Section I - Chapter 9 -- Good, Bad, Right, Wrong
A rather interesting, catchy title for a new chapter, wouldn't you say? I could have added to this; yes, no, true, and false, to this title; however, I think that would be overdoing it a bit and I also think that would be over dramatizing it too. Besides, these words are used more frequently in dealing and talking about morals than are the latter four.
Normally, I start out a chapter explaining a definition of some word; however, what can be so difficult about these words? Everybody knows, understands and recognizes all of these limiting words. Right? Guess what? You’re wrong! Not only is that startling, the sentence itself is contradictory. If I am making the statement that says, "You’re wrong", then that assumes that everybody knows the meaning of the word, wrong. Right? Perhaps, we better start out with an explanation and start all over again.
Suppose I were to say that these words are not understood properly. Impossible you say? You're crazy! You say? Maybe you're right. Here we go again. This time, we're not going to start over. This time, we are going to take a closer look at these words to see what all is involved here. Obviously, it's not a simple question or statement that can be passed off as insignificant, if it has caused this much confusion in a new chapter. Like the definition of the word best that began this book and started us off on our journey, these new limiting words are much more difficult to understand than most of us think.
To begin this investigation, I will help you out by telling you that we are not dealing with a question of semantics or the meaning of words. The problem lies much deeper than most of you think. That is the reason why it has taken us so long to get here from there. Basically, this book deals with our reality and indirectly how it effects morality, and yet, little has even been said about the subject of morality except for a few hints or and/or references. This beginning was planned and necessary to build a good foundation and understanding of just what we are talking about
We are building a bridge to understanding and it must be properly erected in order to support everyone who wishes to cross. There are a lot of people out there on their journey through life; however, some people go around in circles, others stray off the main roads or get sidetracked, and others never know where they are going. Our bridge is a short cut. But it is strange how few people can find or see the bridge and fewer yet, how many will actually cross the bridge once they find it. And all of this has to do with the learning process and patterning. One cannot properly talk about the subject of morality unless he understands the language of communication. This chapter is an attempt to try to help those who wish to cross this bridge and to find a better way to get them closer to where they are going. I could say something here about the word, better, but I won't. I'll just leave you guessing for a while.
To accomplish this task of understanding, let's start out by reaching an area of common ground upon which everyone can agree. I believe it is not improper for me to say that everybody born under the sun, and then some, knows the basic concept or meaning of the words; good, bad, right, wrong, yes, no, true and false. That is, they can at least associate these words with or to actions and objects. I mentioned the key to this understanding in the last chapter, but I will again repeat it, because it deserves repeating. "Good, Bad, Right, and Wrong, still require or need to reference a particular tradition, culture, or some form of precedence in order to affect behavior". Now, this sentence just explained the reason for all of the confusion in the beginning of this chapter. It just told you that you know the use of these limiting words, but only insofar, as they relate to your own particular environment. They cannot stand alone nor have meaning outside your personal learning triangle. They simply do not exist. Or do they? Oh-oh! Here we go again.
As I indicated in an earlier chapter, one can move his point of focus to a location outside the triangle; however, he still must be able to find his way back. Therefore, whenever he ventures out beyond his limitations, he carries certain references with him. A lot of time these references are associated with these limiting words, but more than likely, they are much more related to the words; true and false, than our other limiting words. That's because these words refer to inner qualities as well as outer qualities and that involves our spiritual and physical worlds. In any case, one must be able to relate to matters of mind and matter to understand and function. Therefore, limits apparently exist to some degree, and that is what we hope to discover.
In a more realistic way of looking at this same problem, let's look at it from another standpoint, or the world of physical reality. Let's again look at the process by which your knowledge is acquired. As I mentioned earlier, from day one and on, your parents began a subtle conditioning program both intentionally and unintentionally. That is, as you grew, you began to be consciously aware of your parent's actions, reactions and a form of non-recognition to you and your actions. Through a process of interacting with your parents and your environment, you began your process of learning either your limitations or a process by which you limit yourself.
The normal belief or understanding is that you learn your own limitations. This is a process or conditioning program that begins with learning how to get attention or be recognized. You might say that this too, is a form of acting or over dramatization. That is, one discovers in this society that one gets attention by actions that stimulate or affect one's environment. The bigger the action, the more one gets recognized; consequently, one often over dramatizes his being or becoming in order to be noticed. By means of reactions and responses, one supposedly learns the limits of one's being in relationship to others and his environment.
