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Spiritual concepts

Character

Character describes the priority that is placed on each of the inputs to decision making  - the function of the Will- that we make.  It may be helpful here to have the Model and its definitions available for reference.

This is hard to describe but easier to show by examples, thus the following examples [though by no means comprehensive], will give you a flavour for how the prioritisation of inputs – affects the style of decision making and thus to a large extent the projected character of a person.

Personalities are a constant, character can change day by day or week by week or once a lifetime, we are made largely by our bad experience and our good experiences. 

The Tyrant and the thug

The person with a will of iron, eliminates emotion and spiritual input from the composer almost entirely from any decision making process and is left with:

  1. Objectives  - own
  2. Personality
  3. The results of the reasoning process – possible courses
  4. Perceptions [threat, opportunity]
  5. [Perceptions -  obligation]
  6. [Emotional input from perceptions]
  7. [Input from composer – inspiration, intuition, guidance, love etc]

Here we have the will of iron – a reasoning mind, but all of the reasoning geared to their objectives –completely lacking in any ‘feeling’ or ‘spiritual input’ such as inspiration or love.  Social obligations do not come very high up the priority list either.

If the person is a cruel and calculating personality, we have all the makings of a dictator, a tyrant or hard-nosed and callous company boss.

People within this group are ruthless, uncaring and heartless. They get no love, so they show no love.

 If the person is not very intelligent, you get the makings of a thug.

People within this group are without conscience, because they get no pricks from the spiritual world to their conscience.  They lie, they slander, they cheat, they defraud, they manipulate and generally hurt other people, and animals.  They abuse nature and exploit nature.

Any form of moral system is meaningless to these men.  Because their objectives are so strong and their mental models so firm and unshakeable, they will go to any lengths to get what they want.  Without the input of spiritual conscience, they feel no conscience. 

A number of the big leaders of business today, a great number of politicians and the people in the big financial institutions come within this category.  And we also have the wife beaters, the people who still stage dog fights, those cruel in general to animals… oh dear how the list could go on…….

They are immune to all criticism in this direction – they simply do not understand it.  The end justifies the means as far as they are concerned, which means that any form of coercion, violence, usury, manipulation, lying and so on will be justified in their own minds because it gets them what they want. 

I think this is little understood by us ordinary folk, or it would seem by our law makers and those in religious institutions, who feel that somehow a ‘return to moral values’ would solve the problems in this area.  It won’t, the only way the power and the abuse of power in these people can be curbed is by correcting the imbalance that has occurred in their psyches.  All they need is a darn sight more spiritual input and a ‘reawakening’ [I use the term loosely] of their understanding of obligations.

Threats of hell and damnation won’t make much difference, because they don’t believe the spiritual word exists.

The cruelty shown by these men is usually an expression, however, of a real inward pain – real misery, extreme unhappiness.  They are punished in their own way, constantly punished by themselves, or maybe conscience does get through in the end  ……….

It needs also to be remembered I think, that the men of power who ignore all spiritual input,  usually get their come-uppance in the end, although millions may have suffered before they do ………..

Wikipedia

Romania's foreign debt sharply increased between 1977 and 1981 (from 3 to 10 billion US dollars), the influence of international financial organisations such as the IMF or the World Bank grew, conflicting with Nicolae Ceaucescu’s autarchic policies. He eventually initiated a project of total reimbursement of the foreign debt by imposing policies that impoverished Romanians and exhausted the Romanian economy, while also greatly extending the authority of the police state, and imposing a cult of personality. These …culminated in his overthrow and execution in the bloody Romanian Revolution of 1989.

 In 2006, the Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania estimated the number of direct victims of communist repression at two million people. This number does not include people who died in liberty as a result of their treatment in communist prisons, nor does it include people who died because of the dire economic circumstances in which the country found itself.

So far I have described this category of character as men, and it is true they are nearly all men.  But you do occasionally have women too, just occasionally.

If the tyrant is a woman, the violence tends to be verbal.

They get no love, so they are incapable of giving love or of understanding any mental model other than their own. 

They can be cold and calculating, little in the way of empathy is apparent and they may be extremely controlled in their behaviour – measured and  unemotional.

In turn they can be extremely controlling, wanting to dominate the wills of other people in order to get their objectives met.

