Biophilic and Necrophilic
The terms “biophilic” and “necrophilic” were invented by psychologist Erich Fromm. In his work, he described as necrophilic the character that is destructive of life – a character which to him was equivalent of evil. Biophilic was his description of character that is life-affirming and that seeks life. Not all forms of the biophilic character were described by him as good; but they were not, like the necrophilic character, manifestly evil.
There is a merit in seeing biophilic, or life-affirming, attitudes and behavior as good, and necrophilic, or life-negating, ones as evil. Living things are the only beings that have an interest, and good and bad are terms to distinguish what is positive toward life versus what is destructive to it. From this standpoint, are judged as necrophilic such beliefs as that flesh is of the Satan, that human nature is sin, that nature is evil, that love and beauty are myths or patriarchial impositions, that science and technology is hubris, that creativity is narcissism, that self-interest is evil, or that collective benefit is a trick. Instead as biophilic are affirmed the beliefs and the ways that affirm life and add to life in its different aspects, and to life as a whole of the interaction thereof.
Life is not one of its aspects and certainly not one of its aspects at the expense of another, but all of them combined and working together. A plant is not only roots or only stalk or only leaves or only flower, but all these components in single entity. Thus, life as it affects people is not nature or civilization at the expense of the other, individual or humanity at the expense of the other, male or female at the expense of the other, thinking or feeling at the expense of the other, business or art at the expense of the other, public sector or private sector at the expense of the other, but all of the above. And for well-being and continuity of life, these must all exist and work together.
The exponents of necrophilic beliefs develop what I term necrophilic kakistocracies. Necrophilic meaning life-destructive; kakistocracy means rule of the worst. In America, we see necrophilic kakistocracies on both the Right and the Left. There is a necrophilic Christian conservative kakistocracy that militates against science, art, personal freedom, sexuality, passion, and everything beautiful in nature and in civilization. There is also a necrophilic politically correct kakistocracy that militates against beauty, against love, against individuality, and against meaningful free speech. Each necrophilic kakistocracy likes to equate dissidents against it with the necrophilic kakistocracy on the other side. But in fact the two, being necrophilic kakistocracies, have far more in common with one another than they do with those they demonize.
Both of these necrophilic kakistocracies have waged war against life, with disastrous results. Equating their greed, their hate and their sense of entitlement with spirituality, strength, intelligence, righteousness or women’s rights, the necrophilic kakistocracy called political correctness convinced the nation to hate beauty and love and to abuse those who had or sought the same. This resulted in horrendous violations against beautiful women, as women trained in political correctness maliciously abused them and men took advantage of that to get away with wrongs unthinkable in any other climate. At the same time, men capable of romantic passion were portrayed as criminals and treated as such. Meanwhile romantic passion was branded as sickness and prosecuted both in women and in men.
This necrophilic kakistocracy also warred against democracy itself. Making the standard of public discourse that nobody can say anything that may offend anyone else, it banished meaning as well as sincerity from public discourse. Anything that is meaningful will be controversial; anything controversial will offend someone. With political correctness, insincerity became not only the norm of public discourse, but also the aggressively enforced norm of people’s character and people’s lives.
Using disorders whose definitions sound very similar to the Nazi definition of “Jew,” the necrophilic strands of psychology likewise perpetrated a holocaust on American soil, branding as criminal people who have not committed any crime. With the concept of “sociopathic” and “narcissistic” disorders were introduced cognitions that people can be made criminal by virtue of their personality – meaning, criminal by virtue of how they think. With this was introduced the concept of crimethink, or crime of thinking differently, and was created a de facto totalitarianism that was so total as to aim to control not only people’s actions, but also their minds and their personalities all the way through. And with this, the constitutional intent of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness ceased to exist, as more and more groups were targeted for extermination, and the noose grew tighter and tighter around everyone else’s necks.
This has been a great crime against humanity. Any white, Asian, or Latin person in America, Canada, Australia or New Zealand is descended from people whom those who believe in such disorders would brand as narcissistic or sociopathic – people who have rejected their countries, their families, their traditions and their way of life in order to pursue a different way of life in the New World. As such would be described also all the business, political, scientific, religious and cultural leaders and innovators - all people who had a different idea from the place and the time and that according to the mentality that stigmatizes all difference from the mentality of the place and the time would be labelled as pathological and possessive of these disorders. With the politically correct kakistocracy aiming to do away with those capable of passion and necrophilic psychology aiming to do away with those capable of innovation and ingenuity, was done monumental injury against all that made America great in the first place, which is very much people innovating, taking risks, exploring into the unknown, and fighting for and enjoying meaningful liberty.
These abuses of psychology begat still greater abuses of psychology. A racked disorder known as Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) has been used to silence women and children from reporting sexual abuse and domestic violence, claiming such situations to represent the woman brainwashing the children against the father. While the politically correct abuses were allied with feminism, this racket is part of what is known as the “fathers’ rights movement” – the same people who, as part of America’s “Fatherhood Foundation,” have been running polls about exiling American blacks. In fact, PAS is a fraud, and the bulk of children’s accusations of abuse by their fathers have been shown repeatedly to be true. But fact has little currency in dealing with such people.
With Christian theosophy we see an even more profoundly necrophilic character. Physical life (“flesh”) and both natural and human habitat (“world”) are regarded as evil and of the Satan. The thoughts, feelings, and actions of believers are thus directed to doing injury to both worlds, with eye toward not only injury but extinction. As both worlds are seen as evil, they are both viciously abused, and is foreseen and worked to bring about their destruction. The people foreseeing and working to bring about a violent destruction of life itself are then claiming ridiculously to be practicing ethics or responsibility or family values or patriotism, as they are striving toward the extinction of life before their children and grandchildren have reached maturity, put the country they claim to love ten trillion dollars in the hole, aggressively deny the reality of the climatic catastrophe that they created, and veto all efforts to reduce population growth while recklessly reproducing themselves. It is only logical that a creed that sees physical life and world as being of the Satan would foresee and even look forward to the destruction of the planet. Unfortunately that is not a promising future, nor one that carries benefit to the people living now or those yet to come.
With Islam, the necrophilic character is at its absolute worst. The Muslim world makes its money by selling oil and then practices reckless reproduction, contributing vastly to both the global warming catastrophe and the overpopulation of the planet. Being opposed to science and intolerant of any thinking that is not Islamic, it has rendered impossible discovery, progress or economic activity based on technology and innovation; which means that it must make its money in ways that are destructive rather than intelligent or productive. Having forbidden to women any pursuit except reproduction, the Muslim world creates more and more people for whom there are fewer and fewer options. The result has been one of the most destructive orders the world has ever seen - an order that likewise is working toward planetary destruction and thinking that that is the will of God.
Social progress is a matter of achieving ever-greater improvement of life, liberty and options for happiness, in which progressively more and more people have rights. If men have rights then women should have rights; if white people have rights then non-white people should have rights; if fathers have rights then mothers should have rights; and further on down the line, resulting in better life for progressively more people. But what we see here is the opposite dynamic - a dynamic of social degradation in which progressively more people are having their rights taken away. First, this is done with people who are portrayed as less than human - such as ones accused of being sociopaths. Then it is done with people who practice different beliefs from oneself and live different lifestyles from oneself - such as hippies, single mothers, or religious minorities. Then one goes after the more liberal-minded people in Christianity itself. Until we see the same dynamic as what preceded the Second World War in Germany, in which one set of people after another undergoes mass destruction by way of creating totalitarianism. And if this toxic dynamic, partaken of by both necrophilic kakistocracies, is allowed to continue, then that will be the result.
For life to thrive and achieve its greatest fruition, for real freedom to exist, and for people to live fully, necrophilic mentalities must be removed from influence and be replaced with philosophies that are biophilic and ones that as such aim to accept, celebrate, and add the most to life at all levels. I use the concept of integrationism (not to be confused with the movement concerning integrating black people with white people in education) to work with dualities that have been presented on this matter and show how these can be optimized in both themselves and their interaction.
A major mathematical concept that can be of great value in making decisions affecting people at individual and collective level is the game theory. In the game-theory scenario, each party seeks to achieve its own benefit. The situation is seen to be Pareto-optimal when neither party can improve their own benefit except by taking away more from the other than they would gain in the exchange. The Pareto-optimal outcome means that the solution is optimal – that the benefit of the parties involved is served the most, and that any change from that solution in either direction is going to be destructive.
One situation involving Pareto-optimization is global economy. Everyone knows that many people lose their jobs when they go abroad; however this negative effect is outweighed by the benefit realized by workers abroad, by the countries of workers abroad, by consumers, and by business. The amount of gain from global economy is such that enough wealth is created to more than compensate the displaced workers – which is something that is not being done, but should be. But the more essential part is the thinking that is demanded: The thinking of how to benefit both parties and their interaction, rather than one at the expense of the other. Some would say that this is like “having one’s cake and eating it too.” A more appropriate analysis is this: Using intelligence to achieve win-win scenarios.
Pareto optimization was originally applied to economics, but it can be applied on many other matters as well. With nature and civilization, a Pareto-optimal calculus will seek the maximal benefit to both, with the outcome seen as valid when it produces more for people than what it takes from nature– and not valid when it takes more from nature than what it creates, or when it stifles what can be created that would achieve greater benefit for civilization than what it takes from nature. With men and women, a Pareto-optimal calculus will seek the greatest benefit toward both men and women, with arrangements seen as valid when the benefit toward both is greatest – and not valid when (as in case of domestic violence and subjugation of women) it hurts women more than it helps men, or when (as in case of man-hating ideologies) it hurts men more than it helps women. With individual and humanity, a Pareto-optimal calculus will seek the greatest benefit toward both likewise, with arrangement seen as valid when both are optimized – and not valid when it either hurts humanity more than it helps the person involved, or hurts people at individual level more than it helps humanity.
Each of these dualities is a world in itself, but also either a subset of another duality, a superset for other dualities, or an intersecting set with other dualities. A duality such as male and female is a subset of the duality humanity and nature. A duality such as labor and business is a subset of the duality private sector and public sector. This calculus can be applied to dualities such as these, and more.
Existents and Dualities
The universe, not having been built by human beings, is not based upon their conceptions of what is good or what is bad. Not being related to these conceptions, it is expected to have zero correlation with them. Statistically, this means that, in physical or natural existents as they impact on people, there is equivalent capacity for both positive and negative outcomes, as well as for outcomes that are partly positive and partly negative or value-neutral.
