Not Me

I am well acquainted with the concept of “Me” and “Mine”. These early survival orientations center me in the universe. Feed me! appears all along my timeline.

As time proceeded, it became apparent that some other provided what I needed. Knowing how to synch with this “You” and “Your” is a benefit. It smooths out the need to regularize the transfer from out-there to in-here.

Even later, it appeared that moving toward an “Our” and “Ours” had an extra benefit of finding a way to meet needs in a variety of time and space locations. A wider storehouse also brought the possibility of access to tribal assets and the storing of them for some amount of time and accumulating more than was immediately needed.

“Me”, “You”, and “Our” are well-marked in our language. Their abundant references reveal what is important to us. Of note is the lack of consideration for that which is “Not Me”. “You” and “Our” can pick up some of this, but still are derivatives filled with projections of and allegiance to “Me”.

One of the sins of the Enlightenment and Industrial/Digital Revolutions is the loss of that which is beyond definition as “human”. To have lost touch with all that is other-than-human means we anthropomorphize and dominate without recognizing the presence and value of any not directly associated with “Me”, “You”, and “Our”.

So we design mechanistic economies, rape earthly resources, and constrain dreams.

For a moment, consider what will designate, for you, what is “Not You”. Here is a door to a broader and softer satisfaction.

Just for You

just for you
a classic
children’s book
illustrates
the best
intentions
gone wildly wrong

would there were
an equally illustrative
artistic attempt
bringing adults
back to their roots
connecting feedback
to engagements

such belated recognition
needs continually
to be moved
forward from excuse
to awareness
changing outcomes
before disaster

= = = = = =

Here is a link to a video presentation of Just for You (not as good as reading it with someone).

It is available at: http://www.rhcbooks.com/books/109630/just-for-you-(little-critter)/

Amplification

My thoughts are the measure of normality. They are so pertinent and common-sensical that they do not require me to shout. They are quietly true.

What my thoughts lack in assertion, they make up for in persistence and extension. Everywhere I am, there are my thoughts firmly centered and confirmed. Everywhere I am not, my thoughts precede my eventual appearance there.

Basically, there are no chinks in my perspective.

Then comes the difficulty of relationships with other humans and those-beyond-human. If I am not going to spend all my time bullying others and defending my turf, a small thought is going toward learning through more than the limits of my singular experience.

If I am going to admit any limit, there will have to be a way of amplifying the voice of others. Otherwise, all I’ll find are echoes and variations of where I am. Eventually, this will be a great stuckness—like having a grand theory with no way to verify it beyond the simple assertion that that which is known to be right is right: I know I’m right: so there!

I am not likely to voluntarily give up my right to be right.

In such a case, the main option is to amplify the voice of others to be one decibel louder than I am. If I claim parity, it has turned out that my thoughts claim the right to break a tie.

Though there are elements of Active Listening that are important to activate, they are only available if I can recognize a need for them—a need to amplify other voices is such a rationale.

I trust readers here will take this post to heart and amplify my voice in their lives. Otherwise, how will we ever get such beautiful thoughts into the world for its betterment?

Shh, don’t tell anyone how crafty my thoughtful consideration of others is.

Mosey

I am, by nature, one who moseys—slower than faster. Some might see that as being non-responsive. The Sunday gathering I attend used this song today …

https://youtu.be/1FUz0b33-E

As might be expected, I appreciated the slowing of the song as it went along and gathered a wider perspective.

While at home in the slow lane, I did note one drawback to my natural inclination—entropy. As a group or context gets larger/broader, the speed on the circumference gets faster and faster. If you have seen those large three-bladed, energy-producing windmills, the blade tips are traveling, depending on the wind, at a surprising speed of 120–180 miles per hour.

If you are new to a group and located on the edge, if the entire system doesn’t slow down, you may be spun off before you can make sufficient contact points to ride until comfortable and begin to have your gifts migrate inward toward increasing usefulness.

Should the circle become universal, there would be a tendency to finally come to a grinding halt. Slowing to the point of reversal is an on-going question about the theory of behavior by an individual, structure, and system.

Others may find the slow lane frustrating and not have been able to attend this long and hear my thanks to them for their work to jump ahead. Somehow Jumpin’ Jack Flash is needed to balance out my hero among the dwarves—Sleepy.

