The Disease-of-Loneliness

My question about the current Pandemic of COVID-19 was what did we know historical about pandemics? What else happened to individuals besides being sick and dying?

All pandemics have several things in common. First, they spread quickly when an area is congested, 2nd, they kill, and 3rd, create a basic cure that causes a second pandemic. The self-quarantine necessary to bring the death under control causes loneliness. Loneliness is a bigger disease than diabetes, smoking, and heart disease. It has as big impact on our well-being as any bacterial or viral disease.

To connect with touch others is as much a biological imperative as food and air. Science, (in an actual study in America), is beginning to recognize that more people die from loneliness than ever before, in the last 20 years the death rate has doubled. It answers the question of why so many would not see the importance of staying quarantined and be willing to go into gatherings that could infect them and others? They have food and air, and are not sick with the virus, but are dying from loneliness. The need for contact is as great as it is for air. It is estimated that 1 out of 5 appointments with physicians is based on loneliness. A senior has a 45% increase in mortality if they are isolated.

Before 1800 there was no word loneliness. The word alone existed as meaning only one, but the word loneliness which bares an emotional connotation did not exist in language. There was a meaning of alone for being by-ones-self and a lonely place.  Most of the world’s population lived in multi-generation family homes and small communities. Being lonely and missing meaningful, non-sexual touch, was not a problem. Intimacy of contact was built into our society before the early 20th century.

Being in quarantine, living alone, are not the sole causers of loneliness. As many know they can be in a crowd or talking on the internet and still feel lonely. Loneliness is a separation of the whole being of an individual. Starting in the late 19th century schools, churches, and government separated the body, mind, and emotions. Seeking to better understand the individual aspect of a person. Metaphysicians and existentialist such as Jean-Paul Sartre anguished at seemingly degradation of the whole being, as science, began to look with a microscope at the components of individuals. Philosophy sought the soul, the God of an individual. But neither can be found in one aspect of a person.

Without an intuitive knowing of a sense of soul and creator source (God), an individual falls into a state of mortal existence, where they are faced with the physical decaying of life. During a time of separation these feelings increase. Facing mortality is a lonely time for anyone and facing for weeks at a time as the world has done, is truly heart-wrenching.

We have learned what the elements of an atom do and their effect on a molecule. But, unlike Chinese/Ayurvedic medicine, we have not learned that you cannot have a working whole being without all the parts working as unit. The cure for loneliness can only occur when the healer approaches the individual in a wholistic manner.

Loneliness is a backdoor disease being brought on by a lack of knowledge of the body-mind-emotional connections.

 We have divided the self, body from mind. We regulated emotional needs to the mind rather than seeing the effect on the whole being. As we left the villages and the multi-generation of family home, we divided the self from others. China is going through this now as children leave their multi-generation home to work in factories and businesses in large cities.  Across the world the individual has become more important than the collective, family.

 The disease-of-loneliness is physical, we feel it in the gut, heart, and skin. It is also social. Identifying it is difficult as it is a cluster of effects. It is a complex, hard to read on others unlike anger and sadness (crying), fear, there is no real  indicators of emotions that go with loneliness.  Each person expressing it differently.

Darwinism has been misunderstood by individuals when the survival of the fittest means individual aggrandizement, rather than cooperation. Survival is about adaptation and cooperation within a community, country, and world. Reading the changing manifestation of life from a wholistic point of view produces survival. Perhaps the outgrowth of uneven incomes and life are nothing more than a miss philosophical understanding of Darwinism.

Touch, not sexual touch, but the kind of touch that brings babies and children into the grounding of their body, as taught by Steiner’s anthroposophy is important. Touch connects us. From the time of birth we know this. The baby cries not just to be fed and taken care of but to be touched. It wants to be told it is connected. Every caring mother knows the more a baby is held the happier they are… You can’t spoil a baby by touching it and loving it. The scourge of many of my clients has always been Dr. Spock’s edict to allow the baby to cry. The feelings of rejection and not being loved, the longing for connection starting patterns of separation-of-self for a lifetime. All because good sane women believed Spock rather than their own intuition.

We can detect loneliness by the way an individual interacts with their physical world, addiction to shopping, handling material things more often, sexual  and other activities soon leave us hungry for more. Addictions of all kinds should be looked at as a possible result of not feeling connected in some manner.

It is the sensory experiences that connect us to our community, each other and the world. We recall connections Thru nostalgic music of our teens, scent of perfume, favorite things are all about the recall of a connection in some way to others and our communities. We do this with food. There is a deluge of new-old recipes on the internet helping families to recall happy and connected times around eating. The holidays where families reconnect, it is more than the religion, it is the connections of love and caring, that important first hug that drives us to celebrate.

We are starved for touch not food, for signals from others that we have heard, and known.

