[If you can't see the image than click the title]
[If you can't see the image than click the title]
A whelpish whale
wildly wading in the shallow waters:
as if waiting
while one wondered watcher
watches wholeheartedly from the caustic comfort of their oversized chair:
whenever it would happen.
Watching with a familiar sense of wearied wantonness:
a wantoness woven with intricate intimation;
aloof as all others.
A weariness which can only originate from within the soul of a man:
This man whose sole desire is to swim with the whales.
Billowing billows billowed beckoningly
from far beneath the belittled bevels that
atop the length of a long metal pipe
from which blew blossoms of white smoke:
smoke with savor sans scent;
imbibed most beautifully by the
billowing something so very
and from so very far
Tweet twitter twit
I don’t either tweet twitter or twit:
Well…at least I don’t like to.
It seems too
I’ve never been that great at calming birds: particularly the ones that require delicate handling.
Oh!… Don’t get me wrong.
(Don’t get me wrong)
I’m actually quite the fine handler of bird.
It’s just that I twit when I should tweet
and often chirp at inappropriate times.
I find the problem lie in that most birds being too darn flighty to let their feathers be smoothed once ruffled;
I’m too cognitive;
I find that birds chirp
and in the absence of non-twittery words
leave open a space of ground which,
unless you yourself are a bird
or are really in tune with the cultural dialect,
just cannot cover without having a pair of wings yourself.
Which is really too bad
because I enjoy the company of birds and the strong and loving tending to of their wings.
Especially those birds that require delicate handling.
Perhaps my twittering is too far and few between;
Or perhaps my tweet is too familiar
or mistakenly heard to be that of an ordinary quack
(Who knows? People are funny like that);
Or perhaps I…
We were talking about birds and why I don’t twitter, tweet, or twit:
except on fun occasions
and the occasional self inflicted fit of twit.
Regarding such fits: I proffer no profitable probability of perfection other than that which would itself be proper to promise to a lady who should know such things.
Which then again is just to say: the chances of perfection are intimately slim
and nobody’s perfect:
bird nor beast.
But pardon my fleet of flit
This was all to say that
the time when I most feel like I might twit and tweet and twitter
freely within the safety of a lady’s modicum
that there was another mind on the other side
who was not also given solely prone to tweeting, and twittering, and twit’ing herself.
But perhaps this is merely a flight of fancy…
I believe you that that you experienced it that way.
I don’t necessarily believe that’s the way it happened,
as I experienced it differently.
I’m not saying that I’m right,
I AM saying that you might not be as well.
Alright, artistry over, the message is fairly simple: human perception is subjective.
Note what I didn’t say: I didn’t say that universal reality is subjective, but rather that the human ability to perceive it is.
I realize that most people “know” this, but I wonder how many people actually “understand” this.
I would say that one of the greatest detriments to comprehending this, is the inability to grasp the material nature of the human organism: a biological body, with a biological brain. It seems that somehow we (me) think that we are experiencing things around us as they actually are. If we step into a field and observe, the assumption is that we observed it with complete external validity (because we were there to observe it when the moment took place). The question isn’t whether or not a tree that falls in the forest alone makes a sound, but rather, whether an observer of the same tree understands the extent of what’s just taken place.
Here is how perception works as I understand it.
Stimuli around us stimulates our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and or flesh in general. This stimuli is converted into electrical impulses (via the sensory organs) and transmitted to the mind, where it causes a reaction in varying regions, which in turn respond automatically by (in a nutshell) creating a mental interpretation, which is then sent to the part of the brain which houses the perceptable part of the human (the part which is comprehending this post right now). In fact, often, much of the stimuli picked up never makes it to the perceptible “person” as it is deemed irrelevant by the subconscious.
What this tells me is that, if we are not aware that our subconscious can actively withhold information from us, we might be inclined to believe that we have the full picture.
So what does this mean? It just means that you might not be as right as you think you are.
You know that fight you had with your girlfriend? You know that one where you were both screaming at each other because you were so frustrated at how oblivious the other one was?
…. Well, it turns out you were wrong. In fact, as long as she was being honest, everything she shared was 100% correct. The weird thing though, is that you were 100% correct as well. Relative to each of your own perceptions. You both perceived what you perceived. But it doesn’t mean that either of you were right. How weird is that?
Understanding this marked the beginning of change in my own life and marriage. For example, in my own marriage, we would fight bitterly over the details of any and ever skirmish: stakes are high because “if you’re right, than that would mean that I’m wrong… and I know I’m not wrong”. That’s changed. I don’t care about details any more, other than to help understand “WHY” either of us perceived the situation the way we did. I believe everything my wife says 100%. However, I don’t necessarily believe that her perception (or mine) is “unclouded”. But it does lend to greater compassion and understanding of her motivations.
We get caught up REACTING to our perceptions, rather than examining our perceptions. Which is understandable: the organism has evolved to live in accordance with this self-generated interpretation of reality. And even if you believe it was all made, it still stands that this is the mechanism of perception afforded humans through whatever process of creation was used. Either way, it’s a powerful cocktail of illusion.
But this comes back again to what makes a human special. The ability to not only be animal, but to comprehend it’s animalness. The ability to see beyond the illusion. I touch more on this in my article entitled “Humankind”s Ability To Tend”, and so won’t weary you by going into further detail. Suffice to say, we can either respond to our individual perception in the same way that a canary does (unquestioningly), or we understand the nature of our human experience.
If two people can understand this than it opens the door to communication, exploration of the individual, and better understanding of the situation. Which actually, in turn, is a very humanistic outcome as people are validated. To not understand this, means to offend, by inadvertently disregarding another’s subjective reality: a non-humanistic outcome.
