Contributions to Self Clarity, Wholeness, & Health

Table of Contents A Life That Satisfies: Free Your Self By Choice, Commitment, & Cooperation

A Life That Satisfies: Free You Self By Choice, Commitment & Cooperation

By Will Crichton PhD
CONTENTS
1 What Are You? 1
  You are an agent of choice: 2
2 Perspective on Desire 3
  You, an agent of choice, are not the same thing as your objects of concern: 4
  You can dispel the illusion that desire determines your choices: 5
  You can choose to do what you value as the right thing to do: 7
  Desires, aversions, and emotions are sources of information, not vital forces or defects: 8
3 The Detached Agent of Choice 9
  Point of view of your detached agent of choice is objective: 10
  How to view your ambition objectively: 10
  View your body objectively: 11
  How to view your community status objectively: 12
  How to view your beliefs objectively: 13
  How to view “social pressures” objectively: 14
  How to view doctrines usefully: 16
4 The Essential Self 18
  Your self is more than an agent of choice: 18
  Finding your essential self: 19
  Commitments come from you, not to you: 20
  Commitments bring reality to choice: 21
  You will not find your essential self within or without. You must create it starting with commitments: 22
5 Inner Peace 24
  Ceasing the harassment from within brings peace: 25
  Extinguish the fevered nature of ambition, status, reputation, abilities, cravings, fears, resentments, & indignations: 26
6 Seeing Things Clearly 28
  Clarify those things that are a product of your initiative and those things that are not: 29
  The “passing show” happens to you. Your interpretation of it is something you do: 30
7 The Advantage and the Risk 34
  Liberation of choice can be dangerous without an understanding of why some choices are foolish: 35
8 Present and Future 36
  The future can be no more or less important than the present: 36
  Our experiences of the present are not points in clock time: 38
  The living present is determined by one’s commitments: 38
9 Continuity and Consistency 40
  Maintaining consistency of intention means acting in accordance with it until you change it or until it has no applicability: 45
  Intentions themselves need to be consistent with each other: 45
  A satisfying life requires wisely chosen consistent intentions, consistently maintained: 45
10 The Threefold Self 47
  The threefold self is a way of looking at yourself in a way that is helpful for making choices: 47
  An agent of choice – The Agent Self 48
  Your basic commitments define your life’s essential direction – The Essential Self: 48
  Everything you think of as yours is part of you – The Complex Self: 48
  The complex self can be thought of as externalities that are part of what we are: 49
  Your agent self is the one aspect of you that is unambiguously and unavoidably you. Other aspects of you are its doing: 50
11 Basic Life Policies 52
  Your basic life policy specifies your relationship policy with the community of living beings: 52
  Basic life policies are not descriptions of human nature or personality types: 53
  Your basic life policies depend on your conception of yourself and others: 54
  You choices, commitments, and externalities are part of you whether you think they are or not: 56
  Without conscious consideration, the three aspects of self will not function properly: 56
  Life policies that focus on externalities: 58
  Passive Entertainment – A policy that only recognizes externalities as an aspect of the self: 59
  Material Success – A policy that recognizes choices and commitments only grudgingly as aspects of self with externalities being of central interest: 59
  Good Citizen – A policy that recognizes all three aspects of self as important, but externalities are most important: 60
  Life policies that focus on commitments: 61
  Blind Obsession – A policy that ignores choice and externalities aspects of one’s self with total focus on commitments: 61
  Conquest – A policy that recognizes choices and externalities only grudgingly as aspects of self with commitment being of central interest: 62
  Mover of Big Projects - A policy that recognizes all three aspects of self as important, but commitment is of central importance: 62
  Life policies that focus on choice: 62
  Self-Proving – A policy focused on the power of choice for the sake of being able to choose, without regard for what is chosen: 63
  Superman – A policy of self-proving with no sense of limitation, but in the context of the social and physical order of things: 63
  Doer of Great Deeds – A policy taking into account commitments and externalities, but attaching exaggerated importance of demonstrating one’s power of choice: 64
  Cooperative Individuality: A policy of accepting choice, commitments & externalities as fully important parts of one self as well as recognition that we share with others the value of externalities. 65
12 A Supreme Value 68
  Why satisfaction qualifies as your supreme life value: 68
  How satisfaction is different than pleasure: 70
  Ultimate satisfaction is joy: 70
  Joy and heartsickness are extreme opposites: 71
13 A Life Policy that Satisfies 77
  You can not enrich your life without enriching others: 82
  Cooperation implies individuality: 83
  Making mistakes doesn’t imply one shouldn’t try to make each move count for the best: 84
  Repression of impulses is not correction: 84
  Imagination helps us explore possibilities: 86
  Being careful to always apply a life policy helps make it a habit: 88
14 Priorities for a Way of Life 90
  Necessary vs. indispensible activities: 90
  What is indispensible in your life: 91
  Necessity only exists to serve the desirable: 91
  The rule of keeping necessary activity subordinate to the indispensible : 92
  The rule of frills: 92
  The rule of efficiency: 93
  Joy in the somber experiences of life including death: 93
  Goals are ends; values apply to means: 94
  Values pertain directly to the quality of life: 96
  The pursuit of a goal, itself, is a value while it is happening: 97
  Winning is the goal of a game but is not the purpose of playing the game: 97
  The rule of specific values: 98
  The rule of compromise: 99
  Why not aim at the best kind of life now: 99
15 Consistency and the Social Community 107
  Working together provides a common benefit: 108
  Cooperative individuality depends on keeping your word: 109
  What is inconsistency?: 109
  Shared intention is a communal essential self – a culture: 112
  Cooperative individuality in all its richness: 113
Appendix 1: Aspects of Life Policies Based on the Complex Self Not Described in Chapter 11 114
  Getting By - A policy of treating the world as a threatening place in which one must find a niche. 115
  Exploitation – A compulsive policy of acquisition for its own sake. 115
  Apathy – A policy of doing nothing: 116
  Altruism for short-term profit – A policy of doing superficial favors: 116
Appendix 2: Aspects of Life Policies Based on the Essential Self Not Described in Chapter 11 118
  Ego-prominence – A policy pursuing the appearance of being a mover of big deeds: 118
  Conformity – A policy of mere obedience: 119
  Petty Martinet – A policy of subduing others to commitments dictated by oneself: 119
  Pure Malice – A policy of destruction of essential selves, destruction of all commitments of others: 120
Appendix 3: Aspects of Life Policies Based on the Agent Self Not Described in Chapter 11 121
  Winning – A policy of viewing every occasion as a contest for showing one can do something others can’t do: 121
  Defeatism – A policy of malice directed toward one’s own essential self: 122
  Adventure - A policy of making an entertainment out of exercising choice: 122
Editor Comment 124
ABOUT THE AUTHOR 126