R A I S E
(Rational Approach to Increased Self Esteem)
Rational means reason and reality based not "irrational" based as is any and all self-esteem "schools" that preach self-esteem can come from anything but your power of reason. For proper definition of reason research Objectivism.
Approach means Applied as in applied Objectivism in the Biocentric psychology sense as per my understanding of both. To understand my understanding of Biocentric Psychology explore the Thinking-Feeling-Acting Venns by Clicking on the PSYCHOLOGY Venn to the left.
Increased means more of it in more areas of your life. Increased also means stronger, as in less susceptible to being manipulated by unjustifiable fear and guilt as perpetrated by the self-against-the self and/or others against you. Like health, you can't have too much self-esteem.
Self as in the TOTAL you, the past-present-and future you. The self is all your premises, the sub-conscious and the conscious. The actual and the aspiring. The self subsumes the ego, with the ego as being per Biocentric's view: the introspective view of self, the thing within that Thinks and Feels and Acts. The ego is not the content within, but the actor in regard to that content. The self then is the content AND the actor all rolled into one...or integrated into one as nature intended. Integration is good. It must be obtained to some degree at every ledge (of your mountain) before you continue the climb (to your top). Authoritarianism is not a substitute for integrated self-actualization.
Esteem means value highly. Self-exaltation is an earned value.
R A I S E then as in Lift Up to a higher level.
Selfishness and self-esteem are the necessary preconditions for happiness: if selfish and of high self-esteem, then happiness is possible. If one or both of these are missing, then happiness is not possible.
All rationally selfish people with a high degree of self-esteem who act out their selfishness in reality are happy and all happy people necessarily have a high degree of self-esteem and are selfish. No truly unselfish person is truly happy. Based on my own personal experience --I am an ex-god believing Christian who was born and raised Missouri Synod (that is, unbeknownst-to-me at-the-time Martin Luther-reason-hating Missouri Synod) Lutheran-- I can attest to this: I've been un-selfish and I've been selfish and selfish is better.
In order for us to achieve what we want in life and be happy we have to learn how to stay selfish and maintain our self-esteem. If we loose one of these nature given talents we will eventually loose both. Once lost, we have to regain them: first one, then the other. We can do this in any order we want to or in leap-frog fashion. Whether we do this on our own or with outside help is up to our choice. The need to do it, however, is not. If we are not happy, that is, if we do not live inside a state of non-contradictory joy, then it is our personal responsibility to take charge, to change it and to seek happiness and become happy. "To be happy is better than being unhappy and to live in a society of happy people is better than in one of unhappy people"
To repeat: if we are not happy it is no ones fault but our own and... thankfully so. Why? Because, it then logically follows: as such, it is within our power to change.
R A I S E utilizes two modern day intellectual systems to help us achieve and/or maintain adequate levels of the two preconditions for a happy life. The two systems are the philosophy of Objectivism and the psychology of Biocentric psychology. (Objectivism. is the Philosophy of the late Ayn Rand and Biocentric Psychology. is the psychology of Dr. Nathaniel Branden.)
Biocentric psychology is to self-esteem what Objectivism is to selfishness.
Objectivism teaches us how to be rationally selfish and Biocentric psychology teaches us how to achieve and/or maintain authentic self-esteem. R A I S E helps us lift ourselves up to the challenge to be happy here on this earth in this life by teaching us how to integrate these two disciplines and in so doing to seek and achieve personal happiness.
Let me rephrase and repeat this.
We human beings have a need to be selfish and to have self-esteem. Objectivism teaches us the proper way to be selfish and Biocentric psychology teaches us how to obtain and maintain authentic self-esteem.
Though it is true that Objectivism plus Biocentric psychology is the road to the promised land (of happiness on earth) and though they agree on far far more than they disagree, the two systems do differ on some fundamental points. As it turns out only one of these ends up being an important difference for now (to those of us, that is, who want to use them for our own selfish benefit). Consider:
QUESTION OBJECTIVISM BIOCENTRIC -------- ----------- ---------- 1.Is man a rational animal? Yes Yes 2.Does man have volition? Yes Of course 3.Fundamentally this means? Choice to think Choice to be 4.What is your aware view of emotions? Static Dynamic 5.This means? They should be They should be treated as if treated as if on a train in need the main line and of repair and used to speed up taken off to a the process of side track and saving and/or of repaired there improving yourself while the train is in motion 6.Is there such a thing as an elan vital? No Maybe 7.This means? What we think If it's not a life is a life force force then it's a is really a life principle. special kind of causality called Biological teleology. 8.This means? RaIse's founder RaIse's GaryD and director is is still learning still learning and you should be and you should too. be too.
Of the 8 Items, 1 and 2 (man the rational, volitional animal) are not controversial to Objectivism or Biocentric.
Item 3 (choice to focus vs choice to be aware) ends up being primarily an issue of emphasis.
As to items 6 and 7, if the Life Principle of Biocentric means a sublime selfishness then the "difference" is only one of perspective. If however it means elan vital then I believe (based on what I have read and studied, that) the Objectivists know more on this topic than Biocentric does and I need to (and plan to) study it more in the future.
For now, however, the most important difference is in their respective view of emotions. (Items 4 and 5).
Biocentric is superior to Objectivism in the area of emotions and practical advice in the how to of authentic self-esteem and (though a tautology it needs to be stated explicitly) Objectivism is superior to Biocentric in virtually all areas of philosophy. Both are needed in the area of integrating reason and emotion and as such both are good...for us...as rational beings who use emotions to translate our mind's choices into action in reality and benefit in the process as survivors of conditional life. How well we benefit and survive is the subject matter of our own individual life. Fortunately for us, as modern day men and women, the intellectual technology exists for us... to use ...to advance our own happiness and joy of life. Our choice is whether or not we are going to avail ourselves of it1.
Consequently, we should study and learn Objectivism in order to learn how to be selfish and we should use Biocentric psychology to maintain and increase our self-esteem or if need be to re-gain it first.
To these ends then (Item 8) I split my devotion between R A I S E and STI.
STI is an aspiring to become non-profit, tax exempt organization dedicated to explicitly promoting selfishness in the culture at large. R A I S E is a for-profit company dedicated to helping people help themselves to higher and higher levels of self-esteem and happiness.
R A I S E starts with an assessment process that measures your strengths and weaknesses in six areas. Five of these areas are:
Self Responsibility is not included in the above list because it is a choice about the list. We can define Self Responsibility to entail either a) AOA, that is All of the above or b) NOA. This definition is even our responsibility.
Self responsibility means that you accept and not reject the metaphysical fact that you are responsible for your own happiness.
If you measure high on all six assessment areas then you are self responsible.
If you measure low on all of them then you are not self responsible.
In either case you can use R A I S E to help you maintain your high achievements (if you need it) or you can use R A I S E to increase your self in some or all of the assessment areas as benefits your unique, individual self.
Life is a dynamic process. If you are interested in speeding yours up towards a happier one then dig deeper. If you are interested in continuing here you need to answer the next three questions correctly in order to go on.