If, as may happen in many public places, you find yourself separated from where you want to be by a flower or plant bed would you walk through the bed or walk around it?
If I could see a path through, by standing on grass, or stepping on stones or bark, or jump over it, without causing damage, then I would take the shortcut. Otherwise I would go around.
How are you “impeccable” with your word ?
This question is inspired by Don Miguel Ruiz’s – The Four Agreements
I’m with Ian
My humanity is often in the way of my impeccability.
The broader the audience, the more difficult it is to ensure impeccability – if one is being responsible for how the words land, as well as how they leave the mouth.
And it is a great agreement to make – even if noticing where it is not present is not very comfortable.
I tend to agree that not taking anything personally is the hardest of the agreements.
For most of us, the habit forms very early, and therefore tends to trigger first in many contexts. Changing context requires a lot of discipline. The little mantra “I am totally independent of the good or bad opinion of others” is a great one in this regard – in helping to build and reinforce a context recognising and changing pattern.
Just noticing (without judgement) how much emotional response we have to the good and bad opinion of others is a great start – and is often enough.
I do not believe it is possible to be a human being and not be affected by the opinions of others at some level.
We are social animals, and we are attuned to many subtle nuances of facial muscles and body posture and language and tone; all of which carry information about social relationships, part of which is the opinion of others.
It is very rare for anyone to be completely independent of that, and some do achieve quite remarkable levels of independence, through a variety of mechanisms.
Truth we have explored a little elsewhere.
It seems that what we have (as aware individuals) are perceptions and models of things.
A percept is always mediated by some sequences of agents (photons, light sensitive retina cells, and neurons, in the case of vision), and are thus already multiply indirect, with possibilities for error in every level of indirection.
Our models, however refined, are always and necessarily different from the thing being modeled, often at many different levels.
Truth is thus a very slippery concept.
In abstract realms such as logic or mathematics ideas like truth have quite a different meaning than they do in the “real” world. Reality seems to have some limits that mathematics does not, and also some degrees of freedom that mathematics does not.
We can prove some notions in abstract realms like mathematics, and label them as true; yet it is dangerous to carry such notions directly over into the “real” world. They work often, but not always.
In the instant that we think that we have “truth” then we become blind to anything that challenges that “truth”.
Thus, in a sense, “truth” is the antithesis of possibility.
This idea seems profoundly similar to a deep reading of Genesis 2:17.
It seems logical that the only way to stay open to all that reality has to teach us, is to retain an element of doubt about everything that we think that we know.
Very little in reality is stable.
Most things are either building up, or wearing down, and everything is powered ultimately by the energy of the big bang.
Rain, wind, and the ocean is constantly wearing away the planet, and depositing it elsewhere (usually, ultimately in the coastal ocean floor).
Rather than seeing the erosion of cliffs as a problem, what I see as a problem is people being unaware of the reality of continual erosion and flooding and change as the result of normal physical processes.
Most people have a totally unreal expectation of unchanging stability.
Even the hardest of wears away.
Bluffs only exist because of constant erosion.
Most people build far too close to cliffs and rivers to be safe in the medium to long term.
Without plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanism, the earth would have long since become one vast ocean, mostly shallow.
It is only living systems that use energy to maintain some sort of long term stability, interspersed with bouts of replication.
Unfortunately for us, one the things that lead to our complex life form, is also responsible for the limited life of individuals – and that is the free radicals produced by our metabolising mitochondria. These radicals do a great deal of damage to our DNA, and are a major cause of cancer, and the reason why we have evolved so many different anti cancer mechanisms within our systems.
Our technology has not yet developed successful mechanisms to reverse these effects, though we can already imagine several possible ways of doing so, they are currently still just out of our reach.
Unfortunately the only significant thing that is constantly wearing away is my body.
I am hoping that technology will come up with the tools to allow me to repair it indefinitely before cascading systems failures result in my death.
As to physical systems around me, I simply accept that they will wear away.
April 26, 2011
Lovely photos Laurie
Petals unfurl in response to a chain of genetic and environmental cues.
For me it is the evolution of knowledge, and with that, the evolving opportunity to make contributions to the systems that support life and humanity.
It has been amazing to me, how many new visions of the deep level systemic structures within and beneath our political and economic systems I have seen in the last year.
I am trying to communicate them, to share them through my blog and elsewhere. But I have not as yet gotten the ideas to a level that they have gone viral through the population. And I keep trying.
If the person closest to you was asked whether you were set in your ways, how do you think they would respond?
I think she would say that I was about an equal mix of fixed ways and flexibility.