Thursday, May 04, 2006

Notes on Nobility

A person's clarity of self is discovered through the rule he or she takes in their fief. Initially that fief is inside their skin, as it is inside that region that they feel the first inroads of chaos, of the pleasant and the unpleasant. This is their "self" and they, and they only, are the ones that feel it. They are the ones with a vested interest to control it. That act of will to govern defines themselves to themselves by answering the question "what is the edge of my will?" Those that rule inside their skin effectively (movement, cleanliness, health, defense, etc) move on to control inside their governing will (morality, beauty, wisdom). Surrounding our "selves", in fact everything else, is "other". Most of the pleasant and unpleasant crosses into our "selves" from the "other" and as we watch it coming we have Hope and Fear. With Hope and Fear come Desire and Potential which take shape in our wills to craft Intention. The will that governs "self", and values the peace that comes from such effort's success, realizes that governing more of the "other" becomes part of our personhood's self definition. To own our dwelling, to clean our dwelling, to mow its lawn, is part of the natural imperial urge of all fief's we call man. While some begin to extend their borders wishfully thinking that their lack of self-control will be aided by further gains, we here are watching the self-controlled decide that they are best defined by the government of a larger fiefdom. The borders will perhaps grow and the reach of that fief and the quality of its government are the ultimate measure of "who" that person is. There are greater and lesser persons on this scale. Not greater and lesser tennis players, or magicians, or Christians as those have their own subgroup's standards of merit and betterness. The lower "person" is lower to the extent that he does not govern himself or his environs. This is the gradient of what defines "person" and the greater, wiser, and successful government makes a better one.

6 comments:

Jen said...

So could one perhaps say it's the difference between better "at" and better "as"? The better at falls within, as you say, the subgroups, the better wife, the better student. But better when applied to person specifically is based not on actions but identity (although actions confirm identity). Better as, the better person, is based on the circumference of oneself, of what one adeptly governs. Yes, no, sort of?

The Oracle said...

That may be helpful. The as/at distinction can be muddy. One could say that the well-ruled individual was better "at" being a person but I like the "as" option. It suggests the comfort, rather than envy and disappointment, that all of us can feel when we acknowledge our place. I have found where I ought to stand, without pretension to greater standing, and in so doing I have found a clarity about myself. Evan becomes Evan as Evan. Evan finding the realm of "himself" and accepting the mandate delegated him by God. And as Evan finds just how lowly he is, his newly acquired humble heart learns to see and genuflect in the direction of his betters. It is this humility that protects those we rule. We can claim to understand submission. If a wife can't look up obey her husband joyfully and immediately how can she be expected to be anything other than a self-inflated tyrant to her children when she hypocritically expects such from them?

Andrew Michael Jacobs said...

So, what is the strategy to self-governance? I mean, I feel like I strive after the wind when I attempt to get ahold of myself and govern me. I evade my own efforts to pin myself down, to use my will to do meaningful things - say repent - and live a peaceful life as Andy.

The Oracle said...

Know what is the problem, in order to govern it. If your mind is rebellious, it needs to be schooled in what truly is. Know what agent (you or your better) is to govern it. It may be that you cannot and ought not attempt to govern it. It maybe God's place to do so. Know by what force will it be governed. Know that the futility of this earth will always need control and will never be fixed. Know when to stop. Not all men are demi-gods of self awareness and control. Accept a smaller fief if need be. Learn to control the smaller lot before you go conquering. We can fixed and content, and God has given us great benefits to enjoy while we wait for all this to be destroyed.

Andrew Michael Jacobs said...

the bit about a smaller fief sounds good to me, though it is humbling. the trouble is that i feel like i was made for greatness when in fact i am not great. theoretical greatness is practical lowliness.

Andrew Michael Jacobs said...

Oh, and I posted this on your heir apparent's website yesterday:

"i know what you mean about the examined life and not wanting people to tell you that you have problems you are unaware of. in my case, though, i am hoping someone eventually turns on the light for me and says "this is your problem!" and solves my life for me. i always feel like there is a lurking problem i haven't recognized or that if i have recognized it i haven't dealt with it either because i was too chicken or too self-seeking or too blind to its singular importance."