We know that intimate touch, not sexual, relieves PSTD and traumatic experiences by overriding the adrenalin of the memory with endorphins thus replacing the pain with comfort. Science shows if this is done enough the painful experience will not be triggered as much in an individual and in fact can override it when the memory is recalled. (See my book Radical Forgiveness for more info in a technique that can accomplish this.)

There is a difference between solitude and loneliness. Like many serious writers I crave long periods of time where my thoughts can flow on paper. Where I am with my mind, my intuition my sense of creator. Like Jesus and Monks, I am not alone but rather with my sense of God. Loneliness is the opposite of this you are without that sense of creative source, God, you feel mortal and disconnected. When I am in solitude I amore connected to the earth, others, my pets, my children than ever before. I am lonely when I can’t find that space in my being that is whole and in touch with all that is existence.

There is no pill that can cure the disease-of-loneliness. Loneliness is far more than an individual mental health problem. Time’s magazine cover in the 70s God Is Dead was wrong. Our sense of God and future has been put behind us in a confusion about the Truth of our state of existence.

For more on touch read Sacred Intimacy click on the books in this site and it will take you to amazon.

© copyright Suzanne Deakins

Intoxicating Lunacy

As Pluto bounces back and forth in the sign of Capricorn the lessons of death and grief are strong and apparent. No one likes thinking of death, but at this time in history we have little choice. As the COVID-19 virus and its emerging symptoms fill hospitals to an over whelming capacity, our trepidations have moved from a general concern to survival thinking.

One of the greatest gifts of humanity is our imaginative brain. Unfortunately, it can also be our curse. While we can envision a future and remember, what we think is our past; It is almost impossible for us to imagine our death and the experience of not existing. However, we can imagine what life might be like after death. Most of us living in the western hemisphere have been filled with the idea of a heaven and hell after death. And because no one, who has been to either, has told us what it is like, at the very least many of us will reside in a state of terror. Many popular programs on Netflix, amazon.com Prime, Hulu are all being based on the idea of an afterlife. As the programs reach for a life, they often display the anxiety of the foreshadowing of death.

We intuitively are affected by what we do not know and in the end what we do not know  causes fear. Because we can’t understand what happens at the moment of death such questions arise such as; where does our soul go; where does our consciousness go? Is it all connected to the body and will we, like Gilgamesh, envisioned our self-laid in the soil of the earth and be eaten by worms?  Is cremation itself the fire-of-hell? It is natural for us to look at life right now and question the very existence of a God or benevolent causer or creator force of some sort. For many Christian’s the phrase “for God So Love the World,” becomes an enigma of Truth at this time. How can an caring, a parental love, desire such harm and destruction?  Are we being punished as a whole world?

We are all contaminated via the collective unconscious mind . When any crisis alerts the collective-of-humanity we all respond. In the case of the COVID-19 virus our response is physical and emotional. Emotions like viruses are contagious. They spread quickly through groups, large and small. Laughter, sadness, love, hate, and fear quickly infect anyone whose unconscious mind is open to  the collective-mind. In this case we have the Contagion of menacing fear… This menacing contagion of fear produces an intoxicating lunacy. Like any addictive emotion we are intoxicated by the endorphins fear releases in our brain. The rush-of-fear has the same affect as orgasm, (and in some cases can produce orgasms), chocolate, alcohol, and mind-altering drugs. The endorphins rush through our brains, and for a short period-of-time our qualms are relaxed and we bask in the feelings. The popularity of scary movies is a good example of how this works.

This contagion causes us to believe we can remove it by blaming someone or something for the virus’s appearance. Sayings such as you are the blame, it is your fault this is happening, pointing to a group or singling out an individual.

This lunacy makes us believe we are above the law-of-nature, that is that we can pray our way out of the virus and our God will protect us. We distrust the science and necessary precautions we have been given. The lunacy of fear has many hoarding and unable to care for their neighbors. Sayings on cars such as, “I care for my freedom more than your health,” point out the lunacy, and the ugly side of our responses to such contagions be they physical or emotional.

I was brought up in the time when I believed that God was my creator and loved me. My prayers, meditations, and Translations did not change the course of nature when my daughter died. When people told me, it was the will of God, I rebelled, hated all life. The question on my mind every hour for a while was; How can there be a God who loves to allow such an evil? Through Translation I came to understand all disease follows the course that nature has created it. The disease that killed my daughter acted in its nature. There was nothing evil or bad about the disease. As all life, it was created whole, complete, and perfect. Like all life. No matter how you believe, it is in the image of the creator source or God. Meaning the nature of God of any religion is one of wholeness and complete. Anyone that creates will tell you that their creations hold a piece of their being.

In my world there is no conflict between science and God or a creator source.  When I was using the Prosperos class Translation, is when I finally got it. Science is perhaps the language in which a creator talks to us. Science tells us that the very first moment of all life was whole, complete, perfect harmony, balance, and beauty. Everything that has existed since that time still has this same paradigm.

