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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %LEGITIMATE INTEGRATIVE REFLEXIVE 860627 Self affirmations are often suspect, and legitimately so. Reflexive considerations are prone to bias, to be non-objective. People can not be objective about themselves. Self congratulations are hollow. Egotistical people are a pain. Selfishness is not respected. It does not follow, however, that all self affirmations should be suspect. There are legitimate integrative reflexive affirmations. There is legitimate self-esteem. The useful primary criteria is not objectivity, nor is it subjectivity; they alone are not ultimate values. It is more helpful to ask whether or not the affirmations under consideration are, or are not, both personally integrative and corporately integrative. To undermine such affirmations is disintegrative and so is evil. Wisdom flows from legitimate integrative reflecting upon past experiences. Wisdom pertains to integrative behavior, not just theoretical considerations. Behavior is not wise when it is divorced from previous behavior and the observed consequences of previous behavior on the part of self and others who are near and dear to self. Reflecting on such behaviors and consequences is legitimate reflexive behavior. To prohibit or denigrate such reflexive behavior it is absurd. To prohibit self affirmation of previous wise behavior is absurd. Not all reflexive considerations are necessarily biased, even if they are non-objective. Through integrative considerations people can transcend self bias and faithfully serve ideals and values which transcend selfish considerations. Humility is possible, but humility should not be sought as a goal of which one can be proud. If self salvation is the goal of reflexive considerations the way is full of dangerous traps full of bias. Communities which require their members to "save themselves" through their behavior---thereby lay the foundations for the disintegration of the communities. In such disintegrating communities reflexive considerations are prone to bias and therein a compulsive dedication to objectivity may be regarded as the sure salvation from subjective bias motivated by the need for individualistic striving for salvation. It is no accident that science has evolved in such communities. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================