Posts Tagged ‘ontology’

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Philosophy Tuesday

July 10, 2018

Something in image form…

… full of mirth and insight

(and even deep, profound, recognition and realization…)

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Philosophy Tuesday

June 26, 2018

“It never even occurred to me to take Gorkon at his word.”

Captain Kirk

I’ve really been digging that expression, “it never even occurred to me,” of late.  There’s lots of insight packed behind it’s familiarity.  It is such an acute, apt, and accurate description of how our mind and, more importantly, our experience works inside of our worlds and worldviews.

It’s not “I couldn’t figure it out,” or “I didn’t choose to do that,” or “I missed it,” or anything similar… it is, literally, “This did not exist for me in any way, shape, or form, within my reality.”

It just doesn’t come up.  And so in the same way that it doesn’t even occur to us to step off a ledge over a gorge to walk to the other side (because we live in a world where gravity exists and ow), so too do we not attempt, or even think of, muse about, or have an inkling to do things that do not exist outside of [our; personal] reality.  Nothing hits our consciousness, nor do we take any unconscious decision/action in that vein.

It’s as though it completely doesn’t exist in the entire universe.

It could be about taking someone at their word, like Kirk.  Or a multitude of other things.  Asking a particular question. Trying something new.  Pursuing an opportunity we’d be fulfilled with.  Approaching someone to talk to them.  Speaking to our kids/friends/lovers/parents/boss/clients/etc in certain more productive, ways.  Trying out for a team.  Ending something that is detrimental to us.  Wearing certain clothes.  Letting someone else “win”.  Starting a hobby.

From the myriad of possibilities out there we get narrowed down to a paltry few that may hit our consciousness.  Like touching (or more aptly no longer touching) the hot stove, we live completely inside of that we see to be real.

This is where mindfulness can be such a boon, to delve into our stories and worldviews and open them up.  To create a larger sandbox to play inside of, to give ourselves freedom.  To let those possibilities and options show up.

And, next time, we get to choose.   Really choose.  Granting us power, self-expression, and a myriad of pathways towards the relatedness, peacefulness, creativity, and the fulfillment we all want.

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Philosophy Tuesday

June 19, 2018

“Travel is a good thing.  You learn things when you travel, when you meet people out of your comfort zone from other cultures, you cannot help but learn and feel a certain [kinship], you see what you have in common with people around the world… that feels good.  And it can’t be anything but good for the world the more we meet each other and move around.”

— Anthony Bourdain

Travelling (whether literally or just figuratively) outside of our comfort zones is rarely, well, comfortable.

Sometimes it can be thoroughly unpleasant.

Sometimes, though, it is also downright necessary.

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Philosophy Tuesday

June 12, 2018

I once forgot to pay rent.  Several days after it was due, I got a letter in the mail noting I was late, that there was a penalty, and that from there on forward I was to pay only by mail order or cashier’s cheque.

I became furious.  This was the first time I’d forgotten to pay the rent!  The requirements they were imposing seemed draconian!  It was unfair!

Mostly, truth be told, I was furious at myself.  How could I possibly forget such a thing?  I’m a smart person!  I remember all sorts of things!  Knowledge is my identity!

I was still angry when I met up later with a friend to do some work.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to get anything done (or do anything right) in that state, so I told them the whole tale.

And they laughed.  And it wasn’t one of those “I’m laughing with you” kind of laughs… they were definitively laughing at me.

That didn’t appease my anger one bit.  “What is so funny?”

“Are you human?” came their reply.

That was… and odd question.  “Yeah…”

“And do humans sometimes forget things?”

I knew, immediately, I was busted.

Or, more precisely, my calculating self, so full of fury and self-importance, knew it was busted.

“Yes.”

“Great.  Are you ready to give up your anger now?”

I fixed them with a stare.  My calculating self was not going to go down so easily.  “No.”

“Ok.  Let me know when you are.”  And they turned back down to their work.

It took me a few minutes more to stop taking myself so damn seriously.   The central self returned.

“Alright, fine.”

And with that the rest of the day went swimmingly.  As did my conversation with the office staff at the apartment, which resulted in them willingly waving all those ‘unfair’ conditions on my future payments.

It’s so funny* how wrapped up we can become in our identity, such that even the most human and common of things becomes a lighting rod and catalyst for upset, anger, blame throwing, casting aspersions, and more.  How vigorously we can work to defend something that doesn’t even need defending, how our clinging to a view (or views) brings down so much provocation.

And just how crappy that all feels.  How much it ruins our day (or longer).  How much time it can occupy.  And how much of a hindrance it is towards doing and completing that which we do want to do, and that would bring us joy.