To put it yet another way, the learning process or conditioning program primarily takes the form of over reactions on the part of the parents, to actions and/or behavior by the child. Through a process of repetitive actions and verbal commands to words or sound, the child begins to recognize and associates certain patterns and responds to this relationship of sounds and actions. That is, the individual begins to understand that certain patterns are associated with certain actions and/or sounds or combination of both. This knowledge comes from the child, the parents, and any other human contact with which the child can interact. The key to this knowledge system is recognition! One learns the limitations of this physical reality through a process of interaction and a stimulus-response type mimicking or behavior patterns with intended beginnings and endings that lead in a sequential manner to a growth type pattern.
As the child grows and progresses, he begins to understand the system of rewards and punishment which is associated with recognition and non-recognition. He, in effect, learns how to really turn on his parents or knows how to get their attention. All of these forms of recognition and attention are also forms of control that relate to the individual in a form of power which is relative to one's environmental conditioning and vice-versa. To put it more simply, the individual learns to control his own behavior to comply with the wishes of his parents and to conform to that of his society, or his parent's culture. However, in making these changes or creating a self imposed pattern of behavior, he is really not consciously aware that he is doing so. To him, he is merely adapting to his environment in order to participate, communicate and to perpetuate his being.
This logical conclusion that we have just drawn about self imposed limitations or patterns, brings us back to an earlier statement which we discarded. Earlier, we said that one learns, "...either your limitations or a process by which you limit yourself". Now, we indicated that most people believe that you learn your own limitations; however, in trying to prove this statement, we just proved that one learns to limit one's self. Therefore, this brings up more interesting questions concerning all our physical and mental limitations. However, we will not pursue those questions at this time. Rather, we really want to find out more about this question of behavior in regards to our own being.
Probably, the first words a child learns after certain nouns for recognition of, mommy and daddy are the words, yes and no. In fact, it is usually the negative words that are learned first. In this case, we are talking about the word, no. No, refers to a restriction or a complete or extreme limitation. However, it often carries the meaning or connotation of bad and bad usually carries the idea of wrong in most situations. The words yes and no, are supposedly opposites of each other, for they identify the two limiting extremes of the same act or condition. You might say that they identify contrast like the shades of black and white; however, they convey an understanding more like that of a common traffic signal, that uses the colors; red, green and amber. In this case, no would be red, non-recognition is amber, and green would be yes. This analogy is far from being accurate, but it does represent most people's beliefs.
Getting back to our negative words, you have no doubt heard the word, no, used a lot as a child. Or the expression, that's a no, no. In the latter case, the word is used twice as a double positive negative for emphasis, even though its grammar usage itself is wrong. But, somehow, the child understands and either corrects his behavior pattern or gets negatively re-enforced to remind him to correct his behavior. This word no, is recognized and associated by the child as a limit. That is, he understands that if his behavior does not stop or change from its current directed actions and probable or eventual end result upon the hearing of these words or command, then that act or behavior is regarded as bad or wrong and is subject to punishment or a reinforcement of a negative nature to drive home the point through an unpleasant or painful stimulus. Sometimes, the word, bad, is used in place of no. But, in any case, the verbal command is still reinforced with a negative force, if the warning is not heeded.
The next set of words that are normally learned by a child are those of, good and bad. Again, the word, bad, is learned and used primarily in the early years of the child, along with the word, no. Good and bad vary from - yes and no, in that they usually refer to a quality of an object, or something has in relationships to its physical properties, or the effect something has in regards to one's being. Yes and no refer more to the actions of that being. Even though the words, good and bad, do not directly control one's behavioral actions, they do in fact, affect behavior patterns. This is perhaps why these words are used so interchangeably with yes and no, and are often used wrongly.
The normal definition of good involves something that is beneficial, adds something, or is a positive form of recognition. Whereas, bad denotes something detrimental, lacking in quality, or subtracts from something. Again, these words are opposites of one another. But unlike yes and no, these words are relative to the object and the individual; therefore, they admit to slight variations because people and objects are involved, or an element greater than one. Yes and no control the actions of one element, the individual. Consequently, you might say good and bad, represent slight tints of black and white, but not quite gray. Another way to remember the difference might be to compare yes and no, to action and reaction, and the words, good and bad, to stimulus and response. The first set of words control the use of energy and intangibles and the second, determine the amount of energy or resistance of tangible matter.
