better living through autonomous motivation

thursday sermon. may 9 2013.

                 better living through autonomous motivation

an autonomous person is a whole entity operating in the world with equal parts free will and determinism.  we act in our lives and can make whatever choices we would like but have a deep drive, an intrinsic desire to reach out, to make altruistic action.  Kant suggested that such compliance with moral law creates the essence of human dignity.  it is from our very autonomy that motivation arises.  it is what impels and reinforces action toward a desired goal sustaining its force over time.  self control, willpower and passionate desires are the layers that build up to fuel autonomous motivation.

disciplined self control feeds energy for action.  action to push yourself to new levels of endurance and the willpower to sustain on to the goal.  as creative culture makers we set our own goals and learn to manage our time to see projects through to completion.  this type of work and success at the work leads to enormous feelings of well being and satisfaction.  the more our agency is involved in our daily actions the healthier we are.  and not just for artists but everyone, that is what McLuhan saw in his media studies.

self control is directly related to structures in the prefrontal cortex.  studies are mapping the areas used to flex our will and self control.  rather than a less evolved method of reacting to immediate stimuli, we can plan, we can select alternate actions, and we can refrain if outcomes are unfavourable.  we can develop and use these traits to be more enlightened and act in a more evolved, wise fashion.

enthusiasm, desire and motivation will be the battle cry for a brighter future.  feeling personal passion and connecting with others will motivate society as a whole to strive better.  there are many ways to be educated.  find a mentor,  start a special interest group with friends.  with exuberant practice of practical wisdom and autonomous motivation the dark corners of our society may finally be cleared.  we have the drive, we have the intelligence and we have the dream.

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