Archive for August 2010

Closed Garden

August 28, 2010

There is a classic Hebrew children song called “Gan Sagur” (Translated – closed nursery school).
This afternoon I was out with R, and I showed her the nursery she would be going to next year, and it was locked.
Needless to say, she was so heartbroken that she burst out crying.
At least we managed to sing the song together, and she cheered up a little. (She even told me she wasn;t sad anymore).
What a magnificent child.

on thinking alone and with friends

August 26, 2010

We hosted Mario Gil Medrano today.
Was quite a pleasure.
His insights are always solid, and delivered in a quiet manner.
What a change from my usual mode of thinking.
Thanks again, Mario.

Langbeheimian Comments – Distinguishing BALANCE from LOVE

August 24, 2010

One comment – in general, when I use the word “analyze” in these posts, I mean “initial survey and definition thereby for future reference”. This does not mean that someone who thinks firstly logically does not or cannot use or access his or her emotions and intuitions, rather that it is the FIRST ANALYSIS. This, too, I shall explain in a later post.

“The third type is not distinct enough from the second type – they both have an intuitive linking grasp. Why does the third rely on emotion, and where?”
“The quote at the start of the third part about love is not completely clear to, and I don’t think it is explained later.”

I am afraid that I may have not been as clear as I should have been. The third type for me is quite distinct from the second type, and if that wasn’t clear, then my apologies – and hereby an attempt at amending this situation. The reason I have not posted earlier is double – weariness in the evenings and an unclear answer in my head. I think that a discussion today helped me clarify this issue (thank you, Ilan).
As I wrote,”I did not explain the issue of emotion enough, I will explain this further, thanks.”, so here goes:

To compare the three viewpoints:
The TRUTHFULNESS perspective looks straight at an issue, unwaveringly. People of this type analyze a situation LOGICALLY, often in “black-and-white” terms, and their solutions for situations are usually straightforward, crystal clear, and taken one step at a time. The way to arrive from point A to point B is the question they pose when analyzing the situation in the first place.
The BALANCE perspective looks at the interrelatedness of the issue. People of this type analyze a situation INTUITIVELY, often in terms of connectivity, linkage, and TENSION. This word came up a lot today in the conversation I mentioned earlier, with Ilan, who is – in my opinion – very much a person who views the world in this way. The viewpoint is a bird’s eye view, where the direction you are going in is not as important as the effects an action has on its environment – and I mean that in the widest sense of the word. In explaining a situation, he insisted that all you have to do is see the bigger picture in order to understand the tensions that exist, ad absurdum, even. Why do I call this intuitively? Because when I pushed him for proof on this subject (as I have done with other people of this type on similar issues) – and it simply doesn’t exist, he does not FEEL the connections, but rather he assumes at the level of belief that they can be found in the future – and that he can even guess or surmise how they will be. This is an aspect of intuition, not emotion, and clearly not logic.
The LOVE perspective looks at the patterns. People of this type analyze a situation EMOTIONALLY. Why do I use this term, and neither ‘logically’ nor ‘intuitively’? Because patterns are not truly inherent in an a-priori manner, nor are they guesses. They are based on an aesthetic evaluation.
Of course, if one sees how a pattern works, the next time that person encounters that pattern, he can assume that the pattern will work again in a similar manner – and that is logical. Also, if the pattern is known, then the relations this pattern has to other patterns or to other subject matter can be intuited.
However, seeing the pattern itself is an AESTHETIC matter, one of EMOTION, of how we feel that it resonates, reverberates, etc.