Besides these non-valued existents, as well as non-valued concepts, there are existents and concepts that are valued. Valued existents and concepts are ones created consequent to moral judgment and that therefore correlate with moral judgment 100%. "Good" and "evil" is an obvious example of such concepts. The difference between non-valued existents and valued existents is that the first are discerned from reality, and the second are defined from man's moral judgment. As such they have to be dealt with differently from natural, non-valued existents.
Many thought systems in the world are dualistic; however dualities are not all created equal. There are dualities that are value-neutral, in which each side of the duality is a part of reality and is capable of outcomes good, bad and indifferent. In addition, there are dualities that are valued, in which one side is good and the other is bad. And whereas the thinking of Eastern philosophy concerns with achieving balance among the non-valued dualities - and the thinking of Taoism is concerned with seeing past the dualities to the nondual reality - a thinking more pertinent to the world would be concerned instead with maximizing the positive outcomes for each side of the non-valued duality and for their interaction, while minimizing the negative effects of both. Whereas in approaching valued dualities, a totally different methodology is needed.
The non-valued dualities - such as male and female, nature and civilization, business and labor, private sector and public sector, thinking and feeling, self-interest and altruism - are made value-neutral by the fact that they both exist, not by moral choice based on values, but simply as parts of reality. Not existing by moral choice, they have zero correlation with moral judgment. Zero correlation with moral judgment means: Tendency toward good; tendency toward bad; and tendency toward a mix; will be found in each side of the duality. And the process of maximizing the positive outcomes and minimizing the negative outcomes will consist of - each side checking the other's harmful tendencies; leaving each other alone where the direction is positive; and collaborating with each other when such is beneficial.
The non-valued dualities can interact in these ways:
- One can impact the other positively;
- One can impact the other negatively;
- One can impact the other in a mixed or value-neutral manner;
- One can operate independently of the other toward either positive, negative, mixed or value-neutral outcomes;
- The two can collaborate in a manner positively affecting the rest of the world;
- The two can collaborate affecting the rest of the world in a mixed or value-neutral manner;
- The two can collaborate affecting the rest of the world in a negative manner.
A viable approach toward maximizing the beneficial outcomes and minimizing the negative outcomes will see all these potentials and work to enhance the positive ones and minimize the negative ones.
In addition to non-valued dualities such as the preceding, there is also such a thing as valued dualities. Dualities such as health and disease, knowledge and ignorance, good and evil, are neither equal nor are they of equal value. In valued dualities, one is good and the other is bad; and the benefit comes from maximizing the good side and minimizing the bad side. One of the greatest errors one can commit is to confuse non-valued dualities with valued dualities and to claim value-neutral duality like "man and woman" to be comparable to a valued duality such as "good and evil." There is no room for this error, as it results in horrible wrong - either that error be of claiming men good and women bad, or of claiming good and evil to be equal in value. In both cases a terrible error is committed, and pursuant it a great wrong is done. The non-valued dualities are only similar to valued dualities in their dualism. Beyond that, similarity between them ends.
This error has been taken to variously disastrous ends by various forces in society. Whether misogynists claiming men to be good and women to be evil, Republicans claiming private sector to be good and public sector to be evil, socialists claiming workers to be good and business to be evil, rationalists claiming reason to be good and feelings to be evil, or groups claiming civilization to be good and nature to be evil, nature to be good and technology to be evil, spirit to be good and physicality to be evil, self-interest to be good and collective interest to be evil, or collective interest to be good and self-interest to be evil, in all cases a giant error is committed and a great wrong is done.
All of the above-mentioned forces are value-neutral. They are all capable of action good, bad, indifferent or a mix. Claiming one to be good and the other to be evil results in wrongs condoned and institutionalized on the part of the first side of the duality, and a brutal and hideous oppression against the second side, including its capacity to produce positive effects. And while we see many movements on the part of the second side in either of these (and many other) dualities claiming their side to be good and the first side to be evil, the truth of the matter is that neither side is either good or evil. Both are value-neutral; both are capable of right, wrong, and indifferent.
The valued-duality approach, when applied to non-valued dualities, is therefore disastrous. This is the kind of thinking that leads to creation of ever-growing hostilities, ever-growing abuses, and ever-growing waste of potential. The correct approach to dealing with non-valued dualities is to see their capacities - to destructive outcomes; to neutral outcomes; and to beneficial outcomes. And then to - reduce the first; leave alone the second; and encourage the third where possible. All are there; all are legitimate; all are capable of both positive and negative outcomes. The goal in all cases is to maximize the value for each and of benefits of both while minimizing the negative effects.
The public sector and private sector are both there because they serve demand - the first at the poll booth, the second in the marketplace. Business and labor are two components of the production process. Nature and civilization are both parts of the world - the first of the world as not created by human being; the second of the world as created by human beings. As for self-interest and humanity-interest, a being that exists both as individual self and as part of its species will have natural inclinations toward benefit of both, with different levels, in different people, and at different times in their lives. In all cases, we see non-valued dualities that can either injure each other, leave each other alone, or work together. And in all cases, the interaction must be aimed at reducing the negative effects and maximizing the positive ones.
This is achievable in a three-tier model. At the bottom level, each side in the duality has right to protect itself from the negative effects of the other side. Civilization has right to protect itself from viruses and harmful bacteria; people concerned for well-being of the world and the future generations have right to protect rich and essential environments from destruction. Business has right to protect itself from Luddites and robbers; labor has right to protect itself from brutal and corrupt business practices. Private sector has right to protect itself from excessive regulation; public sector has right to protect itself from those who think that it is evil while they are benefiting daily from the science, infrastructure, policing, defense, and the Internet that it has put into place. Finally, individual interest has right to protect itself from oppression, tyranny, and similitude, as does humanity-interest from those whose self-interest demands planetary destruction or mass murder.
In the middle level, each side in the duality should accomplish the most of itself while leaving the other alone to accomplish the most of itself. Civilization should blossom, and so should nature, as human intelligence makes it possible to fulfill the needs of humanity in a manner that less impinges upon the natural world. Public sector should leave the private sector to do its work of producing prosperity, and private sector should leave the public sector to do its work of defense, law enforcement, education, scientific research, and infrastructural projects such as the Interstate and the Internet that facilitate private-sector prosperity. Likewise, the humanity-interest should leave people to define who they are, become who they want to be, and both enjoy and add to life and liberty - just as individual interest should leave humanity-interest to do its work of creating a livable world and a livable future.
At the top level, the non-valued dualities should engage in positive collaboration that makes possible what either cannot do alone. Implementing high-technology, high-intelligence clean energy and water solutions, greening the cities and suburbs, creating synthetic life-forms to clean out landfills, producing nanotechnological devices to clean arteries or extend life, and using hydrogen gained through electrolysis of ocean water to irrigate and made possible the planting of forests and farmland in places such as Sahara, Gobi, and deserts of Australia, Arabia and American Southwest, will see humanity using its knowledge and technology to create a better future for nature and humanity both. Private sector and public sector have worked together in the past, with public sector providing science, education, policing, defense and infrastructure that facilitate prosperity – and the private sector creating the wealth to finance such work while also affectuating prosperity for the people. As such, they should work together now on putting in place sustainable and effective clean-energy and clean-water solutions for the world. As for self-interest and humanity-interest, the benefit is maximized when people are given the freedom both to have meaningful choice over their lives and to contribute to humanity what they have to contribute. In this situation, both the self-directed aspect of human being and the humanity-directed aspect are served and work for mutual benefit, resulting in the complete solution - as opposed to either pure individualism or pure collectivism, both of which create only a semi-solution, or necrophilic arrangements such as ones of Myanmar, Burundi, right-wing small towns or Cabrini Green, in which there is neither meaningful liberty nor meaningful contribution to public good.
In the integrative solution, the negative effects of collective-minded beliefs (oppression, tyranny, and similitude) are checked by affirmation of individual life and freedom; the negative effects of individualist beliefs (isolation, cruelty, short-sighted destructive rapacity) are checked by affirmation of the needs of humanity; both individual interest and humanity interest are acknowledged and are served; and, at the top level, the two work together on matters of interest to both individual people and humanity itself - matters such as, for example, creating a livable and sustainable long-term future.
This approach to dualities recognizes, once again, their value-neutral nature and as such their capacity - for harming the other (which is checked by each protecting its prerogatives); for doing their own thing (which is made possible by leaving each other to do their part without negative interference); and for working together with one another (which is made possible by collaboration where such is beneficial). In this model, the negative effects are minimized, and the positive effects are maximized - both for each side of the duality and for what it requires them both to create. Checks and balances, freedom, and collaboration, all exist in this model - and are applied where they are applicable.
Further, care must be taken by entities external to each duality to reduce the negative-collaboration potential. If, say, public sector and private sector decide to join forces to create a fascist state such as Franco's Spain or Pinochet's Chile, to wage unjust wars for corporate interest, or to oppress and tyrannize people, the result is negative collaboration: The dualities working together toward a negative outcome. The negative-collaboration potential cannot be corrected for from within the duality, but can be corrected for externally to the duality - by voice of those who come at the receiving end of the negative collaboration or those external to the duality who see what is going on.
Whereas positive collaboration should be encouraged wherever possible. The public sector and private sector working together on projects such as the Interstate and the Internet have been the source of huge economic boom and prosperity for the country. When thinking and feeling work together, the result is insight and understanding attained faster and deeper than by either of the preceding acting alone, as well as intelligence informed by human experience that has the possibility of actually being beneficial toward human existence. When the needs of both nature and civilization are taken into consideration in creation of economic benefit, the result is a sustainable development that fulfils the needs of the man-made world of civilization while leaving intact and wholesome the world of nature that man has not created and cannot at this time recreate. When women and men collaborate on creating and raising new life - when business and labor work together to produce international economic prosperity - when art and business work together to create embodied beauty - when public sector science, Internet, Interstate and education are used by the private sector to create technological prosperity - the results are such that neither part would be able to accomplish alone. Similarly there is potential for collaboration between altruism and self-interest - to improve life both for individuals and humanity, as people, by nature both themselves and part of humanity, are allowed to strive according to that nature to improve both their lot and that of humankind.
Nature and Civilization
One manifest duality of life is nature and civilization. On this, there are two major schools of thought as to what it is that life is. One – seen in both capitalism and socialism - is concerned with adding the most to human-made world of civilization. The other – environmentalism - is concerned with accepting and protecting the natural environment and in experiencing fully the natural aspect of life. Both have one part of the picture, and it is time to see the whole picture and to constructively work with it.
