Photo by Gustavo Fring

☚ previous
next ☛

148 Do not OTHER others

Individual identity requires and therefore implies difference. What you do with that difference makes all the difference [#154]. This article clarifies melding self with other.

Self as a beginning

We learn here to develop a strong sense of self. Sentience, self-awareness, is our first conscious experience of existence. That birth or awakening is not to be buried or lost to anonymity, because such loss would defeat eventual godhood as described in numerous earlier articles.

However, we must not stop at the concept of self as a silo world, and must not retreat to this beginning when challenged. However extensive our capacities are, by standing independently we do not realize our potential. To reach our fullness, we must interrelate with all the other silo worlds.

Addition of others

Early in life we are both sustained and limited by other people. As we move from helpless to capable, we choose our own outcomes to an ever increasing degree. When we gain sufficient intelligence, we appreciate the necessity of relating positively to our environment, which includes cooperating with the other inhabitants of that environment. We get ahead by getting along.

That adds complexity and responsibility. We learn to collaborate, to combine individual effort into group effort, vastly expanding what is possible. We taste the benefit of being a society.

Somewhere along our path of progress, reasoning power and shared perspective lead us to morality. While inventing and carrying out physical accomplishments, we begin to distinguish values. We appreciate individually and collectively that some actions are more satisfying than others. We learn what is worthwhile, and eventually label it "good." We become conscious of society.

Creating the tapestry

With a healthy sense of self and a realistic awareness of others, we build on instinct to construct a social fabric. We quickly perceive the need for balance. We weigh relationships between self and other.

Article 15 clarifies the need to be needed-an assurance of self-worth. Article 21 describes how this is corrupted when it leads to gaining power by making self indispensable. Article 22 shifts our attention to others: we can put the interests of others ahead of ours. Such altruism is seriously problematic because it retains the distinction between self and other. Benefits seem to go either to self or to other. This separation amounts to "othering" people.

Instead, rising above altruism is to meld self with other by merging or blending. "You and I" becomes "we."

The keywords of world peace are "we" and "together." After we stop separating ourselves from others, today's proposal says: we use our resources to improve our lives. -- Article 75

☚ previous
next ☛


Being For Others Blog copyright © 2023 Kent Busse
Have you shared this with someone?