Sometimes Truth/Love/Aletheia Looks Like A Punch In The Throat

“The biggest danger, that of losing oneself, can pass off as quietly as if it were nothing; every other loss, an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. is bound to be noticed.” – Soren Kierkegaard

Fascinating weekend in the stream of life.  Beyond questioning “What exactly am I manifesting in the world?”, I’ve sorted some random items together to put some perspective on the current, streaming-by, over the always unseen undercurrent of Aletheia.

First, a story.  I was greeted at my front door Friday evening by a heavily tattooed unsavory looking fellow (the tattoos alone did not indicate he was unsavory – it was visible in who he was being) who showed up to do me physical harm for verbally accosting his son who’d participated in some bullying, intimidation tactics toward my son the previous week at the playground next door to our house.  He punched me in the throat.  I was being at the moment of truth as I ran down the street to avoid getting punched again.

It was fascinating and unexpected.

Now I was certainly over the top in my confrontation with his son, 14 or 15 in age, not slight and not the least intimidated by my requests to know who his friend was that ran off (a resident of the development) so I could speak to his parents about their bullying of my not slight 12 year old.  Nor was he intimidated by my loud, rude and obnoxious requests to speak to his parents since he wouldn’t give me his friend’s information.  Rather, he informed me that his father would be over that night to beat my pussy bitch ass.  He waited a week – it definitely threw me off guard.

This kid didn’t even live in my development, but was a guest in my common area.  He and his friends had been admonished two days prior by my wife for throwing around F bombs, racial slurs and derogatory language about the feminine form and I’d considered blogging about that occurrence, coming weeks after the Trayvon Martin ruling and my inability to make any kind of meaningful sense of that whole affair.  I thought about writing how we needed to deal with racism at the parks where young teen men (Black, White, Hispanic, etc. – or how is it they put it on those EEO forms? – so correct politically, but so incorrect all around) grow up and learn to share what they’ve already learned at home about race and women.  My wife dealt with these kids that day because I passed by with our baby in the stroller, willing to let it go since nobody was getting hurt and I’d been one of those boys at one point in my life.  My blogging suffered the same effect – the baby has thrown a wrench lately in any meaningful production.

Great story right? which stands at this point with my waiting to hear from the police and waiting to hear back from the results of any conversation that the president of our homeowners association will have with the board of trustees next week.  I don’t have much faith that any “real” change will come of it…as he said, the teen problem will just manifest itself in them vandalizing the signs as they’ve vandalized our community center. Who are they though?  And who are we?

Along with that I was voraciously finishing reading “The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler” published in 2002 by James Cross Giblin, a book laying around the house that my wife picked up from the library for my son’s assigned summer reading.  I’d always been interested in understanding how all of that happened since the days of my youth watching “In Search of…” with Leonard Nimoy where my memory tells me I saw my first glimpses of life (and death) in a concentration camp.  It may have been some other show as my Mother always had a bit of a Hitler “obsession” – perhaps to better understand how my Father came to be or maybe for other reasons.

I found the following passage to be most worth sharing:

In Germany itself, a group of students at a university in Munich dared in 1942 to criticize Hitler’s conduct of the war.  The group adopted the name the White Rose, symbolizing purity, and, with the aid of one of their professors, wrote, duplicated, and distributed leaflets attacking the Fuhrer.  A typical leaflet, headed “an Appeal to All Germans,” stated boldly that the war was lost and urged its readers to part company with Hitler and his fellow Nazis.

“Prove by your actions that you think differently,” the leaflet said.  “Tear off the cover of indifference which you have put around your hearts. Make your decision before it is too late. Do not believe that Germany’s future is associated for better or worse with the victory of National Socialism. Criminal actions can never obtain a German victory.”  The leaflet concluded with a vision of the future.  “Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, protection of the individual citizen from the arbitrary actions of criminal terror states – those are the foundations for a new Germany, a new Europe.  Support the resistance movement and pass on the leaflets.”

At first White Rose members distributed the leaflets only to their fellow students within the university.  Then they branched out, stuffing the pamphlets into mailboxes throughout Munich and even traveling to other cities, such as Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and Vienna, with the leaflets concealed in their suitcases.  Back in Munich, they were distributing a fresh batch at the university when a janitor spotted them and notified the police.