There is a world of life that is not human-made, known as nature. There is also a world that is human-made, known as the civilization. In addition, within the human being itself, there is the natural aspect – the aspect that is shared with other life forms and that as such follows the rules of nature – and the uniquely human aspect: The aspect of choice and volition, in which one directs one’s actions according to one’s own knowledge and beliefs.
While many of those who value the former the most see the civilization as being destructive and rapacious, many of those who value the latter the most see nature as only resources or made to serve. But the two worlds not only exist in themselves; they also exist in the human being, with each human being possessing both the natural aspect of physicality and the uniquely human capacity of directed choice. The first aspect is of the same character as what is nature – the physical aspect that is of nature and that is directed by its workings. The second aspect is of the same character as what created the human-made world - the volitional aspect that deliberately directs, creates, and forms.
There is no inherent antagonism between the world of nature and the world of human creation, any more than there is inherent antagonism between the directed and the directing aspects of human being. Both are aspects of the world; and both exist in humanity and in each person. The difference is that while one world is not made by humanity, the other is made by humanity; and while the first reflects natural laws, the second reflects people’s choices. Creating an optimal outcome consists of allowing people the fullest experience of both aspects, both within themselves and without, as well as the greatest contribution to, and minimal damage to, both worlds.
For this reason it merits to recognize the human being as a being of nature and of human-made world and aims to make the most of both – the most of the experience of both and the most of contribution to both. That is the case both within the human being, in both their natural and deliberate-choice aspects, and in human being’s interaction with both worlds. That means that making the most of life in this matter consists making the most of human being’s possession and orientation toward both non-human-forged life and human-forged life and to make the most of both aspects and of their interaction. It means affirming both nature and civilization and using human intelligence to create ongoing growth and improvement of civilization while making the burden lighter on nature. It means to allow people to have full experience of both nature and civilization and to not only interact with both, but to have the fullest representation of both within themselves. It means, thus, to allows human being to be both a being of nature and a being of the civilization and to contribute to both while benefiting from both.
There are some belief systems that see nature as mere resources, or merely there to serve people. To these this question is posed: Can you recreate Amazonian rainforest or create anything approaching it in complexity? There are others that see nature as sacrosanct – and to them can be posed the question, How sacred is the AIDS virus, and does it love you as much as you love it? The world is not improved, and life is not improved, either in the present or in long-term aspect, by destroying rich, vibrant environments such as Amazonian rainforest in order to clear land that will no longer be usable in two years. Nor is it improved by denying people the benefits of technology or medicine or scientific and technical innovation. People have right to protect themselves from viruses and harmful bacteria, to produce and enjoy wealth, and to advance and apply scientific and technological knowledge. Similarly, people concerned for the well-being of the planet have right to protect natural treasures from blind and irreversible destruction.
According to the philosophy of libertarian capitalism, property is defined as "nature converted into productive use." But in that definition, no value is seen for nature. That is a major downfall in the philosophy of libertarian capitalism, and we are presently seeing the effects of that downfall all around the world.
The economic equations do not compute the long-term value of nature, and that is the worst downfall of market economy as constituted at this time. It fails to put a price to natural treasures, and thus runs roughshod over them with no eye to posterity. This is the true source of antagonism between business and environment-conscious people; and it is only when the value of these treasures are computed and put into the economic calculus that can be reduced the blind destruction of nature by human economic activity - and human economic activity, stripped of its worst downfall and the greatest error within it, can fully work in the interests of humanity both in short and long term as the market theory supposes that it does. Since the natural inputs are not valued, and the pollution and environment destruction is not quantified, the economic equations omit environmental damage. If such are valued and quantified, economic equations will reflect full reality of economic activity on Earth.
The economic calculus in decisions regarding nature must be the following: Is what is created of greater richness and long-term value than what is destroyed? Can you recreate anything close to what you are consuming? And is what comes out better, richer, more intricate, than what it takes to produce it, or is it worse?
Ayn Rand was right when she said that the civilization should be an improvement on nature and not degradation on nature. For GDP to truly be measure of benefit realized, it must include in itself the environmental factor. In computation of economic benefit must be included the natural factor - whether what is produced is superior to what had to be destroyed in order for it to have been produced. A computer is superior to the metal, the silicon and the oil that it took to create it, and is thus an improvement upon what it took to create it. A ranch in the Amazon is not superior to the rainforest that its creation required to destroy. A calculus that includes the value of nature will minimize the blind and short-sighted forms of economic activity, while maximizing genuine technological progress and innovation, with intelligence being applied to create genuinely innovative solutions that make it possible for people to maximize wealth while treading more lightly on Earth. The computation of value of nature within economic equation will result in technological progress and creation of wealth as well as preservation of nature, with an incentive being in place for prudence and ingenuity in what is created by humanity – and a disincentive against destruction of natural treasures that humanity cannot recreate.
The result is this: Benefiting and blossoming of life, both in its non-human-made aspect that is nature, and in its human-made aspect that is the civilization. It is valuation of both, allowing both to gain and to improve. It is people being able to benefit both from nature and from civilization. And it is incentive for positive contribution toward both and disincentive for what is blind, brainless, and destructive to each world.
To show how far the failure to compute nature into economic equations has gone in its effects on people’s thinking, it is now common for people to refer to the socio-economic system as “reality” or “real world,” without giving a second thought as to the greater reality in which this system exists – the reality of the planet. The failure to compute the planet, its nature, its climate, and the needs of its inhabitants, both the currently living ones and their descendants, has now lead to a global climatic catastrophe. People have denied the reality of nature and their effect upon it for decades, and now this reality is becoming more and more inescapable. It is only when both nature and the human world are seen as real and computed into economic equations that economic activity can be incentivized toward what is genuinely ingenious and productive and disincentivized from blind, short-sighted and ignorant practices that leave the world for the future generations in a worse shape than one in which one has found it and poorer for one having been in it.
Individual and Humanity
It is likewise rightful to recognize within each person the orientation toward self and orientation toward humanity. Each human being exists both as self and as part of humanity; and while some philosophies, such as the capitalistic portrayal of human being as possessing “rational self-interest,” work with that aspect and see it as the totality of human being – and others, such as the more collectivistic-minded ideologies, see human being as rationally part of humanity and as such being most natural to serve its collective - both are part of human nature. They are, furthermore, both part of human nature necessarily: As a being that exists both as oneself and as one’s species. This means the following: That both self-interest and humanity-interest are natural to all human beings, and that the complete fulfillment of human existence means making the most of the benefits of both and of their positive interaction.
The capitalist ideologies and socialist ideologies each describe one side of human nature – one as self-interest; the other as species-interest. And as with respect to nature and civilization, it is of merit to see the full picture and to arrive at solutions that are optimal thereto. Both self-interest and humanity-interest are real, rational, and inextricable from human nature. They are both equally valid aspects of a non-valued duality – which, like all non-valued dualities, are capable of outcomes positive, negative, mixed or neutral, and therefore must be treated from the position of optimization of benefit for each component, each other, and their interaction and its effects on the rest of the world.
Both self-interest and humanity-interest can manifest in manners positive, negative, indifferent or a mix, like all other non-valued dualities. Self-interest can create, achieve, produce, advance prosperity; it can also stomp over others or destroy thing that one cannot re-create. Humanity-interest can educate, achieve knowledge, implement works and institutions that advance people's well-being; it can also suffocate and oppress. The path toward maximization of benefit consists of maximizing the beneficial manifestations of both and beneficial interaction between them while checking for negative potentials of each and of their interaction.
The logical result of it is this. That both self-interest and humanity-interest are valid, and that while the quantities of each will differ among individual people, all will have some of both. Achieving optimal outcomes in this matter means making the most of the positives of both orientations and their interaction, with each human being possessing the freedom to not only define and pursue what is to them their rational interest, but also being free to contribute to the benefit of humankind what they have to give. The affirmation of liberty and individuality – affirmation gained from recognizing the self-directed aspect – stand to check the propensity for totalitarianism, massacre and oppression that is inherent in purely collectivistic ideologies. The affirmation of the humanity-interest stands to check the short-sightedness and destructive rapacity that we see in those who solely believe in self-interest and out of that consideration poison the planet, run mortgage scams, or deny the reality of global warming and federal debt.
Denial of an interest, whether it be self-interest or humanity-interest, results in that interest manifesting in sideways, destructive ways. In Soviet Union, that denied self-interest, self-interest manifested as corruption. In 1980s America, that denied humanity-interest and portrayed it as Communism, the humanity-interest manifested as spiritual and intellectual totalitarianism that demanded everyone to be the same person, believing the same things, and living the same life. Denial of either interest is therefore never innocent but leads necessarily to one or another form of wrongdoing. It is only by recognizing the validity of both interests and allowing them constructive manifestation that good - both public good and individual good - can actually be attained.
The affirmation of both individual-interest and humanity-interest, allowing both to maximize and to feed into each other while checking each other’s destructive potentials, in the framework of Pareto-optimization, means seeing outcome as valid when it benefits both humanity and individual people – and not valid when it hurts individual people more than it helps humanity, or hurts humanity more than it helps the people involved.
Such incentives stands to create a climate that is conducive to both individual freedom and collective benefit, with incentives toward what adds to both and disincentives for abuses against each. This stands to result in maximized freedom, quality of life, accomplishment of the civilization, and long-term benefit of humanity – the benefits of both individualism and collectivism - while minimizing both destructive rapacity and totalitarian oppression that are the downside, respectively, of each.
The model also requires checking potentials for destructive collaboration – as when, for example, it is in interests of both individuals and humanity to burn down the rainforest. The context in which humanity exists is as much reality, if not more so, than arrangements made by people. This has been addressed in the previous section. Individual and humanity is one non-valued duality; civilization and nature is another.
So that while purely capitalistic approach has no value and even much hostility against action directed toward benefit of humanity, and the collectivistic beliefs both religious and secular inweigh against self-interest, the optimal outcome is one that allows people to benefit both themselves and others. This is summed up in one phrase:
Do good and do well.
People should have the freedom to work toward both ends, and the result of this action will be humanity benefiting at the level of each individual and as a whole. The more this is a reality, and for the more people, the better both their condition and their effect on the world.
Male and Female
The errors involved in this matter are age-long. There are many who believe such things as that men are of God and women of Satan, that women are amoral or evil, or that women are meant to be subservient to men. There are others who believe that men are abusers, that male sexuality is rape, and that male perspective is by its nature destructive. Neither of these is a prescription for a livable world.
Men and women are, first and foremost, people. This means: The natural aspect and the uniquely human aspect. There is the natural aspect to both masculinity and femininity; there is also the uniquely human aspect of choice that is possessed by both men and women. The first makes the two different by nature; the second is common to both women and men and is the place of their similarity. Both must be seen and respected for what they are.
As with all things of nature, both the male and the female physical aspect are morally neutral and capable of both right and wrong, but in ways that, being based on different natures, are different from one another. And as with all things of choice, both the men and the women are capable of both good and bad. There is no reason to see one as being superior and the other inferior, any more than there is reason to see one as good and the other as bad. Both are capable of both good and bad. In the physical nature, they differ, with the difference being natural, hence value-neutral. In the volitional aspect, they are equal and must be regarded as such.
One constant error of women who stress equality is that of negating the physical aspect and the associated differences between men and women. They work from the position of the volitional aspect, where the two are equal, and see the physical aspect as a hindrance to that equality. This leads them to militate against women’s physicality, sexuality, and other natural aspects, denying it to themselves and other women. But the natural aspect is inherent to all who live, both men and women, and no good can come from denying it.
The interaction to work between men and women is the one that recognizes both the natural and the volitional aspect. On matters in which the volitional aspect is in charge, the logical way is full equality. On matters pertaining to physical aspect, the logical way is seeing the natures involved and working to optimize their interaction, the effects of their interaction and the benefit of male and female physical natures toward one another and what they affect, while checking for negative effects of each and of the interaction.
Physically, the man and the woman are different and will always be different. That does not mean that one is by nature the ruler and the other by nature the slave, and it most certainly does not mean that one is good and the other is bad. We are dealing here with aspects of nature, which being aspects of nature are morally neutral. We are dealing with a non-valued duality, which being non-valued must be approached as all non-valued dualities are to be approached: from the position of optimization of benefit for each component, each other, and their interaction and its effects on the rest of the world.
For both men and women to be complete and integrated beings, in both cases both the physical, natural aspect and the human, volitional and intellectual, aspect, must be valued, cultivated and affirmed. Within each person, whether the person be male or female, both aspects should be respected, developed and learn to work with one another in a manner that is suitable for all non-valued dualities, with eye toward optimization of the effects of both and of their interaction with one another. In this will be developed complete human beingness, both for people male and female, and people will become more integrated beings possessing familiarity with both their natural and the volitional aspect and able to enjoy the fruits of both as well as of their interaction, and likewise to impart of their fruits.
The gender relations must therefore be seen from this dual standpoint. On matters of volitional consciousness, men and women must be seen and regarded from the position of absolute equality as both possessing the same capacity – of volitional choice. On matters of nature, men and women must be seen and regarded according to the natures involved, with eye toward optimization of the experience for each other, for themselves, for their interaction and its effects on the world. Both the volitional and the natural aspect must be seen for what they are and treated accordingly. The first must be dealt with according to its nature, and the second dealt likewise according to its, with the eye toward fulfillment of both; making the most of their interaction; protecting each other from harm by the other; and minimizing negative interaction between the two.
This means, among other things, confronting and ending violence against women as much as abuses by women of ill will toward men. It means doing away with necrophilic beliefs that see women as stupid or evil as much as with other necrophilic beliefs that claim romance to be rape, love to be a patriarchal myth, or beauty to be a mythological construct that robs women of self-esteem. It means making it possible for men and women to fully enjoy their physical existence and to come together to produce and raise new life. And it also means allowing women equal voice in all matters involving choice and intelligence, from science and media to business, government and art.
Public Sector and Private Sector
Both public sector and private sector are there to serve the demand of the public. The first, at the poll booth; the second, at the marketplace. Both are there because people want them there, and any attempt to extinguish either is violation of people's will.
The private sector and public sector have both had times in which either was the more powerful and the more popular. There are some ideologies that want everything to be public, and there are others that want everything to be private. The power struggle between the public and private sectors has been a source of much warring and much wrongdoing on both sides. And while there are many who see either as parasitical, in fact America owes much to both. And it is in their constructive interplay that benefit is found.
The public sector's science is at the root of every product that is sold by business. The public sector's Interstate and Internet have created infrastructures that made possible vast business prosperity, and without them American economy would be far smaller than it is now. The public sector's education has made possible for people to have the skills that they need to work and contribute to private sector prosperity. The public sector's military and policing protect life and property. And it is sheer ignorance, foolishness and irresponsibility for people in America to be anti-government when they benefit from the public sector as much as they do.
At the same time, it is the private sector that has taken the knowledge produced by public sector science and turned it into technology and products that have created prosperity. And it is the private sector whose earnings fund public sector works. Both private sector and public sector are legitimate parts of reality as pertains to fulfilling demands of the people; and as in all non-valued dualities these must operate in a benefit-maximizing manner.
At the bottom level, each has the right to defend itself from negative effects of the other. Public sector has right to protect itself from those who want to defund academia and education, deny it tax revenue, and starve it into extinction while benefiting from the science, education, infrastructure, policing and military that it provides. Private sector has right to protect itself from strangulating regulation, nationalization, protectionism, and other public sector practices that diminish its ability to produce wealth. Each is there by public demand, and each has its legitimate prerogatives as it relates to fulfilling this public demand.
In the middle tier, the public sector and private sector should leave each other alone to do what they have been put there to do: The private sector, to produce prosperity; the public sector, to provide the tasks that it has been voted to do.
And at the top tier, the public sector and private sector should work together to create what either cannot do by itself: The private sector using public sector science to implement technological prosperity, public sector using money created in public sector to provide public services; and public sector working with private sector to put into place high-technology solutions for an environmentally and economically sustainable long-term future; are only some of the potentials for positive collaboration between the public and private sectors.
At the same time, there must be means to prevent ever-present negative interaction potential between public and private sectors - a potential that results in kleptocracy or fascism, in many countries more obviously than in United States. Wars waged for corporate interest, Texas Oil bribing the government to deny global warming and keep the nation from developing effective clean energy solutions, and the pharmaceutical industry scamming the taxpayer to give people dangerous and expensive multi-drug combinations, are all clear and present cases of private sector and public sector colluding in ways that are against public benefit. This potential must be constantly watched for in order to avoid these and other destructive outcomes, with people whom both the public and private sector exist to serve taking both public and private action against the corruption that is an ever-present danger where money and politics mix.
Art and Business
In matter of art and business, we likewise are seeing a non-valued duality interacting in any number of ways. Both endeavors have produced much of what is known now as the Western civilization, as they did in other societies such as China, India and Middle East. The relations between the two have been frequently striated, but when they worked together they produced this: A legacy of embodied beauty.
The last time that this fortuitous state of events happened on a large scale in the West is 1920s. The result has been beautiful skyscrapers such as the Chrysler and Empire State buildings; beautiful cars such as the Packard; and beautiful Art Deco sculpture and architecture. Since then, although technology has improved, what was created was not nearly as beautiful. The assimilative 1950s ethic created cloned bare-bones architecture in both the West and Soviet bloc. In 1960s and 1970s, when art was loved while business was hated, much art was produced, but not much of anything, ugly or beautiful, was built. And the anti-artistic ethic of 1980s and the anti-beauty mentality of 1990s ensured that, while much was built as would be expected from times favoring business, most of it was unsightly and made eyesores of cities and suburbs of major countries of the world.
It is time again for art and business to come together and produce work that is worthy of having been produced. It is time to create an embodied legacy of beauty comparable to the legacy of 1920s or Renaissance. The world, having gone ugly in recent decades, is crying out for beautification. Art and business working together to produce lasting embodied beauty stand to provide this service to humankind.
This will require a change in attitudes of business world and art world to one another. It is time that business world stop seeing art as elitist, irresponsible or narcissistic; and it is time that art world stop seeing business as being exploitative or driven by greed. Beautiful art, beautiful architecture, and beautiful ambiance are in fact a huge money draw – as we see in the tourist destinations San Francisco, Paris, Venice, Florence, Rome, Barcelona, St. Petersburg, New Orleans, Rio De Janeiro, Melbourne and Montreal. As for business, particularly international business, it has been the most effective poverty reduction program in history. People participate in it as consumers because it provides them better life than they would have had without it; and they participate in it as producers likewise because doing so gives them better life than they otherwise would have had.
Both business and art are pursuits that are biophilic and that improve people’s quality of life. There is no valid reason why business world and art world should be at each others’ throats. Both are valid, and both are important. Respecting each other, business and art stand to improve the quality of life. Working with one another, they stand to create a lasting legacy of embodied splendor that will be cherished for ages to come.
Thinking and Feeling
Here once again we are seeing a non-valued duality that some people want to proclaim as valued. There are rationalists who see feeling as an inferior function or mental illness; there also are people who equate rationality with coldness, dryness and nastiness that are not necessary features of rationality at all but rather results of its misuse. The first group begets the second group according to its own nature. In fact, romantic attitudes are a logical next step to rationalism, and for a very obvious reason.
It turns out that reason’s own inquiries into what it by itself would see as inferior (nature, universe, and of course human brain and its capacities) leads to an understanding of the same that leads one, logically, to awe before the same. The mind is contemptuous of nature until it actually studies nature and finds in its workings the mechanisms far more intricate and intelligent than any that it itself has yet known how to contrive. By the time the science can actually create anything of similar quality or complexity as a living being, it has full respect for natural life; at which point it can learn to build on it, improve on it, create sustainable agriculture and development, and even recreate some of what was blindly driven into extinction or to create new life. Similarly, the mind has contempt for - "instinct," "emotions," romantic love, sexuality, compassion, nurturing of young life, physical beauty, or caring directed toward other people and nature - until it actually studies the mechanisms of these things long enough to find in them similar intricacy and intelligence - at which point it realizes the extent of its complexity as being superior to anything that it itself knows how to create. At which point it likewise develops respect for what it would by itself see as inferior function, and then actually becomes capable of restoring, creating, and even improving upon humanity. True natural science, like true psychology, build understanding enough to achieve respect for what they study. And it is only then that they can replicate and even improve on these givens. At this point, the mind becomes an intelligent creator instead of a dumb destroyer. And then - only then - can man's rationality be said as itself having legitimately earned respect.
