Tag Archives: self

Daily Prompt: Assumption

via Daily Prompt: Assumption

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The assumptions we sometimes (perhaps often) hold become like a dirty film that encrusts our windows to the point we can no longer see out of them! In other words, our assumptions blind us, distort our view of people and life, the world.

How do we form assumptions? Well instead of observing what is going on around us in the world, instead of checking facts, instead of trying to understand another person’s view, we tend to bias our views on what is going on in our inner world. And so we base our views on our emotions, feelings, expectations, beliefs, preceptions, and even our desires and wishes. Our inner world, which can be so helpful and yet in extremis, so unhelpful, becomes, in assuming things, the controlling factor. In assumption there is no second voice, no check, no brake, no alternative canvassed, it is all in our mind. In assumption we are going solo, but we are also going mono. The problem is we begin to believe our own views to the exclusion of other voices and facts, and we become convinced that we are right, and we live into our own reality, our own version of the world.

Simple assumtions don’t really matter, but important ones really do.

One example would be the infamous bystander effect. Following the murder of Kitty Genovese in NY city in 1964, researchers Latane and Darley discovered that there were many witnesses, but all had assumed another would act or do something, hence their coined phrase The Bystander Effect (perceived diffusion of responsibility).

Another example would be the original 1968 Broken Window Theory where Stanford psychologist Philip Zimbardo was able to prove that when buildings, parked vehicles, and property in general are left unrepaired, some people assume they too can vandalise that property. Thus, one broken window becomes several broken windows on a factory. We assume no one cares.

In terms of people we often make assumptions. We have written off people with disability, we have been suspicious of the foreigner, the refugee, the person who is different by race, colour, belief, creed. Sometimes we cannot even see the person if they hold different political or religious views. we assume they are too different, not from our world, not of our kind. We assume they are dangerous. We just assume.

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We must clean our windows! Alan Alda makes a good point when he said: “Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”

Assumptions are costly in every way.

One of the greatest antidotes to assumption is dialogue, to simply sit with your neighbour, be that house, train, bus, walkway, beach, college, wherever, just get to know the person and not the assumption. Simple really, yet so little practiced. The other antidote is to check your internal view against what is going on around you, don’t just take self-reference as the expert view, or what I call the Facebook view of the world.

Talk and reflect – what do you see now?

All is now darkened
my mind has painted the glass
my ears will bring light

©Paul Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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My Meander

via Daily Prompt: Meander

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The Warren River meanders for only 137 kms from its orign at the Tone and Perup Rivers near Manjimup and Pemberton, and down to the Southern Ocean, but it is one of the beautiful rivers of the south west. This photo is from Moon’s Crossing, near the public campsite, the last of the mist is still palpable, the glassy water a beautiful, reflective mirror. So peaceful, so inspiring.

Author, among many succesful charisms, Toni Morrison once said: “All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.”

The great (well I think he was great) poet TS Eliot wrote in his work ‘Little Gidding’ “We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

Neither is talking just about geography. They are addressing the inner life. Neither is being ironic, nor negative, or limited in their thinking. The yearning to return to the place we began is not to go backwards, but rather to appreciate in greater depth the journey to self. Such a journey is one of self discovery, the opening of the heart, even to pain and disappointment, the discovery of limitation, love and also otherness, to appreciate beauty in all forms, to know passion, to know oneness.

As we meander through life we do, at times, inwardly yearn to make sense of it all, even in the present moment. Eliot captures this briliantly. We return to where we began, but with new eyes, new insight. Because we cannot leave ourselves, we can only see with new eyes, experiences on the journey are all about arriving at self but with a completely new view framed and underpinned by our experiences. Which Proust famously pointed out when he said: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” By which he meant new inner eyes. I am who I am, but the journey opens me to the possibility of new insights and discoveries of self which enable growth and change. My new horizons come from how I engage with life, love, nature, realtionships, disappoinments, passion, and find fulfilment in expression as I continue to meander through each day. It is then I know something new about myself or some experience, some feeling, for the first time. That moment of epiphany is potent, difficult to articulate, and at times overwhelming in its beauty, as much as its formative pain.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Imaginary (It isn’t hard to do)

via Daily Prompt: Imaginary

Image is the root word, so imaginary is an image only in the mind, not real.

Some people recount having had an imaginary friend as a child. I never did. However, I did use my imagination in other ways. I had, for a short time, an imaginary place, a jungle. It was simply (on our large block) my father’s overgrown veggie patch where I hunted tigers and lions and camped. I also remember lying on the grass, looking up and seeing all sorts of things in clouds (I still do).

‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ is a profound movie. Though dark and confronting, it shows how we use imagination, how the imaginary works, how it can be an insight into our self.

Both Freud and Jung worked positively with the imagination, as with dreams, it is a key or gateway to the inner workings of a person. the imaginary always lilnks to something real, something experienced, something known.

The imaginary fires creativity too, design, art, film making, writing, engineering, play, all use imagination.

In that sense, imaginary may be, on the surface or to the untrained person, not real. But to the insighful and the aware, the imaginary is an insight to the workings of the self and a portal to creativity for all ages.

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