Archive for year 2017
“The function of education has never been to free the mind and the spirit of man, but to bind them…acquiescence, not originality. …Schools are the central conserving force of the culture. … In order not to fail, most people are willing to believe anything and to care not whether what they are told is true or false. Only by remaining absurd can one feel free from fear of failure.” – Jules Henry, cultural anthropologist, in ‘Culture Against Man’
“It is Henry’s contention that in practice education has never been an instrument to free the mind and the spirit of man, but to bind them. … Children do not give up their innate imagination, curiousity, dreaminess easily. You have to love them to get them to do that. Love is the path through permissiveness to discipline; and through discipline, only too often, to betrayal of self.” – R. D. Laing, psychiatrist and philosopher
I live in a double bind. It can be depressing. It is the culture vs authenticity double bind explored by R. D. Laing which arises when you see the world differently from your culture-supporting family and friends but to be too overt about what you are thinking/feeling would be a downer because it ‘undermines’ many of the popular upbeat beliefs and social structures of our times.
But to say nothing would be to betray oneself, and to betray one’s culture/society as well, as it continues to believe in and employ over-simplistic rational/scientific assumptions so that well-intended actions end up having us ‘shoot ourselves in the foot’. On the other hand, to overtly critique ‘common thinking and common practice’ that may not only be ‘accepted thinking and practice’, but ‘thinking and practice’ deemed meritorious, which is rewarded and respected in our society and is encouraged in our children through our educational processes, can invite ‘backlash’ wherein others close to us, equally (but inversely) convinced, of the positive value of the ‘accepted thinking and practice’ which we are critiquing, may identify us as a misinformed ‘trouble-maker’. (more…)
Why I am switching from ‘distribution lists’ to ‘invitation-pending-interest-lists and concealing email addresses.
In composing ‘distribution lists’ [I have never had any fixed distribution lists], I start with a particular piece of content and go through my contacts list asking myself the question; ‘might so-and-so be interested in this piece?’ and being perhaps overly generous with the ‘yes’ nods, compose my ‘distribution list’. I leave the email addresses there in the spirit of openness/trust.
The distribution list was never intended as a “discussion forum” list, although it has on occasion been employed as such, not by myself but by one or more recipients on the list. This led to a situation where I was expected to be ‘the manager’ of discussions that used the distribution list as a discussion forum list and to impose my judgement on what ‘went too far’ or was ‘in error’ and to otherwise ‘set the record straight’. Since my research [into peacemaking circles etc.] has made me into an advocate of ‘restorative justice’ whereby one does not impose moral judgement but simply promotes and assists in the restoring of balance and harmony where conflict arises, I was not inclined to put myself into the position of ‘moderator’ of a debating forum. Having served as a circle keeper, I prefer to use to the ‘power of the circle’ as the mediating influence; i.e. to let each person holding the talking stick speak their piece ‘from their heart’ and not exploit their ‘access to the microphone’ to impose judgements. Circles are more easily accomplished on a face-to-face basis.
This is why; as well as the background given below, that I decided to switch from distribution lists to invitation-pending-interest lists, where the emails sent out include only a link to writing on a particular subject that may be of interest, with a brief description of the subject matter [since the subject matter is only a ‘click’ away]. The invitation lists use Bcc’s that suppress email addresses.
My apologies if the distribution list traffic was in any way bothersome to you, and please advise if you would rather not be on any invitation lists.
Here is my ‘main story’ that you are invited, pending interest, to read;
The picture is meant to illustrate the physical reality that we are included in something greater than ourselves; … a relational suprasystem or ‘epigenetic influence’ that inductively actualizes, orchestrates and shapes ‘genetic expression’. Western scientific thinking culture tends to create semantic realities out of ‘systems’ stoked by humans, making it appear as if humans are ‘improving on nature’. This continually ‘talked up’ semantic reality has become a de facto ‘operative reality’ and confused with the physical reality of our actual experience.
The Blacksmith is ‘being obsoleted’ by epigenetic influences which are inductively actualizing genetic expression in the form of newly emerging ‘systems’. The epigenetic ‘change field’ that the Blacksmith is included in is like water to fish. His focus is to stoke the system he is working in so as to sustain its healthy functioning.
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I am trying to articulate and share the whys and how’s of my being at odds with the culture I have grown up in. (more…)