The Hierarchy of Discretion

Order is necessary for growth. And order stems from discretion. No action- from choosing an activity-appropriate pair of shoes to choosing a companion- can occur without discrimination. Some acts may be rooted in overarching, eternal principles and some may be trivial, predicated on fleeting, in-the-moment need. But no decision, if made with the desire of fitting an object to a need, can be made without judging the merits of all options and finding one superior. This is not to suggest that all virtue is erased when competing entities are discriminated against. The implications of such a process must be carefully constrained by the implications of fact. All that can truly be said is the virtues of rejected choices were insufficient in that instance only; there is relativism between absolutes.

So enters the idea of hierarchy. Its implications are dual. First, it is the framework around which order is constructed. The application of discretion is like a vector- it must have directionality. Herein lies the second vital component of hierarchy- it implies an apex. Why develop order without an ultimate goal? Without it, man is trapped in the swift current of an eddy. Carried by the centripetal force, he moves, but accomplishes nothing. And, without the energy generated by attaining well-laid goals, the force withers away to naught, leaving man dizzy, disoriented and stranded.

Talent is that which man inherently possesses. The uneven distribution of various affinities amongst the human population are a large part of what makes man an individual rather than a collective creature.

What is the hierarchy of discretion? At its most basic level, it is a process of utilizing discrimination in favor of principles and facts with a goal of refining the self into a completely consistent, highly functioning entity.

Intuition- that gut instinct which at times rises up in the subconscious like a premonitory augur- marks the boundary between purposeful, goal-oriented action and random choice dictated by superficial emotion.

Hierarchy of Discretion

A single, conscious discriminating action, in which the decision maker actively evaluates choices against a larger purpose, is the most basic level of hierarchical discretion. Constant engagement in such a practice leads to the development of biases. In this system, bias is not a pejorative, far from it. Careful refinement of the process by which an individual makes value-judgments and allows them to dictate thoughts and actions lead to a more wholesome, consistent worldview. This is be a commendation, not a condemnation.

Once ingrained, such predilections only become more entrenched, growing from endearment to loyalty and ultimately culminating in the highest form of discretion- love. This is a soul-transcending, conscious realization of the superiority of an Ideal and what service to it means, which is to say that it becomes the sole governing principle of the totality of the discerning individual’s life.

It should be noted that these processes hold as their motivator timeless and universal ideas in their purest forms. Personality enters into the process to the degree that individual character embodies an idea consistently through thought and action; the discerning individual comes to be enamored of others whose worldview is similar and who actively seek the hierarchy of discretion.

It should also be noted that the more developed a person’s discretionary practices become, the more inherent they are. Just as a child, though he instinctually fears fire, must be burned before he learns to modify his actions around an open flame- a practice that eventually becomes instinctual- so must a discretion-minded individual think, blunder and adapt before self-actualization can occur.

And self-actualization is precisely the point of discretionism.

Talent is that which man inherently possesses. The uneven distribution of various affinities amongst the human population are a large part of what makes man an individual rather than a collective creature. As such, it is precisely those natural gifts he possesses which must be developed if he is to truly lay claim to the pronoun of “I,” and, by extent, to reach an absolute individual existence.

Talent developed to its fullest potential is the highest moral good. Even though Ideals are absolute and eternal in a temporal sense, they are understood through the lens of personal experience. Ego cannot be separated from the ability to comprehend good. And, since the self is the only truly comprehendible entity, it cannot be separated from truth, justice and whatever other principles the exercise of individual discretion deems virtuous. Since the point of discretion is the development of a consistent soul, a process that requires the incorporation of absolute morality, reaching self-potential is synonymous with embodying an Ideal.

A single, conscious discriminating action, in which the decision maker actively evaluates choices against a larger purpose, is the most basic level of hierarchical discretion.

Part of the beauty of such a system is its progressive nature. One receives greater and more meaningful benefits the longer and more seriously one practices discretion, but the effort one needs to expend lessens as instinct is refined. The ability to love is the hardest process in the world for the directionless and for the deniers of spiritual transcendence and absolutism. Perfection is impossible for them to comprehend, for their idea of service is not a value-for-value exchange between fully-actualized selves. But for the discretionist, whose very being is rooted in the idea of merit discretely channeled into an idea, the harmony achieved from such transcendent understanding- a better and more accurate definition of collectivism- is the most natural thing in the world.

Simply put, the goal of discretion as a philosophy is to make the laborious process of analysis instinctual. Working towards an Ideal, absolute but defined by unique personal needs and desires, discretion practiced in all things makes merit more easily recognizable. The ability to do so rests in a rigidly practiced system of discrimination, refined over time by consistent desire to conceive of and achieve the utmost.