The Criminal will

It is often said that there is little difference between the mind of a criminal and the mind of certain politicians, and in terms of the decision making function this is definitely true.  The person with the criminal will, eliminates emotion and spiritual input from the composer almost entirely from any decision making process and is left with:

  1. Objectives  - own
  2. Personality
  3. The results of the reasoning process – possible courses
  4. Perceptions [threat, opportunity]
  5. [Emotional input from perceptions]
  6. [Input from composer – inspiration, intuition, guidance, love etc]
  7. [Perceptions - obligation]

What is the difference between the tyrant, for example and the criminal?  First the personality, but perhaps more important they show complete disregard for obligations – in other words they have no ‘moral conscience’.  The following concerns the MPs under New Labour and the leadership of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown…………….

Wikipedia

The United Kingdom Parliamentary expenses scandal is a major political scandal triggered by the leak and subsequent publication by the Telegraph Group in 2009 of expense claims made by members of the United Kingdom Parliament over several years. Public outrage was caused by disclosure of widespread actual and alleged misuse of the permitted allowances and expenses claimed by Members of Parliament (MPs), following failed attempts by parliament to prevent disclosure under Freedom of Information legislation. The scandal aroused widespread anger among the UK public against MPs and a loss of confidence in politics. It resulted in a large number of resignations, sackings, de-selections and retirement announcements, together with public apologies and the repayment of expenses. It also created pressure for political reform extending well beyond the issue of expenses and led to the Parliament elected in 2005 being referred to as the 'Rotten Parliament'.

Some business people are also like this, so again, we can see a pattern of behaviour here with the objectives being those of the person, a personality which is neither timid or compassionate for example, a ruthless streak, and a high level of awareness of threats and opportunities.  Whether they are a successful criminal or a failure depends on the mental models they are able to build up.  If the criminal mind is a clever one – they simply rise higher and become more difficult to catch.

Wikipedia

The Enron scandal, revealed in October 2001, eventually led to the bankruptcy of the Enron Corporation,  an American energy company based in Houston, Texas,  and the dissolution of Arthur Andersen,  which was one of the five largest audit and accountancy partnerships in the world. In addition to being the largest bankruptcy reorganization in American history at that time, Enron undoubtedly is the biggest audit failure.

Enron was formed in 1985 by Kenneth Lay after merging Houston Natural Gas and InterNorth. Several years later, when Jeffrey Skilling was hired, he developed a staff of executives that, through the use of accounting loopholes, special purpose entities, and poor financial reporting, were able to hide billions in debt from failed deals and projects. Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow and other executives were able to mislead Enron's board of directors and audit committee concerning high-risk accounting issues as well as pressure Andersen to ignore the issues.

Enron's stock price, which hit a high of US$90 per share in mid-2000, caused shareholders to lose nearly $11 billion when it plummeted to less than $1 by the end of November 2001.

And many of the  investors were pension companies and very many were small private investors saving for their pensions and their future.

The ‘self indulgent’ will

The  ‘self indulgent’ will has only personal objectives, and is, like the person of strong will, a reasoning and calculating individual who tends to put their objectives first.  But they are certainly not emotionless, because they use their perception of what gives them pleasure and what gives them pain as a key decider.  Threat and obligations are seen as preventers of pleasure, opportunities as a helping hand to pleasure.

  1. Personal Objectives and their priority
  2. Personality
  3. The results of the reasoning process – possible courses
  4. Emotional input from perceptions
  5. The original perceptions [threat, opportunity, obligation]
  6. [Input from composer – inspiration, intuition, guidance, love etc]
  7. [Objectives – wider good, possibly none]

The input from the composer is minimal – no conscience, no forgiveness, no love, so no compassion.  No intuition or inspiration, so all decisions are rationally decided.  We tend to term them ‘selfish’ and if they have friends, their friends are like them – people who find that their pleasure can be enhanced by using someone at that time.  So a friend is someone who has the potential to give them pleasure,  but once the attributes or possessions the person has go, they will be off like a shot.  So if the friend is suddenly ill with cancer, and is no longer ‘a laugh’ or ‘good fun’, you might find this person disappears from the scene.

The self indulgent think saints are to be exploited.

But, like the tyrant and the criminal, they tend not to be ‘happy’ or at least what small amount of ‘happiness’ they do get is very temporary and induced by the attainment of some personal objective.  Once attained, they have to find another goal, and another and another.  These are the sorts of people that fill their diaries with endless social engagements and coffee mornings and dinners and lunches and visits to places.  Not happy to rest and enjoy one place and one set of people, they are always on the look out for a new ‘hit’.

Unhappy people all.

Furthermore, in this  ‘dog eat dog’ world, there is no rest, you have always to be on your guard, always watching your back, always watching and anticipating disaster, someone who will thwart you, obstruct your will, take away your possessions, your wife, your husband, your job……….

