The Eclectic Life: Love, Law and Liberty

Month: May, 2012

Look at the Window

I heard a story in college which I have never forgotten.  The gentleman was in the field of education and somehow got invited to do some evaluations of schools in Cuba.  He said the time he was at the first school on the first day went quite well and he thought they were really doing a good job with the supplies and facilities they had.  He was with a group and did not enter in the discuss much as the time went along.  At the end of the time at the school the group was asked if anyone had any final questions or comments.  The gentleman had just one question.  “I notice that the school seems quite dark and that there is not enough light in the halls and classrooms.  I just wondered why it was so dark and was there any step they could take to change this?”  The reply was, “You still have your sunglasses on!”

The problem was not the lighting in the school.  The problem was the perspective of the visiting educator.  The perspective, view-point, paradigm, model, mindset or however you wish to describe it, can so subtly change what is out there so that what is “seen” is “miss seen.”  It matters not only what you see out a window, but what window you are looking through. 

This aspect of learning, exploring and discovering is probably the one most overlooked.  We can think we are so objective, and so open-minded but do we take this objectivity to exploring the model  which we automatically use to evaluate all the input from our life around us.  The model or paradigm is such an intricate part of our experience it is like our own brain.  We are using our brain all the time to see, hear, taste, smell, and touch and yet we are not aware of our brain even functioning while this is going on but it is the functioning brain which determines what we ultimately sense.  We have some picture or model of life which we use to test, evaluate and examine what comes our way and see if this makes sense and agrees with our model or  if we have received some item which needs to treated with some scepticism and evaluated further.

If I said, “I am making patties for lunch out of dirt and water,” most people’s model would interpret I am child at play.   If I said, “I am making a cake for lunch from flour, salt, milk and eggs,” most people’s model would interpret that I am an adult fixing a desert.  But if I said, “I am making stew from horse manure, rusty nails and motor oil,” most people’s model of life would cause them to stop and questions this because this does not fit  the normal concepts of what is used for food in life.

Models.  So powerful and important in our lives but seldom noticed or appreciated.  They are very much like the air we breath. 

What is your window on life?

Nothing New

” What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”-The Teacher¹

Is there really nothing new under the sun?  Compared to life about 3000 years ago when the quote was given, a quick glance would say we have a lot different.  The knowledge accumulated in science which has resulted in changes in transportation, communication, entertainment and medicine are vastly different. 

But remember even back then they had their technology advances, too.  Stone tools were followed by copper then bronze and iron.  Animal skins were followed by textiles from wool and flax.   Communication advanced from oral messengers to picture writing and then phonetic alphabets.  So I am not so sure the issue the Teacher was address was technology.

“This only have I found: God made mankind upright, but men have gone in search of many schemes.”-The Teacher²

The changes in technology while changing the externals of how we live, have done nothing to the “many schemes” we all search after in trying to make life work as we see fit.  Technology just makes our schemes more available and quicker to access.   A few of my schemes have included different addictions (which I find as basically trying to alter my already false reality), isolation, attempted power over others, achievement, intelligence, self-sufficiency and ignoring my emotions.  Since these and other schemes arise out of human, it appears the The Teacher is pointing out the schemes have all been tried before and will be tried again and again.  This despite the schemes not working out well in mine or others lives.

But we did start out OK.  We did start out upright.  That is a good old beginning to remember.   The beginning was a gift.  The only response desired was gratitude. 

To change my first post; And So It Begins, to find what I already was and what was always there all along. 

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.

     T.S. Eliot — “Little Gidding” (the last of his Four Quartets)

1 Ecclesiastes 1:9

2 Ecclesiastes 7:29

And So It Begins!!!

“Examine all things,  hold on to that which is good.” ¹

It seems my whole life I have been interested in examining myself and what is going on about me.  I was ignorant about a lot of things but I wanted to learn.  From a young age I often felt confused and pained but I seem to have in the back of mind the question, “Is there another way life could be going?”   Yes, I am melancholy!

I do believe any and all things can be examined.   I believe the only bad question is the one that is not asked.  I also see that the kind of answers I get depends on the questions I ask. 

I want to find the good.

In my journey, I have discovered three things I need in life.  1) I need to have an identity, 2) I need a connection to people and to something greater than myself and 3) I need a personal authority.

In my searching for these,(even though I did not know that is what I needed or wanted) I have found them in Love, Law and Liberty.

So that is what this blog is attempting to explore. 

Everything I know, appreciate and am grateful for I have learned from others.  I want to listen,  especially to the sanguine.

And So It Begins!!!

1 I Thessalonians 4:15