Perceptual Agility — and Presidential Powers
I have been struggling in my writing, struggling to weave simple thinking from divergent sources and tiered complexities of human minds. And I have been writing a series of posts about the power of our worldviews to shape our perceptions and subsequent experience of ourselves and of our world. Within this reaching for coherency amidst diversity and incongruity is my own need to make sense of the world, to perceive, craft and articulate, if you will, a world view of beauty.
Now emerging into my awareness is a belief I seem to carry, though I avow little use for beliefs in general. The belief is this: in the perception and experience of beauty there lies a path of thrive-ability. And in today’s world, the choices as to the beliefs and perceptions I will feed myself include a palette of commercial and government propaganda… and also too, the rising of life’s breath into a white blossom as the Spanish Dagger outside my window celebrates Life, it’s life.
Oh yes, recent posts visited the worldviews of fear and insufficiency, of the us against them thinking represented by the likes of Reverend Parsley, John McCain’s once acknowledged spiritual adviser… and frankly, I need a break from all the seriousness I’ve been embedding into this blog. I ought to be spending more time with the wild flowers of Spring and listening as they sing and dance to the polarities of male and female and day and night and this and that—as they interweave Oneness out of multiplicity.
So hold on, cause I consider the capacity and the ability for perceptual agility to be key to our wild resiliency. Yep, I’m talking about our willingness and courage and Life’s invitation that we perceive too the world from multiple perspectives, say from the way our neighbors across the fence or even our enemies see the world. And damn too but what it wouldn’t do me and us a bit of good to step out of our self-centric worldviews long enough to laugh at our follies.
So here, by way of invitation and warm-up are a couple of examples of perceptual agility.
p style=”text-align:center;”>Just Now
A rock took fright
When it saw me
By playing dead
Now, what would happen if I began to perceive the world itself as a living presence? Even technology.
Oh my goddess! That would turn just everything… upside down. Maybe Woody Allen has an idea worth submitting to the powers that be when he writes, in Next Life
p style=”text-align:center;”>In my next life I want to live my life
p style=”text-align:center;”>You start out dead and get that out of
the way. Then you wake up in an old
people’s home feeling better every day.
p style=”text-align:center;”>You get kicked out for being too healthy,
go collect your pension, and then when
you start work, you get a gold watch
and a party on your first day.
p style=”text-align:center;”>You work for 40 years until you’re young
enough to enjoy your retirement. You party,
drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous,
then you are ready for high school. You then
go to primary school, you become a kid,
you play. You have no responsibilities; you
become a baby until you are born.
p style=”text-align:center;”>And then you spend your last 9 months floating
in luxurious spa-like conditions with central
heating and room service on tap, larger
quarters every day
and then Voila….You finish off as an orgasm!
I rest my case.
And I submit that laughter and humor and play are some of the best ways for helping us see ourselves and the world differently. So Thank You to the poets and artists and comedians… who carry that gift of reminding us that we owe ourselves a bit of perceptual agility every now and then, that it is healthy to look at ourselves and life upside down and backwards occasionally.
Just imagine, what if the esteemed President of the United States, the Commander and Chief, walked into the Oval Office this AM and the first thought on his mind, the burning question that kept him or her awake through the night was: “How am I going to spread more love throughout the world today?”
Now we know that environments of love and trust commingle to create… not just peace but ecosystems nurturing of business, trade, abundance, security and yes, of resiliency too. So isn’t this the real job of the Presidential office, and the proper daily attention for one in such a position of influence and power: How am I going to spread more love throughout the world today?”
Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring said as much, and in far fewer words than I:
The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe, the less taste we shall have for destruction.
OK, so what’s your burning question of the day? What keeps you awake at night? How might you perceive it if say… you stood on your head? Where do you look to renew your experience of beauty and wonder and love? And what will you do today to spread their power upon this blue planet?
What will it take for my life, for your life, for the thrive-ability of humanity… to blossom like the Spanish Dagger outside my window?
Notes: The research on the economic value of trust comes from a great resource, Institute for Global Ethics. For Diving deeper into the perceptual agility Life invites us into see also: Beware of the Stories you Read or Tell; and The Value of a New Story—An Accurate Worldview, and numerous other posts and links on this site.
Also, I delightfully discovered today, and recommend: My Blue Puzzle Piece
Marc Choyt06/09/2008 at 1:44 pm
Without beauty, without a conscious practice of stopping and being in the eternal now, it is easy to be driven by a heroic monotheistic consciousness disconnected from the web, from all our relations. I find it critical that I worship at many alters. Deep experience of Now and the mystery of beauty is for me is essential to keeping alive the regenerative joy. Every day, many times, consciously connect in. Without this, without feeling this flow, one can mistake babble for the only reality.
Larry Glover06/10/2008 at 3:49 am
Thanks, Mark. Well said.
What if Buddha had said… « wild resiliency blog!06/13/2008 at 4:41 am
[…] What a great example of the value of perceptual agility! […]
Change the Past and the Future « wild resiliency blog!09/18/2008 at 6:21 am
[…] visions envelope us like the worldviews we see ourselves and Life through, like the stories and the memes that tell us what is permissible to see and […]