No one can tell you how you are to believe and think. You must figure out the mysteries for yourself. No person, dead or alive, can direct your thoughts and understanding. It is only when you embrace your own nature as part of a greater source, a part of the human-collective, will you begin to glimpse and the answer to death.

If we are to believe our eyes and senses death is the end of something and the heart, the breath stops; what then? But no one really knows where our consciousness resides. Socrates like Jesus did not believe in a hell. Nowhere does Jesus talk of non-believers residing in a fiery hell. Both believed that breath ended as we normally think of it. I know that in most religions throughout the world this same scenario appears; life after death of some sort, but no hell, nothing that is known by mortal continuation.

We will continue to fear death, be intoxicated by the rush of possibility, act drunk in the face of adversity, perhaps curse our sense of God. In my experience of death is that in its last moment is often peaceful and one to the submission to the law-of-nature, and accepting of science. Of hell we should have no fear…

© 2020 Suzanne Deakins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And The People Stayed At Home

And the People Stayed Home – Poem by Kitty O’Meara

And the people stayed home.
And read books and listened, and rested and exercised,
and made art and played games,
and learned new ways of being and were still.
And listened more deeply.
Some meditated, some prayed, some danced.
Some met their shadows.
And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed.
And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless and heartless ways the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again,
they grieved their losses, and made new choices,
and dreamed new images,
and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully,
as they had been healed.

Isolation Blues

 

The longer we have to self-isolate, or keep distance from one another, our need for contact increases. From the moment of conception, we are with someone else, with another being. For most of us, our very being is one of wanting communication of some nature. We long for touch and/or words.

It is our nature to want reassurance that we are needed and heard in some manner. A baby cries not just because it needs physical care. But it needs reassurance through touch and facial expression that it is wanted and recognized. Closeness, physically, satisfies us in many ways. We feel the energy of another, the smell of their essence, and feel of animated life. When seniors are isolated, they tend to want pets for this very reason. The saying is we are rescued by pets, rings true to our inner being.

We feel stuck in our homes, caught in a traffic jam in our minds, emotional arid, and feeling our souls are slipping away. For most of us these emotions come and go. In a morning filled with sun and having a good night’s sleep we find joy in those first minutes and hours. As the day slowly moves forward the aloneness invades our thoughts. And as we did as children we reach for comfort of some sort, some kind of touch-stone to reassure ourselves we are alive, wanted, and needed.

There is no immediate cure for these blues, but you can help your self by focusing on ideas that make you feel well:

 1) Exercising your body, movement of any kind triggers the endorphins in the brain, and consequently for a bit the emptiness will disappear.

2) Eat healthy, sugar and simple carbs lower your immune system. Knowing you are helping your body stay healthy gives a sense of control over your life. The loss of a feeling of control or not having control triggers the rebellious teenager we all carry within. Regaining some of the control of your life doesn’t mean ignoring safety rules and science during this time. Find activities that fill your idea of control in your life.

3) Hold onto small victories. One day-at-a-time state of mind helps you move forward. A meaningful or purposeful project that you can participate in might help. Or perhaps volunteering to help another. When we work an identity of who we are and our part in life is formed. The loss of identity be it loss of a loved one, a friend, a job, et. all cause us grief; deep grief that drains us making us tired and often depressed.

4) Establish a different identity one that is not based on passing events and happenings but one that forms a lasting legacy of who you are. This is done by finding purpose and identity beyond our human state of existence. Get involved with something that is outside of your current beliefs of existence.

Look for The Prosperos classes on topics that take you into areas you have not fully explored, if you have taken classes from The Prosperos take a repeat, email me, or visit The Prosperos many meetings. You can sign up for the Bathtub Bulletin (its free and fun) for timely updates on activities local and worldwide. Write me at onespiritpress@gmail.com  for local activities in Oregon. We are going to start a free zoom talk (topics are around this extraordinary time in our life times) hour on March 11, 2020. Email me if you wish to participate. It will begin at 5:30 PM  Pacific Time

Suzanne Deakins  © copyright 2020

Creative Living Beyond Fear

 

 I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear.” The famous quote from the novel Dune. Perhaps this quote was never more appropriate than during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a Capricorn sun sign, I have always had to deal with fear, be it my own or others.  When I first took seminars from The Prosperos I thought I was supposed to get rid of any emotion or ideas that did not bring me joy and happiness. Through using the techniques Translation and Releasing the Hidden Splendor, Seminars taught by The Prosperos, I gradually came to understand that emotions of all sorts are beneficial. I understood the importance of fear, anger, sadness, and much more. It is only when emotions get out of control or are used inappropriately do, they become dangerous for us.