The super funny thing is that it all felt so darn right to me.  Until that moment where, with their piercing question, my friend interrupted the calculating train there was nothing other than all the fury and unfairness.  Of course I should think that way.  Of course it was that way.

Developing mindfulness to catch those crazy trains is a wonderful thing, as is having a conductor like my friend who can split the cars and put the brakes on those same trains.  The deal isn’t to avoid or resist the calculating self and its train; the deal is to choose whether to get on or not, and even then (or if we discover our automatic decision was to get on…) we can still always choose when to get off.

Because wouldn’t you know it?  Things tend to be a lot more peaceful, a lot more clear, a lot more productive, and a lot more enjoyable when not caught careening on a runaway trip to Smashville.

 

* And I mean this with full honesty, no hidden sarcasm here:  I am truly fascinated by and find it hilarious how we humans sometimes operate, and how hijacked we can become.  If anything else in this story, I learned how endearing it can be to live inside of that world of “do humans sometimes…?”  It means a lot more love and relatedness towards others, myself, and the crazy communities we create and live in.

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What’s the opposite of a KF epiphany?

June 5, 2018

Well… continuing to explore that crazy amazing insight, I’ve hit that point where now nothing seems to work anymore, where all the amazing feelings and results from just last week now I cannot reproduce one iota and everything falls apart at the lightest push.

When you deepen your understanding and dive into a new or deeper concept, the masters have noted, it will feel as though you are beginning all over.

So, intellectually I know this is on the path, but dang if it still ain’t a bit demoralizing!

And I’ve already got the next practice scheduled to keep on playing.

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Philosophy Tuesday

June 5, 2018

“And, by the way, remember that talent is completely overrated, if you want something it’s just about putting in the hard work :) Talent has precisely nothing to do with results.”

 – Martin from Wintergatan

(I love this quote.  I’ve spoken before about what I call the Tyranny of Talent and what I created there still holds.  We tend to view great ability or skill in someone – especially in the fields of physical or artistic prowess, but in many areas – largely dependent on some ingrained, born-with, special thing.   And if I/we weren’t gifted with it, well, tough luck for us, we can never achieve greatness (though even that term is kinda fraught).  At the same time, we accidentally denigrate the hard work and dedication it did take for those who excel to get to that position of excellence.

I suppose it is, in a way, also a discharge of thwarted ambitions, of feelings of inadequacy, of upset with ourselves for not taking on or giving up on something we do, actually, at our core want.  But it’s a temporary discharge at best and anything but empowering (for anyone).  It cuts off our expression and our desires, and it relegates us to a dustbin of invalid and not lucky.

It is great to come across a quote like Martin’s to remind that talent only seems magical because we are only seeing the result, not all that led to it.  Practice is the way to skill, and the journey itself can be a lot of fun.)

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Philosophy Tuesday

May 29, 2018

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been musing on a companion to the phrase/idea/distinction of “Over and Next” that Norman Lear expressed back here in this post* : “Notice and Next.”

As in, Notice what’s so, or notice what was so, and notice what’s there for you about it… and then look towards what’s Next.

“Oh, hey, I felt too embarrassed to talk about that thing back there…”

“Well, things are right now not as I’d like them to be.”

“Ugh, I did that thing again.”

“That was glorious.  Bet that was the best anyone’s ever seen.”

That’s the Notice.  And Notice is just that, a Notice.  A “hmmm” sort of moment, a taking stock that remains in that realm, and doesn’t become a further well of story spinning and interpretation and decision sentencing.  It’s a call to avoid going down the rabbit hole that these thoughts can often lead us.

In many ways, it’s a reminder to, not take ourselves so gosh darn seriously.

And then, what’s Next?

“Next time, I can and will talk about that.”

“I will institute a plan with my friend to hold me accountable to get this cleaned up.”

“I will do the notepad exercise to see what’s there, and create something new.”

“I had fun.  I will play that game again in the same spirit of fun.”

It isn’t, to be clear, that the Next is just waiting for the situation to come up again.  The Next includes inquiry and action and intention and more.  But at the same time, it is also totally about Next time.  And it might be as simple as “huh, ok, next time I’ll be this way instead.”

I think the two phrases also work great coupled together:  Notice, Over, and Next.  Notice, remember/recognize it’s Over, and look towards what’s Next – while also remembering the hammock in the middle that Norman labelled as living in the moment.  And, be in that hammock when Next arrives.

Simple and succinct, and thus far has proven to be quite empowering for me to try on, a way out of reflex self-recrimination, a release from significance, and an invitation to breathe, to practice, and to play.

 

* Itself a good thing to go back and (re)read anew, and get re-grounded in the idea.