On Vision — Nuances from Spirit and Complexity

A good friend, Caitlin Frost, asks yesterday through email for ideas about teaching vision and working with vision. She’s smart on her own. She’s also smart to ask.

I respond quickly, delightfully distracted by her question, and putting aside my current todo list. Nuances of spirit, of the unseen often take me like this.

“One of the things I’m leaning into these days is the ‘arrival’ of vision, not just the ‘creating’ of it. As you say, connected to emergence. I encourage the group to ‘look away’ from some intense thinking and see what ‘sticks.’ Or give them multiple modalities. I love the way that drawing, for instance, changes the impression (true for ‘non-artists’ also). I want them to welcome it to arrive — not just work at it.”
I love, and need, approaches rooted in discernment and a self-organizing premise. It’s related to, but different from tenacity. Gut feel is related to, but different than powering up for thirty more pushups. Discernment and self-organizing trusts a natural process (water runs down hill). It’s an alternative to more engineering (you can make water run uphill; it just might not be the most simple way).
Chris Corrigan also responded. Chris knows as much as anyone I know about working from a complexity framework.

You can have a vision of a full bath tub of steaming hot water. You can have a vision of making your home run on rain water alone. You can have a vision of safe drinking water for all humans.

The first is simple, short term and you have all the tools and abilities to make it happen.

The second is more complicated and you require a few experts to make it happen, but with the right people and resources, you can achieve it.

The third is not up to you. It is a complex and adaptive system. You may be motivated by a desire to see safe drinking water for all humans but you are unlikely to achieve it because it is a complex problem. Intention can make a difference here and instead of working TOWARDS a tangible vision you can work FROM an intention and guide your actions against that.

Read the rest of Chris’ post here.

Nuances can make all of the difference. Often with things that are presumed that “we all know,” including words that are so common like vision.

Thanks friends. It’s good to walk the path together.

Mind Twist on “Self”

My favorite movies are ones in which it’s hard to tell what is real. Ones in which a grand illusion accepted as fact is debunked, or at minimum challenged. When time bends. When alternate dimensions are portrayed as real. “The Matrix” is one that I’ve enjoyed for that reason (blue pill, red pill). “Inception” is another (which layer of dream are we in). “Coherence,” though a little less known, is another (parallel universes). I love the twist that occurs in me. The temporary amplification of “what if, what if” that entertains the notion that reality is a semi-consensual distortion.

Dave Pollard, is one of the people I know that is most able to bend reality with thought. To twist perception. And, I believe he’s genuine in it. Not sensational. He is really wondering. Really daring himself to live as if.

And example of Dave’s twisting is from a recent post, “10 Things That Are Less Complicated Than They Might Seem.” Dave frequently makes distinctions between what is complicated and what is complex. It’s a distinction I often find myself working with in groups. And in this case, Dave takes on the notion of “self” and what if that notion of self is overplayed. A distortion. It’s tricky, right. I can’t quite figure it out, which might be the point. It pushes a few buttons in me. But something in this orientation and ability to debunk, even for a moment, feels attractive and important.

Here’s a sample. Read his full post for further twisting.

Thanks Dave.

Becoming a better person: If you are going to become, in your own judgement and/or the judgement of others, a better person, that will happen despite any volition on “your” part. There is, fortunately, no “you” — what appears to be a separate person with choice and free will is a mirage, a hallucination, a dis-ease, an unfortunate and accidental evolutionary misstep that emerged along with large, underutilized brains. This has nothing to do with predestination or fate. There is an apparent character that “you” think you inhabit and control, but what that character apparently does has nothing to do with “you” — the brain just conveniently rationalizes the character’s apparent actions after the fact in a way that lets “you” believe those actions were “your” choice and decision. So go easy on your self — the character in whose apparent watery bag of organs you believe you reside will do what it will do. You should assume no responsibility, and take no credit or blame for any of it. In fact, “your” presence most likely interferes with the character doing its best. Nothing for “you” to do, really. Easy, huh?