Toward congruence

—Attaining alignment and agreement

Introduction edit

Congruence is an integration forming a coherent whole and a perfect harmony.

All the loose ends are now falling into place.[1] Everything fits together in perfect alignment. There is an exact correspondence between what should be, what can be, and what is. A simple and profound elegance becomes apparent. This is congruence; an integration forming a coherent whole that creates a perfect harmony.

Objectives edit

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The objective of this course is to help you attain congruence throughout your life.

This course is part of the Applied Wisdom curriculum and of the Emotional Competency curriculum.

If you wish to contact the instructor, please click here to send me an email or leave a comment or question on the discussion page.

Charactering Congruence edit

Congruence can be defined as:

  1. Agreement, harmony, conformity, or correspondence.
  2. Exact fit, alignment

Roots: Middle English, from Latin congruere to come together, fit in, agree

Congruence refers to agreement among the various elements or components of a system. Synonyms include accordance, alignment, conformance, conformity, congruity, correspondence, and harmony. Antonyms include incongruence, discordance, misfit, nonconformance, confusion, and misalignment.

Some consider congruence the essence of justice.[2]

Consilience edit

In science and history, consilience is the principle that evidence from independent, unrelated sources can "converge" on strong conclusions. That is, when multiple sources of evidence agree, the conclusion can be very strong even when none of the individual sources of evidence is significantly so on its own. Most established scientific knowledge is supported by a convergence of evidence: if not, the evidence is comparatively weak, and there will probably not be a strong scientific consensus.

Consilience describes a congruence of evidence and conclusion.

Congruence in Social Interactions edit

We notice the congruence of social interactions in a variety of constructive contexts. These include the simple virtues of veracity, candor, trust, responsibility, autonomy, apology, forgiveness, dignity, stature, humility, contentment, and authentic behavior. Incongruence is often at the root of negative and often stressful and destructive behaviors such as deception, irresponsibility, manipulation, arrogance, resentment, and phony behavior.

Veracity edit

Veracity is conformity to truth or fact. It is the alignment of what you say and what you do, and the alignment of what you say and what is fact. This is the accurate, reliable, and authentic expression we call candor. The congruence of veracity includes alignment between the intent and the words, between the thoughts and the intent, between the words and the feelings, between the verbal and non-verbal expression, between the facts and the words, between the words and the actions, and congruence between the speaker and listener as humans who respect each other as equals. Congruence between thinking and representative evidence, goals, beliefs, values, and doubts is especially important to candor.

Deception is the misalignment between what is communicated and what is true.

Assignment edit

  1. Advance no falsehoods.
  2. Speak candidly.

Trust edit

Trust is the alignment of future actions with present promises. We trust someone when what they do is congruent with what they say. It is another instance of veracity.

Manipulation is the misalignment of appearance, intent, and action.

Assignment edit

Earn trust.

Responsibility edit

Responsibility is choosing to align our actions with our values. It requires an alignment with the reality of what is, not the fantasy of what we wish it was. Responsible actions are aligned with the very best we can do. Our words and actions in the past, present, and future all correspond to each other accurately and consistently.

Irresponsible behavior is the misalignment of actions to   widely accepted pro-social values.

Assignment edit

Keep your promises. Do what you say you will do.

Worldview edit

Each of us creates and maintains a collection of mental models we use as our conception of the world. This is called our worldview and we use this worldview to interpret observations, make decisions, and plan for the future. We may be unaware of the nature, extent, and influences of our particular worldview. Many people are not consciously aware of their worldview, and they may struggle to describe or explain their worldview.

Because reality exists, we can examine reality, and we can align our worldview with reality. Because we all live in one world, reality is our common ground.

The worldview that is congruent with reality has the firmest foundation and greatest utility.

It is wise to align how you think the world is with how it actually is. Seek true beliefs to align your worldview with reality.

Common Ground edit

We find common ground with others when we discover areas of congruence between our belief system and theirs. Because reality is our common ground, we can move toward a more universal common ground by increasing the congruence between our worldview and reality. We can do this by seeking true beliefs.

