Courage : The 1st Ethical Perspective Stage of Evolutionary Growth

This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, “The Theory of Love.”

The First Ethical Perspective Stage is an Indulgence in Comfort. We are born into this world and we indulge in comfort. We are pampered, spoon fed, adored, groomed, bathed. Welcome to the life of luxury.

But Infants don’t talk nor do they perceive the conceptualization of Reality or the Abstract to communicate these experiences or insights to others. Identifying the 1st Perspective was the most challenging Perspective to Define.

Dr. Graves referred to this stage as “The Caregiver” Stage, which I adopted in my early work. I theorized that this was the “Self-Regulation” Stage. The “Self-Soothing” Stage. The Dependent Stage, but it was my own “graduation” of the 1st Ethical Perspective Stage of the You of I into the 2nd Ethical Stage of the You of I, that I felt the “Comfort” and then “Courage” deeply internalize then “Pop” with a new emotion : Boredom, followed by the severe need and desire to want to venture out, explore, adventure, and learn. Motivation.

This realization birthed the next realization that The infamous Comfort Zone that toggles with our Adventure Zone and Boundaries is the very building blocks of learning Self-Regulation. Without, the Individual will forever struggle with the ability to Self-Soothe, Self-Regulate Problem Solving vs. Fear with which to overcome the Fear of the Unknown and embrace the Exploring Pioneer.

A lack of the 1st Ethical Perspective Stage “Courage” turns the Comfort Zone into a Prison. It cripples the Self-Autonomy and Self-Authority, preventing the Individual to ever branch out and learn Proof of Concept, leaving them forever at the mercy of their Caregiver.

Fear of Discomfort develops.

Fear of the Unknown grows.

Fear of  Failure is prevalent.

Anxiety, the emotion of feeling trapped, swells and consumes the imprisoned 1st Perspective.

And because anxiety is Discomfort, they lack the management skills to Endure both Discomfort and Anxiety.

Unable to overcome their Fear because they lack Proof of Concept, which is only ever found in the overcoming of Fear and Adventuring into the 2nd Adventurous Perspective that is Vulnerability, the 1st Perspective lives trapped. Panic sets in as the Anxiety rises. The 1st Perspective lives in a Mental Shrinking Escape Room without a visible or known solution. For decades.

But wait, there is a way out. They escape through the delusion of Control via substance abuse, alcohol, food, self-mutilation, BDSM, gambling, even, in some cases, pedophilia. And Laws of Preservation of Energy in Physics fuels the hormones that instantly teach the 1st Perspective that Addiction gives you the Delusion of Control while also preserving a vast amount of Energy.

Instant relief. The shrinking room recedes (for now), and they can breathe again.

In reality, indulging in the addiction siphoned off the much needed Discomfort and Anxiety that would have pushed them to the edge of Indulgence where they would have experienced a new Emotion : Boredom, Motivation, Curiosity, and Excitement for Adventure. In turn, that would have led them to the much needed “pop” to get them into the 2nd Ethical Perspective.

As the Addictive high wears off, and the Cycle of Control to Avoid the Discomfort subsides, the Self-Loathing settles in.

And, in most cases, their loved ones lash out, abuse them, threaten, and abandon.

The 1st Perspective sinks deeper into their Comfort Zone turned Prison, completely unaware of how to escape. Many of them feel like they, once again, have failed.

You must endure the Discomfort through small doses of Exposure Therapy. Show yourself that the real control is choosing to endure the Discomfort. Recognizing your own victory, however small, in building up your tolerance to Discomfort, so that, when you are ready, you can finally overcome your Fear of the Unknown and Discomfort and reach that “Pop” of Boredom turned Motivation and Excitement.

The curse of the 1st Perspective is that the “Fear Zone” creeps into their Comfort Zone, suffocating them as their Comfort Zone shrinks. Hence the Panic Attacks.

Depression sets in as they grieve the Self they wish they could be, wish they could have, but believe they never can obtain. Because they are trapped in the 1st Ethical Perspective.

Enabling loved ones over-nurture, and over-provide, removing any and all incentive to “fend for yourself.” which teaches a greater lesson being internalized : I can’t save myself.

This reinforces their codependence on their Mother (The Caregiver), and years, decades pass. Maybe the Lover or Wife will step in as a surrogate Caregiver because ultimately, the 1st Perspective does not believe they can save themselves.

