3 thoughts on “Transactional Humanity

  1. I originally read this great article too quickly when doing the graphic and it got me thinking a lot about the perspective defined here. Now, reading it again with more time to process, and after a disturbing evening involving a ‘debate’ with friends, I am even more strongly inclined to agree with you. I have always believed in the Anne Frank philosophy that “in spite of everything …. people are really good at heart,” and approached a conversation or situation from that point, giving the other person the basic benefit of the doubt. So disappointing and disturbingly now, after seeing and hearing the behavior, comments and policy, I think I can no longer just assume everyone comes from a place of humanity, empathy and a bit of compassion. Thanks for putting it into words so well.

    1. That’s the question: are people actually (ontologically) good? Saying that humans are good is to avoid asking the question in truth. This is normal human thinking. But, to ask sincerely and with integrity, we have to see that humans are the product of animal evolution, psychological evolution, and the ‘Atman’ (consciousness that sees consciousness – not consciousness that sees objects and makes humans transactional-objects.) If Anne Frank meant by ‘good-at-heart’ that we are under the sway of the Atman, and thus in the ‘welcome’, then she is right. But we see how little we are in the ‘welcome’ and the world proceeds from one atrocity and to the next. It is this ‘welcome’ that has to be examined for us to become ‘good’.

      It is a bad idea to say that humans are good before examining the ontological realities. Americans think that they’re the good; the Nazis thought that they were the good; the Taliban calls itself ‘the word of God’. Everybody’s good to oneself, in their own perception. And that is bad.

  2. Very good, but what is it that expands our sense of nearness to those with whom we normally have transactional relationships – what’s the ontological principle behind it?

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