What Is Your Personal Culture?

culture-contextOne view of the reduction to practice, or to application.

In the fall of 1968 I entered ninth grade. I was, up to ninth grade, a lackadaisical student. What was at the time termed social studies, and english, were my favorite subjects. However, I was dreamy and had not internalized the point of it all. At the same time I had spent a good chunk of 1964-1966 reading/skimming through my family’s 1962 World Book Encyclopedia. All sorts of stuff fascinated me and I was a voracious reader.

Here I am describing experience that began to gather together the elements of my personal culture.  (This was happening in the First Order of my self-constitution, because at the time I knew nothing about culture or intentionality!)

Late in September 1968, the head of the experimental program that had been implemented for ninth graders at Roxboro Junior High, a chain-smoking professorial type named Jim McGuinness–teachers smoked in the classroom in this era–asked me into his office, where also sat an english teacher, Ron Palladino.

The shorter version of this meeting was that Mr. McGuinness requested Mr. Palladino

“Take Stephen under his wing and support in any way Stephen’s quest for knowledge while also helping Stephen organize particular presentations which will verify his learning.”

(His directive to his colleague was something like this.)

Oh, I went to classes too. Yet, the eventual upshot was: ninth grade was my single all-star year in the sweep of my formal education. I aced everything and, moreover, I learned a lot and learned I love learning.

One year later my parents had managed to leverage this stellar performance into my admission to Hawken School, a college preparatory day school. I did well in everything but the two subjects that came to thrash my transcript, spanish and math.

But, with the exception of an art teacher and a cross country coach, I was subject to educative mechanics which neither served: my narcissism, or my intrinsic motivation, or my developing culture. I learned mountains more from reading my way independently through a variety of subjects, until, I came onto my social personality in the counter-culture milieu devised by the affluent sons of the professional class, constituting a hippie tribe at prep school. Mainly, I was bored and turned off by the first institutional fault, no teacher cared to massage my narcissism by taking my wide-ranging fascinations seriously.

I loved learning on my own,  loved learning with customized support, but, I didn’t get school. And I surely didn’t understand that the purpose of schooling is potentially fulfilled when the student gets school. Nor did the fear factor over school performance and adult outcomes introduced into the mix by my professional parents take hold. Nor did either ever ask about or cared to understand my motivations. I arrested my development in one direction yet liberated it in another dimension.

All of these elements are crucial aspects of what is today, at sixty, my own personal culture. In turn, my personal culture reflects how it came to be, and, what are its main and side and untravelled roads.

My own culture soon evoked the independent, wandering, perennial student, and this in turn is the ocean underneath the present-day experimenter, theorist, artist, and, colleague.

As a practitioner, and taking my lead from Jim McGuinness, it is required groundwork, when possible, to learn what are some of the cultural features of the learner. Practitioners carry their own unique culture into the situation of practice, and, every such situation also instantiates the culture of its subjects, those who are the unique individuals come to find themselves in the specific situation.

Where the tips of educator and learner intersect is the point at where the twined reduction of the total genetic systems of experience, learning, knowledge, and personal culture of both persons comes together and, out of these now entangled wellsprings, there is newly constituted a co-creative unique cultural production–so-to-speak.

Slides from my recent presentation at the quarterly EL-COP session.

No matter how complicated the background of practice may be, at the point of application there is a reduction to application-in-situ in the ad-mixture of the now entangled unque cultures of practitioner/client.

In the example of one-on-one practice there would be the point of contact constituting the reduction, and, underneath this contact, are two vast generative oceans of prior experience and learning.

The key question able to excavate personal culture, echoing the pragmatic turn of William James and John Dewey, is: What interests you?

