Monday, November 08, 2010

First Ever Guest Post

Bad Billy G, Bill Giovannucci sent an e-mail with something he'd considered as a reply to an old post. I think it stands alone.
Bill teaches Uechi-ryu karate in Quincy, MA. He's also a nice guy. And laid me out with a football tackle in an Active Shooter scenario a month ago.

Bill Writes:

I’ve always thought most people were crazy, myself included. I don’t think its because normal is relative, but because 'Normal' is obviously not true. It does not exist anywhere else but in our shared descriptions of the world. People will often define their own reality as truth. Entire cultures are constructed around shared ideals, but they are not automatically true, just
a way to convey meaning. Why it happens in people is explicable in psychology I suppose. I’m not sharp there. What is happening though, is a flaw in the reasoning process. Beliefs take hold without ever involving other views and active world experience. We know people can literally think ourselves into believing anything is true.

Our job everyday is to make sense of the world. We are immersed in it with others like us, but each trapped in our own little head. It’s scary. It is not comforting to be acutely aware of that all the time. We seek to assign meaning, to understand and organize all the information in order to connect and perceive ourselves, our world. We eventually learn to trust our created meanings because it is too much work to constantly evaluate the accuracy and nuances of our perceptions. We fool ourselves into thinking we've figured it out all the time.

Two posts ago Rory got me thinking deeply about perspective in this way. That was a popular post. I think the only way to acquire new knowledge is to make sure you never really believe you know everything about anything ...I think Socrates. In this, the things you are certain of are convictions. They will always be passing your active tests because you have chosen to observe your active experience in the physical world. Principles, because they can be recognized as commonalities, repeated and tested are key to granting advantage to your knowledge base. It is dangerous to believe in something if you do not fully recognize its working
principles. But, the more you can find them the more intuitive you become. It will be easier to understand new stuff, to recognize what is valuable to your Way. You know if it is something to take or discard. You won’t be as inclined to hang onto things you don’t need because you know you will be able find them again easily. Perceptions get sharper.

Learning humility probably helps. We don't value or employ that gift nearly enough. People with a healthy degree of true humility tend to have accurate personal realities and other ambitions than claiming righteousness. They keep from losing heir way, unlike those a bit lost inside themselves without real perspective. Other folks misunderstand, or maybe choose to accept personal and shared ideals as true and never perceive contradictions as even relevant.

There are theoretical ‘levels of understanding’. I forget them exactly. We switch between these as we process. If you watch, it is noticeable and noteworthy that most people never operate beyond a certain level of understanding about who and what they are within multiple layers of context. We cannot avoid it because we need immediate usefulness of casual thought. It is easier than the effort it takes to get out there and think of everything from every possible perspective all the time. And, if we do know to do it, it is still work to construct a belief system based on both reason AND active experience. Also, as with physical skills, it is essential to maintain your perspective to be sure it is has not become irrelevant.


Anonymous said...

"They are playing a game, they are playing, at not playing a game. If I show them they are then I will break the rules and they will punish me, therefore, I must play the game of not seeing I see the game"

kenpokiwi said...

Perception is Reality, right or wrong.

Be the Eternal Student

Principles: Understand Useful, Unuseful, and Useless. (Ed Parker Quote)

Always test your principles.

Am I warm?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Rory! Fun stuff ...good, good crowd at that seminar.

Yeah ...I guess mine would be the deep thought version. You're boiling down to concepts I read in the posts & comments here often. When I see it written like that, it sounds like the most common of sense in the world. Somehow though, getting at how to help ourselves learn seems not to be as common as one would think. That's got to be the cause of much nonsense, suffering and pain in the world.

If we are humble enough to acknowledge it, the physical world is always corrective to our descriptions of it. When we pay attention to that we can learn a lot to the great benefit of everyone we meet.

-Billy G.

kenpokiwi said...

And that's the beauty of knowledge. It can be everything or nothing depending on the accrued knowledge/experience of the student. That is why I enjoy the writings of Rory, Marc, and others such as yourself, that teach from proven experience and the insight gained from afore-mentioned experience. That, combined with their ability to articulate that experience into transferable knowledge keeps me hungry for more.

Anonymous said...

I read everybody's comments here for the same reasons. Rory and Marc are prolific writers, not me really. And I certainly don't have their same type of experience with violence. But that is just it. We all get to have an experience ...just have to engage it.

Josh Kruschke said...

That's the one thing about this blog it always make you think.