Suffering as an in-build mechanism to aim for refined decisions in life
I don’t write that often as before on this website, because I am finishing my business bachelor thesis in The Netherlands. On top of that, I sometimes feel like a broken record on certain topics, re-chewing similar bits of insight, but then packaged in a different flavor. Anyway, I do want to continue this blog and, off course, the whole concept of SOL, and the service I would like to provide to the world. That being said, I hope these articles are worthwhile reading, or at least, entertaining in some ways! Besides that, writing, in and of itself, is a good exercise!
So back on topic. It shocks many that I don’t advocate morality, guilt and shame as a constructive instrument for growth. Morality is just as much part of the ‘false personality’, as is fear itself, with all its negative consequences in our behavior towards ourselves and others. Some people think ‘guilt’ is an actual real emotion, but I must reject this idea. One thing I learned from the Druids while being in Mexico is that guilt is not an emotion, because it has no opposites like the other emotions. Therefore, guilt is a cultural induced tool for manipulation by the church and by all who think they have the authority to morally judge another person. If I would have said that 100 years ago, I would end up on burning in flames on a fire stake, because of ethical disobedience, haha. Nah but really, those things happened.
There is this concept called ‘the noble lie’ described in Plato’s republic, which is basically a political instrument to achieve or maintain social harmony. The idea that we need myths, religions and basically ‘lies’ in order to maintain a noble society is fundamentally speaking trying to ‘achieve an ethical goal with unethical means’. Therefore, it might work on the short term, but it will definitely collapse on the long-term, since people eventually have the power to choose and do whatever they want to do, manipulated or not. Therefore, it is not a sustainable method to achieve social harmony in my opinion.
Instead of trying to fight ‘evil, criminals etc’ by social constructs like religion itself, why not trust in life and evolution? You would have to be a martyr, but otherwise you would be highly discouraged to inflict pain upon others and yourself. Nobody truly enjoys pain, except for the wicked, so why bother doing it if it not necessary? ‘Thou shall not steal’ is simply a rule of thumb to prevent suffering, because if you steal something significant from the other who has attachments to the stolen object, then he or she would suffer and would seek revenge. That is a natural human response which will create suffering on your end, and, therefore, you have these negative vicious downward spirals of pain and suffering between individuals and groups. So in my philosophy, there is no morality, guilt or shame needed, only the ramifications of our choices. Life will be your teacher, and not an imaginary figure with a beard ruling from the skies. I guess that makes me really apolitical, amoral, plus an atheist and a lassez-faire liberal, but hey let’s face the truth about these matters, or at least, what I perceive as truth.
You can discuss ethics and morality until the day you die, and still haven’t figured it out in terms of black and white. This is because ethics is not a science, but more a dynamic emotion, changing by the scenery of life itself. You realize that you really haven’t been alive, but only experienced the agonizing pain of self-judgement, self-nonacceptance and the imprisonment of your own mind. Those who hide behind this sense of moral superiority, are those most inclined to harm others unconsciously. If we do not accept that we cannot throw away our reptile brain, and think we are above it in our agonizing moral philosophies, then I am of the opinion that civilization is more likely to become a jungle. Riding our dragons is about getting to know them and mastering them, not pretending they aren’t their in the deep dark closet of our psyche.
This leaves us with choice, and the ramifications of our choices, no ethics, shame or guilt needed, just the harsh truth of life itself.
Hope it was interesting! Feel free to disagree, and get a dialogue going 😉