Day 46: Monday
I’ve been thinking about something I believe to be related, so what a delight to know you’ve taken up pointing out how hideous our readers are. Jumping in,
“There is nothing truly poetic or beautiful about man unless it is his potential to become beautiful—not the way he is but the way he may be.”
I read the whole piece with this in mind, waiting to pounce with a post. Yet you dropped this in just before you closed, pulling the rug out from my feet (which might also be considered sweeping me off of my feet if we were writing poetry to one another…). But this notion of is and may be is enticing . The annoyingist in me
an·noy·ing·ist /əˈnoiiNGəst/ noun – a person who is studying or has expert knowledge of how to be remarkably annoying.
As I was saying….the annoyingist in me wonders why the two need be mutually exclusive. If the way I am includes the potential energy to change, to become something beautiful, could you not love me for both? And is there truly beauty in simple potential to become beautiful? Is it the becoming beautiful that is beautiful? The having become beautiful? Obviously many of these could be; it seems though that the lines begin to grey.
Bear with me here. Contrary to how you’ve likely read this thus far, I don’t want to merely be an annoyingist – I really would like your help understanding this, Tim.
You see at work we have this practice that…well it’s a lot of things. Thing group therapy + meditation + eastern philosophy + western philosophy…it’s an interesting environment. During this time, the prevailing philosophy is that we can change inwardly, and we do so by noticing our reactions to various states — noticing the first order volitions of the mind as reactions to whatever stimuli the brain receives. I believe the idea is to have better second order control, but we haven’t really explored that side much. We have, however, focused on change focused within oneself. Note it’s specifically not to try to change others, but to notice and, if we’d like, control or change our responses and reactions to others.
If we love others in part because there is potential to become beautiful and they are not yet there, how and when do we engage them in change? Presumably they want to change because their action falls somewhere on the spectrum of “wrong” or “unhealthy”. This could be to change eating habits, thinking it best to take care of their physical body. Perhaps to be more present at home than at work, fulfilling commitments made to care for others. Perhaps to drink less, to not hurt others due to a drunken state.
How do we know when to move beyond changing ourselves? How do we help others without hindering their own growth and change? Are we really to step in and help them, or is there this art of helping them help themselves? Rather than saving them, are we to simply coach? I believe suffering to be deeply impactful in our lives, often shaping how we develop, how we grow. Because of this, I get confused – I suppose it could be a shift from “I want and think you should change” to “I think you should change but want you to change in your own time” is not satisfying. When is their own time?
I feel I started off lite and ended heavy. On the plus side, I didn’t drop in jejune. Notice this is me just being impressed and jealous.
Curious for your thoughts, and apologies for the uncleaned stream of thoughts…