Thursday, July 26, 2012

D) Elementary Gods

Wisdom conceived by Grade One is interesting. Wise old Solomon's division of the baby can intrigue even a five year old. Yet now we may see ourselves at the bottom of the rung with a long uncertain ladder to finish school, let alone the certainty of attending a universe(ity). Elementary school, with Gradations to Six, makes for the separation of wheat from the chaff (an ugly term) full of the push and shove of potentialities colliding and fickleness of friendships being retested as we yet may make our way groundless as weights on lilly pads of expectations. But some are butterflies already emerged from the pupae, flitting from flower to flower in the gardens of potentiality. We call such, even as adults, angels. For others enduring foci may emerge; decisions not to like marmite, broccoli, or Penelope. I hate her comes trippingly off the tongue. Pathological lying can find foundation here too; it is easier to avoid truth when truth gets one beaten. Fear or Favor (an oversimplified dichotomy) reacts more and more steadily within us. Fight or flight. Left or right choices dictate our suffering or enjoying the consequences. Or not.

Consequentiality drives us. Even unto right now. In a Kohlberg stratification we can stay like babies, so unaffected by consequence as again to damage, steal and rape and lie and betray all over again once the jail of the crib, the leash, the lash, the imprisonment is removed. Self-centricity would equate this very first stage of undeveloped potentiality in adults with habitual models of mankind across the chalk boards of classrooms every where. Such a self-centric first stage is a very different behavior, Meme, or modality than the self-efficacy of civil disobedience. Plato would have it that many only see shadows for reality. Thoreau would rather that we sit face to face with authenticity. And awareness of our effect on others becomes our ego-centricity, that necessary trait in order for us to be commensurate, to commiserate, and to dance with society. But some of us (teachers like Kohlberg, Dabrowski, or Clare Graves will say) never may get past these layerings of the Elementary grades. We endemically predominantly practice left or right choices. Even our very morality is predicated on such. We do what we do because we believe in those who've taught us that this is the way to think, to do, to believe, to see, to feel, to marry, to judge, to condemn, to love, to listen, to entrench, to war. And we can hardly believe that Grade One through Six has so very many computations and permutations (a most academic sounding phrase to convince an apprehensive clarity).

"In Grade One we were arranged in rows, according to how 'bright' we were. There were the Turtles, the Sparrows, the Squirrels and the Bluebirds! Oh, to be a Bluebird, but I think I was a Squirrel. Only later did it dawn on me how sad it was for those poor kids in the Turtle row. There was no moving up for them. How long did that label stick to them?" writes Jessie.

Our very beings, predicated on the body-culture of our perceptions of ourselves as gleaned from the reactions we habituate ourselves toward in the perpetual classroom of life, can set us up into adulthood with a conceptual belief that who we are and what we acquire in Elementary school is sufficient for our needs. Who needs more? And thereby psychically, spiritually, and potentially, we no longer evolve much past the fundamental premises inculcated in us by the elementary lessons we perceive always to be around us. Who needs more? Being meta-cognitive requires too much comfort with perpetual uncertainty. And anyway, your thoughts are too dense! Can you not just say it simply?

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