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- PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD -
THE MOST POWERFUL SOCIAL FORCE AVAILABLE TO HUMANKIND * * * * * * -- We Live in a World of Pain of Every Kind That is Absolutely Unnecessary -- * * * Love, properly understood, in other words, is the best and only tool for the actualization of humankind. Imagine a "Force" more powerful than that of Star Wars, for our Force doesn't merely manipulate matter, and the energies and other products of the physical world, it effects profound changes in the metaphysical world, reliably and relentlessly shaping and improving the human heart, and the character of human behavior based on this profound change, inexorably bringing all Humanity together as one caring family, ultimately eradicating virtually all human pain, since just about all human pain is caused by other humans. Call it magic, if you wish, because in certain respects Love, properly understood and employed, is quite akin to that. * * * -- WORLD: LEARN THIS PRINCIPAL AND LEARN IT NOW -- - SEEKING LITERARY AGENT -
VINCENT FRANK DE BENEDETTO
THE PHILOSOPHICAL DOCUMENT FOR THE FINAL LIBERATION OF HUMANKIND Money Celebrity Sex Fame Guns Religion Technology Business Law Politics War Greed Media Answer: NONE
Love, properly understood, is the most powerful social force available to humankind. The principle of Love, properly understood, underpins everything in this book, the Agape Trilogy of which it is Volume #1, and indeed all my work in prose, poetry, music, and other endeavors, and my own daily behavior: every perspective, action, and prescribed action. Indeed, "brotherly love," Agape in the language of Greek philosophy, underpins everything that I've written, and do, as an adult. The definition of Love as I formulate it, is: Brotherly Love is the active consideration of, and acting upon, the interests of other people, all other people, in more-or-less the same proportion as you consider (and usually act upon) your own interests. We live in a world of pain of every kind that is absolutely unnecessary. Yet the door of avoidance, redress, and especially prevention is already wide open--JUST WALK IN.
* * *
* * *
-- We Live in a World of Pain of Every Kind That is Absolutely Unnecessary --
* * *
Love, properly understood, in other words, is the best and only tool for the actualization of humankind.
Imagine a "Force" more powerful than that of Star Wars, for our Force doesn't merely manipulate matter, and the energies and other products of the physical world, it effects profound changes in the metaphysical world, reliably and relentlessly shaping and improving the human heart, and the character of human behavior based on this profound change, inexorably bringing all Humanity together as one caring family, ultimately eradicating virtually all human pain, since just about all human pain is caused by other humans.
Call it magic, if you wish, because in certain respects Love, properly understood and employed, is quite akin to that.
* * *
-- WORLD: LEARN THIS PRINCIPAL AND LEARN IT NOW --
- SEEKING LITERARY AGENT -
VINCENT FRANK DE BENEDETTO
THE PHILOSOPHICAL DOCUMENT FOR THE FINAL LIBERATION OF HUMANKIND
Love, properly understood, is the most powerful social force available to humankind.
The principle of Love, properly understood, underpins everything in this book, the Agape Trilogy of which it is Volume #1, and indeed all my work in prose, poetry, music, and other endeavors, and my own daily behavior: every perspective, action, and prescribed action. Indeed, "brotherly love," Agape in the language of Greek philosophy, underpins everything that I've written, and do, as an adult. The definition of Love as I formulate it, is:
Brotherly Love is the active consideration of, and acting upon, the interests of other people, all other people, in more-or-less the same proportion as you consider (and usually act upon) your own interests.
We live in a world of pain of every kind that is absolutely unnecessary. Yet the door of avoidance, redress, and especially prevention is already wide open--JUST WALK IN.
ABOUT THIS BOOK
YOU NOW HOLD IN YOUR DIGITAL HANDS the highly abridged, free online draft version of Philosopher, Social Theorist, Writer, Journalist, Musician, Inventor, and most importantly, Agape Master Vincent Frank De Benedetto's Magnum Opus and master work, LOVE: Properly Understood, the Most Powerful Social Force Available to Humankind, [© 2020 Vincent Frank De Benedetto].
This is the bible that the present age, with its troubling amalgam of human problems and miseries both ancient (crime, hatred, violence, greed, bigotry), and modern (terror, hacking, climate, disinformation, nuclear war) is desperate for. This volume not only asserts, as do other other vaguely similar written works, that we should love others, but presents singular and comprehensive arguments regarding why, and uniquely and importantly, how, thus the basis for my assertion above that I teach, and not merely preach, Love.
This draft should be used as your principal pedagogical (learning) tool, as well as your practical daily Agape handbook, until publication of the full volume. This document, especially as it develops, will be a practical handbook for use in daily living by everyone, especially 1.) persons wishing the study and practice of Agape, or 2.) simply wishing to learn, and live with, good character, or, 3.) wishing to build and live a life of conscience, or, 4.) possessive of the understanding that to change society we must change the human heart, which then drives a change in behavior, or 5.) possessive of the desire for actual political, social, economic revolution in this world, especially as informed in part or whole by Love.
Obviously, there is overlap between some or all of these classes of person.
But are there still persons in this world who hold such aspiration? The short answer is, there must be--and there'd better be.
This abridged volume, two full web-pages long, works in tandem with the content at 1.) AgapeOrder.org, 2.) Center4Love.com, 3.) BrotherhoodOfMan.love, 4.) the discussion of the phenomenon of stupidity here, and of course 5.) this abridged volume will work and complement the balance of its own content, yet unpublished. All aforementioned bodies of content will eventually merge into the finished, published volume.
This present, far shorter work can be so used as a proxy guide since it incorporates the notion and principle of the love ethic, or brotherly love, Agape in the language of Greek philosophy, of Mr. De Benedetto's awaited seminal volume. The present work, as the future final one, also both incorporates, and points to, related material from Mr. De Benedetto's pending companion volume NEIGHBORS OF DEATH.
* * * * * *
NOTE: By abridged, I mean that this online volume is but a fraction in content and length of what the finished work will be. Unavoidably, for several reasons, many, if not most, content and concepts are missing from this version, including narrative of many of the most compelling, disturbing, injurious, and illustrative real-life incidents and events, although I'm taking pains to ensure that the most foundational elements are here. Indeed, you can see that even this germ of the full work is growing in length, presenting much content and a very helpful serving of profundity and practical content.
Of course, when the print version of this volume is published, it will be far more complete.
PAGE TWO OF THIS SITE
The free abridged online draft of my book is two full web pages long. You are presently reading the first; the second is here, and also resident as the last link in the Table of Contents, below.
These were originally independent web sites, with page two serving as a promo site for the book, but now both sites, though still formally separate, are technically conjoined as both bodies of content are relevant and indeed critical to the topic, and will appear in the finished print volume. In fact, page two is actually longer than page one and just as substantive, though the title of volume one is as stated on this page, LOVE, not LOVE ETHIC, as still presented on page two.
I'm slowly moving the content of page two, which is differently-themed, beige-and-white not black-and-white, to page one. Expect uniformity of presentation in the near-future.
Your Smart Phone & Washing Machine Came With One
Why didn't You?
Consider the present volume that you are reading a kind of morally elevated, intellectually supercharged, and functionally superior Human Being Owner's Manual, for yourself.
Composition of this volume began September 2020. The first of a 3-volume set, see bottom of page, it will ultimately be extensive.
BROTHERS & SISTERS, CAN YOU ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ABOUT LOVE?
IF SO, HOW?
IF SO, HOW?
How many of the above questions important to understanding Love can you answer correctly?
Not many? Or...any? In that case you must have a copy of LOVE: The Most Powerful Social Force Available to Humankind, right away.
"Love is the only satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence."
-- Social Philosopher Erich Fromm
"Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder."
-- British Historian Arnold Toynbee
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I STAND AS A MAN, ALONE.
I am Vincent Frank De Benedetto, citizen, slave, sinner, and according to many, Angel.
I caregave my beloved Father Frank for 14.5 years, with partial assistance from my Mother, herself over 80 years old at the time, and now for just under six years I've been caregiving her--virtually alone. My sole sibling removed herself from us years ago and never looked back, proffering little-to-no assistance during either caregiving period, the present vehicle for her selfishness being the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, ostensibly because of which for over 10 months now she has not provided any on-site assistance, visited her Mother for any reason, nor come to our house, at all, including to assist me in caregiving Mom. Last night, for example, she and her "boyfriend" (read: the socially retarded man who we feel has been using her for about 10 years now, with no ring on the finger, nor one pending), she and this "boyfriend" were to grocery shop for my Mother and me last night, after a snowfall of about four days ago left us lacking critical household supplies and food for Mom, and no easy way to get them.
However, the two individuals, whom I refer to as socially-retarded, were "No Shows." In other words, they neither went grocery-shopping for us, nor even called. Nor did they answer any of the three calls that I placed to them.
