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RE: [naturalismphilosophyforum] glad to be back

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  • JRS .
    Hi Alice, Good to have you back, I ve also been out of touch for a bit due to time pressures. Sounds like you ve had a pretty rough run. Sounds pretty
    Message 1 of 19 , Nov 1, 2009
      Hi Alice,

      Good to have you back, I've also been out of touch for a bit due to time pressures.

      Sounds like you've had a pretty rough run. Sounds pretty exhausting and stressful. Hope things start to improve for you.

      In regards to your question about integrity it really depends one what you mean as like many of our words it is somewhat vulnerable to interpretation.

      For me integrity is to do as you preach, to be honest and honor your commitments.

      I do not believe their are any hard and fast rules and everything should be assessed based upon net outcomes.

      There may be times when it provides a net gain to be hypocritical, lie or break promises.

      The thing you need to be aware of is the significance of acting without integrity so that you can weigh the costs properly.

      As i see it trust is our most valuable commodity. Trust is what makes people willing to assist us and cooperate with us. Without trust we are on our own.
      So when you take an action that violates the trust of another you loose some amount of your value within the community.

      You can of course trick people into thinking you have acted with integrity when in fact you haven't to avoid devaluation. Business and politics is riddled with this sort of behavior and it can be quite profitable in a way but it tends to be profit for it's own sake rather than to actually enhance the lives of those people.

      I think this sort of behavior inhibits our ability to derive the real pleasures of life that come from a feeling of interconnectedness and unity with our fellow human. The path of deceit requires you  to keep and protect secrets which can quite quickly put you into a very lonely world where you cannot be completely honest with anyone and have to constantly protect yourself from the curiosity of others.

      Because of this I believe that you need to have a fairly strong degree of evidence to support an action would break a vow, mislead someone or cause you t0 behave in a way that you have pressured others not to.

      And after this apparent necessary breach of trust is committed you must do your best to rebuild that trust and do what you can to convince others there was no other reasonable course of action so that you can reconnect yourself to the world.

      There is some grey areas though and often in these situations you just have to go with your gut and learn from your mistakes. Worth while people will forgive you for errors in judgment if you explain yourself.

      When it comes to business it really is like a poker game and there is no way around that. You have to play your hand as best you can to manipulate the decisions of the other. I believe you can play this game without loss of integrity and you are better off if you do.

      When it comes to clients refusing to pay I don't think you need to give up any integrity to resolve it. In such situations the best approach is to find ways of increasing your leverage. Develop tactics for extracting money from clients who refuse to pay, use every legal means you have available, find ways to change the way you do business to improve the odds of return in the future, factor in bad debtors into your finances, as much as possible have a strong and regular dialog with clients to avoid misunderstandings. Ultimately a business that does not pay for the services it solicits will find it increasingly difficult for them to find people who will work with them. The refusal to work it the ultimate power the worker has over the client.

      I find the reasons for acting without integrity are not because it is a sound course of action in general but sometimes we are just too weak to meet the commitments we've made. Sometimes we just have to take time out from our concerns about integrity to bring our stress levels down and focus on bringing our metal state back to normal. Life is a bit of a race at times and sometimes we have to take a break and loose some ground to avoid keeling over dead from exhaustion.

      Perhaps my view on this can be best explained through the metaphor of physical addiction. There may be times despite our need to give up a drug we must take it to avoid a worse consequence to ourselves. We should no however let this one event allow ourselves to give up on the quest for a life free from addiction.

      Loss of integrity should always be seen as a failing but sometimes we have to allow ourselves to fail so that we can succeed another day.

      The key is that we never give up and follow our values even if from time to time we are unable to live up to them.

      Anyway, those are my thoughts for now.

      Hope it's somewhat useful

      All the best

      -James


      To: naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com
      From: alice1976@...
      Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2009 08:41:11 +1100
      Subject: [naturalismphilosophyforum] glad to be back

       

      Aah it’s so good to be back.

      I’ve had this yahoo group turned off since I moved house in July and forgot to turn it back on again when we got a new email account.  It’s amazing how causes can take us away from influence we want.

      To be reading opinion again from people who aim to make sense in reason – a breath of fresh air after all the madness of illogic out there… THE’RE ALL QUITE MAD!!!  Or perhaps I’m just feeling quite mad after trying to make sense of perhaps senseless things for a while now…

      So I have some questions….

      I was talking to a guy yesterday who showed me a “map of the scale of consciousness” from the book “The Eye of the I” by David R Hawkins, MD, Ph.D.

      It says that self enlightenment, pure consciousness is at the top of consciousness and miserable shame humiliation is at the bottom and all the rest are on a scale in between starting at the top with enlightenment and going down as follows to the bottom – peace, joy love reason acceptance willingness neutrality courage pride anger desire fear grief apathy guilt shame.

      I couldn’t help but feel judged by this scale, as I experience many of those at the bottom often, implying that I am at a low level of consciousness.  The man showing me didn’t seem to be judging me, but I felt this through my own guilt (another very close to the bottom).  I notice judgment is not on this scale – maybe I was just having too much pride and felt imperfect….  anyhow – what do you think about scales of this sort?  They are constructs, but do they have some merit?  Can they be useful?

      He also talked about having integrity.  He seemed to say that it was important to have integrity, but then said that some people would just take advantage of those with integrity.  Later when I was talking with my husband (who is going through some changes) about integrity, he said that he’d had it with integrity – we have just spend 2 years being very poor and running out of food most weeks 2 days before money comes again – it’s been very tough – having integrity appears to worked against us – clients who my husband has worked for have refused to pay leaving us evicted from our home and in much debt with bills.  For him, his understanding of integrity, as in be true in relationships, has not helped.  So, what is integrity?  Is it worth having? Can we misunderstand the meaning and application of integrity to our detriment?  Is it always worth having integrity or are there some times when it can betray us?

      Your feedback would be much appreciated.

      Alice J




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    • David Nye
      Consciousness when used in this sense refers to religious ideas with Hindu roots which lack naturalistic justification. The states of consciousness for which
      Message 2 of 19 , Nov 1, 2009
        Consciousness when used in this sense refers to religious ideas with
        Hindu roots which lack naturalistic justification. The states of
        consciousness for which we have solid evidence are waking, sleep,
        and dreaming. To these, some New Age proponents add Cosmic
        Consciousness, God Consciousness, Unity Consciousness, and so on,
        which are tied in with naturalistically unsupportable concepts like
        monistic idealism (consciousness is the stuff of the universe and
        everything material is formed from consciousness and illusory), a
        universal mind or collective consciousness, achieving enlightenment,
        and liberation of the soul from the body. A notion of "consciousness
        raising" also appeared in the 60's to mean becoming knowledgeable
        about some topic such as women's rights, which doesn't seem to me to
        be the right use of the word "consciousness", which to me means the
        capacity to be aware of sensations and thoughts.

        The concept related in your second paragraph below suggests that if
        you are having a bad time in your life, it is your fault, that bad
        times don't happen to better people with a "higher level of
        consciousness". This smacks of blaming the victim. Being unhappy has
        nothing to do with levels of consciousness unless you are escaping
        your predicament by sleeping! This is not to say that there are not
        avenues for personal improvement that can make us more resilient to
        stress and misfortune such as relaxation techniques, psychotherapy,
        and even proper diet and exercise, but these work through stress
        reduction which may enhance the brain's signal to noise ratio,
        talking and working out ones problems, and learning life skills.

        David

        Alice wrote:
        > ...I was talking to a guy yesterday who showed me a “map of the scale of
        > consciousness” from the book “The Eye of the I” by David R Hawkins, MD,
        > Ph.D.
        >
        > It says that self enlightenment, pure consciousness is at the top of
        > consciousness and miserable shame humiliation is at the bottom and all
        > the rest are on a scale in between starting at the top with
        > enlightenment and going down as follows to the bottom – peace, joy love
        > reason acceptance willingness neutrality courage pride anger desire fear
        > grief apathy guilt shame.
        >
        > I couldn’t help but feel judged by this scale, as I experience many of
        > those at the bottom often, implying that I am at a low level of
        > consciousness. The man showing me didn’t seem to be judging me, but I
        > felt this through my own guilt (another very close to the bottom). I
        > notice judgment is not on this scale – maybe I was just having too much
        > pride and felt imperfect…. anyhow – what do you think about scales of
        > this sort? They are constructs, but do they have some merit? Can they
        > be useful?
      • Alice
        Hi Ken, That makes sense. What ever we share will have casual effect rippling out throughout society, so it s probably best we aim to let out our good side
        Message 3 of 19 , Nov 1, 2009

          Hi Ken,

          That makes sense.  What ever we share will have casual effect rippling out throughout society, so it’s probably best we aim to let out our good side most and our worse side least.  Although not to bottle it all up and have an awful explosion of badness that causes worse harm than if you’d let it out slowly!  But surely we can aim to make our brain connections and hormonal patterning of positive and/or benign effect?

          Alice J

           


          From: naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com [mailto: naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Ken
          Sent: Sunday, 1 November 2009 3:42 pm
          To: naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [naturalismphilosophyforum] Re: glad to be back

           

           

          Welcome back, Alice ! Sorry to hear about your financial difficulties, especially with small children that must have been tough.

          Don't be hard on yourself for being all over the map of consciousness, I believe everyone is, to varying degrees, all over that same map. Many deny it, of course, but, as a therapist, I've been let into people's secret inner lives often enough to suspect that everyone has a dark side, bigger than the one they reveal to the public or even to friends and family. Most people do their best to hide it, which results in most people thinking they are worse than average in this regard.

