Recently in Life Category
Over the weekend we discussed with my father in law why did Communism in the east performed so badly compared to the Capitalism in the west? Why, when everything was planned and organized by the system plus every single person had to work? How come that the capitalism could fill-up their supermarkets with goods while communistic supermarkets were nearly empty? Wasn't the starting point after 1945 kind of the same for all European countries?Because at 2am we are doing what we want to and at 2pm what we have to.
Looking back at people and countries with totalitarian regimes shows the best what a system gone crazy can look like. It will enslave and suck life out of everyone and everything.
We naturally need a system, we need to believe, to have a reason why to get up from bed in the morning. Even the strongest atheists have their believe system, it's not called religion just because it's not organized.
Now Europe united in this so called "free democratic capitalistic" system. Is it better? Definitely we are free to express our opinions and the supermarkets are filled to bursting with goods, but ...
We humans create and use systems all the time, we are giving meaning to our everyday events, that is what makes us humans different from animals. When the systems serve people, people flourish, when the people serve systems, people become wasted.
Living in city of Vienna, city declared to have highest Quality of Living in the world by Mercer 2012 Quality of Living Survey, looking around in the subway or the city, I see few people smiling, most of them are simply gray. Not only their clothes are black or dark colors, but their faces does not shine. That makes me wonder what kind of system do we live in? What's our organizing principle? Is it flourishing or wasting us?
There is one simple system that unite us for thousands of years, no matter what religion or believe → and that is money. Awesome invention allowing humans to grow, invent and accomplish things that no other creature could do on this planet. We can not only adapt to our environment super fast, we can adapt or change our environment within hours by our selves.But haven't our system gone crazy?
Modern times, modern diseases - "Burn out" syndrome appeared. What the hell is "burn out" anyway? Why are these rich and super successful people sick? Notion that time is money slipped under our skins. No matter if it's spent at work, walking in the city or watching TV. Even being fit and relaxed can be evaluated to later profit. We can count every click, catch every eye ball everywhere and then turn it into profit. We are organized, we are optimized and we are planned to be super productive! The fact is, we have a crisis...
What is our crisis really about?
More then that, we see what makes us comfortable:But once a negative bias begins, out lenses become clouded. We tend to seize on whatever seems to confirm the bias and ignore what does not. Prejudice, in this sense, is a hypothesis desperately trying to prove itself to us. And so when we encounter someone to whom the prejudice might apply, the bias skews our perception, making it impossible to test whether the stereotype actually fits. Openly hostile stereotypes about a group - to the extent they rest on untested assumptions - are mental categories gone awry. --Daniel Goleman Because what you judge you cannot understand. --Anthony De Mello
We see what we want to see:Some students begin by forming an opinion ... and it is not till afterward that they begin to read the texts. They run a great risk of not understanding them at all, or of understanding them wrongly. What happens is that a kind of tacit contest goes on between the text and the preconceived opinions of the reader; the mind refuses to grasp what is contrary to its idea, and the issue of the evidence of the text but that the text yields, bends, and accommodates itself to the preconceived opinion. --Fustel de Coulanges Are you listening, as most people do, in order to confirm what you already think? --Anthony De Mello What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact. --Warren Buffett
And the truth? Were is it? What is it?Don't seek the truth; just drop your opinions. --Anthony De Mello
I've read book by Anthony "Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality" couple of times, found it amazing but stayed puzzled. HVP test showed me a new direction of thinking towards values and valuation and finally, when I've realized that valuation is in other words judgment, I thought, is this what Anthony wanted to say?My aim is to ponder our collective predicament: if we so easily full ourselves into subtle sleep, how can we awaken? The first step in that, it seems to me, is to notice how it is that we are asleep.
Contemporary researchers have adopted a rather radical premise: that much or most consequential activity in the mind goes on outside awareness.
Valuation or (pre)judgment gives objects, situation and people different values. In extreme case it allows for totally reverted valuation and choices. Painting remains to be a painting no matter if it's by Leonardo da Vinci or my little kid. It's our thinking that gives one or the other much greater value.
What Antony say is that we are programmed to value or judge in a certain way which changes the reality. We are not aware, we don't see things as they are but as we are because we look through our lenses of judgment. And our judgment is a coping strategy that prevent us from the pain of what causes or caused anxiety to us:The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice there is little we can do to change until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.
