Self-assurance: What might it be based upon?

No-doubt with self-assurance goes snap decision-making, drive and direction; these are the staple ingredients in the pie of dynamism.  In this sense dynamic self-assured persons at their best/worst are railroaders; they get things done; they assert their visions of and for things.

Now there are several items here which thus are arising out of self-assurance as a topic for analysis. First and prime in my own judgement is the question mark overhanging the ethics and the propriety of asserting one’s version and vision of things.

I will say for the time being only that the drive, direction and vision of dynamic persons take up a lot of space in the lives of those persons who surround and are caught up in the dynamism of these self-assured railroading sort of persons.  I add that this space taken up by these dynamic types of minds in other persons’ and their lives is perhaps space which ought not to be occupied and commandeered by these dynamic ones? This consideration is worth your mulling over.

Second a question mark arises about what might be at the seat of such dynamic persons’ solid possession of self-assurance. On this seat of assurance rests their vision, their sense of direction and their urgent drives which accompany the dynamic ones among us. Take away their self-assurance and the drive and vision and direction suffers; may well collapse altogether; so what is it holds the edifice up for them so stately and so strong?  This is worth looking into and trying to discover.

Third a question mark arises concerning what a dynamic person does with uncertainties; how these kind of persons manage to stay solid in the face of a future which is by definition uncertain, unknowable, and volatile.  How does a dynamic person process and face-down such obvious facts of life which all of us feel as risk?

Perhaps, and I am now surmising, the whole edifice of self-assurance rests on a single overwhelming psychic fact which the dynamic ones consider in their minds to be certain and unshakeable?  Like some Christians who can get stubborn about what God’s will might be for themselves and/or for others about them, and so they begin courses of action which often reverberate and concatenate through a small local and tight-knit community, like a railway train through a haystack.

This is a good analogy.  The importance of an idée fix in those who espouse dynamism and who hold in beliefs in certainties is perhaps a necessary ingredient.  Are the dynamic persons very much like obsessive/compulsives, but without the anxiety and the obsessive reiterating behaviours?  Maybe so?

And if an idée fix is involved in self-assured dynamism and drive, when this fixation of mind is spread abroad to take up space in others’ minds; but not as their particular version of the dominant idée fix; but as an imposed demand for certain behaviours to be had from them, and which are laid upon them by the dynamic ones; then is not this close to a definition of tyranny and oppression?

But yet there are persons whose choice is to enact this role of steering and controlling others; parking their fleet of psychic vehicles their subjugated subordinates’ mental driveways.  There are no laws against this.  You just set yourself up as a dynamic type; like those 1980s ‘consultants’ on £1K a day who merely labelled themselves ‘consultants’ and took away the prizes; and so off you go. If you are able to collect and persuade and coerce people sufficiently and keep them in order, keep them in check, then bingo! You’re dynamic.

When you are this type of person and you often succeed in subjugating part of the will of a group of others; you are able in the way of things – as things are done presently – to take as many bites of the cherry as you can obtain and sustain, until a point might come where you lose your credibility altogether and the subjugated ones begin to fall away or find themselves able to flee your snare.

So there is room in our world as it now is for dynamic persons who mess up; for them to make successful ‘comebacks’, not just once but seventy times seven times, from ignominy and disgrace and to ‘ride again’ as persons to be taken note of; and persons for others to lend some willpower to at a rate of negative interest.  The Hamiltons, the Archers, the Blairs, the Clintons, the Bushes – the list goes on to the crack of doom.

These are all those gravity-weighted inflatable skittle men which appear in old seaside postcards and which when you punch them over into the sand, they bob up again merrily; not having lost any of their absurd and stupefied grins.

The behaviour of the dynamic set of persons when taken to a logical extreme ends in politics with totalitarianism; or in economics with slavery; or in marriage with mental cruelty; or in religion with a despotic fundamentalist theocracy. But in everyday usage these drifts towards total tyrannies are held in check by certain counters and balances put in place. Trade Unions, Health & Safety Law, and Minimum Wage Law are examples of the kinds of checks and balances in place in, say, Britain today.

