Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Where to Start

Investigation with the goal of understanding, endeavoring to know the truth of something, this is the only path I can call righteous. But I will not call it this, the word itself is too tainted. Too many people use the word with significant difference. I will be misunderstood simply because of this one word.

The understanding way to approach knowledge of life, or if you prefer, the right way to process our experience so that it may best benefit and influence the way we turn our inputs (experience) into outputs (actions).

How ever we think of life, what ever approach we take, must be judged by its impact on our decision making system and the subsequent style of life created over time.

The understanding way, at its core, will differ dramatically in detail depending on who is employing it, and what that person's position and role in life demands of them.

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I'm concerned that at this point the reader may still be thinking of righteousness, and the religious ways they've inherited. "Inherited", yes, you did not create the religion you practice. You have received it from those before you, parents, family, community. Religions are received ways. They, generally, outline a way for all people to follow and in this they are all common denominator ways. They seek a level of truth that can fit all the minds of their respective flocks.

I will divide common denominator ways into two groups: lowest and highest. Please understand these in the mathematical way they are intended. The lowest common denominator will appeal more broadly, exclude competing ways, deal heavily with fundamental themes, and appeal to those with the most common level of education for the culture they are in. The lowest will also thrive in emotional settings and have canonized truths, rules, that are law and not open for question. The highest common denominator will appeal more narrowly, include competing ways, address abstract themes, and appeal to the generally more educated.

The LCD ways of men provide truth and the HCD ways of men point the way to truth. This is a simple but fundamental difference in religions, how they expect their members to discover truth. This effects the nature of the relationship between leaders and members. Is it teacher or guide? Is it authoritative command or authoritative reference. What extent do the leaders and members feel responsible for the ways of the others? What level of absolute conformity is required for inclusion in the group?

The LCDs and HCDs are the religions we've inherited from mankind's past.

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