The Internal Need For Noble Ideals
In modern American culture, even the idea of noble ideals seems hopelessly old fashioned and out-of-date. Today, the world we live in is a consumers paradise, so our purposes are focused on consuming all we can get our hands on—material, physical, financial, and emotional. As a result, we anxiously try to get a good education, so we can create financial security, acquire a mate who provides pleasure and approval, and have children to give us a feeling of fulfillment and value. We also want entertainment to create stimulating distractions, so we rarely feel the pain of our internal emptiness.
What more could anyone want, or need? If curious, how could we identify what, if anything, is missing? We could imagine getting everything we want, then see ourselves becoming old, getting sick, and dying. Next, we could imagine a life of consuming—approval, sex, travel, food, friends, children, a mate (or two or three!), houses, cars, clothes and a career—and then ask: What does it mean? To ourselves, or other people? In the end, what have we understood, cared about, mastered, created, and contributed?
For nearly all of the hundreds of people I have spoken with over forty-plus years of counseling and teaching, the common answer to this question is that few people can identify a single internal need or potential they fully understood, or thoroughly mastered. Nor is it common for us to be creative in contributing enhancements to even external life. The sad result is our lives often have little or no meaning—to ourselves, or other people. If we don’t care about creating a meaningful life—then no problem!
Most people never consciously think about the topic of meaning, in spite of the fact that everyone suffers some degree of emptiness, anxiety, depression, or nagging pain from internal hungers that never go away. Instead, our hungers only become more intense as we age and forever fail to create the lasting satisfaction and genuine meaning that is a natural consequence of understanding and mastering our internal needs and potentials. A critical source for lasting satisfaction and genuine meaning are the four noble ideals, which if understood and mastered, lead us to feeding and fulfilling our internal and external needs and potentials. The four noble ideals are: expressing love, pursuing truth, experiencing and creating beauty, and developing wisdom.
If we listen to our personal and cultural conversations it is soon obvious these ideals are nowhere to be found in modern minds and emotions. There are simply no files in our minds, and no place in our everyday conversations, to even bring up these topics. Not with our mates, children, friends or business associates do we discuss, define, or explore the four noble ideals that are necessary to make our lives meaningful.
It is important to notice these four noble ideals are defined here not as concepts, but as activities that require objective information and specific skills to understand and master. Most people just assume that love, truth, beauty and wisdom are defined by feelings or ideas that are subjective, and based on vague concepts or sentimental intentions that require no significant effort, time, energy, concentration, or the willingness to suffer.
The nearly universal assumption that love, truth, beauty and wisdom are subjective, and based on ideas and feelings, has made us internally ignorant, so we don’t even attempt to define love, truth, beauty or wisdom, much less understand and master the ability to express love, pursue truth, experience and create beauty, and develop wisdom.
One consequence is that we often believe love is defined by our impotent intentions, not competent behaviors—and that truth, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. We also believe wisdom is something that happens automatically with the passage of time and growing old. A sad result of these common beliefs is that love is rarely expressed, truth is rarely seen, and even more rarely agreed upon. Beauty is something we consume for pleasure, and wisdom is a flickering light we sometimes imagine exists on a far-distant shore, but something that we never understand or master, and as a result, we sail our ship through life moving in futile circles without a map or star to steer by.
CMED training thru books, videos, workshops, and individual sessions is necessary to acquire the objective definitions necessary to understand internal needs, potentials, and developmental tasks, and acquire the specific skills necessary to master expressing love, pursuing truth, experiencing and creating beauty, and developing wisdom.
There are no shortcuts to internal, mental and emotional development, and it never happens automatically, even though people have sometimes taught themselves. What never has happened is for someone to experientially define love, truth, beauty and wisdom, as well as the precise path to understanding and mastering all four ideals. This brand new, observation-based, and precisely defined path can be learned, and then tested against everyday experience by anyone who wants to create a meaningful life.
While the information and skills provided by CMED training are objective and universal, the applications are open to a nearly infinite variety of unique, subjective, and creative expressions. Without knowing it, we have always wanted and needed a solid foundation of understanding and mastery upon which we can create a unique experience and expression of life that is authentic, original, satisfying, complete, and meaningful.