Three schema purloined via google image search that suggest to me vectors for investigating personal culture, and this includes the kind of auto-ethnography a person can do for themselves, about their self.

de-reconstruct-learning

Bell's quadrants

Bell’s quadrants

8 Ways of Aboriginal Learning

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Teaching Cartoon: Accountability

accountability

Mobpsychologist

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Benjamin Franklin

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Next Stop, Jupiter

Stephen Calhoun, fine artist

Wrong Planet
(S.Calhoun 2015)

Dear Mr. Harrison
the problem of the Ufos is, as you rightly say, a very fascinating one, but it is as puzzling as it is fascinating; since, in spite of all observations I know of, there is no certainty about their very nature. On the other side, there is an overwhelming material pointing to their legendary or mythological aspect. As a matter of fact the psychological aspect is so impressive, that one almost must regret that the Ufos seem to be real after all. I have followed up the literature as much as possible and it looks to me as if something were seen and even confirmed by radar, but nobody knows exactly what is seen. In consideration of the psychological aspect of the phenomenon I have written a booklet about it, which is soon to appear. It is also in the process of being translated into English. Unfortunately being occupied with other tasks I am unable to meet your proposition. Being rather old, I have to economize my energies.

Carl Jung

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Luck and Creativity

The Cheap Seats (S.Calhoun 2015)

The Cheap Seats (S.Calhoun 2015)


Today, I grabbed by DSLR and took some photos of the early spring ground at locations where ‘complexity’ of the certain sort my symmetry-based photographic art is founded upon could be found and captured. The above image is a quickee.

I updated my Artist’s Statement at My Naive Art online gallery site.

Here it is, although I hope you’ll follow the link and check out my gallery.

ARTISTIC STATEMENT

Creating visual pieces is a musical process. My guiding intentions are to learn by doing experiments, discover unique territories by implicating factors of serendipity and novelty, and, enjoy my adventurous creative process.

My art’s goal is to first grip the viewer, and next draw he or she into exploration and into surprising experience. This comes to a fine confrontation between apprehensive sensibility and artwork in my recent symmetry pieces. These have been described as approximating the effect of a Rorsach pattern. Yes!

Pareidolia is the psychological phenomenon where people see recognizable shapes in clouds, rock formations, or otherwise unrelated objects or data.

It is by my artistic intention that I aim to evoke a moment of psychological discovery to be waged in the representational folds of the symmetry pieces. So it is: I hope for the viewer to inhabit an evocative experience of Pareidolia.

Echoing both my research interest in serendipity in adult development and my musical aesthetic as an improvising composer, the raw exploration involved in seeking out a compelling artistic production is deeply woven betwixt intentional technique and generative/stochastic procedures. The aim is to capture an opportunity for myself and viewers of pure experience.

As pianist Paul Bley aptly said of jazz, ‘it is composing in real time.’ In my visual realm, I compose in serendipitous time.

Stephen, March 2015

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Teaching Cartoon: Go With What You Know

EE2licenseplates21

Resourceful display from Zagara's Grocery

Resourceful display from Zagara’s Grocery

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Spontaneous Relationship “Be-crossed”

squareONE experiential toolmakers

“authenticity cross”

Intention to Learn: Suggest animated entryways to making sense of relationship forsaked.

(The above diagram melds together two transformative learning devices, The Cube-O-Probe, and Playing Opposites.)

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Spontaneous Relationship

spontaneous relationship

People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.” I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds. Carl Rogers

One cost of my understanding that the most golden opportunity is being with/doing with people, is uncovered when I learn what the other’s perception is of this primary urge of mine. Additionally, I could catalog the rationales for other person’s disinterest, or, otherwise, for someone not wishing to step toward relationship.

Sometimes a person who has rebuffed my offer might wander back to where our two atmospheres and breath-making intersect, and this seems to offer the playing out of a beginning, grief, authenticity.

Writ to the scale of practice, questions about the varieties of relationship remain under-appreciated. Often considerations of relationship are subsumed by regard for communicative elements, yet this can come to filter such considerations, and do so to the point that understanding of communication comes at the expense of understanding relationship.

