WHO AM I? WHERE AM I?
WHAT AM I DOING HERE?
A TEXTBOOK FOR LIFE, LIVING, AND REALITY
Section I - Chapter 2 – Reality or Morality
So, we have now determined our reality. Where do we go from here? Before we proceed with the individual, or “Who Am I”, we must explain a little more about how our reality works. To do that, we need to know and understand who or what is the element of control that affects our behavior as an individual and as a society. We are all individuals and therefore the element of control rest within each one of us. Meaning nothing can affect us unless we allow it by giving our power away. We decide or have decided how we and/or our society will function or not function. We have made selections that determine the limits of our own power that those powers of control we have given to those that we decided will govern us.
The element of control is therefore shared responsibility and how we choose to recognize the tangible and intangible energy forces determines our physical life or our reality. Man interprets or sees things as black and white, good and bad, yes and no. That means that man lives in a dual reality, or the tangible and intangible world of opposites and possessions. There would be little interest in relationships that do not add or subtract value to elements that control matter or possessions, because man would neither gain nor lose anything from such a relationship. The intensity of the need or value determines the behavior of the individual to that relationship that is in question.
Relationships are based upon wants, a needs, or preferences in relationship to the individual or who we are or want to become either knowingly or unknowingly. Therefore, the way we behave or relate to everything is determined by each individual. To show you how that reality works, let’s take a looks at another earlier statement. We said that man controls himself and his behavior by imposing intangible rules and laws upon himself in order to sustain physical life in a familiar or friendly environment. This environment is a collective mind of the dominate species of man or what we call society. As we said earlier, these rules or laws are supposedly designed to restrict or prevent certain unacceptable behavior and bring stability to relationships between man and nature.
While much group behavior is consider good and desirable, it also limits or restricts thinking to some extent and creates mass patterns of acceptable thought or beliefs known as conformity. By the way, the word conformity has no value until the individual places value on it. That is, it means neither something good or bad by itself.
Left to his own consciousness by himself, man has no problem with rules or laws. Basically, he is in a world of his own even while he is amongst a lot of people. It is only when he has to interact or relate to his fellow man that he may encounter problems. If there is a difference of opinion or thought regarding a matter that affects two or more people, then that difference of thought must be corrected to a ruling of unity, or what will be recognized as real. The legal court ruling on the matter may decide the issue in favor of one person or thought; however, the enforcement of the matter is yet another issue that may have to be resolved. Fortunately or unfortunately, these rules and laws are subject to interpretation and enforcement. Also, being intangible, they can be controlled or manipulated to some extent. How much these rules and laws can be controlled depends on a number of factors, but let’s just say that there is no black and white, only shades of gray.
Again, rules and laws were initiated for the greater good of all man kind. A bad relationship or conflict usually ends up before a ruling authority for determining who is right, or whose value judgment or intensity is greater. People usually seek to gain or fear losing something from a ruling in their favor. An oath or the appeal to spiritual authority or higher consciousness does not always insure that man will always use his goodness to the benefit of all involved. Personal gain or greed is a motivating factor that causes a lot of bad behavior. This in turn causes people to make false statements, otherwise known as a lie to manipulate the truth which may affect the ruling of the authority. Supposedly, one knows that it is wrong to lie, but tries to avoid a conflict or prefers the results offered by the false statement and/or consequences of the same. Whatever the final decision or ruling that is rendered by the authority, becomes law. Indirectly, this decision is suppose to unify thought and reality, but it also sets a precedence for future similar cases; therefore, there is more at stake than the immediate ruling.
The question of a false statement or lie brings up an interesting thought. Is there such a thing as a false reality? The answer to this question is no, there is no such thing as a false reality. However, at the same time, you have learned a little about man and his duality in this reality. That means that each individual controls his or her intangible reality, but also shares a common physical reality. To the individual, any and all realities are real. However, within a predominately collective society that shares many of the same ideas and common ancestry, this reality maybe considered false, because it may not be a shared reality. Unless another person or group can accept that which is in question, it does not exist in their terms; therefore, even in mass consciousness there can be minorities that consider or recognize conflicting or dominate thoughts as a false reality. Who or which statement is correct is determined by your definition of your reality or what you want to experience.
