Capable Capable
Capable Capable

Revision your journey
Arnold Siegel —January 6, 2020

We think of ourselves as realistic, down-to-earth. In fact, though, we entertain philosophic disorders that distort our perceptions and divert us with red herrings, thus compromising our priorities and judgments. These exist and perpetuate themselves because aspects of our thinking are skewed by an incomplete understanding of this nation’s philosophic framework regarding a form particular to America, a governing form not innate but acquired. 

When we’re at work, odds are we don’t indulge in the thinking that characterizes these philosophic disorders. Nothing but hard, diligent effort is going to produce the results expected of us. But when it comes to our pursuit of happiness, we’re far less realistic. We don’t understand how dependent we are on the philosophic framework for our autonomy. Yet, if we don’t revision the manner in which we view our autonomy, we can’t expect to acquire the subjective tools and worldly competencies we need to handle the challenges that accompany living in America. 

I titled this post, “Revision your journey,” because each one of us is, in fact, the designer of our in-the-world life. Each is individually tasked with acquiring the intellectual and emotional resources needed to lead our lives. Our wish or presumption that someone else or something supernatural, providential or heaven-sent is going to take responsibility for any part of our happiness (fulfillment, satisfaction and equanimity) is a serious error. Why? Because it is disempowering and reduces the effectiveness of the authorial voice with which we regard and manage the situations in our lives. 

Of course, this post is not about a conviction that the outcome of a Superbowl or World Series will be jinxed if we don’t wear our lucky hat while watching it. Cross your fingers if you want to. Nor is it about the exciting felt experience we might describe as delightful or magical. Enchantment, wonder, gratitude and awe are up-lifting—the very lightness of being.

I am focusing our attention on the ontology of the orthodox ordering of America’s emancipated mind. This is the principled orthodoxy that transforms the naked animal into the conscious-of-itself autonomous subject. As a matter of referential envisioning, it frames the spontaneous engagement and reflection of our selfhood. 

This demanding conceptual vision invented in America, once acquired and embodied, serves importantly as a learning device. We use the autonomous subject’s reflective selfhood to help us shape and control our spontaneous engagement with our regulated environment, as well as our conscious observation of ourselves and the processing of our reflection.  

Your best means to eliminating philosophically disordered thinking is to view and realize your autonomy not as a deserved and automatically conferred entitlement but as a form of subjection. Yes, subjection. Not indebted to the form of divine or regal authority but beholden, as I said, to the nation’s orthodox ordering of the emancipated mind. 

Think about it. You live in a nation that affords you—as a matter of law—the right to life, liberty and not least, the pursuit of happiness. In turn, it relies on the efficacy of the responsible individual to achieve and sustain its objectives. The opportunity of our conditions and circumstances, specifically here in America, is empowerment. Learn to live a life characterized by the independence of your agency, the morality of your personage and the entrepreneurship of your biography.

Arnold Siegel is the founder of Autonomy and Life and the leader of its
Workshops and Advanced Classes.