John Rowan: Conduct at the Level of the Ideology of Ideologies

Principle 1: Just as in systematic ideology the lower levels remain, no matter how high the higher levels develop; just as in psychology the unconscious far outweighs the conscious, not matter how much the conscious develops; just as the lower centres of consciousness are composed of more cells than the higher centres, no matter how the higher centres grow; so most of our conduct must be at the lowest levels, and only a minority at the highest.

Principle 2: We should make use of the Expedient level of thought an action when dealing with people functioning at the Expedient level; the level of Domination when dealing with people functioning at the level of Domination; the level of Precision when dealing with people functioning at the level of Precision, and so on.

According to the laws of probability, these two principles will coincide, since most of the people we meet and have dealings with are functioning at the Expedient level; a smaller number at the level of Domination; a still smaller number at the level of Precision, and so on.

These ideas also apply in ethics. Most of our conduct will be at the Expedient level, sometimes good and sometimes bad, doing what suits us, only coerced by the usual social pressures. A smaller part of our conduct will be at the higher levels: I mention particularly the Spinozist dictum – ‘Virtuous conduct is that which is appropriate to the whole situation.’

With these ideals of conduct those who hold the Ideology of Ideologies will be able to live in harmony both with the world and with themselves. They may need to train themselves to re-enter those levels which they had previously been forced to renounce, when they were busy escaping from them, but they will be able to do this, because there is Nothing to stop them. They do not have to hang on exclusively to their own position because they now that in the final analysis they are that Nothing with which they identify (and which they repudiate), and that they cannot therefore violate their own personality, no matter what they do. The ethical imperative of those who hold the Ideology of Ideologies is the imperative of all nature – integrate!

John Rowan
December 1949 (updated to 1993 nomenclature)

from Ideological Commentary 63, February 1994.