Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Thinking Outside the Box

¡Hola! Everybody...
Last night was one of those magical NYC nights. I took a road less taken and headed uptown after work and walked among the trees of Central park. Simply magical!

BTW, when did we become such a judgmental society, so quick to judge and slow to reflect? Lately, I see too many of you act as if you were all toilet trained at gunpoint...

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-=[ Human Potential ]=-

We throw our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.

-- Anonymous

I like to think that I have the mind of a scientist and the heart of the poet. I believe that only when we fuse the two that we arrive at true wisdom. Better put, wisdom is approximated at the intersection of the mind and heart -- when they become one. I’m not saying I am wise, just tryin’ to get me some integration up in this piece I call “Eddie.”

Without integration, we are blind our rational minds literally half-cocked. As blind in its obsession as the superstition it ridicules. Idolizing the power of reason does not banish the old passions and fears. It’s an illusion of control based on a myth of predictability. Our obsession for certainty grew out of a misunderstanding of science in its original sense. Science comes from the Latin scientia, knowing.

I know I’m losing you, but hold on for a moment. LOL!

Our ancestors spoke of “science and conscience” in one breath. They pronounced it “con science” (with knowledge). In ancient Latin conscientia meant knowledge with another person. In English, it came to mean “a knowledge of one’s inner truths,” or as the Oxford English Dictionary quotes, “deity in the bosom.”

What I call uncommon sense is science tempered by the heart. Rather, reason tempered by passion. This science is not the scientism we have made into a contemporary god. Our inordinate obsession with mindless materialism threatens, well, our material existence. Take, for example, the unquestioned assumption of the power of free markets to alleviate social ills. Let’s put aside for a moment the fact that there is no such thing as a “free” market: all markets are supported by government institutions. This allegiance to free market ideology is something similar to a superstition. A superstition that demands that only that which generates economic growth is worth doing undermines our sense of responsibility to our communities, to the environment, and to our quality of life. An awakened consciousness would tell us there is something terribly wrong with this form of thinking.

We have to wake up...

We have to become aware of the dysfunctional behavior patterns and that keep us locked in stupidity. Our ability to wake ourselves is more vital to our future than anything on our political agendas. Our intuitive sense tells us that specific problems all revolve a few core issues:

Can we become kinder, more rational beings?

Can our intelligence be enhanced?

Can we transcend the boundaries of our ego-centered goals and see the bigger picture?

Visionaries throughout history have debated the issue of human potential. Revolutionary philosophers have argued that “ordinary” people are potentially smarter and better than they’re cracked up to be. I tend to agree.

Today, the issue of human potential is literally life and death for our species. In the Middle Ages, sailors refused to travel beyond a certain point because they feared falling off the edge of the earth. Today, we have a similar counterpart: some call it a “Flat-Earth Psychology, an assumption about human limitations. On the other hand, there is also a human potential movement. Just as in the olden days, there were people who knew the earth was round and dared to journey past human-created limitations; today there are small groups of people with the daring to have visions. Visionary thinking in uncommon sense in action. Vision is an imagined goal that serves to organize our intelligence and set fire to our reason. Vision sees beyond limitations and prepares us to grasp the larger picture -- the world beyond this road.

The ability to see the possible and how to get there is the human potential for evolution and social progress. Vision is the cutting edge of human intelligence. Throughout history our ability to think experimentally -- or “out the box” -- has shaped us. What separated our Paleolithic ancestors was their remarkable ability for creativity and inventiveness.

I can’t help but think that there are forces today that, as one conservative pundit proudly proclaimed ‘sit athwart history.” Those very same forces that dismissed John F. Kennedy when he demanded we put a man on the moon before ten year’s time. That is exactly the kind of vision we need today, but we have become a nation of fools too enamored of ideological dogma. We need to wake up before it’s too late.



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