As I said before, the problem with good and bad, is that it is relative to the individual. This is something like our word, best. What is best (good) for you may not be best (good) for me. That is, a person may be given a positive yes to perform an action of say, stealing; however, the act itself or effect would definitely be considered bad in most situations, because it takes away or subtracts from someone else without proper compensation. Therefore, good and bad, do not control the individual's actions per se but appeals to his sense of values which are relative to his needs and/or desires, which in turn, may or may not affect one's behavior.
Now, to make matters worse, the words good and bad are usually associated with the meanings of the words right and wrong. However, the words good and bad refer to tangible objects or relatively easy identifiable qualities and values; whereas, right and wrong, refer to qualities which are not so obvious and cannot be seen as easily by those involved. In this situation, you might say that the words good and bad have a very physical relationship or meaning; whereas, right and wrong, have a more emotional type basis or psychological or mental relationship.
The words right and wrong usually convey severe contrasts of thought and are not generally used to denote contrasts of black and white, but large areas or shades of gray. These are transitional words that attach a quality or value to an environment or situation. These are complex words that involve great understanding or relationships. It is, therefore, noteworthy that these words are the basis of all legal judicial systems which are set up to try to determine the degree of an act in relationship to responsibility and/or conduct in a specific situation. To be specific, the word right pertains to a form of fairness, truth, justice or a correct responsive action; whereas, wrong denotes false or erroneous acts that inhibit, oppress and suppress, or distort one's behavior from its pattern of acceptable conduct.
The word wrong, is probably the last common negative word one learns to associate with as a child. Unlike the word no, which is clear cut and dry, and tolerates no exceptions, and the word bad, which admits to a slight varying degree or quality of the object or actions of the individual, the word wrong is subject to interpretation to specific circumstances, situations, and relationships dealing with human organizations. That is, the word is associated with moral conduct and responsibility in a society or group environment, rather than individual limitations; therefore, one is dealing with elements greater than one and elements of an intangible nature. Consequently, this is a selection or determination of an action, based upon a multi-leveled structural organization dealing with conflicting or overlapping rules and/or regulations.
The words right and wrong then, are words that set limitations on responsibility in relationship to one's specific environment and/or culture. It is an artificial set of guidelines that controls or directs one's behavior in a group environment. Therefore, these words do not necessarily carry with them or involve rewards or punishment directly inflicted upon one's physical person in the form of pain or pleasure, as with good and bad, but rather these words form a system of communicating recognition, non-recognition, alienation and isolation, all rolled up into one. These words define limits of growth within an organized environment and also denote a relationship to responsibility and conduct that appeals to one's inner sense of the greater well being of all and the supposedly correct acceptable behavior patterns one learns as a participant in a group environment.
Because right and wrong are subject to the understanding of relationships, they are the most difficult to learn and use properly. One learns or begins to associate these words when one enters into communication with other children, adults, schools, institutions and other various groups that express subtle differences in relationship to both words and actions. Acceptance into these groups depends upon one's ability to understand and adjust to slight changes on a continuous basis. One learns to adapt to one's environment for the purpose of survival and acceptance; therefore, one must know and understand these limiting words and other forms of communication designed to control behavior if one wishes to function freely in that society or properly participate and share in the benefits that group has to offer or reward for such participation. In any case, the individual learns that the words right and wrong vary to some degree from group to group, and depends upon that group's particular interests or desired end result more so than his original concept of right and wrong.
This problem of identification, which is knowledge, or the learning of right and wrong is basically the same problem we identified in describing, "The Sociological Identification", and the problem of classification. You eventually end up with overlapping and conflicting interest groups and you get what you are looking for. That is, one can be both for something and against that same something, depending upon which group he is participating in at the time. But unlike the sociologist, the individual can and does control himself and can therefore adapt to this conflict of interest relatively easily. He controls his behavior in order to receive some form of benefits, recognition or to just grow socially. Man is a rather gregarious being that must associate with others of his own kind to grow in a positive creative manner, which in effect, is another form of responsibility to the greater well being of the individual and the group.