In fact, I provide forms of care to Mom that a female, such, of course, as her own daughter, should be providing her, not a man, even if her son. Yet I provide that care, and all her care. Her care is complex and grueling. I provide not merely round-the-clock care, but RTC care that is intensive, minute-by-minute care, as the combination of her group of medical conditions, the combination of which have rendered her something of an invalid, and her own idiosyncratic preferences regarding her life and care, including, by choice, her severely constrained dietary regimen, have made her care somewhat hellish. Yet I do this job day-after-day 24/7/365. I realized just yesterday, Saturday, December 19, 2020, that essentially, I never stop working. Yet I do this work with a generally doting and genuine patience and good cheer, especially in the face of several other debilitating conditions pertinent to our family, that has surely earned me a prized seat in heaven, should it exist.
Said conditions include a financial decline that has endangered our ability to remain in our home, and a set of neighbors on our block that, their outward religious displays notwithstanding, are in fact among the most explicitly and wretchedly cruel persons I have ever known in my 60 years of life. Not since my painful and traumatizing experiences with [pending], the big, dumb Italian kid who bullied me as a child, spitting water in my face through the gap in his two front teeth, have I had the flagrant misfortune to find myself forced to deal with such persons. Prior to moving to this community, I frankly didn't know such horrible people even existed.
I STAND ALONE in the acute and crippling general large-scale dysfunction that surrounds me: family, neighbor, nation, world.
And my own errors and mistakes.
I survive all this only by assuming a wartime mentality, so as the interminable volleys traject, fired, and whistle by, I already experience a measure of protection in my psychological bunker.
I STAND ALONE in its and their general immorality, proffering every manner of injury upon me, and itself.
For example, an individual known many years, thought, at the least, a close friend, just told me, upon my earnest and robust solicitation for desperately-needed assistance in personal or professional matters, "...I love you but I cannot help you," An apparent contradiction and actual moral failure, as I related to this individual many ways in which I could be helped, yet they elected to provide none.
I STAND ALONE in the disloyalty I've experienced at the hands of persons long-considered stalwarts, including family members and acquaintances.
I STAND ALONE, most of all, in my devotion to Agape and clear vision of what this principle is, what it can readily do for humanity, and how desperately humanity requires it, though unaware of its own need.
I am not the first man to soberly declare himself, alone. It is a socio-existential cry as old as our capacity for language, or at least interior behavior. But in my aloneness my redemptive, singular message of human actualization remains idle, as well--which ensures that we'll all continue to remain, alone, if, given the skill and precision displayed by humanity in regularly endangering itself, we remain, at all.
This work is done within the organizational framework of the CENTER FOR THE PRINCIPLE & PRACTICE OF LOVE.
Untold millions are familiar with the small book with the loud roar, The Art of Loving, by social philosopher and psychoanalyst Erich Fromm, published in 1956. In this diminutive but influential volume Dr. Fromm lays out, among other things, the definition and import of brotherly Love, Agape in the language of Greek philosophy.
My volume, LOVE: PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD, THE GREATEST SOCIAL FORCE AVAILABLE TO HUMANKIND might be seen as a loose continuation and expansion of Dr. Fromm's chapter on Brotherly Love.
If one is interested in assessing the flaws and gross state of non-actualization of the United States, the 1991 book by journalist Art Carey THE UNITED STATES OF INCOMPETENCE is essential. When I sought to locate such a book, there was only one, this one--and it was out-of-print, as it still is. In other words, we Americans are so incompetent that we hold no interest in determining if we might be incompetent. And if so, what to do about it.
Mr. Carey's book presents selected experiences he's had in this realm that illustrate his thesis. I contacted the gentleman some time ago and recommended that he write a Volume II, as incompetence is as bad now, if not worse or even far worse, as it's ever been, but he declined.
I've written what is essentially that sequel to Mr. Carey's book, in Volume III of my Agape Trilogy: THE ACTUALIZED SOCIETY: THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN & THE END OF EGO-CAPITALISM.
QUERY: Which of the social forces and phenomena, below, is the most powerful?
Love, properly understood, is the most powerful social force available to humankind.
The principle of Love, properly understood, underpins everything in this book: every perspective and prescribed course of action. Indeed, Agape, "brotherly Love" in the language of Greek philosophy, underpins everything that I've written, as an adult. The definition of Love as I formulate it, is:
"Love is the active consideration, and acting upon, of the interests of the other, all others, in approximate proportion to your consideration, and acting upon (usually), of your own interests."
Love is the active consideration of, and acting upon, the interests of other people, all other people, in more-or-less the same proportion as you consider (and usually act upon) your own interests.
We live in a world of pain of every kind that is absolutely unnecessary. Yet the door of avoidance, redress, and especially prevention is already wide open--JUST WALK IN.
the when and the how
the gentle brown cow
the why and the where
yes he'll meet you up there
the ox and the bow
and the horse and the plow
the squeal of the sow
Many, now and historically, feel or perceive an affinity for Love. And of those a subset genuinely understand its categorical import for the future of humanity. In some measure they understand, in other words, the Why of Love. The longstanding bugaboos are the When and the How--and the absolute need for the sage deconstruction and application of this confounding couplet.
Happily, thus is the focus of my work.
THEORY OF EVERYTHING
Physicists and philosophers of science have sought a "theory of everything" with renewed interest and vigor since 1915, that is, a grand unifying theory that could explain gravity, a large-scale phenomenon, and quantum mechanics, a minute-scale phenomenon, as the two parts comprising the integrated whole of the physical universe. However, what if the most substantive and relevant "theory of everything" resided not in the physical world, investigated by the tools of conventional science, but in the social world and the world of ideas, and was thus investigatable and indeed definable by social science? I assert that Love, properly understood, is this, or certainly a, theory of everything, in that:
DUAL-CAUSE OF ALL HUMAN TRANSGRESSION
Whether the brutal atrocities of the terror group ISIS, the bullying of a group of mean teen girls against another lone teen, the lies of the employee stealing pencils from the company supply locker, or any act of human transgression in between, there are just two reasons, alone or in combination, that people transgress, that is, fail to love, in so many ways.
Here are the two reasons:
Brothers and sisters, this content is available in the finished print volume, or to supporters making a financial donation, below.
INTELLECT, MATURITY, LOVE
If you think that young people, depending on specific age range, are not particularly educated, wise, or life experienced--you're generally right, of course. Caution, however, because if you concomitantly imagine that becoming an adult, or interacting with adults, is going to change this--forget it. Adults, in the main, that is, most adults, at least evidently in American culture, continue to behave stupidly, with low levels of awareness of many, if not most, things, and a cavalier disregard for most people, save those from whom they need or want something, or, generally speaking, members of their immediate family.
Note, crucially, that I assert that most people continue to behave stupidly. I do not assert that most people are stupid--as easy and axiomatic as this latter assertion is generally considered by most people to make.
In moving through life, the two characteristics you'll likely encounter most frequently in other people are:
The qualities we see commonly in children. In fact, if you are a child reading this, you likely recognize some or all of these qualities in the less mature or intelligent of your fellow students. In fact, you may see these qualities in just about all of them.
In fact, and in sum, most adults remain children. Rarely, if ever, will you encounter an adult who is truly a loving person--and the trick here is that, because its likely that you, yourself possess only the most fleeting acquaintance with Agape, if you ever do encounter said individual--it's not assured that you'll even recognize them as such. That you'll even know it.
Some persons who treat you with cruelty or disrespect, upon hearing your complaint of disrespect or cry of pain because of their cruelty, will respond by treating you with even further or greater amounts of cruelty or disrespect. I personally have and do experience this in my own neighborhood. Some of these persons are sadistic or outright sadists, that is, they enjoy and find emotional or intellectual enjoyment or fulfillment seeing or knowing that, someone else is suffering. I've experienced this kind of individual, too. In fact, my experiences with these kinds of regressive, malign individuals has entered the realm of the criminal, such that I felt compelled to begin a book about said people and experiences.
The year 2020 still finds the human race--our One Human Family, such as it is--in a wretched condition regarding how it treats itself, that is, how we treat one another.
Just this morning, for example, I learned that a neighbor whose house stands in extremely close physical proximity to ours, who appeared to be cooperating with my family on a matter of importance to us, is evidently not cooperating, after all. He deviated unilaterally from our agreed-upon plan with not a word spoken--and I had just touched on the matter with him again only about 24 hours prior.
The import, here, is that, in the first place, he evidently possesses no love, at all, for me or my Mother, and by extension for my Father or my sister. Secondly, he evidently can't be trusted. His word means nothing. Moreover, as I understand Judaism to required some reasonable fidelity to one's fellow man, he evidently doesn't take his own religion seriously. There was a kindness that I showed he and his family prior to their permanent relocation here, that he evidently neglected, discounted, or simply forgot, which sharpens the sting of the betrayal.