Now, that last sentence brings up other interesting thoughts that must be pursued further. Above all, there is the statement that thought can be manipulated; therefore, carefully attention must be given to words and definitions when communicating with one’s fellow man. Even when there is agreement on definitions, words have multiple meanings and there is still the prospective of the individual involved. In other words, the individual may know what you are trying to say, but his use of words or connotations effect his interpretation and that may really change the meaning or response to such a clarified communication.
Because thought is intangible, it is subject to interpretation. That thought basically comes down to the question; does everyone hear and see the same things? Again, like above, the answer is yes; however, do we all interpret or recognize what we hear and see the same? The recognition factor is the key to that answer and therefore, that means that thought can be manipulated and controlled as well by society’s rules and laws. These statements about thought are designed to bring you aware that everything is not what it seems to be or can be. That is why you will find a lot of definitions and explanations in this book of relatively simple words with complex meanings or interpretations.
Let’s get back to our last definition of reality, which we said is a combination of universal and society laws. We were talking about control and conformity and/or mass beliefs for the greater good of all. How does our behavior effect our reality or does reality affect our behavior or are both statements correct? As stated before, the question contains the answer. Both or all statements are correct. However, the correct answer depends upon the relationship of the individual to his own consciousness. On top of that, to answer that statement in accordance to our physical reality, we need to know what that individual is seeking in his relationship to the world around him.
A good lawyer knows how to manipulate intangible thought to explain anything he wants it to be, but he still has to work at it. Man, on the other hand is somewhat like a free lance artist creating his own reality as he goes without a lot of preparation or thought. That is, he is aware of others and their relationship to himself to a greater degree than even his conscious mind is aware of, but he chooses those things with which he is familiar or within a certain comfort zone of acceptability. Therefore, he conforms to certain patterns which he and society recognize as good or favorable.
That last statement means that behavior is a learned activity or a controlled response pattern of conformity to the society in which that person resides. An individual’s actions or response can take the form of a physical activity or an intangible communication response, but it must also acknowledge the boundaries of that society. That is, one is taught to recognize and behave in predetermined or controlled pattern in certain conditions or situations and how this is done is just as important as if it is done. Why? Because these recognition actions and responses are patterns of acceptance or acknowledged control that are learned behavior taught to the individual at a very early age. Such pattern behavior has a certain amount of free choice; however, as stated before, most people respond in a predetermined or predictable manner based upon their knowledge of acceptability.
The conformity thought process has inadvertently brought us to another interesting starting point. Supposedly, children have no preconceived idea of what life is all about and how to survive in this physical world we call realty. Childhood, or the beginning of learning what you, the individual and physical life is all about is completely based or dependent on a parent and other older human beings teaching their knowledge of this reality. This is true for a rather lengthy time period in the life of the individual and it is questionable if this process really ever stops. Therefore, associations and dependency are very powerful factors in one’s life.
To live one’s life is to demonstrate or show what one has been taught and accepts as their reality. Amazing! What if we have all been taught a lie? Then again, maybe everything is just as it is suppose to be and we know what we are doing and what reality is all about. If we are not right about that last statement, we are sure of at least one thing, we are what our parents want us to be or to the best of their ability to convey their understanding of our reality.
The lack of true knowledge, dependency, and fear are powerful tools for human development and behavior conditioning. These forces are basically forms called negative reinforcement. One quickly trades, knowingly or unknowingly, independence for safety and not wanting, within certain limits, for acceptance into this group behavior or society. On the opposite side of negativity is positive reinforcement. This is learned behavior based upon rewards. The latter is usually a little harder to administer and is somewhat selective in its application. That is, it requires a relationship with people and opportunities which are not as common or as easy as punishment. Through pattern repetition of what to do, how to do it, when and where to do it, one eventually succumbs to a reactive learned response and way of life that is acceptable to the society in which the person lives.