Not much peace then or happiness, apart from the occasional moment of gratification as one of your objectives is fulfilled, but as fleetingly as it is fulfilled, another one pops up to take its place and off you go again, driven driven, driven…………

The lack of any form of spiritual input at all can also make men feel extremely depressed and even suicidal.

Furthermore, many men of power, when they fall from power or suffer set-backs, bankruptcy, humiliation, redundancy, the sack,  failure of a desired objective, perhaps a life of apparent failure – a ‘wasted life’ -  find themselves alone and really suffering……..

The ‘Cool man of courage’  

We have a completely different character, if the objectives cease to be those of the person, but the objectives of others – a greater good for example.  The person is still someone with a will of iron, emotion is still fairly minimal, but spiritual input from the composer becomes more important in the decision making process, although perhaps still low on the list overall:

  1. Objectives  - not own
  2. Personality
  3. The results of the reasoning process – possible courses
  4. The original perceptions [threat, opportunity, obligation]
  5. Input from composer – inspiration, intuition, guidance, love etc
  6. [Emotional input from perceptions]

Here we still have the cool, rational mind of the computer – but the motivation for action becomes that of a higher ideal.  Obligations also take a much higher priority.

If emotional input is virtually removed from the decision making process , then the decision making process becomes governed much more by reason.  If, our personality is also that of a fairly cool, calm unexcitable sort of person, then reason might figure even more strongly. 

Here we have the mind of a test pilot or astronaut, an army commander or general [we hope], a man or woman of courage and tenacity, a potential leader. 

We also have adventurers and explorers and hardened campaigners for ‘causes’.  The low prioritisation of emotional input in the decision making process does not mean we have a person lacking in empathy.  Quite the contrary, their personality is likely to include considerable empathy for their fellow man if they have put the objectives of wider humanity above theirs.

A number of persistent research scientists can also be found in this group, those whose research might raise a few eyebrows.

The ‘Men of vision and integrity’  

We have yet again a completely different character, if spiritual input comes a little higher up the ladder of priorities.  The objectives can be those of the person or for a higher good, it tends not to matter as often we find the two somehow merge, that the person’s own objectives later become those that help humanity at large. 

The person is still someone with a will of iron, emotion is still fairly minimal, but spiritual input from the composer becomes more far far more important in the decision making process.  We may also see that obligations  also take a high priority – an acceptance that perhaps moral laws are worth adhering to and that the person has certain obligations to society in general.

  1. Objectives  - own or not own
  2. Personality
  3. The results of the reasoning process
  4. Input from composer – inspiration, intuition, guidance, love etc
  5. The original perceptions [obligation and opportunity]
  6. [The original perceptions  threat]
  7. [Emotional input from perceptions]

There is the tendency for these people to regard threats as relatively unimportant, personal threats seem wholly unimportant, threats to the enterprise they are following are more important, but they tend to then see them in the way an opportunist would, ‘how can we turn a problem into an opportunity?’

Which field they are found in will depend on personality.  They can be philanthropists and businessmen [or both], they can be the truly inspired leaders of explorations, they can be entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists like Brunel who was part genius and part visionary.  They may be law makers.  But they will not be artists, for example, or sculptors, because their reasoning input is of high priority.

Most of the highly successful businesses of the past, for example, were not run on the lines of huge egoism, they were run by people with high spiritual beliefs and ethics, who regarded their fellow beings as part of a team, not as a resource to be exploited.

Our greatest leaders  - whether in business or in politics - were those who led by example and inspiration, not by exploitation, they may have had strong will, but they also had the capability to receive spiritual input. 

Businesses and countries thrive on inspirational leadership that is driven by some spiritual input.

Wikipedia – the History of Cadbury’s chocolate company

Having taken over the business in 1861, John Cadbury's sons Richard and George decided in 1878 that they needed to find new premises. Requiring better transport access for milk that was inward shipped by canal, and cocoa that was brought in by rail from London, Southampton and Liverpool docks, the Cadbury's started looking for a new greenfield site. Noticing the development of the Birmingham West Suburban Railway south along the path of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal,  in 1878 they acquired the Bournbrook estate, comprising 14.5 acres (5.9 ha) of countryside 5 miles (8.0 km) south of the outskirts of Birmingham. Located right next to the new Stirchley Road railway station, itself directly opposite the canal, they renamed the Bournbrook estate to Bournville and opened the Bournville factory in 1879.

In 1893, George Cadbury bought 120 acres (49 ha) of land close to the works and planned, at his own expense, a model village which would 'alleviate the evils of modern more cramped living conditions'. By 1900 the estate included 313 cottages and houses set on 330 acres (130 ha) of land. As the Cadbury family were Quakers there were no pubs in the estate; in fact, it was their Quaker beliefs that first led them to sell tea, coffee and cocoa as alternatives to alcohol.