You'd think, and certainly hope, that this individual, a 31 year old orthodox Jewish man, married with several children, would have reached a minimal kind of standing by this time in his life in intellect, maturity, and character, that is, in sum, in Love, to eschew such an action, if not treacherous then certainly undesirable in its injury to us, and to the budding friendship between my family and his. He evidently hasn't reached that baseline measure of wisdom, however, and like many, if not most, people, he likely never will.
The psycho-social reality is that most adults in American, and likely world, culture are essentially children. I was in earlier years. He and his wife are simply two more. To wit does Erich Fromm ask (temporary paraphrase):
"How many of us have ever seen a genuinely loving person?"
In some good measure the human race still comprises the inmates running the asylum, or the children largely prevailing over the parents, out-shouting or out-muscling them.
Speaking globally, who are the "parents," the role models? In the year 2020 as I compose this it seems a bit quaint to even continue posing such a question, much as it seems dated to many to think or speak in terms of "character."
Does anyone ever aspire, anymore, to develop and be of "good character"? Does anyone yet know what it even means?
In short-term tradition we might have pointed to a figure such as POTUS, the President of the United States, as an example of a role model. At present, however, shall we consider the current POTUS, Donald J. Trump, an exemplar of a parent, or a role model? I doubt that even his supports would recommend it, and would likely have to suppress a smirk at its mention.
In an earlier epoch, would another POTUS, Richard M. Nixon, have been a sound parental figure for the children of the nation, and the nations as children? Likely not.
Indeed, a better group of mentor candidates can be found here, under "Mentors."
CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC OF 2020
My bleak education in Humanity continues.
The loving or commendable actions of individuals during the pandemic doesn't compensate for the errant or undesirable actions of Humanity, itself, namely its continuing unthinking commitment to liberal capitalism, a paradigm of social organization that is obsolete, or at least not actualizing, that is, eliciting and actualizing the full potential of every person. Until humanity realizes this profound error, events such as the 2020 pandemic will continue, and the affirmative actions of disparate individuals won't amount to much.
And of course for every loving action of an individual there are millions of nonloving actions by the great balance of the other individuals that comprise humanity.
This is because in the modern industrial age, in fact in any age where any system of class rule exists, the needs of the ruling class will remain paramount. In our age, with our system of class rule, capitalism, the needs of the ruling class 0prevail and do not include a broadly or even narrowly-educated citizenry.
In contrast, a key characteristic of the Actualized Society will be its comprehensive focus on the cultivation of the human mind--every human mind. Every person on the planet will be educated, broadly and narrowly, including, and likely underpinned by:
Prevention of both mental, and moral, illness will be paramount in an actualized society.
And as the paramount role of the human mind, and its physical repository, the brain, will have been realized by the founders of the Actualized Society and will underpin social organization and all social operations, anything that tends or serves to erode the mind and brain, such as drug use, will be rejected--as it should be even now.
THE JUSTICE SYSTEM
Every nation has some kind of justice system, that is, that part of its overall governmental system concerned with preventing and punishing action or in some cases inaction considered criminal.
If a crime is committed, someone can and often will be arrested, usually tried using one adjudication mechanism or another, and convicted if found guilty. A punishment of some kind will usually be meted out.
In point-of-fact, however, a justice system is a morally antiquated mechanism and any nation that still has one is likely not an actualized society.
Please see finished volume for the simple explanation for this assertion.
HELPING PEOPLEOnce one accepts the necessity for, and wisdom of, helping people, the behavioral course, itself, is easy. It's first and cardinal rule is:
If someone needs help--you help them.
You can become aware of this need in one of five ways:
Most major belief systems carry this same message to one degree or another. Christianity, for example, makes it explicit in the Second Great Commandment of Christ, which is Love Thy Neighbor.
As an aid to the most full conceptualization and understanding of the phenomenon of Love as I define it, one might also loosely understand Love as an analogue to the light or good side of The Force, the metaphysical entity of both light and dark dimension underpinning events, and the narrative, itself, in the iconic film franchise Star Wars. "The Force," in its original and most satisfying cinematic exposition, is a metaphysical, even magical, cosmos-wide phenomenon, perhaps "presence," of evidently infinite power that human beings and other species can tap into, and use, to 1.) physically manipulate matter and 2.) the thoughts and behavior of humans and other living organisms, as well as to 3.) peer into both the future and the past. The "dark" side of The Force brings with it its own additional or separate body of nefarious or malign powers.
In Star Wars IV, a New Hope, Obi Wan Kenobi exhorts Luke Skywalker at a critical moment: "Use The Force, Luke, Use The Force," and, indeed, helping someone in our real world who requires help, or proffering or displaying Love in any manner or context, is akin to using The Force, as Love, properly understood, is roughly analogous to this fictional entity: it is potentially everywhere, or can be, and holds great power to effect profound change in thinking and behavior, and unlike the fictional Force of Star Wars, also both strengthens and extends through use. Moreover, Love can form the basis both for interpersonal relations and economic structures, which is not the case with "The Force" of Star Wars, all of which renders Love, properly understood, while roughly analogous, far more powerful than its fictional analogue.
TRIPARTITE BASELINE FOR HELPING
In helping others, you will have to expend at least one of the following three of your personal resources:
The only way to help, then, for many of us, is to make an effort to lose, or attenuate, the strong, sometimes obsessive attachment to these resources, especially money, that life in a money-based society has compelled us to develop. Some of you may have a particularly difficult time with this.
There is no other way, however. Helping always means giving something. And if you're giving something, then logic dictates that you will no longer have it.
Helping, however, is the right, and indeed the very best, thing that you can do.
What if you can't help one in need?
You probably can.
The truth is, you probably can if you really make the attempt. Most cases of cannot help reduce to will not help.
If you can't proffer all the help requested, then you proffer as much as you can, and you arrange for someone else to provide the balance. If you genuinely can't provide any help, then you arrange for one or more persons to provide it all. In doing so--you are, in fact, helping. Helping to get help is still helping!
Benjamin Franklin is understood to have said:
"Neither a borrower nor a lender, be."
The Founding Father was dead wrong on both counts, proffering a prescription for precisely the kind of global society under which we presently suffer, one of alienation and disconnection whereby the bonds between us, if they exist at all, are loose, when they should be airtight.
In fact, the bonds and connection between all of us to each other are tight, by definition they must be at least zoologically (if not also morally), as science now tells us definitively that we are all descended from a single common ancestor, but we erroneously perceive the bonds, the connection, as weak or loose and we act accordingly, treating each other shamefully and deplorably, in general terms.
You can help. And you must.
...to 1.) relieve the suffering of your brother or sister, 2.) build or perhaps re-build your own morality and good character, and 3.) help establish a world where Love, properly understood, is the norm, instead of the toxic stew that we presently call, and that masquerades as, "society."
The Big Ignore (a.k.a. Ignore & Avoid)
Ultimately, if you elect to fail your brother or sister by not assisting them though they've asked, or their need is evident, you will suddenly find yourself in the awkward position of actually refusing them; of actually delivering your refusal...or will you?
Will you have the integrity, courtesy, and decency to speak with the asker to state and perhaps explain your refusal...or will you simply take the path of least resistance and begin avoiding their phone calls, email, and texts? This course of ignore and avoid is common--and just as deplorable. It is completely and utterly disrespectful and unacceptable, and even calls into question for not assisting, for if your reason is genuine and substantive, you should have no trouble explaining it to the asker. If you anticipate having trouble explaining it--maybe your reason/s aren't so good, after all, and you should let your heart do the talking.
As the Principle of Love requires you to assist those who need help, so must others help you when you ask them, which at some point or points in your life you inevitably will. You probably need help now, but don't realize it or won't acknowledge it, having been acculturated, whether in its Western or Eastern varieties, with the counterproductive, inefficient, immoral, de-actualized, and indeed often pathological ethic of "self-reliance." In fact, whatever you are, you are in good measure because of past and or present help from others. you are, and have, already benefitted from the assistance of others, many people in many ways at many points throughout your lifetime. And it hasn't ended yet, nor will it. In fact, you'll be relying on the good faith actions of other people even after you cease to exist, from your relatives and friends in their various post-death functions, to the undertaker and guys digging your grave.
As human beings we simply cannot escape the reality of our social dependence. We can either acknowledge it and engineer it to work in our favor--or hopelessly try to ignore it, and suffer the myriad consequences as it cogently reminds us again and again that it is not to be ignored. The utility of the principle of Love that I teach is that Love, properly understood, is the key psycho-behavioral tool for enabling and maximizing that dependence and connection. This is also why just about every great leader and thinker through history, Christ, King, Confucius, Gandhi, Fromm, et al., has made Love a part of their personal or professional philosophy--it's no accident.
