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The Challenge to Goodness

Egotism and Evil in these Frameworks

The everyday self is intrinsic to every Framework in THEE, because the Taxonomy is about using one's self. Let me recap here on how egotism (egocentricity, self-centredness) and hence evil, the lesser good, emerged in the present inquiry.

Primal Quests introduce Transcendence

Reference to the ego/self appeared initially in the Primal Quests which are characterized by transcendence: of oneself and of outer reality. Each Quest requires a detachment from the ego. The degree of this detachment is the psycho- requirement of psycho-social reality, and is measured along the Y-Axis in the TET.

Your Quest (once you have found it) feels right and provides the necessary gyroscope to guide you through your life. So rather than being stressful, as might be expected, ego-detachment mainly acts as a protective mechanism and soothes. (There is one exception: the Creation Quest.)

Planes of Existence introduce Power and Evil

The Quests give rise to Model Beings who are taken to exist on distinct Planes of Existence. These Beings and their Planes are defined by their ethical and creative functioning. Good v evil is the tension that develops on the Planes and shapes the Tree Framework. Choices on all Planes necessitate the use of power, and on the Human Planes that means egocentric impulses require handling.

The Planes give no guidance as to how the struggle between good and evil should be waged. However, nested within the Obedience Quest-RH'L6, there is a specialized hierarchic entity that exists to help us in our role as «human beings»: the set of Primal Injunctions.

Primal Injunctions restrain Evil

The Primal Injunctions are special positive rules, essences of the corresponding Primal Quests, that are all applicable and usable by everyone—given the desire and sufficient reflective awareness. The Injunctions exist in order to restrain evil. On examination, there is difficulty in using them constantly due to our ego defences and urges which continually press for gratification. This pressure interferes with attention to situations and disrupts use of the Injunctions. The highest injunction, See Unity, is an attempt to inhibit unnecessary egocentricity at source.

In using the Injunctions to improve communal living, the significance of using one's self (or ego) for the good came to the fore. Additional Precepts emerged. However, personal experiences, capabilities, temperament and habits combine with pressures in the social milieu to limit what can be achieved. In the central position of the Tree is the requirement to care about others. In communal life, that is what counts as good: actually caring.

Primal Injunctions produce Goodness

A direct focus on producing goodness becomes possible if the higher Injunctions that restrain egotism and the lower Injunctions that enable individuality combine with the central Injunction to Care About Others. This process is mapped within a THEE Structural Hierarchy. In practice, it involves using goodwill to release spiritual energies inherent in ultimate values. The final picture, though provisional, is satisfying and meets formal criteria. It also confirms, organizes and clarifies classic findings from the wisdom literature and the world's great spiritual traditions.

The Choice at Each Moment

With components for producing goodness now evident, the significance of each person's power to create their own psychosocial reality takes on a new meaning. We should surely create our reality in a way that serves and generates goodness.

The present Framework lets us examine this dynamic process with the knowledge that building our own character is the only way to permit an enduring result.

In creating reality at each moment by work and action, everyone is faced with a choice. Do I give in to my egotistic desires? Or do I care for others altruistically? Unless that altruism v egotism tension comes into play, there is no issue of goodness. The moment it comes into play, I have to recognize that altruism provides egotistic gratifications and that I cannot be altruistic without attending to my egotistic needs and desires at times.

Originally posted: 5-Jul-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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