Policies, while good and necessary, are an intermediate step. We need things like mission statements and policies, not because the statements or policies are, in and of themselves, an end point, but because, in our current condition, without specific guidelines, we cannot always trust ourselves to know how to behave, or know how to treat one another (or the world). I believe that there is an inherent human moral code, a goodness, something that is hardwired into our DNA, and that, as our intelligence grows to fill up and master the universe, we will be more and more able to express this goodness and act from it. Unfortunately, at this stage of the process, because of addictions, confusions, fears, greed, compulsions, misinformation, a lack of information, it is hard for us, in the moment, to make “clean” decisions. As a result, we need policies. These policies work best when they are designed in an environment free from our pulls and distresses. In other words, at a time when we are able to think outside of our struggles. Then, when we find ourselves in a tight situation, we can refer to the policy to determine the best course of action. A diet is a good example. No one ever planned a smart diet while standing in front of the bulk candy bin at Wegmans. But having a policy in place prior to walking into the store might lead you to not go down that aisle in the first place or, if you must, to avoid sampling the chocolate-malt-balls (ahem).
I would like to get to a place where I-- based on that DNA-coded expression of my unique goodness-- would know just what to do in any situation, and always do so with the intention of the greatest good. If I could guarantee that, then I might not need goals at all. Energy, creativity, would just flow out of me, in a way that maximized potential.
Is this even possible...?
I have no idea. I think it might be. Certainly on a small scale. In a relationship that is important. Or on a task in which you are accomplished. It might be possible to simply open up the conduit of intelligence, creativity, and love, and pour forth perfection. Think of the master chef who can whip up delicious meal without referring to a recipe. Or a mother soothing her sick child. These people need no plan. No shopping list. No moment to review what is known about the needs of the other. They just know and they do.
Of course, how many architects would build a house without carefully drawing it out on paper? Would a caterer plan a large party without listing out the menu? Does a writer simply scribble out a story, perfectly told, with no need to edit? Generally not.
Ok. Maybe Mozart. Whom, I understand, could hear, in his head, every note of a symphony he was getting ready to compose, before he even jotted down a single measure. But for the rest of us?
It seems to me that creative output (the poem, the drawing, the song) crafts itself in the process. Yes, he initial idea might well be inspired by the divine spark, but everything that follows: the creation of something palatable, enjoyable, interesting, is very much derived during the process.
Susan Sontag once said that she wrote to more fully understand herself. By putting sustained focus on a project, by setting, working toward, and ultimately achieving a goal, our brain actually forms new connections. Comes up with new ideas. Understands things more fully.
From the Zone...