November 2016 Daily Stepping

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Re: November 2016 Daily Stepping

Postby Lynx » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:46 pm

Hi,

Regina and Elaine, what you bring up are exactly Rilke's—& Ionesco's—points. To "understand" is 3/4 ways to "accepting" and "tolerating." When we understand a justification we accept the action or at least the motive. Rilke already had his views, as a poet and nurtured by a lifetime serving artists and in his solitude, and he didn't want to "get it." He wasn't about changing "out there" he held strong to keep himself from being changed by events. One can change situations at least in one's own mind by resisting the abstract "understanding." Maybe not anything to stop a hot war which is has it's own bloody momentum, but certainly to build a sharingloving place alongside or out of harms way or in secret that will blossom when hostilities end.

We really lack words for this, which I find distressing and intriguing. It's as if some mysterious 'they' prefer 'we' understand without their return understanding, so that there is no exchange, the supposed frame of reality flows one way.

To "not understand" is very hard work, and Rilke admits it wasn't easy. He also didn't produce any work during the war years.

This exchange is very helpful for me and my thinking. Thanks for engaging.

Lynx
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Re: November 2016 Daily Stepping

Postby Elaine Glimme » Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:03 pm

This quote has me going. To "understand" is 3/4 ways to "accepting" and "tolerating." Understanding gives you the tools to either accept or reject. it also gives you the tools to fight. Churchill was one of the first to understand Hitler, and he certainly didn't accept Hitler. The sentence is too broad. It's true that understanding something can make it more acceptable - understanding science instead of seeing at as some sort of alchemy. Understanding computers. Understanding a different point of view can help us accept it. Being willing to understand something can make us susceptible to brainwashing. Understanding other people's believes can help us live in peace. Oy, vey!
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Re: November 2016 Daily Stepping

Postby Lynx » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:16 am

Hi Elaine,

I feel in the contexts of Ionesco and Rilke a special compliant type of understanding was in play. Rilke certainly understood many things, thus he was able to mentor via letters to a young poet. Rilke didn't need to understand to continue going the way of the artist. He had that both before and after the war.

To either reject or accept buys into the logic of the thing accepted or rejected and virtually screens out any fresh ways of knowing. Thus Rilke worked to "not understand" in the first place. To go another way is just that, going into another framework independent of that other piece presented for understanding-acceptance or understanding-rejection.

Rilke didn't need to understand in order to counteract the war; he waited it out.

If it works for you and Churchill, by all means, understand away. I'm interested in artists and other people like myself who actively know via a different frame.

It's interesting that something close in spirit to this exchange is in the scene of Rhinoceros I quote.

Lynx
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in gratitude

Postby Lynx » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:19 am

Hi folks,

EG and RM, thanks for this back & forth. I work up with ideas and even a few trails dancing out of my dreams.

The first orders of work were to look up my Richard Rorty quotes. Bless the coders for understanding search. If I'm not alert to myself, I can begin a search in mid confidence, fail to find it, whatever IT happens to come to mind, get frustrated, and spend the rest of my day untangling my mood.

This time I looked at the clock and in less than a minute my trusty Mac took me to my quotes. Happy I found them.

The other thing was to type out a rather long paragraph from Jenny Diski's memoir, "In Gratitude" which addresses us from her grave on the topic of metaphors and understanding.

First some Rorty:

But there is no way to bring self-creation together with justice at the level of theory. The vocabulary of self-creation is necessarily private, unshared, unsuited to argument. The vocabulary of justice is necessarily public and shared, a medium for argumentative exchange.

If we could bring ourselves to accept the fact that no theory about the nature of Man or Society or Rationality, or anything else, is going to synthesize Nietzsche with Marx or Heidegger with Habermas, we could begin to think of the relation between writers on autonomy and writers on justice as being like the relation between two kinds of tools—as little in need of synthesis as are paintbrushes and crowbars.

To create one’s own mind is to create one’s own language, rather than to let the length of one’s mind be set by the language other human beings have left behind.

To fail as a poet — and thus, for Nietzsche, to fail as a human being — is to accept somebody else’s description of oneself, to execute a previously prepared program, to write, at most, elegant variations on previously written poems. So the only way to trace home the causes of one’s being as one is would be to tell a story about one’s causes in a new language.

This flows right into Diski's words to herself and friends and family when she learned she had cancer and probably not long to live:

One thing I state as soon as we’re out the door: ‘Under no circumstances is anyone to say that I lost a battle-with-cancer. Or that I bore it bravely. I am not fighting, losing, winning or beating.’ I will not personify the cancer cells inside me in any form. I reject all metaphors of attack or enmity in the midst, and will have nothing whatever to do with any notion of desert, punishment, fairness or unfairness, or any kind of moral causality. But I sense that I can’t avoid the cancer clichés simply by rejecting them. Rejection is conditioned by and reinforces the existence of the thing I want to avoid. I choose how to respond and behave, but a choice between doing this or that, being this or that, really isn’t freedom of action, it’s just picking one’s way through an already drawn flow-chart. [my emphasis]

Thanks All, even Inspire, for the space for this. It has jelled my thoughts & gelled my feelings.

Lynx
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Re: November 2016 Daily Stepping

Postby Elaine Glimme » Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:40 pm

This is really striking home with me. And I'm going to ramble.


It's natural for me to have a closed mind and I have a hard time trying to see both sides of anything. And I think it's important to see both side. For example. For quite a while, I've been trying to answer the question,"why did so many Germans back Hitler?" Maybe I don't have to understand why they did. It's certainly easier not to bother. Just go with, "they were the enemy."

