Seasons come and seasons go, often at an accelerated pace. Does it seem that each day of your life disappears at a rapid pace? The somewhat disheartening realization that your life relentlessly moves towards eternity makes it more difficult to anticipate change. Much of the new circumstances you face, cause you to wish for the “good ole’ days” which amounts to living in the past. I’ve concluded there’s only one way to handle life. You must evolve into an Integrated Individual.
Following is the first article on how I attempt to evolve from a Reluctant Objectivist into an Integrated Individual. You should know that the process is never complete because each day offers you something valuable in your quest to improve mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.
At one time, I called myself an Objectivist. After all, what other way is there to live besides adopting the power of reason, individualism and laissez faire capitalism. Evolving into an Integrated Individual doesn’t mean you give these up. In fact, they make an excellent foundation for obtaining your goals and desires.
The fact that Objectivism supplies you a firm base for everyday living doesn’t make it your life. You must build your existence on a strong foundation. Many Objectivists won’t agree with me, but you have to go beyond Ayn Rand’s marvelous philosophy to create the life of your dreams. She erroneously claimed reason is an absolute, which completely disregards the power of intuition. For many years, I failed understand the above, allowed my intuitive powers to remain dormant and suffered because of it.
In addition, you want to step beyond your limitations. Placing a label on yourself restricts your efforts to evolve into an Integrated Individual. That’s why I no longer call myself an Objectivist.
I remember how exciting it was when I discovered the science of human action – praxeology. The teachings opened up my mind to understanding cause and effect relationships. Unfortunately, I began beating people over the head with my new knowledge, which caused me much frustration because most men and women didn’t know what the hell I was talking about.
Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action reigns as one the greatest books ever written. Except where he spouted some inconsistent musings about the military draft, his Magnum Opus remains impeccable. For that reason, the Integrated Individual makes sure he understands the laws of human action and doesn’t fall for the nonsense of Keynesian, Marxist and Mathematical economists.
An Integrated Individual embraces personal liberty and freedom and supports individual rights.
You might wonder what hides behind the dogma of Objectivism. Unfortunately, many supporters of Ayn Rand’s philosophy remain completely intolerant of any teachings that don’t conform to party policy. In fact, the intolerance is worse than that of Christianity. If you are what Christians call a sinner, they will welcome you with open arms in the hope you give up your evil ways. No matter how often you wander off the path of righteousness, you’re always welcome back into the fold.
As far as Objectivism goes, if you start claiming that maybe Plato, Immanuel Kant or Buddhism has some valid points, you will probably be treated as if you’re mentally deranged or suffer from the plague. In fact, I’m risking total ostracism by writing this article. All I can do at this point is quote Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”, although I can shorten that to “Frankly, I don’t give a damn.”
Ayn Rand roasts Zen mercilessly in “The Romantic Manifesto” probably her most flawed book with this statement. “I suggest you take note of the following fact: by rejecting reason and surrendering to the unhampered sway of their unleashed emotions (and whims), the apostles of irrationality, the existentialists, the Zen Buddhists, the non-objective artists have not achieved a free, joyous, triumphant life, but a sense of doom, nausea and screaming, cosmic terror.”
I have to disagree with her analysis of Zen Buddhism. Zen meditations will clear your mind of negativity and self-limiting beliefs and offer you peace of mind. I can verify this because I have been meditating for 27 years and consider the practice a life-enhancing activity. If your blood pressure soars to 185/110, you certainly won’t be able to reason it down to let’s say 128/75. However, everyday meditation practices could very well do the trick. It’s utterly ridiculous to believe that Zen meditations will result in a sense of doom, nausea and screaming, cosmic terror.”
I will conclude this section by stating “Now don’t get me wrong. Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged stands alone as a masterpiece.”
The Integrated Individual
Before we move on, it’s important to not begin labeling yourself as the Integrated Individual. Yes, it’s vital you live as one, but remember labels mean self-limitations. When I use the term in my writings, it’s a tool to convey important information.
An Integrated Individual takes charge of his thoughts, feelings and actions. He happily discovers cause and effect relationships in the sphere of human action. His sense of life allows him to experience the joy of his existence.
Self-Mastery means the individual knows he exists as a being who possesses power. It is possible to call him or her a warrior. In the classic book by Carlos Castaneda, “Journey to Ixtlan” don Juan says “A warrior calculates everything. That’s control. But once his calculations are over he acts. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions.”
Not only does the Integrated Individual tune himself to survive, he (she) thrives. He understands reality and he uses his knowledge to succeed in his endeavors and obtains peace of mind because he is confident in his ability to overcome challenges and obstacles. He believes that he will achieve his goals and desires.
The journey of life is often filled with many obstacles and challenges. Sometimes I was up to conquering or transcending them, other times I fell flat on my face. Some of these circumstances are already posted on this blog.
I will continue to reveal what I went through in order to help you overcome any challenge you face…and do a better job of it than I did. I have enough stories to keep the blog going for years. The new category is “Confessions of the Integrated Individual.” Of course, that doesn’t mean I have arrived. Richard Bach stated “You teach best what you most need to learn.”
Do you ever feel that life is a game? Richard Bach also said “That’s what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we’ve changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning.”
Yes, sometimes we lose, however, we can transform losing into winning and realize that each new day offers us something to express appreciation and gratitude for…and here’s something never to forget “Little things mean a lot.”
RA Meyer – Master the Social Maze