To sum it up, everyone thinks they’re right, and possibly everyone (except for those with mental disorders) has a reason for the things that they do; people’s actions generally make sense to themselves. To put it another way, most people are consistent to what they believe: even if this means that they are not accurate as to what is actually happening.
The trick is understanding this about ourselves and then applying it to others as well.
Image found on images.google.com and gleaned (and altered) from: http://soulofaman-zbj.blogspot.com/2010/07/truth-be-toldmy-wife-is-excellent-cook.html
The ability to perceive both real and imaginary dangers is what has helped to define us as animals; the ability to understand the illusory nature of many of these dangers is what helps define us as humans.
No other animal, that I can think of, has the ability to question it’s own instinctive nature. Similarly, no other animal has the ability to confront its fears and question the validity of its own experience.
Illusion reminds us that we are animals: even if we have come such a long way. Likewise, the ability to recognize our own illusions helps us to realize that we are becoming more than mere animal; the fact that we know can know this, yet still fear the dark, shows we have a ways to go.
meme created by myself fom a photo search on images.google.com*
*E-How Contributor, . N.p.. Web. 2 May 2013. <http://www.ehow.com/how_2190917_cooperate-childs-punishment-from-school.html>.
Imagine you and I are playing a game of logic in which we have pitted wits against one another and the odds of success come down to a one in two chance of victory. You have two choices, one of which leads to success and the other to defeat. You have a 50% chance of victory, and a 50% chance of defeat…. or do you?
Given a completely random sequence of events you have a 50% chance of either, but what if I had fooled you into thinking that the incorrect piece is the correct one. Without obtaining absolute certainty, you may assume that you can go with the one that “seems” right as you have a 50% chance of being right the reality is that your odds may very well be less. You only have 50% chance if there is no influencing factors – a completely random guess. The fact that I have manipulated and influenced your decision makes it more likely that you will choose the wrong one. The reality is (for example) that you have a 80% chance of defeat and a 20% chance of victory – or whatever the odds are that you’ll go against your convictions or not. You are making an estimation of your knowledge and basing it on a 50% model, however unknown variables may exist and you must adjust to the possibility – you must consider the margin of error. In this situation, you would be better off maximizing certainty than working on probability alone.
Similarly, when exploring and writing down your thoughts there is an element of randomness which effects the overall veracity of the thought. As you go back to format your text this is lost.
A thought cant be truly expressed in a re-write. The very effort of re-thinking the structure adds corrupting variable to what was originally thought and thus the thought can never be the same. It can never truly be honest. As I format I began to think of how others mmay interpret my writing and immediately think of how to make it better presentable. Now the thought doesnt exist for the exploration of the thought, but for the purpose of making it pleasant. As I (unwittingly) change my core motivation, the original thought is gone. I’ll never truly say what I intended to say. Even if I go back and add to it, my thought patterns have changed.
Even worse, in the midst of writing, once I began to think of the impact of my writing, or who may read it, I influence the conscious stream of thought and change it’s motivation. Even if I manage to wade through my ego and find my way back, I can never with absolute certainty arrive solely where I was just before.
For many this is not important as the margin of error is so small that they feel it is inconsequential and that they can stay true enough to the meaning: and regarding most of the things in the world they are probably right.
The goal of expressive writing is to get to a place where you can explore your thoughts without considering yourself or others. This has become increasingly harder and harder to do in the public forum, but than again no one is twisting your arm to post everything you consider.
Bluffing. N.d. Photograph. http://blog.triplejack.com/?p=176Web. 24 Jun 2013.
Ghassan Salman Faidi [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
I would say that I have a focus on humanity for a few reasons: First of all, I’m human; secondly, there is a present-day possibility of what humans can do/become/experience that excites me more than the present day possibility of any other animal (at least as far as any potential which I’m aware of). Not saying that present day animals could not someday evolve a higher functioning brain, or that another species may arise with greater cognitive ability than humans, but that humans are unique in this manner, right now.
Let me explain #2: The unsuspected death of a dog (for instance) is a tragedy in the greater cosmic miracle of life: the odds that the species even survive, the fact that this particular unique organism lived, and the loss of potentiality to live a satisfying dog’s life (I’m sure that if able to make a cognitive choice, the dog would choose to live the best possible dog life it could). I could ask questions like “What would this dog have potentially done in its life? What level of pleasure could that dog have enjoyed? Or even simpler, what did the dog miss out on?” – If this could all be considered and turned into a value amount, than it could be aggregated along with the suffering (physical and mental) that the dog endures and I could come up with a reasonable understanding of the significance of the death of this dog.
Now, if a human dies in the same way, I would ask the same questions: “What would this person have potentially done in its life?” “What level of pleasure could that person have enjoyed?” Or even simpler, “what did the person miss out on?”. I think about things such as , the enlightenment experience of education, the ability to love, the pride of achievement, the anguish of loss transforming into the peace of acceptance, and so on and so on. To continue, the human also has the ability to contemplate those things which it does, bringing even greater value to them (ie. a dog can enjoy eating a bone, but can it derive more satisfaction from that experience by understanding its dog nature and that it has the ability to eat a bone?) The loss of any life is a tragedy, but how much more that of an organism that had the potential of self-actualization, and never realized it?
But value isn’t given simply by ability to perform (at least it shouldn’t be), I would also ask the question of suffering – “How much did the human endure that the dog may not have?” The human ability to ask and be tortured by questions like “why me?” make it tragically unique. A dog’s inability to contemplate its suffering could be considered a mercy.
To summarize all these things, I see unique potential in humanity that I don’t see in any other species. That to me is wondrous. It doesn’t mean that I love other life less, or think that other life is somehow not wondrous (it is!), but because I see the uniqueness of the human experience.