Fear has emerged in all primates as a safety concept. It helps keep us safe. It makes us to stop and reason, or knee jerk and runaway. It is the mother in us that warns us of danger. In mythology of lack of fear is depicted as the young warrior who throws caution to the wind without thought of the havoc that his lack of fear can bring upon himself and others. It was easy to see this myth play out as many young students gathered for spring break even with a self-isolate order was out and guidelines were in place by medical officials. We have also seen fear play out in the hoarding of toilet paper.

The word fear has an ancient/etymology of knowing and being in reverence. “To fear the Lord-God” was meant to know and be in reverence of the “Lord thou God.” If we look at creation from a science point-of-view we know that it was a miracle, perfect, and happened everywhere at once. We each carry this beginning in every atom of our being. When I teach Translation and Releasing the Hidden Splendor (RHS) I talk about fear. I say, “what you fear you bring upon yourself.” What I am trying to get across is that what we acknowledge, know, and are in awe of we experience as consciousness. So, fearing anything is that we are anxious of the outcome we imagine. If we are afraid, we are acknowledging that we are affected by that which we fear.

Does this mean we should not be afraid? Yes and no. Fear is an important piece of our emotional existence. It is when fear overwhelms us that a problem occurs. One of the glorious designs of being a human is that we can imagine. And because we are consciousness, we can also imagine all of the sides of an outcome. The good and not so good. We can reason and think in degrees. Because of this complicated thinking process we are not confident in what change will bring. The biggest fear anyone has is the fear of what will happen after or during a change.

This fear of change is so strong in an unconscious manner that advertising agencies study how to say change, so it does not trigger the fear in individuals. RARELY is the word change use in either print or orally in advertisements.

In this conscious we unconsciously know that change is endless and perhaps the only permanent state. In this is our proven ability, as a species, to adapt and manipulate the fear represented by change to do what needs to be done. The current fear and anxiety, in my experience, comes from two main ideas, our ability to imagine the future and our inability to imagine our identity in the new state of existence that change brings about.

Fear

 In the Prosperos classes are centered on knowing and empathetic grasp of our existence as consciousness. Nowhere in the classes do we talk about getting rid of emotions, or ideas. We know as practioners of Translation that which appears as bad, erroneous, and flawed is more a matter of our perception. When we look at it as a math problem, we can find the right answer. And Translation and RHS is similar using the concepts of ontological reasoning. We find the an answer that is so no matter where we experience it just as 2+2=4 is wherever it is used and experience. To know anything, to understand any principle you must surrender to it. To understand your fear and use it in an intelligent manner you must surrender to it.

Surrendering Our Fear

To surrender you must allow a sense of trying to control a situation go. Letting go is scary to most of us. We have been brought up to believe that we are in control and that we do this by holding on for dear life and pure will. Pain of any kind happens when we try to control, rather than allowing our thinking to stay present and go with the flow of consciousness at the moment. To let go of pain, you must flow… you must allow yourself to become present and open to intuition coming to you as supra consciousness. You can’t judge, just surrender to it by letting go of old beliefs and control mechanisms. The control of physical pain works similar and has been a proven method in severe pain.

The key to any use of intuition of the moment is complete surrendering to the higher self that is guiding you. This means you must trust your higher sense of consciousness, in the Prosperos we call this the Supra Consciousness, the Supra beingness we all carry within our existence. Just as with math you can only know math if you surrender to the principle of math and the same applies to grammar in language. When you surrender to principle you are then able to grasp an understanding that allows it to be axiomatic, or so (2+2=4 is always so), no matter where you use it.

The Ego battles within us for control. In both Translation and Releasing the Hidden Splendor you learn to surrender, to let go of the ego.

As a species we have an internal GPS system that is always available if we are willing to stay present and surrender to its directions. Anyone who meditates, has a spiritual practice, or Translates this is the moment in history is why you have been practicing. We don’t reach the top of the mountain like Dante to find our true nature (name) by taking any path. We find the right path by our internal GPS system. By using our intuition of the moment.

I have learned when there is great pain or anxiety that I am in a state of belief that is not aware. By staying present and letting go of the fear, pain, or any anxiety I become intuitive as to my actions and realize I have the power as to how I am going to use the emotion. In the Prosperos Seminar called Releasing the Hidden Splendor, we look for the triggers, our beliefs and perceptions about life, that cause us to react as we do. We don’t try to get rid of the emotion but rather understand it using it in a more holistic manner.

During this time of crisis treat yourself well, embrace the life, and remember this is a time of change that we cannot stop by will. New life will emerge.

© 2020 Suzanne Deakins

 

 

 

 

Fear and Common Sense

In today’s Bathtub Bulletin there was an article called, Coronavirus: Do not fear the Bogeyman. I am conflicted about the content. First, I agree that stress is the basis of many diseases. When my daughter passed, I ran and ran to work out the poisons stress and grief. I was warned that there would be consequences to the stress and grief. And then my son passed and of course it added to the stress. It could have been worse, Translation and RHS (Taught by the Prosperos)  helped lessen effects on my health. Fear is a big stressor. See post later today on fear.