This point cannot be emphasised enough.  Companies and countries do not thrive if they are run by total egoists, they thrive when they are run by people who do have a spiritual leaning – who understand the value of compassion, who have a conscience, who are able to seek inspiration from sources greater than they are.

Thomas John Watson, Sr. (February 17, 1874 – June 19, 1956) was the president of International Business Machines (IBM).  Watson joined the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR) on May 1, 1914. When Watson took over as general manager, the company produced $9 million in revenue and had more than 1300 employees. In 1924, he renamed the company International Business Machines. When Watson died in 1956, IBM's revenues were $897 million, and the company had 72,500 employees.

Watson  by his example was responsible for  IBM's management style and corporate culture.  The culture was founded on considerable support and caring for its employees.  It was almost paternal in its approach and employees were provided with many benefits unknown to the employees of other companies at the time.  Watson did not restrict his beliefs to his own business. In 1937, he was elected president of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and at that year's biennial congress in Berlin stated the conference keynote to be World Peace Through World Trade.   He believed in diplomacy and not war and maintained a deep interest in international relations. He was known as President Roosevelt's un-official Ambassador in NY and often entertained foreign statesmen..

Watson also worked with local leaders to create a college in the Binghamton area, where IBM was founded. In 1946, IBM provided land and funding for Triple Cities College, an extension of Syracuse University. Later it became known as Harpur College, and eventually evolved into Binghamton University.

Our greatest explorers did not achieve what they did by exploitation of their men.  They cared about them and inspired them and led them with inspiration, not drove them with fear.

From BBC web site - Ernest Shackleton

In 1911, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole, followed by Scott who died on the return journey. In 1914,  Shackleton  made his third trip to the Antarctic with the ship 'Endurance', planning to cross Antarctica via the South Pole. Early in 1915, 'Endurance' became trapped in the ice, and ten months later sank. Shackleton's crew had already abandoned the ship to live on the floating ice.

In April 1916, they set off in three small boats, eventually reaching Elephant Island. Taking five crew members, Shackleton went to find help. In a small boat, the six men spent 16 days crossing 1,300 km of ocean to reach South Georgia and then trekked across the island to a whaling station. The remaining men from the 'Endurance' were rescued in August 1916.

Not one member of the expedition died. 'South', Shackleton's account of the 'Endurance' expedition, was published in 1919.

Within this group we thus find extremely talented and useful men – men of power and vision who are driven to get things done.  Without them we would have no roads, no railways, few systems for living, few laws, no mass produced machines, no electricity or oil or gas and far less food.  Their reasoning power and lack of emotion often  means they are able to get people to work together forming teams and undertaking vast projects – dams, bridges, buildings, roads, and  empires.

We also find quite a few religious institution leaders included in this category.  They forged religious movements as emperors forged empires and their power created cathedrals and monasteries, mosques and temples. 

These people are generally  totally self sufficient emotionally and financially.  But they are driven, driven driven, and may be never really satisfied with either what they have achieved or what they own.  It depends a little on the personality and the prioritisation of the objectives.

Much of what our civilisations are today is due to these men – and they nearly are all men.  The artists needs his patron and these people often are patrons of the arts.  The musical composer needs the theatre owner, the music publisher, the record company owner.  The inspired scientist needs the businessman to see his inventions come to the market.

Wikipedia

At the 1893 World's Fair, the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, an international exposition was held which, for the first time, devoted a building to electrical exhibits. It was a historic event as Tesla and George Westinghouse introduced visitors to AC power by using it to illuminate the Exposition

We all need the business men who provide us with food and transport and with heat and light and power.  As I said, these men have been essential in getting the works provided by the creative and inspired into service for the rest of us. 

We talk of civilisation.  There would be no civilisations unless these men had been there.

The erratic and irrational will

If emotion plays a large part in the decision making process and reason virtually no part, the person can appear entirely irrational – mad as a hatter!

  1. Emotional input from perceptions
  2. Objectives and their priority
  3. Personality
  4. Input from composer – inspiration, intuition, guidance, love etc
  5. [The original perceptions  - threat, opportunity, obligation]
  6. [The results of the reasoning process]

 

 

 If they also start to lose any concept of threats as well ..............

 

The bear in taxi cab

The creative genius

If spiritual input plays a key part in the decision making process, as well as objectives relating to the wider good, and the personality is geared towards to the type of study they have undertaken;   in addition if reason plays virtually no part in the process;  threats, and obligations virtually no part and personal objectives no part – then the person can appear psychotic or a genius depending on what they get spiritually!

