ‘light of truth’ shines on us, by our higher power’ to show us where we are going wrong. if you can sit with the painful death of your ego, you will experience new freedoms from the chains of past experiences which release you to actually ‘choose’ from place of clarity. do not expect this to come easily or for the masses to join you, it is the masses that are lost. your power lies in the ability to ‘choose’ for yourself , whom you will serve. this understanding will come in steps in phases. like cutting through the layers we have been bounded up by. layer by layer, you will be a bit freer to choose what is true and right which again leads to more understanding, which leads to more freedom and contentment.
I’m going to give you some very practical keys that you can use right now. You will know how deeply your ego is embedded in your spirit by the how hard these are to take. This is the concept of What is Right over Who is Right.
never reject what is true no matter who brings it to you. if your despicable boss corrects you with ‘what is right’ take it. if your child points out your inconsistency take it and thank him.
quickly own your own wrongs and confess them regularly. I often say “even if your piece of the problem is only 15% yours and the other 85% is the other party – OWN YOUR 15%!! whenever you own what is true, nothing can touch you…you’ve owned it and you are free to move on. that is your only power and responsibility. leave others to their responsibilities.
stop making excuses. every notice when you have a knee jerk reaction to make an excuse for bad behavior or making a mistake? this is the ego’s (self will, pride) way of never seeing itself. notice how many times you cannot even help yourself and also notice this: that excuse is handed to you by something, many times without even trying. this leads to more arguments and confusion until you wear our the party trying to show you or you force them to become wrong- alleviating your own discomfort because your ego can now ‘see them in their wrong’ distracting away from your own.