Bird Droppings August 18, 2010
A continuing saga
It is so often that I write of coincidence it may seem boring to some. To me it is a never ending saga of special moments one after the other. During a college graduate class we discussed science and measuring of data, intuition and coincidence it seems are difficult commodities to evaluate. Carl Jung split with Sigmund Freud over similar matters and coined the word synchronicity. Yesterday as I was talking as always it seems I never stop I was drawn to the door of my room here on C-hall and as I stepped out a friend passed by exactly as I stepped to the door. This was a friend with a problem. If I had been a few seconds later a moment later and that friend would have already passed by. I was drawn to the door like a moth to a flame. I wonder was I meant to interfere to get involved in a problem or simply to offer advice or questions, was it coincidence, perhaps simply a chance happening, or was it synchronicity as Jung would proclaim.
“The images of the unconscious place a great responsibility upon a man. Failure to understand them, or a shirking of ethical responsibility, deprives him of his wholeness and imposes a painful fragmentariness on his life.” Carl Jung
“Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.” Eric Fromm
Which direction do we go as we try and unravel the human condition the frail substance about which we have evolved from. Can we separate out and categorize, analyze and measure that which makes us human versus a pack animal.
“Man may be defined as the animal that can say “I,” that can be aware of himself as a separate entity.“ Eric Fromm
“The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water. “ Sigmund Freud
“The path of least resistance and least trouble is a mental rut already made. It requires troublesome work to undertake the alternation of old beliefs. Self-conceit often regards it as a sign of weakness to admit that a belief to which we have once committed ourselves is wrong. We get so identified with an idea that it is literally a “pet” notion and we rise to its defense and stop our eyes and ears to anything different.” John Dewey
When beset with an issue or a problem we so often fall victim to the easiest route the way of “least resistance least trouble” as John Dewey would say. Years ago in a book on Loss Control management my father used the illustration of an ice berg we only see one seventh of the problem. We too as we journey through life are only one seventh visible. There is sixth sevenths that stay hidden away secreted somewhere from view.
“Thus we see that the all important thing is not killing or giving life, drinking or not drinking, living in the town or the country, being unlucky or lucky, winning or losing. It is how we win, how we lose, how we live or die, finally, how we choose.” R. H. Blyth
It is how we choose that is important. Each day for several years since I began this morning endeavor I have talked of the journey in life. I had used as a screen saver my son’s image crossing a stream in north Georgia stepping stone by stone across a rippling rolling stream. My son is soaking wet and could of just as easily walked the stream and avoid falling from the rocks he was wet already but he choose to step on the slippery rocks. The challenge for him was doing it, making the journey not simply surviving.
“Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence.” Mourning Dove – Salish
This becomes the difficult task trying to explain how a problem has purpose how a human issue has reason in a world of measurement where non-measuring is constant and so often the point. I can never find the distance between the stones of the stream as my son’s foot steps fall crossing rock by rock.
“You can never cross a stream the same way twice” Zen saying
“Traditional people of Indian nations have interpreted the two roads that face the light-skinned race as the road to technology and the road to spirituality. We feel that the road to technology…. has led modern society to a damaged and seared earth. Could it be that the road to technology represents a rush to destruction, and that the road to spirituality represents the slower path that the traditional native people have traveled and are now seeking again? The earth is not scorched on this trail. The grass is still growing there.” William Commanda, Mamiwinini, Canada, 1991
Going from a single person’s problem to that of the North Slope of Alaska may seem a stretch. But as we journey in life we essentially do not get to replay our hand once we lay the cards upon the table. Yesterday by chance somewhere before 4:00 AM I was reading an old National Geographic and how the oil fields are so enticing in the Wilds of Alaska. Greedy people see only money. Others see loss of habitat wildlife and wilderness that can never be replaced. Another amazing coincidence this morning I could not pull this up it literally disappeared and I wrote another piece which I emailed instead yesterday as I look at each it was time for this one today and now for this a good follow up, peace my friends and have a good evening and please keep all in harms way on your minds and in your hearts