We humans are individuals, but are also organized into groups of individuals: family, neighborhood, city, region, country, and world. In any form, we're going to encounter, and have to grapple with, the "Love Train" sooner or later. There is simply no escaping it. Better to jump on board now--or have it run us over.
"Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps," "God helps those who help themselves," "I got mine, now you get yours," there are a million variations and the misguided, propagandistic idiocy falls under many names, but don't buy any of it--it all represents the same ethic of disconnection, the principal conduit to create and maintain what we still suffer under, a global society that remains de-actualized, that is, is not yet what it is capable of becoming. When it becomes that, when we become that, we'll be living in an actualized society. At which time, by the way, I assert that we'll no longer be a society, but a community.
...and likely something of a utopia, if I may permit my confidence in Agape to appear so bold.
Those very bootstraps, themselves, that we're supposed to "pull ourselves up" by...were they designed, manufactured, shipped, and sold or otherwise distributed by you? Not likely. We're each of us dependent on the other, many others, in fact, for the very bootstraps by which we're supposed to pull ourselves up.
"I get by with a little help from my friends," precisely. For most of us, it's the only way we can "get by." Individualism, at least our present pathological individualism--is a lie.
NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED
It probably won't take you long in starting your personal practice of Agape to realize the hard truth of the above assertion.
Again, Agape is brotherly love, expressed in the language of Greek philosophy.
For several reasons, your attempts to help others will sometimes either be misunderstood, or simply not wanted, even in situations where it is obvious that assistance is direly needed.
In such situations you may find yourself criticized or even excoriated (severely attacked or criticized).
Brothers and sisters, I can assure you, based on my own devoted daily never-ending practice, that as a practitioner of Agape YOU WILL BE MISUNDERSTOOD. By family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and essentially most people. This is due, in large measure, to the almost categorical lack of acquaintance with Agape of almost everyone. Most people know nothing about Agape, nor do they know that they know nothing about Agape.
In the language of computer science: it's a recursive algorithm of the empty heart, that we must work to heal.
Should this reality discourage you from attempting to reach out to persons who appear to need help?
Absolutely not. You may simply need to learn more effective, sensitive, and personalized ways to do it.
Your personal practice of Agape, as you begin this way of life that we hope will last a lifetime, is a large and beautiful diamond in the rough, stunning, mesmerizing in the form and luminescence of its basic perfection. There is nothing wrong with, and indeed you must, shape and polish this diamond over your lifetime, as your skill, knowledge, and devotion to Agape, and its objects, your brothers and sisters in our human family, progresses.
WHAT MAKES THIS WORLD BAD
At this moment, I'm itting in my kitchen (can't even type; my hands are cold), freezing, while this snazzy new Kitchen-Aid convection oven that we bought continues its "burn-in."
The burn-in is a period during very first use of an oven or similar appliance whereby the materials used in manufacture are exposed to the high heat of the oven for the very first time, and react, usually with an odor, and-or smoking.
Of course, the instructions say nothing about a burn-in, only advising, innocuously, "There may be a slight smoking temporarily, this is normal."
Slight smoking? In fact, the unit does not appear to be smoking, at all, but there's a God-awful stink to the thing, as it performs for the first time. At this moment I have a total of four windows open in this house, hence my freezing--it's 30F in my area--and I'll be opening at least one more, the one in our upstairs bathroom.
My breathing over the last fifteen minutes has been self-constrained, as I attempt not to breathe deeply. Were this manufacturer fully competent, the burn-in warning or alert would (fingers still cold) have read this way:
"Alert - A burn-in period of one full hour is required for all manufacturing residues to fully disappear, once exposed to the high heat of the oven. Recommended: before first use, turn oven temperature gauge to full temp, 450F, open over door 1/3, and wait 60 minutes."
[The oven has just finished preheating to 450F. I opened the oven door about halfway, and I'll now wait about thirty minutes. I will then shut the door, reduce temp to 375F, which is required for the very first item that I'll be cooking in the unit, and I'll cook the item. Thus, since Kitchen-Aid did not provide truth on this matter, I have to create, and abide by, my own truth.]
This kind of inaccuracy, leading to pain, is one of the principal transgressive factors making this world bad and life unpleasant. Pain in this case roots in the unpleasantness of a house-filled with a malodorous (i.e. bad-smelling) and likely toxic odor, possibly accompanied by smoke, in concert with the anger and-or frustration of realizing that the warning contained in the instruction booklet was deliberately sanitized and inaccurate. The real pain, however, comes because this kind of sloppy-thinking and-or deliberate deceit exists in every geographical location in human society, from China to Russia to New Zealand to the United States, and in every quarter, from education, to medicine, to technology, to transportation, to relationships, to food production, to travel. Every part of our lives is affected by it.
Or--now in this age of marijuana legalization, perhaps the writer of the instruction manual was high at the time of composition. Or the editor who proofed it was high. We just can't know, and it's highly unlikely that they'll admit it, which is why the legalization of drugs is utter categorical folly for any society that doesn't want to trip all over itself, or already fancies itself "The greatest nation in the history of mankind" (ring any bells, America?) and purports to want to stay at that rank.
[My heart seems to be beating a bit faster. Could it be the cold in here, or the toxic stink? Is my Mother, 89yo, upstairs, smelling this? Could it harm or even kill her? What about other persons, especially the young and the old, using this oven for the first time?]
If the inaccuracy was deliberate, then the proper use of language would permit us to add another noun to our identification of the problem. To inaccuracy, we'd be able to add the word LIE.
[1:57 pm, actually it now occurs to me that even if the stink didn't bother my Mother, upstairs, the cold, might.]
When I purchased my Hamilton-Beach convection oven about eight years ago I took great pains during the shopping process to find a unit whose inside walls were not coated with a non-stick material. This time I really hadn't time to exercise such care. So presumably one of the toxic elements that I'm smelling, and that is probably shearing off a hedge or two of my neurons (i.e. brain cells) is the non-stick coating. I'd rather have food stick a bit, and save my neurons.
OK, I'm simply going to have to shut these windows a bit. I am really freezing.
. . . . .
[WRITING NOTE: The above entry contained several typos that may have been caused because my fingers and hands were cold. I let one remain, "itting," but corrected the others for readability.]
[WRITING NOTE: These ideas are still in formulation. © 2020 Vincent Frank De Benedetto.]
Hate is diffused, eliminated, or even prevented upon realizing that they whom you hate committed the actions for which they are hated because said individual is "stupid"--a common, evidently universal condition that is generally not their fault. You can't blame someone for being stupid.
Better, in fact, than calling someone stupid, however, is to observe that they are unduly influenced by what I term the "phenomenon of stupidity."
This assertion, quizzical to some, permits me to disabuse you of your hate, and even antipathy toward people, in as generally readily and deftly a manner as a skilled and seasoned pickpocket easily and swiftly disabuses you of your wallet.
Stupidity is a universal, near-immutable / almost intractable condition of individuals and groups that renders them almost blameless in their behavior.
Tucked securely away in your rear pocket--so you thought--it disappears almost magically once subject to the requisite "touch," that is, knowledge and savvy about a topic, manifest in physical action or other external phenomenon or expression.
If you hate someone, it's likely because they've committed an extremely injurious action against you, directly injuring you or your interests, or by failing to do something requested that was required to help you, producing the same injurious result: pain or at least its perception.
The way to mitigate or even eliminate hate is through the genuine realization that you can't blame someone for being genuinely stupid, which they undoubtedly were in injuring you.
Yes, this is to say that causing injury to another is always stupid.
My work no longer conceptualizes stupidity, an attribute ascribed to a person, but the phenomenon of stupidity, which can and often does influence one or more persons, but is not conceived as a characteristic innate to one or more persons.
Nor, by the way, based on my paradigm, can you blame yourself, in case you find yourself hating yourself.
A shift in conceptualization may imply a shift in terminology, for, in this case, even referring to the phenomenon of stupidity, rather than labeling someone "stupid" may be understood as nonoptimal because the word "stupid" is still employed and this term continues to carry with it a strong pejorative connotation of personal insult.
The phrase phenomenon of stupidity might simply be replaced with the a phrase such as phenomenon of error, which, as its antecedent, does convey a mistaken, nonoptimal behavior without a connotation of personal insult. Acts of grievous or particular error, which are often when the words stupid and stupidity are most often traditionally employed, might be replaced with straightforward phrases of clear equivalent communication such as phenomenon of grievous error or phenomenon of particular error. Or, in obedience to the message of stark simplicity in communication of Strunk & White, we might simply employ only the replacement phrase phenomenon of error, and from there specify what the error was and how severe or grievous.
A basic conversion in language away from "phenomenon of stupidity" does seem correct, however, with or without it's own variation as just initially discussed.
