Sunday, June 24, 2007

Freedom From the Known

On one end of the spectrum of mental illnesses exhibited on the Internet through various expressions, is the well-known one of those fearing to be known -- as though that was the worst of all eventualities, rather than realizing, that is the whole purpose for living one’s life -- getting to know oneself. The ancients put it more succinctly as the directive to “Know yourself.”

The best way to know oneself is not by developing elaborate theories on who one is and what one is doing -- but the actual observation of what it is one is doing, as expressed in one’s actual interactions and communications. In the literary records of the past, that interaction aspect of expressions was not expressed as communications -- but were acts apart from any interactions.

That’s what plays, novels, poetry, the arts were about -- allowing for no interaction between the author and the audience, which creates the problem of interactions and communications. When one reads the still extant writings of journalists, academics, and critics, one gets the impression that the whole intent is to deny the existence of the audience (reader, listener, observer, etc.), as though that event has meaning without that context, and in a vacuum.

Every event is an interaction between everyone there -- rather than that it happens and everyone is only a passive observer of what is going on. Their reactions and interactions are as large a part of the final outcome and resolution. So if one hears what is untrue to be propagated widely without interjecting what one knows to be true, the outcome of that conclusion is something other than if one had acted.

The kind of conditioning in which “things happen” without one being able to act upon that action, is really a great problem in the conditioning and education of people -- which some proudly proclaim, is their “objectivity” in knowing and witnessing, without action and being an integral part of that event -- as though that placed one above and beyond what was going on.

That would be like having a policeman with a long record for provoking arrests -- in favor of one whose very presence, eliminated the possibility of a disastrous event -- because ultimately, any event is the sum of all the actions and interactions.

Sometimes, outcomes cannot be helped, if one is determined to override all the rules, with ruthless disdain for everyone else. Most events do not start out with the that inevitability for disaster -- and can lead to many possibilities, including the resolution of many problems -- among which the most invaluable, is this ability to interact, communicate and synthesize that which would not have been possible in isolation.

People don’t have to agree to do something beforehand in order to do something; they need to understand the potential of that possibility beforehand. That "unlimited" potential is restrained and constrained if the eventual outcome has been predetermined -- as most public forums (events) are these days. People have already made up their minds before they commence with their discussion and inquiry -- and/that nothing else is possible.


At June 24, 2007 12:00 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Every "event" is a collective intelligence of all the people there -- if unrestrained and restricted, but the problem is that it is designed to be preclude a fair and "open" discussion -- with a predetermined outcome, even while ostensibly claiming that the reason for that forum is to get the public's input.

Usually those "forums" are so ritualized that no discussion is possible, much like classrooms in which the teacher has no time to answer penetrating questions because there is "so much material to cover" -- of which people don't want to know, and what they really do want to know, are dismissed in this manner.

So they become disinterested participants of the type that the schools are now famous for.

At June 26, 2007 12:29 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The best predictor of future success is present success.

Things that haven't worked, aren't working, and have no basis in reality for working in the future, don't all of a sudden start working just because we extend the time frame to infinity -- so that anything becomes possible.

It's a lot like that question they ask about where somebody sees themselves 10-20 years from now. Those who can tell you exactly where they want to be, aren't going very far, while those totally focused on the present challenge in front of them, end up where they could never have imagined being 10-20 years ago.

Planning for success sometime in the future, is an admission that they have no idea of what is required for success in the present reality -- and that creates the future.

At June 28, 2007 3:45 AM, Blogger Ali la Loca said...

This is interesting to think about, in particular in a world in which we are increasingly encouraged not to react in various situations. I am thinking in particular of potentially volatile situations - crime, political discourse, etc. We are encouraged - for our own safety - not to interact, not to engage, not to step in and take part in a situation that, on the one hand we could shape in a different way, but on the other might kill or otherwise harm us in the process.

On a different note, I've never enjoyed plays. Go figure...

At June 28, 2007 11:44 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

“Plays” were an earlier form of role-playing -- and after a brief popularity as a teaching tool, quickly moved to real-time actualization as the convergence of thought with action. A lot of people can pretend to be “right,” and many others can think they’re right even while acting wrongly, but actions are the only proof of one’s actual understanding, no matter how much they rationalize their intentions.

There is an observation in the world of “martial arts,” that the greatest masters, never get into any fights -- because they are that good that they know how to handle every threat and hostility until any opposition realizes it is futile to find a weakness, and all he would be attacking is themselves.

A lot of the earlier forms of expression and communications are the soliloquies of earlier times we’ve come to know -- as plays, speeches, poetry, articles, editorials -- all reaffirming one’s separation from every other (the audience). Language skills are primarily taught as competitive forums rather than cooperative ones -- so in speech, we learn to debate, as outmoded a form as that is. In larger forums, they conduct discussions that inhibit and preclude genuine interactions -- by hierarchic (parliamentary) rules of order, which is to reinforce the status quo and pecking order so that “authority” cannot be questioned.

But that is not all of life -- and certainly, not the better part of it, which many more realize they are free to create, and co-create. That is the beauty of such forums we now have (blogs) in which people are free to create beyond the traditional motivations for doing so -- which are beginning to disappear, or become so absurd in their arbitrariness as to discourage the participation of the most creative and intelligent.

In so doing, they create the prototypes for everybody -- because simply being aware and understanding, is the powerful action of these times that changes the world -- and not mindlessly marching in streets shouting slogans, posturing and trying to force everybody else into their convictions. That’s how the world has changed, and is changing -- even if one is not aware of it.

But to observe the new as it is unfolding, requires a mind that can see the new as the new, and not merely put it into the old categories in order to “understand” it -- which was the manner of processing information in a previous time, when education was not about doing one’s own thinking but allowing others to do one’s thinking for everybody else -- which of course, became abused because few could handle that trust and power, without trying to exploit it to their exclusive and permanent advantage -- which are the great tragedies of history and literature.

But those things didn’t just happen in the past -- but are happening as we speak, in the manner in which we speak because language and communications have become humankind’s predominant “action.” So rather than killing us with a gun or knife, others kill with their looks or words, putting us into boxes if they can -- which becomes quite obvious in the overexposures of media personalities/reporters competing to tell us what to think.

They’ve largely displaced the academics in this role -- and why you’ll notice that they have disappeared as the authorities and been replaced by the self-appointed media ones, whose major qualification is the effectiveness in which they control the discussion -- usually making everybody else seem foolish, while making themselves alone the ultimate authority. We call that manner of controlling the conversation as mainstream (mass) media -- that is already being subsumed and supplanted by the interactivity model -- of living one’s role, improvising and perfecting it as one’s greatest expression and art form.

What is more real and meaningful than that?

At June 28, 2007 12:39 PM, Blogger Jaffe said...

Hey, I recently added a news widget from to my blog. It shows the latest news, and just took a copy and paste to implement. Might interest you too.


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