self-reliance helps others

tuesday sermon. april 23, 2013

                              self-reliance helps others

self-reliance does not mean stand alone.  Donne was correct that each tiny piece removed, diminished the whole.  self-reliance gives one the ability to understand better, the whole, through the personal gaze.  one knows the body and the mind to be capable and worthy.  goals can be achieved and ideas formed and executed.  remember the connections that those individual accomplishments are founded in.  don’t forget that your far vision is granted by the shoulders of the preceding giants.

individualism is the extroverted view point.  it is the society where one shouts “i am!”  in an individualistic society each separate story is valid and should be respected.  in an individualist world view, every person is created equal and should be accorded the same inalienable rights.  collectivism has gotten a rather bad rap, through totalitarian use, to mean no individual rights and that the “greater good” should be adhered to at the cost of personal freedoms.  yet individuals can not be healthy if the society that one is living in is unhealthy.  how can a culture of health be fostered if its every man or woman for themselves?

we strive to think of ourselves as individual entities yet desperately ally ourselves with sub-cultures, families, institutions, anything that will give us a sense of belonging.  consider the idea that collectivism is accessible as an introverted, inner world way of viewing the world.  individualism concerns the soul with exterior things and their relation to the soul, while collectivism concerns the soul with interior things and the relations to other interiorities.

knowing oneself well, gives grounding and a calm centre to make decisions from.  when personal emotions and motivations are perceived and analysed fully, a well rounded picture can be framed about the group as a whole.  upon this basis the fields of psychology have been opened.  the general principle being that true self knowledge will lead to empathy and compassion, while self ignorance leads to the hurtful behaviours of our world.

interdependence has been examined many times.  animals behave in interdependent ways.  game theory begins to try and explain the complexities of cooperative interactions.  looking out for number one doesn’t always result in a favourable outcome.  collaboration, not competition has led to intellectual evolution and consciousness.  the web of weird/wyrd/word connects us all and those connections are strengthened by communication.  communication rediscovered by learning deep self knowledge and being truly self-reliant.

self knowledge leads to better social connectivity.  clarity articulating what ones needs and desires are will reduce stress in daily interactions as well as professional ones.  self-reliance is strength within the self, but with that strength is the responsibility to use it for the group as a whole.  you don’t need to slave away, or deny yourself pleasure, simply find out the innate gifts and talents that you were given to collaborate with others.  a strong society can only be built by strong individuals who can also work together.  a weak and ignorant self doesn’t have as much energy or experience to offer a group set on spiritual and social change, but doesn’t need to make that negative state permanent.

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