The World, or the world…


I’ve attempted to carve out distinctions and definitions on a regular basis here. Then I’ve backslid and muddied the waters again and again by letting ambiguity and habit blur these distinctions. Maintaining a vocabulary requires the patience of an archeologist, wiping away the dust of the millennia as a current erupting volcano sifts down aContinue reading “The World, or the world…”

Aloof


Reading Simon Winchester‘s Atlantic, I came across an etymology for the term, aloof, deriving from a-luff, the order to maintain a course with sufficient distance for safety off a lee shore. Let’s unpack that. A lee shore is a danger that is downwind, a-lee, of our position. If we lose way, we are in dangerContinue reading “Aloof”

Action without Striving


This concept appears to be the most difficult to comprehend. It’s also the one I’ve had the greatest difficulty discussing. We tie our notions of action so tightly to the process of striving. We cannot seem to imagine one without the other. We tend to fall back on rationalizations that to reject striving is toContinue reading “Action without Striving”

Between Knowing and Understanding


Is there a space between knowing and understanding? Not if we equate understanding with the power to control. “We understand.” That was the last message tapped out on the cold steel of the pressure hull of the submarine S-4 off Wood End. * He’d never heard them speak, just had secondhand accounts, by way ofContinue reading “Between Knowing and Understanding”

Stories


There is a world of difference between a map and a story. The power of the reductivist world-view resides in the ruthless insistence that everything can be boiled down and that signs are equivalent to reality. Whatever doesn’t fit is thrown away as an externality or dismissed in disgust as chaotic. The rush to efficiency is not to be slowed because of any “messy” “complications.”

What Choice Do We Have?


Further thoughts on the limits of imagination, As we experience the destruction occurring “in our name” we seem to have two choices available to us. Either we chose to turn a blind eye and “make our own way,” which is taken to mean that we try to maintain our compartmentalization and keep our innate senseContinue reading “What Choice Do We Have?”

The Real Trouble with Secrecy


Secrecy is an approach to power. It holds that there are short-cuts to achieving one’s will and that they are hidden. It’s followers believe that a self-generated aura of mystery, the tingle of insider knowledge, will put them in touch with the roots of power. It’s a cargo-cult as ridiculous and sad as any other. Too bad it has our entire culture under its sway.

The Nature of Conditioning


Without this insight there can be much confusion between any action we might contemplate or take and striving. This confusion can lead either to paralysis or frustration. By linking striving to the attempt to outrun conditionality connects the futility of an approach to life that sees only division and seeks to find answers to self generated problems with the deepest manifestation of that impulse in the desire to transcend our conditioned natures.

Not Individuals, Not Groups


One open question around the brain/mind formulation is what it does to our conception of individuals and groups. It seems easy to criticize a practice of attention that opens us to mind and sees the conditioning of the brain – thought in Bohm‘s characterization – as an impediment; either as swallowing up the individual intoContinue reading “Not Individuals, Not Groups”

Berger’s “Moment of Cubism,” part III


Berger’s essay explodes with the import of rediscovery of what had been lost in a stratification of layers sedimented over as the years passed. When I look at where I now stand, I see this essay and its insights as essential elements of my foundations. Berger shows us that there is a curious parallel here to our moment in the close synchrony between their moment of realization and the latent consequences of mounting conditions that made it too late to avoid their tragedy.

Berger’s “The Moment of Cubism” part II


They began to see complexity not as a negative, as the merely inconveniently complicated; but as a fact; an essential attribute of our condition; something that must be confronted squarely, not simply wished away. This can only happen through the direct experience of complexity. This cannot happen without a ground for experience.