Thursday, July 1, 2021

Putting the Care into Communication

In essence, relationships are about communication and the effects that result therefrom. This applies from the lowliest quark interaction to grandest galactic interconnections. Somewhere in between, human relationships invoke the experience brought together by our minds and bodies.  When these complex systems interact, our lives may bloom or wither to varying degrees. 

Recognizing the human system as complex is important; millions of evolutionary years have gone into programming much of our base reactions. Nevertheless, we are not a prisoner to our natural origins; maturity in communication arises from learning and experience.  This does not mean maturity ignores base feelings; instead, it involves integrating emotional sensation and intellectual experience into the whole of being.

Feelings, in particular, may blind one in the moment. The desire to fight or take flight can be irresistible when negative feelings arise. Walking away for a short time may be the best action when emotions become overwhelming. Take a short period to reflect, and factor in your base and higher responses with what you perceive is meaningful to the other person. Don't let the fear of confrontation derail the process for too long, as such silences can suffocate the other in feelings of abandonment. Even leaving a note to indicate you care and just need some time to process can be a significant part of a mature initial response.  

Understanding your triggers and trying to understand those of your counterpart can be part of this contemplation. Whether a friendship or a romance is on the line, using deep empathy in the communication process can assist you to see the joy and pain potentials on both sides. Take this useful information and integrate it into conversation. Sometimes the communication method itself can be a trigger, as some people are less comfortable having such intense conversations in real time. An exchange of written thoughts can serve as an ice breaking mechanism. If your connection is purely online or remote, this may suffice, but ultimately the conversation should manifest as closely and as in-person as both parties feel comfortable. To that end, the ongoing relationship level reflection the mutuality that is desired on both sides.

Sometimes communication fails, usually derailing on one side. This effectively cuts the communication line, and can cause distress, especially for the one who feels they had no choice in it. Conscious or not, this is effectively a demonstration of power, not compassion. Ideally, a respectful resolution of issues between both parties is the desired outcome, permitting the relationship to continue or subsided. Alas, this isn't always the case, and an unresolved dispute may leave one or both people feeling hurt. When this type of impasse is reached one mature option could be to make a compassionate gesture wishing the other well. It may seem trite, but all can benefit if kindness gets the final word in a final farewell.

In the end, relationships are about sharing with those around us. If we share memes that are joyful and rational, the world will tend to copy and spread those good memes.  Each of us is part of and participant to the imperfect Universe, that we may wax within it with earnest intention. As such, our intentions have significant inertia to overcome and significant opportunity. If we make an effort to care and understand we will not only get better at it, we just might sway the hearts of others for the better as well. 

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Mission Achievement 101

Born into a world of complication we each pursue a personal journey. Projecting our vision, uplifted by our talents and within the constraints of our life we pursue a many fold path perhaps to change the world a tad, perhaps to create something amazing, or in the very least to construct experiences that feel satisfying.

Who can say what has stirred the bottom our individual visions, but ourselves. Traditions passed down for generations, an inspiring documentary or fictional account, a well reasoned desire to be part of a positive civilization. The variety of sources humans draw upon to fuel their life works is endless. One might even speculate the cause effect chain recedes atomically back to the moment of the Big Bang. Yet in our mortal lives we are touched most by our experiences, and the unique combination of thoughts and feelings that underlie the daily objectives we pursue.

How we pursue those dreams is also a unique mix of skill, available resources, especially time, and the constraints before us. In many cases we hone our perceived talents and then apply them to our vision as we can. For many if not most, the practicality of living within modern society takes first priority. The learning and skill achievement guided out of necessity to feed ourselves and the choice to pursue a family or acquire property or support a community. Education of many varieties serve as the matrix that scaffolds the pyramid of nested abilities that each human erects for themselves. To what extent each individual pursues their dreams both real and phantom, will be judged directly and indirectly by society, ones community and ones self.  

Accomplishing things in life is like so many things, a personal endeavor. There is no set linear progression or protocol standard than can ensure success. Nations, religions, self-help books, and academic institutions make those promises all the time, and to a degree may deliver. Ultimately, the individual must step forward, perhaps climbing the stairs of established societal patterns, or perhaps bouldering up a hillside not yet explored. In all likelihood, each of us will find our own path, garnering our skills along the way to sculpt a life full of positive experience that we can call our own.

Seize the day!

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Marriage Between Earth and Humankind

The civilization we're born into sets expectations. It's essentially an arranged marriage from the start. From an economic perspective the traditional hope has been that each human will play a proactive part in the regional pyramid scheme. The human hegemony on Earth has only been active for a few thousand years and yet total domination by our species is pretty much in place. Promises of pleasure, prestige, and power have all contributed to the ongoing proliferation of humankind. 

At the evolutionary level our bodies tell us to survive using all tools possible. At the family level procreation and loving respect fuel the drive. At the community level competition and tribalism incentivize our efforts. At the regional level nation state engines rally its people to produce at ever increasing rates to secrete opiates that entertain and empower the primal mind and collective.