Put on trial for treason in February 1943, the three leaders of the White Rose – Hans Scholl, his sister, Sophie, and their good friend Christoph Probst – were all sentenced to death by beheading.  The trio remained defiant to the end.  Sophie walked to the guillotine with a smile on her face, and her brother Hans shouted, “Long live liberty!” before he died.

Yesterday I came across the short story Dialetheia* – by Anil Menon which just happened to be set in pre-World War Two Germany and amazingly and eloquently shares a “view” or “taste” of this phenomenon which I attempt to explain while attempting to catch glimpses of it out of the corner of my eye.  Perhaps I’ll have to investigate this notion of “inconsistent mathematics” that he mentions.

In reading this book, and this short story I see that we are very much still living in a world vastly shaped by the charisma and actions of this one very determined person.  The state of the world today, shaped by the past yesterday – “Time is a partial order!” indeed.

Linking that, one of my facebook friends posted a link to this video.  It says a lot, it’s worth watching and it’s worth questioning everything through the video as a lens.  Life isn’t clear cut, especially when Love is concealed and your righteousness clouds the view.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsqwErd6sPg&feature=share

Finally, this excerpt from a link from the above interviewee Glenn Greenwald’s page puts a final lens on my thoughts for the weekend and really for the last few months.  “Civil rights hero John Lewis, in an interview with the Guardian today, praised Snowden for engaging in “civil disobedience” in the tradition of Thoreau, Gandhi and the Civil Rights movement.”  – Read the full article here.

I’ve had a lot of thoughts brewing, for a long time, a lot of unrest – apparently like the rest of us.  I thought I’d better start blogging again to begin unconcealing.  Perhaps if I can return to, or get closer to, Truth/Love/Aletheia I’ll open my front door next time with open arms and a smile or admonish a bully with a gentle, loving approach.  Either way, living life is clear cut.  I may get punched and I still love us all.

Wounded with love,

Ed

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Dialetheia* by Anil Menon

Dialetheia* by Anil Menon.

 

Great short story which gives a taste of a certain abstract reality that I like to write about…

Sharing with Love,

Ed

via Dialetheia* by Anil Menon.

One Conversation Can Change………wait for it………Everything

Of all of the “things” that I have encountered in my life, and there are a few, there is one thought, one idea, one experience, one notion, one piece of knowledge that excites me more than any other.  It is the single bit of knowing, that when I recall it, when I allow it to really be present and be fully alive for me in the moment, it immediately expands my outlook, my view of the future, my capacity for possibilities, exponentially larger.

It’s such a simple thing too.  It crept up on me.  I wasn’t looking for it, in fact I was actively resisting it when it happened.  Then, all of a sudden, there it was.  My future was instantly different.  My outlook altered.  My box expanded, or blown right off of me really.

One conversation can change everything.

Your life is going in a certain direction, a fairly predictable trajectory, and then that one conversation happens.  It may be with yourself, or it may be a “conversation” that you read, but most often it’s with another human being.

My favorite, the one that really set me on fire and put me on a new and completely unknown, unexpected, unpredictable path for the rest of my life happened with one of my favorite people in the world.  This person has known me since the day I was born, has always cared for me, looked after me and because of that I had an immeasurable amount of trust for them.

Within that trust of my listening, I was told a story about a conversation they’d had with another in which the story teller made themself completely vulnerable, at risk, and authentic.  They were willing to put everything that they had in life up until that point on the line, including the relationship itself, in the interest of having a complete and authentic relationship.

Listening to this story, and hearing the vulnerability and the willingness to risk everything for the sake of what could be, moved me.  I’d never heard a more courageous story before, and very few since.  I wanted that kind of courage. I knew in that moment that living my life without that kind of courage would mean that I had barely lived at all.  Hearing this story altered what I knew about life, how it could go, how it should go, how it would go.  It changed me.  It made possible the kind of relationships that I could have, that I do have in my life.

It was a moment of truth.  Listening to that story, sitting on the edge of my seat, I could hear a pin drop.  I could hear my audible gasp, being in awe of the power of the spoken word and its ability to evoke a response deep within the recipients of those received words.  Its ability to move me to action, to melt the most hardened heart, to presence compassion, truth, love and being in a moment in time. 

Have you ever had a conversation that changed everything?  I’d love to hear about it if you did.  If you haven’t, I’d love to have one with you.