Carl Rogers: Core Conditions and Education

The definition of a relationship depends not merely upon the skeleton of events which make up the interaction but also upon the way the individuals concerned see and interpret these events. Thus seeing or interpreting can be regarded as the application of a set of propositions about the world or the self for whose validity depends upon the subject’s believe in them. The individuals are partially free to interpret their world according to the premises of the respective character structure, and the freedom to do this is still further increased by the phenomena of selective awareness and by the fact that the perceiving individual plays a part in creating the appropriate sequences of action by contributing his own his own action to the sequence. (Gregory Bateson, Juergen Ruesch, 1951, The Social matrix of Psychiatry)

In stepping back from most bare bones conceptions of relationship, the multiple operational loops of dynamic construal and “intra-enactive” responses come to be revealed. Who are you? It is the most penetrating question possible.

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Each Arrives With A Gift (World Poetry Day 2015)

World Poetry Day 2015

Barbara O'Connelly (1967) from THERE WERE DREAMS

Barbara O’Connelly (1967) from THERE WERE DREAMS

Timothy Calhoun, poet

by Timothy Calhoun

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Visual Experiment: Character Mandala No. 1c

Stephen Calhoun, fine artist
Character Mandala No.1c (2015, Stephen Calhoun)

my art online:

My Naive Art

Symmetry Hypothesis

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Deepening the Ecology of Knowing

I love Nora Bateson; but, I don’t know her so I have to be more precise.

Plus: it is complicated because as much as I do not know her, and as much as I deeply understand to love that which one does not know begs a profound question about what one intends to mean in using the active form of the word love, it is nevertheless by virtue of some shared concerns that this problem of deep feeling for is resolvable.

There is way to go into this, into the ‘this’ that is the flux of the meta-problem, to assert love, and, what I term the playful problem–the problem being played–that yields to the promise of precision.

Many years ago, I stood behind an attractive single woman in a line waiting to be served take-out. I was single at the time and I knew she was single because this all took place at a restaurant I worked at as a manager, and I had casually learned that one of the owners had chatted up this gal and teased out that she was single.

I am not intentionally a flirt, and tend to be shy around strangers. I am not in the least bit forward. Yet, standing there right behind her, she no doubt unintentionally dangled a hook.

“I love ice cream!” she said to no one in particular.

I said “Hmmmm,” loudly enough to cause her to turn around.

“Don’t you love ice cream?” She asked.

Several beats passed, as if a snare drummer was swishing brushes near us.

“Ice cream. I enjoy it very much. It’s just me and I’m peculiar on this point, but I reserve my love for people. At least in the main I try to do so.”

She gave me a two part look, the first part was a tilt of her head, and then she nodded in reflective affirmation of her original sentiment.

“I love ice cream!”

As it turned out, on another occasion I asked her out on a date and her response was memorable and droll.

“Stephen, I’d love to go out on a date but I have just begun seeing a gentlemen.”

Love is one of the most sifted through of the several primary objects of my contemplation and meditation over forty years. Moreover, I fiercely love: my partner, and my friends. Each instance of loving interpersonal relationship also constitutes a unique subject matter, field, opportunity for praxis, site for creation and collaboration, and opportunity for (in non-particular order,) play, demonstration, mystery. If I have loved someone once, I love them forever.

Of course there are the gradients which mediate the overarching gross classes: attraction, interrelationship, devotion, surrender. These windings comprise an ecology of love.

For example, Ms. Bateson is attractive on, at least, several crucial counts: smart, open to learning, optimistic, soulful. The other aspect in my Big Five is: kind. My guess is Nora is also kind. She looks like a kind person. At the lowest level my estimation here is deeply informed by my anima problem. At that level, this is the low level difference (making a difference,) too.

So, from all of this, the cut of precision recognizes that my love flows firstly along the partially unconscious line of this anima problem, and is motivated first energetically, and then, as a result of praxis, or learning.

There is no interrelationship or devotion or surrender involved. Call this Second Order Love. Other elements are subsumed by this second order, but these elements are essential too. These include the body of Ms. Bateson’s work, and the body of work of her father, Gregory Bateson.