I have made several references about the use of negative words and commands in one's early childhood. Now, I want to take a little special effort to explain the positive form of these words, before we go on to the last set of limiting words. It is interesting to note that the positive forms of these words are used and heard less frequently by the child in his early years. The reason for this is not very well understood and may tend to lead one to believe that we are primarily a negatively dominated and motivated society. However, if one were to consider non-recognition as a form of positive permissive approval, then one would get an entirely different picture of how this society operates. Non-recognition does not stop or inhibit in a negative manner one's actions; therefore, it must be considered a positive form of behavior, just as freedom is thought to be one of the most sought after quality in one's life. So, even though the negative words are heard more often, the positive words and the neutral forms of non-recognition combine to balance out the negative influences in one's behavior. At least, they tend to channel or direct one's patterning in a specific direction so that there appears to be an equal balance of standard acceptable behavior within a particular culture.
Because of that last sentence, I want to remind you that we are talking about limiting words and how they relate to our society and culture. If I were from another sociological group, such as the Dobu, these negative and positive traits or values that limit or restrict their society would be nearly opposite those of our own beliefs. That is, yes or non-recognition would be that acceptable norm or behavior regarding stealing and revenge; whereas, no, would be the command or form of communication for kindness and the aiding of a fellow neighbor or stranger. Therefore, this question of balance is an interesting thing involving the understanding of relationships within one's immediate environment society or culture.
I believe, it is still somewhat understandable in any society, why one encounters less positive statements or commands than the negative. I think it is also understandable why non-recognition is a form of positive permissive approval. It is simply because the individual is in a process of growth and he will select, choose and develop patterning in those specific directions which offer the least amount of resistance. The individual will grow and base his selections in those directions in which he can most easily control his own being and that of his immediate environment. However, without the proper balance and/or guidance, one tends to lose his proper perspective of life and he becomes self centered and seeks self interests above those of others. Naturally, this situation normally results in greed and detrimental behavior in relationship to others of his group and environment.
It is difficult if not impossible to imagine a completely unrestricted, unlimited person who has never been preconditioned to some set of rules, standards or customs. However, I would suspect that our own experience might identify such people as criminals or possible leeches to society. The reasoning for this statement is because neither group is suppose to be able to contribute to or support the greater well being of a particular group. It is therefore believed, that negative restrictions must be placed or imposed upon everyone in order to assure a cooperative working relationship. For without the threat of negative punishment, or without opposition from a strong negative force, one will always take and abuse the rights of others. I believe that this is perhaps the logic that is commonly accepted by most people, and it might be entirely correct; however, I also think that there has been no well documented study that would indicate that this is in fact correct. However, remember, you will get what you are looking for; therefore, it is more important to know what it is we want to find. There is a need for balance and there seems to be a need for both positive and negative stimulus. However, this may be a biased attitude on my part, because of my own preconditioned mental patterns. Again, one cannot get away from patterning and conditioning.
In opening up this segment on negatives, I described the word no as usually being associated with the word bad, and bad as being associated with the word wrong. However, on a closer examination of these words, this relationship did not necessarily hold true. But, this revelation does not mean that the majority of people will understand the significant difference in these words nor will they use them correctly. It is difficult to change existing patterns and even more difficult to get everyone to agree to certain changes in verbal communication, especially since the trend is away from true or exact meanings of words in favor of slang and jargon of sub divisional groups. The latter manner of speaking again is a means of communication, identification, and separation within the larger culture. Consequently, it is becoming more difficult to understand verbal communication even though it is probably more important now than ever before. This thought leads us to our last set of words which have a potential and possible tendency to bridge the gap.
I classify the last set of words as limiting; however, there is some question in my mind if they really are. The way these words are used in our culture is of a limiting and controlling nature; therefore, that is why I have included them in this chapter. The words I am referring to are those of true and false. I just used one of these words in the last paragraph to describe a condition of word usage and it was intentional. You see, these words describe an exact or accurate condition. These new sets of words are like our words good and bad in that they pertain to objects or conditions rather than actions. But unlike the former words, true and false pertains to that which is. It is a quality that exists in spite of all else. It is neither good nor bad, it just is.