We human beings should not hurt each other. It's immoral and counterproductive in many ways, so the individual who hurt you obviously should not have done so. They made a mistake, likely because they're lacking in 1.) native intelligence, that is, their level of intellect, usually expressed in neuronal density, 2.) dearth of life experience, 3.) ignorance, that is, lack of knowledge, or 4.) education and training in interacting with people.
I use the word stupid as a shorthand term for all or any of the three paths to error that I just described.stupidity, n., a phenomenon by which mistakes are made based on some or all of the following four "error factors," or paths to error: 1.) low native intelligence, that is, low level of intellect with which one is born, usually manifest in lesser neuronal density, 2.) dearth of life experience, 3.) ignorance, that is, lack of knowledge, or 4.) inadequate education and training in interacting with people.
Once you genuinely come to internalize, that is, understand and accept, that it's not a human being you can blame, that you can't blame a human being for your injury, you concomitantly come to understand, perhaps slowly, that your usual kicking boy, guilty party of choice--is actually innocent.
That you won't have, nor ever will have again, the satisfaction of blaming your usual favorite antagonist or transgressor, whomever that may be: blacks, women, welfare moms, crooked politicians, liberals, conservatives (if you're liberal), homosexuals, your ex-boyfriend, your next door neighbor, or the head of that giant predatory corporation.
The only culprit you can genuinely blame, can deem culpable, is a circumstance, a condition of life or society, which, alas, isn't very satisfying.
While your initial exposure to, and reckoning with, this reality may be frustrating and unsettling, as you see so many of your fellow human beings, your brothers and sisters, not end up executed, in prison, under house arrest, or suffer any number of other punishments that they didn't deserve, your discomfit with the new notion should warmly and slowly ease and give way to the satisfaction, and gratification, of a powerful new insight and understanding into people, society, and justice that you know is correct.
ANGER - INTRODUCTION
Anger is a key problem for humans as our collective ignorance in both preventing and redressing this emotion leaves us highly-stressed, drained, and miserable. There are a great many brothers and sisters walking around this planet angry, distorting the physical realm as they're left prone to heart attack and any other malady rooted in, or greatly exacerbated by, stress, and distorting the social realm as their anger skews their general behavior.
Given our clumsy, ill-informed social skills, we're adept at making others angry, and they, us, but few apologize or proffer appropriate reconciliatory behavior for such transgression, while those made angry lack the social tools to effectively ask for its redress. Neither party, in other words, has been taught the loving and productive resolution of anger.
Ego-capitalist society finds the elimination or even great reduction of anger a virtual impossibility as it simply doesn't have the tools to provide its citizens and, moreover, the basic social and economic operation of ego-capitalism generates anger in boatloads in the first place. How could it not when the principal focus of its activity and allocation of all resources is not the development and actualization of the human being, but the generation of profit for owners?
Anger is essentially a product of a mismatch between the generally reasonable social expectation of people and the actual behavior, generally substandard, accorded them, both dimensions reflecting societies with uneven, inconsistent, and unfortunately, largely non-existent moral teaching. When Humankind cannot give itself morality it will give itself chaos since the moral development of humankind over the arc of its years has been toward increasing demand for respect and rights, that is, for Love, as seen in movements such as #metoo and #blacklivesmatter, and the recognition of the phenomenon of microaggression.
Indeed did Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. assert in his 1964 Commencement address at Wesleyan University: "The Arc of the Moral Universe is Long but it Bends Toward Justice."
But insofar as our increasingly-developed collective awareness of what should morally exist exceeds that which morally is, social chaos, tumult, and dislocation will exist.
As "An armed society is a polite society," we might say of a Love-centered society such as the BROTHERHOOD OF MAN, "A loving society is a peaceful society."
Are you angry right now?
Here are some general steps:
Before you speak with the transgressor, keep in mind certain realities about anger:
Noise, a real and distinct environmental and social problem not yet generally on the radar of regulators and society-at-large, is likely the number #1 quality-of-life issue in America, and more broadly.
It is inappropriate, disrespectful, and insensitive to produce, or permit the production of, loud noise, especially inordinately loud noise such as that from leafblowers, commercial lawn mowers or riding mowers, tree chippers, and non-stock Harley-Davidson motorcycles, when a nearby resident is ill, especially very ill. If the resident is also elderly, production of such noise is that much more inappropriate as such persons under such circumstances can be close to death, and a respectful, even spiritual, silence, is completely warranted as patient and family undergo the wrenching or otherwise traumatic experience.
Establishment and maintenance of such silence reveals knowledge, understanding, and respect for the gravity of the situation; this behavior equates to Human Civility 101, yet my own neighbors, both Christians and Orthodox Jews, are evidently too obtuse, uncouth, and shamefully insensitive, to embrace such an obvious moral posture. I reached out explicitly to our local Rabbi's wife, who promotes herself as a community-building women's life-coach--but she's been categorically and shamefully unresponsive.
One might ask, "How can we know who is ill in our neighborhood? We don't really know our neighbors!"
Well, brothers and sisters, I don't know that I've ever heard a more clear-cut argument in favor of getting out there and meeting your neighbors.
Your most important general task over your lifetime is the preservation of the health of your mind, and its repository, your brain: as you may eventually realize, much of Western, and other, culture tears down the mind. Sugar, for example, which is contained in just about every food and beverage item, is actually a poison, extremely toxic to the brain and body.
Ergo, keep away from sugar, as well as all artificial sweeteners. Your principal beverage should be water, from a tap with excellent filtration, or for store-purchased water, from a glass bottle, never plastic, as you don't want chemical contamination from the plastic leaching into the water. Kind of defeats your impulse toward health, would it not?
If existing American and global health choices remain poor, especially the present massive consumption of sugar in all its forms (sucrose, fructose, dextrose, etc.), expect global health to remain poor--and this means you, and your family. Expect continuing poor health in all respects, including that of mind and brain. Dementia, already a growing global scourge, will continue its insidious forward march, and ultimately come to define the mind of man.
Without a deliberate shift away from unhealthy food and beverage, environment, and stress, expect that in your lifetime you, yourself, and/or some of those around you, such as your own father or mother, will become demented. This disease, dementia, is insidious because it often develops incrementally, that is, a bit at a time, usually slowly, and is thus hard to detect--until it's too late. That's what happened in my family.
Stress also comprises a powerful and explicit antagonist to the health of the entire body and brain; worse than poor food, in fact. Avoiding stress in the modern world, however, is very difficult, nearly impossible, if not actually impossible in many instances--which is why the solution to the pain of humankind is to be found not in the physical, but social sciences, specifically that area of social science, such as my area, studying and promulgating the formal and official adoption of the Love ethic (properly understood).
Actualization of Mind
If your most important general task over your lifetime is the preservation of the health of your mind, your second most important general task over your lifetime is the actualization of your mind, that is, your effort to ensure that you actualize, or realize, or completely bring out, or make happen fully, everything that your individual mind is capable of.
For example, if you have the innate (inside you from birth) ability and talent to cure cancer--you must cure cancer. If you have the innate ability and talent to rid the world of poverty, you must rid the world of poverty. If you have the innate ability and talent to design a spacecraft that can get us to Mars and beyond in half the time presently required--you must design it. If you have the innate ability and talent in social science, or even the creative arts, to craft and promulgate a message and perspective to make everyone on Earth realize, and even act upon, their common humanity--you must craft and promulgate that message. If you have the innate ability and talent to decode the basic viral DNA, and thus pave the way for an antiviral vaccine template that will cure all present and every single future virus--you must conduct that decoding. And so on.
By the way, in reading these thoughts there are two things that some of you may be starting to realize, perhaps occurring to you as you read. First, that the present global system of class rule, capitalism, specifically, in both its economic and even social spheres, certainly and rather absolutely does not encourage, nor even much tolerate, the kind of freewheeling, spirited, and probably lengthy, and resource-intensive processes of individual and social discovery required for actualization. If you've realized this, you've realized why we must shift from a global system of profit and ego, egocapitalism, to one built explicitly on Love (properly understood), for, as we begin to Love each other, we want each other to actualize, to really and deeply be our best selves, and for our human community, which refers to all of us, together, to actualize, as well, to be the best group that we can be.
The second epiphany, or realization, that some of you may be having as you read this book is that permitting anything that in any way compromises the human mind, the sole organ required for both individual and group actualization, such as the legalization of drugs, including marijuana, is nothing short of sheer, utter, flagrant, potentially-irreversible, and large-scale, stupidity.
It cannot be permitted.
Full vs. Partial Actualization
Let's discuss physicist Albert Einstein for a moment.
To be continued.
My health site treats these critical topics, as well.
Ergo, def. "therefore"
In life you'll find that both human and non-human beings will encroach or intrude into your physical, and sometimes psychological, space if you're not diligent in protecting it.
For example, if you fail to regularly clean, declutter, vacuum and inspect your physical living space, whether a house, apartment, condo, or space you rent, lease, or barter from another, you'll find, sometimes sooner rather than later, that any number of likely unwanted squatters have taken up residence with you.
