You cannot wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. Attributed to a Navajo proverb
Most of the things we need to be most fully alive never come in busyness. They grow in rest. Mark Buchanan
I love pretending—wishful thinking and feeling. There is a certain amount of viable benefit from such an endeavor that can go beyond entertainment and transfer into objective reality. Think airplanes for instance.
However, pretending one has a grip on objective reality when one does not, is a trainwreck waiting to happen. And thinking one has a grip on their subjective reality when they do not, makes getting anything right a challenge.
For some time, the go-to change mechanism seemed to be a certain amount of crashing into a wall before a real examination could get underway. However, the crash or collapse bit is a tattered argument—any real change does not require blood on the ground. Still, change will mean an ecological shift for certain and for those who are doomsday preppers, a lot of back-patting will ensue should doomsday arrive. But whether dumbsday or doomsday, no real change will be forthcoming.
We can and do pretend to be aggrieved. Such a feeling can be quite motivating. But when we’re intent on the assassin-mode, we’re intent on accomplishing the exact opposite of what we want to bear fruit. If we can see that, we’re ready for a new start. But that’s why any new start is still bumbling along.
We all know that too much or too little of a good thing is an overcorrection, not a solution. Yet we indulge, as though it’s the only tool we’ve got. Ever wonder why we keep doing what doesn’t much work, even if some cultures have codified a pretty good set of guidelines?
The Story Corner: Dangerous Encounters with Perception
Remorse is the foundation of morality. Peter Hershock on the tradition of Chinese koans
Supposing life is bad when it looks different than we think it should, is a bit of arrogance.
In the beginnings of individuality and culture interacting, a path was developed that embraced false negatives, though that was not the intent—safety was. We might call such a society one that would cry wolf when there was none or claim the sky was falling when it was not so. Better to be wrong than dead was the guiding principle. The principle seemed so reasonable that it went unquestioned.
In another individuality and culture interaction, a path was developed that embraced false positives, though that was not the intent—happiness was. We might call such a society one that would not worry so much about threatening wolves or skies falling, but learn, instead, how to turn such interpretations and such events into a positive. Better to be happy than to lament or worry was the guiding principle. The principle seemed so reasonable that it went unquestioned.
In yet another manifestation of individuality and culture interacting, a path was developed that embraced belief, though the intent was not to live in LaLa Land, it was to embrace the unknowable. We might call such a society one that embraced religion, though it was not the intent to embrace illusion or delusion—it was that right living led to an afterlife far better than life on the planet. As there was clearly more than what meets the eye and that humanity was not in charge of everything, the principle of higher power seemed so reasonable that questions were allowed, but failure to believe was not.
In still another iteration of individuality and culture interacting, a path was developed that embraced true positives and true negatives. The intent was clear: get it right. We might call such a society one that would examine the underpinnings of both individuality and culture to ferret-out right action. This required more than just right or wrong as context proved that much of morality was dynamic and to get it right, required individual pondering and peer review. We might call such a society one that is “scientific” in its approach. The principle of examination, adaptation, and accommodation seemed so obvious, that it was thought all the bases had been covered—good living was better found in this method.
Still, in another individuality and culture interaction, a path was developed that embraced moderation and avoided constant overcorrections. That culture had learned that too little action could be counter-productive, but it had also learned that too much action was also counter-productive. This moderate approach was not strident, as all knew the value of fun and irony, and being thrown off balance was important (think carnival rides or comedy), but not sufficient.
These individuals and that culture also knew that individuality was necessary, but not sufficient. And they knew that culture was necessary, but not sufficient. Who could afford their own highway for instance? But to share costs beneficial to all, no one entity could control the benefits. Checks and balances were necessary for all to have and to thrive as opposed to get and to keep.
These individuals and that culture also had learned that over-corrections could lead to dehumanization. This was clearly not productive. Those categorized as weak or meek, were not so if they joined together and said “no.” Those categorized as strong and powerful by means of force, knew little about adjusting except for adding more strength and power. But if they could not force capitulation, those who were mighty, took a mighty fall.
This culture knew it took courage to be gentle and inclusive—to be both a citizen and an individual. And they knew that such courage was never insipid. They had learned to not steer wildly, even if it looked necessary.
It was a hard learning, though such hard learning was not required any more than it required blood to make a change. Nonetheless, many had died and many cultures had fallen and many ancestors had waited long to be able to breathe again, and to do so freely. And that release allowed the art of pretending to be as it was meant to be: playful and perhaps a prelude to growth, but not to getting lost again, though getting misplaced still happened. But that was a useful happening, as was it all.
Interesting what can happen when we stop fighting life.