True and false also have an interesting relationship to yes and no. As you can see, these words also admit to no exceptions. They just are. But, while these words are exact, their average usage is not. That is, people use these words true and false incorrectly. When these words are used, one can only interpret them as either having a positive or negative meaning to whatever was just said. I am particularly upset that one of the major offenders of these words are a lot of school teachers who are suppose to be responsible for their proper usage. I am mainly referring to tests given in school, known or referred to as true and false question tests.
No doubt, you yourself have taken one or many of these type tests. I am not so interested in the questions themselves, but the usage of the words true and false in this situation. Normally, or in most situations, these questions refer to events or conditions and statements based upon human interpretations which are relative to an observer. Therefore, these questions are not so much a statement regarding an exact condition of what is or was, but an interpretation of what is thought to have happened. It is a relationship of the observer and the event only and not the exact nature of a thing. Consequently, such test questions really never tell you anything about the true nature of that event, but only an interpretation of actions, which are really considered right and wrong because they are based upon artificial standards of human origin. Even though a specific end result is or was achieved by a certain person or by a physical condition, it is still a human recorded event, if you will, and subject to an element of more than one or matters that involve specific circumstances, situations, and relationships, dealing with human organizations. In short, these are really questions involving right and wrong based upon the element of someone's interpretation, the subject of control of whoever dominated that recorded event, not true and false.
I will admit that perhaps my own understanding of these words is a little bit different from that of others and/or even the dictionary; however, I believe my point is correct and important. I am not arguing so much the definition of these words as I am the source from which one derives true and false, but definition is also affected because of this source or point of source. What I am saying is that these words, true and false, are not subject to interpretation; rather, their meaning comes from within an individual or the source object itself. It cannot be gotten from a secondary source. This is a special kind of communication which I will discuss in depth later, but for now, let's stay with current beliefs.
The dictionary defines true as: accurate, exact, certain,without varying, constant, reliable and trust. However, it also defines or uses these words to describe true: right, correct, real, in accordance to fact, agreement to reality, conforming to an original pattern, rule or standard. The latter definition is slightly different from the former in the fact that they require an interpretation or relationship involving a pre-existing pattern based upon human participation and/or conditioning. Another way to look at this difference is that the first definition uses words that are unlimited or virtually unrestricted; whereas, the latter definition usage is limited by human beliefs and patterning.
I am not about to argue with scholars, educators and the majority of people who have come to use this set of words to add emphasis to their particular communication they wish to convey. However, I do want them to be aware of the fact that there is a significant difference, and that difference cannot be communicated as truth to anyone else, because that information would then be coming from a secondary source and not its true origin. I don't believe many people will understand this point nor will they alter the way in which they use these words. Again, a rather firm pattern or routine has been established and it will not be changed or be altered radically unless there is a definite need and/or benefit to do so. There is no major benefit or incentive to make this change. A new pattern is not warranted just yet.
In describing the words good, bad, right, wrong, yes, no, true and false, you may have noticed and I have mentioned several times, that these words are grouped in pairs. I hope you will think it is an interesting observation as much as I think it is, because this carries with it even more interesting connotations.
All of these words are supposedly opposites of one another because they indicate two extremes of the same situation or condition. These words are used like black and white to indicate contrast and content; however, gray is also involved. I would like to think of these opposites in relationship to my explanation of growth. To refresh your memory, I said that growth can be compared to that of a line that has a beginning and an end. Again, you might remember our opening chapter that concludes that endings are really the same things as beginnings. Both are artificial limits that are set up to indicate extreme conditions or milestones one must reach before he progresses to the next level of experiences. Before one can begin this other level of activity, he must complete or finish a specific desired end result, which also serves as the basis for a new beginning. This is similar to grade levels in our educational system.
In describing opposites, we are talking about limitations of a singular subject. Therefore, in talking about contrasts of black and white, maybe we are really talking about gray and the absence or addition of black or white. The latter explanation would then fit our line of growth model. That is, growth consists of a process of learning or expanding in a particular time frame, which is also linear, within this environment known as physical matter or reality, which is also known as a plane of existence. The latter limiting element can also be considered linear, because it is singular in nature, or must be encountered or experienced in a progressive, chronological or sequential pattern to be properly understood, assimilated and possessed to be of any value to the physical being. This is nothing more than a series of short beginnings and endings. In any case, we are dealing with singular elements of a line nature, or elements possessing extremes and/or an average, normal, physical, condition, whether or not it appears that way.
