Your Better Self > Primal Injunctions > What is a «Better Self»? > Heed What's Right: RH"L6

Heed What's Right: RH"L6

Quest → Injunction

Derivation of the Primal Injunction to "Know Your Duty" (L"6)  from the Obedience Primal Quest (L'6)

The Obedience Quest is based on choosing an institution that is suitable and then adhering to the duties, prescriptions or procedures/rituals of that institution. One of the quest's essential features lies in the subordination of personal preferences. «Do Your Duty» sums up this Quest. This naturally applies to the military or a monastery, where obedience is intrinsic. But not everyone can be expected to have the mindset of a soldier or a monk.

The Injunction might focus on duty, but this social-ethical demand conveys something that seems too explicit (and even too easy) to be suitable.

With humanity as our frame of reference, we must cast our net more widely: to include situations which are inchoate, complicated, chaotic, or disordered. Now where does your duty lie? In general, it lies with «what is right». But freed of social demands, why should you take notice or worry about your obligations? Such cases reveal two aspects of existential duty: knowing duty and heeding what we know.

So the proposed Primal Injunction is to «heed what's right». That means perceiving and taking notice of your duty according to your own lights in times of uncertainty, in the face of temptation and when under social pressure to herd or be a lemming.

This Injunction highlights and validates a person's Primal Quest which is built on the significance in living of a version of right or rightness.

Potential Misconceptions

Why Is It So Hard?

Heeding what's right can be difficult from a purely practical perspective because everyone has so many endeavours, groups and roles in society, and each of these has so many attached obligations. So, in practice, there are continually conflicts between obligations. Conflict only disappears if you ignore your responsibilities and do not actively ensure that you are aware of your obligations.

Your groups are particularly problematic because they seek their own survival and well-being. So members rarely appreciate conflicts between your implicit personal obligations and the group's drives.

In many situations, especially when there is social disorder, perceiving what is right is extremely difficult and doing the right thing even harder. So surrender to herd emotions is exceedingly attractive.

Egotism is built around motivations like interest, desire and need. These stand in stark opposition to obligation and so make heeding what's right difficult. Heeding what is right relates to something beyond yourself

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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