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Rise to the Occasion

Challenges in Communal Living

The present framework has permanent moral challenges at those Levels where the Injunctions are polarized into two opposite CentresL"3, L"5 and L"6. At these Levels, it is you versus it.

Unity with others is not abandoned at these Levels—it may be intensified—but unity of your personal milieu and your social milieu is indeed riven.

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 better Self 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.

Personal v Social Pressures

In rising to the occasion, under the influence of your better Self, you can consciously activate the balanced Injunctions directly:

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.

Heed What's Right: RH"L6

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". But Primal Injunctions operate 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 R"L6P R"L6S is named: Stand Up and Be Counted.

ClosedReminder of the Two Centres & a Disturbing Example

ClosedMore on the Precept

Where personal principles and social obligations harmonize, there is no issue. The two might even be identical e.g. courtesy towards elders. Rising to the occasion refers to those times when there is a clear disjunction. Then what? If more primitive and limited perspectives in the group are ever to alter, a person must 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?Closed 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?Closed They are likely to be ignorant of their social obligations or view them as adjustable for their own convenience. In such cases, this Injunction is not being obeyed, egotism is rampant, and 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.

Do Your Best: RH"L5

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 imagining something new. The uncertainty of disruption to existing productive activities 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 R"L5P R"L5S is named: Make Your Mark.

ClosedReminder of the Two Centres

ClosedMore on the Precept & Examples

Rising to the occasion in being creative means insisting that your imaginative vision of something new must be given precedence over being productive in the usual fashion. The influence is not one way, because a new idea which does not lead to and support being productive is of no use. All endeavours are 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 imaginative adjustment of the new idea until it works in your social environment. This is the way that you should make your mark in the wider world.


Become Aware: RH"L3

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 R"L3S R"L3P is named: Face Things Squarely.

ClosedReminder of the Two Centres

ClosedMore on the Precept

The urgency and pressure of life mean that grasping situations takes precedence over becoming self-aware. 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 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.

Originally posted: 31-Jan-2013

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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