Technically speaking, "coping" is the term for a range of cognitive maneuvers that relieve stress arousal by changing one's own reaction rather than altering the stressful situation itself.
That framework and data show, in modern terms, how the self-system protects us against anxiety by skewing attention.
For many serious sources of stress in life, there's little or nothing that can be done to change things. If so, you're better off if you do nothing except take care of your feelings ... healthy people use palliatives all the time, with no ill effect. Having a drink or taking tranquilizers are palliatives. So is denial, intellectualizing, and avoiding negative thoughts. When they don't prevent adaptive action, they help greatly.
So how much awareness is possible? There's just too much input information around us. How can we train our unconsciousness to filter "properly"? Isn't that "properly" just another appealing system?I sometimes failed to persuade the court that I was right, but I never failed to persuade myself! --Roger Fisher
Here is what Goleman writes about well adjusted marriage or working couple:
- "This is well-adjusted marriages," he notes "we expect that each partner may keep from the other secrets having to do with financial matters, past experiences, current flirtations, indulgences in 'bad' or expensive habits, personal aspirations and worries, actions of children, true opinions held about relatives or mutual friends, etc."
- Each partner in a working couple ignores areas of shared experience that would threaten the partners' shared sense of a secure, comfortable relationship. She doesn't comment on the looks he gives younger women at the beach; he never mentions his suspicion that she fakes orgasms. Over time, these discretions can become converted into lacunas: they do not notice, and do not notice that they do not notice.
I've read fairy tales about love, but I don't think I've ever seen a couple that loves in intrinsic way. All I see is systemic and utilitarian relationships. Is my seeing blinded by my lack of believe/faith or is it simply so?
Actually Goleman gives a hint how to recognize happy couples.
- On the other hand, something rather remarkable tends to happen with couples who live together for decades, finding happiness with each other. Their continual rapport even seems to leave its mark on their faces, which comes to resemble each other, apparently a result of the sculpting of facial muscles, as partners smile or frown in unison they strengthen the parallel set of muscles.
So such couples must exists! But where? What really is love?
While Dr Hartman declared I > E > S, in the HVP test the "standard" order of phrases is actually I+I, E+I, S+I, I+E, I+S, etc. Which actually means that love for formal axiology (S+I) is of more value then a waiter in the restaurant (I+E). Or more generic intrinsic valuation of a system is more important then person valued in utilitarian or systemic way.
In another words the overall value comes not from what the objects really are but how do we value them, what we think or believe they are.
So what is the goal of HVP? Order the phrases based on what is best to worst, instructions say. Best for what? Worst for whom? Let's take some extreme:
Nonsense ←→ A madman
If I had to choose if to cope with a nonsense or a madman, then I'll choose the nonsense. But if the question is whether to make nonsense or a madman "survive", it will be the madman. Isn't even a bad person more worth then a thought?
So is HVP more likely about our valuation and less about values? More about the way we perceive things, then about how they really are? Is really our believe stronger then reality?
31st of December I've got fever and cough - spend one week, including new years eve, in bed. Then coughing turned into pain and on the start of the third week of January I've ended up in hospital. Now I'm back home and much better, hopping for much more fortune in the rest of this 2013 year.
As I wrote the world doesn't have to necessarily end up in doom today, but it may start to fade out and end as we know it.
Knowing is a system, knowing is a way how we make sense out of what is happening around us, knowing is what we notice, knowing is what we ignore, knowing tells is what is right and what wrong, knowing tells us what is valuable and what isn't, knowing helps us to predict the future and take preventing actions (making our prediction never actually happen), knowing makes us judgmental so that we don't have to reevaluate every single moment, knowing pulls the future into present, knowing makes us aware and blind at the same time.So what is the world as we know it all about?
Probably no one will ever know the world of Mayans in which their priests were cutting hearts, still beating, out of the human bodies. They knew what they were doing, it made perfect sense for them. Still we may stop to wonder - What the hell they were thinking?Don't we always have to enslave someone so that we can profit?
What we have a chance to comprehend is our world around us, our own set of rules that guides us through the day, our evaluation of what is important and what not so much. I grew up in central Europe, for me it made perfect sense to see Christian churches with crosses everywhere, to see army promenades demonstrating military power, to see people deeply believing in education and to see new wave of prosperity, material and ¥€$ believe.Do I have to go to school today?
