Tonight’s discussion question was voted on, and got off to a slow start, trying to define what we were talking about. “What is your ultimate value?” has many ways of being viewed, and I didn’t take notes tonight, in part because I was possibly coming down with a cold. I took my first hot bath a couple of hours before the meeting, and didn’t manifest any gross symptoms, but I wasn’t up to my usual chipper self. Strangely, as the evening progressed, and I had a chance to speak my thoughts, my thoughts changed.
At first I was developing my idea of responsibility to humanity, and defined it as a responsibility lasting for 10,000 years, and not just currently living humanity. As an abstract driving force for one’s behavior that didn’t generate any enthusiasm. Someone brought up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which I complained about because the highest level in that system was “self-actualization”, and that was still a selfish goal for the top level. Whereupon I launched into my description of the Chart of Human Development, infant, child, adolescent, adult, mature, and sage. I mentioned that as a mature person doing a meditation, that they could explore all of those levels of development. Everyone listened attentively, but the conversation soon went to more immediate philosophical analysis of value, time, truth, reality, and subjectivity.
The question of morality, as defined by various standard philosophers, was hurriedly gone thru with some trenchant quotations. I stated that morality doesn’t come from graduate seminars on morality that somehow drift into the common human behavior. Rather, it comes from fertile young women choosing, in the long run, and on average, men to father their children that were going to be good providers, good protectors, and basically nice people. Men of course are locked into feminine beauty, which means healthy and fertile. That idea was not liked, and innumerable modern examples of women choosing louses for mates were cited, but most of these were based on Hollywood romance and had little reality for average women.
I tried to come up with an immediate real goal that I could practice, rather than the generalized philosophical discussion that the others sought. Those ramblings don’t answer anything, and functioned only to clarify the problems, and secondary problems, in an endless chain of words and inaction.
I suggested that a rule of thumb for young women was to avoid men who used alcohol to ease their anxiety—”Drink for pleasure not for pain”—and said they should choose a man for a companion who is kind and makes them feel tranquil when they are with them, rather than wildly excited. On the way out of Dudley’s bookstore there was a twenty something young woman that I have a nodding acquaintance with, to whom I gave that advice.
A personal ultimate value must be practiced and promoted to be valuable.