The internal virtues are covered, the external ones await. These virtues are “strategies” for life, as I play the game. They fit together in a sort of diagram, for easy comprehension.
The inner IN square is independence, the triangle is creativity, the circle is pragmatism. We’ve covered those. The head virtue, the one on top with a circle within a square is the virtue or “order.” This first section begins the topic by discussing how our place in the world is always already ordered to some degree, because we are situated. I think it was a philosopher named Heiddeger who talked about our situatedness, but I’m no certain. I haven’t read him. I took the word and put it to my own use.
The essay begins with talking of each man’s context, and then talks about the situatedness of special types of people, and how they differ from the average run.
Take care, Caretakers!
Daniel Christopher June
Life is by nature ordered. We exist within a context, we are situated. Here I am, with the past behind me, the future before me, and my potential humming within. Its as if the past were in my stomach, the future in my womb: the ever living present is the nexus of all that is, just as I am the center of my all, and you the center of your all. We are all situated. Whenever you read a book or meet a person, consider the details with one eye, and with the Odin eye, consider the big picture. The deeper in you look with one, the farther out you look with the other, till one eye is on the atom and the other the universe.
The virtue of study requires that we impose order on all ideas we internalize. The virtue of productive pragmatism requires that we constantly order our lives. To structure life, to constantly refine its order, to situate all things, is the way of control. Power is the ability to order. Control orders.
A man loses his enemies when he is able to internalize them, predict them, anticipate their criticisms, and so inoculate himself from them. By internalizing my world, I am able to expect its surprises. Every absolute must contain its exception, as the raindrop balances the sea. We can work harder, knowing where we are situated in relationship to our vacation. Planning it out for months makes the vacation more enjoyable when it finally comes, and more memorable when it passes. To be unaware if and when you are due a vacation until the day you are given it would reduce its value by over ninety percent.
Expectations and memories embed us in time, situate us in history. The present moment is thick with both past and future, which halo it and make it holy. The full context of every moment is temporal as a coming after and a coming before – I don’t experience the present, but a living memory of the near present, that is already partially processed and stitched into both past and future. There may be no necessary connection between cause and effect other than the consciousness’ inability to see it otherwise. What more reason do we need to trust it? The past and future exist only in the present. Beyond that they are mere ideals, and if taken too literally, lead to the problems of all fundamentalism: we come to believe that we should exist for the past or future, and not they for us.
We are already in the future by sheer anticipation; we participate in the future by imagining it; anticipation is the future now. We can work with more cheer, believing that our job will be done next week. Having done a thing and knowing you did it changes you forever. The mere memory of the fact slowly sinks into your eternal soul: you are forever what you have done.
Whatever place we hold sacred, a church, a temple, a private grove, or for the self-appointed priests and priestesses, whatever place they have hallowed with their worship of the universe, that place is internalized and unconsciously invoked when we put ourselves in the sacred mood. As music plays our moods, though we don’t consciously hear it, so too do our minds inhabit those places we have loved and lived within, though we don’t think about it, unless we self-reflect and can open the curtains of internal structuration.
The sacred is the template metaphor used to construct our daily lives; it is a place-holder. It means “distinct and important.” The very architecture of our childhood house and playtime experiences become the ideas by which we think. Those years of childhood become habits of attitude, belief, personality, and character—though we forget it all. It is as if the child ate the brick of the fire place, and by that memory is forever kept warm.
We make our memories our own. You don’t own something until you change it. Nor can anything be important to you that is not related to you. We love our own children best, and care for no mother nor father, be they ever so divine, so much as the flesh and blood parents of our youth – no matter what other strained feelings interlace with that love! We are situated in our world, a world which amounts to what we have changed in the universe. The wide-flowing, ever-growing, ever-perfecting Universe, our mother of Matter, learns from each of us, and from us upstart godlings she learns most; we are here to educate ourselves first, and her secondly. She is near as the air we breath, as intimate as the pulse in our throats.
All forms are analogical; all beings are variations of one being. And yet how much more valuable to the universe and the world of people are some of us over others. If we create ourselves equal, what makes the difference in the beloved cases? Is it mere situational luck which gives this thing luster, and that other none? Yet no matter how great a man or woman is, and more importantly, no matter how great a man or woman becomes by effort of will and love, nobody can be more important to you than yourself, except through optical illusion, when some hero seems overly great, but what they did, you can do, and what you can do best, nobody else could do so well, even if they were to strain, where for you it is the ease which flows from your own nature.
We must therefore consider even those men and women born with severe autism, or perhaps mental retardation, as of the same stuff as us, not only as human beings – and we honor all of mankind as the highest beings possible short of the universe as a whole! – but as life, as potentialities, as minds, as the same as us, but in a situation which makes them appear less. No sin caused this, but the biological laws of genetics, which must be praised even through those who suffer, being the same laws which created the healthier people, and also the same laws which created your ability to judge those laws in the first place. We can escape any situation, but we cannot escape situatedness. We can judge any situation, but our very judgment is a situation as well, one possibility of many.