In this article I will discuss about the second Law of Attention, which is contentious towards what The Society is throwing at us. The Second Law of Attention as,
“Live life in Gold & Silver. Gold is inert & Silver is purifying.”
is born from understanding the periodic table. Periodic table is a table of chemical elements categorized and sort by their atomic number. For the sake of keeping it simple, basically each chemical element has its configuration of elementary particles which gives it the atomic number and characteristic. This is the same with a person. His/her character, traits and behavior analogous to elementary particle which give birth a unique element as a participant in the society. Now the big question, if we can be an element, which element are we..? I choose to express in Gold and Silver.
Now, what the hell this periodic table has in regard with practical wisdom..? It is easily summarized with:
“Code of action”.
To understand more about it we need to know what is code and what is action.
- Code is an adopted set of practice by a sovereign entity and regulated within it. For example take a look at death penalty. Indonesia as a country use it against the drug lord but not against the other criminal. This is contrary to what other countries usually do with them (no death penalty). Code is the pride we practice as an autonomous, sovereign human being and contained within ourselves. A practical example is the “code of ethics for journalism” is applied only to journalist and regulated within the pride of that profession.
- Action is a process of executing something in order to reach a target/aim. Thus, action consists a minimum of an autonomous body (usually an active observer) and a distance to close-in (a goal).
If the first Law of Attention is about judging the base-minimum for a problem/topic for you to be attentive to, the second Law of Attention decides to set the base-minimum for how we act/attend into matters. In Law of Attention, this autonomous human have the power to do basically anything they wanted because they can, because The First Law (of Attention) is just that potent in principle. The higher rate people observe allow them to minimize risk while at the same time taking challenges with integrity. The spirit of progress makes an active observer decide which challenge they want to overcome. First Law of Attention makes an active observer has a choice.
The code of action allows an active observer to say “enough”. In practice, anything that is empty will be filled, and anything that is filled will be empty. The art is to converge in the definition of “enough” and update that definition as we go. While practicing this we also need to be careful to not trip into the attitude of double standard. Standard goes up as we go, since we have different reference in each -if I may, “level”, yet it is not something that can’t be standardized among people unless we’re willing to educate people into that standard. To rule of thumb is to always see people as they are, and go from there. This is what we as a society didn’t manage to incur in our daily basis, more than often we are indulged in the assumption of what people should be, not what they are now. Once you understand, the code of action you have will prevent you exactly from assuming people and in turn see them as an autonomous individual.
First Law of Attention – “Person is only differed from the rate they observe” – will give you chance to choose which problem (if that’s the case) you want to solve. The Code of action you have, then will be a tool for you in deciding how you are going to deal with it. Of course, by being rational against reality. Here is the proven through time code of action against the society which I think we know. I’m open to bigger discussions and also if you know another code of action that is lost in history or even newly discovered in current society. Ultimately though, you will need to determine your own code of action.
Bushido or the way of the warrior wasn’t always the same. The reality is, this code of samurai was only romanticized in the few part of its history. The majority of its history contains stories of mercenaries, dealings based on the amount of wealth one can possibly attain by pledging allegiance. Yet it all different when the Houses employs a garrison of peasant, these samurai now needs to demonstrate a privilege, a quality beyond the peasant infantries. These romance is perfected by the idolization of what 21st century’s poet/writers so it would sell the idea of Samurai as a significant role in the rest of its insignificance history. The need to have a certain ritual, to master the way of the sword, and to live as a better person are then become apparent.
For us now, we can take it as granted –the seven virtues- and the will to be different and to give back to the society (or the soil) we live our lives from. A symbol of what we can be as we embrace the humanity and the curiosity of life.
Knighthood and/or Code of Chivalry
First of all, knighthood and chivalry are different, but this is not an article about it, so we will not discuss it. The point in bringing out this in the Praxis is that the code of chivalry upholds the action of what an objective to pursue. This code suggests that a person need to always act according to fair play, righteousness, often honesty and to be brave in front of matters. In most ways similar to Bushido, it actually differs in particular because this code entitles on how to treat women.
