According to Tremas, each person has three Soul Rights:
- The right to know the world to which we belong
- The right to a sane human with which to live authentically
- The right to not be wasted to the future of life
By engaging these rights, a person honours themselves and the precious moments.
How can we obtain them?
The right to know the world
To obtain this right, we should commit to memory and to heart some basic outlines of the universe to which we belong. For example, a cursory achievement would include:
- What are the major stages of galactic and intergalactic history? How have common elements such as carbon and oxygen come to be? What is the structure of intergalactic space, galaxies, and solar systems?
- What are the major stages of Earth, the ancient lands and ancient lifeforms before complex life? What are the kinds of complex life, and how did they emerge? What are the kinds of interactions and ecosystems created by complex life? When did fundamental aspects of everyday existence emerge, such as companionship or motherhood?
- What are the histories of the major social groups, empires, religions, ideas, and ethics?
To create this miniature model of the universe within ourselves, we need to do more than merely memorise the major points of the universe's history. We need to contemplate and form a personal relationship to the world over time, so that our understandings slowly take on a life of their own.
If we do not know the world to which we belong, we will have no underlying sense of proportion, time, or context for existence.
The right to a sane human
Because our experience of the world is indirect — we only experience our inner reality — there are important reasons to have sanetegrity ("full sanity"):
- Our mental capacity is the fabric of our personal existence. The quantity and quality of this fabric is determined by the growth and health of our mind.
- Our degree of sanity determines our degree of integration with the world. An insane mind creates a person who is dissociated from everything but their own uncontrollable ideas. A sanetegral mind allows a person to be in a continual open dialogue with the world around them.
- Our ability to perceive is determined by the breadth of our inner library of cognitive abilities. We cannot empathise with a friend about their abilities if they are far beyond our own. We can only understand a society, ecosystem, or history as far as our minds are able to distinguish their many unique constituent events.
Sanity can be increased both through general education — especially challenging subjects that cause us to question our assumptions and develop new skills — as well as through the direct strengthening of cognitive functioning, such as working memory or sensory gating.
The right to not be wasted
If our existence today is not somehow valuable to the continued existence of life on Earth, then we have not completely honoured the potential of our life today.
Unfortunately, whilst our society already has many disciplines researching the history of our world and the nature of our mind (which makes the attainment of the first two Soul Rights relatively easy), there remains much to be discovered about how our actions today affect the viability of life on Earth. But instead of prioritising risk management activities (such as better understanding the world's situation, clarifying what outcomes are acceptable, and determining what personal illusions prevent us from learning and engaging) people tend to invest in activities that feel
like they are helping the future, such as energy conservation or political activism.
Because there exist many resources to help you obtain the first two soul rights, one strategy may be to first pursue the first two rights and then use your increased understanding to give the future of life on Earth the depth of thought which it deserves. For more information on helping the future, see Cora's Introduction to Eudaedalism
Tremas, M. (2012, May 4). Soul Rights.