Friday 9 June 2023

Motivations: negative or positive, this world or the next? What is the way out and forward?

It seems to be that most people are negatively-motivated - for example by fear, loneliness, pain, boredom, resentments - from-which they seek relief, seek to escape. 

Insofar as they have an aim; it is for a place of ease, release, comfort, security (in practice; freedom from worry) etc. A place without suffering - including that nobody-else suffers (so that we will not suffer empathically from their suffering). 

The problem is that there exists no permanent answer, no permanent escape, in this mortal life - because everything is temporary, nothing lasts, every-thing ends - there is disease, degeneration, decline, and death. 

Therefore negative motivations in this life ultimately point-towards 'death' (or some simulation of death) - when death is primarily desired to be loss of the self, loss of thinking, loss of consciousness, loss of caring... as the only permanent possibility of escape from suffering. 

When there are positive goals; it is sooner-or-later realized that nothing in the world, nothing in this mortal life on earth, will suffice; because (again) everything is ephemeral, nothing is permanent. 

This is a deep problem. 

What emerges is some variation on the pattern of seeking short-termist palliation in this life, maximizing immediate pleasure/ fun and minimizing current pain/ angst; but trying not to think about the inevitable future - which future is regarded as inevitable annihilation of our awareness/ destruction of all that is us... 

(So we won't be there to suffer the future, anyway.) 

The reasoning is that if life is ephemeral, if decline is inevitable, if death is annihilation; then it is rational to make the most of my life here-and-now, rational to regard the rest of the world as existing for 'my' personal benefit; and try to forget about the future, other people, anything that might interfere. 

In other words; the 'logic' of the situation - the way to be motivated - is oneself to 'be a psychopath' - while trying to persuade others to be altruistic

That is; inducing other-people to live for other-people and for the future - so that these others will be amenable to here-and-now psychopathic exploitation.  

In practice; psychopathy requires an incapacity for love - an innate human deficiency. 

Therefore, people who are capable of love are (spontaneously, 'viscerally', for reasons they can't necessarily understand) appalled at such 'worldly' reasoning - and they cannot or will not take this path to embrace psychopathy - or, if they do try to become psychopathic, they will find themselves unable to adopt the requisite 'heart-less' attitudes, and will be tormented by guilt for their actions. 

(A common combination in the world today - it seems to me.)

Instead of taking the worldly path; people may reject The World. 

They may conclude that this-world is useless at best (everything temporary) and evil at worst (because of the expediency and success of psychopathy; of exploitation, parasitism, predation).

Such people may instead embrace the ancient ideal of trying to ignore this-world and focus on the-next: live now for the life to come after death. 

But such an ideal makes this mortal life worthless - indeed worse than worthless - because this is a world of illusion, cruelty, suffering... many bad things. 

The bad things spoil this world, while any good things are temporary (and perhaps illusory anyway).  

Thus; to live for the next world points towards death as something which is desired as soon as possible. And someone who really believed this, would not be alive to tell anyone else about it. 

Consider: Someone who really believed this world was illusion and pain, would not be concerned with morality - indeed he would have no value-preferences for truth, beauty or virtue - since values are merely part of the illusion.  

One who really lived for the next-world would not be concerned about converting others to his belief, or persuading others of his rightness and their wrongness.

One who really lived for the next world would do nothing to sustain himself alive - would, in fact, die within days at most. 

What instead we get (and have had for some thousands of years, apparently) is people who argue for the primacy of the next-world, and who try to prove that it is "better" to live indifferently to this world and be focused on the life-to-come... And many other absurd and incoherent variations on this theme. 

What this tells me, is that just as there is something in most people that rebels-against and is revolted-by the ideal of living as a psychopath; so there is something in most people that values some-things about this mortal life - and cannot write it off as wholly illusion and suffering.  

This is intuition at work in us.

What intuition tells us is that this mortal life should- not either be wholly-accepted nor wholly-rejected; but this-life needs discernment. 

Some of it is good and some is evil, some genuinely ephemeral, other parts can and should become eternal; and we need to know which is which, in order to embrace good and reject evil. 

We need discernment in order to know what to keep, and what to leave-behind...

(In Christian terminology to know what is sin, and what can be carried-through to Heavenly life.) 

Such discernment would need to be comprehensive and accurate, because if this mortal life is valuable we need to preserve some of it for eternity, yet we also need to know what is wrong - or else we would be carrying-through into Heaven the evils of this mortal world, so it would then not be Heaven!  

And yet sufficient discernment is impossible: because there is way too much that needs to be discerned rightly in this world! 

At any given moment, every person is wrong in some ways (probably many ways) about what is good and evil; and there are more and more problems and issue presenting themselves every hour of everyday.  

Although we have both inner-and outer-guidance that leads us towards correct discernment; this operates by trial-and-error, and across time. At any particular moment - we will always be confused and in a state of error. 

Yet another double-bind!... We can neither accept nor reject this world. We must, it seems, discern within this world; yet we cannot sufficiently discern. 

We need Heaven, but cannot find our own way to Heaven. 

This was the situation until the advent of Jesus Christ.

Jesus can be considered a way out from this double-bind; because Jesus was uniquely able to discern his way to resurrected life eternal

This was possible, indeed perfectly natural and spontaneous, for Him - because he was in perfect harmony with the purposes and methods of God and of Heaven. 

Because Jesus 'did it' we can do it as well, by following Him

After our mortal death, Jesus will be there to will lead us through all necessary discernments about what to take and what to leave-behind. 

All that we need to do is follow Him, and agree to whatever is necessary. 

Which means we must want to follow Jesus. 

A way of saying this; is that we must 'love' Jesus. 

Only that! But that is necessary. 

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