True value is defined as “Ability to increase Effectiveness”. But what does this mean exactly? How is this concept functionally useful in the real world? To properly explain true value, it is best to start with a simple example.
Imagine that you’re stranded on a desert island, and you have scavenged a couple pieces of wood and a few nails from an old shipwreck on the beach. You must nail the pieces of wood together to form the frame of a shelter to protect you from the rain. In this situation, what has true value? What has “Ability to increase effectiveness?”. In this case, anything that makes nailing these two pieces of wood together easier in any way has true value. Anything at all. You look around, and spot a hard, rounded rock that fits in the palm of your hand. You pick it up and think “This will work nicely to hammer in the nails.” You prop up both pieces of wood onto another rock, to make them overlap. You then grasp a nail between your thumb and forefinger, and position it on the piece of wood, before pounding it in with the rock you found. It works nicely. You then pound in a few more nails, and have a sturdy frame for your shelter.
In this relatively simple situation, what is truly valuable? It is easy to see that the rock is. The rock allows you to pound in the nails easily. Without a rock or hard object, you would not have been able to nail together the wood at all. Ever tried to pound in a nail with your bare hands? What else was valuable? The other rock you propped the pieces of wood on had true value, because it helped hold the wood in place, making it easier to nail together. Without this other rock, the pieces of wood might have kept falling down, sliding apart, and taken more time and energy to nail together. Of course, the wood and the nails themselves have true value, because without them you wouldn’t be able to build a shelter at all. At first that seems like everything, but true value doesn’t stop there. To have a correct comprehension of the concept of true value, you must go deeper, think deeper inside yourself. All the way to the bottom. Your hands, they have true value, because you of course need them to hold the rock, grasp the wood. To accurately manipulate the nail. Your eyes and your ability to see has value because it allows you to locate the rock, the wood, the nails, to be able to accurately assemble them. Your entire body and brain has value, because it allows you to move, to be alive and be conscious to comprehend and complete a task such as this. OK, so is that everything? Your physical body, your senses, the rock, the wood. No, there is something important missing. Something with an incredible amount of value. You weren’t born knowing what nails were. Knowing how to hammer them in. Knowing how to build a shelter. This knowledge. This information about how these tools work, and about how the world itself behaves. About how you can stack wood together, take sharp pieces of metal, pound them in and it will stick. This information has value, and without it you would not have been able to build the shelter just as if you could not see.
To correctly comprehend the concept of true value is to comprehend the inner world of your own person, your own humanity, to find all those pieces, all that inside you which allows you to manifest your will into this world. In this case, to nail pieces of wood together. Even in that simple case you are utilizing many of your truly valuable human faculties. To understand yourself, what inside you allows you to interact with the world, and exactly how that occurs. That is the nature of true value. That is why true value is such a powerful concept. When understood correctly it brings the value of the inner human person to light, just as clearly as the value of a hammer or a rock.
Another incredibly important aspect of the concept of true value is that it is objective. Something with true value will be able to increase your effectiveness. Will have a measurable effect on your ability to complete a task. This is part of the nature of true value as well. It has a concrete and measurable effect, in the real world.
The concept of true value is completely separate from the concept of money. The rock didn’t cost anything. Stranded on a desert island there is no money. Yet the rock was still truly valuable, as are your eyes, as is your knowledge of the world. If the rock cost $400 it would have exactly the same true value, the same ability to help you complete the task of pounding in nails, as it has when it is completely free. If the rock was actually a giant diamond, on the desert island with no money and no society its true value would be exactly the same. There can be true value in a place with no money, as there can be in things that cannot be bought, sold or traded. You didn’t buy your eyes, just as you cannot really buy your knowledge of the world, or your bodily health. True value is a way to see value, to comprehend value and importance both deep inside yourself, and in the world around you in a both a rational way, and a way that doesn’t depend on money at all. This is the nature and the power of the concept of true value.