My intention was self-hypnosis, in order to encourage more silence/listening. Instead, I fell asleep, and dreamed I was in a hospital[?]. At some point, I was sitting between two people, on perhaps a shuttle, but it felt like an elevator. We were being transported to some location. I looked down at my hands and noticed that my fingers were disfigured and misshapen, they looked quite horrible. But I realized this was an illusion, I remember thinking, “this must be the weed… i’ve never had marijuana give me hallucinations before… this must be some wacky stuff.” I forced myself to look at my hand clearly, willing myself to see a normal hand, which I did for a moment. Then it went back to the disfigured illusion. The man on my right (who I did not recognize) saw me looking at my hands and held his out. They, too, were terribly disfigured. He half-grinned and said, “We all need the doctor, right?”
At another point in the dream, I was in a dilapidated stairwell that I knew led to the basement. I could not decide between running down and hiding in the basement, or going out into the hospital lights on the floor I was on. I do not know why I was frightened.
I search within for my deepest dishonesties and discover I cannot trust even myself — but I try to meet you as openly as I can, without sword or shield, without the need to conquer or the desperate desire to defend. I fight the urge to conclude and to judge. With the fire of my passion and my fashion I try to light my way without setting the forest ablaze.
But I will leave ashes, despite my care, despite my philosophies of compassion and context, despite the best of my Boy Scout creeds and efforts, I will damage, I will change, I will disturb peace with the nature of my flame. For though the mind is game, and the spirit is tame, the man is animal, and the body knows nothing of names.
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.
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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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