Athens and Bruno and his crew have been a blast. Good people and good fighters, mostly from an MMA background-- and these guys love to wrestle. Enough of them working high-risk professions that we have a common language even though we didn't, for the most part, have a common language.
But it has been four hard days-- if I wasn't training I was hiking around Athens or being stuffed with fantastic food. Asleep late, up early. It has been great, but it will be good to wing it on home. Really missing my K.
The ideas I need to write about (placed here for reference so I don't forget later):
1) One of the students went into full trance in the Plastic Mind exercise. Some interesting observations and ties in well with some mystical practices.
2) "I'd rather be tried by twelve than carried by six" and specifically why it is a nonsensical platitude.
3) Turning into a fortune cookie.
4) "Is there a curriculum for this?"
Okay, now to the thought about children of blood and brain.
If you don't have children, you at least have been a child. Almost all biology and all of mammalian history has been about children. Your children are more like you than a stranger's child. In any given population, some traits work better than others. Those with the good traits have more children and slowly, ever so slowly, the species drifts to look more like the successful ones.
(Nota bene: One of the things people screw up is trying to bring the teleological fallacy into this, assuming a plan or assigning personal values to a natural process. Sure, being smart and strong and fast are good things, from our point of view. But if you are smart and strong and fast and opt to have only two children and your neighbor is a vile, lazy slug but has fathered fourteen illegitimate children, nature is valuing what he has, not what you have, not what you might think nature should value. And this process never stops.)
So we have children of our blood and we are children of someone else's blood.
But we also have ideas and we teach. The ideas are children of our brain, or rather a form of what the old naturalists called the 'germ' (like sperm and ova or pollen or seed). Spreading the germ transforms all of your students and many of your friends into your children. Progeny, rather.
There are a lot of parallels between ideas and genes, or children and students. Some ideas die out, others thrive. Some spawn a huge number of variations and create a complex web, others are monolithic and simple. The ideas that survive aren't necessarily the best by our human standards (of course we all believe that our ideas are the best or we would change them. Really sure we would. Sigh). And ideas, and those who hold them, will battle for survival.
A powerful idea can create millions of children, for good or bad. Shakespeare's words have spawned immense creativity. Or go back sixty years to find a demagogue who started a war and slaughtered millions.
I see another pattern here, and I see it in teaching and parenting both. Some people raise their children to be good children. To know their place as children: "You'll always be my baby." It makes them manageable and a comfort, and sometimes it seems a very healthy, safe and pleasant way to grow up. But teaching a child to be a good child is very different than teaching them to be a good adult. "You won't be a little kid forever. You need to learn how to handle this."
Teaching the way I do makes sense to me. In the last two days I've been called LSD ("That Elements drill changed our minds, for Kostas it was just like beer but for Thanasis and me it was like LSD.") Lucifer ("Not in the bad way, like the devil. He also brought the light.") And a contagion (I'm pretty sure that was a mistranslation and he meant "affected," not "infected" but it was funny anyway.) I think it is hitting some people hard because in this context they are used to being taught like children-- doing what they're told, cautioned not to break anything...and careful not to get their feet wet.