As it was expounded in the previous article "The Inner Morality (Part 1)", it can be clearly seen that there are no standards of behaviour as applied to our relationship with ourselves on the internal level, and that our inner treatment of ourselves is not subject to any moral code. We have no objective, external reference point with which to guide our inner interactions with ourselves; we cannot tell what the limits are or where the boundaries lie because there are no external laws which deal with the internal realm of the mind.
A natural and obvious question which has to be asked at this point is why indeed does society not consider emotional and mental self-abuse to be as serious an issue as the verbal or physical mistreatment of and violence against other people?
Is it because society assumes it is your responsibility and your responsibility alone to look after and deal with your inner world? Is it because a person's inner world and his intrapersonal relationship with himself are seen to be exclusively private areas which only concern that person and that person alone, and consequently are believed by society to be beyond the jurisdiction of any public law? Is it because internal violence is directed against oneself on the psychological level and doesn't really affect others and so arouses no concern or reaction in them, and therefore society has no incentive to apply any laws or regulations to inner violence? Is it because society believes that while any person is a potential threat to other members of community and therefore laws have to be established to protect the public against possible violence or mistreatment that people may inflict upon one another, by contrast, with the situation of an individual's relationship with himself, an individual can be expected and trusted not to inflict wanton pain upon himself?
Another factor to take into consideration is the fact that internal violence does not seem to have the same potency, the same "punch" to it as does physical violence against oneself or against other people. Psychological self-abuse is much more indefinite, amorphous, nebulous, vague and intangible. The mental states of a person are invisible and unknown to everyone else and cannot be measured or recorded.
Indeed, one also has to ask whether we take the inner violence we commit against ourselves seriously? Or do we dismiss this internal self-abuse as trivial and non-consequential, as it occurs in the inner world rather than in the real physical outer world?
This last question leads us to another possible reason as to why society holds a double standard in regards to inner and outer abuse. Consider the way we view the importance of internal and external worlds and the events that take place therein. Inner well-being, inner climate, inner state of events and their evolution all rate much less in significance and consequence than outer well-being, outer situations, outer state of events and their evolution. Our internal accomplishments, the internal assets we have gained, the internal hurdles we have overcome, the internal losses we have sustained—none of that matters very much to society. As long as your internal world and the things that go on there do not adversely affect other members of community, all is well and society is happy with you.
So, it can be seen that society's neglect of inner self-abuse is due to society's differing underlying beliefs about interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships. It can also be seen that the case of inner violence being dismissed as trivial is just a small subset of the general disparaging and disinterested attitude society holds towards the internal world.
If we were to take a long-range perspective on the issue of inner self-abuse, we would be justified in surmising that when people of the future look back on our society, our beliefs and our moral attitudes, they might shudder at the way we condoned and ignored psychological harm that the mind inflicts upon itself, and be incredulous as to how we could have been so blind to such a fundamental and obvious truth as that every human being has the right to freedom and protection from inner, as well outer, violence.
Boris Glikman is a writer, poet and philosopher from Melbourne, Australia.
He says: “Writing for me is a spiritual activity of the highest degree. Writing gives me the conduit to a world that is unreachable by any other means, a world that is populated by Eternal Truths, Ineffable Questions and Infinite Beauty. It is my hope that these stories of mine will allow the reader to also catch a glimpse of this universe.”
Boris welcomes feedback and can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org