Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Simple Sighman and The Pieman

Simple thing, this living. You take nothing personally, you choose words impeccably, you assume nothing about everything, and you do your best with what you have and where you're at. That's it. No muss, no fuss. No controlling of others. No ulterior motives. No in-authenticity. No complications. Simple!

And then there's living. We want things. We need things. We desire. We dislike, despise, and denounce. We have passion, certain insight, experience, and un-deniable facts. We cannot let someone take our identity away. We each are unique. And yet...

Yet we apportion ourselves (and others) into neat striations of pie-charts and colo(u)r bands and 
Hierarchical-Templates. We adhere to Astrology. (Cosmology, naturally, appears too complex). We give ourselves birth signs and labels. We perpetuate the fragmentation of an ‘I’ versus ‘You’, and an ‘US’ versus ‘Them’. Each of us is an individual! Yet we at the same time look for bands and congregations and collaborations of people to whom we can give our accord. Birds of a feather flock together¹. "A fish and a bird may marry, but how will they live together."² And we participate in pogroms, in divisiveness, and party memberships. How else to be a Donkey or an Elephant? How else to be a Bear or a Dragon? How does one be a Beaver or a Loon? What country shall I say I originate from? Just who am I?

There are sufficient questionnaires developed to derive an answer. Who are you? Vocational counselors will give you advice. So will your parents, your family, or your church. Psychologists will have you check-in your Family Constellations. Psychiatrists will assess your very chemistry. And your culture will give you an accent, a set of conditioned expectations, and even a birth-right. Your identification papers, your numbers (especially your SIN number) will give you a social insurance against being ‘a-nobody’. (Imagine being a refugee, sans papers, sans proof, sans money, sans ability fluently to speak a new language?) What if you were sans technology let alone manual-skills-sophistication? Imagine taking a Kalahari Bushman and dropping him in New York?

And yet some charts will have you left without hope in their strange delineations of identity. Like looking at a map of the world and realizing you've only ever lived in one city. Perhaps you've been lucky enough to travel a bit; seen some of the world. But at the end of the day, you and I both resort to the life we know, the life in our immediate surrounds. Naturally. And so it is with Intelligences, we presume, especially as delineated in Howard Gardiner's heuristics. We resort to using one of them, predominantly. At issue is, depending on our way of viewing things, is there a chance we might not develop, exercise, or strain our other faculties? Do we have to get our 'knickers in a knot'? Must we be anxious when the occasion does not suit us? Must we give up when stretched beyond apparent capacity? Where's our entelechy, our inner drive?3 And worse, must we adjudge others when we see them not able to do what we (so readily) can do?

Thing is, at any time we forget we are a “whole human being”4, or worse, that so is another, we create for ourselves a microcosm of myopia, malcontent, and miscegenation. We are a murder of crows, a gaggle of geese, a babble of sheep. We cease to think truly independently. We cease to realize we are multiplicitous, multifarious, and universal. As such we easily become less global, less provincial, and even less countrified. We descend into the relative obscurity of a citizen of the city, un-noticing and unnoticed as we get counted among the moving masses; a bland face without being recognized as "petals on a wet black bough."5

You see, life ain't so simple after all. After all, which part of Everything is not? (Sigh?)

1. Holland's Theory
2. Tevye (Fiddler on The Roof)
3. Morrie (Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom
4. Essential Entelechy (http://mrpswords.blogspot.ca/2016/05/essential-entelechy.html)
5. Ezra Pound

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