The present framework has permanent moral challenges at those Levels where the are polarized into two opposite Centres: , and . At these Levels, it is you versus it.
Levels—it may be intensified—but unity of your personal milieu and your social milieu is indeed riven.is not abandoned at these
You are deeply challenged whenever your own nature is sharply distinct from what your social milieu notices, affirms and holds to be real and right, best and true. The difficulty (from the present perspective) is that this disjunction is likely to be a constant state in regard to many matters.
Your social milieu—whether an organization, a community, a society, or government—determines the system. It dominates every individual in regard to major issues or what is to be taken as psychosocial reality. So, however much you wish to focus on a societal failing and remedy matters, in practice, your social milieu does not spontaneously welcome it and rejects lone disruptive individuals.
That is why George Bernard Shaw observed: "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."
However, you are permitted to act—with one proviso. You must act when the moment, your moment, arrives. Then, and only then, can you rise to the occasion.
In rising to the occasion, under the influence of your balanced directly:, you can consciously activate the
This may not be easy: but it is far easier than in the bipolar Levels where two sharply distinct and often opposing demands manifest. (Review.)
In each case, the dominant Centre is known. It is now necessary to clarify the Precept that emerges from interaction of these Centres.
Social obligations, customs and laws are ethical for the group within which they are found. These are commonly backed by an attitude that says: "my country/religion/tribe right or wrong". Butoperate at a higher level—they serve humanity. The group, necessarily, is dominated by its immediate pressures and the mass of its members, almost never by the most enlightened. So the ethical development and spiritual maturity of any group depend on the those individuals who are willing to rise to the occasion and speak up against beliefs and practices which they can see are profoundly wrong.
The Precept Stand Up and Be Counted.is named:
is essential for existing and interacting acceptably within any society or any subgroup of that society: like an organization, professional tribe, religion, community &c. These obligations are both written and unwritten and many are far more extensive and powerful than laws. Some undergo changes, while others are identity-defining and seemingly permanent.
remains an essential ethical resource because many situations do not fit simple ethical rules or lend themselves to easy solutions. Also, a person's many obligations are often conflicting. Principles are vital in , because there is nothing else to stabilize you when faced with group immaturity and intransigence.
Controversy would obscure any example I take from your own society. Examples are clearer when they come from less developed alien societies: so I will consider female circumcision. See the ghastly details in Wikipedia. This practice affects over 100 million women and is proving difficult to eradicate precisely because it is perceived locally as . It is unequivocally evil based on the fact that it is a violation of bodily integrity and removal of pleasure from a woman (usually a child) often with health consequences. Use of medically trained personnel to ensure safety does not remove the stain of evil, because there is no reasonable justification offered other than that the procedure is part of a long-standing custom (which is an ethical frame of reference). Many ideas around female circumcision verge on the delusional e.g. it cleanses a woman; it creates a higher type of motherhood; a woman's genitals might continue to grow until they dangle between her legs; contact of a man's penis with a clitoris will kill him. Research shows that once a community decides to stop, then the practice is eliminated rather quickly.
Note that the practice can be labeled evil without any complicated philosophical or legal arguments about rights, child protection or torture.
Where stand up and be counted. However, there is always a reverse influence such that social obligations should never be ignored e.g. this may mean respecting some social obligations (e.g. to attend court and accept a jail sentence) while rejecting others (e.g. to accept conscription for military service).
What if a person's principles are immature? Either the person is likely to blindly follow the group; or the group will be likely to restrain such a person. So this is not an issue.
What if a person lacks principles? They are likely to be ignorant of their social obligations or view them as adjustable for their own convenience. In such cases, this evil is liable to follow. The person will be controlled by the group informally, or will end up in jail or in a mental hospital. is not being obeyed, egotism is rampant, and
Social reformers devise programs under an inner compulsion triggered by an outer human problem. Bosses in large firms are more prone to innovate when under competitive pressure. Entrepreneurs are motivated to demonstrate the value of their ideas. In all cases, being under pressure generates an urge to respond by. The uncertainty of disruption to is rarely welcomed and may be feared. That is why the situation requires that you rise to the occasion and show what you can do and what can be achieved by the right approach if it is put into practice with determination.
The Precept Make Your Mark.is named:
is what society requires of you, and society responds most naturally to what is tried, tested and traditional. However, what society and its members need is rather different from what they want and currently get. People constantly require better solutions to existing problems, higher quality services and more useful and efficient products. As society evolves, there are often new needs to be addressed.
is not just about tangible goods and services. It also includes more intangible outputs like knowledge, morale, art or philosophy. Whatever the output, by you provide the potential for improvements for some or many in your social environment.
Rising to the occasion in shaped by the society's values. If you flout these, you may be acting illegally. If not, your efforts will be so disapproved or misunderstood that others will be unwilling to participate. So the requirement for a productive outcome forces until it works in your social environment. This is the way that you should make your mark in the wider world.means insisting that your must be given precedence over in the usual fashion. The influence is not one way, because a new idea which does not lead to and support is of no use. All endeavours are
In a firm: If something new emerges, productive activities and systems currently in use will need to be modified or even wholly re-engineered. Money may need to be spent on research and development to test out the idea and to learn more about the mechanics and the effects on others. It is far easier, even if it ultimately means collapse of the firm, to focus on current plans for existing products and services. Kodak's leaders were an example at the time of writing.
In a personal project: Getting a new idea clear in your own mind takes your attention away from present activities. It may not require expense, but it will demand time browsing, reading, thinking and discussing. That will interfere with developing and pursuing the endeavour as originally envisaged. A truly radical idea implies the possibility that weeks or months of your effort have been irrelevant. This could be discouraging.
Grasping situations properly may hurt your self-image. Understanding exactly what is going on could lead to an unpleasant awareness of being rejected or humiliated. Perhaps your wishes or ideals will be shattered by what you learn. You might be exposed to feelings of helpless and hopelessness. In short: situations may often be difficult and challenging. Either you rise to the occasion, or you run away and avoid knowing. That could mean closing your mind and ruling out of bounds whole chunks of personal and social life.
The Precept Face Things Squarely.is named:
You are usually wise tothat pose risks for you or your intimates, or that may affect the direction or balance of your life. Situations lend themselves to direct investigation e.g. you can speak to friends and advisors, or read about similar situations and learn from the experiences of others.
is about understanding yourself, your temperament, your tendencies and preferences, your physical state. This allows you to perceive more precisely what situations might require your attention. It helps you to shape your life, relationships and work in accord with your own nature. You will also better appreciate how you impact on others.
The urgency and pressure of life mean that face things squarely: including your own limitations or errors of judgement as well as impersonal unpleasant knowledge. This is the only practical path. Sometimes the situation may pass, and learning from it is part of a creative process. At other times, you must come to terms with a permanent undesirable aspect of your personal or social milieu.takes precedence over . However, these two are interdependent because who you are often affects the nature of your situations, and situations impact on you. To strengthen yourself, you must
Originally posted: 31-Jan-2013