Mobile Phone

I was a late-comer to mobile phones. Part of my resistance was to telephones, generally. A disembodied voice does not give me sufficient clues about the information I am receiving or a response to what I have said. Phone calls often leave me more dissatisfied than not. Early on, there was also a concern about being interrupted as my Enneagram 5 (Investigator) does like solitude.

I’ve now had several mobile phones (favorite was the Blackberry with its Qwerty keys). My current iPhone Xs should hold me for quite some time. That is, of course, unless Blackberry makes a comeback.

As an Investigator, I do make a fair amount of use of the web connectivity that comes with modern mobile phones. To have this capability, the manufacturers need to pack more and more into a confined space. For a small item, the apps don’t add any weight, but the hardware to run them is constantly being added to. Smaller but heavier seems to be the order of the day.

I have noticed that when I take the iPhone and its holster off my belt, I am not only lighter (a lighter physical burden to be borne) but brighter (relieved at not being responsible for being on-duty).

So much material is packed into such a small space, the phone has a gravitational field all its own. Yes, the phone becomes an object to orbit around rather than simply being a tool with a refined skill set.

Questions of accountability and addiction come to mind. Where is the loco of contra? Is turning the phone off good self-care or a betrayal of social norms to be available 24/7 and prefer quick answers/memes to a considered response?

Mobile phones seem to be energizing to many, but not for me. I’m glad to turn it off at night and delay turning it on in the morning. I don’t appreciate how the phone’s natural desire to be of service plays into my natural sense of being the center of the universe and need to be available. I cherish time enough to join the deer, coyotes, and buffalo in roaming ranges.

Species

Species come with boundaries, limits that keep it definable. At the edges, there is a wondrous grouping of interspecies. These do not continue within the species and so remain separate. The boundary still holds.

There are variants within a species that continue along on the family’s recessive side, awaiting a triggering.

Within a species, its health lies in continuing to meet the realities of its context. A sufficient number of variants is needed to meet the contingencies of a changed reality. An analysis of the range of a species is important to have a sense of the variety of variants expected. The smaller the variety, the smaller the range, and vice versa.

Within the human species, there is a variety of both variants and the tools they develop. The range is large and increasing to the point of extending to planets previously claimed to be alien.

Even as there are genetic boundaries to be respected, social and cultural systems set up additional limits called classes based on artificial constructs or definitions—race, economic possession, and raw power.

A human species’ health requires a vitality within its variants that can continue to assist the whole. Honoring the boundaries of genes and the reality of larger contexts that limit species requires dissolving social and cultural discriminations that constrain the gifts needed to respond to a changing environment. Using all the gifts available brings new strength and flexibility. Restricting any of the gifts brings weakness and fragility.

Needed: a valuing of those adjudged least and worthless. They hold the proverbial fountain of youth that contributes a new response to repeated histories again being forgotten.

Morals

How
we
engage in
dialogue
and
debate
to discern
morals
together
may
be as profound
a witness
as
the morals
we
profess.


This is a sentence reformatted as an outline for part of your meditation time. It is taken from Methodist Morals: Social Principles in the Public Church’s Witness by Darryl Stephens [p. 198]. The book is priced as a textb00k. It is an excellent reflection on the intention and possibility of an evolving document on Social Principles that is available through an interlibrary loan.

Slogans

It isn’t easy to come up with a slogan amid instant memes. This came to mind as I thought about an encouragement-to-vote sign for the front yard. A first thought was:

Coming Apart?
Coming Together?
VOTE

A second thought was:

First, consider a common good
Then, add a personal good
VOTE

Third and fourth thoughts came and went.

Every meta-type approach folded under the weight of differing analyses and understandings of the direction the nation is heading versus where one would want it to be going. Likewise, with an ability to distinguish any value beyond the immediate and personal.

Going the other direction of advocating for a particular candidate heightens the divisions among us and measures everything by its shortest term effect.

No wonder there are so many who simply won’t vote. It hurts the brain and soul to consider the state-of-affairs we are in and doubles that to consider what it will cost to admit our systems have betrayed their stated intention. There is no social contract for mutual care or a definition of a common good.

I doubt that I’ll come up with a sign before November 3. This will worthy of a confession that I did not do even the first layer of work to elect those I thought would slowly stitch us back together or facilitate a transition from exclusion to inclusion.

Much preliminary work needs doing to reteach thinking and recognition of false equivalencies and other logical fallacies. Right now, allusion has become illusion—help heal all “usions”.