          Ken

        • Alice
          Thanks James, that was really thoughtful and insightful. I will spend some time in thought about that. Alice :-) _____ From:
          Message 4 of 19 , Nov 1, 2009

            Thanks James, that was really thoughtful and insightful.  I will spend some time in thought about that.

            Alice J

             


            From: naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com [mailto: naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of JRS .
            Sent: Sunday, 1 November 2009 8:30 pm
            To: naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [naturalismphilosophyforum] glad to be back

             

             

            Hi Alice ,

            Good to have you back, I've also been out of touch for a bit due to time pressures.

            Sounds like you've had a pretty rough run. Sounds pretty exhausting and stressful. Hope things start to improve for you.

            In regards to your question about integrity it really depends one what you mean as like many of our words it is somewhat vulnerable to interpretation.

            For me integrity is to do as you preach, to be honest and honor your commitments.

            I do not believe their are any hard and fast rules and everything should be assessed based upon net outcomes.

            There may be times when it provides a net gain to be hypocritical, lie or break promises.

            The thing you need to be aware of is the significance of acting without integrity so that you can weigh the costs properly.

            As i see it trust is our most valuable commodity. Trust is what makes people willing to assist us and cooperate with us. Without trust we are on our own.
            So when you take an action that violates the trust of another you loose some amount of your value within the community.

            You can of course trick people into thinking you have acted with integrity when in fact you haven't to avoid devaluation. Business and politics is riddled with this sort of behavior and it can be quite profitable in a way but it tends to be profit for it's own sake rather than to actually enhance the lives of those people.

            I think this sort of behavior inhibits our ability to derive the real pleasures of life that come from a feeling of interconnectedness and unity with our fellow human. The path of deceit requires you  to keep and protect secrets which can quite quickly put you into a very lonely world where you cannot be completely honest with anyone and have to constantly protect yourself from the curiosity of others.

            Because of this I believe that you need to have a fairly strong degree of evidence to support an action would break a vow, mislead someone or cause you t0 behave in a way that you have pressured others not to.

            And after this apparent necessary breach of trust is committed you must do your best to rebuild that trust and do what you can to convince others there was no other reasonable course of action so that you can reconnect yourself to the world.

            There is some grey areas though and often in these situations you just have to go with your gut and learn from your mistakes. Worth while people will forgive you for errors in judgment if you explain yourself.

            When it comes to business it really is like a poker game and there is no way around that. You have to play your hand as best you can to manipulate the decisions of the other. I believe you can play this game without loss of integrity and you are better off if you do.

            When it comes to clients refusing to pay I don't think you need to give up any integrity to resolve it. In such situations the best approach is to find ways of increasing your leverage. Develop tactics for extracting money from clients who refuse to pay, use every legal means you have available, find ways to change the way you do business to improve the odds of return in the future, factor in bad debtors into your finances, as much as possible have a strong and regular dialog with clients to avoid misunderstandings. Ultimately a business that does not pay for the services it solicits will find it increasingly difficult for them to find people who will work with them. The refusal to work it the ultimate power the worker has over the client.

            I find the reasons for acting without integrity are not because it is a sound course of action in general but sometimes we are just too weak to meet the commitments we've made. Sometimes we just have to take time out from our concerns about integrity to bring our stress levels down and focus on bringing our metal state back to normal. Life is a bit of a race at times and sometimes we have to take a break and loose some ground to avoid keeling over dead from exhaustion.

            Perhaps my view on this can be best explained through the metaphor of physical addiction. There may be times despite our need to give up a drug we must take it to avoid a worse consequence to ourselves. We should no however let this one event allow ourselves to give up on the quest for a life free from addiction.

            Loss of integrity should always be seen as a failing but sometimes we have to allow ourselves to fail so that we can succeed another day.

            The key is that we never give up and follow our values even if from time to time we are unable to live up to them.

            Anyway, those are my thoughts for now.

            Hope it's somewhat useful

            All the best

            -James

          • Ken
            Alice: Absolutely, it s a good thing to accentuate the positive, to try to put our best side forward. Trying to do better, to feel better, to treat ourselves
            Message 5 of 19 , Nov 1, 2009
              Alice: Absolutely, it's a good thing to accentuate the positive, to try to put our best side forward. Trying to do better, to feel better, to treat ourselves and others better, are essential parts of a healthy life. I just meant that pretending one is constantly on some high plane of consciousness is not helpful. People who write self-help books or give advice on happiness are not always perfectly happy, and they shouldn't pretend they are.

