Finding Community in the GOOD
The GOOD, the TRUE, and the BEAUTIFUL, like fires that attract the moth, are both the backdrop and targets of our consciousness and are intimately interconnected. How might we find community through these three ideals? Let’s consider them one at a time.
The Good has to do with authenticity, that is, valuing what is genuine, and valuing what brings ultimate meaning to our lives. So in regard to community, the Good presents questions like:
2) What are the personal, cultural, and social factors in our lives that are inhibiting the realization of these values?
3) How might we state these values concretely in a way they can be acted on in community with one another?
4) What kind of forums, associations, and organizations can we create to facilitate discussion and action on such questions?
At some level of consciousness we bring at least the first question and often the second question, or ones very similar, to every encounter we have with others. There is a deep desire within each of us for meaningful communion with others. Yet competing desires as well as anxieties about rejection, suspicions about the Other, cultural norms, and societal regularities often sidetrack such a communion.
In fact all of these obstacles to communion keep such questions as above hidden within our consciousness, but hidden out in the open so to speak. They are questions seldom asked directly of ourselves, and the various obstacles mentioned inhibit any collective entertainment of them outside of religious groups and institutions and academic circles. At the same time, questions about collective values and the meaning of life have been fought and killed over for millennia.
The intent of this website is to bring such questions into the foreground of consciousness. In this era of political upheavals throughout the world, of climate change, of growing disparities between the rich and the poor, of increasing disruptions in food and water supplies, of population growth beyond the earth’s capacity to sustain it, it is incumbent on us to seriously consider such questions around the kitchen table, in bars, restaurants, in churches, synagogues, and mosques, in political debates, in letters to the editor, in editorials, in the poems and stories we write, in the movies we make, etc. etc. etc.
In short what is called for is a cultural revolution that rejects and overthrows the commercialization, commodifying, and branding of ourselves with its subsequent denigrating of happiness exclusively to the realm of sensual and material pleasures, requiring the control of nature and the exploitation of nature’s material resources.
Creating real community is now more a necessity than ever and needs to replace the haphazard, noncommittal approach that has always been society’s preference, a society more focused on individual success stories, competition, accumulation of wealth, and a general disinterest in the suffering of those left behind in our own nation and the suffering of those forced into unsafe and cruel working conditions in foreign lands to satisfy America’s voracious consumption of the world’s natural resources.
But creating community is more than giving the Good more voice. The True and the Beautiful are equal partners in this venture. The three of them give consciousness native perspectives which we can call forth to meet the challenges to our collective welfare. Lets consider next the role of the True.