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Two Poles of Obedience

Primal Injunctions require a willing obedience that is not wholly automatic because it runs counter to egocentric tendencies. As a result, it takes effort. This effort oscillates between two opposite forms of willingness as the Levels are descended (or ascended).
In THEE terminology: Closed this is the oscillating duality of the Root Tertiary Hierarchy.

Your willingness to obey depends on recognizing just how important each of these Injunctions is for you. They enable you to sustain your humanity in the face of social challenges of every sort: that is important.

Seeing Unity requires you to Get a Grip


Seeing unity is not just difficult due to our egocentricity: it exists as the crucial Primal Injunction requiring that we each reject and inhibit egocentricity. Failure here is probably the single biggest determinant of evil, both intended and inadvertent.

Ordinary experience and everyday life seem to conspire to generate dualistic conceptions and perceptions. At the extreme there can be polarization, scapegoating and paranoid demonization that fuels hatred. However, even at the best of times, there seems so much diversity and difference that keeping a focus on an underlying (or supervening) unity is hard. Restraining inappropriate or unnecessarily self-assertive tendencies and gratuitously unfair discrimination requires a determined effort of will.

Paying attention to the world will only confirm difference and diversity: unity is not at all obvious. Getting a grip on yourself is essential to overcome a natural self-centred perspective, and reject a socially supported us-and-them view of the world.

Remember what is not demanded:Closed You are not expected to seek spiritual states of nonduality, enter mystic union, engage in meditation, or do anything remotely religious.

Heeding What's Right requires you to Pay Attention


Heeding what's right leads to an appropriate ethical engagement in uncertain, complicated or pressured situations. Especially when you sense popular but false ideas and social expectations are developing, you must think through your own views and take a position. You must also become aware of other related obligations. So heeding what is right cannot be based on a priori knowing that can simply be imposed on situation after situation. It is rather a thoughtful response based on paying careful attention in social situations where obligations are conflicting.

The last thing required is imposition of an orthodoxy or any preconception of duty. Paying attention is needed to develop a humane engagement, an attunement to people, and a sensitive responsive handling of social-ethical pressures and practical issues—given your own nature and circumstances.

Remember what is not demanded:Closed You are not expected to live in a way that mostly or continually requires suppression of your personal preferences in favour of explicit prescribed duties and specific procedures or social rituals.

Doing Your Best requires you to Get a Grip


Creativity turned out to be implicit within all our endeavours, large and small. In that context, doing your best is about being diligent, positive and rising to suitable challenges. Before taking on any task, formally or informally, it is evident that you must get a grip on yourself, face your capabilities, goals and needs, and scan for problems and opportunities in the situation.

Paying attention doesn't determine what you do and how you proceed. Doing your best is a more active process built on determination, and requires getting a grip on yourself and your situation. You must find and master challenges that are specifically suitable for you and inherent in the task.

Remember what is not demanded:Closed You are not expected to make creation your vocation or abandon your possessions, your way of life, or your loved ones for the sake of a dream.

Caring About Others requires you to Pay Attention


The Primal Injunction assumes you have a relationship with everyone. But caring about others demands some sense of what is happening to them or what is going on inside them, so discrimination among people is natural. You relate differently to those you know personally: your family, your close friends, your neighbours; and those in various categories where there is no contact, like customers, citizens, foreigners. Although you have to relate actively, how you show care depends on what is appropriate in any particular case. So a readiness to be receptive, to listen and to learn is essential.

Paying attention ensures that your caring flows from a continuing appreciation of the other person's nature, your relationship to him/her, and the situation. The caring becomes a worthwhile context, within which you pursue whatever goals may be in play in your interaction.

Remember what is not demanded:Closed You are not expected to give all you own to the poor, to alter your way of life, or to develop intense relationships with everyone you meet.

Becoming Aware requires you to Get a Grip


Awareness is not something that happens easily, because our minds put so much effort into keeping disturbing things out of consciousness. Although defences—like suppression, repression, rationalization, reaction-formation, denial—operate automatically, they are capable of being dismantled in many situations. However, it always requires a concentrated effort to get information, to listen to others, and to engage in reflection and self-scrutiny. In particular, becoming aware must somehow handle engagement with perspectives that you find uncongenial, or even regard as alien and wrong.

Paying attention may identify a difficult situation that requires awareness, but that is all. To actually become aware and know what is going on, you must get a grip on yourself: to work out what you need to know and how, to allocate time to knowing, to be fully open to possibilities, to discuss properly and reflect, and to integrate ideas that may be alien or painful.

Remember what is not demanded:Closed You are not required to be aware continuously. You are not required to systematically remove all those illusions and delusions that support your self-esteem, sustain your relationships, and give you comfort.

Holding Ideals requires you to Pay Attention


The ideals that you hold have to have some relation to your own activities and your environment. Ideals that are just philosophical abstractions have little worth. You must accept that you are part of society, and that is how humanity manifests. In your everyday social life, you can sense what you can and should hope for, think about, aspire to, contribute to, and work on. You will observe failures as you watch others who claim to be pursuing your aspirations; and it may be that little changes. That is not a reason to cease affirming what is good, or to avoid using your ideals to evaluate what is happening.

You are socially dependent in relation to this Injunction because you serve no-one, least of all yourself, by holding solipsistic utopian beliefs. Paying attention ensures you can connect properly to society and develop personal ideals that mesh with what others think and value. Your ideals can then influence debates about activities and developments.

Remember what is not demanded:Closed You do not need to be an idealist. You do not need to be constantly engaged in campaigns and crusades. You do not need to volunteer for community projects.

Getting Enjoyment requires you to Get a Grip


Getting enjoyment is a practical matter and it can be rather hard work to organize. First of all, it requires discovering what it is that really gives you joy in your various moods and situations. Your pleasures might be…Closed •Solitary: painting, reading, walking, fishing &c. •Sporting: riding, tennis, shooting, skiing, football &c. •Social: dining, sport, discussions, volunteering &c. •Practical: woodwork, DIY, electronics &c. •Intellectual: logical puzzles, philosophy &c. •Spiritual: church rituals, meditation, retreats &c.

Life deals out liberal doses of frustration, losses and pain, so there has to be a determination to prevent these getting out of hand. Relaxing to reduce over-seriousness is vital. By enjoying, you inhibit worry about what cannot be known, take your mind off what cannot be changed, stop wallowing in self-pity and abolish boredom. If you maintain your good spirits you help others maintain theirs and sustain morale in the wider group. When misery takes hold, a group can spiral downward into resentment, hate and even violence.

Paying attention can lead to entrapment or even enmeshment in situations. Getting a grip on your inner state and your external opportunities is essential if you are to somehow enjoy, whatever the current circumstances.

Remember what is not demanded:Closed You do not need to be a sensualist or dislike hard work. You do not have to embrace a hedonistic lifestyle or enjoy what everyone around you enjoys. You do not need to seek unalloyed gratification.

The 7 Primal Injunctions have now been proposed and investigated.

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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