              Ken



              --- In naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com, "Alice" <alice1976@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Ken,
              >
              > That makes sense. What ever we share will have casual effect rippling out
              > throughout society, so it's probably best we aim to let out our good side
              > most and our worse side least. Although not to bottle it all up and have an
              > awful explosion of badness that causes worse harm than if you'd let it out
              > slowly! But surely we can aim to make our brain connections and hormonal
              > patterning of positive and/or benign effect?
              >
              > Alice :-)
              >
              >
              >
              > _____
              >
              > From: naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com
              > [mailto:naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ken
              > Sent: Sunday, 1 November 2009 3:42 pm
              > To: naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: [naturalismphilosophyforum] Re: glad to be back
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Welcome back, Alice! Sorry to hear about your financial difficulties,
              > especially with small children that must have been tough.
              >
              > Don't be hard on yourself for being all over the map of consciousness, I
              > believe everyone is, to varying degrees, all over that same map. Many deny
              > it, of course, but, as a therapist, I've been let into people's secret inner
              > lives often enough to suspect that everyone has a dark side, bigger than the
              > one they reveal to the public or even to friends and family. Most people do
              > their best to hide it, which results in most people thinking they are worse
              > than average in this regard.
              >
              > Ken
              >
            • Alice
              Thanks David for this strong and to the point mail. What a breath of fresh air being on this group is again... it s amazing how far one can drift when
              Message 6 of 19 , Nov 1, 2009

                Thanks David for this strong and to the point mail.  What a breath of fresh air being on this group is again...  it's amazing how far one can drift when without reasonable influence.  Again it is highlighted that in my life I am surrounded by 'madness', constructs of reality that have no sense or meaning are all around.

                Thank you all for being an anchor for me to come back too.

                I’m grateful for this reminder that we are all were we are because this how it had to be.  Really there is no judgment to be made, it just is.  My thinking is still very jumbled at the moment – but I’ll come back to it and allow my brain to work it out in the next few days – perhaps when I’m sleeping – as I often find sleeping assists the brain to develop an idea or come up with another perspective.

                Regarding integrity.  My definition here is: soundness of moral principle and character; uprightness; honesty, the state of being whole entire or undiminished, sound unimpaired or perfect condition.  It’s interesting as both my husband and I are naturally honest with an aim to be ‘good’ to those around us.

                James talked before about following legal procedures to get payment for work.  We investigated this option, but were unable to afford the costs to follow it all up.  So being in such a state of poverty lead us to strong feelings of hate, jealousy, revenge, worry, frustration, fear, anger and so on.  we have since, perhaps due to our kind nature of being open and caring of friends, been provided with a home free of rent for this past 3 ½ months and this same friend has found a number of job interviews for my husband, and he has been able to gain an income this year perhaps 10 times more than last year.  We are quite in shock.  I am still quite anxious as I have such a habit after a few years of living in poverty and can’t believe that this good fortune may last.

                I’ve read the first few pages of this book – the eye of the I – and yes, it is mixed up with religion.  I would like to discuss the book with it’s owner from a naturalistic context, but will have to consolidate my argument and understand where his book fits into my naturalistic understanding of the world.

                I have a basic intuition about this situation.  This map of the scale of consciousness is a construct.  It justifies caste and class systems and can cause humiliation and personal blame for life situation (I didn’t see if it included the soul idea or reincarnation – which would further this notion of blame).

                Also I propose the idea that perception of integrity is linked with culture – different cultures can see the same thing as good or bad.

                Funnily enough though, this same man talked to me about an understanding of oneness with everything – that I also felt just after understanding Naturalism.  I think this is what confused me.  I presumed that as we had had a similar experience that he had a naturalistic understanding of the world.  But if this book is bases for his understanding of the world, we are very different.

                thanks for your feedback, it is much appreciated.

                Alice J

                Melbourne

              • Alice
                Good one Ken ! Surely it reflects more integrity to be honest about ones levels of happiness ? And like you say, it s normal to experience a broad spectrum and
                Message 7 of 19 , Nov 1, 2009

                  Good one Ken !

                  Surely it reflects more integrity to be honest about ones levels of happiness ?

                  And like you say, it’s normal to experience a broad spectrum and go up and down as life goes on.  The enlightenment state is not something to maintain forever, I’m not sure if that would be possible – is this what the Dali Lama aims to do?  Especially if we lead a family work life and not the life of a monk.

                  Alice J

                   


                  From: naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com [mailto: naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Ken
                  Sent: Monday, 2 November 2009 8:04 am
                  To: naturalismphilosophyforum@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [naturalismphilosophyforum] Re: glad to be back

                   

                   

                  Alice : Absolutely, it's a good thing to accentuate the positive, to try to put our best side forward. Trying to do better, to feel better, to treat ourselves and others better, are essential parts of a healthy life. I just meant that pretending one is constantly on some high plane of consciousness is not helpful. People who write self-help books or give advice on happiness are not always perfectly happy, and they shouldn't pretend they are.

                  Ken


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