The disrespect for such things, as can be found in many who think themselves rational, is a result of inadequate knowledge and inadequate cognition. The more one understands these things, the more one sees in them respectability - as what has intricacy far greater in their mechanism than anything that oneself knows how to create. Respect for nature and for human mechanism is therefore a necessary precursor to improving and adding upon nature and human mechanism. It is a logical outcome of real knowledge of these matters, which real knowledge is a precursor for being able to do anything constructive toward nature and humankind.
The error that keeps creeping into psychology, despite the actions of Rogers's and May's and Fromm's of the world, is that of projecting the method used to understand the mind, onto the mind, and then judging the mind rather than understanding it in case its own methods differ. Allow me to explain what I'm talking about. The scientific method is a path toward understanding things; that requires a particular kind of logic. In studying things other than mind, it is fine; but when one approaches the mind FROM THE POSITION OF the scientific method, he is easily subject to this error: Comparing the mind's processes to the process (scientific method) he uses in studying the mind; and judging them when they are inevitably found to be run by a different logic, the way one would judge other-than-scientific approach within the laboratory.
Which leads of course not to exploration but to judgmentalism. Anything that is run by a logic that either is not of the scientific method or that the scientific method cannot be found to understand, becomes an "issue." The logic of science gets interjected into the mind, squashing its own processes in the process. Compassion goes; so does imagination. And the result is misrepresentation and misformulation of what is studied, resulting in great violence done to the same.
Given the nature of reason - as something that builds on premises – it is frequently inadequate for understanding of matters that are of different nature than what one has been taught reason to be. I have been finding it necessary at many times to suspend reason from its premises and let the feeling take over and understand it later, while letting the experience enrich my understanding and giving me knowledge that I would not have had if I had operated from the position of building upon existing premises.
I furthermore see that it is through combination of reasoning and emotion - experiencing from within; assaying from without; letting the two perspectives integrate - that full picture of a feeling, or (on another level) of a person or of a culture or of a mindset - can be created: One superior to the merely objective (which by itself tends toward coldness and cruelty) or to the merely subjective (which by itself tends toward lack of awareness of external effects).
But rather one that combines experience with observation - the internal with the external - and thus creates a more complete picture.
Thinking and feeling is another non-valued duality; another natural pair of existents that gets wrongly seen as a valued duality by different interests. One error is the anti-intellectual "hey-mr-smartie-pants-who-do-you-think-you-are" crowd – the people who compensate for their intellectual inferiority by claiming that someone who has a mind can't also have a heart. The other is the emotionally repressive rationalists, reductionists, logical positivists, behaviorists, "skeptics," eliminativists, and others who want to deny the validity of anything intuitive or heart-involving. These compensate for their emotional inferiority by claiming that those who have a heart can't also have a mind. Both are in grave error.
In effect, there are good hearts and bad hearts at every level of intellect. There are brilliant scoundrels like Freud, Hitler or J. Edgar Hoover and brilliant great men like Jefferson, Franklin, Gandhi or Martin Luther King. There are good-hearted dumb Forrest Gump types and there are stupid creeps who rape 9-year-old black girls and think that they are doing their country a favor. The dogma on both sides of this is not in tune with reality, and to be able to see things for what they are it becomes necessary to be free of that dogma.
The heart can in fact produce insight and wisdom; and there are people of all intellectual levels who found, from going to significant lengths to develop the heart, that they came in possession of insight and understanding that they had not possessed previously. It is also possible through development of the mind to come to the place of the heart - to the place of appreciation and wonder before the universe as its mysteries are deeper and deeper fathomed - to the place of respect for what has such intricacy, complexity and beauty; to the place of seeing the next person enough to empathize with them; to the place of fathoming the magnificence of the world enough to love it. Where both mind and heart merge into insight, compassion, understanding and love, is the place of wisdom. Which, like light that is both energy and matter (both wave and particle), becomes the point of intersection of mind and heart, where they exist together as one at the place of embodied infinity.
Many genuine scientists and mathematicians (as opposed to "skeptics," "rationalists" and others of similar persuasion) develop kind hearts, as that is the appropriate logical reaction to genuinely beholding magnificence of the Universe. Many people who work with the matters of heart develop very sharp minds, as that is what it takes to adequately fathom, nurture and resolve matters of human experience for existent and long-term benefit.
The mind can therefore be a valid path to the heart, and the heart to the mind.
It therefore follows that an effective path to take is the integrative one of mind and heart feeding into each other and growing each other as well as themselves into both mentally fathomed and emotionally experienced wisdom.
People are incomplete when they are lacking in either thinking or feeling. And it is when both are developed and feed into each other that truth is attained the fastest and most potently. Both are legitimate; both are capable of both positive and negative outcomes; and the two can interact in positive manner, in negative manner, and affect each other positively or negatively.
Reason is valid when it adds to people’s existence, not valid when it sabotages it. Feeling is valid when it is life-affirming, not valid when it becomes weapon of hysteria or oppression. The hysterical attitudes against intelligent solutions such as cloning and stem-cell research are a case of feeling being used to negatively impact reason and detract from its fruits, in the same way as portraying feeling as an inferior function or mental illness is the case of reason being misused to abuse and oppress. Whereas reason and feeling working together on such matters as creating a viable future for humanity is the case of thinking and feeling feeding into each other to create an outcome positive to the world.
Objective and Subjective Investigation
The natures of cultures, societies, religions, lifestyles, communities, families and individual people can only be fully assayed through combination of external examination and subjective experience. The first shows the entity's effects on the world; the second, the experience of the people who are a part of it. To do the first, is to know the nature of the entity in its external effects. To do the second, is to know its nature as felt and experienced by its participants.
The merely external examination fails to understand the experience and is felt by the participants as being out of touch, cold, and lacking in understanding. The merely experiential fails to compute the entity's external effects and also fails to see and correct its wrongs and its errors, allowing these errors and wrongs to continue unchecked. As these errors and wrongs continue unchecked, they continue to grow.
The scientific method being one of empirical analysis and observation, many of those who are drawn to it become hostile to anything that involves such things as empathy, feeling, or subjective experience. In understanding people at individual or collective level, this attitude is wrong. Understanding people means also understanding their experience and thus being able to relate to them. The journalist, the sociologist, the psychologist, need to be able to do this in order to have a complete enough knowledge to do their work with wisdom. The humanistic psychology not only recognizes the need for empathy; it demands it. And empathy training is an essential part of the training of anyone involved in psychology or social science.
But empathy itself is likewise not sufficient. As the purely empathic feels the experience of a person or a group of people, she gets lost in their world and forgets the rest of the world and their effects on it. She identifies with their experience and, as part of it, identifies also with their errors and their wrongs - frequently to her own grave wrong. Someone who empathizes with a Talibanist or a member of Christian Identity gets used for a wrongful agenda - at grave expense to herself, her children, and (if the people with whom she's empathized get their way) the rest of the world. Empathy, and caring, can easily be exploited for goals that are in no way caring or empathic, and the tragic experiences of those who have made such a choice is evidence of that fact.
Empathy must be balanced with discernment if one is to avoid such a fate. At the same time, the rational mind must be balanced with empathy in order to avoid greater errors of cruelty, coldness, and out-of-touch ineffectuality. The full examination of any human phenomenon demands to know both its effects on the world and its effects on participants. And this requires intelligence and empathy working together to create not only an integrative assessment of what is under examination, but also more integrated people themselves.
Child and Adult
On this, once again, can be seen major errors in either direction. There are some who see the child aspect of human being as inherently evil and seek to destroy it – and in the process destroy joy, insight, compassion, creativity, and ability to love. There are others still who see the child aspect as innocent. The first results in dry, mean, destructive, intolerant, violent, emotionally disconnected and hysterically prudish people who are as much a burden to themselves as they are to everyone else. The second is blind and oblivious to the capacities for wrong that are present in every being that has the capacity of choice.
To those who claim that the human nature is always evil, like to those who claim that it is always good, there is plenty of refutation by counterexample. Children can vary from violent and deceptive to loving and caring, with many things in between. Natures not being made by human beings and thus not being created according to human beliefs as to what is good or evil, will have zero correlation with good and evil and will all contain capacities for both good and bad. The mixture will differ in every being, as will all other qualities and propensities; but in all cases will be found capacities for both the positive and negative outcomes. The same, of course, will be seen in the adult societies, and global historical and anthropological analysis shows a vast number of directions taken by human societies, with each achieving its own mixture of good and evil.
As in the cases of all non-valued dualities, this duality – the child nature and the adult choice – must work toward the outcome that benefits each side, protects each side from the negatives made by the other, and maximizes the positive aspects of their interaction while minimizing the negative ones. No good comes from demonizing or suppressing either one side or the other; they are both value-neutral aspects of nature. The best parent is not one who lacks in either the adult or the child aspect, but one who has both, and possessing the child aspect can relate to the children at their level – while, possessing the adult aspect, can responsibly steer their development. Both aspects should therefore be tolerated and developed to the point that they can impart of their riches and can likewise meaningfully collaborate, creating not only people who are fully integrated, possessing the benefits of both the child and adult aspects, but who can as parents be child enough to relate to children at their level and be adult enough to guide them rightfully.
Spirit and Physicality
This duality has been at odds in the Western world ever since it was postulated by Paul that flesh is “of the Satan” and that its “passions” are contrary to the soul’s self-interest of “salvation.” While many in Christianity have adopted that stance, there was and remains another stance – of absolute materialism – that claims that the physical world is the whole of reality, and that all else is delusion. The people on both sides are allowed one semi-life or another semi-life. Possessing of both aspects by nature, people should be able to not only have both, but for the two aspects to get along and work with one another.
Spirituality and physicality need neither be enemies nor exclusive. The two aspects not only should exist; their collaboration is the source of tremendous magnificence – in art and architecture that expresses in physical media spiritual truths and profound meanings, in romantic love that is both physical and spiritual, in artistic inspiration that combines both elements, and in higher science and mathematics that see into both worlds.
The purely religious creates a half-life – life of spirit without life of physicality. The purely rational creates the opposite half-life. The worst combination of these is a situation in which zero life is attained– where religious prohibitions apply against free experience of physical existence and rationalistic prohibitions apply against real spiritual experience. The optimal solution is the one that allows people both lives, and for these lives to exist in harmony and add to one another. This is found in genuine art and poetry; in romantic love; in practice of integral yoga; in nature mysticism; and in a mentality aiming at full human beingness, honoring all of life’s aspects and making it possible for people to experience them to the fullest and add to the fullest to them all. At which point the full body of life is honored and served, and people have fullest experience of existence and an affinity for all of life’s aspects. At which point those aspects of life can work together and accomplish what neither can by itself.