Speaking about lines, it is also interesting to note that in geometry, a line is explained as a segment which if transverse to infinity, will eventually return to its point of origin, opposite from which it went. Again, we are dealing with an interesting concept. Such an explanation would then indicate that we are really not dealing with a line, but with a huge circle. The reason for this is because the only geometric shape that can be made with one line is a circle. The significance of this observation means that words which limit extremes of the same concept might or must involve things of a circular form or pattern. This circular shape may or may not be important to you right now; however, you might appreciate and understand this importance in its relationship to our explanation of self control and the positioning process of focusing one's self within the learning triangle or pyramid.
Just to remind you, we said in that chapter, that the positioning process was a selection process that one could control by the understanding of the relationship between one's self, knowledge, and possessions. We also indicated that the learning process involved the force of energy and the resistance of matter. That is, one can only change one's position by overcoming force with resistance or resistance could be overcome with sufficient force and this use of energy was limited by the individual to obtain a desired end result. Therefore, movement in a particular direction within the learning triangle was controlled by the amount of energy one had or has to use, in order to overcome resistance.
Now, with our knowledge of opposites and their probable form or pattern, we may be better able to identify our ability to control our position in relationship to our self imposed limitations. That is, our beliefs in right-wrong, good-bad, and to a lesser degree, yes-no and true-false (as it is customarily used - not the meaning that I have attached to it), may be the forms or patterns of resistance which I referred to earlier. The limits of our learning triangle and/or the positioning process may be influenced or affected by these lines, circles or orbits of limitation imposed by these words and/or our understanding of these opposites and/or extremes. Just like a baseball or golf ball, these words act like restrictive bindings that affect the overall performance and/or behavior of that item or individual. However, because words are of an intangible nature, they are probably less restrictive in controlling one's ability to adjust to different environments.
Perhaps the best way to observe this comparison is to look at our own reality for a guide or model that we can relate to. Surprise! We have two examples that make it doubly interesting. Strangely, or not so strangely enough, these two examples also represent extremes. In this case, these examples are related to each other through the dimension of size. These examples compare inner and the opposite, outer space. I am referring here to our model as that of a solar system with planets and a sun, or that of an atom with electrons circling about. Interesting, isn't it that our model should also take on characteristics of extremes? Or is it? This is another question that has relative significance, but one which we will not pursue at this time.
The point which I wish to make here, is that as one positions oneself within the learning triangle, one is also surrounded by intangible lines of forces that from now on, I will call inbalances*. These inbalances, in turn, affect or control one's behavior and one's perspective of one's own limitations. As the individual uses
INBALANCE - Author's coined word for an unbalanced but stable condition in a state or position of separation (see next chapter) energy for the purpose of changing his focus point or position, he also affects the orbits of his limitations and vice-versa. That is, the orbits have an energy force of their own and tend to relate to the individual, therefore, these so called orbits of limitation tend to stabilize one's position, or make it difficult for one to change unless there is sufficient desire or need to make this change. Otherwise, the individual will remain complacent and as predictable as a computer program. But, should a change occur in position, so must a change in orbits occur. The effect of these changes may be temporary or permanent, depending on the individual's needs wants and desires of a positive or negative nature.
I feel an urge and need to clarify myself again. In the process of growth, one is constantly running into this positioning process and balancing of extremes and/or opposites of the same thing. One's selection creates forces, like waves which in turn affect others or other things in one's environment. These changes affect and relate in many ways to the individual depending upon the position he takes in regards to known limitations in his environment. The results of his actions reflect his new position. That is, his change from his original actions reflects his new position. This change from his original position may cause him to counter balance the effect of certain limitations and this might result in patterns or limitations that have very elliptical orbits, similar to our planets or atoms, causing certain extremes to dominate one's actions and the opposite extreme to have little or no affect on his behavior pattern depending upon where the focused force or energy is applied.
