Monthly Archive for October, 2008
It is late, after a long, hard working day. I still have to go to make some shopping. The supermarket is full of people and noise, I am full of tiredness and thoughts of what´s still ahead of the day. Continue reading ‘The coin in the cart’
Without understanding we are left grasping at straws and it can seem like things hinge upon chance.
To begin with we are told that a is a and b is b. We are told what a and b means, where to use them, and where not to use them. When we know no better this forms a platform (which I will refer to as a level 0 foundation) ‘above our head’ which we can utilise to help us through daily challenges.
Chances are that these initial foundations may evoke a strong reaction - either like or dislike. Whilst young and naive, when something is suggested that we don’t like, and when we know no better, what other options do we have? We tend to search externally for answers in order to improve this platform and make it more sturdy and dependable.
Once we have established a platform that we like we can work our way up onto it (as opposed to being beneath it) and can stand upon it without fear of it crumbling. Congratulations, this is where we stand on top of the hill and pat our self on the back. Take time to admire the scenery and enjoy the feeling.
Now where? Onwards and upwards! Things come to attention, flaws in the platform, elements which could be improved upon. Take this out, put this in, move this over here, turn that around, put this next to that - this is the first big step into the world of creation. No longer are others telling me that this should be like this and that should be like that, now I can have things how I want them and I feel empowered.
As I reorganize things to my own liking I start to get a glimpse of what happens when a interacts with b. A simple example would be colour co-ordination. Some colours go well with certain other colours, whereas another colour may cause an ugly contrast or look a bit sickly.
In this example I will refer to the colours as elements. As we are taught in science, elements react differently to each other depending on how much quantity there is of each element and how close they are to each other. There are a number of other factors too, but let’s keep it simple for now.
By taking the time to observe how elements interact with each other we begin to form understanding. Through trial and error we can change things around a little and perhaps see a different outcome.
When I was young my dad told me to keep away from the oven as it was hot and I could burn myself. The idea of burning myself was enough to put me off and I kept a good distance from that area. To me the oven was an element and I associated it with burning. I did not like the idea of being burnt so that became a negative to me and I kept away from it.
Fast forward a dozen years and I am moving into a place of my own. I did not cook at all before I left so now I had the choice of eating out or cooking for myself. The negative association I had from when I was younger had outlived its usefulness. It was good when I was younger as I didn’t know any better. It served its purpose in that it protected me from harm. Now I am old enough to work with the oven so I need to learn how to use it.
Okay, it’s simple enough, I turn dials to a given number. Each number represents a heat level and the higher the number the hotter it is. I want to cook as quickly as possible so I turn the heat right up. I go by the cooking time on the box and the temperature on there, and I adjust them to reflect my choice in temperature.
Oh. Well, the end result was edible, but not nice. Perhaps I should eat out after all? Why did it go wrong?
Round two! I’ll put it in the oven for the time it says on the box and at the temperature it says on the box. They must know better than I do so this will work out much better. Delicious pizza coming up!
Oh. Well, that’s not how I like it either. Now what? Who do I turn to now? Where are the answers?
You may be happy to know that I ended up experimenting until I found the time and temperature which worked best for me. At the time I was so dependent upon other people’s opinions that my own held little or no value.
Why was this? It’s because my platform was based upon things which I had gathered from external sources such as parents, teachers, peers, etc. Our platform, our foundations factor into who we are and what we do every day.
Sooner or later a level 0 foundation is more detrimental than it is useful. The more we need to build, the better a foundation we need to support it - otherwise, sooner or later, the foundations will give way and everything built will come crashing down. The more we (stubbornly) build upon a platform the worse the aftermath will be if the foundations are not able to support the construct. What was good for me as a child may not be appropriate for me as an adult.
By taking the time to try different temperature settings and times I finally discovered how to cook pizza in a way which resulted in a pizza that I love to eat. The oven had gone from having one fixed element, ‘heat’ (burning), to have the element ‘heat’ as a variable, which in turn has ‘time’ as an influential factor. By altering either heat and/or time the outcome is subsequently altered. The pizza could end up too cold, not cooked sufficiently all the way through, too crisp, burnt, etc.
And so, in time, I went from trying to rush things to taking my time. I had learnt from cooking pizza the benefits of cooking slowly and at a moderate temperature, as well as the personal touch from trial and error. Nowadays, instead of following things to the letter and getting frustrated, I allow things to happen within the defined parameters but then work with the results to bring them to my personal preference.
The more we understand things the better we are with them. When one person misunderstands another and does not take the time to better understand what is really going on it causes rifts.
The less we understand for our self, the more dependent we are on other people. Too much dependency is a burden and can lead to long-term issues and poor development. By investing time and energy into understanding things better we take a step closer, we have more control over our life, we are better able to relate to others, and chance is less of an issue.
With all of that in mind, I think there’s only one way I could possibly conclude this; one message which sums it all up and yet leaves a yearning for more…
Idea – Thought –Belief – Faith can be considered as steps, one leading to the other. But that’s not necessarily true. An idea basically is information. Ideas form thoughts in our heads, which may mean that the more ideas we have, the more aspects our thinking will have as well. When I think something it implies that I don’t know it. It implies that there is place for questions, for more ideas, more thoughts, other aspects. So there is more space for flexibility in thoughts, more room to play, less risk to fail. Thoughts don’t tend to fail.