The Wand Position

The Wand Position
Often Used for Magic

Friday, September 15, 2006

Values - Can They Be A Seduction

Here is a good question by Ilias. He has chosen to request that I expand on this from my post on Benevolent Magic entitled, Magic and you and I felt I would like to share it with you all as well.

This is a great reminder for a path to benevolent change and for being benevolent beings. It also seems to me that it is a path to eclipsing karma of past actions.(?) I want to understand more the seduction of values part in the post. Can you elaborate/clarify?

We're all raised with values. Our parents, our grandparents or simply those adults that raise us have values. They may have been passed on to them by those who raised them and yet we are exposed to other values during life are we not.

One has ones friends and peers when one starts to grow up, become a teenager and go on to become an adult. One might go in to business or into the military. One might simply be exposed along the way to other values.

So by the time one is raising someone, their children or perhaps even grandchildren, you have a wealth of values to pull from.

Very often however the values of those who raised you when you were a youngster are the ones that are projected consciously and just as often unconsciously onto those you are raising who are young.

I am not talking about anything new here. Psychologists and Therapists have this as a well established source of research and I do not claim to speak as one of their members. Still - since the question has been asked I feel somewhat called upon to broaden the topic.

It is this exposure to values that can sometimes be seductive. After all, when you're growing up you want to please your parents or the adults who are raising you and very often you will do so even at the cost of your own inner feelings and when you get older and start hanging around with friends at school and other places you want to please them.

You want to belong, you want to get along and you want to yes - go along. In this way they, you feel, approve of you and perhaps others in that group are approved of by you because that value while being temporary is something that allows you to establish a road to your own personality.

Later on in life there will be other values and you may try to live up to those and you may approve or disapprove of others as they attempt to live up to them.

What I am saying here is that values can be seductive because it's very easy to convince yourself when you are in the midst of trying to live up to them or enforcing their value on others either gently or firmly - you are very much involved in something where you may have been seduced at one time to believe that something is valuable or you may be consciously or unconsciously seducing others to believe in its value.

I bring this up and expand on it because Ilias has asked a good question and yet look at our world today - how easy it is to fall prey to a value that might on further reflection look like it might have been in error.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. We've all heard that said by someone and we may have said it ourselves, "It seemed like such a good idea and it seemed like it would be worthy, a contribution - somehow we're going to make the world better."

How many times has that been used as a justification for something that went terribly wrong - even if all the way into it we felt it was right. How easy it is to be seduced by a temporary value.

My feeling is this - and it is my feeling, I admit it - always see how it feels to you. I know it's hard to resist the temporary values of those we care about and those we want to care about us but see how it feels to you.

How would you like to be on the other end of that. The golden rule comes into play here - do unto others as you would have them do unto you - is the formal rendition of it but another way to say it is - how would you like to experience what you are doing to someone else.

I am not trying to accuse anyone of anything. I am rather simply saying - it is possible to be seduced by a value which may be purely temporary. How many of us can look back in time - even just a few years and say - that looked so special, so important, so wonderful to me at that time and now, can't imagine doing that.

I'm not judging anything here you understand, I'm just saying that that is a thought or even a statement that we all might have made at one time or another. Sometimes it's with humor. Other times, it's with a sigh of relief that we got through that time in our lives and we're still moving along.

Ask yourself - is this benevolent for me? Is it benevolent for others? That's what I try to use. I don't claim that I can live up to that ethic every day and every moment but it is my goal, it is my intention and hopefully - at least as much as I can make it so - my practice.

Goodlife to you all and goodnight.


Seven said...

I'm afraid my list of things that I once thought were important is long indeed. Sitting and giving serious thought to how something feels to us is very sage advice. For one of my children this comes easily; for the other, well lets just say she is more like me and let it go at that...:)
Good post.

Robert Shapiro said...

Seven, it is true isn't it that feelings are so easy to confuse with how we think about things. I was struck recently by an advertisement on television that made that very obvious.
It made me realize and prompted my recollection of gaining this wisdom why it is that men and women have so many misunderstandings.
When I have been asked in the past by a woman what I feel about something and I have responded what I thought about it, it was very significant to me on further reflection that I had not answered her question.
It is true that regrets pile up as life goes on and yet there are also good things. Some accumulations have great value. Wisdom, which we are talking about here is one for sure but then there are also beloved family members - children and yes grandchildren - a source of wealth indeed.
Wealth is not only that which we accumulate that is inanimate isn't it, it is the animate that is such a treasure and fleeting since our children and grandchildren and even our beloved pets are moving on down the road of life as time goes by. Of course, we are moving down that same road - so it is a joy to enjoy them while they are here, while we are here and in every moment that follows.
Thank you for your comment and for stimulating further discussion.
Goodlife my friend.

Steve said...

This is a helpful post. Thank you - I want to say that your guidance is indeed valued here.. often I've felt so painfully different that the only way I imagined to get along as a child was to accept the values and behaviors of others unconditionally - even in violation of my own feelings as you talk about on this post. Some amount of this has followed me through life and I'm afraid that it can be easy for me to fall back into that role of pleasing others. Temptation and stresses usually bring me to that place. Respect thyself - eh.
The golden rule - very simple and handy way to remember just what values to keep for ourselves and share with others.. and which ones to let go of. Thanks again Robert.

Robert Shapiro said...

Ilias, thank you for your comment. Life here is very difficult and it is particularly challenging when one is raised in a situation with many obligations and without a book of instructions.

The instructions of course might not be legible and even if they are they might easily be misunderstood by those who teach them and certainly by those who attempt to learn.

Such a difficult challenge does require however old souls with determination. I believe you are one of these Ilias, and I am certain that that determination will see you through life and allow others to see your interpretation of life in your art and in your philosophy.


Anonymous said...

I've just found your blog. You pose some very interesting thoughts, very thought provoking. I'm sure I will be back. Your statement about benevolence is familiar to my heart. That is roughly how I try to conduct my life, not that I can always live up to that, but it is my foundation.

Robert Shapiro said...

Lynilu, thank you for your comment. I appreciate your experience that you share here and I bid you very good experience and lots of fun in New Mexico.