Long time ago I was surprised to learn that Eastern cultures think that our religion is education. I thought for a while "What education a religion???". But thinking about it more and more I've realized that, yes, this makes sense. We do believe here in this part of the globe in education. We believe that education will bring goodness for our kids and our society. And because we believe in education we also send our kids to spend more and more years in the service of it. Yes, education, as any other religion has a faith, believe, future, followers (children), priests (teachers and professors), elders (scientists) and temples (universities). It makes perfect sense for worshipers of education. It make also perfect sense for them to look down the nose on other forms of religions, because they know their religion is the right one.So what is real?
Another surprise for me was to discover that people in Mexico worship Santa Muerte. Isn't peoples fascination of death is fascinating. How come? How can several millions pray and sing songs to a skull, to a dead statue? What sense does it have? I was never bit to Mexico and never had a chance to see or understand, so I leave it as a puzzle.You don't know??‽
Where I am and what I do know is my part of the Europe. If I would ask a worshiper of Santa Muerte how they can worship such a thing as a dead skull, he may as well drag me to the nearest catholic church and ask me how can we worship such a thing as a man nailed to a cross dieing with huge pain and suffering in such a clever way they it will maximize this torture. But that all make sense to the worshiper, because there are stories that tells something else about it. Those stories speak about a man who died for us, stories about loving Jesus and stories about heaven and hell that gives perfect sense for having this symbol.Every end is a start for something else.
If only stories has such an enormous impact on the reality we perceive and by it the life we live, wouldn't a new stories that will start to make sense break the spell of the old ones ending the world as we know it?How can that make sense to them?
According to Viktor E. Frankl the will for meaning is much more stronger then will for pleasure or will for power. We should not abolish our system, our current knowing or we'll go crazy. What we can do is to leave the door open for curiosity, why does this or that make sense to the others and not to us.We can stand evil and cruelty; what we cannot stand is lack of order. If the reigning scheme of things is intact, that is, believed in, and thereby endowed with authority, then we can tolerate murder and mayhem to uphold it. But if the scheme of things falls, leaving us un unlimited freedom, we churn about in chaos until rescued by some other creed that claims our allegiance, takes our freedom, and restores order. --Allen Wheelis
Happy end-of-the-world day, let's worship it all together!I personally have nothing against the man who believes in god - no matter what god. What I object to is the man who claims that his god is the authority for his imposing restrictions on human growth and happiness. --A. S. Neill
Already couple of world ends passed by in my life and now another one is announced for 21th. When ever I hear "end of the world" I always recall the chorus of R.E.M. song:It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine
While I don't believe in coming catastrophe and physical destruction of the world, I find it pretty possible that sooner or later something or someone will come and put the world, as we know it, to the end - starting a brand new chapter in human history.
Imagine the world if the old rules would no more apply, imagine the world if all material would loos it's power over people. Imagine:Imagine there's no heaven
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today
Imagine there's no countries
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
Imagine no possessions
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all of the world...
Imagine people would drop their fears, anxieties and shames; rewards and punishments; opinions and judgments;praise and blame; sense and nonsense;... Wouldn't that be the end of the world as we know it?...
There was a huge thunderstorm that night, flash of lightning came, hit a tree that fell down on the fence. Frightened pigs were pushing tight against each other, barely looking out from their house into the rain. Once the storm was over, one of them, too tired to fell asleep went out.
"Look the fence is down!" said the little pig "For all my life I was wondering what is behind it, now I have a chance."
"There is nothing behind it, just a wilderness, despair and hunger." told the elder
"I have to see for myself." said the little one and off it was on the field on it's way to forest
After hours and hours of wandering around, up and down the hills, little pig stopped in wonder, barely able to believe it's own eyes.
"He..., hello?" said the little pig
"Hi, who are you?" answered the wild boar
"I'm sooo tired and hungry, where can I find food and shelter?" little pig was impatient.
"It's all around you, all you have to look and see. I teach you..." but wild boar could not finish her sentence
"You look so skinny, so dirty, your hair is so long, this horrible place full of high trees and all the food hidden down in the ground, it's disgusting! In my home we have a house, every couple of days a man comes and gives us fresh straw to lay on, we have big yard where we can just play around with friends, there is a big fence that is protecting us from all dangers and every day we get heaps of fresh food. And it's all for free!!! ... I just want to go home." broke the little big into tears