From idealism to realism

AS A YOUNG PERSON I WAS MOTIVATED TO ACCOMPLISH IMPOSSIBLE, IDEALISTIC GOALS

FROM UTOPIAN IDEALISM TO IDEALISTIC REALISM

Ozodi Osuji

From childhood through college my motivation was to understand people and their world, to know something and use that knowledge to change me, change the people, and the world and make the world a perfect place.
That desire drove me until I learned that the world of matter is imperfect and cannot be made perfect, no matter how much you try. Perfection of sorts can be attained in the world of light forms and in the formless spiritual world of God.
On earth it is delusional to seek perfect goals, so I despaired and gave up. I had no more goals in the secular world to motivate me; I had full blown existential despair in my mid-thirties. The world seemed entirely meaningless and there was no point in living.
This despondence is not clinical depression resulting from low serotonin in my brain but was based on my interpretation of existence as totally worthless and valueless; our bodies are food being prepared for worms so why enslave one’s self to working to take care of them?
A course in miracles put it in a poetic manner; it said that when we reach a fork on the road and cannot turn left or keep on walking on the path that we walked on before, we are depressed; and paralyzed and immobilized, not knowing what else to do. I knew that my prior path was devoted to serving the ego and I did not want to do that anymore; to pursue ego goals is to be delusional and I did not want to be insane; the sense of dissonance and cognitive conflict that I felt was also the best opportunity for me to turn right, turn to spiritual path and return to God, union, and love, instead of walking on the ego’s loveless path of separation that gave me only pain and illusory and unattainable goals.
Spiritual goals mean living from the right mind, forgiving all and not defending one’s ego when other people wrong it and forgiving and loving all people. But how does that translate to making money?
If you forgive all people, overlook the world you may attain peace in meditation but how do you make a living in the world where people are exchanging goods and services? I certainly do not want to be poor.
If God is great and powerful, he ought to give his son all the material wealth and abundance he needs to live in this world of scarcity.
I cannot change normal people who are over 90% of humanity and it is not for me to change the other ten percent who do think; the person that I can change is me, so, how do I put my idealism to use?
There was reason for idealism, for embarking on the quest to improve people and their world; it was because people and their world are terribly cruel and one did not like them, as they are.
Realism lies in not wasting one’s time wishing for the world to be perfect or working to make it perfect, it is in accepting that people are animals and that they will always live as animals and not bother with the majority of them; the few of them who are capable of philosophy are already doing so without me.
So, what do I do, twenty-four-seven, to keep me busy and make a living from it. Certainly, I will not live idly, doing nothing for I cannot deal with idleness.
Teaching about not defending the ego and not defending my own ego is useful; it may give me peace but how about money?
Establishing an Institute and being its administrator and writing on spiritual psychology could keep me busy and travelling all over the world to teach about real politics, ideal politics and spiritual psychology seem like innovative ideas.

PERCEPTION IS PROJECTION

My inherited medical disorders caused me enormous physical distress; they made me body- preoccupied and, as such, could not accept my body and love my real self; I considered my body and self as not good enough and rejected them and used my mind to invent an ideal, perfect self and pursue it.
I could not love me; if a person cannot love himself, he cannot love other people; therefore, I could not love other people’s body and mind.
I approached sex as therapy, it calmed down my overheated, pained, and excited body; I used sex to relax my body.
Initially, I did not care for women but just used them for relaxation, but later I learned that sex alone is not satisfactory; what satisfies human beings is caring for each other, love. Thus, I began making effort to love my sexual partner (I have never been interested in more than one woman at a time).
Much of what I learned about other people is derived from what I learned about me. What I see in other people is in me; thus, I am projecting what I see in me to other people.
All perception, A course in miracles says, is projection, for other people are in us and we project them out and see our issues in them; the idea is for us to learn from other people about our issues and correct those issues in us and not try to correct them in other people.
Much of what I say about a former girlfriend is in me; she actually has similar life trajectory as I do; the difference is that I am learning and correcting my course whereas she insists on her fear of attachment to other people, her fear of love and union; she perceives love and union as out to destroy her ego’s desire for freedom and individuality; I used to have similar fears until I learned that freedom and individuality is part of the ego’s desire for separation from the eternal union of the father and his sons as one shared self.
Freedom and individuation, aka separation from God, is an illusion; we are always in God and in each other and ought to not fear union, love.

CONCLUSION

A course in miracles was written in verse, the language of poetry and gave the impression that the ego, the Holy Spirit and God are separated into three persons. False; all three are patterns of thinking and behaving.
You are behaving from the ego if you are self-centered and do not think about other people’s interests; you are thinking and behaving from the Holy Spirit when you think and behave from your right mind and do what serves social interests; do what is good for all humanity and you are operating from the Holy Spirit part of your mind; transcend this world of separated beings and live as if you are one with all being and you are living from your God self, the unified spirit self.
So, my friend, identify what you are good at doing in this world and go do it from ego or from Holy Spirit; when in God you are in being and do not do anything.
As for me, it is running institutions where we study how to improve our world, politically, sociologically, psychologically, economically, and scientifically. I am not fleeing to any abstract poetic world; I am rooted in the earth and must work to make it a loving place. My function and career are to improve our world.
God gave each of us a mind; use your mind to think and improve our world; do not wait until another person tells you what to do, do not ask the Holy Spirit to do something for you because he is your right mind, just do the right thing and you are behaving from the Holy Spirit; do not quote any book, such as the Bible, the Koran or A Course in miracles and give them as the reason why you do what you do; you do not need those books permission to live your life; you need the permission of your own mind to do what you believe is right.
I am now what I call an idealistic realist, as opposed to what I used to be, a utopian idealist. I remain idealist although a realistic one because everything in this world begins as an idea; idealism recognizes that all things are ideas; therefore, there is no shame in wishing for things to be perfect ideas; we just have to make our ideas attainable in the empirical universe.
As an idealist, I want society to be organized on a mixed capitalist-socialist basis (mixed economy), with society paying the school fees of all children through universities and technical schools and providing all people with publicly paid health care; and, maybe, also subsidize public transportation for all people and subsidized housing for the elderly.
Thereafter, society must leave it to individuals to fend for themselves. Of course, in a competitive world, competition leads to high productivity, there will be winners and losers, rich and poor, so be it. Utopia is not attainable in this world of competition and limited resources.

Ozodi Osuji
January 14, 2023

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