Integrative Conception of Human Being
The deeper problem with religions such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism is that the spirituality is seen as divorced from physicality, which leads to similar separation in social reality. The people with spiritual inclinations go into monasteries or into ministry; the women have to share their lives with men who believe that women are evil and that their duty is to control their every action and every thought. The world, being seen as one of illusion or one of Satan, becomes that way more convincingly by being shorn of the attention of those who have it within themselves to want to improve things. And the concept behind these convictions becomes self-fulfilling and then becomes reality for the people living under such beliefs.
This is not accidental; this is an inevitable, logical result of the beliefs themselves. To conceive spirit as being forever divorced from flesh, or of human nature as sin, or of desire as root of all suffering, is to rob the real world of the spiritual riches and to damn it to ever-perpetuating, ever-consuming darkness. In all such cases, the injury done to mankind is monumental. And in both cases at the root of the problem is a cognitive error: One of portraying non-valued a duality (spirit and physicality) as valued, and using one to destroy the other.
Christ and Buddha had to adopt the attitude that they did toward the world, because of where they were in the world, what the world wanted from them, and what the world at the time was like. Jesus had to decide that the world "of flesh" was evil, because his flesh and his world was owned by an alien militaristic empire that ruled with crosses and whips. He had to reject the world and damn it as being a world of sin, because the world belonged to his enemy. He had to reject - women, money, politics, power, even his physical body - because all this was in the hands of the Roman Empire, which could do anything with all this anything that it wanted. So he had to actually transcend the flesh and then resurrect, in order to prove that his true self was not owned, that the power of the Roman Empire was not absolute, and that there was a light at the end of the darkness - the light of heaven, over which the Emperor and his thugs had no power.
There were many people who could very well believe at the time that the world was the world of sin. The Roman Empire was a brutal militaristic organization where three quarters were slaves and endured constant brutality and humiliation. It was not an ethical enterprise, and many people made the mistake of conflating the slavery and the brutality in the Roman Empire with its religious diversity. The truth is, the two had nothing to do with one another at all, and while Christianity offered a promise of eternal life to people living in slavery or under the Roman yoke, it offered less than nothing for people's earthly experience, while maintaining the abuses and wrongs of Roman Empire after the Roman Empire itself became Christian.
With Buddha, the circumstance was not the same, but analogous at a mental level. He was the son of a king, and at his birth his parents were given a prophecy that he would be either a great king or a founder of a major religion. His parents wanted him to become an emperor and kept him from fulfilling the prophecy of his becoming a founder of a major religion by lying to him, keeping him from knowing anything, and removing all sights of suffering out of his eyes. So first he saw real world outside the royal compound - people sick, dying, in torment - and found out that his education was a lie. Then as he left the city to meditate under the tree, the king kept luring him by his desires - dancing girls, tasty fruit, friends, wife, power - back to the kingdom hall that had deceived him. So what would it be logical for the meditating mind to decide but that the world is one of deception (maya) and that desire is the root of all suffering – suffering that had been shut away from his eyes by those perpetrating the deception? And what more would be logical but to see ego as an evil that entraps one in the maya, when everything that an ego might want was under control of those who had lied to him? He had to reject both his education and his education- shaped mind along with any desire that he may have had, and to do away with his ego, in order to find freedom or truth. That was because his education was a lie, and his desires were being tempted to go back to the powers that had lied to him.
Buddhism preaches non-attachment; there is a good reason for that. All attachment - emotional, physical, intellectual, personal - was being used to tempt Buddha away from his pursuit of the truth and into the maw of the people who wanted him to serve their will for him - the will that he had found out to be a deception. He had to break all desire for everything that the kingdom had to offer, as well as his family bonds and his personal friendships and loyalties and romantic attractions, and destroy everything in the self that was vulnerable to these things or that wanted or required these things, because all were used to control him and lure him back into deception. Buddha is offering a path that he himself had to go in order to achieve freedom. That path meant moving away from all that desired - because the desires were used to tempt him to that which had deceived him. It also meant going away from ego - because all ego's wants and longings and attachments were used to entrap him in the kingdom that had deceived him and that had absolute power over everything - money, fame, power, status, admiration, respect, validation - that an ego might want. It meant spending many years silencing, deconstructing and transcending the mind - because the mind was falsely educated and falsely conditioned and made to think things that were not true. It meant what he had to go through to free himself from false things; but it does not mean that all suffering is based in desire, or that ego is a piece of dirt, or that mind is evil, or that life is an illusion, or that spirituality is forever divorced from these things.
To damn the world, or to claim world as necessarily one of suffering, or to remove from the world desire, is in no way a way for making a better world. Instead it is the way to remove light from the world and plunge it into self-feeding and self-perpetuating darkness. So while many people in monasteries have successfully and effectively followed Christ's or Buddha's paths, their social advice has been absolute disaster for the societies that followed their guidance in matters of life. In both cases, relationships, science, education, business, politics, - everything - has been damned and have been therefore carried out in the most destructive possible manner. And that does not make anyone or anything holy. It makes life an unnecessarily and self-fulfillingly toxic hell.
Christ's advice on the best way to have a relationship is not to have a relationship. That flesh is sinful and that therefore there cannot be at the same time a sexual and a spiritual love. That sex is a dirty thing and that anyone who elicits sexual desire or erotic passion deserves not love but physical, personal and spiritual violence. Few beliefs are responsible for greater wrongs and greater abuses than this one.
With both Buddhism and Christianity, there is contempt for intelligence; for fact; for nature; for reality. So it is no surprise that application of both theosophies have eradicated learning, prosperity and accomplishment from the world in which they were applied. Roman Empire had great inventors, great philosophers, great scientists, great doctors, great engineers. They had a steam engine 1,800 years before the Industrial Revolution. And while religious people claim that Roman Empire was undone by its "decadence" (reality check: It was conquered 100 years after it Christianized) the true reason that it was undone is that it listened to Roman-day Republicans who thought with their pocketbooks instead of their brains and believed that the cheapness and abundance of slave labor made the steam engine uneconomical. If they thought ahead, they would have realized the promise of that invention and not only created real prosperity that they would have never dreamt of, but have also been able to invent war machines that would have vaporized any invading army - as well as being able to end the horrible institution of slavery that was the true moral outrage of Roman Empire and the real source of hatred and resentment against it.
In choosing whether to embrace high-technology, high-intelligence, job-creating clean energy, or to go on with the ruinous policies of Texas Oil, the present-day world faces a similar choice.
But that is a different matter, no matter how crucial in significance. The Romans had great science and engineering and could have had a world we have now, two millenia before it came about, if they had been smarter about their economic and political policies. Nothing of that sort existed in the Christian world until it was shaken to its core by European Enlightenment and American Revolution.
So it is no surprise that, in order to find intellectual, political, social, personal, sexual, physical freedom, many people have made the same choice that Christ and Buddha have made, in reverse. Like Christ and Buddha rejected the physical world, they have rejected the world of the spirit, because the world of the spirit was under control of mentalities that were hostile to intellect, nature, prosperity, science, human rights, sexuality, beauty, and all else that affirms life on earth. The European Enlightenment grew out of that, as well as a profusion of secular mindsets - rationalism, pragmatism, capitalism, realism, scientific materialism, economics, psychology, atheism, agnosticism, skepticism, and many others.
There is a problem with these mindsets as well. They stake their central claim on denying the world of spirit. So any spiritual longing, or any appreciation for or expression of splendor, or anything loving and warm and tender in people, is by them brutally and maliciously suppressed. Their supposed rationality becomes so overbearing, so controlling, so abrasive and horrible and destructive, that people flee from them even if it means disastrous consequences for themselves. Denying spirituality to people with the same violence with which the religious deny physicality, these mindsets become just as cruel and just as horrendous as the ones that they seek to replace. And then what is left for people, is choice between one semi-life or another semi-life - the life of spirit without flesh, or the life of flesh without spirit. Both of which, in this situation, become lives that are thoroughly incomplete.
There has to be a better way than either of the preceding. A positive way is an integrative experience of life, in which both the physical and the spiritual are affirmed and work to each other's benefit. It is a way in which both the physical world and the spirit world are affirmed and find ways to enhance one another and exist in synergy rather than disintegration. And it is a way in which life as a human being - a being that combines the spiritual and the material aspects - can be affirmed in its entirety, allowing for lifestyles and covenants in which the totality of humanity can exist - and achieve greatest human experience, greatest human accomplishment, and most complete and integrated manifestations of human beings themselves.
Immanuel Kant and Scott Peck
Scott Peck was to psychology what Immanuel Kant was to Western philosophy. In the same way as Kant had used philosophy, after a blossoming during Enlightenment and Romanticism, to affectuate a return to the Protestant dogmas that philosophy had sought to replace, so did Peck use psychology, after its psychoanalitic beginnings in early 20th century and its existential humanistic blossoming in 1960s and 1970s, to affectuate a return to religious dogmas that psychology had struggled to overcome.
The philosophy of Kant - and the psychology of Peck - employed a device referred to by Mortimer Adler as suicidal epistemologizing and suicidal psychologizing. Kant claimed that the imperfection of human perception meant that it was only capable of apprehending the phenomenal (apparent) instead of the noumenal (the true); he also claimed that beauty was relative, illusory and insignificant ("in the eye"). With these claims he trivialized and denigrated both science and art. In creating in public mind the suspicion of both empirical and intuitive modes of cognition, practiced respectively by Enlightenment and Romanticism, he destroyed both Enlightenment and Romanticism. In the same manner did Peck, through his contributions, place in the public mind contempt for and denigration of both reason and passion, equating the first with Cartesian logic that was inadequate to describe his experience of synchronicities and claiming the second an invalid basis for either relationship or meaningful interaction. The result has been contempt and invalidation of both reason and passion and the destruction, first by philosophy then by psychology, of both aspects of humankind.
Both of course are wrong in all aspects. Reason is not limited to Cartesian dogmatism, and the intellectual and scientific pursuits, in higher physics, anthropology, and more advanced psychological studies, have uncovered knowledge that entirely exceeds Cartesian dogmatisms and its brainchildren - skepticism, behaviorism, logical positivism, and similar abominations. True rationality, when taken to its logical consummation, results in respect for nature and for human mechanism as possessing great intricacy and great intelligence encoded in them; and the disrespect for the same is not a result of reason, but a result of inadequate reasoning.
