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more flourishing

  love of ascending (and descending)
singular wayfaring (and usefulness)

gary e. davis
October 25, 2022
  Prospecting beyond a credible sense of love, mindfulness, and empirical support for my conception of mindful love expresses a fate of singularity which is standardly “poetic.” Yet, I’m intimating a new sense of philology whose interdomainity idealizes consilience of human sciences and literary appeals, presently in terms of individuating “love.” Again, my just-so assertions can be detailed more formally and evidentially.

ascending (building-and-broadening: scaling) to higher love
  Birth into mother’s ardent caring creates attachment of baby’s intrinsic openness to experiences which develops (individuates, ascends) into natural belonging in caring to be well (given good enough parenting). The child with good parenting (as one’s intrinsic self-enhancive interest of being) builds and broadens sensibility of belonging with, thus caring about, others.

Learning to play well with others ascends (builds and broadens) appreciation of others’ belonging in shared activity.

Good individuation evinces desire which becomes more aspiring, higher order desire whose ardent belonging cares better (relative to more-fulfilling enjoyments), in accord with the quality of caring around “our” belonging together.

All in all, growing up well is a scaling of individuation as better building and broadening of desire and understanding. The novelties of good identity formation are enjoyable. Belonging and others’ appreciation of one’s caring for “our” belonging is enjoyed. Joys of growing “up,” ascensions of higher individuation appeal for more experience, higher degrees of desire, importance, and responsiveness. Maturation of feeling (affectional importancing, so to speak: affect-imbued valuing) draws one into higher-ordered desiring, such that individuation itself stays integrally appealing, i.e., unstaying in a given zone of comprehensibility (or zone of fruitful challenge).

Such appealing engagement can be modeled (not yet by the growing child, of course) as a scaling up of understanding, conceivability, and aspiration, analogously as psychalogical modeling scales up, and school grade-level topics scale up engaged child individuation.

Sophistication of being a child is a shared complex of child, parent, and school engagements which transposes immanent caring (family) isomorphically into neighborhood caring, then caring for and about generalities because one’s engagements may grow to identify with their appeal and importance (selfidentity of importances).

Educational individuation is an often-enthralling excursion through better, higher heuristic isomorphisms of appellant allegories and figurations which child engagement embodies in selfidentity. Relatability is (or can be) richly scaled, such that appreciating distant others becomes integral to higher-order appreciation of being a person among diverse lives, such that mature autonomy understands itself relative to one’s humanity as Ours. This can be shown to be the real basis of humanistic values, humanitarian care, and appreciation of abstract human rights.

Flourishing is, at best, a wholehearted engagement of being which can be usefully modeled as highly cohering ardency of caring to highly be well, i.e., love of being as [a] highly feeling (easily ardent, then passionate, Self); [b] highly conceiving (easily open to new horizons and depths of self); and [c] highly resolving (readily committing to [inter]personal engagement). This is isomorphic with Sternberg’s conception of intelligent love.

In short, flourishing is usefully modeled as S/s/p-differentiable cohering of highly capable generativity. “The better sense of selfidentity,” I noted earlier, “feels a holistic cohering of life-oriented Self (internality “of” worldly appeals), engaged self, and external belonging with others and the world. A flourishing Janus-faced mirrorplay of S/s/p differentiability is generative for making a life—and integral to creativity.” 

Ultimately, we share a wondrous luck of being in-and-of our world. Authentic SelfWorldliness can be evolving through expressive endeavors which may never gain finality—happily never reach ultimate conceptual destination—like approaching horizonality always recedes in drawing one onward. Merely (even merrily), one’s part in stories of Our evolving continues.

Here and there, “love” is ardent caring for being, relative to whom one cares for and about aptly (intimately, and in kinship, in rich friendship, and in solidarity). “Reasons of love” warrant caring for others who aren’t near-and-dear thanks to one’s scaled-up caring for Our humanity.

Derivatively, love for—“of”?—things or events results from extrapolated feeling about other persons in childhood belonging, which becomes personified identification with events and things—i.e., love for things and events becomes ostensible aspects of loving life—thereby creating “their” appeal, as if they have integral value apart from one’s ardent valuing (one’s selfidentical enowning). Things and events being in one’s world have importance because they are of one’s very personified world, from which importance arises.

scaling loveworlds to exemplify the best within us
  One’s “lifeworld” (better: SelfWorldliness) makes his story, her story in project-ive acting—unwritten dramas of writing life—which retrojectively appeal for genealogy about the presence of being alive: one life to give for one’s Time.

Love of that (as “Love”) dissolved into all the cares, understandings, appreciations, etc. which echo genres of loving to be (which Sternberg and others have prospected empirically). “Love” never was really anything primordial because its meaningfulness derives from proximal, then (maybe) primordial, caring, understanding, appreciating, etc.

Friendships may become deep and high, romances happen, families are made, and generations continue relays of our race (among so many forms of life), advancing intelligence creatively, maybe conceptually, and, at best, exemplarily.

At “Pupils of the Ascent,” Martha Nussbaum, in Upheavals of Thought, prepares to appropriate Proust’s literary fictions (proxies for his own obsessions) into her sojourn through “ladders of love” in Christianity, Romanticism, and democratic aspiration.
Each of these traditions is not simply a tradition of thought but a way of life. Each of these views about ascent also proposes ways in which real people should [according to its literature] ascend, converting their flawed human loves into better loves. (p. 471)
Her project, over her next 243 pages, grandly exemplifies a highness of literary appreciation descending into fictional lives, as (for readers) teaching descends into the lives of students to bring youth into ascension. Likewise, modeling love stories in psychological research resources opportunities for bringing individu-
ations into varieties of higher ways which may be found to echo in our own novel engagements.

Can one’s ascending of Our humanity turn mutual independences into artistic interdependence? turn high singularity of interdependence into canonical poiesis which avoids the fall of Icarus?

Can conceptual engagement descend aptly from higher, deeper, farther, and better appreciations in order to virtuously influence lastingly?

No less than a virtuous conception of love can fairly appreciate Nussbaum’s scaling down her ethics of love into literary philosophy (Upheavals and more), correlate advocacy for the humanities (and more), and political thinking.

For the long run, I’m prospecting a conception of evolutionary pragmatics: from ascendent appeal of wholly open constellating communion (of highly passionate minds), through protean Intimacy (highly shared identity) to scientific artistry (highly fruitful commitment)—from incipient selformative ascendence (2011) to recent educative descendence (2020-22).



  Be fair. © 2022, gary e. davis