Your newfound friends would likely include such beings as mice, rats, squirrels, racoons, or birds, or even, depending on your location, larger friends such as bears, and on the more diminutive side of the spectrum: flies, fleas, ticks, lice, cockroaches, moths, carpet beetles, silverfish, millipedes, or termites.
The human end of the spectrum will have its interlopers, as well, ranging from erstwhile romantic partners whether spousal or otherwise seeking a renewal of the previous relationship, or perhaps a renewal simply of an element of that relationship, such as sex, to, in my own real-world dilemma, a two-bit lawn cutter who regularly trespasses on the property of my family in the course of his work for a next-door neighbor, though apprised and even warned repeatedly by me to refrain from such trespassing and keep off of our property.
This individual suffers from the ubiquitous social malady or maladaption / maladaptation condition that I conceive and label Gross Stupidity Syndrome (GSS), a condition whereby the sufferer "acts stupidly," or "with stupidity," that is, engages regularly in one or more acts committed, or refrained from commmission, that cause substantive unnecessary injury to one or more persons or harm to one or more resources, or both, without necessarily asserting the attribute stupidity as innate to the transgressing individual.
Even your employment is subject to intrusion and possible usurpation by someone wishing your position, who may somehow insinuate themselves into your physical work environment to influence your employer or otherwise simply into their consciousness.
The Internet is virtue and vice connected at the technological hip. Along with its virtues the Internet brings decided vices.
In terms of harm to our physical organism, for example: Humankind did not evolve to sit in a chair for an extended period of time, as typically happens with Internet use.
Nor is it necessarily salutary to be exposed to every manner of moral and intellectual detritus on the Net.
Internet use should only occur with Internet 2 (not in existence yet), as defined, described, and advocated at my Internet resource TWONETS.COM.
I, as a philosopher, and any intelligent layman, will both advise against presumption. In life, it's best never to assume anything, about anyone or anything. Just FIND OUT. Things are often not what they appear--and this is true even for smart people. How much more true is it for the rest of us who, honestly, aren't really that smart.
For example, yesterday morning at 2:09 am I called my neighbor directly across the street because it appeared that someone in their family had left their car lights on. Though I have little respect for this family, my better-self often prevails, and in this case it directed me to call them to let them know, lest they find a dead battery in the morning. I've taken similar actions in the past to help them avoid injury, though not lately, since they destroyed our relationship.
Having two telephone number for this particular family I called both. The second call, to a mobile telephone, succeeded and I left a voicemail concerning what I'd observed. The first call, to their home landline, did not succeed. Upon calling, I heard their outgoing message and began leaving my incoming message. Before done I began to hear a series of noises on the phone, culminating in what appeared to be a hang-up. In other words, someone appeared to have hung up on me.
Now, adherence to the No-Presumption rule (NPR) means that I would not presume to have been hung up on, but would instead wait, and hold judgments and conclusions until information-gathering was complete. However, in select cases one may acknowledge "near-certainties," supplanting the NPR.
In this case, for example:
Accordingly, my confidence level is fairly high in this case that I know what occurred. I feel it highly-likely, a near-certainty, in fact, that one or both of these pitiful imbeciles hung up on me, and this pair of reasons is sufficient to support invocation of the ANC override.
Specifically, I base this conclusion on what I already know to be their mediocre intellect and value system, as well as the particular behavior of their answering machine as I was leaving my message. When an answering machine permits you to leave a message but as you're doing so the machine stops, perhaps regurgitating a bit, it's often because the recipient of the call terminated it as the message was being recorded.
ANCO (the ANC Override) guideline is meant to spare perceptive or otherwise extremely intelligent persons the possible humiliation, wasted time, and personal or social reversals in engineering events to hold a presumption, when that presumption is likely superfluous. In this case, for example, if I was angry at being hung up on, and wanted to approach the two imbeciles about it quickly with my anger intact, ready to present it to them before it began to eat at me, it could be psychologically injurious to me to hold myself in a state of uncertainty. It can be painful to feel anger but remain uncertain as to the specific cause of the anger, because if one acts in a responsible and loving manner and refrains from expression of the anger until it can be correctly directed, pain is caused. This process can be circumvented in select cases when ANCO is employed.
Trekkies, that is, dedicated fans of the Star Trek science fiction franchise, know the phenomenon of the distress call. A Federation starship, that's the United Federation of Planets, the controlling intergalactic fraternal body featured in the franchise, will receive a signal through space, typically from an alien starship, indicating a serious problem and soliciting assistance. Such an event is typically used to open and theme an episode of Trek, no matter the particular Trek series.
Trekkies also know that when a Federation starship or other Federation vessel is solicited with a distress call, it responds in some fashion, almost without exception, as the Love-oriented axiology of the Federation would permit no other response. It would be unheard of for the Federation to ignore such a plea.
Yet isn't our recent outreach to my Mother's affluent brother Joe, for financial assistance, akin to the broadcast of a signal for distress in the Star Trek universe? And while the morality of the Federation is established and sound, the same cannot be said of the morality of my Uncle Joe, or indeed his two brothers, S. and J., also my Uncles, as Joe took the plea submitted solely to him, and alerted his brothers, the group of which responded, "No."
The amount requested was $1000, which my Uncle Joe, as we understand his financial resource, could have easily given us. Alternatively, each of the three brothers, whom I now permanently term The Three Scrooges, could have easily given us about $333.00 each, for a total of $1000 requested. But they did not. In fact, none of them elected to give us--myself and my Mother, their Sister who will be 90 years old this Spring and is ill, a dime. Not one thin dime.
Such is the pathological individualism of the global system of ego-capitalism, the real epidemic to be feared, readily infecting even families. Nor will a mask prevent it, I'm afraid.
When the crackpot science-fiction imaginings of underpaid television writers exceed the full vigor of the moral code of established societies and the theorists and philosophers who designed them (such as Mssrs. Locke, Rousseau, et al.), it may be time to rewrite that code and re-establish those societies. And while we're at it, let's dispense altogether with the paradigm of society, in final favor of community.
PROBLEMS IN LIFE
It took me some years in my life to realize that everybody, or just about everybody, has problems. I actually thought that I was the only one.
A key warning regarding problems that develop in your life is: work to solve them right away, as problems left unresolved tend either to get bigger and more severe, or simply keep you frustrated and miserable. And remember that a problem that has you unhappy, today, may have you miserable tomorrow, after it's grown and festered.
Persons and nations alike, take heed: matter how bad something is--it can always get worse.
HOW TO SOLVE A PROBLEM
Learn the True Nature of a Thing
To solve a problem you must truly understand the problem. Whether the problem is another person, a difficult life circumstance or situation, a health issue, a financial problem, or anything or anyone else, to address it, or they, you must clearly understand it, or them. You must know what or whom you're dealing with--you must truly and clearly understand the problem.
My beloved Father would often say, "You've got to understand. Because if you don't understand--you're going to misunderstand."
In my own life, for example, most of my problems have, and do, revolve around conflict with people, because they unthinkingly or cruelly commit misdeeds against me or my family. These are situations where other people are clearly incorrect in their behavior, but either don't realize it, don't fully realize it, or simply don't care--outward expressions or even declarations of theology or morality, aside. I'm only too happy to admit (and try to correct) my own mistakes, but as regards this entry, the mistakes were not mine.
For example, consider the "neighbor" who, some months ago, in trying for the first or second time to negotiate his food trailer into a tiny driveway diagonally across the street from my house, actually drove right up my embanked lawn with the SUV pulling the trailer, leaving a deep tire gouge, and mentioning nothing about it. While clearly his transgression, I'm left to mop-up the detritus, alone, including my own emotional response, especially anger, thoughts about compensation, formulation of a complex plan to restore the lawn, and a fresh bolster of my existing lack of trust in, and in fact years-long fear of, this individual and his partner.
See my pending volume NEIGHBORS OF DEATH for full account.
Figure #1 - Gouge in my lawn. Transgressing neighbor said nothing.
It's never too late to correct an injury. Thus, the offending individual should apologize now, or as soon as they realize that what they did was inappropriate.
AGAPE TECHNIQUE: instead of "offending individual" I could have written "the culprit," which would have been technically correct and indeed more accurate--but it would have also been more insulting, thus leading to a diminished chance that the offending individual would ever acknowledge and apologize. The AGAPE PRINCIPAL informing this AGAPE TECHNIQUE is: attempt to avoid insulting people, as it hurts their feelings and is likely to escalate a conflict rather than assist in resolving it, and in many cases it's unclear how much blame a given individual actually deserves, anyway.
The completed version of this volume will include many relevant photographs, as well as other multimedia materials.
