Your Better Self > Our Primal Quests > Quest Comparisons > Review: Summary > Self & Society

Review: Self and Society

Ordering the Profusion

There have been so many references to the self versus the social milieu, and to inner versus outer orientations, that it must be confusing as to how all these fit together.

The time has come to bring these ideas into sharper focus by clustering and clarifying all references. We can then try to capture the essential feel of each Primal Quest.

Better viewing: narrow or close left navigation column; use browser zoom if needed. Click on the hyperlinked column headers to return to the full explanation of that dimension. Click on the hyperlinked Primal Quests to review the initial explanation of each.

RH'L Primal
Direction of Attention Quest Auspices Effect
on Self
Inner Tension &
Effort Direction
In a
7 Spirituality Inward : Private
Personal Protective Intensified &
Internally directed
Most private and inward-looking.
6 Obedience Outward : Public
Personal Protective Reduced &
Externally directed
Most stabilizing for social life, and personally protective.
5A Creation
Inward : Private
Personal Instrumental Intensified &
Internally directed
Most personally disruptive, intense and risky.
5B Creation
Inward : Private
Social Instrumental Intensified somewhat & Internally directed Most comfortable and allows an easy contribution to society.
4 Salvation Outward : Public
Social Protective Reduced &
Externally directed
Most socially respected and personally safe.
3 Enlightenment Inward : Private
Social Protective Intensified &
Internally directed
Most personally intense yet protective & socially beneficial.
2 Meaning Outward : Public
Social Instrumental Reduced &
Externally directed
Most personally comfortable and socially manageable.
1 Pleasure Inward : Private
Personal Instrumental
Reduced &
Externally directed
Most personal, relaxing and demanding of others.

Capturing an Essence


This is the most private and inward looking of the Quests. It is personally controlled and self-protective, requiring intense inner effort and largely ignoring society.

Its difficulty lies in the extreme intensification of inner experiences, and consequent disconnection from the issues of wider society.


This is the most socially stabilizing and personally protective of the Quests. Personal control ensures reduced experiential tensions and effectively directs both attention and efforts outward. Social stability is provided by the function of the chosen situation or institution.

Its difficulty is found in the necessary detachment that leads to a degree of impersonality.


As Supreme Courage: This is the most intense, personally disruptive and risky of the Quests. This is the «unreasonable manGeorge Bernard Shaw (1856-1950): "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."» on whom mankind's progress depends. The difficulty is surely obvious.

As Work «in Flow»: The lower intensity and reduced risks found here is due to the Quest being under social auspices. It means that this can be the most comfortable and easily contributing of the Quests. The difficulty resides in the need for near-ideal working conditions.
ClosedRemember ► 


This is the most socially respected and personally safe of the Quests. There is a minimum focus on inner life, with reduced tensions, outward direction of attention, and self-protective detachment.

Its difficulty lies in the continuing vicarious experience of pain and suffering, and man's inhumanity to man.


This offers the most personal intensity for social benefit of the Quests. It provides a degree of personal safety through an internal focus that enables self-integration and self-protection.

Its difficulty lies in the lack of interest, and sometimes overt hostility, from the powerful and the masses in wider society.


This is the most personally comfortable and yet socially manageable of the Quests. Its essence is to look outward so as to find projects that produce good feelings by embodying ideals shared with others.

Its difficulty lies in dependence upon a particular society and subordination to its social conditions and politics.


This is the most personal, relaxing and socially demanding of the Quests. Society responds by providing entertainments and pleasure domes—at a price.

Its difficulty lies in resisting temptations to excess, and in integrating the Quest into a life that necessarily demands work, respect for certain values, and responsibility.

Originally posted: 10-Aug-2012

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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