Autonomy edit

Autonomy aligns the locus of control with the control mechanism. It is a congruence between the controlling organism (our choice of what to do) and the controlled organism (our ability to act on that choice and live by the consequences of that choice).

Attempts by others to control you, or by you to control others are incongruent because the will is not aligned with the muscle.

Apology edit

An apology restores the congruence between what we acknowledge to ourselves and what we acknowledge to others when we blame ourselves for their loss.

Defiance maintains a misalignment between the blame we deserve and the responsibility we will acknowledge.

Assignment edit

Apologize to express remorse and strengthen your relationships.

Forgiveness edit

Forgiveness is the decision to align your passions with what is possible. The painful loss you suffered naturally results in vindictive passions. All you can think about is getting revenge. However, no amount of revenge can ever restore what you have lost. Instead, this obsession with revenge is tearing at you. Forgiveness is about releasing yourself from destructive emotions and a hurtful past. Forgiveness restores the congruence between what you desire and what is possible and constructive.

Resentment is the misalignment of what you urgently want to have happen and the futility of recovering what has been lost forever.

Assignment edit

Liberate yourself by forgiving others.

Dignity edit

Dignity is an alignment between respect we show others and the intrinsic worthiness of each human life. It is a congruence between the respect we demonstrate and the intrinsic legitimacy of each person.

Disrespect, indignity, and contempt are the misalignment between respect shown toward a person and that person's intrinsic worth.

Assignment edit

Preserve and protect dignity.

Stature edit

Stature is an alignment between the esteem we hold toward a person and the pro-social contributions they make. It is a congruence between the positive regard we have toward someone and all that they add to our world.

Humility edit

Humility is the alignment between your self-image and an objective assessment of the relative value of your achievements, limitations, and intrinsic worth. It is congruence between the image you hold of yourself, the image you project of yourself, and the reality of our own limitations based on an accurate and modest estimate of your importance and significance.

Arrogance is the misalignment between projected image and relative worth.

Assignment edit

Attain authentic humility.

Contentment edit

Contented people have what they want. It is the alignment of what you want with what you need, and what you have with what you want. Want what you have and you will have what you want. You don't need much.

Discontentment is the misalignment between what you want and what you have.

Assignment edit

  1. Focus on what matters.
  2. Find equanimity.

Authentic Behavior edit

We are behaving authentically when our beliefs, actions, goals, and results are aligned with who we are—our self. It is a congruence between our actions and our strengths, values, and goals. We become authentic when the path we choose through life is congruent with who we are. It is a congruence between who we are and what we do. An authentic choice is a decision congruent with doing your best.

Assignment edit

Become authentic. Behave authentically.

Integral theories edit

Various “integral theories” attempt to place a wide diversity of theories and models into one single framework. Examples include

  • Ken Wilber’s integral theory describes a  "spectrum of consciousness," from archaic consciousness to ultimate spirit, presented as a developmental model.
  • The big history project unifies and reconciles narrow history narratives into a comprehensive history beginning with the big bang.
  • The tree of knowledge system identifies four planes of existence that have emerged over the duration of big history and seeks an integration of human knowledge.
  • Physicists describes a (hypothetical) theory of everything which is singular, all-encompassing, coherent theoretical framework of physics that fully explains and links together all aspects of the universe.
  • Philosophers expand this aspiration to its ultimate scope and describe a theory of everything that is an ultimate, all-encompassing explanation or description of nature or reality.

These projects are ongoing attempts to discover an ultimate congruence of the universe.

Summary and conclusions edit

Pay attention to areas of congruence and of discordance in your life. Enjoy the harmony resulting from congruence. Examine the misfits that are causing discordance. Is the premise, the logic, or the conclusion the source of the discordance? Reevaluate the evidence. Reconsider your worldview. What changes in your assumptions, beliefs, behaviors, or relationships can resolve the discordance and result in congruence? Change what you can to attain congruence. This can provide valuable new insights and provide increased harmony in your life.

Notes edit

  1. This is adapted from the Emotional Competency site, with permission of the author.
  2. Freinacht, Hanzi   (December 26, 2022). 12 Commandments: For Extraordinary People To Master Ordinary Life. METAMODERNA. p. 457. , Rule # 8