Were it not for these checks and balances there is no barrier to employment, and employees, and for the terms for doing trade with firms with much greater power collective power than any ordinary individual is able to muster; for him or her to put up a fair fight against them; for all these edging into despotisms and on the whole provide a worse hell than presently for many people these things represent.

The whole edifice of power, political, economic, military, technological, and all other forms of power; are all built on groups of someones somewhere without right or substance, usurping power – just grabbing it – like the greedy landlords grabbed the commons pastures from the ordinary folk, and the military conscripts cannon fodder in times of crisis, and the politicians do largely as they like once they have been voted in under other pretexts- this is the world as it is in the minds eyes of the temporal and visceral and profane ones, the dynamists of our species. And these dynamists are the assured ones, those who feel certainty within themselves; who are the driven, driving, and directional ones.  To the victors the spoils.

This is their natural bent – and were it not curtailed it would rampage and run amuck – as it did in the Assyrian conquests and in the push Westwards in 19th century America and in the 16th century Conquistadores and in the 19th century Australian subjugation of aboriginal peoples and in the 19th centurty’s British Empire with its vast extension and its exploitation wholesale of commercial resources – the list again is endless.

No matter  how these things are glossed and repackaged, as being in the name of Christian ministry or as aid packages or as bringing civilisation, or as explorations of New Worlds; the upshot in the main is the same; the profane ones storm the lands with a glad eye to the prospects for great wealth and dominion available to them via usage of their superior armaments and smart administrative organisations.

These are the driven ones, the directional ones, the self-assured dynamic ones, those would rule the world, were they big enough and bad enough to obtain it.

This is my considered opinion: that most if not all such driven, dynamic, self-assured ones are but petty prices and pompous potentates who serve their own desires and ends; and who answer only to the overwhelming and overweening wills of their own self-loves; so as to acquire their senses of certainty and of self assurance. In short; they believe in themselves; in their dominion and in their right to dominion; and because they subscribe more or less blindly to this desire and belief and wish and apply it voraciously in practice, they justify themselves by clinging like limpets to a mantra that says might alone is sufficient to assert right. This is their bedrock belief because it serves their purposes and their desires and supports how they see themselves as persons.

As I have written here, this underpinning driving belief of such persons; making like iron their faith in their own deserved deserts and abilities; this belief in action necessarily encroaches upon the freewill of those whom they harness-up like sleigh teams or work horses; so as for them to carry out their wills for their own self-absorbed purposes.  This that I am saying might sound too simple to be entertained as the truth; or maybe too jaundiced; but it really is simply this simple once the veneers and pretences are stripped away   ways of doing things; and as for jaundice, this thought if  it entered your head,  arises out of your own levels of sang-froid and out of your own accustomed snow-blindness to the reality of how things actually work in our world at present, and how they have worked thus for most of history.

‘Finding Dory’ is cute, a happy and delightful story. Behind it, the corporations who promote and prosper from the movie, are not quite so apple pie and cream

Two things now arise; to which I shall need to devote separate explanatory essays.

Firstly, I shall show that true assurance can be had; and that it is based on sound and absolute principles of truth and justice; and resides in a something outside oneself and way beyond and better than one’s own petty or self–absorbing self-interests.  In showing this I shall write a little about a great man named Socrates, who saw into the heart of things when he claimed rightly that he himself knew that he knew nothing, and in that fact and in that fact only, was he better off than his fellows who themselves failed to acknowledge this human universal truth.

Having raised this problem of humans being capable of know nothing but that they know nothing; in the second essay I shall try to deal with the objections raised to Socrates’ sobering assertion in the names of science; scientific method and scientific knowledge.

These things of science are for us the lodestone; the guiding star and compass of our civilization today; and across the globe. Technology rules; and it also is ruling us; everywhere man (and woman and child) is in chains; and you have nothing to lose by attempting to win a better world.

I shall show to the best of my ability that science and scientific knowledge are more or less grown-ups’ toys; I do not mean the gadgets, the fruits of technology; but I do mean the doing of the science and the enquiring as research, and most of all, the sheer fathomless trust and belief and the throwing in of lots with the information which science claims for itself to be the bedrock of truth and the standard for truth value.

Science today is a despot, like those ones set up by those who are driven and dynamic and directional and self-assured. It holds a great and unwarranted sway over our minds and lives. We are enchained and enchanted. It has aimed to and has succeeded largely in ousting from our minds and beliefs other forms of information and understanding about the world. It has acted to relegate these other forms of understanding unjustly, and by way of pressing dangerous and facile fallacies and non-sequiturs upon its publics, the men of science and their camp followers have usurped pole position. We are thus entrapped in a fly trap, unable to see out of it or to break free from it; and the chances are that this entrapment shall become mortal to us.

Having been on the ascendant for so long a time now, science has grown infatuated with its successes, so as for its advocates to have come to consider that might is always right; and therefore, they say, to the victors the spoils; which has become their maxim and watchword.  Those who are riding high on this narcotic and toxic infatuation concerning science are gravely and dreadfully mistaken.

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What Words Say (Part 1)

What’s in a name? wrote Shakespeare. Well, there’s considerably more than only a pointer to meaning.  Shakespeare’s rose might well smell as sweetly called by another name; but then the way we view a rose will probably be altered in our minds.

This set of essays which follows is a small set within the larger series titled Awakening The Christian Inside. The small set of essays already written concerning education and practicality is not yet complete; but it will become so over time. This present and new set is on Words and their meanings; it is etymology – a big word meaning looking at where words have come from and talking about ways in which they are used and how they relate to other words as their ‘cousins’.

Take for instance the word ‘rule’.  It is used to name a measuring rod – a foot rule or a metre rule. One rules a line with a rule on paper. Just about one might use the word ‘rule’ as an active verb – a doing word – and meaning ‘to measure out a length’. Say as ‘Rule up that distance’?

‘Rule’ is also used in the world of political power. The persons who rule are those who govern. They are rulers. It seems fair to me to say that there are shared ideas here in both uses of the word ‘rule’ – as political power and as measuring a distance.  That shared idea is that both kinds of ‘ruler’ appoint a Standard, (The Standard), for a) measuring length and b) governing a people.

It is important that I say ‘The Standard’ and not ‘a Standard’ because here the definite article (‘The’) is what makes the length or the governing what is called ‘definitive’ or put another way, – so as to be more easily understood – as being ‘non-negotiable’. The Standard.

Now The Standard, the non-negotiable, is appointed such, by us humans – as the Old Greek said: ‘Man is the measure of all things’. What we lay down is a foot long or a metre wide is what a foot long or a metre wide is. What we say and what we agree on for measuring distance (feet or metres) becomes and remains our Standard.

Like wise with say Britain, a country where every five years or so people go out to polling stations and vote for whom they wish to govern them for the next years. This is the electorate and it appoints a government; and this government thus becomes a non-negotiable item for the term of its office.  For its term of office it becomes The Government, the definitive rulers.

Both feet and metres and British governments then are chosen, or were chosen at some point to become definitive things. The important thing about this is choice; is that things could have been different – there could have been a different Standard, a different non-negotiable item chosen other than these, at a certain time earlier on.

So feet or metres could have been chains or furlongs; and a Red Government could have been a Blue Government had the voters chosen at the election for Blue instead of Red.

It is important that something can become and does become a Standard, a non-negotiable item which once had no authority before it was elected or chosen to be the Standard or the non-negotiable item.  At some time someone chose a metre and nominated it to be a certain length, every metre the same length, and that person chose it from an almost infinite number of possible other choices.

Electing a government is in a similar way arbitrary – with less choice and fewer options yes, but usually two or maybe three likely options, and several less likely options. Thus it has an arbitrariness about it also.