What was tremendously helpful for me in dealing with such negligent and/or cruel persons, and others, was realizing their true nature. When I genuinely and clearly realized what I was dealing with, the equivalent of children, I actually felt much better and more centered, and confident in my posture viz-a-viz such persons. When I realized that most people, very commonly including adults, had the personality structure, and therefore the behavior patterns, of children, it shifted my perspective on such individuals, their errant behavior, and how I would respond.
Of course, this is a standard theme in the work of Erich Fromm. If you've read nothing by Dr. Fromm, run, don't walk, to begin reading him. Start with The Sane Society and The Art of Loving.
More to come on this complex but critical life topic.
. . . . . . . .
Also see topic People, above.
Stress, especially sustained stress, is more inimical to health in body and mind than even poor eating.
One key in negotiating stress is to structure and respond to it such that it actually builds your brain, not erodes it.
This can be done, in general terms, in this manner: don't simply let the stress "happen" to you. Throughout the stressful episode keep your mind active--think about what is happening, how it can be redressed, prevented, or terminated. Keep building, in this manner, new neural pathways to compensate for those that may be eroding by the stress.
There is no question that the health of the body, as well as the mind, and one's mental state, all influence one's ability to show love, and more formally, to practice it.To wit: we might begin with the start of an earnest and persistent effort to rid ourselves of that drug to which the entire world is hopelessly addicted, the poison routinely called sugar.
Sugar is both a poison, and addictive, and its quick elimination from your body and brain is of the utmost importance in your practice of Agape, as well as for general health.More here.
LEARNING TO KILL
Are you the kind of individual who wouldn't hurt a fly?
Well I suggest that you start hurting them, or, more mercifully, quickly killing them, because over the course of your lifetime you may find yourself in a circumstance where your life, or that of a significant other, is gravely threatened. If you have no experience whatsoever in taking a life, and have never thought about it nor grappled with its various implications, you may find yourself immobilized and unable to act in a life-threatening crisis, thereby unnecessarily abdicating a life that you value.
With the belief in Agape, or Brotherly Love that I advocate and teach, we value the life of any aggressor, as well as our own lives. But ultimately, self-love, a key part of the understanding and practice of Love, dictates that, as the absolute last step in a graduated response hierarchy (GRH), we take a life if absolutely necessary.
Accordingly, I recommend that throughout your life you embrace the opportunity to dispense small-scale death, in regard, for example, to the annoying insect that wandered into your home.
There is every reason to believe that as humanity practices love our brain structure will begin to change, reflecting the new ways of thinking and feeling.
Thus will Love slowly become, over the millennia, increasingly self-reinforcing as its unique cognitive rewire becomes predominant, and increasingly comes to define, become resident, and then remain essential to the new brain of man.
The Love Brain.
I am clearly an imperfect being, whose errors, mistakes, and missteps must be recognized, chronicled, and examined, just as those committed by others, which the present volume in large measure does, if we are to prevent such human error in the future, and better yet, devise a new social system in which such mistakes are "built-out" of the system from the start
Having acknowledged my propensity for mistakes, I will also say that we might group mistakes into two basic categories:
Mistakes made though the transgressor actively attempts to remain generally mindful and avoid mistakes, versus mistakes made by persons of low awareness who maintain no such personal duty.
Mistakes made against other people, versus mistakes made that generally affect only the transgressor, as the transgressor actively attempts to love others, and thus when mistakes are made they tend not to be of a variety injurious to others. I am in this category of transgressors.
December 21, 2020
My sister and her boyfriend, as usual, bungled their simple mission for this weekend: shovel the snow at our family home, then bring home groceries for my Mother and me. My mistake was, last night upon being appprised by the sibling that the market they had gone to had just closed, not sending them to the Rite-Aid in my area, as they could have still purchased some essential grocery items.
This did not occur to me, though my sister did indicate that she had to get home as she had early work tomorrow, and, their purile behavior kept me stressed all weekend long. The aforementioned conversation occurred at the close of the weekend, around 10 pm.
I just consumed a container of broccoli-cheese soup that I inadvertently left out and unrefrigerated for a period of hours. The soup smelled, tasted, and appeared fine, yet it's still a cream or milk-based product, and so could have, and likely did form some level of bacteria. I really shouldn't have consumed it.
I consumed it because I was stressed, tired, hungry, it was late, and the soup seemed to taste, look, and smell fine.
We'll know soon enough if I've a penalty to pay.
[Dec. 24, 2020, no penalty was exacted.]
THE ACTUALIZED SOCIETY
What is The Actualized Society?
The actualized society is a near-utopia characterized by moral and technical near-perfection. That is, Love, properly understood, informs all social intercourse, and competence and devotion to task inform all economic and other social operations.
WHY AN ACTUALIZED SOCIETY
In 'The Actualized Society,' the problems described in "What Makes This World Bad," above, would never happen.
Additionally, however, consider the pandemic of 2020, which is, itself, a symptom of a world that even in 2020 is still held together by not much more than spit and chewing gum, to Russia and other nations attempting to destabilize the West and discredit democracy, to people using computers to hold hospital operations hostage unless a ransom is paid, to every manner of computer hacking, to climate change, to the war in Iraq which was completely unnecessary, to the fact that in 2001 eighteen men from Saudi Arabia who thought that flying jumbo jets into the Twin Towers in New York City was actually a good idea, to the fact that America and other nations still appear to require men and women to walk around patrolling wearing guns on their belts, men and women who, I might add, often commit atrocities upon their brothers and sisters, to the fact that most of don't even realize that we are brothers and sisters, to the number of murders and other serious crimes, and any crime, committed each year in America--and everywhere else--consider the fact that we lock the doors to our houses and cars every day and night and consider it normal, to the fact that in the year 2020 there is still a significant number of persons in America and elsewhere with nowhere to call home and no regular supply of food, to the fact our teens are so miserable that they take their own lives, and in increasing numbers, to the fact that in America our middle-aged persons are, likewise, so miserable that they take their own lives...
...to the fact that in our present global culture people lie to each other all the time about everything and think not a thing about it ("tell him I'm not in"), and of course the most powerful entities upon the planet, corporations, lie to us constantly, about everything ("fine quality since 1898"; "these cigarettes won't hurt you"), to the corruption of our food and land, including the fact that in the West and elsewhere we consider the constant consumption of small bottles or cans of a carbonated, sweetened beverage called "soda" normal when in fact it, and similar detritus comprises just about the worst thing that can be put into the human body, to the fact that just last night our Italian food order was incomplete as the restaurant again neglected to include the Parmesan cheese, rendering the meal flat, disappointing, and unacceptable to my 80yo Mother who deserved and was looking-forward to a nice, hot, Italian meal prepared to her preference but who, instead, was angry and disappointed, to the fact that not only are millions of persons worldwide lacking health insurance, but it's the very operations of their respective economies and societies, accepted and considered normal, that are making them sick in the first place, to the divorce rate, to the rising tide of addictions, to the pathetic maniac who wields his so-called leafblower like an assault weapon making life absolutely miserable for my family and likely others, and eroding our hearing (I just realized that I appear to have developed tinnitus), to the fact that people still judge each other prematurely on the basis of superficialities such as skin color or length of hair.
Also consider the putative (in-agreement) devolution of working relationships, cordial or otherwise, in the Congress of the United States. It's thought for some time now that issues of partisanship and ego, particularly during the Trump years, have compromised the ability of the legislative branch of the United States government to fulfill its mandate to productively produce necessary and/or desirable legislation for the American people, (in other words, to "get things done"), the divide between the parties seen as having become too wide. This is clearly an imbroglio (a kind of complex problem) rooted in whole or part in the loss of Love between members. Though not commonly considered as such, cordiality, consideration, respect, and honesty, all attributes present through much of the history of American governance, including and perhaps especially the legislative function, responsible for allowing persons of different views and capacities to function together to achieve, are actually functions of Love. When Love, that basic sense of connection to, and indeed affinity for, the other, disappears, so do its particular expressions. Such loss spells moral disaster for any social grouping or form, whether family, community, government, nation--or the entire world, and functional disaster, as such groups must normally work together, which becomes difficult or even impossible without Love.
Consider all this, and much more, too common in America and elsewhere, past, present, and likely future unless a radical change is made, and concomitantly (at the same time) realize that the human race even now remains as much 'Keystone Kops' as mature, principled, and competent species, and thus at this juncture obviously requires a cleansing, a purification, a near-total re-imagining, then a recast and rebuilding, based on our most sublime and important principles.
This is why we must build an actualized society. This is why the work in social science, unique and powerful, of myself, Philosopher, Social Theorist, Agape Master, and more, Vincent Frank De Benedetto, is required, along with any similar or otherwise helpful body of work, holding the same objective.
And you are required--to learn about, and support, such work.
AGAPE SECRET TO A PEACEFUL DEATH
Content in this chapter is only available in the finished print volume, or to supporters making a financial donation, below.
