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In my last post, context uses you if you are unaware of its hold on you. You may change it if you know how. How does perspective compare and play a part? In the broadest sense context is the container or what holds what you see, and perspective is seeing from the location you are viewing or imagining. The picture above is not from where we see most of the time. What we see is from the other side of the screen. What is projected is missing from our awareness. All we have access to, what we see is either the blue square or the yellow circle. Without awareness to what we don’t know [that we don’t know] we are caught in a trap of our own THINKING. The trap is each of us has a terministic screen that until we are aware of it, uses us.
The next picture shows both perspectives are true, but neither is the truth. Our ability or willingness to decern the truth from the true is the logic we employ. We will buy the deductive view or not. The misused inductive reasoning can never prove the truth, however. Proof requires deductive reasoning. Again, a trap of our own design.
The trap we fall into, when a past trauma similar to something now, triggers a reaction magnified by the groups we participate with. Birds of a feather seem to have similar traumas! We may not even be able to see what is true! What we see is a function of our terministic screen. In the mid-60’s Kenneth Burke defined terministic screen or field to label how some people saw one event and others saw something different, both from the same place. I found it looking for a better way to learn Spanish as all the expensive methods I’ve paid for have become like moldy oldies. As soon as the song appears, I know every word but when the music stops, I can’t remember the tune much less the title.
Is it possible to enhance your screen? Both the one you see through and the one you listen through? Is there a way to see and hear without the screen? Who is the next picture laughing at? Men or something else? Their terministic screens choose what they can see and believe unless you become aware. Awareness gives you a small chance to understand yours and theirs.
Bruce Lipton is an epigenetics scientist pushing the envelope in genetics. He has offended many because he threatens those who won’t change their views, their beliefs, their screens. I imagine Henry Ford is in Bruce’s corner. “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
If you can set aside what you believe is true you might be able to see what is actually there. The myth and superstitions of our age, racism, climate change, Armstrong’s walk on the moon and nearly everything else peddled as true and factual owns you, keeps you in lock step with a default future you are stuck with … until you see who you really are. Now go read a book.
The context reveals a bias we have about pizza. Both pieces are on a plate and both pieces are perfect. Unless you are near starving you won’t choose to eat the one on the right. The prejudice for clean food isn’t good or bad. Many people won’t eat off a plate ‘contaminated’ by someone else. Context lets you justify how you discriminate. It is just your thinking that makes it so.
“the words, goodand bad are meaningless. This is based on science and not on opinion. – Buckminster Fuller [Critical Path 1981]
A recent event [May29, 2020] triggered a bias of mine and I didn’t notice the trigger or the bias initially. I believed what I saw was the truth. It was true but not the entire truth. When I was 20 a half dozen squad cars came to my parents’ home as I was about to leave for work. The police showed my parents the charges. I was handcuffed and put into one of the squad cars, taken to the police station, interrogated in a small room with a couple policeman and charged with stealing over $10,000. The proof, circumstantial and using inductive reasoning was profound. Had it been anyone else they were talking about I would have agreed. I was innocent. NOBODY believed me. Not even the attorney my parents hired. Fortunately, it wasn’t the first time I was all alone. I survived. The person who committed the acts was caught the evening before I was go to trial and prison. I woke up on a Friday with dread and by 9am relieved. Nobody ever apologized. They were just doing their job.
I’ve had this ‘trigger’ for almost 50 years. My bias is justified. Doesn’t make it useful however. Most people justify their behavior with their beliefs. Common. Dangerous and sometimes deadly. Removing a bias is like attempting to remove your eyeballs. Whatever you resist persists. I thought I’d managed it, so I was always aware of its trigger but watching the videos of a policemen kneel on a man’s neck, knowing George Floyd died, dragged up a lot of anger. I was not in control of the context. I saw someone murdered by a policeman. But did he know or was he following an accepted way to deal with a suspect?
Days later we learn the police were only doing what they were trained to do. Doesn’t matter, they were fired immediately. The family hired their own medical examiner and got the results they wanted. The policeman entered the Twilight Zone. Their lives ruined and thousands of others because of context. Has the press offered any other context?
Whether you are a victim or successful, happy or sad, interested or not, is made possible with the function of context. How do you hold your life to be? What prism do you see through? What has you alter the view? Can you change your context? When you learn how, you can see the world through a kaleidoscope of context spinning new versions of reality by the second. What is true? How close to the truth is it?
I am “the conviction that there are no “good” or “bad” people, no matter how offensive or eccentric to society they may seem. I am confident that if I were born and reared under the same circumstances as any other known humans, I would have behaved much as they have.” – Buckminster Fuller
Take a pause and consider what contexts you hold money, earning it, spending it. How others manage it and use it. Is profit a problem for you in some way. Do ‘nonprofits’ actually operate without a profit? What pays for salaries?
Part II will look more closely at what we see and what we don’t see. Leave a comment. Let me know if I am missing a context.