Humanity is walking out of the cave of ignorance into the sunlight of curiosity, knowledge and emotionally-driven choice making is in majority the outcome of humanity having gained a reflective consciousness.This is the ability to think about self, and the concomitant meta-cognition ability (the internal human self-communication system). Having a reflective consciousness means that humanity gains three challenges. The first of these challenges is the one that most affects human choice making. The first challenge is for a human being to develop an opinion about self.
The opinion about self is not something that is within a human being at birth. It develops out of the enculturation, life experiences to which there are exposure and the interpretation of those experiences. The self-opinion is a continuing product of both current and past experiences. When a positive self-feeling or opinion develops, there is a vision prism by a human being that sees an experience in a positive non-threatening, but challenging, exposure. With regard to the experience, the person having a positive self-esteem perceives through their self-feeling vision prism that they have the independent knowledge and capability to resolve the challenge or that they choose, without feelings of inadequacy, to seek cooperation in resolving it.
A positive self-opinion is in congruity with an individual having a positive emotional posture. Such an emotional posture seeks long-term resolution of challenges rather than short-term. They also view the importance of intermittent choices or steps required for total resolution of the challenge as having the same need for ethics and morality as the long-term vision. The challenge resolution sought is the most effective, as well as most efficient. It would not be a killing of the “golden-goose” with the illusion of gaining a more immediate reward. Because of this, within the Self-Actualization Choice Making Process curriculum (which also has adult and group implications), a positive self-love choice represents a choice that expresses the meeting of a human primary need to have control over one’s own living.
On the contrary, and in further substantiation of the characterized primary human need, when an individual is making a choice through a negative vision prism, or a fear-oriented emotional posture representing a lack of positive self-love, will usually express the illusion rather than the reality of meeting the primary human need to have control over one’s own living. For example, the most obvious expression of a fear emotion is the extroverted expression by an individual by creating their self-illusion through a management business position or other form of economic, social or political vantage that creates the feeling of separation and adulation of superiority without the internal feeling of adequacy.
The self-esteem illusion might be expressed through bullying behaviors, pointing to a spouse who has exceptional physical attraction or extreme wealth that is accumulated for the sole purpose of having adulation or superiority. The lack of positive self-esteem requires the compulsion of a continuing expression of winning even if it is not accomplished. A lack of self-love usually results in making self the center of the universe with a resulting lack of empathy.
Bullying is an example of needing a sense of superiority by picking on a person who is less able to defend themselves. There is the less extroverted fear emotional postured individual who expresses self in a domestic situation. Finally, there is the individual who starts with the illusion of having a relationship with someone they perceive is a loving protective person and later understanding that, with regret, they have given control over their living to another.
Drug, alcohol and eating disorders begin with a sense of control over living and continue into a compulsive mode wherein control has been relinquished. Suicide is the ultimate feeling of control; however, the result is the end of all control. An individual living mostly in a fear emotional posture, who attains some form of political “power” is the most dangerous of these individuals to others. The desire to maintain adulation through “winning” can lead to serious errors in judgment that have the potential to do extreme harm to many.
There has been no prior self-esteem curriculum because of a failure to reach a proper definition. Self-esteem is an internal matter that with human beings involves interacting with a circumstance, a processing of alternatives and concluding in an act. This differs from animal behavior which is stimulus- response oriented, with the response being hard wired from birth. Extreme fear orientation is often associated as having an emotional age that is far below their chronological age. Intelligence is not a factor in an individual having a fear or loving orientation.
The next important consideration in the Self-Actualization Choice Processing is recognizing that there are a number of socially oriented human impulses; such as angering, jealousy, and prejudicing that interfere with choice making that expresses the primary human need. Within the Self-Actualization curriculum the impulses are identified and defined. The learning then provides for choices to not be made while there is a continued choosing to accept the influence of the impulses or consciously make an effort to look for choices that do not represent of the impulse.
The important point in making choices that express the primary human need is to understand the essentiality of accepting responsibility for choices being made. All human choices are within the choice maker’s control; however consequences are not necessarily within the choice maker’s control. Implicit within the choice making processing is the understanding that violating another’s meeting the primary Need and attempting to control rather than effectively influencing another, is not permissible. It is a violation of the Golden Rule and a taking of another’s living, which goes beyond any other form of thievery. Making choices in accordance with self-actualization process has the result of a congruency with the teachings of all of the major religions. Certainly, Jesus’ admonition to love others as you love yourself has the implication of first having positive self- love for yourself and then to project it to others,
True strength is not the ranting and ravings of someone needing adulation by others and at the same time not being capable of feeling closeness enough to the rest of humanity to feel empathy for others. True strength is easily recognizable in those you know who stand ready to cooperate and help others, and who make no effort to embarrass or harangue others in their living.
Part of the learning being explored herein can be expressed in the expression of a chief executive of one of the financial firms that participated in the 2008 world- wide financial debacle. He postured that if there is no specific law that has been violated, unless heinous acts have been done, there should be no consequences. He fails to give importance to the consequences his choices have put upon others and that his conscious existence has an ending.
(TO BE CONTINUED IN NEXT BLOG POST)