For instance, we react angrily when someone talks derogatively about our home country. The anger is fuelled by a value, which we deem important and which we want to defend with this emotion. Internally, we are identified with a value, which often resides in the unconsciousness. Still, if it were conscious and we had collected a lot of reasons for defending this value when attacked, it is an identification with a center which we do not want to give up at any cost.
Each of these closed concepts, even if are they are small and inconsiderable, has a center. This is the part of the concept which has to be true without questioning, so without lightening up its background, roots and development.
When we reject a person and collect all the bad things about her and turn off all the good things, we build up a closed system. Presumably, its center bears an unconscious unpleasant experience, still undigested, of which the person reminds us. We are unaware of this connection, which is drawn by our unconscious mind. For as soon as we realize that there is an experience connected with emotions behind this rejection, the system opens up and the person appears in a different light. Suddenly we can admit that this person also has good sides.
In case we want to find a way out of the closed concepts of our inner world, it is important to spot the relevant center. Only then we can start to explore why it is so important to us and why we have absolutized it, why we have put it out of question. What would happen if we would not take it so seriously? What would happen if we would turn an absolute truth into a relative one? Would we lose or win on freedom?
Does this mean that we should get rid of all our values as soon as we have discovered them? For sure we need values to secure our orientation in a world of divergent interests and values. It is important to take a stand here and there where values are presented, which ignore the dignity of man and the integrity of nature. For this stand, we do not need absolute values, but values for a flexible use. These can keep us in line with a basic orientation, which is inherent in our lives.
This basic ethical orientation is not part of any ideology but is sustained by the innate wisdom of nature and mankind as part of it. It can only vaguely be translated into single values or concepts like freedom, justice and so on. The closer we look at a certain problem, the clearer we get the kind of value best to apply to that situation.
The inner way, which is a way towards growing up and ripening, a way to one’s own power and clarity, is a way towards enlargement and opening and includes the continuous release of our unconscious habits of evaluation and judgement and of closed mental systems. We can only succeed in this undertaking by bringing them to consciousness. We have a hell lot of closed systems and concepts in grand variety inside our complex inner world. We can detect them as they show up anytime something bothers or irritates us. Someone shares an opinion we do not like, and we start to think in a negative way about this person – this is a closed system dominating us in this moment.
Closed Concepts and Orientations
“The inner way includes the continuous release of our unconscious habits of evaluation and judgement and of closed mental systems.” Is this sentence from the context above in itself a center of a closed system, thus with absolute truth? We can turn it into that by permanently and consequently following it and by teaching other people to do that as well and by pointing out to them what the consequences would be in case they do not follow our insight. So we can use this sentence as the foundation of a teaching and gather people around us as followers. We can say that this sentence is true at any time.
But we also can say: We use this sentence as an orientation, as an indication for self-inquiry and self-reflection and consider the effects of this form of inner work. We can say: With the help of this sentence or the meaning expressed by it, we check our inner concepts, opinions and beliefs. We search for their centers and ponder whether we need them any longer or not.
So we use the sentence as a tool or a methodological guideline and not as an absolute truth. We inspire other people to use it the same way when we notice that it is helpful for us. But we leave them their total freedom to take the advice or leave it or to make something else out of our suggestion. Thus, we have won an open concept which can help us to transform closed concepts inside ourselves and become a more and more open human being.
Closed Concepts and Their Centers
Open and Closed Concepts