STEWARDSHIP
the assumption of responsibility for the welfare of the world
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A SECOND POLE

 

O.T. FORD
 

The interaction of minds with the universe is governed by two competing phenomena of psychology. The first calls the mind inward, to the temporal reality of the world of experience. The second calls the mind outward, to the transcendent reality of the universe beyond. The mind is itself a transcendent reality, and the course of its existence depends on its ability to comprehend this truth. And though there is no single set of consequences, they are largely of two kinds.

TEMPORAL
confusion
emotion
superstition
submission
conformity
convenience
egoism
hierarchy
competition
pragmatism
power
dominion

TRANSCENDENT
truth
dispassion
reason
freedom
individualism
responsibility
altruism
equality
cooperation
idealism
purpose
stewardship

Stewardship is the assumption of responsibility for the welfare of the world. Dominion is the exercise of control over the world and its inhabitants. The dominion, like the stewardship, is a perpetual institution, existing in all times and all places; each is a phenomenon in the course of events, a set of effects attributable to an abstract force, but primarily taking place through the actions and due to the will of individual minds. Each, then, is the collective of all those individuals, the cumulative effect of their actions, whether they act in concert or not.

For the stewardship, the world is an obligation, to be dealt with responsibly. For the dominion, the world is an entitlement, to be dealt with as it pleases. The attitude of dominion is antithetical to stewardship. The application of that attitude opposes our efforts in all ways. Where we would preserve the earth, they would consume it. Where we would help and protect individuals, they would abuse individuals, physically and mentally. Where we would raise the individual up, they would force the individual down. Their tyranny, destruction, and selfishness directly damage the world. Our stewardship of the world must prevent that damage, and we must therefore oppose the dominion.

Stewards with this understanding may appear harsh to some. They may seem to lack the kindness and charity often associated with their kind. Stewards are assumed to be pacifists by many, including many stewards. But the prevention and alleviation of suffering is a primary task for them, and the dominion is a primary source of suffering. It must be resisted. When dominion is imposed, the stewardship must intervene.

 

O.T. FORD

THE STEWARDSHIP
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