Heaven in progress
Come walk with me through the outskirts of heaven, a metaphorical staging area. We can stroll through the prototype together.
First, let us reflect how I got here. Before my earliest days of marriage and fatherhood, I had dropped out of a free clinical trial after ten sessions with the psychiatrist at student health. The rest of my psychoanalysis has been autodidactic. That means I had to figure it out for myself.
Occasionally, after tuning a piano for a social worker, I would bounce around some ideas. I had long before figured out that the face of a critical Jesus appearing in a dream (saying “Du bist nicht gut genug” – you are not good enough) can represent a stern father image. I wasn’t sure whether one real-life person can appear as two different people in a dream. That idea found validation! Soon I realized that I was the real-life person connected with two dream figures. I think that can be referred to as identity crisis.
Nightmares were severe. Security blankets abounded: seven layers of wool that made me sweat profusely. After a can’t-run-away nightmare, I awoke with the bedsheet tightly wrapped around and between my legs. With effort, I can recall describing that traumatic period as a journey on foot to the outskirts of Hell and back.
The significant phrase is “and back.” Finally, at age 57.5 (which I remember vividly), I walked into the kitchen and announced that I had hit bedrock. I was right. I have had no nightmare since.
The above story took effort to remember. Twenty years later, I am universally cheerful and filled only with positive thoughts—about you as well as about me. The past was worthwhile learning. Now it is laid aside on condition that I must remember what I have learned. I include the negative story experience to show why today’s opening paragraph is so real to me. I have included here many articles showing that mental construct means everything to me because it determines what I (and other people) bring into reality.
In a sense I have created my present health through a lot of hard work. That is the success I am constantly projecting forward into a future that is more real to me than the dimming past. I sincerely invite you to stroll with me in the heavenly prototype. I expect skeptical atheists to accept metaphor as instructive language, not theology.
On that basis, let us take our stroll. Bring along your imagination. It is that, more than your present, that I am entertaining. We will observe what you want most to see about this new heaven under construction.
Speaking of labor
The fact that I labored successfully for my personhood gives me profound respect for anyone who labors. That suggests using an employee as a type for creative humanity. I will speak of creating the new world through the figure of finding the right job. The theme has great personal meaning to me. Incidentally, I choose self-employment every time, but that merely means that everybody is my boss.
In the new world we are building, is the employer the hypercritical god-figure who cannot be satisfied? In my observation, most Americans do think so, and they regard other people in terms of that struggle. They approve a barrier that the candidate must overcome to be employed, and then think in terms of demands rather than partnership.
Since we are making a new world, let’s choose instead to make our better one like my future instead of like my past. Let us do away with demands by encouraging others to rise to kindly anticipations. Article 40 discusses the expectation advantage: those students perform better from whom the teacher expected better results. The key is not pressure; it is the favorable attention that encourages achievement. Humans intrinsically have desire and capacity to please others. That drive is all we need to motivate good behavior.
Recall that competition is friendly when it helps all parties improve (article 70). The pride of the Marines or of the astronauts is a positive self-image earned by excellence. Its purpose is not to create winners at the expense of losers. It is to stimulate everyone to winning. Those who are not admitted to the prestigious university have a benefit from having applied. Healthy rebounding is to take the talent that almost made it into [University of __] and realize its potential in the next best setting. Everybody is meant to improve. Everybody deserves an appropriately fitting position in which to do so.
When the above paragraph is working, all the participants benefit from the game. The system is not working if it is eliminating players from the game. Article 74 dealt with remedies to the problem of throw-away people. The barrier to entry cannot morally keep people from useful employment.
Our heaven is not a predesigned mold plopped on unsuspecting players. Reality changes through our effort over time. Appropriate improvements are the ones we learn to carry out as an inclusive team. Instead of saying the world is bad, we realize that our observations are getting better as we become more aware of the better world that should be. Writing courses are teaching me “it is not about you; it is all about them.” That applies to this model of heaven. We focus on the new world, the work product, not on ourselves.
Advocating benevolent labor practices does not produce instant heaven. Article 95 taught that panacea grows out of understanding. Legislation cannot cure profiteering, wage gouging, slavery, child labor, or subjugation of an underclass. Cooperative intense study and effort go into developing remedies. As successful methods are chosen, legislation can bring us together on the same policy page. Nevertheless, it is the hard work and understanding that bring about the progress.
The old model pits management against labor. Each side accumulates coaches and trains experts to further its interests, frequently at the expense of the other side. The boss demands, the hapless, impotent worker feels drained and discarded. The competition is adversarial rather than collaborative as explained above.
The new prototype applies a different view by assessing all the abilities and all the needs, then developing a distribution pattern in which the worker is gently directed to the most efficient station. Needs are met in the common interest as all participants are on the same team and collaborate toward the desired result.
The blazing insight did not transform me suddenly into a relaxed person. I still had anxieties and concerns that detracted from my performance. What changed inside me was my approach to those negatives. Instead of applying an artificial panacea, I undertook to apply analytical thinking. Surely there were causes for my discomforts, and I pursued identifying and alleviating those causes. To this day I study myself in a spirit of scientific investigation to program logical steps that address my needs and improve my health.BeingForOthers.blog article 86
This article uses some teachings of W. Edwards Deming in a heaven allegory. I am not a management scientist, but as a thoughtful human, I understand that the power of love applies directly to the goal of having every person productive in a happy place. We should not expect this heaven to appear instantaneously in this life or the next. It is worth our labor.
Picture: W. Edwards Deming