So yes, stress does cause/affect the health. Having said that, the rest of the article is dangerous. This COVID-19 is NOT like the regular flu. There is no semi protection, like a flu vaccine. The situation in NYC is a good example that this aspect of the coronavirus is more virulent than others. NYC is at the brink of NOT having the equipment and staff needed to handle the influx of patients. This does not happen during the regular flu season.

To encourage people to think they can overcome this virus by not being afraid and stressed is unethical and immoral. It gives the impression that we don’t have to be cautious or have an obligation to our communities to follow the guidelines set by medical professions. It rings of the pastor in Florida having his flock protect themselves with prayer and ignore the medical guidelines. Yes, state of mind does help us navigate, but to deny the sense testimony, the world of Caesar, is to say there are two worlds not one. The physical world is a manifestation of mind knowing itself, which means it is Truth, and that it is our perception ONLY that makes it appear different.

The collective unconscious mind is very strong. And when at work, as it is with COVID-19, it can overwhelm us, because we are dealing with more than our own consciousness. Translation is not to diminish any world but to help us clarify our understanding of monism.

Personally, I am not ready to be really, really sick, and die by suffocation. As all of us should have learned that at a moment of crisis, with our own being, Translation is difficult to focus on when you are in the depths of illness or other crisis. The overwhelming collective unconsciousness is difficult to overcome and deal with at those moments.

This article also sets us against them, the medical professionals. We are not separate in consciousness. The medical professionals are mind manifesting as Truth. Not to listen or be conscious of mind manifesting and what message it is  giving, is to be foolish and ignore the principles of mind.

Yes, I am afraid, but not overwhelmed by the fear. I am doing the logical things my Capricorn and Virgo aspects recommend. I set up a cremation service, made a will etc, so my children would have one less chore. I am not expecting to die, but I have no intention of foolishly exposing myself and others or my stupidity of consciousness helping to overwhelm the health care system. I am following the self-isolation and social- distancing etc. I am, however, not making people strip and shower…or going to the extreme.

There is a line between common sense and outlandish actions caused by fear.

If there was ever a time for us to question our actions and understanding of ethical and morality it is now… fear is NOT a bad emotion, like emotions of all sorts they are a part of our nature and nurture, for us to use in our quest for self-actualization.

(c) copyright 2020 by Suzanne Deakins

Teaching Moral Reasoning as a Thinking process.

Research shows that a greater willingness to show our opinions on the phones we use than on the personal data that is collected on individuals. This reluctance is terrifying that we have so little framework to guide our moral decisions. It is felt that it is because many are not exposed to any type of moral reasoning study or how to think. Unfortunately, we are taught what to think in most education institutions rather than how to think.

How are we to know the truth as to what is moral and ethical? What system do we use? Is it deontology, following the rules, or the consequential decisions, of the greater good? How do we know what is so or truth as we do with math? We always know when 2 + 2=4 is right, the equation is right about the abstract form of 2 no matter what substance/form you are talking about, 2 apples and 2 oranges will always make 4 pieces of fruit no matter what fruit is substituted.  Two eyes, 2 ears always make 4 body parts. All manifestations of reality can participate in the truth or absolute existence of the number 2. But in moral decisions where is the Truth? How do we decide what is moral and ethical? Is our decision because it feels good, what our parents, or school taught us? How do we decide what is ethical and moral?

Plato’s idea of morality as a mathematical decision, is not doable as Aristotle pointed out. His idea is to abstract for most of us to embrace.  Utilitarian choices see moral decision as correct when the majority opinion overrides what would seem to be an intrinsic right. Utilitarian moral reasoning goes amuck when it overrides the integrity and autonomy of a person.

There are actions that are intrinsically wrong, like lying and torturing innocent children. Kant paraphrase, said, “we should use our reasoning to figure out our rules that guide our conduct and then it is our duty to follow those rules.” Most evil and bad ideas are not created because a person wants to do bad or be evil, but because they do not think. They do not look for what is intrinsically right as Kant suggested but put the responsibility of the decision onto others, or systems that allow us NOT to think about the decision we are making.

Think back to the last time you had to make a decision, how did you make, what system did you use. Find a friend and explain to them how you made your decision. If you are into technology and base your decisions on a more logarithm way of thinking, talk to someone from the humanities. In your decision making it is the humane aspect that will lead you to intrinsic truth. Intrinsic Truth is irrefutable just as math and can be axiomatic, or that which is so, no matter where you contemplate it.

Teaching  a Thinking process.

The beginnings: At birth, it is known, we are not a blank slate we already have a foundation of personal and society basis of a ethical foundation. These innate knowing are; 1) Not to harm, and to care for young of species. This is apparent in both humans and other species; 2) Fairness and reciprocity, (the Golden Rule, present throughout our world); 3) In group loyalty, a baby knows its species, and looks to its group, caregivers, for leads on social behavior; 4) authority and respect, the baby knows that to look at those in charge. The following is out of love; (5 Chasity, is defined as a kind of innocence over ones’ physical form. A baby strives to attain this virtue through the control of their body. This is also reflective of purity and sanctuary of the body, what it eats etc. We often see Chasity in babies as will.

