Each of the scriptures tells a story but only part of the human story. This website is an attempt to tell our story more fully, and to put it into a framework of human values.
I ask you to read this first because the material on this site is too vast to read fully. If you tried to read all of the linked works of science, history and fiction, and listen to all of the music, you could not do it – the task would take several lifetimes, and then you would have more to absorb, because humanity adds to its story every day. This is a project that will never end, while the human species survives.
If you go too deep into the weeds at first, you will lose interest. Each page presents a human value. Start with the brief bolded statement at the top of the Overview, then go from there as you are moved to do. The site contains a calendar page, which guides you through an exploration of human values on a daily basis, then begins anew on the first Sunday of every year. If you open thisisourstory.net, you will see the value/virtue for the day. Explore as you are inspired to do. You might read the Overview section; however, some of them are lengthy and technical, with links to longer and more technical papers. Instead, you might read one poem, start one novel or short story, listen to one work of music, or start reading one biography or history. When you lose interest, put it down and go on about your other business. Next year, you may pick it up again from another perspective. Or a particular subject may be on your mind at any time, in which case, you can explore it whenever you like, for as long as you like, however deeply you care to go. Go where you are inspired to go, when you are inspired to go there.
Above is what you are best advised to read first. If you wish to go deeper, then continue reading, for a description of where this work may take you. There are no requirements to know where it may take you, to enjoy and benefit from this material.
This site presents a multi-layered, muti-dimensional model of human values. The model can be seen as an ethical model, a model of morality, a spiritual model, and a religion. Its layers and dimensions are as follows.
- The three domains, which operate within each of us, are thinking, emotional feeling and purposeful action.
- The four levels of development/attainment are “do no harm”, competent functioning, excellence, and transcendence.
- Our three kinds of relationships are to the natural world, to the self and to others.
- Scope can be seen in at least two ways: in our relation to living beings, scope ranges from the self, an intimate other, family and close friends, communities (from local to global), and everyone; in our relation to the inanimate, scope can range from a grain of sand to the cosmos.
- The three distinctions of time are past, present and future.
- Many of our values are assertive (being courageous), some of them are deferential (forbearing).
- Many values operate in two planes: power and harmony. For example, Love is both intense and in harmony with loved one(s), else it is not Love. There is also Love as an experience. The opposites of Love are indifference (no power), hate (no harmony) and fear (which blocks the experience of Love). Love is only one example of many such values.
- Some values are dynamic, others are static.
- We approach our values both tangibly and symbolically.
If you have never thought of human values in these terms, that may point out a key value in this model.
We process our values as distinctions. What is Love, for example? We may be able to clarify this distinction, or deepen our understanding of it and appreciation for it with a visual image, a poem, music, fictional literature, a fictional film, a documentary film, a biography, a work of history, or a technical/analytical writing. thisisourstory.net provides resources that are intended to be of use in clarifying and expanding on these distinctions – our values and related subjects. You may do this systematically, or you may be thinking about something or feeling particular way, and wish to explore how other people have dealt with what you are dealing with. As you explore, you may enrich your perspective on a human value or values, or reinforce what you already know: either experience can be rewarding.
This project is several things.
- It is a source of information about science, history, literature and art as they relate to human values.
- It is a teaching tool, with a detailed model of a human values system.
- It is a religion, in that it aims to bring everything together into a coherent whole.
- It is spiritual, in that it looks beyond the self.
- It speaks to the soul of Being – the things that matter most.
This project does several things.
- It provides material and a framework for you to explore history, science, fictional literature, poetry, music, the visual arts, the performing arts, and film as they relate to human values.
- It links to technical and analytical writings on human values.
- It provides a model aimed at pulling everything together: comprehensively, both rationally and emotionally, both scientifically and spiritually.
This project can be useful in several ways.
- It is an educational tool.
- It is a source of information, and of literature and the arts.
- It provides a framework and a model for human values, based on a commitment to intrinsic worth, and dignity.
- If it so moves you, it may become your religion.
Explore, as they say, at your own pace. The only test is your own.