Of course, we can see that this code will not be normal to apply in our current society as we have different view against woman in particularly sexism and feminism. There is a particular discussion of the values of the code whether it can be applied to women, and the history of woman knights. Yet it is all behind us now.
For us now, this code can only be a reference of what one can act when they are in the highest form possible. When they are in power, that may they don’t forget the fight they did and provide the constitution of what a true individual is.
Now let us go back to reality. We can see that even the well-known code is historically incorrect. Rationally speaking, it won’t be able to be practiced, but that’s actually the goal of our practice. In short, by having the code of action, we are consciously referring into how we think we should deal with a current problem. Now, before we are going to go down the naivety realm, let us be honest that these two code of action is getting more irrelevant each day. You know what I mean.
In this digital/information era, it is much easier to get absorbed to the hype and the promises given & at the same time it is much harder to disprove it. One is because the bias we all have when we are invested into the system. Two, is because the reality that we are confined in our community cells means we are rarely exposed to the argument and the peer-testing needed for a healthy evidence-based-result approaches. This means the job of politician -social authority- shifted from right-ing the wrong into managing the wrongs. Cutting corners is the new recipe for success in the broader definition of professionalism. Good people are damn hard to find. It is also hard to see, good, honest working people always get the short straw because they are that, honest.
For me, the solution into this won’t come from fixing the system. When you understand the concept of Autonomy, each subjects has the same weight. It is then apparent that one will need to take care each other or else the floor will be brought down as a whole. It has always been that way in democratic/republic institution; incompetent, unqualified people are chosen to rise up to serve the needs of each strategic level of decision. They are chosen because they are the best choice to preserve the status quo available (improvement is just a bonus). It doesn’t happen only in a country, it happens in the scale of a company, family. Those who are competent, excellent seeker will be the worker of the society…at least until they decide to diverge. Renegotiating the Agreement is one solution if you wish to stay invested in the system, yet often not many of us have the courage to do that.
Why Good People Go Bad
This competent, excellence seekers most often is the intelligent, smart-working people. Venturing the world of ignorance, managed wrongs, and bullshitting authorities, they will no doubt come into:
“It’s best to give them freedom to choose, not the freedom of the choices to be chosen”.
This way of thinking undoubtedly will be adopted and will birth the villain-side from intelligent, smart-working people, who will manipulate people and use them to close the distance. One of the fault of my generation. We often didn’t see that before it’s too late -until we were invested into the
system status quo- and we have no choice.
This is why this second law of Attention clearly important to practice in our everyday’s lives. Leadership, crowd management, behavior control, all comes from one sovereign individual (you, not somebody else) when we have a code of action as reference. Which code of action you adopt will determine your next step of action. It doesn’t matter if the code of action is stubbornly idealistic; actually the more idealistic it is, the more it will reflects into the reality we conduct ourselves… Although, too idealistic of a code often makes one stressed out and may eventually shifted as they piled up regrets along their practice. The hopes though, that having a set of code of action decodes and distinct yourself from what your peer think you should be, to have control on how things supposed to be, and to be able to work it out from there. This practice will prove tiresome, exhausting, but I have discussed on how to keep ourselves in relevance so we don’t exhaust ourselves.
Remember that the society is very simple. It never is what you did, but what you are, and what you do next.
So here I am asking, what are the action thresholds for you to do things..?
Why do you do things like the way you did…?
Why do you care in the first place..?
In the end, people who have autonomy will decide for themselves, your job is to make them aware of the decisions they can have to pursue.
Have your code of action and live true to it, that is the recipe for a life without regrets. The Praxis, as an active observer we do things we think we need to do… after a while, we will shape our own code of action. You want to test it, you want to improve it. It’s the best small victories that makes you a different person each day. This is also what gives us the practical wisdom we share. That said, what you will face tomorrow is ever so exciting as your practice are based on the passion for excellence you can have.