In our world or within our society there are many different groups or sub-societies; therefore, it is difficult to get mass thought to agree on a local, much less a world wide basis. It is no wonder that there are many different opinions about behavior and why the subject is so difficult to talk about. Also, the subject does not necessarily lend itself to pure logic and the greater good of all man kind. That is, man is motivated by material interests or the control of wealth which in turn affects the control of people and social standing or power within a community. Competition for these resources or positions of power leads to conflicts of interests and that can lead to unpleasant experiences which may result from both positive and negative forces to control or modify behavior to conform to the will of those who have greater wealth and control. The equality of man is talked about a lot, but is not commonly practiced. Self interests usually always are the normal dominating factors affecting one’s behavior and/or ones reality.
Now, how behavior and man’s rules and regulations are imposed upon society is another interesting story by itself. Normal behavior is learned from childhood and is subject to repetitive conditioning or learned behavior based upon rewards and punishments. This is actually an ongoing process throughout society up until death. That is, reward and punishment is a way of life that may not be overtly practiced as it once was, but just the same it is there and it is practiced because it works. Meaning, the desire to be part of society leads to uniformity and that leads to conformity, which is more easily controlled and that is the whole idea behind the unwritten laws of morality. But remember, behavior is a relationship. That is, it requires the individual to acknowledge the element of control and once the relationship is terminated however briefly, so too does the control factor revert back to the individual.
Because laws and rules are written by one ruling group of people for intended good of all involved, they are also interpreted by another group of people charged with carrying out the law by punishment or negative reinforcement. Laws are made as guidelines for self disciple. That is, they are supposedly written to explain correct behavior and declared the law of the land for all to obey and follow.
Unfortunately, a lot of people only become aware of what is or is not the law is by doing something which conflicts with someone else who deems this persons actions illegal or against the law. As mentioned, this happens only when man enters into a relationship that is not on a mutually beneficial basis. There can be no conflict when all are in agreement. We also know that words can be manipulated for ones purpose and/or meaning. Because of the ambiguities of the written and verbal language, one can literally change the meaning or intent of the law. If one has sufficient resources and argues long enough, one can change the law or laws to suit the needs of those involve.
Even if the laws were interpreted the same way, they may still be implemented or enforced differently, because the element of control changes constantly. What one person does one time may not be acceptable at another time. What has changed is time, space, and the relationship of the individual to the element of control. Individuals in mass do make a difference. Given the same action maybe only one person may be deemed wrong and punished for his behavior. Why? Because control resides within the individual until he relinquishes that element to someone else. Knowingly or unknowingly, the individual chooses that which he wants to experience. The tangible application of power or the control of intangible thought forms results in unconscious patterns of recognition, which may threaten society or affect the need to enforcement of laws of conformity.
Society or mass thought is a collective thing; therefore, if enough people observe false or inappropriate application of laws, then there is and must be a change in the law or the enforcement authority. Actions or reactions of enough people can create mass thought that can direct intangible forces to change or correct a condition as a result of the knowledge of the inequality of justice under law. Naturally some people may view the lack of uniform discipline or implementation of such actions or non-actions as discriminatory or repressive.
Inconsistent applications of the law can result in bitterness and disrespect toward authority and/or the law in general. If one law or rule is misused or the authority is misused, then a house built of cards may soon crumble. There is a relationship. Now this may sound like a liberal idealistic way of thinking; however, if this pattern is how reality really works, then we are in big trouble. Why? Because laws can and are used to control both the negative and positive actions of people and mass thought can be manipulated for both good and bad. To get around the legal issues of good and bad, morality is more commonly used to manipulate behavior. The subject of morality is difficult to approach in a rational way because it deals primarily with the emotions.
Still, with all of our differences we are predominately a collective society, sharing many of the same ideals and common ancestry, consequently, there is surprisingly great cohesion and conformity that holds our society together. A lot of this cohesion is due in part to religion. Historically the great majority of our population shares what is call western European culture. Attempts have been made in history to change behavior patterns or to eliminate the people, sects, or organizations that do not share the same beliefs. Recently, most of these actions are the so called wars of national liberation, which most of the western society refers to as terrorism. Other attempts to control or justification for drastic behavior changes, fall under a category we refer to as a state of emergency. This latter situation is usually or supposed to be only used when there is some severe problem affecting the lives of a great number of people. The enactment of such a law is supposed to be temporary until the threat has passed or the situation returns to a near normal condition. What normal means is anybody's guess however, I think it means, that which maintains the status quo.
