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Love, Normative systems, Values, Morality, Beliefs
and the Future: A Closer Look



The future is something that plays a very great role in mankind’s development. It is a construct, indeed a fantasy, which rules man’s purpose through the idea that the future is controlled by the present. In fact, there really is no future as such, only the idea of a future.

Time, as mankind perceives it, is an eternal present, that through the persistence of the “self” or his “identity”, through his memories, allows man to plot a course through time molded by purpose. That “course” is what we call the “future”. It is not a certainty, but only a probable, and in most cases, “a likely” course of events predicted by the past actions that the personality of the self has experienced through the agency of “memories”, and the mind projects in a purposeful behavior to create the course through the future. The predictive aspect, which allows man to predict the probable outcome of this “course”, also allows man to build a “normative” system, which distinguishes what “should be” from what “is”. Hence man can build “purpose” or design into his actions, which will result in the plan of a future that he can change into his present, and finally his past 1 .

What “should be” is what man sets down as the actions which will produce behavior that will benefit man. The ancients called this the “Good”: that action, or behavior that allows man to create a life beneficial to the self, and the rest of the Universe. 2

What is this “beneficial” part? It is often referred to something called “happiness”, an indefinable, or, perhaps an “individually defined” something that allows man to live in a harmony with himself, and the rest of the universe.

Because man lives in a “society”, which demands interaction with others, like himself, this benefit to the “self” must be tempered by this interaction into a behavior which respects other “selves”, and their behaviors. This “equitable” behavior we have defined before as “just behavior” or the concept of justice. The Normative system, or a “moral” system or “morality” determines what “should be” in man’s behavior from what actually is. It is a predictive system, which can determine behavior that will create a beneficial outcome for all in society with a high probability of success. It is a system that creates harmony, both individually and socially.

The “beneficial aspect”, we have mentioned above, conferred by these “just” behaviors goes, in the main, to create the societal potential we have mentioned in other essays. In Capitalistic societies this is “wealth”; although this societal potential can be created in ways which are not “moral” as such; in fact, even in immoral ways in our present Capitalistic societies. So this “benefit”, is something more than societal potential, and at times, indeed most of the time, may not even be it at all. The reason for this is that the benefit mentioned is beneficial to both the self and society at large; while the societal potential mentioned only creates a standing in society through a socioeconomic viewpoint. In point of fact, wealth, or any social standing, often creates the exact opposite of the “harmony” mentioned, in the lives of those who receive it.

Two types of factors determine man’s overall course into the “future”: his purposes and what we will call “circumstances”. These circumstances are, in turn, determined by fate and the purposes of other perceivers like himself. Fate is the unpredictability of Nature, and is directly perceived in this same unpredictability of objects, which make up the continuum we previously defined in another essay. Man can control his purposes directly, at least for the most part, but he can only indirectly control the actions of other perceivers. This factor of uncertainty, along with the uncertainty of fate that the continuum contains, leads him to create “hopes”.

In all of this, the self is the perspective or viewpoint through which all man’s behavior is gauged. All man’s behavior is relative to this particular and unique “constant” in the individual’s life.

Up to this point science and logic or reason can “explain” man’s behavior “mechanistically”, or in a way consistent with machine-like action. But man is capable of expanding or widening this viewpoint, to encompass a view which represents all of his kind. Through the energy, or motive action of Universal Love, the agency of the GOOD allows him to both broaden his viewpoint in this way, and act to create purposeful action relative to this widened viewpoint. This allows him to create societies, and also brings him to a realization of a purpose of a higher order than the individual or society; this is man’s religious instinct or propensity.

As we already mentioned above, the normative or moral systems which allow man to guide his actions into the future to bring him the benefit we mentioned, can and are usually tied into this religious idea of this “higher purpose” for man.

In a way this widening of viewpoint is a denial of the self. It goes against the cumulative survival instincts which Nature has built into man’s physical body and biological organization. We reconcile it by postulating a “higher” form of the love that is seen in the mating and familial practices of man. This is a “higher” form of love in that it exhibits this same love but without the focus on any particular individual or group of individuals; it is an altruism with a focus on all humanity, or even all life, as such; therefore it in essence exhibits no focus at all. In losing this “focus” it is outside of relativity of any kind; it is absolute in scope and devoid of viewpoint because it encompasses all viewpoints. It is a total acceptance; and as such approaches man’s concept of perfection, which we have spoken of before.

Here a serious problem emerges. Normative systems deal with individuals, and the same benefits brought to the self through proper normative action. But at the same time they are bound to the justice we have mentioned. They are relative to certain belief systems, or certain societies, or the cultures of such; but the love we mention is not; it is absolute, not relative to anything at all.

Morality and justice are concepts bound to man; they are a part of humanity in that they are needed to structure man’s social environment: the society. As a part of religion they are bound to a belief system that forms its own group or society. But the Universal Love force or energy we have spoken of allows man to transcend the relativity of society or any belief system, and is therefore absolute. So it is beyond these “moral systems”, and essentially at odds with them, just as perfection itself is at odds with imperfection. In essence, it needs no normative system, since it is in harmony with the Universe itself and all life forces. It is truly beyond good and evil, in that it is the essence of all harmony for mankind.

In many ways all religious systems have been founded with this same concept at their cores. It is the love that Christ spoke of in the two Great Commandments of the New Testament; and before Him it is the New Covenant of the Judaic Tradition; it is the Tao in Oriental religious beliefs; and the One in the many in the Vedic Tradition; it is the all-merciful way of Allah in Islam. It is an absolute love, transcending the partisanship of humanity. It is the complete acceptance of God for all His creation, which can only bring harmony to the artificial and petty separations of the groups entailed by mortal existence.

Through it, and it alone, can the world be united in spirituality, and finally throw off the bondage of groups and the relativity they breed.

How can this be accomplished? I have broached this in another essay, but its gist is contained in the long misunderstood words of the Christ: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” 3 Here Christ is setting forth the primacy of Universal Love, in relegating it to religion, and in relegating normative systems, morality and justice, to the realm of man’s societal institutions.

In finally realizing this, mankind will dissolve the partisanship which religions have spread, instead of the unity they were meant to herald. In the creation of spiritual unity, they will finally bring the “Good” of the ancients back into the lives of all men, and unite all societal institutions on the foundation of a normative system based on this same Love.

In fostering this kind of Love man finds a God which is essentially of his own making, yet is identical to all other men’s God’s. God becomes the universal quest for harmony which all men’s hopes envision, and the unity which all religions have so long sought in vain. As St. John said: God is indeed Love!




FOOTNOTES

To return to note's origin click the footnote number at left



1 Note that these ideas are very similar to the concepts of change found in the ancient Chinese oracular "Book of Change", the "I Ching".

2 Aristotle sees it (the Good) as a type of order (or ordering factor) in the Universe, but also a trait in the individual; see “Aristotle’s Metaphysics” by John Warrington, J. M. Dent and Sons LTD; Chapter 10 “How The Good Exists In the World” He also mentions here that Empedocles saw the Good as Love.

3 "The Bible", King James Version, Matthew, 22:21.



LOVE SERIES ESSAYS

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Rostra
Rostra

Originally Published:

May 8, 2009

Revised:

July 3, 2014