When I wrote The Common Purpose Manifesto in 2007 I tried to cover every key aspect of our system. But one part I left out is critical to creating a system where everyone has the freedom to live without harm. That part is love.
As an analyst, I do not usually deal with the emotional, feeling aspects of systems. Typically, these aspects are ignored in rational assessments, as they are expected to be dispassionate to be taken seriously.
However, emotions are fundamental to people in systems. Even analysts have them. And love is the strongest and most rewarding emotion. Love of life, love of wisdom, love of truth, love of others - these are vital to building a system based on fulfilment without harm, because fulfilment is all about life, wisdom and truth; and the capstone of living without harm is the love of others.
The following excerpt on love was added yesterday to The Common Purpose Manifesto...
"The pursuit of fulfilment without harm is the love of life, wisdom and truth, and the love of all people, to and from whom there should be no harm.
"Fulfilment is living. That is what life does, fulfil itself. This is it purpose, its prime directive. Sometimes this purpose is obscured by the complexity of our systems of government, economy, organisation and society. However, at their base, their key guiding principle should be to enable fulfilment for every person.
"The purpose of fulfilment often gets obscured by the competing purposes of income, property, status, and power. These purposes override the primary purpose of fulfilment in systems that aren't shaped to adequately protect and enable the fulfilment of everyone.
"Wisdom is the knowledge and understanding of life gained through experience and learning. As the most intellectual of all animals, wisdom is a key element of human fulfilment. Humans have evolved into beings for which wisdom, learning and understanding are primary to living.
"Truth is a requirement of wisdom, and is what is sought when wisdom is pursued. Incorrect understandings are not of greatest benefit, and the theories and ideas we produce to further our understanding are constantly under test by our observations from reality to ensure their accuracy and truth.
"For the purpose of fulfilment to be realised for all it must be pursued without harm to others. So, at the very least, the requirement is not to harm or accept harm. And given we are all one human species, there is every benefit for ourselves as a species to love and assist one another in a manner that best suits our individual abilities, that is, in a manner that fulfils ourselves doing it.
"Our own needs are our primary responsibility, we are responsible for ourselves, but in pursuing our fulfilment we can help others seek fulfilment in a virtuous cycle of increasing fulfilment, providing we act with love and without harm to others.
"When we have a system that enables everyone to fulfil themselves and realise their potential without harm then we will have a world of 'peace and love'. This goal is realised by shaping the systems we have and influencing the people who live in them. It is not reached through catastrophic upheavals and religious interventions to 'purge the wicked'.
"The pursuit of fulfilment without harm does have similarities to the Christian commandments to love God (which can be interpreted as love life as God is the creator, love wisdom as God is all knowledgeable, and love truth as God is the truth) and love your neighbour (so, at the very least, do them no harm). But fulfilment without harm does not require the carrot of the Promise that comes with Judgement Day (when all nations will war and Jesus will come to save the righteous who will live forever). This promise (and threat) isn't needed or helpful in the secular pursuit of fulfilment without harm, for the benefits of creating a system where everyone can find fulfilment (regardless of religion) accrue to everyone and are being pursued now. It is a positive purpose and an empowering purpose.
"Love was also around before Jesus and the Bible. Christianity, or other religions, do not own love no matter how strongly they claim to. The Bible puts a commendable emphasis on the love of God and neighbour above all other things. An emphasis we should realise non-religiously in the love of life (of ourselves and all 'creation' realised by pursuing our fulfilment and our understanding of the universe) and love of others (not harming them or accepting harm from them but assisting them in the ways we are best able). This maximises good relationships, peace on Earth, fulfilment for all, and love."
[Excerpt from The Common Purpose Manifesto]