With Love,

Ed

Why I (We) Share

This blog is attempting to forge or carve out a (fairly) uncommon conversational space Being-In-the-World (not really new, because many have spoken from it over the centuries) it may occur to you a certain way.  I’m not sure what that way is exactly, but when I’ve listened to such conversations prior to being able to hear such conversations in my past, they occurred many different ways.  Gibberish was one way. Poor use of grammar and language was one way. Offensive was another way.  Pretentious was definitely a way.  In some cases, I would later be able to see, they occurred as a threat.  I would react to them as a threat – fight or flight – the lizard brain reactivated.  My ego really pissed off.  Me reacting self-righteously as a response to the domination that the conversational truths were imposing on me.

I’m not saying that all of these entries are those types because certainly I miss the mark from time to time in my use of language. Perhaps I hadn’t been fully present to and coming from that place of Truth/Love/Aletheia.  Truth/Love/Aletheia.  Fleeting joy.  When I re-read the entries later, and they re-presence now what was present when I wrote them, and it occurs as that space of freedom that Aletheia allows/creates/is and I’m recreated anew in that moment then I know I’ve honored myself.  Honored us.

Being present and not, it has had the thought, “What is the point of this blog?  Why do you share what you share even though it may never be read, or misconstrued if it is read?  Why risk offending people, or exposing yourself or your family to any response to these posts?  What makes your blog different from all the other exhibitionists out there blogging away?  Who do you think you are?  You do know that this is out there for the world to read.  You have to continue making a living…”, it rages on, “Have you ever met a management consultant that speaks complete gibberish?”

“Why, yes I have”, I laugh to myself.  The conversation clearly dis-pleased.

Today, just now, I had a glimpse of why I share.  Why we all share really.  A reason of sorts other than the clear Aletheia of it that, “You do, because you do.  They do because they do.”  It’s so fleeting too…trying to escape me even as I type.  I had no intention of making an entry today, but then it was there.  And now the normal interruptions of the day are attempting to flit it away.

I (We) share, because it speaks to our (I’m going to use some language here that isn’t quite it) common-ness, our one-ness, our in-common-ness, our being-ness.  Even the voyeurs that share things that expose more of the Lie (that is, the not Aletheia), the paparazzi who share the dirt, the ones who gossip and connive about others to get their way and be righteous and self-serving.  Those who ensnare us in their storytelling of fear (that is, the not Love).

Our machinery is much more receptive to the fear based conversation as we’re designed to propagate our own survival.  Because of this design which often conceals Truth we also aren’t as practiced at speaking or sharing the so what of it.  For certain we have a challenge hearing it, really letting it land in our space and alter our being.  Always watchful, always on guard protecting this loosely held together story of absurdity.

It is that letting it land in our being, having our experience land in someone else’s being, as close to a why as there is a why.  We want to be known.  We want our experience to be known.  It is our sharing that is our last gasp of hope for us revealing what we’ve forgotten.  What we’ve concealed.  What we all seek.  What makes us who we are.

We (I) share because we are.  And I want to type “because we are one” or “because we are known” but that will both illuminate and cloud what it is.  We share because we are.  We are you and I.  We are you and me.  We are we.  We share because we share this experience.

Just because we appear separated by this flesh bag, this space of air or form or illusion between us DOES NOT mean we aren’t sharing this experience.  Just because you’re reading my thoughts that I typed at 1:43 pm (EST) while it’s (Insert your current time and time zone here) does not mean that you weren’t a part of my experience.  Your experience is my experience.

They share (those Kardashians do) because they want to be known (they want to know they are known – because they are).  We watch and we listen and reflect to better know ourselves, to better know you, to better know we/I/you/me/us/truth/love/aletheia.  Who we all are.  Together.

They share their experience of God, their religion, their truth so you can acknowledge the parts of those truths that they’ve experienced for themselves as truth for yourself.  Because the parts that are true for them are true for you.  Not conceptual truth – Aletheia truth.  The parts that can’t actually be spoken about.

They share their camping trip to Middle Bass Island so you can experience those truths of being family of being love of being human of being free of being fun and know that we share those things from when you have experienced those truths.

They share their political beliefs – the ones for smaller government and caring for those in poverty – to be known.  Because those parts of their party that are truth for them are truth for you.  Even though they appear to be separated by party lines or border lines or panty lines.

The next time somebody speaks to you verbally, non-verbally, spatially, temporally – they want to be known and they want to know.  Be the space that allows knowing and being known.  You already are – get out of the way and let (you) both be.

