Beautiful and graceful, the human being moves with elegance and ease in its natural state, but this condition is impossible when the crushing weight of anxiety bears down upon it. Soon, the weight you’ve been carrying will lift and be replaced with confidence and personal power. You’ve been laboring under the burden so long that you’re accustomed to it; prepare to shake it off and proudly stand the way you were meant to stand – tall, free and strong.
One symptom of the splinter in your mind is the persistent and nagging anxiety that stems from a lack of control. You’re happy to the degree you feel in control, and unhappy to the degree you feel out of control. True, deep and sure control never feels within your grasp because you have not discovered the source of control – rational morality.
No matter what you do to bring happiness to your life, it will never be fully realized until you dispel the elusive anxiety emanating from the splinter in your mind. This chapter promotes an exciting change in your life – the feeling of exhilarating power from knowing you’re in control. You cannot feel control unless you’re sure you can harness flexible and dynamic thinking to self-guide in every situation. Your anxiety will fade and the insurmountable barrier between you and true, abiding happiness will be gone.
The previous chapter [The Splinter In Your Mind, Manuscript 1] described control as the essence of life. The control achieved from self-directed morality is the very framework on which a successful life is based. For example, in a vehicle every part is ultimately connected to a solid chassis. The vehicle’s frame is the essential foundation of the entire construction, as control is the essence of life. This explains why there is an underlying persistent anxiety when there is a lack of control. The essence of life is missing until the foundation of rational morality is understood and properly integrated.
In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and the other main characters struggled under an illusion that kept them from realizing an obvious fact; what they were looking for was within them all along. Finally, they discovered there was nothing over the rainbow and the revered Wizard was not the source of any real answers. Completely disconnected from reality, the characters wandered around in a dream-world until they reached a crucial moment of self-discovery.
Today, people are deluded by a false belief that morality comes from a source ‘somewhere over the rainbow’. But there is no rainbow, and neither is there a great and powerful wizard that can impart morality, because the standard of that morality already resides within each of us. This chapter will be an awakening from the dream-world when the reality of your own power is realized and embraced.
The world has not become immoral, but the consequences seen are the popular forms of morality reaching their inevitable conclusion. People’s weaknesses and failures, such as a lack of discipline, character and integrity are blamed, but the sad state of the world has a different cause. Fundamental human nature is not to blame because the fault lies in the world’s moral codes. Mistakenly, it’s generally accepted that morality must be followed – the truth is it must be discovered.
Traditionally, morality has been viewed as rules imposed on people from an external authority. It’s generally believed that people cannot find a way to morality on their own, as if it’s beyond human understanding. It’s a common misconception there’s no reason to be moral. For centuries, fear and threats of punishment have been used to force morality. Until now, morality has been primarily linked to the misconception that man is born inherently evil, and without an imposed morality we would be violent, hopelessly perverted and uncontrollable degenerates.
Every moral or immoral act has one thing in common, a choice. In regard to morality there’s always the presence of a choice. It’s not an issue of morality where no alternative exists. Not every choice is associated with morality, but by necessity, moral issues involve alternatives.
A tree cannot make a moral choice, nor can any animal other than a conscious human. A tree only proceeds along its naturally encoded course. The conditions around it may vary, but as long as essential elements are present, it will continue its natural growth cycle. This principle holds true for life forms of ever increasing complexity. A dog chasing a car or a chimp lunging in anger are not moral choices because these acts stream from a set of instinctual behaviors, so no alternative or choice exists.
Man’s reasoning nature and his conscious mind’s introspective ability are not natural. This distinction is incredibly significant and must not be disregarded. We carry the burden of choice in a way that other animals do not. Their actions are instinctual, encoded and unerring, developed through evolution as survival mechanisms.
On the contrary, the survival mechanism of modern man is consciousness, but it does not work automatically. Consciousness opens a world of choices, thus a world of morality. Pre-conscious man did not live in a world of morality because his actions were instinctual, and thus devoid of moral choices. When ancient man made decisions the process was driven by primal nature and not the introspective analysis we use today. Only conscious man can decide to use his survival mechanism of effort-driven thinking and introspection.