As such, to date individuals generally ride currents of influence from all these traditional sources. Love of gods, of government, of family, of wealth, of career are all vertebrae of the backbone of civilization. If our goal is to build and sustain heaven on Earth, a biodiverse, planetary environment within which all Life can thrive, then the human hegemony model must be designed. Evolution moves too slow.

To achieve that end, civilization and the human mind need a metamorphosis. Imagine a world where each human is educated to the fullest with the end goal to contribute to a healthy planet; a world where every vocation plays its part in reaching and maintaining an Earthly paradise of living things. 

Who am I kidding, Civilization and Evolution are in cahoots. Humanity is the ultimate invasive species, spawning and consuming at every turn. Each human a cancer cell bent on its own salvation. The Earth is at the mercy of a paradigm that eschews compassion and reason for self gain and tribal pursuits.

It may take a few thousand more years, but it's a pretty good bet that we'll trash the ecosystem, and take ourselves with it. It's been a good run, and the Earth has the unwitting resolve to survive its divorce from humankind. In a few tens of million years, the Anthropocentric Epoch will a layer of sediment under a freshly evolving new order.


Friday, June 11, 2021

Spectrum Reflections

"Life is problems. Living is solving problems"- anonymous

Everything occurs on a spectrum. 

There really is no black and white except in abstraction. Even a lightbulb that is off at room temperature radiates light as atoms above absolute zero shed infrared photons that our eyes don't detect. A light switch is flicked an the electrical hardware makes differential contact over thousands of microseconds causing the alternating current waves to thrust out along the wire to gradually over milliseconds heat up the bulb element to rising high temperature and illuminate non-linearly spreading light particles around at fantastic, but finite speeds. Perhaps at t minus one second the room was relatively dark and at t plus one second uniformly lit, but the continuum of observation demonstrates just how dynamic that two second interval is. And yet the human mind in its hurried journey through the day will describe the room as dark or lighted.

Such is the brain's evolutionary power. It can observe and analyze and categorize in a moment surrounding phenomena and then activate responses to benefit survival. Of course, modern humans have time to consider more deeply the occurrence of these phenomena as in my light bulb example. Yet humans still employ irrational analysis often, if only because rationality itself occurs on a spectrum. A movie with a jump scare scene, for instance, activates a reflexive cringe of fright predominantly for entertainment, stroking the neurons of fear to create a thrilling experience.

Thus is the challenge of humanity, to reign in its inherited evolutionary traits, so that in all wakes of life we can ride the enchantment of living without deception undermining the balance. So as we seek knowledge, love, and the whole spectrum of human experience, we need to take care that we aren't misled down a path where abstraction walks us and the world over a cliff. 

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Deadline Verse

A short haiku to celebrate the Howl at the Moon Open Mic Event in Stuart, FL
(participation currently both in person and via Zoom)

Hone Your Verbal Craft

Share in the Howl Connection

Imprint Memories

Additionally, I've started a mini project of crafting poems that stem from dreams
(inspired by artist Corina Pelloni's Book of Teeth)

Impossible challenges
Require supernatural actors
Resurrecting love is especially difficult
Enter Leroy, a zombie channeler
His minions shift through junkyard muck
A pristine GTO supercharger found
One step closer to rebuilding
The car of your dreams

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Trinity of Purpose

"Be True to Me, Non-self and the Why." - anonymous

Brainstorming the purpose behind everyday motivation in life, it seems to me there are three primary drives. The drive for self, the drive for others, and the drive for the thing itself. These modes of purpose operate in overlap with each other creating a more robust motivational behavior.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we do many things primarily for selfish reasons. Much of this is evolutionary, supporting our daily survival, our mental well being, and even our genetic transcendence. The obvious selfish acts fulfill the senses we've evolve to ensure good nutrition, bonding with family, seeking mates and entertainment. Even much altruism can be traced back to defending the self by reinforcing the tribe for survival the self.

Yet, altruism can reach beyond any realized or perceived self preservation. As humans we can be transformed by our ideals. Thus once we become a protector of the environment, there may be some benefit for the self or tribe, but we can transcend to caring for the thing for the sake of its own survival. This, of course, can manifest in the love for other individuals too (human and non-human). When we put the well being of another truly ahead of ourselves, our motivational purpose centers on the external.

Abstract ideas themselves can be motivation as well. Ideals, feelings, knowledge, adventure, etc. can be motivational beyond self and others. Indeed, pursuing these abstractions often can provide benefit to self and others, but they can manifest as entities in and of themselves. The pursuit of ethics, information, or experiences for the betterment of the abstraction is itself in this case motivational. 

Together these three modes combine to influence our purposefulness in life. Motivations can, however, mislead us too if we don't keep goodness in mind. A good rule of thumb is to justify both the means AND ends of ones pursuits. In this way, a feedback loop of assessment of ones actions can be made toward achieving ever better purposes.