When I’m present right now.  What is present is Truth/Love/Aletheia.  When Truth/Love/Aletheia are present.  Right now.  The only time Truth/Love/Aletheia is present right now. Truth/Love/Aletheia allow our Truth/Love/Aletheia present right now to be present right now.  Experienced.  This is why we (I) share.  This is what we share.  Right now.  We share it so we’ll reveal that we share it.  Right now.

With Love.  Right Now.  With Aletheia.  With Love,

Ed

P.S.  If this resonates in your experience I’d love to hear comments on what the experience looks/feels like.  What do you hear and what does it feel like?  It’s meant to be experiential rather than epistemological…challenging etymologically.  Thanks for reading.  I love you.  I love me.  I love us.  I love.

Power

I’ve been at a loss for a few weeks now about what I really wanted to communicate next.  It’s not that I haven’t had ideas and it’s not that I haven’t started drafts, but they haven’t quite been what was at the forefront of how I wanted you to know me.  After all, it is my intention that this blog is not just a personal space for sharing who I am, or a professional space for creating dialogue with potential clients, rather I intend the blog to accurately reflect all of these things.  If I’m being true to who I am and really being authentic, there will be no difference between personal and professional me.  At the same time some conversations may not seem relevant on one level or the other at least in the current “terministic screen” of social media.  As a reforming technologist, I do believe that someday there won’t be an online me or a real world me, there’ll just be me.

This entry then is about power.  First off, power has scary connotations to it, especially when I tell you that I want more power.  If I want more power, in today’s worldview, it’s implied that I will be drawing power from you leaving you with less power.  This is where being love present and experienced makes a difference in our relationship.  If I have more power, you also have more power.

I want you to know that I want more power.  I want power to share your experience with you so I can be left altered by the offers you’ve made me (as my Improv OD friends would say) and I want power that comes from you allowing me to exist with you within the space that you occupy.  I want power that comes from you granting me gracious listening where I get to be larger than I could have ever known myself to be without your love and power.  With that power and love, you get to be larger than you’ve ever known yourself to be.  This is the kind of power that can only be created within the conversations that we generate with each other.  And given that this blog is a one way dialogue I want to say enough to pique your interest without creating too much of a persona.  In time, we’ll need to speak with each other to create who we are to each other.

Currently I’m reading a book called The Boundaryless Organization about making hierarchical structures more permeable and it speaks to many of the kinds of power that we experience within organizations and the way the existing model of power really limits our ability to be innovative, flexible, quick and integrated within business and how much of this model comes from the natural hierarchy that occurs within families.  It’s an older book, but as usual I’m finding many insights into many of the phenomenon I experience in my day job, in my side businesses, and in my family and other relationships.

Concepts such as Complex Responsive Process and the amazing Patricia Shaw book Changing Conversations in Organizations which I read prior to my Europe trip a couple of months ago were laden with these aspects related to power that I’ve been attempting to articulate in conversations with people for quite some time now.  The groundwork that is laid by the concepts for organizations being nothing more than conversations that have occurred and are currently occurring should be required reading for all human beings.

Obviously, or maybe not so obviously, my first foray into this type of thinking came from my exposure to Werner Erhard’s work when I was nineteen years old.  I have received a great deal of conversational opposition throughout the twenty odd years since I first participated in that conversation from people close and not so close to me and I believe that opposition explains much of my current participation through academia seeking a different way to frame what was so obviously learned from that participation that seemed so difficult to explain.

Power.

I want you to consider that you want more of it.  If you’re alone right now say it out loud.  Go ahead and say it.  “I want power. I want lots of power.”

It’s why we chase status, money, relationship, religion and sometimes when we feel like we’re just not getting what we need we chase things to numb our powerlessness.  When our relationships aren’t working because we don’t have enough power we go outside of them, and when we’re not getting the power we need at work we find new jobs, and when we’re not getting the power to take care of our families we band together and occupy something.

Unfortunately, many of the ways we seek power within our existing worldview are still playing by rules created by the people who have power in that worldview.  I’m fairly certain that I’ve been able to generate some access to power in ways that don’t fall within those rules.  I know they’ve been working for me and I need to start to find out if it’s possible to share those with other people.

If you’re interested in having power and want to have a conversation with me about creating it together send me a message.  I’d love to chat about it.

With Love,

Ed