Posts Tagged ‘ontology’

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Philosophy Tuesday

December 5, 2017

Someone else’s troubles| does not invalidate your troubles

Someone else’s pain | does not invalidate your pain

Someone else’s struggle | does not invalidate your struggle

Someone else’s joy | does not invalidate your joy

Someone else’s success | does not invalidate your success

Someone else’s peace | does not invalidate your peace

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Philosophy Tuesday

November 28, 2017

In life, we may not always be able to keep our word.

Breaking promises is something that happens.

But we can, always can, without exception, honour our word.

That may sound like the same thing.  But it is not.  Quite not.

And grasping this distinction is both empowering and incredibly freeing.  It is the pathway to a much clearer, authentic, and powerful way of being and interacting with each other.

Firstly, we tend to collapse breaking a promise with being a bad person.  It’s quite similar to the way we have collapsed the notion of being responsible with the idea of blame.

And so we get reaaaaal squirelly when it comes time to give our word to something, to make a promise, to say what we will do, or be.

Our promise, such as it is, all to easily becomes a wishy-washy thing, full of caveats and asterisks, even if they’re not spoken out loud.

And when a word is broken, we tend not to be too rigorous in acknowledging it or dealing with it. Apologies offered aren’t often exactly apologies, mostly explanations and excuses, devoid of authenticity and integrity.  Plus there’s this kind of secret handshake and agreement thing going on:  if I don’t call you out on this, you won’t hold me responsible either… ok?

Promises are big things.  They are quite scary in many ways.  They are bold statements spoken forth in the face of the vast uncertainty that is the future.

And promises will be broken.  You will break promises.*

And that is OK.

For here is that distinction:  The promise, your word, wasn’t kept, and It was broken.  But by acknowledging that the promise was not – or will not be the moment you know it won’t be – kept, by acknowledging the impact of the broken promise has/had, by taking responsibility for it not being kept, and by accepting the consequences and outfall of it, you can still honour your word.  You give your words weight.

To honour one’s word is to honour one’s self.

Because, really, what are we beyond that of our word?

If we treat our word as dismissible, small, and not worth the metaphorical paper it is written on, then we are weakening who we fundamentally are.  We are treating ourselves the same way, as dismissible, small, without value, and we are inviting others to do the same.

Through authentic promises, backed up with intentful action, and when broken coupled with authentic apologies, we close the loop and know ourselves (and each other) as mighty and whole and true.

We shed the background guilt towards ourselves that’s coupled with background (righteous) resentment towards others.  We gain a greater sense of ourselves, connect with each other, and together we can create big and bold promises towards what we actually want in life.

 

* If you’re not, consider that you are making promises that are too small…

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Philosophy Tuesday

October 24, 2017

Halloween is just around the corner, a time of costumes.  A time quite loved for that very fact, the one day everyone is allowed* to put on a costume and play.

Though… it’s not the only time of costumes.  In truth, don’t we kinda wear costumes every day?

In many ways, I’d assert, we do.

Natch, they are quite the different kind of costume than that of a ghoul, an anime character, your fishtank, or of a sexy [insert profession/noun here]**.  But they are costumes nonetheless.  They are the costumes we wear to reinforce the role we want or feel the need to play, and they are the costumes we wear to project a (specific) message to the world.

They are our broadcasting system.   Clothing choices, hairstyles, technology, brands, patterns of speech, mannerisms, the accessories we sport, and the vehicles we drive… all crafted and brought together to be our costume we put on (often every day) and go out into the world as “it”.

It’s a great mode of communication.  And when the costume comes from a place of authenticity, it can be a glorious self-expression.

When the costume comes from a hope of hiding, of identity, of shouting something we want to feel or be, when a costume is born of external concerns and of uncertainty and self-doubt, it can lead us places we don’t really want to go.  A costume can be the personal version of James Howard Kunstler’s description of the banal suburban home:  a television broadcasting 24 hours a day the message “I’m normal, I’m normal, I’m normal.”  A salve, but one that ultimately leaves no freedom or peace of mind.

As with many things in life, we often pick our costumes by accident.  We put them on without knowing it, we inherit them because it’s what we were surrounded by, we get into habits.  And often we get quite muddled in trying to figure out if we truly like something, if it is truly authentic… or if it is just our identities telling us we like it as a way of protecting itself.

It could be fun to add another layer to Halloween and use it as a chance to be mindful and examine all the costume choices we’ve made (and we make).  Sit back and take stock to see which of them truly serve us, and those we are instead caught in serving for.***  We can even fold in and take a lesson from children, who are wonderfully facile at putting on a costume and playing it to the hilt for twenty two and a half minutes, and, on a dime, change their outfits and get deep into playing something else.

Be clear, create and play on, reveling in the game of knowing we get to be in a costume of our choosing every day.

 

* That “play” and “costumes” are societally considered (still/by some/most) childish and weird and taboo and incompatible with being an adult is in of itself an interesting avenue to investigate the underpinnings of.  Equally interesting is the split in the mind of the avenues of play, such as sports and the surging acceptance of computer games, that are socially OK and are not thought of or siloed into the same category of what may be called play or playtime… ****

** The whole ‘sexy noun’ phenomenon is also a whole other post onto itself…

*** And for that latter group, seeing what’s there and getting onto the work of completing and transforming to create the liberation and possibilities we want.

