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        for wholly flourishing: life with humanity
gary e. davis  
March 13, 2016

I’m not going to provide arguments for anything now, but I would gladly argue for my conception of humanistic life (notwithstanding that so much actual life—parenting, schooling, society—happens contrary to our intrinsic human interests).

Wandering children are a regular worry for parents because wondering curiosity of intelligence is intrinsic for beginning life. Wonder and curiosity is intrinsic! Loving to learn, enjoying learnability, is intrinsic to humanity. Older inspiration, inquiry, and creativity are born from joys of curiosity. Staying in touch with one’s Inner Child is keeping natural good of one’s humanity near to heart.

Intrinsic goods are natural. Enjoying enhanciveness of oneself is natural goodness, which later becomes deliberate self-enhanciveness (with hyphen: as recursive growing
of capability and broadening become independent).

I’ve long called that “selformativity”; academic Positive Psychology calls it self-enhancement—and attests empirically that “building and broadening” is intrinsic.
Our natural humanity is expressed in selformativity or self enhanciveness. Creative autonomy, scientific inquiry, and artistry have intrinsic bases in natural goods of human learnability, i.e., human intelligence.

The intrinsic human interest is to individuate. There is intrinsic worth in life (a theme which is central to philosophy of value). Essentially being human is actualizing one’s potential humanity, expressing human potential as the instance of humanity that one can be, which has been educationally led by humanities, the historical archive of humanistic value.

This pertains to groups, too: Identity at every scale is born from intrinic interests of individuation that scale up via interpersonal bonding and cultural belonging.

Greater scale of self identification with worthwhile living—selfidentification with greater scale of worthwhile time—holds more promise for late-life fulfillment than less scale
of selfidentification. The happiness of self esteem is thereby better, the greater is the scale of humanistic belonging.

So, to my mind (antcipating a long conceptual adventure of mind) interest in individuation is more than gaining singularity or individuality. It’s aspirational, at best highly so. We idealize paths of life, “life with Purpose,” as if the whole of life can seem to be a singular Project: to reach one’s ownmost horizon of Meaningfulness, Success, Achievement, etc. And the greater the humanistic scale of aspiration, the better that long-range fulfillment can be.

I want to heuristically parse selformative interest as a twofold (which was implicit above as self enhanciveness): self enhancive scale of building a Meaningful life and self advancive in scale of broadening one’s fulfillment in the world (or fulfilling life, Meaningful world). This rendering can serve well to bridge developmental psychology of individuation and an influential sense of authentic happiness, which I’ll pursue later.

A flourishing life shapes its Project to become a generative appeal at a life span scale that, one hopes, is wholly and ambitiously engaging. One’s ownmost life in the world—one’s lifeworld Project—inspires and aspires to actualize an idealized reality for-and-of one’s ownmost human interest, relative to imagined scales of enhancing one’s capability for being well, which is the nature, the intrinsic interest, of one’s humanity, of everyone’s humanity, and aspiration of humanity, whatever the scale in mind, to be well, to make life Meaningfully fulfilling.

For my sense of good individuation, I conceptualize feeling (ironically, I guess) as an interplay of receptive emotion and responsive valuing. Emotion itself is an abstraction from feeling (emotioned valuing) because we’re always valuing experience: preferring, selecting, deciding, choosing what is more worth our attention and worth our time relative to other options: what’s more appealing because it matters, not just because it evinces pleasure (or: Pleasure is evinced by what matters; pleasure is a feeling of given worth).

Love is a way of being: easy flow (alive felicity) of appreciative caring with other persons. “Loving” things is metaphorically derived from loving persons (especially oneself that things may esteem).

More simply (abstractly), love is appreciative emotion, a responsive receptiveness of feeling in flows of appreciative caring. More complexly, there are many modes of love—kinds of high caring, so to speak (18, to my interests). Care can be very high (highly perceptive, complexly responsive, etc.)—and broad (humanistic, ecological, etc.). Care can implicate one’s selfidentity and one’s identification with all the world. “I care [at the scale I do] because that’s who I am.” Care may be integral to one’s life Project because it’s integral to oneself. Care may be integral to one’s sense of the Project of Humanity because selfidentical care has meshed with the scale of one’s sense of humanity. It’s alive, appreciative, active, enablative, not passive (like shepherding), because better humanity is intrinsically interested in wholly flourishing; and, I would argue, building and broadening the scale of interest in enhancing humanity is intrinsically good. Loving to participate in this, to support this, and see it cultivated is intrinsically fulfilling—for my sense of being well, anyway.

So I imagine a weave, an elusive boundary, an intimate liminality of being a fictionist and philosopher imagining, thinking wholly flourishive life with wholly flourishive humanity. I’m “braiding” two ideal scales, lifeworld of oneself and lifeworld of humanity. Braiding engagement for the sake of both enthralls my imaginative thinking, in terms of all the things (books, notes, experiences,...) I have to weave (or so I try) into the marriage.

Am I being excessive in avowing I get high enjoyment in cultivating a wealth of sppreciation conceptually? Maybe I’m also inspiring a little for others? Conceptual love is a resort of finitude because Our evolving belongs to all of humanity, merely including all particular imaginability of wholly being well.

Why not everyone healthy, happy, and enjoying life everywhere all the time—heaven on Earth, soon.

Make there be wholly flourishive life, feeling, and love on the way to wholly flourishive humanity.

Write a good theater, valuing the good of the world, living for the good of life, for the good of the order (bridging one’s life and all the world). Then make it real.

Anyway, I’m having fun. Isn’t that the meaning of life at least?


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    © 2016, gary e. davis