Contemplating god/the gods is an excellent practice. It structures our perception of our narrower lives in a useful way. Even if your highest principle is an abstract notion, it serves the same purpose.
Science has been making some amazing progress in understanding the human brain and the experience it provides us. What could be called our mind. One of the things that science understands, but society is not yet implementing, is the nature of motivation. ‘Do this to get that’ is not effective in the majority of cases, but what is the primary “real life” motivation we all still mostly live with?
Get stuff. Give our time and energy up to get stuff. Even volunteer to surrender things not immediately implied by the nature of the transaction.
Seek acceptance? It’s trendy to posture as if you have no desire for acceptance.
How would a so called happy worker be viewed by their peers? Would we view a happy worker as a normal person?
A smile on their face, good work produced. In my experience, if you saw someone who seemed genuinely happy to be working at the McDonald’s, they would be viewed as strange, crazy, or dull witted.
Yes, it’s abnormal. We might think that person to be “deficient” in some way. But why is that?
The world we live in looks at the negative of things.
Because “life is serious”? Because life is suffering.
A non-prestige job?
The person who likes their job is either seen as a drop out, some beatnik entrepreneur, or sociopath, any big corporate type, or miserable but surviving. Are there any other views?
But aren’t “professionals” happy in their jobs?
It is nice to see that someone likes their job.
Ever meet a happy public servant? A happy doctor?
I loved my job teaching in a prison. There are those who do love their jobs, but are they common?
Not really too common, I’m afraid. None of the other prison teachers enjoyed it.
I must be lucky, for my family doctor is a happy man but not all are. Ah, there are those who are happy despite their work, but rarely because of it.
Well, the two most important things they have learned about the human brain, about human nature (and this comes from careful testing and examination in laboratory conditions), the strongest motivator for anyone is intrinsic worth, what the worth of an activity or acquisition is on a personal level, not the abstract concept of economic worth.
Yes, and we might feel more intrinsic worth if we were accepted by others or would that be Extrinsic worth? It would be.
These classes I do, have a net negative economic worth. Economically, if money making were what motivated me, these classes would not justify my time and energy expenditure, but intrinsically, this is the most meaningful thing I have done socially in my entire life. This motivation is so strong that I promise, no one lives their life from strictly abstract motives, or even primarily from abstract motives. Everyone has a core of activity in their life that they experience as having intrinsic worth, though for many that list might be very short. Is this too far off base to say?
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.