Some people take it in stride… this is how it is, no matter who you are. Einstein had moments of brilliance… and hours, days of stupidity too.
If life were not like that, brilliant/stupid alternating, there would be no life on the planet… we would all die of exhaustion.
Brilliance is not the only “peak experience” we all crave and wand to keep around all the time. So we are with pretty, and nice, and helpful, and all the other made up “solutions” to our failings… And, as I have said before, every solution is the beginning of a bigger problem.
I got raped because I was stupid, I said.
So the solution was to get smart… But, surprisingly, smart did not extend to actually knowing what people wanted, and also did not extend to knowing the invisible dynamics of reality… so I got nearly raped a dozen more times later in life.
You cannot satisfactorily solve a problem you don’t fully understand. And, maybe even more importantly, you cannot solve a problem that is not real.
When I say “not real”, I mean: made up. Invented. Construed.
In the Playground program we learn how to tell reality and “not-reality” apart. Distinguish them, one from the other.
It’s been almost impossible for participants to understand even the concept. Instead of real… they try to substitute other words, like valid, or true… but those, valid, true, have no relevance to the question: is this real or is this made up?
To distinguish reality, I have introduced the vantage point of a freshly arrived Martian’s, a dude who doesn’t know earthen languages, comes from a different culture, and has no idea what the earth culture considers good or bad.
The Martian can see, it can hear, but it cannot interpret like you do.
And people were happy with this method… “Oh, ok. if the Martian cannot see it, cannot hear it, then it’s easy… pretty much nothing is ever happening in reality.” In that reality there is, for example, no yelling, only talking loud. No storm only snow falling.
And although that is closer to the truth than what you have been honoring as reality, it is incomplete. There has to be more… more of reality… reality that you can understand, so you can live intelligently.
Intelligence is how well you can acquire and apply knowledge and skills.
So, to round out what is in reality, I start to teach the “invisible dynamics of reality”… and people love that too… “groovy, babe” but cannot connect it to the distinction “reality” itself.
My hunch is that at some point in human history reality got bastardized, and been reduced to some concept… and therefore it has lost its validity for the students.
When two distinctions, two concepts, two pieces of knowledge don’t connect, this fact makes for a fragmented world view… as if your face and your profile view weren’t of the same person.
You consider them separate… nothing seems to connect them, even though they are the same thing viewed from a different angle.
So, presently, in the Playground, I am battling that dissonance, that inability to see the two as the same.
I am an architect by training, and for me it is natural to look at things from different vantage point, the floor plan, the elevation or façade, are showing the same building… and I have no problem seeing it and treating it as such. Seeing that changing, for example the floor plan, will change the elevation.
But for many, maybe for most people this is an intelligence, this is a capacity that is missing.
A master mechanic student in the Playground shared yesterday that when, in the shop where he works, he gets diagrams from the manufacturer on new design of an engine, he gets all flummoxed by the drawings, and can only comprehend the new design buy taking the actual motor apart.
This same student has taken on learning to play the guitar in his 20-day learning challenge. Why this is good? Because in teaching himself the guitar, he has to look at symbols on diagrams, in two dimensions, and translate it to your hand positions… and that is starting to awaken, develop the missing capacity of seeing the same things from different perspectives.
My prediction is that this student will be the first to crack the puzzle of “reality” and “invisible reality”, and if we are lucky, he will be able to explain it to the ones who are more on his general education/knowledge level than me… I don’t know what magic words to use.
Here is another way this lack of capacity shows.
In the Learning to Learn course the fuzzy brain state, stepping back and stepping out of the forceful, nearsighted, fixated focused state is introduced.
Some students recognize it in some activities and manage to step into the fuzzy mode (Theta brain state) where learning is possible, where connection to other areas of knowledge is visible, and they are happy about that.
Then, maybe even the same day, I see them being bogged down with an article… and I can see that they are back in the focused mode, where everything other than what is right in front of their noses, is non-existent to them, and they cannot see the big picture.
They can see fuzzy brain state in one area, in one activity, but not in another.
The same capacity is missing, and to be able to see the capacity, you need to use it… it is invisible from any other angle.
Another whole area of life where this inability wreaks havoc, where two views of the same thing don’t connect in their brain, is in self-image, or the image of self.
They have a self-image, made up, where certain styles, characteristics, are unduly emphasized.
Here are a few examples:
- I am brilliant, or I won’t do it.
- I am tough and can take any pain… but inside I suffer
- I am a superman… but I am overwhelmed.
That is their about-me aspect of reality, about themselves.
Then they can see how the world relates to them, how this makes them dis-function in the real world, with others, with tasks, and the two pictures don’t create a coherent whole, a useful picture of the self, just like “I am smart… but can’t see that they want to rape me”.
Seeing yourself from the inside, and seeing yourself from the outside tells you two different stories. And unless you can see that the two stories are really about the same thing… you are trapped in your self-image… a self you made up when you were an upset 3-4-5-5 year old kid… not knowing any better.
Only when I managed to break out of the self-image of smart, seeing clearly how it really was, how limiting that self-image was, that I invented a way to learn to see beyond the confines of that prison, and started to see more of the world. More of reality.
I explain the methodology in my February 2019 monthly free webinar that I recorded for you. In shorthand, I started to hitch my my attention, my consciousness to values that lie outside of the smart/stupid paradigm, one at a time, staring at “nothing” until I could see it, until it revealed itself. 1
What was invisible to me was obviously visible to others, otherwise it would not have a name, loyalty, trust, service… all things that were, at the time invisible to me.
The invisible dynamics of life are invisible only because they need to be observed and distinguished to be seen… not hidden as one of my students called them yesterday.
Werner Erhard, famously, said some 30 years ago to the 46 Forum Leader Candidates: I am the only Forum Leader because I can stand in the face of “it” not working longer than anyone…
What did he mean? He didn’t explain, but I know, regardless.
I practice it everywhere, including at night, when I am in bed and turn off the light. Or when I turn off the light in my office, but still have to walk through the dark living room to get to my bedroom.
I stand there, in the dark waiting to see the room slowly emerge from the darkness, tell apart the furniture from the floor, the light fixture on the ceiling from the ceiling itself… telling apart is distinguishing.
I confess, it is easier to have patience and gentleness in the dark room than to stand and wait for people to comprehend, to see and learn the distinctions I teach. To listen one partner call after another of confusion, and pontificating and no seeing.
In this regard Werner Erhard is my hero: I am, by gosh, not going to be any less than him… lol.
I would not be able to do this if I still lived in the high about-me paradigm: smart/stupid.
Like Werner said about that high about-me:
If you’re going to be a leader, you’re going to have to have a very loose relationship with this thing you call ‘I’ or ‘me’. Maybe that whole thing in me around which the universe revolves isn’t so central! Maybe life is not about the self but about self-transcendence
or another quote, about the same thing: The moment when you really experience that you have created yourself being whatever way you are, at that same moment you will never have to be that way again. ~Werner Erhard