  1. Input from composer – inspiration, intuition, guidance, love etc
  2. Personality – for example aversion to risk, timidity or boldness
  3. Objectives  - wider good
  4. Emotional input from perceptions
  5. [The original perceptions - threat, opportunity, obligation]
  6. [The results of the reasoning process]
  7. [Objectives  -own]

As you can see, this is saying the person is having a form of permanent  spiritual experience.

Michaelangelo Buonarotti

Nikola Tesla

If the spiritual input is not as inspirational or special as it is with the genius, we call the person psychotic.  If we take the case of the manic, the  spiritual input is positive, it comes as inspiration and love 

The manic

  1. Personality
  2. Emotional input from perceptions
  3. Input from composer – inspiration, intuition, guidance, love etc

The schizophrenic and depressive seems to be a person who is receiving permanent spiritual input, but the type of spiritual input is negative, being driven by extremely unpleasant input

The schizophrenic and depressive

  1. Personality
  2. Emotional input from perceptions
  3. Input from composer – demons etc

The saint

The person who has absolutely no objectives of their own and makes their decisions based on what is good for others can range from what we call the ‘good’ person or kindly person to the saint – who is essential a person who has no objective but to help others even if this is to their own detriment and  threatens their own survival and welfare or happiness.  The inputs to the decision making process then become:

  1. Objective – to help others
  2. Personality
  3. The results of the reasoning process
  4. The original perceptions- obligations
  5. Input from composer – inspiration, intuition, guidance, love etc
  6. Emotional input from perceptions
  7. [The original perceptions-threat, opportunity]

In these circumstances the saint ignores threats and opportunities.  They may resist obligations which seem to contradict their need to help others, but they have a high social conscience, a set of very strong moral values.  Even though they do reason, they may appear irrational because what they decide may seem so contrary to their own welfare.

 

Zimbabwe cholera epidemic - 30 July 2009

 The first outbreak of cholera was in August last year and since then more than 4,000 people have died of the disease. It's thought at least 100,000 Zimbabweans have contracted cholera. 

The outbreak reached epidemic level because of a chronic lack of healthcare and basic amenities such as clean drinking water in Zimbabwe. 

Aid organisations emphasize that Zimbabwe's fundamental problems have still not been solved.

 



Father Damien

(1840, Tremelo, Belgium-1889). Roman Catholic Priest and Missionary to Lepers. Born Joseph de Veuster. Joined Fathers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary, 1859. Missionary to the Sandwich Isles and then Hawaii. Moved to the leper colony at Molokai, Hawaii, 1873. Ministered to the lepers, even after he caught leprosy himself in 1885.

 

The vacillating and the ditherer

The ditherer, the one who stands at the cross roads of life forever looking at the signpost.  All the inputs are there – everything, but that may the problem because they cannot prioritise  - everything seems equally important.  …..

Orthodoxy – G. K. Chesterton

The moment his mere  reason moves, it moves in the old circular rut; he will go round and round in  his logical circle, just as a man in a third class carriage on the Inner Circle will go round and round the Inner Circle unless he performs the voluntary, vigorous, and mystical act of getting out at Gower street. 

Decision is the whole business here; a door must be shut for ever.  Every remedy is a desperate remedy. Every cure is a miraculous cure.

The alternative of course is that everything seems very unimportant, in which case nothing gets done ......

The Opportunist

Some people see threats and some people see opportunities.  For an opportunist, every perception whether obligation, threat or real opportunity is a chance to meet his objectives – and they can be personal or wider in their aim. 

An opportunist thus places high priority on  objectives, probably has a strong ‘optimistic’ personality, but also places high priority on every perception, little passes him or her by.  As a permanently buoyant sort of personality, the emotions have little overall effect.  The input from the composer is not necessarily last, but it tends to be low on the list.

  1. Objectives and their priority
  2. Personality – for example boldness and ability to cope with risk
  3. The original perceptions [threat, opportunity, obligation]
  4. The results of the reasoning process – possible courses
  5. Emotional input from perceptions
  6. Input from composer – inspiration, intuition, guidance, love etc

Entrepreneurs tend to be opportunists and I want to emphasise there is nothing at all ‘wrong’ with being opportunistic.

Overall

The examples of the types of characters which emerge as a result of the priorities in decision making could be extended, there are  a lot more I could have listed and explained, but I think the point has been made, that how we appear to others has a lot to do with the priorities we put on the inputs to the decision making process.

Observations

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