Your Better Self > Primal Injunctions > What is a «Better Self»?

What is a «Better Self»?

Relation to Your Usual Self

In referring to a «better Self», I am adopting a turn of phrase. You have only one unique «true self»: that is your egocentric-self built on your memories, experiences, abilities, values, activities &c. It is a pattern that emerges in your experience that maintains a sense of continuity and distinctiveness, despite your maturation and ever-changing situations and mental states. Your self is something that you inherit, discover, construct, co-evolve. You possess and use this self to live and as a point of reference.

In addition, you have an awareness of that egocentric-self. This awareness capacity/activity, being unchanging and contentless, is therefore viewed as your «real-self» in Eastern spiritual traditions. You can see it represented as the embedded head in the THEE-online logo.

Your better Self refers to application of your awareness (i.e. your real-self) to ensure obedience to the Primal Injunctions. This is the only way to put your egocentric-self in perspective, and to allow it/you/me to gain more control over its/your/my tendencies.

The better Self is therefore an inner mental stimulus for sustaining goodness and respecting the grain of human nature. This seems crucial for sustaining humanity. Bad things may and will happen, but evil is inhibited. Exactly how, will become clearer as the Primal Injunctions are first explored and then elaborated via an examination of evil.

ClosedIs it Better Self or Best Self? Should it be Higher or Highest Self?

Why Emphasize Obedience?

Obedience is commonly considered as a virtue, and it can serve as an ultimate value. But when some rule seems natural or beneficial for us, we barely notice that we are obeying. Rules of success and rules of happiness abound on the Internet without the term «obedience» ever appearing—it must be taken for granted. With reflection and by the end of the section, these Primal Injunctions should seem obvious and reasonable for you, as well as being suitable for everyone else.

Question: The aspiration for freedom is quintessentially human, and autonomy is essential for creativity. Even if dedication to obeying has been identified in one Quest, how can obedience for all be reconciled with this aspiration for freedom?

Answer: Freedom is not lost. Just as we are free to do good, we remain free to release evil. However, willing obedience to these Injunctions gives us a way to restrain and counteract tendencies to evil within ourselves and others.

Because Primal Injunctions exist to be obeyed willingly, they cannot be imposed, coerced or legislated. Exhortation, admonition, encouragement, persuasion and even entreaty are therefore brought to bear. It should be no surprise that forms of the Primal Injunctions are widely advocated in blogs, inspirational tweets, sermons, school-day speeches, political campaigns and the like. There are also philosophers and theologians who offer specialized ideological accounts.

Dealing with Evil

The Model Beings framework revealed that good and evil shape the Planes of Existence and are therefore as deeply embedded in our everyday psychosocial life as time and space are in our physical-biological life. It was suggested that these Planes taken together constitute the Pleroma which requires the energies of goodness. Evil, by contrast, depletes the Pleroma.

Even without that speculative analysis, it is simple to note that:

The Primal Injunctions framework puts flesh on our intuitive notion that we each can activate a «better Self» in order to:

To Repeat: Because Primal Injunctions are based in willingly chosen obedience, you are free to refuse to obey any of them. Coercion is impossible in any case. So obedience is a manifestation of human freedom.

Have a preparatory look at how Primal Injunctions differ from Primal Quests.

Originally posted:16-Nov-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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