No matter what society you come from east or west these same fundamentals exists. We start out with an intrinsic sense.  We go from a fundamental stage of focusing on self and survival to an accumulative understanding of social responsibility. Progress does not always happen. There are many reasons, intellectual disability, perhaps an inability to read social cues or a perspective inability. In many cases the environment we grow up in does not present the circumstances for moral development. In most schools we are given facts and tested on facts and our grasp of facts rather than our ability to comprehend and think.

Other ideas effect our ethical and moral behavior. If our circumstances are such that we are well taken care of a child we are free to develop an understanding of morality toward others, the environment, and society as a whole. If our childhood is spent in an atmosphere of abuse, physically and mentally, and patterns of neglect, research shows that we are more likely to not to develop a mature moral and ethical consciousness. In this case our thinking and ethical development lacks empathy, connectedness, and an appreciative knowing of the plight of others.  and how our actions and lack thereof cause a ripple effect throughout their personal and social environment.

Some of the social moral and ethical errors we see perpetuated by individuals are thinking errors, misuse of ability to reason in a principled syllogistic manner; blaming others, where we are unable to see our actions in others’ responses; seeing situations as someone else’s

responsibility; a lack of ability to see our personal reactions to social taunts and ability to step away from them; unawareness of the need for power over others.

 Can we intentionally treat the lack of ethical reasoning by design?

We must be able to teach moral and ethical reasoning by design and not by default. To intentionally teach ethically reasoning would set our society on a different path. A safer society and our world a much better place for children yet unborn.

To do wherever you are… we are all teachers to someone. When teaching at Shundee Polytechnical University in China, it was apparent that many students didn’t have an idea how they would ever be a leader. My seminars were based on my book Back to Basics Management, Lost Craft of Leadership, I approached the first lessons as everyone was a leader in some aspect. If you contemplate the idea you can see that we all have the opportunity to display leadership skills many times in a week; be it one child, or a group where we speak up on an idea. This same reasoning applies to teaching. Each of teaches to someone, many times we teach by example, good or bad. We teach.

Teaching How to Think

Today, as I was writing, there was a piece on NPR about how it is difficult to connect the working of the brain to the mind. The brain is a physical appendage full of neurons and connections. We can study what parts of the brain light up when we cogitate certain ideas, but this does not explain how the mind thinks and reasons.

You can learn in different ways… either by training the individual to respond in a certain way, such as athletes’ do or by learning how to think by exercising the mind. Training the physical body and brain is process is where the muscles are trained without engaging thinking or reasoning by repeating a movement. A kind of memorizing for the muscles. A person can learn facts by memorizing too. But the learning that we are talking about is where the student learns how to think about a subject like math, but in this case how to think and reason using principles that are axiomatic in nature. To be axiomatic means that reasoning (syllogistic reasoning) conclusions are always so. True, no matter where or how you use them and think of them. Just as we spoke of 2 + 2=4 earlier. Math is axiomatic in nature.

A supra athlete is will tell you that achieving excellence is more than training the muscles, they must learn to produce certain states of consciousness before they perform at a challenge of any sort. Artist of all kinds say similar things, they have a state of consciousness they think up to before they begin to perform their art be it painting (or any form of creating visual forms), dancing, writing, and acting.

Teaching at any level is engaging the consciousness of an individual. Memorizing be it muscles, or facts, is not considered learning.

More on March 30, 2020                                                                                                                   © Suzanne Deakins

Morality of Wisdom

 

“Practical Wisdom is the combination of moral will and moral skill.” Aristotle

I would also define wisdom as insight into universal concepts and a monistic understanding of the universe. Wisdom resides with those who have seen the butterfly flap its wings and create a storm on the other side of our globe. One action causes a reaction upon the entirety.

A wise person knows when and how to make an exception to every society rule. They know how to improvise, and when to change their roles to fit the situation. Real life problems are always ambiguous and unclear. Daily we are faced with a changing society and circumstances that we have no experience crossing. Our path ahead is often vague and indistinguishable from past journeys.

The context of our moral gyroscope is always changing. A wise person uses their knowledge and experience to act according to the unique needs of the moment. The rational thinker makes new combinations, creating new paradigms to fit the changing world and environment. Past experience tells us that “staying the course” often heads us for the iceberg that is 90% under the sea. To navigate a rapidly changing paradigm, as we are with the COVID-19 virus, we must think outside the systems we have used before. The ability to be plastic, moldable during this time can change our outcome from a disaster to new a new set of archetypes and models where we leave behind our inability as a society to embrace the differences, needs, and future of all. Perhaps as a world we can stop seeing any peoples as collateral damage.