In any and all situations, any means to impose external controls or controls contrary to one's existing beliefs and/or behavior, is almost impossible to enforce. Any permanent change or mass compliance to such a request must come from within those individuals involved; This is an interesting statement, so keep that latter factor or statement in mind. The state of emergency, enforced by supposedly legal means, is a very powerful means to affect changes and consequently, will receive the greatest support of those involved. Given the proper circumstances and conditions, for a long enough period of time, overall reality and morality can change drastically. However, such a change requires the proper circumstances or a convincing emotional appeal for unity of action for a common good.
Most major changes usually originate in small groups and get tried out and/or modified before they get incorporated into the mainstream of life and this is how it probably should be. Any real worthwhile changes in life are born of time, space, and patience. Meaningful changes must withstand the test of time and space. This is the meaning or media of patience.
Perhaps, the greatest difficulty in dealing with the subject of moral behavior is the problem of emotions. This is probably the main reason why it is so difficult to get everyone involved to think and/or agree to the same or similar form of action. The problem also involves a question of one's closeness or relationship to everything and everyone involved. Rational logic gives way to the emotional fear of losing something or being restricted in some way; consequently, one reacts out of a need or attachment than he does so much from real physiological needs to sustain him. That is, the person or persons involved respond to an outside stimulus that causes him pleasure or pain. This is nothing more than a reaction to the laws of cause and effect. Without the element of conscious rational thought, there can be no agreement.
Few people are willing to give up something they find pleasing or satisfying in some way, shape or form.
In reality, an emotion is a function of the mind and can be controlled rationally; however, this requires an area of understanding of one's self. The mind works on many levels. This is evident alone by the words: Thought, Idea, and Belief. Supposedly, the words all refer intangible functions of the brain. Why then, are there so many different words to describe the same thing or process? Without going into real in depth explanation at this time, these different terms would seem to verify this multi-level functioning of the mind.
Perhaps the word, emotion, does not describe a function of the brain so much as it does a level of consciousness. Emotions are more an awareness of one's thought processes manifested upon the physical senses, in relation to one's involvement or mental positioning. Emotions are the intensity of one's beliefs manifested upon the world about one's self, resulting in either action or reaction. You might say that emotions act similar to the gas pedal on a car, whereas, the function of the mind or thoughts are more like the road or destination one is headed for, be it known or unknown. How conscious you are of all this determines which roads you select and how well you steer the car. Your physical body is like a vehicle that must be attended and properly monitored in order to get you where you want to go and hopefully safe and well. You shouldn't go stepping on the gas pedal without knowing the condition and performance of the vehicle in a relationship to the road ahead.
The functioning of the mind is also complicated by the function and forms of communication. The difficulty of language meaning makes it imperative that we go into specific detail on the words being used in this book. One can use and say the same words in the same way and mean different things. It is important that we all agree on definitions and relationships, or we will lose the continuity or oneness of thought. Verbal speech is a difficult thing to understand, and if you include slang, forget it. You have heard of the generation gap and there has been some acknowledgement of what is being called a creditability gap; therefore, I caution you to make an attempt to agree to those or this form of written communication in order to form a common union of thought. Hopefully, through a careful building process based on written communications, we will build a bridge or structure upon which we can all stand and proceed to some agreed upon destination.
Getting back to the mind, I have purposely stressed the meaning of thoughts and emotions and how they work or function within the individual; however, the control over these functions is something else and I believe that the control over emotions is the primary motivating factor for all behavior. I believe that definite tangible results and over all objectives can be achieved by a re-education of this so called response center or function of the conscious mind.
The example of the car and destination helped to illustrate the function of the mind. Now, instead of trying to improve or modify the vehicle, we are going to try to improve the driver. The idea of this book is to make the individual more aware of the destination and keep his eye on the road, so as to avoid unnecessary and unexpected hazards and accidents along the way. Hopefully, once the destination is known, one can regulate, control the speed or gas pedal, and to be aware of and to recognize problems or situations which delay or hinder the journey of the vehicle and individual. Once this awareness is accomplished or under control, then we can even possibly improve the road or take short-cuts, or even to change the road and destination without getting out of the car.
You see, reality and morality are serious subjects. The exchange of experiences and/or life situation type stories is interesting, but it can also be confusing and misleading to impressionable people as a means to influence behavior. Talking about life experiences is a kind of subversive or indirect teaching form or method, either intended or not. Conversations merely relate one's personal experience to situations which may be entirely different or relate to an entirely different time basis and/or morality. What conversations do is to tell you more about the person doing the talking than about the proper direction or course that should be taken; however, if the person speaking is a so called person of rank in the social-economic community, he may influence a number of people to follow his example or way of thinking. Such influences are neither good nor bad, but one should still consider the consequences of his own actions. In other words, "Think twice before acting!" in questionable or similar situations.
Let me clarify the latter thought. I am cautioning you not to accept blind actions or stereotype responses to certain situations. Man learns by experiencing and to some extent by witnessing and example. One can be warned of the danger of fire, but unless one directly experiences its negative harmful effects, one can not really understand or appreciate that danger. I am not saying you must experience everything yourself to fully understand and comprehend. What I am saying is that each and every person is a unique, one of a kind type of individual and that no two people act or react in the same way given the same situation.
The reason for this difference in thought and action is quite complicated, but I will only say at this point, that no two people see things in exactly the same way. That is, the actual situation really takes on the characteristics of those involved. It is a reflection of themselves that they are looking at. If for example, one is looking at a half color, say fifty percent of red and fifty percent of orange, one person may say that it is orange and another may say that it is red. They are both right as long as they can relate to the same color, even though they may see it slightly different. Whether, they actually see something physically different is of no importance. The important thing is that they both agree that they are talking about a color or visual perception.
The issue of morality is not like dealing with the tangible physical properties of say fire or color. Rather, one is trying to relate to something intangible and cannot see; consequently, the effect on the individual can be drastically different from one person to another. We have been concerned with the individual and how he relates to morality. We have also talked about the need for perhaps more uniformity of thought, or at least the control over this form of thought by the individual in a society or social order. You would think that as long as everyone minds their own business, there shouldn't be any problems or reason to concern ourselves with the issue of morality.
"No man is an island unto himself...” and it is just that simple. Nearly all of our actions somehow affect or involve the lives of other people or things, and these actions directly or indirectly affect morality. All of this inter-relationship is a form of communication that affects our fellow man, as well as ourselves. The results of these inter-actions are either pleasant or unpleasant to varying degrees of intensity. However, most people don't even think about any form of communication as being anything but a natural part of life. Consequently, there really isn't any effort or thought put into such encounters or conversations. Most conversations are more an act of acknowledgement of a status relationship than they are of meaningful dialogue. This is a form of recognition that requires little or no effort on the parties involved. In fact, this is an acceptable form or pattern that you might call mental conditioning for it sets precedence or attitude or a form of behavior that is expected. It is an acceptable custom or tradition set by the society or culture, and it is probably universal in nature.
When dealing with morality, one must also talk about society's customs or social norms. Everyday life here is not the same as everyday life elsewhere. What is acceptable as natural here, others may think unnatural elsewhere. Most people are unaware of these differences until they are in another country or culture. It is only then, that they notice the differences. That's because, in their own country, they accept these customs and traditions as natural because they see and use them every day of their lives. Such behavior may be considered mental conditioning or brain washing. This is not something that should be considered good or bad, it is just a way of life, or pattern that has become acceptable in that particular society.
When that same person is taken out of his immediate environment, he may find himself confronted with new and strange differences. Therefore, in order to survive, he either learns to accept these new patterns of life style as his own modifies them, or he can go back from where he came. He can also try to fight the system with some success; however, that will usually end up with that person experiencing a great deal of isolation, loneliness and perhaps, physical harm. In any case, the individual will undergo a type of growth process or change which will, in some way, affect his behavior. That also means that the environment, which is shaped or affected by its residence, will greatly determine the law of the land or customs.
