I’ve been thinking about morality a lot recently in seeing how much that people’s characters can be led astray through greed, attachment to validation and other ego-grooming activities, etc. without realizing it’s happening, and what the consequences are for those actions.
None of these are new concepts to most of us because we often hear about this from our involvement or learning of religions or even just in how we were raised.
I personally never paid attention to religion, despite being raised and baptized Mormon. It never had any lasting effect on what I believed, no matter how much my Grandma tried to tell me that the Mormon church was the true church (haha).
But, I have a very strong sense of morality, and I am consistently witnessing people who maybe have an idea of what morality is for them but when it comes down to certain actions or life situations, they have no real strong “center” within them that keeps them from actually doing certain things or forming addictions to things.
This got me thinking about where my strong sense of morality comes from and how it was developed. I realized that the unwavering morality I have is linked to a deep understanding of cause and effect.
This is where it gets tricky, because to have a deep understanding of true cause and effect (not over-conceptualized cause and effect based on what we think is good or bad), we have to be very in tune with our own thoughts and actions and see how those interact with our external world on very subtle levels.
Like everything else, it once again is linked with understanding of the self. The more you reflect and think and allow yourself to get in touch with your self beyond your conditioning and other external influences, the more you’ll have your own mind and your sense of self and ideologies will be less of a product of what’s around you.
This deep understanding of the self will then lead to values that are based on understanding what creates real contentment: integrity and staying true to yourself, understanding what does and doesn’t TRULY fulfill you, understanding that holding on to negativity towards another only affects YOU, and so on.
So if we don’t ever explore ourselves beyond the surface, we won’t unearth that “center” within us.
If you aren’t in touch with the deepest part of you, then it’s that much easier to sell your character for whatever surface level values you might have.
That being said, I don’t believe putting the label of “good” and “bad” on things is helpful whatsoever, or even relevant.
It’s more helpful to think of it in a train of processes, without the emotion, exactly as it is. For example: Making up lies about someone to further one’s own gain not only is a bad reflection of character and can backfire, but actually lessens the amount the person will end up trusting themselves and their own feelings, which can end up having detrimental effects in many ways.
This is much more useful than just attaching a value judgment such as “good” or “bad” to any specific action.
What people are often missing when they do something that has a negative effect, is how it affects their feelings about their own selves, because they might shelf that or push it away.
Anyway, this is a deep topic that I need to explore further in another post. The levels of cause and effect in themselves can be so difficult to articulate. But today was a start 🙂