If we are wise, we know how to use these skills of moral skill and will to serve others with empathy, kindness, and care. These types of people are not born but made out of experience. We must have permission from our inner feelings and intuition to act in a way that is fitting for the moment and circumstances. Many times, this means passing beyond, the personal emotions to do what is for the better good of all.

Morality and straight thinking take a lot of experience. You fail many times, but with wise teachers and leaders you learn from the mistakes. A teacher/mentor is one that has, through experience and personal inner investigation, learned to navigate a changing world and environment, and knows how to reset their inner gyroscope to fit the current moment in history.

You don’t need to be a genius to be wise. Without wisdom being intelligent is not enough. When things go wrong the majority of people reach for more rules or stronger ones. And we reach for reasons (incentives) to help people play by the rules. How can you even write a rule that gets people to bypass their emotions and intuitions to act differently and accommodate to the changing situations we are now faced with? How do you pay a bonus for empathy and kindness?

All great solutions have been made by those who stepped outside of the rules, that thought differently, and were able to embrace the current moment of change with wisdom and straight thinking. An over reliance on rules slices away at our ability to create and use our experiences and past improvisations. Moral will, inner integrity is undermined by an incessant reliance on inducements to follow the rules and do the right thing. When we don’t allow ourselves to think outside of the box of rules, we think we have been given; we are engaging on an inner war against our wisdom, intuition, and experiences.

We script what we think teachers/mentors should be saying because we don’t trust them to teach on their own, as if something is wrong with their ability to adapt to their students needs. The duplicity of expecting a teacher to be intuitive and wise, but only allowing them to teach the words set down as a script. This scenario leave no room for changing as the current environment manifests.

Scripts are meant to prevent misadventure, and they do prevent disaster, but the scripts produce mediocracy or worse dull and boring situations where no one learns anything other than a few facts. Scripts are needed to a degree to give teachers an idea of the words that are needed to teach the class. Too many rules and scripts keep the teachers from using their gifts and experiences. Eventually those with gifts stop teaching.

In todays environment too many incentives cause individuals ask what is in it for me, rather than what is my responsibility. The me generation, started in the 60s with Ayn Rand’s ideas of you want it you should have it. President Reagan brought this back to life in politics. The result is seen today in our legislative bodies and our government as a whole, new rules must satisfy individual groups’ wants to get passed. The dire needs of our climate is an easy to see example this.

Excessive incentives demoralize professional activity. We can see this in the big bonuses given where individuals, such as drug company salespeople, sell not because the product is healthy, but because of their bonus. Drs prescribing opioids because of the bonuses the companies offer. Excessive bonuses cause individuals to lose morality and self-confidence in their own abilities.

“We must ask, just NOT is it profitable? But is it right?” Barak Obama

Too many rules, and incentives causes us to lose our professional morality. We stop asking is it the right thing to do. When we stop overloading the system with rules and bonuses, we encourage teachers and mentors because they want to do the right thing. By-the-way teaching “how-to-be-ethical, does not increase morality. Teaching how we make those decisions does. Morality and ethics are dependent on an individual’s experiences and social structure.

We should strive to be heroes, both average and extraordinary heroes. Our communities and world needs both. Research has shown that if we show behavior that puts the well being of other before our own ego needs the community around us will do the same. We need leaders that will encourage moral behavior and deeds. We need leaders that show us by example kindness, empathy, and care. We need leaders that are willing to put away their personal agendas for the greater good. We need leaders that are willing to create new paradigms for a changing world and environment.

Even the wisest and the strongest individuals will give up if they have to swim against the current all the time.  Work you do that interacts with other people is moral work. As teachers we should strive to be ordinary heroes to those we mentor. We should strive to be moral exemplars to those we mentor and teach.

We are always teaching and mentoring, someone is always watching us.  The most important thing our students need to lean is to respect themselves, their teachers, and learning. Once these three are in a student’s mind the rest is easy.

If we use our practical wisdom it allows other virtues such as honesty, courage, empathy, kindness et all to be used and learned. We must pay attention to our organization so that those who come can learn the virtue of practical wisdom and not have their creative ability suppressed by rules and outdated scripts.

© Suzanne Deakins March 26, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moral Reasoning

 

These posts are not meant to tell anyone how to act or not act ethically and morally, but to make us aware of what goes into how we make decisions during this historical time. For the most part morality and ethical concepts are inner changeable in English, and to most people’s thinking.

Scientist tell us that moral, ethical thinking seems to be a complicated process in the brain. They say there is no single place in the brain that makes the decision but rather a network of regions that are involved in moral decisions.

As we move deeper into the pandemic of the COVID-9 virus it is important to recognize how we are going to be faced with moral and ethical decisions at a scale we haven’t had to consider for many years. Front line workers will be asked to perform tasks that will haunt them the rest of their lives. Families will be asked to make decisions, that will change the course of their life.

