Table of Contents

Human nobility

The word nobility points to the best humans are capable of: developing our full creative potential by realizing our divine nature, an infinitely long ongoing process. I am noble to the degree I surrender to Leela, my own internal authority, god in me. As my first step of surrender Leela demanded I give up trying to guide myself via spiritual teachers or teachings, or by trying to figure it out on my own. All that gets hopelessly distorted by my thinking, which is formed and distorted by human culture. That makes it unreliable for making progress with love. Human culture—including everything I've ever been taught, and everything I read, watch or hear about—is badly broken. It's destructive to nature and everything in it, including us. Once I began surrendering to Leela I found my way to all the guidance I needed, right here in my own body, via muscle testing and body sensing.

Nobility and privilege. The idea of nobility has been tainted by its association with privilege and wealth: the self-serving notion people can be noble merely because of an accident of birth or an aptitude for fleecing the rubes. But obsession with pedigree just leads to inbreeding, and greed just leads to more greed, moral impoverishment. None of that has anything to do with human potential, with real human nobility. Making progress with love and being present with whatever I'm doing so I can do it creatively are the two hardest tasks any human can ever accomplish: real nobility does not come cheap.

Nobility and creativity. Creativity is god in me. My first duty to god in me is to work like hell to become more godlike. To apply my creativity to making progress with love. But we humans are free to use our godlike powers to create any way we wish. Far too many of us have created without reckoning the possible consequences of our creations. Some of us have even created out of spite and hatred. That's why the human world is such a desperately miserable place. We've used our godlike powers against nature, and we've created the world we see ourselves trapped in. We have acted ignobly. Beyond even the grotesqueries of man's inhumanity to man, we are inescapably part of nature, and any creation that injures nature injures humanity. We can see the seeds of our inhumanity and our crimes against nature way back in the Neolithic Revolution. Revolutionary developments like farming v. gathering, animal husbandry v. hunting, and living in permanent settlements started changing the natural world, although the changes were undetectable at first. But man's inhumanity to man was clearly visible way back then.

Ennoblement. I am ennobled, at least momentarily, anytime I let god pass through me into the world in a life-affirming way, a way that causes no harm of any kind to humans or the rest of nature. Not just via works of art, but through my work on everything I do. When I approach whatever I'm doing creatively I'm doing god's work. But I don't get inner benefit out of my own creativity unless I'm actively making progress with love. Energy released by doing creative work is extraordinarily high voltage. That's why artists burn out. To bear that kind of ecstasy and ground it out into progress with love I need an active spiritual practice and a very grounded, healthy lifestyle. I also need to be free of recreational drugs because of the havoc they wreak on my body's reward system. I can't feel much less cultivate the subtle pleasure of being if I am still catching a crude buzz from booze, pot or other drugs. Anyone willing to study art and immerse themselves in it can be ennobled by it. I was ennobled by listening to Max Richter's music. I found myself in despair at the state of the world and my lonely place in it. I had broken up with my sweetheart just as the pandemic was beginning. Max's sad music helped me love the world the way it is. If I put conditions on loving the world, I'm loving a fantasy world. Fantasy is just words, there's nothing real in fantasy. His music ennobled me by showing me beauty in the sad world just the way it is.

Artistic skill. Art is ennobling; working artists are the real human nobility. Aristocrats and plutocrats are mere poseurs who want us to think they're noble. Art is a perfect meritocracy, a nobility that can't be inherited or bought, only earned by hard work. Artists start young and train hard to develop the skill required for their art. Skill is the hallmark of a mature artist, skill that takes decades to acquire and refine. Young people learn skills easily because they're not fully formed. The skills they acquire form them, becoming part of what they are. Mature people are already fully formed, so the skills they acquire cannot penetrate nearly as deeply. Their skills remain superficial and so does their art. Success and popularity don't mean someone's an artist. Most successful, popular so called artists are wannabes who have taken Barnum's famous quote about the taste of the American public to heart.

I am not an artist. I do consider myself an artist of living, but living well is not considered an art, more's the pity. This isn't false modesty, it's an important distinction. Writing is my only well developed artistic skill. I write these stories under Leela's close editorial supervision. Maybe they're a work of art, but if so Leela is the artist here, not me. I'm a good partner dancer, but I'm not nearly skilled enough to be an artist of dancing. My musical background lets me taste what life as an artist of dance might be like. It is a wonderful taste. I can only be a consumer, not an artist, of painting, sculpture, music and cinema. However, I can be momentarily ennobled by them. Especially by music, because of my musical background.

I'd call Hilary a force of nature but she's not. She's a force of profound, refined human culture. The opposite of nature.

Training for ennoblement is training anyone can do. Classical music requires training because it's deep, rich and subtle. It invites me in to explore and learn. I need training to be able to grasp its depths. Because I'm a lifelong meditator, grasping those depths helps me in making progress with love. Before I can grasp its depths I have to do a lot of listening and a little study. That's the training. I have to put my time and energy into the best human creations rather than settling for the most accessible ones, like the pop tunes we're bombarded with. Investing my time and energy is critical. It's the training required for ennoblement, and it's a way I can make progress with love.