Beauty has been shown scientifically to exist both in absolute and in relative forms, with a Judith Langlois experiment showing that a face with certain proportions will be rated as beautiful by people across cultures - and another experiment, in which 500 faces were shown to 20,000 participants, saw every face being picked as the most beautiful by at least one participant. The implications of this affirms what both sides in the beauty debate are right about - the Romantic idea that there is universal truth in beauty (as revealed by there being a mathematical formula for absolute beauty); and the egalitarian idea that there is someone for everyone, regardless of whether the people around them think that they look good. The Langlois experiment therefore disproves the idea taken by many in the politically correct movement that beauty is only subjective, or that it is only cultural, or that it is trivial, or that it has no roots in reality; and the other experiment disproves the abusive idea that the people who are not deemed beautiful in their hometown will never be able to find a suitable mate.
As for romantic passion, the cultural cross-examination shows it to be a positive to every culture in which it exists. The Hindu and Muslim cultures that have forbidden romantic love feature far greater rates of violence against women than do the cultures in which romantic love is affirmed. In the West, the times that were favorable to romantic passion - Renaissance, the Romantic Era, and 1960s and 1970s - likewise featured less violence against women and more appreciative treatment of women than did the Medieval era, the Reformation, Victorianism, and 1980s that despised, devalued, demonized or criminalized romantic love. And in my own experience, it has been at the root of the best marriages I've ever seen - marriages that produced wholesome families, meaningful and lasting love between partners, beautiful and intelligent and accomplished children, and are still going strong 50 or 60 years down the road.
In taking the stances that they did, Kant and Peck thus became destructive of both the intellectual and the passionate aspects of human being - and destructive of all the greatness and progress and richness of life that these two aspects have produced. And in pursuit of their dogmas, was created a character that is essentially necrophilic and seeks to destroy, in its relations, policies, thoughts and activities, all that creates and affirms and adds to life.
In both cases, a pursuit that produced great improvement for many and at multiple levels was effectively destroyed by being used against its own foundations. With Kant, philosophy had destroyed itself – the Enlightenment philosophy that made possible Western science and Western democracy, and the Romantic philosophy that made possible the world's greatest literature, cultural blossoming and richest interpersonal experience and relations - by claiming the mechanism for both to be imperfect or trivial. With Peck, so did psychology, in both its analytical and its humanistic aspect - by trivializing and denigrating the aspects of human being to which it spoke and which it worked to describe. And the pursuits that have given the Western world its greatest accomplishments - democracy, science, innovation, freedom, great literature and art, understanding of nature, civil and human rights, meaningful and beautiful relationships between men and women, and humanistic life-affirming values that went to a great length to make most of both accomplishment and experience - were subverted by the pursuit that had conceptualized them being used to destroy its own foundations. And in both cases, the result was an imposition, against a flourishing of life through affirmation of passion and intellect, of orders and character that were fundamentally anti-life.
The Victorianism that followed Kant, like the three decades that followed Peck, were contemptuous of both intellect and passion - contemptuous as such of the life-enhancing and life-affirming aspects of humanity. It is a mentality that by its own nature can only lend to systemic violence, oppression, and war against both feeling and intellect, which lead directly to abusive, controlling and systematically destructive mental, emotional and relational habits in people who are a part of that mentality. But furthermore still it leads to destruction of all that thought and feeling make possible: science, democracy, freedom, ingenuity, innovation, human rights, beauty, compassion, art, love, vitality, and every meaningful form of improvement in people's lives. This, of course, has been the essential character of both the Victorian era and its more contemporary equivalent. And just as Kant and Peck came to believe that the source of evil was hubris - which their followers use to damn both reason and passion and people who affirmed, cultivated and benefited from both - so has the far greater hubris of their own mentality made apparent itself in its values and its effects.
In both cases, just as Kant used philosophy, and Peck used psychology, to destroy the ages of reason and passion, so have the concepts they brought in to replace them convicted the orders that they had ushered in. The Protestant morals that were used and then hideously misused to sustain the dark night of Victorianism were in the end employed themselves to convict as morally damnable an order that consigned the bulk of the people in it to colonization, child labor, brutality, squalor, suffocating formalism, hysterical prudery, internecine warfare, disconnection from life both within and without, and brutal, cruel, degrading, unforgiving existence. Likewise the concept of responsibility that was used and then hideously misused for the last three decades is now making apparent the irresponsibility of suffocating innovation in energy sector to keep alive the stranglehold of oil cartels, giving taxpayer subsidies to beef industry that takes 10 times as much biomass to produce a burger than the vegetable industry to produce an equivalent amount of grain, consuming 4,000 calories a day and driving SUVs while millions are dying because of disastrous climatic events caused by ecosystemic destruction and accumulation of CO2 missions in the atmosphere, destroying with no thought for the future or for what made them possible the natural treasures that man cannot conceivably recreate, and ladening the future generations with trillions of dollars in debt, amid collapsing family incomes, in order to pay for irresponsible tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. By applying at the collective level the characteristic that is demanded of the individual, is seen the corruption of the arrangement itself. Victorian moralism was rightfully used to show the moral wrongness of the Victorian order; and the more modern-day responsibility is likewise making apparent the irresponsibility of the present one.
And just as personality psychology has been used and hideously misused in the period following Peck to target people who thought or felt differently from the social or communal entities of place and time, whatever the character of these entities or their intent or the actual substance of their beliefs and behaviors, so has it been used by others, rightly or wrongly, to describe business, politics, religion, psychology, media, and even the Western civilization, as possessing a psychopathic and predatory character.
The same concept is now used by me to describe any communal or social entity that seeks unlimited power over the minds, beliefs, personalities and lives of the people within it - and then seeks to impose itself on others.
To believe that an unofficial organ of power, that unlike official organs of power in a constitutional democracy is not subject to check and balance and official accountability, is somehow less prone to corruption and wrong and abuses of power than official organs of power, is ridiculous. Such an entity becomes law, reality and sanity unto itself and therefore is capable of the worst forms of corruption and systemic crime. And in countries where the power of official organs is checked and balanced and made to accord with constitution and bill of rights, but for some or another reason the power of unofficial organs is not subjected to similar scrutiny and is thus used to commit most horrendous abuses and most illegal abominations against the people within them and without them, these entities not only can be seen as unconstitutional, but in fact should be seen themselves as possessing the worst of these disorders.
The sociopathic character that does not recognize law, is the character of the community or the social network that becomes law unto itself and thus not only perpetuates and then covers up systemic crime while totally controlling the people within it, but also commands of people inside of them unconditional loyalty regardless of scale of their crimes against people both inside and without. And it is these entities, not the people they demonize, that are the true danger not only to democracy, but to humankind as it exists at this time and as it stands to exist in the foreseeable future. The crimes and coverups of small towns, gangs, old-boy networks, cults, Islamists, Jehovah's Witnesses, paramilitary organizations, and corrupt networks and operations in medicine, law, police, courts, psychiatry, and politics, are a far graver threat to rule of law than are the works of any number of axe murderers - and they affect people's lives to a far greater extent.
The same can be likewise said of religions that think that they are superior to both nature and to humanity - indeed to entire Universe - and denigrate then destroy all accomplishments of science, democracy, business, art, literature, human rights, and nature in all its richness, in order to make room for their supremacy over a world that they have inherited both from nature and from the people who had created and contributed to these pursuits. The people who claim the universe to be God's, and all accomplishments of mankind and the vibrancy of nature and all things lovable to be belongings of God, appropriate for the Church or the Mosque that had created none of these things - that destroyed them where they existed and resisted most of them every step of the way when they arose in the areas of their dominion - the credit for nature and for humanity and all things lovable and life-affirming, both natural and manmade. All things of course that the Church and the Mosque condemn, deny, sabotage and then, when created by others and coerced from others, want to claim as their own to wield as tools of control against the existing and yet-to-exist. Such an entity can by itself be seen as not only psychopathic and narcissistic, but totalitarian and indeed necrophilic.
For such an entity to claim to define people, humanity, nature, and all that exists in the world, as any kind of evil or good, is preposterous. The evil belongs with these entities themselves and with the philosophers and psychologists - Immanuel Kant and Scott Peck - who brought them back into influence in these respective endeavors, after the mind and the genius of humanity in both these endeavors and their brainchildren had struggled to help humanity out of their grasp.
The religious supremacism has become so complete as to war in the past decade, with effective and thoroughly disastrous results, against both science and democracy as well as constitutional law. In the same way as it has warred in the previous two decades against individuality, relationships, culture, eros, beauty and romance, it is now warring, disastrously, against science and democracy. First it destroys Romanticism; then it aims straight for Enlightenment. And it is then that is seen its true character, in all its psychopathic totalitarian apocalyptic horror.
The extent of the necrophilic character of such a mind is seen in its future predictions. Its hubristic hatred of life at all levels is so complete as to foresee a violent destruction of the world itself. And the economics and politics practiced by those who most loudly claim to profess Islam and Christianity are all directed toward planetary destruction and global war. There is no future in this; the future in this is complete destruction of all that lives on the planet. And I see it as duty of human being, as a being of life, to not only preserve nature but to preserve humanity, and to create a future in which both humanity and nature can live, coexist, blossom, and reach their ever-greatest fruition and accomplishment.
This comes through thinking - and pursuant that activity at all levels - that is affirming of life at all levels and dedicated to its enhancement, enrichment and perpetuation. The necrophilic mentalities - and pursuant that the necrophilic effect on the world of all the activities that they inform - must be replaced with ones that are biophilic and make most of life - both human and natural - in short, medium, and long-term. With this change in mind, all human pursuits - business, politics, technology, relationships, families, science, art, education, spirituality - can begin to work toward a viable future. The people who truly love and embrace life, will value life, and will create demand for - and supply of - economics, technologies, policies, ideas, art, and modes of interaction that are life-affirming and that add to life, extend life, and make possible life worth living for their descendants and for humanity, as much as they will take care to protect life that they have not created. The people who think that destroying the world will get them to heaven, will and do take their political, economic, spiritual and interpersonal activities to the direction of violence, destruction, plunder, theft, torture, abuse, and death.
To tip the balance for life, humanity must become a creator more than it is a destroyer. At all levels of thinking - and all levels of action - humanity must do more to enhance than to destroy life. It is then that there is a better future in view than that of the Apocalypse. And it is then that the human being can be said to be equal to nature and even possibly an improver thereupon.