And now, to continue this explanation by explaining the usage of the quotes at the beginning of said piece:
Perhaps I should have used other quotes, such as Einstein’s “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious,” or Nietzsche’s “Nothing is beautiful, only man: on this piece of naivete rests all aesthetics, it is the first truth of aesthetics. Let us immediately add its second: nothing is ugly but degenerate man – the domain of aesthetic judgment is therewith defined,” or maybe Octovio Paz: “Art is an invention of aesthetics, which in turn is an invention of philosophers… What we call art is a game.”
But what I tried to show was the pattern I see which repeats itself throughout the world. Instead of explaining the quote, I was (apparently) hoping that the jump I make would be obvious to others. But this, obviously, was an inaccurate assumption.
When I quoted wiki about beauty, that it “engender[s] a salient experience of positive reflection about the meaning of one’s own existence. A subject of beauty is anything that resonates with personal meaning,” I should have, perhaps, stressed the issues of REFLECTION and RESONANCE based on PERSONAL MEANING.
Similar issues appear in the wiki quote about Love, with the addition that it is “the basis for all being (“God is love”), and the foundation for all divine law (Golden Rule).” And regarding the quote on resonance, I should have stressed the “tendency of a system to oscillate [at certain] frequencies”, in addition to noting that their is the issue of being in agreement.
To bring it all together – the patterns this type of person almost automatically sees is based on the ability to sense these tendencies, and from that viewpoint to see the laws that these resonant effects have or share. The personal aspect of this is the basis for all such sights, and is also the basis for laws. When we set a punishment for a crime (25 years to life for murder 1, for instance), we make an aesthetic judgment based on our FEELINGS. (And yes, I am thinking of the Mikado’s “Make the Punishment Fit the Crime”.)

I do hope this clarifies this issue enough. If not – I will be happy (and I mean really happy, writing this piece actually caused me much joy) to answer.

And, just for fun, two Einstein quotes for the end:
“Everything is determined by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust – we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.” And “After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in aesthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are always artists as well.”

Intro to the Langbeheimian Comments

August 23, 2010

This is a translation of a back-and-forth that happened on Facebook after the third post (on LOVE).
Based on this conversation, I will create posts, but I thought it would be nice for people to see how these posts were generated.
SL = Shachar Langbeheim; JBL = yours truly

SL: Firstly, the third type is not distinct enough from the second type – they both have an intuitive linking grasp. Why does the third rely on emotion, and where?
Secondly, I don’t understand why the 3 peoples are different – what prevents someone from holding two of the approaches, or even all three?
Thirdly, does every person belong to one of the categories? And how can you distinguish to which category a person belongs?
And many more questions which ultimately lead to “why are you writing this? What is your purpose?

JBL: Thanks – I will expand on the distinction between these two peoples – especially since the second uses intuition more and the third emotion more. I did not explain the issue of emotion enough, I will explain this further, thanks.
So far, every person I have met fits only one of the categories.
How do you distinguish? Mainly based on his use of language.
What blocks it? I will get to that later, I will only say that I do not know that there is strong blockage, but rather that the only person I met who is close to two of them is insane, and I don’t think he is truly in two of the categories.
Why am I writing? Because I have a theory that if we can identify this issue well, we can improve communications between people, and my theory necessitates going through these stages first.
Please write all your questions – as you can see, I try to relate to all of them.

SL: But also has absolutely everyone you met fit into a category, or are there people who are not covered by this division?
Are there practical implications to the division? Are there things certain types of people should do – others they should avoid?
And in this context, the quote at the start of the third part about love is not completely clear to, and I don’t think it is explained later.
When you say “based on his use of language” what do you mean? If someone grew up with parents who belong to a different category will s/he speak unlike his/her parents?

JBL: Everyone I’ve met so far fits one of the categories.
Yes and no – I will get into this. It’s more an issue of attitude towards life – not a should/shouldn’t do, rather likelihood they will act or think in a certain way.
True, the quote is not explained suitably, I will explain it better in what shall be called “Langbeheimian comments”
About language – that definitely can be the case. I met a young woman whose whole family (father, mother and sister) speak one way – of TRUTHFULNESS (the first type) and she is completely in the third group. The father is a businessman, the sister is studying business, and they simply think that way. This young woman is an active film person, and the rest of her family has a problem understanding her. I believe it innate, but have no proof at all for this.

