Discernment and Conscious Living
To find happiness on earth, one has to do things with moderation. The moderation required of man or woman is not in seeking any mid points but rather considering things in context and applying the right measure in terms of judgement. Knowing the right measure is not an easy task. It is for that reason that we used the word discernment as opposed to just thinking through. Discernment involves more than just sensitivity, judgement, shrewdness, and perspicacity. It involves the mentioned but as inclined towards nothing but the truth. Therefore, it is about being acutely sensitive and striving for correct judgments, correct insights. Judging involves affirming or denying. Correct judgement involves affirming what really is and denying what is not. Correct insights follow from correct judgements.
Life therefore should be about discernment i.e. examining every detail at our disposal for the purposes of correct judgements. It does not surprise me that life in this world is to some great extend chaotic. Ideally, we hope that all people will be keen on discernment so that they may make the right judgements for progress or development. Realistically, I am embarrassed to mention and to assert that some people never discern. Correct judgements for them come by chance. Their concern is never ‘ what they want to make of themselves in this world’ but rather ‘how to enjoy and have pleasure in this world’. This people care only about what they can have for today. Conscious, concentrated planning is typically unknown to them. Given they are humans, they naturally find themselves looking ahead and thinking through but never do they discern and make concrete plans. Their view is very narrow- they think only about how they will drink, eat, have sex and sleep for today, tomorrow will take care of itself. We have repeatedly affirmed that human beings are determined auto-determiners. Planning is natural to them; however, some have never taken the trouble of systematizing the way they planning. To systematize how to plan means that one takes conscious steps to plan own life. This kind of planning requires discernment. It is not just thinking through and finding a solution for now but working out and seeing if the solution is viable for tomorrow or does applying the given solution guarantee a better tomorrow?
Focus in Life: There are two categories of people i.e. the visionary and the practitioners. Among the practitioners, there are two categories; those who are good at what they are involved in at the present (the experts) and those who good at nothing but hopelessness, helplessness and recklessness (the beaten ones). The former only focus on what they are doing in the here and now. The latter are the kind that make meaninglessness of the world and therefore give no damn about anything. Among the visionaries, there are those who foresee and strategise in the present towards the desired future (entrepreneurs). The rest of the visionaries only dream and dream and dream; theirs is to wish things were better so as to move towards a given state of being of things but they never attempt anything to make a difference (the wishers). The experts of this world plan but to the narrow extend of their professions and as they see necessary for now. The entrepreneurs of this world plan but having focused on the future; discerned and identified the better ways of moving towards the better future. The beaten ones of this world do not plan at all. They only care about what they will eat today, where to find some pleasure, drink and sleep comfortably. The Mr/s. wishers of this world are the disenchanted guys who are always blaming, blaming and blaming. They look, think and discern the future. In their minds they have a clear picture of what a good society should be like. Rather than thinking further on how that good society can be realized they blame others for not having enabled the dawning of the good society.
It is in my opinion that many people in the less rich countries are the beaten ones, another great percentage are the wishers while the experts and the entrepreneurs fight for a share of the little remaining percentage. I am convinced that many people in the rich countries are experts. Another large percentage goes to the beaten ones while the entrepreneurs and the wishers fight for the small space in the hierarchy of largeness. Due to some already discussed factors, many people in less rich countries are helpless beaten ones and wishers.
Once there are more beaten ones and wishers than experts and entrepreneurs, development becomes elusive. We said that development involves in increase of capacity for auto-determination. Entrepreneurs are more developed because not only do they have capacity to dream things, they have capacity to discern ways of realizing their dreams. These are the people who are informed thus they are prepared enough to identify opportunities when they arise and discern the means of utilizing the opportunities towards better standards of living.
Entrepreneurs, Material and Spiritual: Among the entrepreneurs we can easily discern two categories. There are, let me say, the material entrepreneurs and spiritual entrepreneurs. Material entrepreneurs are the ones concerned with the material welfare of human beings while the spiritual entrepreneurs are concerned with the spiritual welfare of the people. Material entrepreneurs look at people in the world of today, their numbers, their tastes and preferences and discern how to meet their needs of today but also influence them towards certain tastes and preferences that can be satisfied in the today. They also look at people and discern what they will need in the future and what might be their tastes and preferences. Then, accordingly, they work towards that.
Spiritual entrepreneurs are concerned with the spiritual needs of the people. The spiritual need of human beings is not very different from the object of their intellectual anticipation. As we already said, the object of our intellectual anticipation is meaning. Spiritual entrepreneurs look at the world in its complexity and discern the meaning of it all. They look at the world in its permanence and fluctuations and discern the meaningfulness of it all.
We already said that meaning determines all else as far as human actions are concerned. The way we live our life depends on the sense we make of the circumstances we live in and what we see as the purposefulness of our life. It therefore follows that even the entrepreneurs are determined in their search by the meaningfulness they attach to life as well as the meaningfulness they make of given circumstances they go through in this world. Spiritual entrepreneurs depend on the good discernment of material entrepreneurs for their material nourishment in this world. However, we stated that meaning determines people’s focus. Therefore, we can comfortably say that material entrepreneurs depend on the guidance of the spiritual entrepreneurs if their undertakings are to make sense to them. I will give an example to illustrate what I am stating. Material entrepreneurs saw that it is fit to go genetic if material human needs will be well catered for in the future. However, their genetic undertakings have to make sense to them. That is why, there is always heated debate on issues like genetic food, tube babies, clowning etc. Therefore, it follows that spiritual entrepreneurs have a very important role to play in society. It is on the theories and doctrines that they promulgate that society runs its affairs and makes sense out of them.
Transcendence: Discernment is at the heart of entrepreneurship, we said. Discernment calls for transcending. We have to go beyond things as they appear to things as they really are. More so, we need to go beyond things as they are in the here and now to visualizing how things will be in the next minute, near future or distant future.
This would be a hard undertaking save for the fact that the Designer enabled us by allowing us faculties for the same. Human beings are capable of transcendence to the extend that they can go beyond, outside themselves and look at self. This is referred to as self-transcendence and is the positive condition for other perception. We always perceive in relation to the I. without affirming I, there is no possibility for the other. The other is in relation to the I. Transcendence is the full proof of there being of a beyond. To observe myself from the distance and affirm I, there necessarily have to be the beyond myself into which I am moving to observe myself. This is not a material exercise, it is a spiritual exercise and thus the beyond we talk about is not in any way material.