Essential to our survival mechanism is integrated thinking. Described fully in Chapter 2 [The Splinter In Your Mind, Manuscript 1, Chapters 1 – 3], this type of thinking relies on logic. Logic seeks to rid our thoughts of contradictions. Integrated thoughts are logical connections between related concepts that are combined to make larger, more complex ones. Abandoning logic at any time in this process by using non sequiturs, rationalizations or spurious gimmicks is non-integrated thinking. Complete honesty is a type of thinking that encompasses every aspect of our life. The key to employing complete honesty is highly integrated, completely logical reasoning.
The fundamental immoral choice is avoiding the hard, deep integrated thinking involved in introspection. By necessity, a person who makes that decision would relinquish the responsibility of his life to others. The choice to think or not to think presents itself in virtually every situation.
Not all choices have a monumental impact on our life nor are fundamental to overall health, but moral choices are important. The choice to live with integrated thinking, avoid context or to live somewhere in between was discussed in the previous chapter.
The purpose of life is dependent on and directly bound to morality, and rational values prove that purpose is happiness. These values are identified by the monumental effort of highly integrated thinking, and through consistent effort they are manifested as virtues. This behavior leads to health, love and success, and helps one live well in the world. Although happiness is the prime and abiding emotional state of rational people, their moral virtue also results in the exquisite rewards of pride and self-esteem. Happiness is unique from all other emotions because it has an exclusive cause and duration. Unlike fleeting emotions like joy, enjoyment, pleasure and fun, happiness is caused by knowing one is living their values. This knowledge generates an exquisite and abiding feeling known as happiness. The moral act of integrated thinking is required to create and maintain the mental condition that delivers such sweet emotional dividends.
The moral issue of choosing between productivity or parasitism was explored through a discussion of one’s sense of life. The productive sense of life is sustained by rational morality. Moral choices determine our very quality of life. There is a direct relationship between moral behavior and life’s richest rewards; abiding happiness, romantic love and earned prosperity. One must be moral in order to have a life that is rich and worth living. The sum of our moral and immoral choices, including ones that are seemingly inconsequential, determines the overall quality of our life. Immoral choices have a negative impact to the extent they are present, and the opposite is true.
The primary choices are to use effort, think with integrated honesty, and refuse the lazy default that accepts the non-reality of the dishonest world of rationalizations and non sequiturs. Anyone can choose effort while stubbornly clinging to one dishonest rationalization they consider harmless. Just a single mind-created reality is a dangerous precedent of dishonesty, and this single attempt to avoid, evade or recreate reality establishes and sustains the most destructive thinking habit. This single dishonest, dis-integrated concept can surface to eject a person from reality, leaving them powerless and miserable. A powerful life can only be realized when one demands all such defaults are identified and rejected as childish and lazy excuses. Full consciousness is the platform on which a powerful person creates a successful, happy and love-filled life.
Accepting reality through observing measurable, quantifiable facts and valid conscious conclusions, then weighing those facts against the burden of proof, is the very essence of complete honesty. Making the choice to only accept reality that has been vetted in this manner is the key choice, and a conscious recognition that one must reject wishing, hoping and pretending things are as they just ‘want’ them to be. Complete honesty is a way of life that refuses to recreate, avoid or evade reality. Destroying one’s connection to reality is the only disease of the conscious mind. Curing that disease is necessary for one to live morally and with a productive sense of life.
Morality is necessary for all senses to benefit us fully, and this is especially true for the sense of life. Life becomes richer because our sense of life gives meaning and purpose to all we experience through our other senses. Moral behavior vastly enhances such meaning and creates an unstoppable and limitless upward spiral in every aspect of one’s life. On the other hand, choosing a destructive sense of life is the most basic immoral decision. It initiates the downward spiral into the state of depravity, economic collapse and unhappiness seen in the world today. This sense of life does not effectively give life-lifting meaning to what the other senses perceive. Instead of integrating reality, the opposite occurs and the beauty of the world gets lost in a fog of confusion and futility.
Indeed, the productive sense of life depends on morality and cannot be sustained or meaningful without it. Any discussion of morality must identify the standard that would serve as a universal means of evaluation. As morality is the prime value, it’s source and utility must be examined. To integrate any value, first it must be defined through the standard by which it is judged, and it’s purpose and utility must be established. This chapter will define morality in this way: A moral code is the set of values understood in terms of a standard, purpose and usefulness.
Moral actions are not moral because they are decreed as such, rather, they have a clear and well defined foundation in reality. All advantages and benefits that lead one to a life worth living are impossible without moral behavior. Such a moral code is necessary for having a full, rich life.
It has been established that morals exist in relation to choices between alternatives. Also, a standard of moral behavior defines how those with a productive sense of life determine right from wrong. These facts, although critical to understanding morality, are not the standard on which it rests. Moral behavior must contribute to our health and well-being, and our competence to live well in this world. This definition places the individual as the standard for morality.
Our biological needs underpin all such definitions and the very standard for rational morality. Only the living have biological needs and therefore, the dead cannot interface with the world, thus no immoral thing could be done to them or by them. The most basic moral choices revolve around maintaining physical and mental health, and how one lives in the world. A simple statement defines morality; if a deliberate action contributes to our health it’s moral, and the opposite is true. And, if a deliberate action helps us to live more effectively and successfully it’s moral, and the opposite is true.
Throughout the remainder of this manuscript, a thorough examination of the features and attributes of rational morality will dispel the possible misconceptions that could arise at this early stage. For example, one could misinterpret such a definition of morality, believing it permits brutal, heartless behavior that includes ruthless exploitation and childish selfishness. However, it will become evident that such behavior is not only foolish, but monstrously immoral when viewed in full context, considering the long-range meaning by utilizing completely honest integrations.
FUNCTIONS, ATTRIBUTES AND UTILITIES OF RATIONAL MORALITY
Most people have long considered moral codes to be fundamentally impractical. The topic of morality hasn’t been associated with reasonable, rational, intellectually honest or logical concepts. It has been necessary to force these moral codes on those who wouldn’t blindly accept them because these forms of morality work against human nature, happiness and everything that makes life pleasurable and worth living. The greatest life-diminishing lie ever promoted is that a rational moral code cannot exist. This is why false and incorrect ideas have underpinned morality and ethics for far too long. Still, these moral codes insist that right and wrong cannot be determined by strict reason and logic, and even more disastrous is the obnoxious assertion that there’s no reason to be moral.
Underlying the process of morality based on complete honesty, is a way of integrating reality and living competently through reason and introspection. Choosing to use reason is always moral, while defaulting on that responsibility is always immoral. The second chapter [The Splinter In Your Mind, Manuscript 1] revealed the ways people avoid using the natural mind, and there’s more on this topic ahead. The systems devised to escape using the mind were described fully in the previous chapter where the different ways of sensing life were examined. However we sense life, the choices we make ultimately manifest themselves in the real world as one of two systems; the moral choice of the productive sense of life to use reason, or the immoral choice to live the destructive sense of life and abandon reason.
It’s not sufficient to just use reason, it must be used in context. For example, when Genghis Khan protected his troops by retreating he made a moral choice. He used his reasoning mind to consider numerous factors, and in a narrow sense, it was moral to preserve life. But this particular decision requires context in order to focus the fully integrated moral picture. Clearly, when the retreat is considered in the wide-scope of historical events, it’s just a minor decision in the life of an otherwise utterly immoral, tyrannical and brutal thug. Reason alone is not sufficient, using reason in context is the moral act and a vital aspect of complete honesty.
– The Moral Purpose Of Life
Life does not come with a built-in meaning, we are all responsible for giving meaning to our own life. Most people seek meaning in their family, work, interests and hobbies. Living morally increases the number of ways to give life meaning, and makes each more vivid, expansive and rewarding. Those with a moral, productive sense of life have rediscovered the adventurous, long-lost view dominated by the exciting possibilities once held in childhood.
Life has a moral purpose – to be happy. This is sufficient because happiness is a state of living one’s highest values. However, those values must be harmonious with our nature and reality, achieved only through completely integrated honesty. When applied, those values become virtues, and when we live with integrity, or consistently with those virtues, we’re in a state known as happiness. For this reason, the moral purpose of life is to be happy.