I had a discussion with someone recently, where I started to explain a regulation (from back in hazardous materials specialist days) which I had originally thought was unnecessary. The person I was talking to said, "You were right," without any idea of what the regulation was. My mouth just flew open. Most people don't admit that they make up their minds without any consideration of the facts. But it dawns on me, there's so much strength in that. It takes an effort to consider the possibility that something good could come from California. Better to just make your decision without bothering about the facts. So much simpler. The rest of the story was that the regulation prohibited among other things, crushing fluorescent tubes, which have a ton of mercury. I brought a case against an agency for crushing fluorescent tubes. The person who had lodged the complaint was just worried about breathing glass and white powder. He didn't even know he was also breathing mercury. And he was breathing in a lot of the powder, and showing signs of mercury poisoning. This was legal in most other states at the time.

That proved the 3/4 of the way towards acceptance point. If the person I was talking to had understood the reg, that was about three quarters of the way to accepting it.


Also, the quote doesn't say it's 100% towards acceptance, just 3/4 of the way.

Bottom line - maybe jumping to conclusions isn't always a bad thing.
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Re: November 2016 Daily Stepping

Postby inspiresuccess » Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:09 pm

I started the December thread. We're all set up for the last month of 2016. Good luck on your steps.
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Re: November 2016 Daily Stepping

Postby Elaine Glimme » Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:31 pm

Thanks, Inspire.
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29 both sides?

Postby Lynx » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:24 pm

Hi Folks,

Thanks EG for hanging in with this. The way that Rilke/Ionesco went about "not understanding it" wasn't from a lack of information. Rilke actually had some experience in a military academy and studied law. He was faced with War, humans killing humans. Ionesco with dramatizing the muddled "understanding" that led so many of the artists in his circle to join in with the Nazis (they became rhinoceroses). Diski with living out a life with cancer as an artist when many of the tropes,cliches, and narratives have already been described.

Rlike seemed to intuit what Diski intuited: that the choices had been laid out by others, without discussion and thus any chance of modification by Rilke/Diski/Ionesco.

As Diski saw it, both sides of the initial apparent choices with her condition were really already laid out in the received narratives. Our artist selves want *none* of that. We lack language for what we do want, so far. I'm working on inventing some words.

Rilke didn't need to make up his mind and so did not need to "keep it open." He knew that mass killing wasn't the way for humanity. In the midst of the German war hysteria he kept mum and waited out the insanity.

Jeannette Rankin, one of the first women elected to congress after she worked tirelessly for the women's right to vote, was the lone vote against WW II after Pearl Harbor. She'd been alerting, Cassandra style, the president and congress and an equally indifferent public that the course the US and England agreed to with Japan after the war that Rilke endured was leading to a rapid arms buildup and a second war. Japan had accepted terms that it felt made them feel inferior to the US and England. Rankin pleaded with the president to not allow US industrial giants to sell scrap metal to Japan for them to build war ships with. Deaf ears.

When Japan attacked seemingly the whole country "understood" what it had to do. Nevertheless, she voted her conscience, saying, "I cannot bear being a worm." She knew her political career was over and that the "understanding" citizens of Georgia would vote her out the first chance they got.

Lynx
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Re: November 2016 Daily Stepping

Postby inspiresuccess » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:34 pm

Hi guys,

Could I make a request? It sounds like this discussion is really interesting to the 3 of you. What I'd like to suggest is you continue this discussion on this November thread so in the December thread we can focus on goals. Whadya think about that?
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Re: November 2016 Daily Stepping

Postby Lynx » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:13 pm

Thanks Inspire, this IS my goal, to write from this other way of knowing which we have no words for. This is one of the intentions of that essay I've Goaled about all month. It's less meta lately and more the thing itself. It's been enormously helpful for my writing.

Gratitude to all—participants, lurkers, and the turning away.

Lynx
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Re: November 2016 Daily Stepping

Postby Elaine Glimme » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:33 am

November's almost over, I wish I'd accomplished more.
Last edited by Elaine Glimme on Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: November 2016 Daily Stepping

Postby Elaine Glimme » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:14 am

As I'm typing this, there are three guests on line. Yesterday there were twenty-four guests while I was typing. I'd like to extend an invitation (but no pressure) to join us if you want to. I can't remember what you have to do to join and be able to post.

By the way, joining does not mean that you'll get a bazillion e-mails or have anyone try to sell you anything. Also, the number went up to 25 guests here a minute ago.

Someone please fill in here. How do you go from "guest" to "registered member?"
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Re: November 2016 Daily Stepping

Postby inspiresuccess » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:46 am

Lynx wrote:Thanks Inspire, this IS my goal...

Cool!

I'm glad all the discussion is helping you move forward. I wish I could join in. I'm very intelligent, but not very intellectual, so I can't be of any help.

What I can do is send my usual INSPIRATION to keep going, exploring, defining, understanding, creating, writing...
and remembering to breathe.

Inspire Success
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getting onboarded

Postby Lynx » Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:28 pm

Hi Guests and other folks,

Here's the link to the onboarding message from 2005. It' lost it's ¶ breaks when there was a system change a while ago. I've made a few and will return for time to time to keep making edits.
viewtopic.php?f=32&t=14202

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Re: November 2016 Daily Stepping

Postby Elaine Glimme » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:42 pm

Thanks, Lynx. I also meant how do you get a password so that you can post.
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