Love, Power, Or Wisdom?
Eris, the goddess of strife and the sister of the god of war threw a golden apple into a party at Olympus with the words 'for the fairest'. Three goddesses, representing LOVE, POWER, and WISDOM, claimed the golden apple.
My modern interpretation of the ancient myth, “Judgment of Paris”, is that we implicitly rank order our values every time we communicate our Advocacy of some point of view. Here are some values to guide our efforts:
LOVE can be applied to people or "one's calling". In terms of work, Campbell says “follow your bliss” which for me means to give priority to my writing as an end in itself. Applied to people, Love urges us to choose "family and friends" over "comunity values" or objective standards of excellence. Like Nietzsche's lion-stage on the path to wisdom, Love is often the enemy of mindless duty; love urges us to help protect our frends and family against rigid enforcement of community groupthink or petty laws.
POWER or what Machiavelli explains is the “rules of the game” “if you want to win”. Some advocates lie, distort and omit inconvenient facts in order to win their argument. Winning by deception and self-deception is a Faustian bargain, which is one reason why playing the power game to win over the other will corrupt you. Win-win solutions avoid this dilemma.
WISDOM is what Jung calls the ‘self”, and what the ‘self-actualization” writers refer to as the goal of adult development.
Speaking of the path to wisdom, it doesn't always come from talking to people who argee with you. If you want readings that keep you awake and make you think, Nietzsche might be the irritation that gets under your protective shell and causes your oyster to produce some pearls of wisdom of your own.
Nietzsche gives us metaphors for each of the three stages of human adult development. Each stage has its own virtue, and each contributes to developing our human potential, our quest for WISDOM:
CAMEL: At first we are guided by DUTY. We give up our free will and act like a camel that kneels down to accept heavy loads. We obey the culture without thinking; we do our duty. By bearing heavy loads, including the burden of self-discipline, we train ourselves to be strong and get ready for the next stage.
LION: The lion is a noble warrior who craves freedom of thought. The enemy of FREEDOM OF THOUGHT, the open and honest search for truth, and the evolution of human potential is a dragon called "Thou Shalt."
During this stage of development, we must overcome enough of our social programming to free us up to stop our sleepwalking and mindless obedience to authority. The lion part of us fights off the rigid-rule-enforcement dragon so we can wake up, look around and get ready to for the next stage, to become as open and creative as little children.
CHILD: The child symbolizes a fresh start, a new beginning, the WISDOM of BECOMING. As the final stage of adult development, the reborn child stage is guided by openness, growth and “becoming”. Resentments or addictions from the past are forgotten. What is reborn is a playful attitude toward exploring the world; a kind of creative innocence guided by an inner wisdom that is also the wisdom of the universe. The child is also the symbol of hope, progress and human potential at the end of Stanley Kubrick’s movie “2001”.
So which guides your advocacy:
Love, Power, Or Wisdom?
Or have you found a way to combine all three?
~ Richard Rockwell ~