A change in position may also cause a sudden shift of another orbit to become closer to him, warming up the issues so to speak, and shedding more light on that particular set of extremes. This change may also put an issue in a more temperate zone with limitations much more hospitable and favorable to growth. In any case, this idea of uniformity and shape to intangible thoughts and/or concepts of opposite is known, but it is interesting to note this connection or concept of orbits, circles, and lines in relation to patterning. It appears that the similarities are there and the effects one can observe in one area of knowledge may be the same for other items of an intangible nature. One's perspective of reality definitely affects the quality of one's life and the values one believes in and vice-versa. The position one takes in regards to the orbital planes of thought, determines how one views these limiting extremes of a verbal nature. Consequently, the action or item really doesn't determine a matter to be good, bad, right, wrong, yes, no, true, false but it is a definite quality in respect to one's position that is the dominant factor that controls one's behavior.
What I have tried to show you up to this point is that there is a lot of confusion over some relatively simple everyday words that control our lives and/or limitations. To explain these simple limiting words is nearly impossible, but at the same time it is also necessary that they be defined. It is a must! We could not function as a society or group of people if we didn't understand these limiting words. But to properly understand them, one must or should know how these words are used. Knowing words only defines, identifies, and separates them. To understand them, one must know how they relate to the individual and his form or pattern of communication. Therefore, my opening statement that good, bad, right, wrong, yes, no, and true, false, are not properly understood is correct.
For those of you who were disappointed in my lack of explaining or taking a specific position in regards to morality, have heart. There is more to come later. Even though we talked about words that affect morality, I did not fulfill my promise to really get into an in-depth discussion on this specific matter. However, before we can do this, we still must identify who we are, or more proper, "Who am I". Not until we have cleared up this matter, can we properly discuss other human relationships.
In this chapter, we have laid the ground work for how one operates or affects his own behavior by his own understanding of words and the position he takes in controlling and limiting their usage and vice-versa. We have also learned something about opposites and their possible relationship to unity and balance or forces I call inbalances, but this is about as far as I can go in describing "Who am I", without straying from conventional thought processes. Therefore, this will conclude the first part of this book, because this is all we can discover about the individual within the limitations of physical reality.
This rather lengthy explanation of simple words and the reason for my intentionally confusing beginning to this chapter again was necessary to get your attention. Even though the next section II of this book deals with the subject of "Physical Reality”, it is really a series of transitional chapters dealing with a subject called "Spiritual Reality". As mentioned, the next chapter is really a continuation on the same theme of opposites, which relate to positioning and together form unites or unity. Now you know that is a ridiculous theory and can't have any justification for anybody in their right mind. Or is it left mind? What better way to finish a chapter than the way we began than in utter confusion and chaos. But doesn't that also mean a new pattern that man cannot yet identify?
ILLUSION OR DELUSION
Now, what I have tried to do so far is to educate you or increase your learning triangle by trying to create a relationship of what was, to, what is. I have also tried to lay the groundwork or guidelines by which we can talk about morality intelligently. By using these examples, I have tried to expand your learning process or change your center point of understanding by demonstrating the knowledge of limitations and its relationship to patterning and the individual to a specific society.
The detailed examples from Ruth Benedict's "Patterns of Culture", is somewhat of an illusion, in that, the behavior of the people depicted, may or may not be what it really was in reality. Based upon our system of creditability or academic credentials, you will have to agree with the findings or results. The only thing that I can be sure of is that it was an accurate account of what she thought she saw or heard. You must be the judge of these studies, because you make your own reality. You must make a selection to decide what you want to believe, for reality is a matter of belief and belief is another form of matter. When you make your decision, you create, change, your learning patterning. You have the option or ability to make it fact or a delusion. Is it an illusion or delusion? Maybe, Ms. Benedict was a bit overacting or performing a dramatization of a real life situation. Maybe, the lines of control are not clear enough for you to take sides or a position on this issue, Maybe, there isn't a winner here.
Most people are self programmed or patterned to think that they only have two choices or selections. You do have a third choice which I advised you of before we started this chapter, and again reminded you in the last paragraph. The earlier suggestion was to merely observe the examples for contrast and differences. However, these examples were also inserted to show you different forms of patterning and the dominance or dominant role that customs and traditions play in determining moral behavior in different cultures. These subtle patterns are fixed in all of us at a very early age and are reinforced by social experiences or empirical knowledge. These patterns become forms of limitation that may finally develop into that known, as a belief. This is the ultimate. You can't go any further. The end result is an unconscious response to an outside stimulus.
