Brittle is the substance of deceit,
and cracks flee patterns from the liar’s feet.
Long enough he walks, the patterns meet.
The street falls through the weight of his conceit.
An individual’s self-identification is rarely either static or simple. An individual’s identification of others, on the other hand, can often be simple, and is usually fairly static.
This is because we identify ourselves by our mental landscape, and our perceived self-potential, but we tend to identify others functionally, within the domains of activity we observe.
A sense of functional self-identity expands as we operate on an expanding range of functions. Therefore, the scope of self-identity broadens. While one sees oneself in all functions of life, one sees others in limited domains. When an entity becomes aware that another’s image of that entity is more narrow than the entity’s idea of self, a feeling of minimization, disrespect, or perceived offense often occurs.
This tendency to identify individuals functionally will therefore result in a disconnect and potentially an emotional conflict.
This disconnect, especially when stimulated by repeated reinforcement (see Trance Theory), is a leading factor in the problem of institutionalization.
Institutionalization is best described as the erosion of a free sense of self as choices become limited by systematic (or institutional) expectations.
This limiting of choice is an illusion, psychologically enforced by an (often subconscious) expectation of outcomes dependent on the actions of others. These expectations mold the actions of the individual in a way that may be dissonant with the individual’s motivations, intentions, or desires.
When this dissonance reaches a level unacceptable to the entity, the entity will attempt to resolve the dissonance. The nature of this resolution is unpredictable and dependent on the nature of the entity.
Activities of all types consist of both convergent and divergent processes.
Converging processes (convergent thinking) are those processes which lead to a single solution or outcome or point. The scientific method represents a particular iteration of this concept (as it seeks to converge upon the fewest necessary hypotheses for the greatest predictive advantage).
Divergent processes (divergent thinking) are those processes which begin from a single question or problem or point, and lead out what we might call creatively from this place of origin. The Socratic method is an excellent example of this process, as it seeks no final or single hypothesis, but instead uses each proposition as a springboard for conceptual examination and ideation.
We see this dichotomy of process play out in the studies of innovation and productivity. Innovation relies on idea generation, a divergent process. But productivity values efficiency. Efficiency requires a codification of and reliance on repeatable, convergent activities.
The success of the practical application of the scientific method has led to an almost worshipful admiration within our culture for convergent processes. Divergence, on the other hand, remains under-appreciated, and its workings largely a mystery. Over time, this schism has grown in the subconscious of our society. A loose understanding of these principles combined with an organizational lack of faith in the practicality of divergence has led to the systematic devaluation of that mental type best described as the dreamer.
Our cultural concepts of success and failure lean heavily on the ability to identify a useful, repeatable, convergent outcome. We do not have a clear concept of divergent success as a society… Instead, we rely on outwardly spectacular, creatively brilliant, or highly charismatic figures to stand as loosely examined icons or archetypes of activities that we can not define in a way that satisfies our (faulty) cultural standards.
As the Renaissance evolved into the Enlightenment and then the Modern Age, the value of art and creativity for its own sake has culturally diminished. This has begun to become an educational dilemma. Without the element of innovation, productivity cannot reach its full potential over time. At the center of this dilemma is the challenge of a growing global paradigm concerning “progress” that rests on unbalanced assumptions.
Cultural bias has caused us to misinterpret historical figures and their impact on our own technological progression. An example is the figure of Thomas Edison, whose constant application of that divergent activity known as invention has been heralded as a scientific success rather than a creative one.
If we wish to educate a generation capable of producing more figures like Edison, and almost every other “intellectual giant” in history, more value must be placed in education on the underlying processes of the activity, whether they be convergent or divergent.
The foremost conclusion to be taken from this: An educational system should be more firmly rooted in dissemination and analysis of process than in measurement of convergent result.
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Both the human body and the human mind are designed to adapt themselves to human activity. They do this by creating subconscious, automated routines.
The action of these subroutines has been described by Dennis Wier in a a model which he calls “trance theory.” (His book can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/9704816/A-Suggested-Model-for-Trance)
Trance theory stipulates that creating a cycle of repeated action causes two things to happen:
1.) It causes the repeated activity to become more automatic in its response to stimuli.
2.) It causes conscious awareness of the activity to decrease.
Because of this effect, the human body and human mind often become, whether by design or accident, in large part automated responses to stimuli.
A dilemma of attention is created by this effect. The conscious mind is still capable of responding (consciously, by choice) to stimuli, but because of the nature of the effect, the subject has become less aware of its own activity.
This is a necessary effect for the handling of such a complex organism. Without conscious application, however, an organism gives up the potential power to shape its own automated activity. Understanding and applying the effect consciously can further maximize the ability of the organism to operate efficiently on its environment in a manner directed by the consciousness of the organism rather than at the whim (or direction) of environmental factors.
The dark and the light, the active and the passive, the male and the female, the alive and the dead - these have their marriage in every entity. In all planes, in all passages, they have their flirtations.
Who would tell the lovers how to copulate? By the nature of attraction is the character of union decided.
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