Your Better Self > Primal Injunctions > What is a «Better Self»? > Hold Ideals: RH"L2

Hold Ideals: RH"L2

Quest → Injunction

Derivation of the Primal Injunction to "Hold Ideals" (L"2)  from the Meaning Primal Quest (L'2)

The Meaning Quest emphasizes the importance of being purposeful and holding values. Practical goals are selected to suit the social context and gratify the desire to do what is useful and likely to make a positive difference for others. But this cannot be widely demanded—those on the Pleasure Quest (and there are many) would reject it out of hand. The focus on values offers a better option. Meaning Quest purposes should emerge from ideals and a Primal Injunction to «hold ideals» is reasonable for all.

If ideals are genuinely held, they will then go on to shape your life to a greater or lesser degree. But more importantly, in social contexts, it will be evident to all that you have conceptions of goodness that are not about yourself alone. Amidst all the injustices, stupidity and brutality of social life, ideals provide a standard and an aspiration that can point the way forward for each and all of us. Conversely, the absence of ideals can lead to dispiriting others, demoralizing groups, lowering standards when no-one is watching, and even fostering helplessness.

The Injunction requires ideals to be held genuinely and personally, not simply given lip service or adopted because they are currently fashionable. Ideals that are right for you are not just there for the taking. This Injunction requires each of us to consider ourselves and our world and seek out ideals that make good sense.

Potential Misconceptions

Ideals are often dismissed as impractical, even distracting, and like «pie in the sky». But the Primal Injunction to hold ideals is certainly not about having your head in the clouds. It is in the nature of ideals that they are never realized. Ideals are enduring standards for evaluating the goodness of some act or event. They are social aspirations that point to practical action. At the same time, they inhibit the reflex acceptance of harmful states simply because "it's always been this way" or "it can't be helped" or "what can one person do?"

Ideals are formed (in THEE) by a combination of the upper three types of purpose as follows:

As a result of their constitution, ideals are debatable. An ideal may even seem extremist because there is always a doctrinal-L6 component or association. But that does not matter. Genuine intellectual battles over ideas are good.

So the THEE formulaClosed for ideals is: sPH6-G35. More on ideals in Ch.10 Working with Values. Download here

Why Is It So Hard?

Ideals are a group phenomenon because values emerge from groups. The best situation is one where values in your workplace and local community are in accord with your ideals. However, pressures and circumstances may mean that this is not the case or even that a conflict exists and must be tolerated.

Difficulty in holding ideals may be due to the ethos of a smaller group or the wider culture. A person's temperament and philosophies may also make reference to ideals awkward.

Ideals are not solutions: they are values embodying and concretizing goodness. So there is an inherent difficulty in the way ideals seem so far from realization. Talking about them may seem futile or embarrassing. In societies where ideals of any sort are unconventional, there is a realistic fear of being ridiculed. You may also be concerned that ideals invite criticism of everyday compromises, needed as you steer your way through the rough seas of life.

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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