Today we have something a little different, a very nicely illustrated mapping project reflecting on p2p values and spirituality by Andrius Kulikauskas.
The peer-to-peer movement values relative truth with a passion that is practically absolute. I believe that individual perspectives have the potential to discover the universal truth, at least enough of it so as to make the peer-to-peer movement viable. The path from relative to absolute truth is the subject of my e-book, The Truth, from Relative to Absolute.
I think the most practical concept from my book is a person’s deepest value. In 2004, I wondered how my online laboratory Minciu Sodas might organize a Yahoo! group around Franz Nahrada and openly support his many projects. We needed a single concept that summarized what he cared about. For him, it was Global Villages. He later expressed his deepest value in life as optimal interplay. From 2004 to 2010, I organized more than twenty such discussion groups, including Janet Feldman’s Holistic Helping, Pamela McLean’s Learning From Each Other, Samwel Kongere’s Mendenyo (“men without food”, motivation through sacrifice), John Roger’s Cyfranogi (“participate”, participatory society) and my own group Living by Truth. Here is an excerpt from my book:
Truth is inside of us, deeper than words. Ask people what they know firsthand:
What do they value? What is their deepest value in life which includes all of their other values?
They may not have an answer. Or they may feel it but not yet have words for it. Or they may have already thought it through. As the ancient Greeks would say, they know themselves.
Their values are all uniquely beautiful: Holistic Helping, Learning From Each Other, Participatory Society, Serving Others, Fighting Peacefully, Synergy, Freedom, Faith, Family, Unity, Love…
If two people give the same answer such as Family, and you ask them what they mean by that, they will give you different answers.
Their deepest value is their spiritual name, like a Native American name. They will almost always let you share it.
It is how they hope to think of themselves. In practice, it is their strong point but also their blind spot. It is what we should have them be in charge of.
It is how they are happy to be categorized, how you can empathize with them and hold them accountable.
It is their soul, the essence of their personality, their principle which they substitute for themselves, their name which is written in the Book of Life, what is truly eternal.
They are thus like stars in the sky, seeing the entire sky from their particular position. As Jesus says, they are born again of the Spirit. They are Allah’s holy names.
Their deepest values are all aspects of love, which is surely God’s deepest value. They address what they each think is the problem with this world, the lack of love they feel. It is how they integrate their many values as they clash in daily life.
They invest themselves in their deepest value, which does not change but rather grows ever more clear to them. As they know themselves, they dare to go beyond themselves and ask what they do not know.
What do they seek to know? What is a question that they don’t know the answer to, but wish to answer?
In 10 years, I collected deepest values and investigatory questions from hundreds of people. I think it would be very fruitful to work together to collect many more. They might serve as the basis for appreciating the greatest variety of perspectives and discovering what amongst them might actually be universal.
I am working on a map of deepest values and related concepts. I’ve noticed that often a value such as my own “living by absolute truth” breaks do wn into one concept that is given (in my case, “the absolute truth”), and another concept that depends on my choice (“living” that truth). Others value “living by harmony”, “living as a creation of God” and such variations are the basis for my map.
I’ve noticed that some values presume very little and might make sense from an abstract God’s point of view. Others, however, are psychological and distinguish internal thinking and external actions as with motivations, obstacles and solutions. There are values which presume two or more beings as with empathy and collaboration. Community, education, glory suppose an entire culture. Family, children, technology, democracy, money, making a living, sustainability and the Bible all depend on the details of the world as we know it. I’d love to work together to sort through the underlying presumptions. I’m also interested in related art projects. I share a letter about my research in English and I’m working on it in Lithuanian.