The period after Victorianism saw electricity, telephones, airplanes, automobiles, skyscrapers, women's rights, middle class, Panama Canal, national parks, higher physics, film, psychology, Harlem Renaissance, Fitzgerald, Akhmatova, Modligliani, and an open, livable social climate that directly enhanced both the quality of people's lives and accomplishment of civilization. What this period of innovation and freedom was for 20th century, can be accomplished on even greater scale for 21st at this time. Solar and hydrogen energy, space travel and colonization, nanotechnology, biotechnology, economics designed to maximize intelligent creation and minimize destruction of what one has not created, prudent resource management, intelligent positive collaboration between private and public sectors, affirmation and rigorous defense of human rights, values favorable to innovative and creative thinking, positive regard for and affirmation of both the feminine and the masculine and a mutual understanding between one another allowing beautiful and happy relationships and marriages, respect for and cultivation of both feeling and intellect, affirmation and cultivation of both individuality and dedication to benefit of the species, and political and economic policies designed to maximize intelligent creation and minimize blind destruction, can be a seed of a renaissance with unlimited potential both for the currently living and for the yet-to-exist.
This can only come from this: An understanding of and respect for life at all levels, allowing man to see and feel life at all levels and, enriched with this understanding, to become an organ of life-creation, life-perpetuation, and life-enhancement, making possible livable long-term future for both the planet and humankind. Necessary is a concept of human being as an integral entity with relation to self, species and nature, that leads to an affirmation of individuality and an affirmation of humanity and an affirmation of nature, allowing people maximal self-definition, maximal contribution to good of the species, and appreciation of nature resulting in minimal damage to it. Necessary is a recognition and valuation of all aspects of life in both natural and human forms, creating a life-affirming mentality that finds expression in people's thoughts, feelings and actions, and thus their effect on the world as well as the covenants they create. The values, perceptions, cognitions, and consequently arts, science, economics, policies, and relationships, all stand to be improved by transition to modes of thinking that are affirming of life at the natural, individual and species-directed levels. And then all these pursuits will direct themselves to creation of life and enrichment of life instead of its destruction, while having respect enough for what man has not created to minimize damage to it.
The future can and should be better than present, and there is a way of making it so. It comes from embracing the modes of thought, feeling and relating that recognize and make most of life at all levels and moving beyond destructive, necrophilic mentalities and orders, to ones that are biophilic and creative, resulting in similar transformation in all activities of humankind. It is time to embrace nature, humanity and life itself, and to create for all these a viable future. The choice is about nothing less than artificial destruction of the planet and all its inhabitants, or a sustained improvement in life human and natural for as long as the informed genius of humanity embracing and building upon the givens makes it possible for nature and for humanity to flourish, grow, and reach ever greater achievement and ever richer experience and fruition of life.
Search for a Better Middle
There are many people who look for the golden mean or the middle ground; but the middle can be found in any number of places. The middle between private sector and public sector can be found in both preventing the other from doing its job; or it can be found in both being able to do their work and then to work with one another. In both cases we are seeing the middle road; only one road is vastly more beneficial than the other.
Likewise we see, for example, in the matter of science and spirituality. Middle can be found by using spirituality to outlaw science and using science to proclaim spirituality insane; or it can be found by putting in place constructive scientific solutions to the world's problems while also allowing people the right to spiritual experience. Once again, both roads are middle roads, only one is vastly more beneficial than the other.
The exercise therefore is not to find the middle path, but rather to find the positive middle path. It is to see what each party is right about and put these things together, while doing away with the matters on which each party is wrong. The result is not compromise but rather positive synthesis, resulting in maximal benefit from both sides and minimal wrongdoing by each.
This logic can be applied to an array of matters. In matter of environment and technology, the positive middle path consists of allowing maximal technological progress while protecting what man has not created and cannot recreate. It consists of preserving nature and pursuing technological and economic development, allowing people to benefit from both technology and nature. In matter of private sector and public sector, the positive middle path consists of allowing business to do its work of creating prosperity while allowing the public sector to do its work of providing education, security, scientific research, law enforcement, and projects such as the Interstate and the Internet that facilitate prosperity. In matter of people's physical and volitional natures, the positive middle path consists of allowing people the maximal fruition of both and their collaboration. In matters of thinking and feeling, the positive middle path consists of allowing people development and enjoyment of both - and the two working together to achieve insight and wisdom faster than either would on its own. And in matters of gender relations, it consists of making the most of both physical relations and equality in social, economic and political fields. In all cases the approach is not just the middle road, but the better middle road that allows the best of each side and the best of their collaboration.
This is the case for all natural, non-valued, dualities - dualities such as environment and technology, private sector and public sector, male and female, thinking and feeling, and further on down the line. The approach is to enhance the benefits of each side and of their positive collaboration - to allow the supply of both and to meet the demand for both thereby. In case of valued dualities, such as good and evil, this approach does not hold, and optimization is the matter of maximizing the good side of the duality. And never are non-valued dualities (such as male and female) and valued dualities (such as good and evil) to be mistaken for one another.
Seeking the positive middle path - one that takes what each side is right about and combines it - is a superior path than simple compromise, which can go in any direction, from the best to the worst. And in matters of collaboration as well as negotiation, it is this positive middle path that ought to be sought and not anything below. Pursuing, not just middle ground, but the optimization of both sides and their interaction, is a path that allows maximal benefit and should be looked for as much as is possible.
To arrive at full benefit to life, it becomes necessary to see it in all its aspects and in their interaction with one another. The world of civilization and the world of nature; the individual and humanity; and further on, must be seen in all its aspects and valued in all its aspects, resulting in incentivization of what adds to life’s aspects and life’s totality and disincentivization of what destroys or injures the same. The valuation of what is life-adding and devaluation of what is life-negating will result in human activity being incentivized toward inventive, creative, intelligent and insightful solutions that add more than they destroy and disincentivized from short-sighted, destructive and blind practices that destroy more than they add.
The Buddhists were right in their respect for all of life and a great care taken to harm no living being; but the Buddhists failed to honor and maximize the creative, productive potential of humanity. The Western ethics, both the capitalist and the socialist, aim to maximize what is produced and the utility served; but they both fail to adequately correct the destructive potentials of human activity. To arrive at a full maximization of life, it is necessary to respect both life in its given, natural aspects and in its human, creating potentials. It is to maximize one's contribution to life as it affects both nature and civilization while minimizing one's destruction of both worlds.
Economic calculus is truthful to the extent that it measures utility; but it is incomplete until it quantifies the effect of economic activity on nature, both in terms of what is destroyed and in terms of pollution inflicted. Including the value of nature in economic equations will result in a much more truthful portrayal of economic activity. The reality of the socio-economic system exists within the reality of the planet, and both must be computed and quantified in order to arrive at a set of incentives toward activity that is genuinely beneficial. This leads to maximization also of intelligence, as that is what it takes to create what is better than what is consumed and to make the world of humanity an improvement on nature and not a degradation thereupon.
The individual aspect of human being is real, as is the species. The ethical calculus must be directed toward maximizing the well-being of both: Toward making it possible for people to maximize both their self-interest, self-definition and self-attainment as well as contribution to humanity, arriving at the benefit served both to humanity and individual human beings. Rather than seeing the two aspects as warring or incompatible, maximal benefit is accomplished by recognizing both, maximizing both, and making it possible for both to feed into each other, resulting in greatest benefit for each person and greatest benefit for humankind. The respect for the individual will do away with the wrongs of collectivism – tyranny and oppression. The recognition of the needs of humanity will do away with destructive practices. With both aspects honored, will be put in force the conditions to benefit both, in which people can both do good and do well.
Merits of Integrative Cognition
To do that, it becomes necessary to renege on false dualistic thinking that constantly twists value-neutral dualities into valued dualities and uses one to conquer the other. While such necrophilic beliefs want to separate thinking from feeling, civilization from nature, spirit from physicality, and use one to conquer the other, the biophilic way knows enough to combine the components. A flower is not roots or stalk or petals; it's all of these things working together. And a human being is not one or the other component; it's all of them working together. A spirit without body is dead; a mind without feeling is a computer; a civilization without nature cannot exist. But it's when those components exist together and work together, that is found life in all its richness and splendor, and all the magnificent outcomes are created and can coexist with one another.
To have this basic understanding - that life is not one component driving the other into extinction, but all components working in synergy - is the logic of life and its ongoing perpetuation, as well as a logic of genuine peace. In the world of perpetuation of life it's not one component of life or the other; it's all the components of life at the same time. The people who think in necrophilic terms of conquest keep having to find new things to conquer, and approach the world consistently as though it were field of war. But the person who combines instead of divides the components of life, results in new and splendid creations and outcomes. To use the intelligence to synergize rather than separate, is to strive for and achieve not only myriad splendid creations, but also achieve actual peace and completeness. Which is a more path not only to ongoing creation and perpetuation of life, but also to sustainable existence and happiness and a path to a lasting peace.
Integrative approach to dualities makes it possible to make the best of both worlds. It makes possible coexistence with mutual understanding, allowing real peace. The man and the woman who make a real effort to understand and work with each other create far more wholesome, productive, and lastingly loving relationships than those who make no such effort. And if the interest of creating wholesome family life is to come to any kind of a real fruition, this must be the fact of the relationships and their norm.
Similarly, integrative approach can and should be applied to such entities as nature and civilization. The needs of humanity must be provided in such a way that does not destroy what man has not created and cannot rebuild. Human intellect and human effort must be put to work toward affectuating this outcome. Techonology that uses only the energy of the sun and the ocean water to deliver both water and energy, conveniently and economically, round-the-clock, while producing as outcome only fresh water to be recycled into the environment, stands to fulfil both energy and water requirements of humanity indefinitely while greatly reducing the burden of the same on the planet.
The thinking that values, respects, and quantifies both aspects of the duality, selects for and incentivizes solutions that work for the benefit of both. In this is set forth the intellectual infrastructure for creating and putting into place such mutually beneficial solutions on the part of both sides of the dualities.
With business and labor, private sector and public sector, self-interest and humanity- interest, similar benefit can be achieved.
By application of objective and subjective methods of investigation working together, can be understood human phenomena quicker and to a fuller extent.
And by application of integrative approach, can be made the best of the inputs and the best of the outcome, while each part protects itself from the negative effects of the other, leaves each other alone to do its part when such is beneficial, the negative interaction is checked, and the positive interaction is maximized for the benefit of each side, their outcome, and all that these stand to affect.