Fire Vestal Fire Pot
Fire Vestal Fire Pot


The Message of the Philosophy of the GOOD

�There is truth, boy.
But what you seek,
absolute, perfect doctrine that is all that provides wisdom, doesn't exist.
You should not long for perfect doctrine, my friend.
But you should desire the perfection of yourself.
God is in you, not in ideas or books.
Truth is in living it, not taught. ..."

The Music Master to Joseph Knecht aspiring student of the Glass Bead Game

Hermann Hesse "Das Glasperlenspiel" (Author's translation)

The Philosophy of the GOOD has shown that there is not one �world� or �universe�, but many; in fact, there are as many as there are people to live them out in the identities their wills have formed. These many wills are reconciled, or shared through the limited precision that the symbolism of language produces. But the �coarseness� of this resolution is not dealt with in the everyday world of technology (business) and science our societies have formed 1 . When we come down to the social institutions and their dependent concepts: culture, government, religion, economics, morality, freedom, and justice, which rule our lives, the coarseness of the reconciling (shared) symbolism breaks down to show up the inconsistencies that the reality of many worlds creates. Consensus disappears at this level because the importance of self in each of these worlds surfaces. Even �Gods� are seen as different and contradictory, demanding and creating �different� and contradictory rules for their followers, from other Gods and their followers. The result is the muddle that History has shown for the human race, which has produced the misery and destruction we show toward each other. Instead of knowledge showing us the way out, it has only brought us into further useless contention, and the despair that things will never right themselves. Even faith has only, in fact, shown itself as the actual disruptive element it is, instead of the reconciliation and �way out� it was supposed to be. Failure, and unending despair and contention show themselves as seeming inevitable parts of humanity itself.

The Philosophy of the GOOD shows us that this is not the true state of things. What man experiences is the result of hiding the inaccuracies of the viewpoints of so many different worlds, within the �coarse� knowledge that our shared symbolism has brought us. The problem is not one of �knowledge� or �truth from that knowledge�, but the very existence of so many different viewpoints.

Knowledge, and any truth that can, in fact, be gained from such, is only valid within the viewpoint within which it exists. This same viewpoint can, in fact, not even be represented in the symbolism we have available to share our knowledge. It is this �loss� of viewpoint that has been the problem in the areas where we continue to breakdown: the areas of society, and belief systems, where viewpoint becomes our �selves�, and knowledge, must be gauged against, this very personal private viewpoint, and find its truth there. Because of this loss of absolute viewpoint, our knowledge is useless, because its �meaning� is changed by the viewpoint of each perceiver that interprets it.

The Philosophy of the GOOD has shown us that there is a �way out� open to all of us, if we will accept it, and use it. That �way out� of the dilemma is Universal love. The absolute viewpoint, which allows us to see �truth� not only from the limited viewpoint of the �self� or the �group�, but from the viewpoint of all humanity. It is not a lack of knowledge that keeps man divided, but the lack of a single consistent backdrop against which to interpret that knowledge we have found. This is the same �truth� the Christ spoke of, and the philosophers of old mentioned in the muddied symbolism they could not make coherent. Only in this way, by all assuming the viewpoint of all, will humanity finally be brought together. 2


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

1 What I refer to as "resolution", others such as F.S.C. Northrop have spoken of as two separate kinds of causality. First a causality to do with �concepts of intuition� known as mechanical causation (the cause and effect of science). And a type of causality that he calls logico-meaningful causality to do with �concepts of postulation, or intellection�. Of course, these two types of concepts I do not distinguish, since I consider all concepts to be Northrop's concepts of postulation. The will creating both of Northrop's concepts from its own interpretation of how objects are correlated with the bare existents of perception. The type of causality I find, is not of a dual nature, but merely a kind which is interpreted through different resolutions of the understanding; a weak, or low resolution, for the sensational objects of science (concepts of intuition), which are "measured" by numbers, or states of such; and a high resolution of causation, applied to �concepts of postulation�, that are interpreted by the self at a very high level of detail, which takes in all the lost incommunicable interpretations of the self.