Or to persons genuinely and utterly desperate to know, to whom I will provide the material, gratis (i.e. free).
Provision of all goods and services would be free within the social system that I advocate as the successor to capitalist liberal democracy: THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN.
Thanks in advance for your support, whether time or cash, for the continuing development of this volume, a genuinely unique and, in fact, seminal work whose success will see the long dreamt-of moral transformation of the human species, our One Human Family.
Is my theory of Agape a "Nash Equilibria"?
It would seem so, as under it everyone wins.
IF YOU FIND THIS WORK OF VALUE
My work is unique and powerful, and of critical import. If you agree, please assist me. I can't properly promulgate these ideas without help, and it actually gets worse from there--email me for an explanation of this statement. I must build a support team, and so require help with tasks, as well as financial assistance. Please provide as much of both or either that you can, as often as possible. For money assistance, best is to set up a recurring donation. Use the PayPal button, below, no matter your form of donation.
Otherwise, please don't complain about the world of pain, in myriad forms, that we all continue to experience across this planet. In fact, brothers and sisters, while the Coronavirus of the 2020 pandemic has its symptoms, the pandemic, itself, is a symptom, though not of a pathology of the body, but the body politic, in other words the global citizenry--us, and the malformed world that we have thus far created in our history as a species. The pandemic is an obvious example of the circular, mutually-reinforcing pattern of large-scale injury continually generated by the twin phenomena of human stupidity and nonLove, each reinforcing and helping to create afresh the other, that befalls humanity when an incorrect principle or idea is selected, and compulsively retained, as the basis for our organization as a species.
This is why the world desperately needs me and my work on LOVE (there are a few others also working in this general area). The manifold (many types or forms) pain of humanity will simply never end until the political and moral basis for its existence shifts to Love, properly understood. This is my thesis and corresponding body of work, and self-imposed lifetime task.
Frankly, it's an amazing endeavor that anyone should be proud to support, and even participate in.
BROTHERHOOD OF MAN
I am pleased to offer my work absolutely free, online-or-off, provided that it is not changed, and I am attributed, for as long as I can, consonant with, and as an example of, my unyielding belief in, and endeavor to demonstrate and indeed build an early, here-and-now prototype of THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN, an effort intended to demonstrate that under the right conditions everyone can, must, and, indeed, would like to contribute their talent to the world, and in return take from the world that which others offer, and in this simple yet powerful and elegant way comprise an entire global economy and society, that is what the long-dreamt-of Brotherhood of Man is, the most free and actualizing society, nay, community or even extended family, in my view, ever conceived. To be sure, the new form would be just as much Commune-ism as Communism, embodying and exemplifying the values of the traditional and perhaps most longstanding of the forms of the "intentional community," the commune: cooperation, sharing, mutual-aid, compassion, empathy, simply...active Love.
In this way, through this model of human organization the baker ensures that the auto mechanic has bread, the auto mechanic insures that the schoolteacher has automotive repair, the schoolteacher ensures that the factory worker has education, the factory worker ensures that the computer programmer has assembled products, the computer programmer ensures that the sanitation worker has properly-programmed computers and even home devices, the sanitation worker ensures that the fireman has sanitation service, the fireman ensures that the landscaper has fire protection, the landscaper ensures that the electrician has their grass and shrubs cut, the electrician ensures that the farmer has their electrical work done, and the farmer ensures that the electrician has agricultural products for consumption.
This entire process, explicated here, as you can already see requires no system of money whatsoever, yet easily comprises an entire global economy. Governance would be industrial, not political, as the operative human reality then, as now though we don't acknowledge it, is that production and distribution of goods and services and the employment and needs-based distribution thereto required, is paramount and controlling for human society, not political control, with elected management bodies operating industry in an intelligent and organized fashion, and a value system based on an active ethic of Love underpinning everything.
Such a system of human organization, by the way, is actually what genuine Communism is, the self-serving claims of past and present totalitarian systems, and the polemical claims of right-wing politicians and ideologues, notwithstanding. Call a peach a pear if you wish--the reality is that it's still a peach, and I'm here to present to you, my beautiful brothers and sisters in our one human family, the sweetest and most juicy and delectable peach that you'll ever bite into.
Thinkers advocating such a paradigm include social philosopher Erich Fromm, and certainly Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the form of his Beloved Community, while, because it is believed that Jesus instructed his apostles to "hold all things in common," some scholars consider him the founder, or first practitioner, of genuine Communism. To wit, Christians and others might consider the words of Luke in the New Testament:
"All whose faith had drawn them together held everything in common: they would sell their property and possessions and make a general distribution as the need of each required" (Acts 2:44-45)
And the words of St. Ambrose in the 4th century:
"God has ordered all things to be produced so that there should be food in common for all, and that the Earth should be the common possession of all."
To be clear, social and economic organization under the BROTHERHOOD OF MAN would not require us to relinquish our personal possessions. Generally speaking, common ownership would apply only to resources of finite availability such as land. In fact, only under a genuine shared system would we finally gain access, readily and naturally, to the material goods we need, want--and are entitled to as the workers who created them. The value of the above quotations rests in their assertion of the ideals, generally, of common ownership, and distribution by need, (and in our modern era of titanic abundance, we specify "want," also, not just "need"). The quotations also illustrate that the Communist idea, in its pure, hence proper form, is very old, and is, in fact, contained right in the New Testament, itself, the most modern portion of the Bible, the part believed to express the principles and teaching of Jesus.
Ladies and gentlemen, friends and neighbors, brothers and sisters: is it any surprise that Jesus Christ, the historical leader who formally taught radical love of neighbor, would also be the person calling for a mode of economic relation that embodied and extended this ethic?
If you've ever used a piece of free, open-source software, you are, in fact, already familiar with the use paradigm I'm advocating.
Want to watch a free movie online, no registration even required? Enjoy--and then imagine the entire world operating this way.
Then, after you've imagined it--help me realize it.
But--we don't have such an actualized social system yet, do we? Thus, accordingly, must I add that my projects, all under development, especially my books and musical release (as well as my t-shirt designs, invention ideas, and more), while all explicitly intended to actualize our world based on Love, are also created and engineered as commercial products intended to generate income. I must survive economically and thus have no choice in this matter, at this time.
I believe that the ideas that I'm trading in, Love and hope, that every person in the world, today, especially young people, seek, are of incredible commercial potential when creatively crafted, as I am skilled in doing, and will ergo create and comprise extremely large revenue streams. Those directly assisting me as members of my support team will benefit very generously from this success.
Please join and assist me, and may I thank you in advance for any assistance you will provide.
LINKS & RESOURCES
In an important effort in musical forensics, I corresponded with the last surviving person with an immediate family connection to lyricist Chet Powers (aka "Dino Valenti"), composer of the 1967 classic song Get Together, a musical piece featuring profound and socially urgent lyrical poetry, who may have had knowledge of the explicit meaning of those lines, this person being the husband of Katherine Powers, Chet's sister, as Katherine, herself, whom I had originally attempted to correspond with, had just passed away.
Listen to the song here.
Love is but a song we sing
Fear's the way we die
You can make the mountains ring
or make the angels cry
though the bird is on the wing
and you may not know why
Come on, people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another, right now
Some may come, and some may go
We will surely pass
When the one that left us here, returns for us, at last (original line pending)
We are but a moment's sunlight
Fading in the grass
Come on, people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another, right now
[Repeat Chorus, then musical break]
If you hear the song I sing
You will understand - Listen
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
just one key unlocks them both
It's there at your command
Come on, people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another, right now
[Repeat Chorus 2x]
SUMMARY OF MY WORK
All of which is informed by Agape.
MY AGAPE TRILOGY
My AGAPE TRILOGY is, itself, part of a multi-part body of work including prose (books and supporting articles), poetry, a musical project, a unique radio program, and more. I'm creating and promulgating this body of work in service of establishing the BROTHERHOOD OF MAN, an "actualized" society, that is, as described and discussed, above, a near-utopia characterized by moral and technical near-perfection: Love, properly understood, informing all social intercourse, and competence and devotion to task informing all economic and other social operations and activity.
MY FURTHER WORK & RESOURCES
[ ATTENTION LOCAL NEIGHBORS: I CANNOT CONTINUE TO PRODUCE WORK OF THIS QUALITY WITH PRESENT NOISE LEVELS. ]
THE AGAPE ORDER
AGAPE ADVISOR (uh gop' ay)
Cost is nominal, or free if you genuinely can't afford anything, at all.
OUR BETTER SELVES
MESSAGE OF HOPE
GRASS NOT GREENER: THE DARK ROAD AHEAD FOR ALL AMERICANS IF DRUGS ARE LEGALIZED
Properly Understood, the Most Powerful Social Force Available to Humankind
- LOVE -