So we people set up for ourselves Definitive non-negotiable standards. They help us to live. So that when we buy a metre of wood we always get the same length for our wood. So that when a government as our rulers passes a law that law is binding on us all. We make it so. We have made it so.

The curiosity is – why is the word ‘rule’ used of length measurement and of government?  Well ‘rule’ is an old word and was used to denote political power as far back as when Britain had kings who ruled; and those kings affirmed and believed that they had been appointed by God to rule, and so that they had an absolute right and power to exercise their will on their nation and people in whatever ways they wished to.  This was known as kings ruling by Divine Right.

Yet these kings had yet to be endorsed by their peoples, chosen and crowned at coronations; after which they became The King definitively. Historically it could have been otherwise.

This hard and fast certainty of definitiveness and of non-negotiatability; of the fact having been created that the king cannot be ‘ruled out’; just as the fact of the measure of length has been made so as to stand unalterable – these two meanings of the world ‘rule’ and their characteristics look like very much one and the same thing.  They both carry and assert absolute Authority.

What they say goes. A metre is a metre and no more and no less. What the king says is what happens and not something else. There is no room for questioning; no room for doubt; everyone knows that this Authority is binding upon them.

Now a metre rule is an object and a physical fact. It can be bought and it can replicate measured metre lengths on any surface as long as it endures and does not wear out. It is a tool for carpenters and craft workers. It is useful and allows great facility.  It can be picked up or put down. One can exercise one’s freewill in using it, on whether to measure and how much to measure.

A king, or a government, by governing, allows or restricts, places burdens or relieves them, on his peoples as he see are appropriate and convenient.  A person’s, a citizen’s freewill is allowed or prevented as these governing edicts and laws from the governors apply to them. Almost, one might say, by a slightly odd usage I admit, but I use it to make the point, as if citizens were the tools and the rulers were the carpenters or craft workers.  The citizens are the physical objects which are able to be picked up, used, and put down at will.

Now persons might object here that I am twisting arguments; and say that governments rule for the benefit of their peoples and so their peoples are not tools in their hands.  But I have not been contesting this point. I am showing how the word ‘rule’ is used in length measuring and in governing; and how this word ‘rule’ carries within its meaning and in these two applications of it some very similar, almost identical qualities and characteristics.

But if I were able to show you many, many other words which we use in English every day; and all of which are bearing parallel relations in their various meanings and usages, to this situation with the word ‘rule’ which situation I have drawn here for you in this essay; would you then begin to consider that perhaps the usages of such words indicate something about our power structures and how they work?

Here are some samples of words whose meanings and applications I aim to discuss with you with a view to explaining and illuminating the ways in which our language and the common ordinary ways we use it, causes us to be imprisoned by our own thought processes.  We become imprisoned because we become culturally conditioned (I say this rather than me assuming that these things reflect the ‘natural’ situation and are as they ought to be) so that we are directed and led and pointed by the language we use, so as to obey and to accept as authoritative the words and ideas and so the personages of certain places and positions, and those not others, and yet this acceptance of ours is in fact arbitrary, often felt absolute in its authority by us, and is allowed by us without reasonable cause.

Consider the meanings and usage of these words, which I am going to discuss in forthcoming essays: (The words placed in brackets beside the example words are ‘cousins’ of them and written here to help you consider the impact of the words.)

Regarding Peoples                             Regarding Peoples

Low Down in Society                        High Up in Society

Villain (villein)                                             Noble

Coward (cowherd)                                       Count

Service                                                            Rich (Reich – German)

Common                                                        Wealth

Ordinary                                                        Real (Regal)

Page                                                                Sovereignty

Vassal (vessel)                                              Treasury

Subject                                                           Title

Tithe                                                               Courtesy

Simple                                                            Court

Clown                                                             Official

(I understand I may now and then get some etymologies wrong. I am not expert. I believe there is enough evidence however, and enough words, which are able to be good examples, so that my general contention will in due course become proven)

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