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Homo da Vinci

Towards a Definition

The Universal Constructive Attitude (UCA) is a fundamental view on cosmos, existence and life, which develops spontaneously in people who, by study and/or intuition, become conscious of the deepest features of universal existence. It is a view that expresses itself in a particular way of thinking, feeling and acting, with the most fundamental characteristic that it enables the development, within the individual and her/his environment, of latent "qualities" and potential "positive" realizations. (The quoted terms are explained immediately).

This definition explicitly avoids concrete characteristics. It is a "definition by outcome". Consequently, every kind of attitude that comes up to this expectation, this purpose ("enabling development... " etc.) matches this definition. So it is always possible that divergent concrete aspects are at the same time good translations of the same eternal principles.

Some characteristics of the Universal Constructive Attitude

Any of the following characteristics can and will probably ever be reformulated, extended, refined, and perhaps replaced. This is inevitable when human mind develops. This is not at all a form of relativism. It is the consciousness that, even if the unexpressible kernel of an idea is plausible and eternal, its concrete form is expected to evolve, as cosmos refines itself.

At the actual stage, some characteristics can be catched into words. Several can't (yet), but aren't therefore less important. It is even very probable that the most important aspects of the UCA can only be referred to by metaphors.

Terms as "positive", "constructive", "good", "quality" are not arbitrary, philosophical, time-bound and time-limited attributes or hypes. In fact, they are not even philosophical in their nature. They are apparently fundamental properties of natural evolution. But only a thorough, multidisciplinary study of this evolution can reveal them, not philosophical speculation.

People can not be persuaded of the UCA. It's a kind of vulnerable mental sediment, that gently precipitates and softly accumulates in people who reflect on the fundamental aspects of existence, layer after layer in natural evolution. It spontaneously emerges, supported by a long list of conscious and inconscious experiences and intuitions. It seems to be to date the best description not only of a successful, strong and agreeable mental attitude, but perhaps the best assessment of the most universal characteristics of existence and evolution in general. It is a human view that is in harmony with the fundamental processes of cosmic evolution, on condition that their interpretation isn't based on a too narrow observation. So, people with the UCA tend to find each other, and their number does neither increase by persuasion nor convincing.

The most fundamental trait or "law" of universe, and existence in general, is its tendency to constantly develop more complex and more conscious structures. Layer after layer, from strings and quarks to molecules to humans and beyond towards a socialization, we observe the emergence of systems and beings with an increasing degree of complexity, enabling and at the same time needing more elaborated forms of consciousness. Many authors have depicted this phenomenon, but no one better than Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

This fundamental law can, mentally speeking, be translated into attitudes as self-confidence and optimism. Those notions are not arbitrary personal choices amongst other, equally acceptable attitudes, but appear to reflect the deepest "nature" of nature. The universe never stopped developing more complex and more conscious systems and beings, and did so at an accelerating speed (see the singularity concept of Kurzweil).

Self-confidence can be described, in cosmological rather than in psychological terms, as an attitude that expresses an indefatigable belief in one's potential: after each failure another trial restarts, sometimes better prepared, but often apparently just trusting that the big number of attempts will do it, as the waves of the sea.

The same way optimism is the undeletable conviction that evidently successes will be met. And effectively, during the past billions of years each higher level of complexity was easily reached at exactly the expected moment: each stage of complexification took 0.618 times less time than the former. So optimism in man is just the simple conviction that an evolution, that already succeeded eight times in the past, will also succeed a ninth time. Many pessimists are convinced that their attitude is the most "reasonable" one, confronted with what they call the errors and mistakes of human kind. Predicting an eventual self-destruction of our planet seems to be an expression of the highest perspicacity and wisdom, contrasting with the naiveté of the inexperienced optimists. However, an optimist just continues thinking what the whole universe seems to have been convinced of since time immemorial. But the pessimist shows the temerity to defy the essential roots of reality: he states, without shame, that what succeeded eight times in blind and adverse circumstances, nevertheless will fail the ninth time, now that nearly all intelligences on the planet try hard to realize it.

Another fundamental attitude is the constructivity. This expresses the conviction that just fighting the symptoms never eradicates the problem, and that beauty doesn't emerge by destroying the ugly. All history, human and pre-human, illustrates the fact that beauty does only arise in favourable conditions and with hard labour.

Growing, the human equivalent of evolution, is an essential quality of living. Growing is not the same thing as changing. Growing presupposes that one continues developing in ones typical direction, whereas changing suggests that a kind of identity is lost. Growing means that one becomes "better", but it means also that, in the meanwhile, one makes errors. And who tries to grow faster, makes more errors. There is only one way to avoid errors: stop trying to grow, to reach higher levels of capacity.

Another element of the UCA is a constructive interpretation of blunders and mistakes, and pain and passion in general. They are inevitable for growing people, and evolution is his most valuable quality! This attitude not only refrains from indicting people, i.e. supposing they nurse a bad intention. They only try to become a little bit happier--just as we do. Avoiding this paranoid attitude doesn't mean that we accept or approve primitive behaviour, but that our approach to resolve the problem should not start with rejecting the others as "bad".

The same constructive interpretation sould be used when we analyse our own mistakes. Unless we suffer from culpability complexes, we probably will not describe our attitude as expressing a bad intention. But always the danger looms that we consider our mistakes as evidence for our incapacity, or as a proof of the unattainability of our purpose. To appease our necessity to continue growing, we accept those restrictions. The UCA rather sees errors as evidence for the fact we are growing, and also as an occasion to find out more details that we tended to overlook.

Another important aspect of the UCA, linked to the former notions, is the concept of "maximal responsibility". Our mission in life is not only what we are instructed to, but also--and especially--what we see and what we can do. We don't have a limited responsibility--the kind Kain and Pilatus had hoped for--, but in fact are maximally responsible to do the things that are within our reach. Furthermore, we are responsible to learn to see those things, and train ourselves to do those when we can't fluently do them. Of course, there will always be people around and above us, who are more pleased with the secondary aspects of their position--their feeling of importance--than with their primary charge--enhance the structures and processes they oversee. One doesn't have to be a Socrates or a Jesus to face one day the masked jealousy and resistance to the perceived threat.

People with a UCA don't need a club to meet each other. Of course it helps to be introduced to like-minded people. In this respect Internet offers nearly unlimited possibilities.

People with a UCA don't need to drape this attitude into an "ism". Because each great philosophy and religion features some or many of the characteristics of the UCA. And perhaps the Stoics--who were probably less stoical than we suppose-- and the Zen Buddhists come very close to the UCA. But the "istic" approach of an "ism" has the disadvantage to suggest that it is the expression of some philosophical or theological ideology, while the UCA is simply the harmonious continuation of the "nature of nature", unveiled to us by a thorough study of its evolution.

A person with a UCA is better convinced of his limitations and imperfections than whoever. A person, who knows that existence is practically synonymous with evolution (and growing), is very conscious, not only of his capacity to grow, but also of his painful need to do so...

Est. 11/01 - Latest Update 17/2/02