Goodness - Reflections

    The following is a personal report written for Kira's Ways of Knowing workshop, the week our topic was Goodness.

    * * *

    We've been slowly conditioned  by -- and "born into" -- a philosophy that says Goodness is a Quality, and Qualities are Subjective, and Subjective is Personal, and Subjective somehow "can't" connect with Objective, and yada yada.

    That determines the "menu" of possibilities for interpreting experience and acting.   When I suffer, experiencing a "negative" quality, I take it personally, and assume it doesn't really do much good to compare notes or share experiences with others.  And when I experience a "positive" quality, likewise ... I assume it can't really be "shared". 

    But maybe these perspectives, are like a house of cards -- one that we rebuild whenever it starts to collapse.  If that's true, it could take a lot of work and attention ... in the moment, but behind the scenes.  And not doing that just might free up a lot of energy, conscious and otherwise.

    That's my working hypothesis, backed up by experience (or at the least, my "interpretation" of experience).

    A cigar is usually NOT a cigar. Not entirely.  It is so much more...

    All roads lead to Buddha Nature.   And from there.  And, if some are to believed, never left there.

    Case 1 - Classically Subjective,  With a Hint of Inter-

    I was feeling frustrated with a plumbing project -- they usually take tree trips to the hardware store, and my irritation focused on the fact that the kit I purchased was incomplete, the store across town, and closing for the evening before I could get there.  I called a friend to say my planned car trip would be delayed.  He said ... "There are two separate aspects to life . -- IS and OUGHT..."  I left the project behind, and went to a grocery store just before closing time.  As I was leaving, I saw a tiny flash of red light through the glass of the door, puzzling and out-of-place for an instant and then my mind put together the trajectory for that ray, from eye through glass reflecting off a small glossy label then to the tail light of a car around the corner making its signal of alertness to the radio signal of a key pressed by a person who... this branched out in space and time within that brief glance which tied everything together into a coordinated and responsive whole which seemed to me to be "good". 


    Case 2 - Intersubjective

    Questions in a group usually are proxy for more than one thing.  The question came up about the "meaning" of a certain issue being discussed by a group recently (details omitted).  What could it be?  In one of my process groups we try to unwind these motivational "at stake" chains to see where they go.  

    In this case I do not feel it is the previous "confidential communication" issue. It might be the issue of group member responsibility, which is (could be) a proxy for group commitment, which is (could be) a proxy for safety, communion, or "Being", depending on the people involved.

    Then there's the "what's the worst case" concern.  I'm not sure what this at-risk-proxy-chain is about.  Security ... (Can we get our asses sued off?  Negative publicity (shame) in the eyes of the public?  Money and legal fees?)  A proxy for good will... and therefore love... and therefore communion, or "Being"?  

    All those chains eventually go to Goodness, or Buddha Nature. :)


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