The source of all virtue is only discovered through integrated thinking. Rationalizing disintegrates the mind, detaching it from the process of thinking by cutting off our survival mechanism of honest introspection. While one may lack the intelligence, knowledge or capacity to think, it’s inexcusable for one to willingly refuse to think. When the mind unplugs from reality, that does not mean reality has changed or suddenly lost its effect. When one induces a mindless fog or chooses to ignore an inconvenient fact, tension is created between their actions and reality. The further one withdraws from reality, the greater the shock when reality asserts itself – and with few exceptions, reality always asserts itself! Using the burden of proof to maintain and enhance one’s connection with reality is a statement about one’s view of life that says; I love my life and I’m worthy of living.
Objective morality honors the natural purpose everyone has to be happy. Moral behavior leads one to a lifestyle that benefits all because the moral, productive individual is self-sufficient, while society benefits greatly from their pursuit of rational self-interest.
Productive efforts are a direct result of embracing the full responsibility to use our man-made, invented survival mechanism of consciousness. Using our consciousness to think hard allows us to control and harness the natural world and be productive. Through that productivity we responsibly achieve self-sufficiency, and provide society with valuable products and services. We appreciate our accomplishments and respect the positive connection to our fellow man that is a direct result of our productivity. The positive emotional feedback is the feeling we identify as self-esteem. Building healthy self-esteem is the bedrock of sound mental health and by extension, our physical health. A desire to be productive is the very essence of human nature.
Consistently, across all aspects of life and in many ways, moral, productive individuals improve each aspect of society. They raise well adjusted, productive children, and their stable home contributes to a growing economy. Their infectious attitude and demeanor spread life-lifting good cheer. All relationships are enhanced with moral people because they’re trustworthy, honest and good.
Not all actions are moral or immoral, some are amoral. They neither harm nor enhance our mental or physical health, nor have any meaningful influence on the direction or outcome of our life. Amoral decisions and actions do not involve questions of right or wrong because they’re without moral quality, and so are neither moral nor immoral. Amoral acts are related to our individual quirks, tastes, preferences and personality. It’s not immoral to prefer tea over coffee, or blond over redhead. Choosing to wear a particular outfit is simply a matter of personal style. With the exception of choices that cause personal injury, pain or irretrievable loss, a person’s sexual choices and turn-ons are amoral as well. Amoral actions account for most of our incidental decisions.
Some values are universal because they’re inseparably linked to basic human nature or the qualities and features of gender. Other values are highly personalized because they’re a unique aspect of the amoral. When making a concession for another person’s amoral characteristics or desires, one must remember to proceed without violating one’s own values. In a devoted relationship, each partner’s personal desires can be accommodated in a loving act of mutual trade. Each person’s amoral desires can be fulfilled without being considered a compromise or violation of personal values. These values remain intact when a rewarding mutual exchange is balanced within a spirit of generosity and love.
MORAL CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING ROMANTIC LOVE
– The Rewards of Love
The relationship between our morality and a rewarding life is magnified in our love life. The moral use of the mind introduces a whole new aspect of stimulation and romantic pleasure to a relationship. Sensual stimulation includes the known senses, but adopting a moral, life-lifting productive sense of life integrates the mind’s mighty capacity to elevate sensuality beyond one’s physical senses.
Love is a crucial aspect of any discussion about morality because it’s a crowning achievement of a life guided by complete honesty. For this reason, love is discussed at length throughout this book. Following are certain moral considerations pertaining to love. These concepts are primarily targeted toward romantic love, but they can also be associated to other types of love, such as family, friendship, intellectual and artistic love.
With mental contradictions gone, guilt vanquished and a competent handling of reality, a person with a productive sense of life realizes a new, previously unknown level of romantic pleasures. Value-driven moral behavior is the basis of ever-increasing passionate sensuality. The full might of the conscious mind is brought to bear, and the relationship spirals upward to boundless heights of pleasure and passion.
Moral relationships are valuable because they’re based on completely integrated honesty, hard work and respect. Personal development and the production of tangible and intangible values within the relationship are deliberately created and delivered. Intangible values such as friendship, sex, pleasantries, beauty and shared interests are wonderful aspects of the overall values within a relationship. However, one would be making a fatal error if they relied solely on intangible values in a romantic relationship.
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