For the Parent: 

The special ingredient here in the 1st Ethical Perspective is Discomfort. Just enough discomfort to teach them that Discomfort is not dangerous or evil. But not so much Discomfort that the Discomfort turns to pain and trauma.

I remember during one camping trip, I watched a nest of birds chirping away from morning breakfast after using the washroom that morning. The mother Sterling delivered the food. The father Sterling delivered the food. The loudest and widest mouths got fed first and then mummy and daddy flew away.

Only three of the five birds had been fed.

Time passed.

About 5 minutes later, mummy and daddy both returned. They shoveled more food into the hungry mouths. One bird ate twice. One bird did not eat at all. They chirped away, clearly, still very hungry.

Mummy and daddy flew away again.

I looked for Mummy and daddy. Where were they? Gathering food? Hunting?

Nope! They were LOUNGING. Perched ever so happily in a nearby tree watching their hungry fledglings call for more food.

I am a birder of 20+ years. I know what happens next. Motivated by hunger and adventure, the fledglings prematurely leave the nest. Some leave too soon (the underfed) and fall to their deaths. Some leave just in time and bounce to the ground (all birds fall down before they fly. Birds learn to fly from the ground up. Not from the nest down).

Mummy and Daddy sterling deliberately moderated the comfort so as to provide some comfort, but not too much comfort to their children.

I will say this again:

Deliberately moderated the comfort.

Everything in Moderation.

The overprotective mother, who indulges in over-comforting her child, unknowingly instills a fear of Discomfort into the child which results in the child believing that “I cannot save themselves, which is why Mummy never lets me try.”

It also teaches the child that “Discomfort is dangerous.”

By acting over cautious with discomfort, this instills a belief in the child that “discomfort is dangerous.” As a result, the child internalizes this lesson. A Parent’s aversion-fear to Discomfort internalizes an Aversion-Fear to Discomfort in the child that gets mirrored per the Laws of Reflection. The best thing a parent can do for their child is to relax.

In the Healthy Child, the individual is left with their Emotional Discomfort, which gives them the learning space to problem solve a solution to manage their own Emotional Discomfort.

If the child does not learn this as an infant, they will have to learn this as an adult. Give yourself the learning space to problem solve a solution to manage your own Emotional Discomfort. As the child is exposed to this learning space, they also dip their toes into small adventures.

I hypothesize that, only with the 1st and the 2nd Ethics, they are learned roughly at the same time, and are not (as Mother Nature often does), a clear line between one Perspective or the next.

When I mapped my progress, what I discovered was this: (½ + 2/2 + 3/2), which became the 3rd Perspective (⅔ + 3/3 + 4/3).

What this means is that we learn the Initial Perspective in combination with the previous Perspective after Shifting. Then we “Normalize” as we solidify into the New Perspective until we are stable with 2/2. As we approach the “next” Perspective, we begin to develop some new behaviors about a week prior to the Shift, and then we Shift.

For the Ethical 1st Perspective, the child toggles between small comforts, management of small discomforts, the reward of New adventures. Rinse and repeat until the Shift into “Boredom” occurs.

A New Emotion is internalized : I have COURAGE!

The Priority Shifts : I am BORED. I want Adventure!

They have Indulged in Comfort, and now they seek ADVENTURE.

Armed with their new COURAGE, they step into the 2nd Perspective and are steeped into the 2nd Ethic : VULNERABILITY. They are now open to receive. And they are NAKED.

Hence the need for the 1st Ethic : Courage.

Priority : To be Comfortable

Indulgence : Comfort

Avoidance : Fear of the Unknown

Lesson to be learned : Find Courage to Overcome your Fear

Emotions Learned : Boredom, Courage (to accept Vulnerability), Curiosity, Excitement, Motivation, Adventure

Common Characteristics : Surrounding yourself with Love and Joy

Related Mental Illnesses : Codependence, Addictions, Pedophilia, Eating Disorders, self-mutilation.

Solution : Endure and Manage Discomfort and Anxiety through planned strategy and Exposure to “show” yourself that the fear is illogical. Allow yourself to sit in Discomfort for 5 minutes before “comforting yourself.” Actually, you do need to learn how to comfort yourself and not allow others to do it for you. Do not turn to others for comfort. Keep your suffering private and teach yourself alternative ways to comfort. Best way to comfort, distract yourself with Interests, Love, and Joy by doing what you love (More on this later).

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