I love Gregory Bateson too, but with him the attraction engages the Father Complex, engages Jupiter.

Nora and I share lots of concerns.I bet she’d dig my experiential  tools! I playfully deconstruct, for example, social cybernetic systems, using very surgical methods rooted in various ecologies.

The ecology of love is just one of those ecologies.

Precisely then: I love Nora for distributing her soulful ideas and embodying with optimistic energy her mission to send such messages. In the system of my own loving, this is an extremely limited vector for my possible feeling, but it is much much deeper than my ‘like’ of coffee ice cream.

Every second a voice of love
comes from every side.
Who needs to go sightseeing?

We came from a majesty,
and we go back there.

Load up.
What is this place?

Muhammad leads our caravan.
It is lucky to start out
in such a fresh breeze.

Like ocean birds, human beings
come out of the ocean.
Do not expect to live inland.

We hear a surging inside our chests,
an agreement we made in eternity.

The wave of that agreement rolled in
and caulked the body’s boat.

Another wave will smash us.
Then the meeting we wanted will occur.

version of Rumi by Coleman Barks
(from: Rumi. Bridge to the Soul)

 


Ms. Bateson film about her father An Ecology of the Mind is essential. [$24.95 Amazon]

Nora Bateson Facebook

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Overt Pairs of the Experiential Learning Cycle of David Kolb


Tuesday’s presentation went smoothly. The discussion was lively. I was especially gratified that two of my closest friends from outside the experiential learning community showed up.

In preparing the presentation, I learned a bunch going back through Kolb’s writing about his theory, and then careening down a number of intellectual side streets, most of which concerned philosophizing about dialectics and polarities.

Also, I read some terrific scholarly work by Peter Ochs about C.S.Peirce.

CycleoftheCycle

During the presentation I introduced a very deep tool. The tool, The Cycle of David Kolb’s Cycle is both an experimental learning device and, by far, the most Batesonian and ‘biosemiotical’ tool I’ve, so far, conjured.

SquareONE experiential toolmakers

Going forward, the trick will be to successfully promote people trying the tool out. Many people just cannot get outside of their box/trance to try something wild, deconstructive and based in getting inside: symbols and a ‘semios.’

This tool is especially random and sharply aimed to whack through instrumentalities. It aims to liberate more soulful abductions with respect to learning.

If you want to try it out, email me: sc.calhoun at gmail.com

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Teaching Cartoon: Anachronism

Sufi teaching story

version. original: The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin

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Pre-Probe – Generating Paradox

Cross Format - Cube-O-Probe

Cross Format – Cube-O-Probe

Ken and I tossed the ‘Probe before our staff development moment at Wadsworth Public Library. It identified some factors to consider before our program. For example, Ken and I discussed how to keep the group coloring within the lines of our process for the sake of both clarity and effectiveness. It was good head’s up.

As a procedural heuristic device, the Cube-O-Probe sets a sunny top three cubes and a lunar bottom three cubes, with the two X-axis cubes mediating both above and below.

The above toss, spilled out prior to this afternoon’s program, is welcome as it suggests it would be wise to think about over-theorizing–going too far–in the direction of the normative theory in this afternoon’s virtual program (for the Experiential Learning Community of PracticeGenerating Paradox. Overt and Covert Polarities in David A. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle.

The other half of the lunar side carries a more ominous hint upon which to reflect.

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Surprisingly: Hectic <--> Galumphing (Polarity)

Athena&Kolb

Athena, owl, spear, shield with learning cycle of David A. Kolb

Please join me for my presentation tomorrow at 3:45pm EST. I’ve made some changes in the original description.

Ha! I invented a new experiential learning tool, The Cycle of David A. Kolb’s Cycle. I originally figured I would give it a spin with colleagues and other interested persons at the same time I held down the presenter’s spot in the quarterly meeting of The Experiential Learning Community of Practice. This experiment was placed in the original description.

But, then I recalled I am an ENFP, and a Reflective Learner in Kolbian terms, and, I was able to withdraw the projection that suggested I could turn the self-selecting participants into ad hoc experimental subjects.

