graphic: MetaSelf Logo

The human body is the best
picture of the human soul

— Ludwig Wittgenstein

MetaSelf

Blog

Remarks are added as time passes

Some of the following comments and reflections are to be found elsewhere on the MetaSelf website and are quoted here to highlight them. Others may be my own general reflections and thoughts, or found at external websites.

Our Eight Spaces

Added 15 Jul 2015

A poem by Peter Carleton, July 2015

For remembering and teaching the features of the Front/Back Axis. Adapt as needed.

The two-way street between us friends.
The boundary that's my warning sign.
The gift for you I put out here.
The front I show that's looking fine.
Inside, I sense and think and feel.
In back the storehouse of my mind.
The living systems we are in.
Outside, beyond all space and time.

The two-way street between us friends.
The boundary that's your warning sign.
The gift for me you put out there.
The front you show that's looking fine.
Inside, you sense and think and feel.
In back, the storehouse of your mind.
The living systems we are in.
Outside, beyond all space and time.

Our Eight Spaces, with embodied gestures added
  • The two-way street between us friends.
    • (back-and-forth, or hand-shaking gesture)
  • The boundary that's my warning sign.
    • (hand in Stop position at arm's length, sweeping across in a line)
  • The gift for you I put out here.
    • (hand sweeps up and outward from chest, ending palm up, offering)
  • The front I show that's looking fine.
    • (looking through hand at eye-level, as through a mask, or displaying)
  • Inside, I sense and think and feel.
    • (hand or hands gesture gently toward head and heart)
  • In back, the storehouse of my mind.
    • (hand or hands gestures over shoulder towards the back of head)
  • The living systems we are in.
    • (hand or hands sweep forward fairly wide to indicate the whole room or space)
  • Outside, beyond all space and time.
    • (starting near waist, both hands arch way up, out and down: "including everything")

Restating One Purpose of MetaSelf

Added 16 Jan 2015

Knowing oneself. A desirable goal in becoming an adult is the ability to describe oneself in summary fashion, including giving an integrated picture of one's psychology, fundamental values, relationships, and the various systems one inhabits. Not having such an overall picture, it's too easy to never become aware of certain important aspects of oneself, or do forget to monitor important aspects in the midst of the details of ordinary life.

As desirable as a list of such aspects might be, however, I believe it is even better if we have a picture that embodies the list -- actually ties it to our bodies. A picture makes it easier to remember and reel off the items. Without an integrated picture, it is easy to assume that the self is simply too complicated to manage and that one must grope one's way through life with little self-awareness.

Having a picture of the self is a positive developmental goal that helps one know and achieve one's life purpose. This goal is part of initiation into chronological adulthood, but it's never too late to become mature. Sometimes I think I'm just discovering how at age 74!

Politics and Jonathan Haidt

Added 21 Dec 2014

An article in The New York Times of March 25, 2012 says this about Jonathan Haidt:

He and his colleagues have compiled a catalog of six fundamental ideas that commonly undergird moral systems: care, fairness, liberty, loyalty, authority and sanctity. Alongside these principles, he has found related themes that carry moral weight: divinity, community, hierarchy, tradition, sin and degradation.

Where on this list, I ask, is anything like openness, transparency, freedom of the press, and truth? Has truth no moral force worth even mentioning? Without the ideals of truth and freedom of the press to counter authority, tradition, loyalty and sanctity, we will soon be in the Dark Ages again.

I have not examined Jonathan Haidt's own work yet, only read reports and thus hearsay. It's one of many things on my reading list. I have heard that he talks about groupishness and Democrats' lack of respect for authority. I found myself wondering whether he asked any questions in his research about how people felt about powerful people who make decisions in secret for their groups, some of which are cults. People don't like to believe that their group is a cult. What happened to conservatives' vaunted respect for the informed, independent-thinking individual?

Spatial Thinking

Added 21 Dec 2014

It seems that most work on spatial thinking is oriented to engineering, design, architecture, map making and business; in other words, to STEM disciplines — science, technology, engineering and math. My exposure to the field is limited, but it seems to me that spatial thinking is a very broad phenomenon and the study of it would benefit from explicitly including figurative spaces like the mind or an organization. This may require some adjustment on the part of those who see themselves as working with "the hard sciences," as opposed to the soft ones like psychology.