What do I mean? I will explain this in a later post, since your comments demand much of me, and I want to live up to my expectations on this matter. In any case, I will try to elaborate on the issue of language from a practical perspective in the next few days; hopefully, that will clarify this issue.
However – and this is a teaser – the way people use words is different for each type. I described them, without giving examples, in my posts, but in short – the TRUTHFULNESS people strive for truth in conversation, the BALANCE strives for interconnectedness, and LOVE strives for beauty and metaphors.
I hope this helps, for now.
By the way, I met an interesting case – a person who thinks according to LOVE, and admits it, but who constructed around himself a language of TRUTHFULNESS, and therefore has a serious internal conflict.

sooo tired

August 22, 2010

spent over 2 hours with R.
am exhausted.
brain there, body not

on being tired

August 19, 2010

an apology for those following my chain of thought.
Sometimes one can be too tired to articulate correctly.

Thanks to Herr Langbeheim, I have to answer questions – many of them.
I may not answer them today.

Love (Beauty, or Resonance) – the basis for creation

August 18, 2010

According to Bahá’í scripture, Love is the basis for God’s creation of mankind. I paraphrase that into “Love is the basis for creation”.
According to wiki, “In its most profound sense, beauty may engender a salient experience of positive reflection about the meaning of one’s own existence. A subject of beauty is anything that resonates with personal meaning.” Also, “Love is the emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. In religious context, love is not just a virtue, but the basis for all being (“God is love”), and the foundation for all divine law (Golden Rule).” And, somehow connected, “resonance is the tendency of a system (usually a linear system) to oscillate with larger amplitude at some frequencies than at others.” This leads to “[acoustic] resonance of a stiff structural element, called the basilar membrane within the cochlea of the inner ear, allows hair cells on the membrane to detect sound. ” It also means reverberant, rapport (being in agreement), and it is the quality imparted to voiced speech sounds by the action of the resonating chambers of the throat and mouth and nasal cavities.

And, related to this, Immanuel Kant wrote three related treatises – the Critique of Pure Reason, which I parallel to an understanding of TRUTHFULNESS, the Critique of Practical Reason, which concentrates on ethics and which I parallel to an understanding of JUSTICE/BALANCE, and the Critique of Judgment, which investigates aesthetics and teleology. Obviously, this I relate to Beauty/Resonance/Love. Again, I do not wish to enter a debate on teleology or aesthetics in and of themselves, but rather look at the perspective I have encountered in others.

And in this case, also in myself.

The name “love” with which I have tagged this perspective alone hints to the fact that it is connected to emotions first and foremost. However, the word Resonance does not imply this at all. In fact, what I mean by using this term is that this sort of person identifies similar patterns associatively. When facing a problem, a dilemma, or some new situation, this character will suddenly remember something else from a completely different scene and connect the dots to this one. If dealing with an issue in fund-raising, this individual will suddenly mention something they read about physics (No, I am not kidding. I saw this happen.), and then tie it in. And when I use the word Beauty it is because these individuals praise highly the subjective aspect of human existence, and it enthralls them.

Another reason I have given all three titles to this perspective is because each comes from a different realm, each overlaps in certain ways, and each deals with a subjective intake of input and handling thereof.

Individuals of this sort will be those who solve a problem by borrowing from other, seemingly disconnected areas, who describe the solution colorfully, and who leave those who don’t think in the same way with their mouths open – not in awe, but more like in a “What the-?” pose.

The language these people use is based on metaphor. A friend of this nature who visited recently said his depression was like a back pain that’s always there. Yes it hurts, but one learn to live with it. Classic for this type of person. And the art they create uses patterns to reveal deeper truths about the human condition, such as “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” and “The Great Gatsby”.

If the human psyche can be divided into logic, emotion and intuition, clearly the middle one is that which they hone in on.

I believe that the LOVE/BEAUTY/RESONANCE people of the world are great at seeing the intrinsic patterns of things. I met a young woman who thought like this in South Africa, although the other members of her family were much more in the realm of TRUTHFULNESS. Her father had sent her to the Odyssey Program in order to re-create communications. Her biggest problem was that she got it all so quickly – as she does anything which involves copying patterns from one realm to another, that when we got to the last step – of setting warning signposts – which are not determined by pattern but completely by individual, unique circumstance – she encountered difficulty.

There is so much more to add about how these three can work together, but my brain is slightly fried. (I completed a 10-page document today.) So, guess what?
More on this tomorrow.