These studies or examples of behavior patterns were also a good study of relationships of how and why societies function and think along specific patterns. The behavior of these people is colored, edited, or arranged by the limiting factors of customs, traditions, and institutions which are set up by these groups of people to control participation in their societies. Environment and heredity play some part in determining behavior; however, the dominant limiting factor is the actual human institutions set up to control or organize the society into a singular homogeneous mass that is able to communicate in more than words and actions. It is a form of shared responsibility to one another working toward certain tangible goals or desired end results.
I would also like to bring out another observation from these studies, and that is, that a society is of relatively minor importance. That is, a society can be regulative in nature and law but not necessarily equivalent to social order. Habit or customs may supersede formal legal authority. Even in our civilization, the law is a crude implement of society. Above all, a society is not separate from the individuals who compose it. No civilization has an element that is not contributed by an individual. You do make a difference!
Anthropology is the study of human beings as creatures of society. Human behavior is the manner in which customs function in the lives of the individuals who compose these societies. Custom is behavior at its most common place. Custom is the predominant role that plays in experience, institutions, and in patterns of thinking. Even philosophy cannot go beyond or behind these imaginary walls or limitations, self imposed. Good, bad, right, wrong, true or false, still require or need to reference a particular tradition, culture or some form of precedence, in order to affect behavior. The life history of an individual is first and foremost, an accommodation or accumulation of patterns and standards of tradition handed down in a particular society or culture or cultures.
From the moment of birth, the environment into which one is born, shapes his experiences and patterns his behavior. This starts at such an early age that it is difficult to discern if one is actually born as a blank slate or is a product of heredity. By the time a person is able to talk, he is already a creature of his culture; therefore, it is almost impossible to determine which force is more dominant in patterning. However, customs seem to be the controlling factor in all cultures. Because of the subtlety of this primarily intangible force, its laws, its variety, and repeatability, remains the most complicated factor in human life and therefore, it must be the most difficult force to understand in its relationship to patterning.
Patterning takes many forms on both a conscious and unconscious level. If you are keenly observant or conscious, you may have noticed that this chapter was put together a little different from all the preceding ones. It was organized in a different way to separate and make its point more credible. All of these changes still support one central theme that contributes to the overall well being of a desired end result or book. While being different from other chapters, it is but another form of patterning. This chapter happens to require more detail and support than a lot of others, because it covers more ground or requires more communication to make it more understandable; consequently, there are more variations that are needed to support its one single concept. It is a book within a book a pattern within a pattern.
In a sense, this chapter is similar to and supports the idea of pattern variations or cultures. The complicated nature of this subject matter somewhat determined its own pattern, because it needed a different type of mental relationship or environment to make it more acceptable or believable. Again, we are reaching out beyond our existing learning triangle and therefore, we need some support or landmarks by which we can find our way. The point I want to make from all of this confusion is that patterns exist in all areas of life and can change from environment to environment and that depends SOLELY upon the individual. You make your own reality! It's just a matter of conscious identification and belief that results from an understanding of relationships. You respond to a situation based primarily on patterning which is the controlling factor; consequently, you normally become a product of your environment, be it victim or not.
What better way to end a confusing chapter than to end with a confusing riddle of a poetic nature. There is an external pattern, but what about an internal pattern?
THOUGHTS BY THE SEA
Misty morning by a misty sea,
Misty memories by a misty me.
Thoughts of loneliness, thoughts of despair,
Thoughts of confusion hang in the air.
A touch of blue, a touch of green,
A touch of sadness settles serene.
The mood is mellow, the mood is mine,
The mood of the moment is the mood of my mind.
Colorless water and colorless light,
Colorless appearing, but just out of sight.
An emotion of mind, an emotion of feeling,
An emotion that's colorless is not too appealing.
Endless motion and endless thought,
Endless changes, endlessly sought.
Illusions are plenty, illusions abound,
Illusions misleading are all around.
There's clarity in water, there's clarity in light,
There's clarity in living that's beautiful and bright.
Constant motion, constantly misleading,
Constant clarity that's often revealing.
To look is to expect, to look is to see,
To look is a vision that looks from me.
Images of time are images of place,
Images of mind are images of space.
Truth of this world comes from truth from within,
Truth from my mind comes from truth from him.
The mystery to see is the mystery of reflection,
The mystery of truth is the mystery of selection.