Menu

Social Morality | Image and Ideal

Ideal, Ideology, Doctrine

Humanity has sought to deal with its chaos, the violence and destructiveness of the world, by inventing rules and ideals around morality, believing that if right conduct can be forced, then the chaos will end. But the question arises whether a person subjugated and forced into a certain pattern of conduct is actually a moral person or simply taking on a certain pretense to feel safe.

With social morality we attempt to place a doctrine on reality, which is illusory because doctrine is static and reality is living and changing moment to moment; therefore, use of doctrine is a distortion of reality, a looking away from and barrier to direct perception.

Image, identity, and ideals are illusions which cloud perception and prevent clarity. Source: VinothChandar, Flickr Creative Commons

Image, identity, and ideals are illusions which cloud perception and prevent clarity.
Source: VinothChandar, Flickr Creative Commons

Image, Identity, Division, Hypocrisy, Pretense

Along these lines, and in other ways, we label ourselves, and others, according to a moral gauge. This, inevitably, is a comparative process. That person is bad, so I now can identify myself with that which is good. However, any moralist is essentially a hypocrite: One can see this with the issue of violence, understanding that violence is first a psychological phenomenon, created by inward division and conflict: Basically, a person who is violent, wants to be non-violent. Rather than look at their own violence and understand it, they try to be non-violent. A person trying to be what he or she is not is a hypocrite, uses pretense to substitute for actuality.

A person trying to be moral or trying to be “more” moral means implicitly that the person is not moral. You can only try to be what you are not already. Comparison is a way of avoiding what actually is, drawing one’s own attention away from a fact. Even inwardly, when observing oneself, the movement to the moral ideal is an avoidance of the difficult fact of what is actually happening inwardly. It would only be in deeply seeing and understanding a fact that a problem might be dispelled. It is understanding which sheds the weight of ignorance.

 

Coercion, Fear, Confusion, Separation, Control, Violence to Freedom, Understanding, Clarity

Now, the imposition of morality always involves coercion, which means it involves trying to create fear, using manipulation. Imposition of morality involves censure, creating a need for approval or safety. It has an alienating effect, which exacerbates the inward conflict which is the very source of violence and destructiveness. It creates fear, which distorts the mind, hindering clarity; clarity being the only true intelligent action that brings understanding. It hinders freedom, and for clear perception, there must be freedom to observe oneself and one’s environment, unfettered and not distracted by dogma and ideas. Without freedom to look at yourself and the world, can you understand yourself and the world? Learning requires freedom to see, observe. If you are fearful, you are worried about your imaginings, what others think, what will happen to you; therefore, you are not observing what is really there at all. You are centered in fear. And you are only observing an image of yourself. And image and ideal cannot bring clear insight into any problem of morality, violence, ignorance, and conflict; for this to happen, one must be completely free of idea, dogma, image, and ideal.

Inward division creates confusion, fear, and violence. Source: hipea, Flickr Creative Commons

Inward division creates confusion, fear, and violence.
Source: hipea, Flickr Creative Commons

 

With incredible clarity, Krishnamurti explores, through talks and dialogue, how image and ideal distorts the truth and is a barrier to direct relationship.

An excellent book covering the issue of crisis in the world and in consciousness and its relevance to morality.

Featured image: Bound up in the struggle for morality and freedom.

Source: By Danny Sillada [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *