Facets: Finding Truth in Situational Ethics

Truth, in the beholder’s eye

Finding Truth in Situational Ethics

By TLB Contributing Author: Ken LaRive

I have spent most of my adult life trying to find Truth in a world which mostly abhors it. Agendas rule our finite Earth and the finite minds of men as well, and are artificially made by selfish designs and myopic natures without a moral standard. Long ago I felt it necessary to attempt a withdrawal from the ideas that motivate men blindly. I wrote in my diary thirty years ago: “I search for Truth in metaphorical dust devils and the sand storms of men’s vast wastelands. Never have I felt more alone.” From about 22 to 32 years of age, I wore both the crucifix and the Star of David around my neck as I studied diligently for a semblance of Truth. I knew little, and cared nothing about politics, but I had an undying need and a faith too, that truth existed. I thought then, as I do now, that that is our primary goal as a human being, and anyone or any thing that got in the way can only be considered an enemy, to me, and my humanity.

For years I went from one to another thought in miserable desperation, but always with hope, of course, but always found that when something was studied thoroughly, when the concept was looked at closely, it was mostly smoke and mirrors that propped them up. Physicists today will readily admit to the complexity and ambiguity of what seems evident by paradigms, where speculation by hypothesis is the actual science, exceptions to every universal law is the excepted rule. It is known that an observable Truth changes by the method it is observed! That seemed evident, and my first truth.


The burden of a responsible man

Justifications based on faith is one thing, but embracing the ideologies of another, seemingly more enlightened, be it an institution, IE,  an Imam, Preacher or Priest…, always failed me. With time and effort I always found a flaw, and it opened up a cornucopia of others below the surface… I found the teachings of Jesus flawed too, evidently perverted by the agendas of men, and that was the most horrible to a Catholic who spent 12 years in Catholic school, with faith and Christian Ideology as my foundation and reason for being.

So, where is Truth found?

It is found in a place deep inside, a place that some may call heart, or soul, or mind, but it is the blend of intellect and spirit perfectly balanced. Sorry to say, I have not yet met anyone who could show me… I saw a glimmer of it in my years in India, but I must admit my ability was lacking, my mind too convoluted, too noisy, and that onion my guru tried so energetically tried to explain to me in the middle of the night, alluded me.  Let me say one thing: I see it as a gift from God, His grace, and might be considered His Voice. I thought then that I had found a universal law, and it was explained to me that what we project out to the world comes to us in like kind… that a primary gift from Almighty God is an answer to every question, in like kind… Ask an empowering question, and you will receive the answer in the same manner given…

To some there is a little tickling that whispers, and to others it is a great shout, but it abides in all of us, by the hand of God who dwells in us, each and every one. God looks into our hearts, but also looks from it… In that way you have a chance to view the world from His eyes, by the use of a another very special gift called free will….

The decision must be yours… 

When one decides that he wants to be good, to be righteous, it isn’t something that can be put aside and picked up in a more opportune time. It is a decision where there is no turning back, because once you know what it is, the True element that makes us righteous, turning away from it is surely both spiritual and intellectual suicide. It may seem a hard thing to do, being good, especially when it seems the whole world is mostly blind to it. It isn’t hard at all, though some institutions want you to think so. Some institutions want to put themselves between you and what is rightfully and inherently yours… it is a gift from God.

Surely, you may say, there are elements of good in everyone, but I tell you, it mostly unfolds without intent, and then what some might think is a righteous act is nothing more than the culmination of ego and self gratification, a clear misunderstanding of what is good and bad, right and wrong. An example of this is a description of True Love, call Agape. It is a selfless love. It means that your Love can not be compromised, and is freely given without a need for recognition or payment. When you see a person who uses a good deed to promote himself, the point of Agape Love escapes him.

Illusion, and the reality…

I like the Hindu concept of Maya. It seems that illusion is what predominantly motivates men, most men, and habits taught at mother’s knee is the primary inspiration, gratification, and justification that pushes and pulls us throughout our lives. To undo one of these so-called strings, or hooks, might seem a major effort has to be made. This is not true. In fact it is the easiest of all tasks! You need nothing but the realization of the concept of Agape Love. It is the volition to embrace it that may seem hard, but try the concept once, and nothing will give more gratification… it will become a hook of your own design!

When you do, all answers will come in like kind. At a crossroad you will easily make a decision, and its light will fill you with Joy. You will kneel to nothing, fear nothing, stand on your own two feet, and be responsible for your own self. Responsible, what a concept, and so you are free, truly free, at one… and not at odds with the True nature that holds everything together, God’s will.

I learned of this Ultimate Love first hand from a Catholic Jesuit Priest at Loyola who had me write a paper on Situational Ethics. I read the paper, three pages long, to the class at his request. I broke down three times, and could hardly finish it. It moved me; it filled me with such turmoil. Just the day before I had beaten up a man on a public service bus for blowing smoke in my face, his answer to my asking him to put his cigarette out. So fed up with his brand of attitude, people actually cheered as I escorted him through the front doors. I actually thought my bruised knuckles a badge of honor…What a blind reaction! Yes, I see that now. Surely I could have thought of something more enlightened, but my knee-jerk reaction came to me without thought, a place where most violent acts originate. I can’t find that paper today, though it might be buried in one of my many stacks of books, but it is etched in my heart as the only Truth this life has ever offered me. A Truth that is the rock to build a life… the life of a good man… a man in control of his actions.

What is Love?

The other day I was watching a man on television who was giving his last statement before being electrocuted. He killed his girlfriend and her lover when he caught them in the act. He said: “I didn’t know I loved her so much.”

When one understands the concept of Agape Love… The selfless Love that Jesus Christ originally taught, nothing in this life has more positive power or influence. When one leaves the flower, but picks up the cigarette butt or discarded can, with no one the wiser, without payment or the need of recognition, content in the good and with nothing in return but the act itself, you are indeed a righteous man.

But Jesus isn’t the only one to have realized this concept, it is found in all major religions, and has been taught even in the oldest written book, the Rig Vita. Men pervert these core original concepts, and use it to control the masses of people too lazy or stupid to do their own homework. They accept the teachings of men with blind-faith, and to me the greatest tragedy of all is slavery of the spirit. Slavery of my body is a reality, as my body is finite and made to break, but slavery of the spirit? What could be worse? A blind spirit built to last!

So I have taken the time again to write to you with the hope of clarifying why I take the stands that I do. I just don’t see Jesus with an AK-47, bombs wrapped around breasts, or retaliation with a Harrier Jet on a street of innocent bystanders. If Jesus came back to this world, he would most likely cry all of the time …so much anguish, so much pain, fear, so much lost hope and desperation in the hearts of men. Who could have more empathy then the very creator? Note: To accept Jesus to be both God and man is not accepted by a large number of men, and admittedly, I have not found Jesus in the historical record, thought the Romans were copious historians, especially when it can to law records… But I look around, and I see a creative hand in everything… and the last thing I want in me is a fear of God. I have a limited IQ, that is a given, and I live in what can only be described as an insane asylum. Sounds too harsh? Look around?

I lose patience with myself sometimes. I wish that I was able to project what I feel accurately to paper and in my photography, and that also has been a life-long challenge.

So when I make a choice in this life, from hugging my grandchildren to opening the door for a stranger, I try to make decisions based on the concept of Situational Ethic’s Agape Love. I don’t always do it, I’m human, but when I do it seems most evident, and Truth, for a time, is mine to hold. That is where I find the most Joy.

Love and peace,



Ken LaRive – FacetsIt’s a simple but beautiful metaphor. Our soul is likened to an uncut diamond, pure, perfect, and unrealized. Each learned experience cleaves a facet on its face, and leaves it changed forever. Through this facet, this clear window, new light, new questions and ideas take shape and form. This process is our reason for being …

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