My stepfather was a survival in WWII of the Betaan death march. As a nurse he was the Japanese prisoner-of-war-camp medic. He had to make choices of who would receive medications and live. The lives of those lost remained burnt into his brain for the rest of his life. He rarely remembered those he saved. This is not too dissimilar from what our front-line medical people will be faced with.                                                                                                                                                                          Moral Reasoning uses critical evaluation to specific events to determine what is right or wrong, and what we ought to do in a particular situation. The simple decisions we make daily (like deciding what to wear or eat) is done in the same manner that we decide on a moral question such as to lie-or-not-to-lie. Our brain processes both in the same way.

Moral reasoning usually applies logic and moral theories, such as deontology, deciding according to rules, such as don’t lie; or utilitarianism, decisions based on out comes, the greater good, but because we cannot predict outcomes, it has limitations as does deontology. We use moral reasoning to specific situations or dilemmas.

People are not especially good at moral reasoning. Indeed, the term moral dumbfounding describes the fact that people often reach strong moral conclusions that they cannot logically defend. Moral dumbfounding happens when a person uses their emotions and intuition rather than approaching a specific situation rationally. Moral dumbfounding is apparent when we are faced with a situation we can’t answer. For instance, a situation such as birth control. Saying birth control is not right, but neither is supporting babies and mothers. This situation dumbfounds many when faced with it.  Evidence shows that the moral principle, ethics we choose to apply to a specific situation is more than often based on emotions, internal biases or outside pressures not logic. So many of our choices are based on our self-serving biases or the desire to conform to our group’s ideals.

During this time many of us will be faced with times our morality and ethics will need to be examined. C.S Lewis says that integrity “is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking.” When we grasp, accept and choose to live according to our principles, which includes honesty fairness, and decency we are exercising integrity. We are a person of integrity when we demonstrate we are a person free of corruption and hypocrisy.

We reveal our integrity when we act with virtue no matter the circumstances or consequences. The ability to act upon our moral and ethical biases is the critical connection to a society that is humane and empathic of all peoples. I recall a broadcast by a med worker in England who finished her shift crying because the shoppers had stripped the stores and she could not find food to feed her family. Are those hoarding acting with integrity?                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Moral Absolutism affirms that there are certain universal principles, by which all peoples can be judged. It is a form deontology (morality is based on societal rules). There are certain considerations by all people, but most societies have quite different views of what is moral and ethical. This is in contrast to moral pluralism and moral relativism. Moral relativism looks at each situation, and moral pluralism states we should be tolerant of all people’s morals. But beyond that, people from different countries may hold varying views about everything from the morality of abortion and capital punishment to discrimination and corruption.

Moral absolutism declares a common set of moral values, in reality, moral principles vary greatly among nations, cultures, and religions.

© Suzanne Deakins                                                                                                                        March 23, 2020

 

Ethic Fading in Time of a Pandemic

Ethical Fading in the Time of a Pandemic

As we progress as a country, as a world into darker days of this pandemic, we will be faced with many ethical and moral choices. Morality choices are not just about our own behavior. Most times we are called onto make choices that have long lasting effects on our neighbors, our families, and our mental health.

In March 1984 I had to allow my baby daughter, she was 2 ½ years, to die. The disease she had would not let go. Without going into morbid details, I can tell you the morality of death and life decisions any person makes stay with you an entire lifetime.

Healthcare workers are making these decisions across our world. For the rest of their life they will question their decisions of life and death. The last look at the individuals, no matter how many, will never leave them. Over time the pain will ebb to a degree. It is possible many will commit suicide when the emergency is over, unable to deal with the questioning in their mind of the decisions they had to make.

No person is ethical 100% of the time. No one can answer the ethical questions we must ask ourselves during this time.

The first  facet is called ethical fading. It occurs when the aspect of the ethical questions begin to fade from our thinking. We engage in self-deception, thinking our decision to go out or gather will have no real effect. Ethical fading occurs when we decide to horde supplies of all kinds is our right.  We deceive our self into imagining we are worth the cost to humanity. Look at the post on 03-21 for more insight into this kind of moral choices.

Moral disengagement is when we restructure reality to make our actions and choices seem less harmful to others. We make up statements such as “well if I get the virus, I get it.” We try to minimize the guilt we feel when violate the ethics we know are important in our decision-making.

Diffusion of responsibility occurs when we wait for others to make a decision to act. For instance, we already know how the COVID-19 is passed and that staying home and not gathering is important to cutting down the impact. But many wait for their governor to put a shelter in place order. Diffusion of responsibility makes people feel less anxiety to act, they believe, correctly or incorrectly, that someone else will do so. When we don’t feel responsible for a situation, we feel less guilt for doing nothing to help.

More tomorrow… March 23, 2020

© Suzanne Deakins