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  • today I want to present to you some of the things I've been thinking and writing about his Easter approached.

  • I'm going to do this in five separate parts which hopefully will make up a coherent whole going to read all of this because it's complicated.

  • Part one, The nature of experience There are two ways of looking at the world as a place of things.

  • And there's a forum for action because we're living beings and must make our way pragmatically in the world.

  • The second way of looking has to take precedence.

  • This means that the world as a place of things, is nested inside the world as a forum for action.

  • This means that our conceptualization of the world as objective must remain subordinate to our conceptualization of the world as a place of being.

  • This is from the first part of my book, maps of meaning cooped.

  • The world can be validly construed as forum for action or place of things.

  • The former manner of interpretation, more primordial and less clearly understood, finds its expression in the arts or humanity's in ritual drama, literature and mythology for the world, as forum for action is a place of value, a place where all things have meaning.

  • This meaning which is shaped as a consequence of social interaction, is implication for action or at a higher level of analysis, implication for the configuration of the interpretive schema that produces or guides action, the latter manner of interpretation.

  • The world as place of Things, finds its formal expression in the methods and theories of science.

  • Science allows for increasingly precise determination of the consensually, validate herbal properties of things and for efficient utilization of precisely determined things as tools.

  • Once the directions, such use is to take his being determined through application of more fundamental narrative processes.

  • No complete world picture could be generated without use of both modes of construe ll.

  • The fact that one mode is generally setted odds with the other means only that the nature of their respective domains remains insufficiently discriminated.

  • Adherents of the mythological world view tend to regard the statements of their creed's as indistinguishable from empirical fact.

  • Even though said statements were generally formulated long before the notion off objective reality emerged, those who, by contrast, except the scientific perspective who assumed that it is or might become complete, forget that an impossible gulf currently divides.

  • What is from what should be?

  • I wrote this a little later.

  • It's also relevant as introduction to what we're going to discuss.

  • In a bit, the world can be validly construed as a forum for action as well as a place of things.

  • We described the world as a place of things, using the formal methods of science, the techniques of narrative.

  • However, myth, literature and drama portrayed the world as a forum for action.

  • The two forms of representation have bean unnecessarily sat at odds because we have not yet formed a clear picture of their respective domains.

  • The domain of the former scientific domain is the objective world.

  • What is from the perspective of inter subjective perception?

  • The domain of the ladder drama narrative is the world of value, what is and what should be from the perspective of emotion and action, the world as a forum for action, presents itself in two stories.

  • The normal story.

  • I was at point A, and I was going to Point B and the revolutionary story.

  • I was at point a, and while going to point B, something entirely unexpected and earth shattering happened, Dismantle I had to abandon my story.

  • Question my assumptions, allow my old beliefs to die and be reborn anew.

  • The second story, which is deeper, is essentially religious part two, some axioms of the Christian revolutionary story.

  • Number one to decide that and then enact the proposition that being is good despite its tragedy and malevolence number two to work in consequence for the continual and eternal improvement of that being.

  • And to know that as love number three to do such work in truth number four to let everything inadequate burn off in that pursuit and to welcome its replacement by what is better number five.

  • To know that as the sacred imitation of Christ Number six.

  • To understand that although Christ Sacrifice redeemed us all, the work still has to be done.

  • Number seven.

  • To accept that work as the sacred meaning of life number eight to strive toward the heavenly city on the hill.

  • In that manner, Part three Narratives and sacrifice from my new book, 12 Rules for Life.

  • Rule seven pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient.

  • Every man for himself and the devil take the hind most, as the old proverb has it Why not simply take everything you can get whenever the opportunity arises?

  • Why not determined to live in that manner?

  • Yeah.

  • Is there an alternative and if so, why should we bother with it?

  • Our ancestors worked out very sophisticated answers to such questions, but we still don't understand them very well.

  • This is because they are, in large part, still implicit manifest primarily in ritual and myth and as of yet in completely articulated, we act them out and represent them in stories.

  • But we're not yet wise enough to formulate them explicitly.