**** Here’s a TED Radio Hour episode on play.

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Philosophy Tuesday

October 3, 2017

the definition of being empowered

and in action

is not that we have THE say in how something goes

but rather

that we have A say in how it goes

for there are no guarantees

as much as we’d like there to be

that what we do 1:1 will always produce our desired outcome

instantly

flawlessly

with glorious music

and recognition of what a great person we are

no

that is more likely in fantasy land

and yet

there remains quite the difference

between being attached to being THE ONE

or instead embodying THE ZERO

the game to play is not to be the golden saviour

the game to play is in the world of contribution

working like a bricklayer

adding to the body of work

sometimes we may make the foundation upon which something will spring forth

though we will never see it

sometimes we will work on the blank facade at the back of the building

that is still, nonetheless, vital to its completion

and sometimes we may be lucky enough to put the final, crowning brick

that shifts things immensely

we can never know if our actions will be the tipping point

or if it will be a step towards such

in the end, it doesn’t matter

because in the world of contribution, there is no bigger, or smaller

it’s all contribution

when we let go of our ego of absolute control

and true our actions to our authentic selves

and seek out opportunities to make a difference

we (re)gain our voice

we have our say in how things will go

things shift

worlds are created

and we go to bed fulfilled

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Philosophy Tuesday

September 26, 2017

Argue for your limitations,

and sure enough,

they’re yours.

– Richard Bach

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Philosophy Tuesday

September 12, 2017

A while back, I was reading a review of an RPG game based on/created for a very popular and long-running set of sci-fi movies.  The review was doing quite the thorough job and examining and discussing the numerous flaws and oddities (as it saw them) in the rules.  The responses, in comments, were quite numerous, with more than a few written in very strong and strident language.

As I read those replies, I noticed two things, the second* of which being that many of the very “animated and assertive dissenters” (for lack of a better word) diverged quickly from discussing rules and instead began “defending” the idea of an RPG in that universe/story.  Their comments became about whether the story was a good one, whether you liked that story or not, and whether it was a good idea to play a game inside it.

Questions which the review never broached once, even as teasers.

My take on it all?  A nice example (and reminder) of identity survival hijack:  “I like this thing so much, I have made it part of my identity, and here’s this person saying something critical**about that thing, therefore who I am is at stake, and I must rise to protect and secure.”  The distinctions of the text are lost, as are both the specificities of the text and any nuance contained therein.  That the article was, in many ways, expressing the writer’s like of the sci-fi property (through them buying the game, running many games with it, and writing the article because they wanted to continue) was instead lost, all washed away under the spark of identity flailing.

We humans sure are funny sometimes, aren’t we?***

Besides what I got about the game itself, this little dive into the comments also gave me a nice window into seeing another way an identity hijack can play itself out.  And through that, a little more was added into my mindfulness cup.

 

*  The first was that many of the defenders of the game included phrases such as “if you ignore this…” or “if you just do this…” or “this is how we play…” (or included examples of rules interactions that were incorrect).  Effectively, despite their forcefulness and opening statements otherwise, they were agreeing with the thrust of the review:  that the rules, as written (which is the purpose of a review, to look at things as they are put out into the world and/or sold), were poor.  That to play the game well required rather major changes.  I think there’s a whole world worth exploring inside this disconnect as well…

** Which doesn’t mean “bad”…

*** No word if the many species in said sci-fi universe also suffer from the same funnyness – though I’m very much sure many do in their own way.

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Philosophy Tuesday

August 29, 2017

I’ve been enjoying hearing friends and many more  share about their eclipse experiences.  What’s really stood out for me (beyond the complete excitement) is the near-universality of the sentiment of how absolutely mind-blowing it is, in a way that surprised each and every one of them.  It did not matter how much they knew about it, how much they researched, or even how much prep they did.  There, in that moment of totality, in that instant of being present to a world in an eclipse, it defied all manner of expression.  It defied, and still defies, description.

There is a (sometimes big) difference between knowing about something, and actually experiencing it.

I’ve heard this shared elsewhere too, around marriage, parenting, warzones, natural disasters, concerts, and more.  My own most vivid of these is when I planted my first garden.  I knew all about the biology behind plant growth, I understood about planting and watering and that food grows, I’d read accounts of other gardeners.  But putting that tiny seed in the soil and then a few months later being confronted with a 6 foot high plant bursting with produce was almost unfathomable.  “I didn’t do anything but pour water on it, and yet… blam, look at this!”

These are context-shifting and world-growing moments, a place where our consciousness can expand and we can inhabit more of ourselves and the world.  They are times to reflect on that we are never ‘done’, we never ‘know it all’, and we’re never not able to grow.  They are a reminder to not take ourselves, and our views, and our certainties, and our supposed knowledge, so darn seriously.

And, verily, they are times for pure, unadulterated wonder and bliss, being present to what’s so, and nothing else.

 

* Thus too this is why imagination and developing imagination is vital.  It may not get us all the way there, but even part way can be powerful…

** And I already have begun plans for travel to see the 2024 eclipse!