[See the books: "Philosophical Anthropology & Practical politics", The MacMillan Company, 1960; and "Man, Nature and God", Pocket Books, New York, 1962; both by F.S.C. Northrop]

Where all the discrepancies pop up in this �coarse, or low, resolution� that symbolism uses, that misses the meanings and truths our private viewpoint gives us, is, of course, the connotations we all form from our own private life situations. These are a result of all the separations the human race makes to divide itself into so many groups: cultural, ethnic, racial, national, religious, sexual � and, on and on! Every one of these creates a different way of interpreting the world, and even our common language. they do this by changing emphasis, varying the �shade� of meaning, and in some ways, even the actual meaning itself, especially in the case of normative interpretation. The result is different opinions, beliefs, and often just different ideas about the very things that touch, or pertain to the �self� in all of us. A good example of this is how differently so many people interpret the Bible; which only goes to show that we should not use a book to guide us in something so important in life, as faith in a God (See essay "What about the Bible?").

[Note: Coming to grips with the term resolution: The term resolution is used quite a lot today because of its use in the graphic oriented world of computers. But it can present difficulties as to just what is meant in its use, by those who are not fully informed about computers. So I give this note below, in the hopes it will resolve these difficulties.

I use the term resolution to show that there are degrees of understanding that cannot be reached in dealing with the everyday objects of perception and the relations between them, because these degrees of understanding are much higher within the will of the perceiving organism than can be expressed through the coarse symbolism of language. The Universe we perceive directly, which I call the Gestalt, is at a very high resolution (i. e.: it has not been abstracted or filtered through the mind, to simplify the the bare existents, into the objects of perception the mind deals with). High resolution here means extremely high detail. As opposed to this, the realm of scientific thought abstracts away much of this fine detail to create objects that are easier to deal with (this also applies to the symbolism of language). These objects, stripped of all superfluous detail that science is not concerned with (abstracted), and hence at a low resolution, are easier to transform into objects that are measurable, and representable as definite states made of numbers. Hence science can now use the laws of mathematics to find and predict the future states of these objects. We say here that the symbolism that science produces is at a very coarse resolution, because it deals with greater abstraction and objects of less detail than the corresponding existents of perception present to the will.

In contradistinction to this, the will deals with matters of culture, politics, law, government, economics, family and society, etc., at a very high resolution (in other words, the abstraction level is low and there is much detail that cannot be transformed into measurable or even representable form (in other words, the words and symbols of language often escape us here). This high detail level, or high resolution is the cause of many of the problems in these areas because no one can fully express themselves as to be fully understood by another perceiver.

So, to sum up, when I use the term resolution it deals with the level of detail dealt with; a high resolution indicates that there is much detail present, and that the concepts presented have not been abstracted much to make them easy to handle; on the other hand, a low resolution deals with highly abstracted concepts (such as scientific concepts, like gravity and atoms), with a small number of details, and these are easily used by the laws of mathematics that scientists use.

Further, high abstraction levels allow scientists to produce mathematical laws to capture the cause and effect these abstractions deal with, and allow predictability. On the other hand low abstraction levels as are met with in cultural, economic, political, governmental and societal concepts; this high level of detail obscures the laws of cause and effect working here and therefore make predictability difficult, if not impossible.]

2 The Philosophy of the GOOD further shows that all that we call �evil�, is in reality this same love force distorted into different forms of greed. All evil is actually a form of �insatiability�, almost an addiction that serves its only master the �identity� (or self). In a way, this is an unavoidable side effect of mortal existence itself, for mortality persistently forces the will to believe that it is its only reference frame, and that all purpose should spring from the satisfaction of its needs. It is the GOOD which deflects this tendency of mortality toward the more balanced state of society, and the unity of purpose with others. It shows humanity that only as a harmonious group can humanity contend with, and even control the unavoidable and inevitable forces of fate. And through this, see that a higher purpose does exist for humanity.

See further comments in Errata




Originally Published:

June 3, 2009


June 29, 2014