Not so fast, buster!

I’ve nevertheless opted for an energetic presentation, yet, I dialed the interactive aspect down so close to the null value that all that will be retained, interactively speaking, will be the discussion in the second half.

(Below are links to pdfs of the slides and the tool itself. These will be public for 72 hours.)

Generating Paradox. Overt and Covert Polarities in David A. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle

Given the theoretical-conceptual architecture of Kolb’s Learning Cycle, fascinating yet obscured conceptual relations subsist within the dynamic move from the organismic systematic theory to its application as a theory-in-use/applied model.

This experiential presentation teases out some of those relations by leveraging both the explicit dialectical relations in the normative model, and co-existing, emergent, yet hidden polar relations discoverable elsewhere near bye.

In this peeling away of layers of the conceptual ‘onion,’ two gains are anticipated: one, the active learner will experience reasons for de-reifying applied aspects of learning style, and, two, the learner may be inspired to expand his or her own experiential learning model’s practical reach.

Expect 45 minutes of presentation and 45 minutes of discussion and comments and questions.

Download Links PDF via box.com:

Slides

for future use:
The Cycle of the Kolb Cycle Tool 

This presentation is designed to be experiential. Participants may maximize the experience by taking notes of what is compelling.

Connect via Adobe Connect Meeting: (please use phone for audio)

Meeting Name: EL CoP Meeting
Summary:
When: 03/12/2015 3:45 PM – 5:30 PM
Time Zone: (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Conference Number(s): 605 475 6006
Participant Code: 142480
To join the meeting:
https://meet54507615.adobeconnect.com/r5pn1fptqz4/

You will need: Adobe Connect Add-On, Direct Download:
https://www.adobe.com/support/connect/downloads-updates.html

Adobe provides a client for iPad on the Apple App Store.

If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before:
Test your connection: https://meet54507615.adobcom/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htmeconnect.
Get a quick overview: http://www.adobe.com/products/adobeconnect.html

Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat and Adobe Connect are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

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Views From Above, Mirrored

Stephen Calhoun, fine artist
Where In the World? Series HGN#2

Stephen Calhoun, fine artist
Where In the World? Series HGN#1

Stephen Calhoun, fine artist
Where In the World? Series HGN#1

Where In the World? Workshop Series. Deploying Google Earth as a source of overhead urban images of sufficient complexity and character to further work via manipulative mirroring routines; and, also using Photoshop actions to further manipulate the look.

These three images, then, represent different experiments. My perspective is similar to that of the great jazz bassist Charles Mingus, who characterized his musical explorations as being “incomplete and unending workshops in sound and organization.”

These three experiments reflect screen captures of overhead views of a particular city that is known to me and would be a puzzle to resolve, for the viewer.

Gallery of my visual experiments, 1998-.

Symmetry experiments at symmetry-hypothesis@tumblr

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Anchoring Humane and Loving Support of Knowledge Seeking and Sensemaking in the Public Library

Public Library Hierarchy of Care
Public Library Hierarchy of Care – Classes

IN4tuity ventured to a public library client on February 16. For a half day experiential learning program our design leveraged dialogical inquiry and conversational learning in the whole system of the staff to develop a Hierarchy of Care for the library.

My insight starts from the well-known Maslow pyramid:

Maslow

Integrates the Spiral Dynamics in the background of Ken and my appreciative, constructivist, experiential and ‘critically conscious’ (P.Freire) precepts,

Spiral Dynamics Values

and, with Ken guiding my own discoveries, synthesizes the ordered developmental categories given by the liberated astropsychology. (On this, see especially, Calhoun-2015, Glenn Perry)

The staff went to work in interdepartmental teams and identified and dialogued about their concrete experiences and learnings about care. During a group inquiry, the captures were written to the appropriate class in the customized pyramid. We ended up with a very rich, and very subtle, organizational Hierarchy of Care. And, we also added a new proven tool to our kit.

