Value was everything, his father would argue. The good, the sacred, the divine were all that was eternal and worthwhile.
But young Emile had a hankering for the scientific. He wanted to know what was tangibly true, practically factual.
When he could not convince his father that his own studies were legitimate, in his mind he took out an axe and cut the world of inquiry in two. On one side he located “fact” and on the other side he located “value.” His distinction became basic to Sociology.
We’d probably say today that the ultimate Fact or Truth is the ultimate Value so there’s no need to sever them. Archangel Michael might say that it isn’t a case of “either/or.”
But the severance that Emile urged was useful to the Sociology of his day; it was one of the acts that saw it emerge as a recognized social science, able to explain the phenomena it looked at.
The words “value” and “fact” are symbols that stand in for the “real thing.” However, the words themselves are not the things they point to.
Ultimately, values are matters of the heart whereas facts are seemingly-objective (nothing is really objective) matters of subjectively-verifiable reality.
For me there’s no other value than God and there’s no other fact than God. So I see the inquiry into the two as simply looking one moment at the front of my hand and the next at the back.
Once we willingly stand at the starting line of building Nova Earth gathering together our shared ideas borrowed and winnowed from our culture, the first tool that we select from them and carry in our common toolbox is our shared values.
And what shared values are particularly germane to the work of creating Nova Earth?
Love is always germane to any enterprise. It is especially germane to an enterprise the collective embarks on.
In fact love would be enough if we actually and really did love – interimly transformationally; ultimately transcendentally.
But we don’t. Neither the rapturous buzz we call romantic love or amour to the deep or the abiding regard we have for each other is a deep-enough state for me to want to call it “transformational” or “transcendental.” Once one has tasted that state, the true nature of love is unmistakeable and the hint of that nature that our everyday feelings present to us is equally unmistakeable.
Love is creative, attractive, and dissolutive. We don’t understand who God is or how God operates so I cannot say to you what the relationship is between love and God. I tend to think of them as one and the same and it gives me pleasure to do so; i.e., my inner voice agrees.
In the best of all possible worlds, love would be enough. In a world that’s in the grips of unworkability, however, other values may also be needed, perhaps because they’re recognizable by others in a way that love might not be.
For instance a person in another area of the world might recognize and respond to compassion rather than love. Or another might want a listening ear more than a hug. And still another might wish medical attention and be oblivious to how we greet or respond to them.
We tend to share our living space with those of similar value persuasions and orientations. The values we share often organize our communities.
Those who value peace often live in communities that also value peace. Those who value closeness to nature often live in communities where that value is shared as well. And if they don’t presently do so, they may be talking to themselves and others about doing so as soon when abundance arrives.
Our values fall into various kinds. The universal, we all share. The alternative, we share at the level of group. The idiosyncratic, we share at the level of individuals.
They can also be divided into persistent values which constitute our folk culture and non-persistent values which form our popular culture.
The values that concern us as builders of Nova Earth are, in the majority of incidents, the universal. Rather than characterize them as folk, I’d rather characterize them as sacred or perhaps I should say divine.
As the energies rise on the planet, our sacred or divine values are coming to the forefront. And only these, I think, furnish a strong-enough glue to hold us together while we transform our entire way of being with each other on this planet.
Not surprisingly then, each time I’ve looked at what shared qualities would assist us to make a world that works for everyone, I arrive back at the point of describing qualities that have traditionally been ascribed to God and to the sacred – bliss, joy, happiness, equanimity, serenity, surrender, awareness, responsibility, integrity, etc.
If we’re looking for our group capital, so to speak, similar to a community’s “social capital,” then I think we’d have to assess within the group or team how much love, joy, bliss, happiness and other divine qualities or workable social values we possess among us all.
Our values attract. Our values form our energetic signature. Our values define what impact we can have on the rest of society, how much light we’ll shed, and how much wise leadership we’ll be able to exert.
As well as as ideas and values, we also share certain facts that we bring to the starting line as we organize ourselves and contemplate creating Nova Earth. Let me look at those tomorrow.