  • We're still chimps in the troop wolves in a pack.

  • We know how to behave.

  • We know who's who and why.

  • We've learned that through experience, our knowledge has been shaped by the interaction with others.

  • We've established predictable routines and patterns of behavior, but we don't really understand them or know where they originated.

  • They've evolved over great expanses of time, but we didn't and still don't understand what it all meant.

  • The biblical narrative of Paradise and the Fall is one such story fabricated by our collective imagination.

  • Working over the centuries, it provides a profound account of the nature of being and points the way to a mode of conceptualization and action well matched to that nature in the Garden of Eden prior to the dawn of self consciousness, so goes the story.

  • Human beings were sinless.

  • Our primordial parents, Adam and Eve, walked with God, then tempted by the snake.

  • The first couple ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, discovered death and vulnerability and turned away from God.

  • Mankind was exiled from paradise and began its effortful mortal existence.

  • The idea of sacrifice enter soon afterward, beginning with the account of Cain and Abel and developing through the Abrahamic adventures and the exodus.

  • After much contemplation, struggling humanity learns that God's favor could be gained and his wrath averted through proper sacrifice, and also that bloody murder might be motivated among those unwilling or unable to succeed in this manner, the delay of gratification when engaging in sacrifice.

  • Our forefathers began to act out what would be considered a proposition if it were stated in words that something better might be attained in the future by giving up something of value in the present.

  • Recall if you will, that the necessity for work is one of the curses placed by God upon Adam and his descendants.

  • In consequence of original sin, Adam's waking to the fundamental constraints of his being his vulnerability.

  • His eventual death is equivalent to his discovery of the future.

  • The future.

  • That's where you go to die.

  • Hopefully, not too soon.

  • Your demise might be staved off through work through the sacrifice of the now to gain benefit later.

  • It is for this reason, among others, no doubt that the concept of sacrifice is introduced in the biblical chapter immediately following the drama of the fall.

  • There's little difference between sacrifice and work.

  • They're also both uniquely human.

  • Sometimes animals act as if they're working, but they're really only following the dictates of their nature.

  • Beavers build dams.

  • They do so because they are beavers.

  • Beavers build downs.

  • They don't think, Yeah, but I'd rather be on a beach in Mexico with my girlfriend.

  • Well, they're doing it prosaically.

  • Set sacrifice work is delay of gratification, but that's a very mundane phrase to describe something of soul shattering significance.

  • The discovery that gratification could be delayed waas simultaneously.

  • The discovery of time and with it cause ality at least the causal force of voluntary human action.

  • Long ago, in the dim mists of time, we began to realize that reality was structured as if it could be bargained with.

  • We learned that behaving properly now in the present, regulating our impulses, considering the plight of others, could bring rewards in the future.

  • In a time and place that did not yet exist, we began to inhibit, control and organize our immediate impulses so that we could stop interfering with other people and our future cells.

  • Doing so was indistinguishable from organizing society.

  • The discovery of the causal relationship between our efforts today and the quality of tomorrow motivated the social contract, the organization that enables today's work to be stored reliably, mostly in the form of promises from others.

  • Understanding is often acted out before it could be articulated.

  • Justus, a child acts out what it means to be mother or father before being able to give a spoken account of what those rules mean.

  • The act of making a ritual sacrifice to God was an early and sophisticated enactment of the idea of the usefulness of delay.

  • There is a long, conceptual journey between merely feasting hungrily and learning to set aside some extra meat smoke by the fire for the end of the day, or for someone who isn't present.

  • It takes a long time to learn to keep anything later for yourself or to share it with someone else.

  • And those are very much the same thing as in the former case you're sharing with your future self.

  • It is much easier and far more likely to selfishly and immediately wolf down everything in sight.

  • There are similar long journeys between every leap and sophistication, with regards to delay at its conceptualization, short term sharing, storing away for the future representation of that storage in the form of records and later in the form of currency and ultimately, the saving of money in a bank or other social institution.

  • Some conceptualization is had to serve his intermediaries or the full range of our practices and ideas surrounding sacrifice and work, and their representation could have never emerged.

  • Our ancestors acted out a drama fiction.

  • They personified the force that governs fate as a spirit that can be bargained with, traded with as if it were another human being.

  • And the amazing thing is that it worked.

  • This was in part because the future is largely composed of other human beings, often precisely those who have watched and evaluated and appraise the tiniest details of your past behavior.

  • It's not very far from that to God, sitting above on high, tracking your every move and writing it down for further reference in a big book, here's a productive symbol like idea.

  • The future is a judgmental father.

  • That's a good start.

  • But two additional archetypal foundational questions arose because of the discovery of sacrifice of work.

  • Both have to do with the ultimate extension of the logic of work, which is sacrificed now to gain later.

  • First question.

  • What must be sacrificed?

  • Small sacrifices may be sufficient to solve small, singular problems, but it is possible that larger, more comprehensive sacrifices might solve an array of large and complex problems all at the same time.

  • That's harder, but it might be better.

  • Adapting to the necessary discipline of medical school will, for example, fatally interfere with the licentious lifestyle of a hard core undergraduate party animal.

  • Giving that up is a sacrifice, but a physician can quote George W.

  • Really put food on his family.

  • That's a lot of trouble dispensed with over a very long period of time, so sacrifices are necessary to improve the future, and larger sacrifices could be better.

  • Second question Set of related Questions Really, we've already established the basic principle.

  • Sacrifice will improve the future, but a principle once established has to be fleshed out.

  • It's full extension or significance has to be understood what is implied by the idea that sacrifice will improve the future in the most extreme and final of cases?

  • Where does that basic principle find its limits?

  • We must ask to begin what would be the largest, most effective, most pleasing of all possible sacrifices.

  • And then how good might the best possible future be if the most effective sacrifice could be made?

  • The biblical story of Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve's sons immediately follows the story of the expulsion from Paradise has mentioned previously.

  • Cain and Abel are really the first humans since their parents were made directly by God and not born in the standard manner.

  • Cain and Abel live in history, nor in Eden they must work.

  • They must make sacrifices to please God, and they do so with altar and proper ritual.

  • But things get complicated Abel's offerings.

  • Please God, but Cane's do not able is rewarded many times over.

  • But Cain is not.

  • It's not precisely clear why, although the text strongly hints that Cane's heart is just not in it.

  • Maybe the quality of what came put forward was low.

  • Maybe his spirit was begrudging.

  • Or maybe God was vexed for some secret reasons of his own.

  • And all of this is realistic, including the texts, vagueness of explanation.

  • Not all sacrifices are of equal quality.

  • Furthermore, it often appears that sacrifices of apparently high quality are not rewarded with a better future.

  • And it's not clear why.

  • Why isn't God happy?

  • What would have to change to make him so?

  • Those are difficult questions, and everyone asks the all the time, even if they don't notice.

  • Asking such questions is indistinguishable from thinking.

  • The realization that pleasure could be usefully forestalled dawned on us with great difficulty.

  • It runs absolutely contrary to our ancient fundamental animal instincts, which demand immediate satisfaction, particularly under conditions of deprivation, which are both inevitable and commonplace.

  • And to complicate the matter, such delay only becomes useful when civilization has stabilized itself enough to guarantee the existence of the delayed reward in the future, If everything you save will be destroyed or worse stolen, there's no point in saving.

  • It is for this reason that Wolf will down £20 of raw meat in a single meal.

  • He isn't thinking, man.

  • I hate it when I binge.

  • I should save some of this for next week.

  • So how was it that those two impossible and necessarily simultaneous accomplishments, delay and the stabilization of society into the future could possibly have manifested themselves?

  • Here is a developmental progression from animal to human.

  • It's wrong, no doubt in the details, but it's sufficiently correct for our purposes in theme.

  • First, there's excess food.

  • Large carcasses, mammoths or other massive herbivores might provide that we had a lot of mammoths, maybe all of them with a large animal.

  • There's some left for later, after a kill that's accidental at first, but eventually the utility off for later starts to be appreciated.