Today I squinted and visualized IN4tuity‘s fundamental thrust: to help anchor the humane and loving support of knowledge-seeking and sensemaking in the ecology of public library-in-its-community.

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Brain and Culture

V.S. Ramachandran (Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition and Distinguished Professor with the Psychology Department and Neurosciences Program at the University of California, San Diego, and Adjunct Professor of Biology at the Salk Institute)
– lecture begins at 3:10

bonus

Edward O. Wilson (Harvard Univ. Museum of Comparative Zoology Faculty Emeritus Pellegrino University Professor, Emeritus)
On the Relation Science and the Humanities – Nine Parts

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Going Down, Going Deep

Stephen Calhoun, fine artist
Going Down – 14×11″, from a photograph, 2015, Stephen Calhoun – my symmetry experiments on tumblr

bonus:

Coral City from The Creators Project on Vimeo.

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Teaching Cartoon, Cave Man

teaching cartoon

Caveman
A caveman seeks revenge on a much larger competitor for the hand of a beautiful cavewoman.
Directed by Carl Gottlieb. Starring Ringo Starr, Dennis Quaid and Shelley Long.

Dr. Puck’s Prejudicial Proposition Number One:

If you step backward in time step by step, eventually every bright idea and every idea falls away.

Azerbaycan Rock Art

Azerbaycan Rock Art

(Genealogy Of Religion) Aside from the usual concerns about over interpretation, some wondered whether there was any justification for assuming that Paleolithic people had an essentially modern aesthetic category which might be called “art.” If they didn’t, it would follow that artistic interpretations of the cave paintings were just that and shed little light on Paleolithic minds.

Frustrated by the sense that we weren’t getting any closer to understanding Paleolithic symbols, some began searching for alternatives. One of the more compelling came from cognitive archaeologist David Lewis-Williams. Having studied rock art around the world, Lewis-Williams noticed that certain kinds of symbols regularly appeared across time and space. This was an enigma, given that the peoples producing these recurring symbols had not been in contact with one another. These symbols were not, in other words, the result of cultural diffusion. Lewis-Williams calls these symbols “entoptic forms”:

entoptic

 

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Hebrew Pairs & Opening Trunks

Hebrew_Alphabet

 

Excerpt from Opening Trunks, The Chuang Tzu, Chuangtse
Translated by Yutang Lin [source]

But nowadays any one can make the people strain their necks and stand on tiptoes by saying, “In such and such a place there is a Sage.” Immediately they put together a few provisions and hurry off, neglecting their parents at home and their masters’ business abroad, going on foot through the territories of the Princes, and riding to hundreds of miles away. Such is the evil effect of the rulers’ desire for knowledge When the rulers desire knowledge and neglect Tao, the empire is overwhelmed with confusion.

How can this be shown? When the knowledge of bows and cross-bows and hand-nets and tailed arrows increases, then they carry confusion among the birds of the air. When the knowledge of hooks and bait and nets and traps increases, then they carry confusion among the fishes of the deep. When the knowledge of fences and nets and snares increases, then they carry confusion among the beasts of the field. When cunning and deceit and flippancy and the sophistries of the “hard” and white’ and identities and differences increase in number and variety, then they overwhelm the world with logic.

Therefore it is that there is often chaos in the world, and the love of knowledge is ever at the bottom of it. For all men strive to grasp what they do not know, while none strive to grasp what they already know; and all strive to discredit what they do not excel in, while none strive to discredit what they do excel in. That is why there is chaos. Thus, above, the splendor of the heavenly bodies is dimmed; below, the power of land and water is burned up, while in between the influence of the four seasons is upset. There is not one tiny worm that moves on earth or insect that flies in the air but has lost its original nature. Such indeed is the world chaos caused by the desire for knowledge! Ever since the time of the Three Dynasties downwards, it has been like this. The simple and the guileless have been set aside; the specious and the cunning have been exalted. Tranquil inaction has given place to love of disputation; and disputation alone is enough to bring chaos upon the world.

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