What I'm getting at is that what is considered natural or unnatural depends more on where you are or what you are talking about. This relationship is called conformity. If you accept those dominant patterns of the land, you are considered one or part of the establishment or land, because indirectly or directly, you support those patterns which are common or dominant. If you do not accept those patterns, but you do not interfere with anyone else, you are tolerated as someone existing in that society. If you fight the patterns, you are often considered a fugitive or criminal. Patterns of behavior that are contradictory to customs are considered unnatural. Natural is the law of the land. But, if you believe that everything is learned, that also means that nothing is natural.
What is normal or natural, is all relative to the immediate environment. That is, people learn how to act, or get along with their fellow man, for the benefit of themselves and/or mutual benefit. Even within that same environment, circumstances or people can change, which can result in an entirely different behavior. This learning of how to adjust or change is not so much a forced change, but more of a voluntary action on the part of all individuals involved. This adaptation is done in order to keep life experiences pleasant and to avoid the consequences of conflict.
This desire to get along and avoid unpleasantness is a form of mental conditioning. It is in this way that mass attitudes or social norms develop. Large groups of people get together with similar ideas and thoughts for a common interest or benefit and because of the number of people involved, these ideas become beliefs or social norms. These attitudes can develop along geographical, racial, religious, business, trade, or other lines, or divisions, of unity where large groups of people share the same interests. Now, this mass or group belief doesn't necessarily make the thought or resulting action either right or wrong, but it is acceptable, which may be confused as meaning right or wrong. Another way of looking at this process is that people are taught and they learn to react, rather than to think and act along creative lines.
As one can see, to attack or criticize existing morality or behavior patterns, is very difficult to do creatively and/or constructively. Such an endeavor is very risky and therefore, requires great care to avoid unpleasantness to all involved. Morality has both positive and negative effects on thoughts, ideas, and beliefs; therefore, one must not destroy a belief without offering an alternative, and hopefully, a better idea. It is not practical or beneficial to tear down without thoughts to build and replace. What needs to be done is to see where we are before we can decide where we are going. What we need to do, is to see what can be used to build upon, to establish a broader, more firm base of communication so that everyone can relate to fires and colors in the same way, without having to suffer the consequences.
Therefore, this book is written with the intent in mind to explain just what one can really believe in, or really exists in the realm of truth as we know it and can be proven beyond a doubt. Hopefully, once everyone can agree on the same point of reference, we can build on that point, everything imaginable and then some. With this truth and knowledge, one can achieve personal gain, satisfaction, achievements, growth and creativity in life's journey back to his origin.
This book is intended to explore the so called rational physical world of matter. It explores the limitations of the physical being and the "I" concept. This section of the book will cover the subject, "Who am I?” in the conventional sense of the world we know. Section II will explore and answer the question, "Where am I?", and deal with a new expanded concept or the "I" concept. Section III will conclude the book and deal with the question, "What am I doing here?", or explain how this new "I" concept can be used or put into practical everyday use.
Now, you might ask another question, after having a brief idea of the contents of this book, and that question might be, "What does that have to do with morality?" The answer to that question will not be obvious to the reader until the last section of the book. Not until the three questions of the amnesia patient are answered, can he begin to start anew. A new beginning. A new start, with new and expanded limitations of the "I" concept and life. Not until he has found himself, can he properly relate to other forms of life and matter. A new morality! Another new beginning!
To properly understand how the mind works and to be objective and unbiased as much as possible, I must take you away from your present society and environment and cultural behavior patterns. I must try to isolate you, to dispel all preconceived ideas and notions that our current society, our way of life is the only way of life or the best way. Nearly all cultures in history have believed that their way of life is or was the best way, but, as stated before, the idea of something better is relative to all people and it is just that which they are seeking as their fulfillment in life.
A constructive step in understanding morality is to understand ourselves, and what better way to understand ourselves than to study the use of languages and observe the cultural behavior patterns of another society. Perhaps, then we may see ourselves better. So, this is where we begin, or is it? Let me say, that this one beginning. This is a beginning for a search for truth in the physical world of matter. In section II, you will experience another new beginning. A beginning unlike most people have ever experienced involving unknown knowledge of an intangible quality to this physical world of matter. Last, in Section III, it is possible to start on yet another new beginning; however, this beginning depends upon you!
To help you on your way, the following proem may provide you with a clue to what life is all about. But this is also a puzzle within a puzzle that requires more than meets the eye.