Understanding Others for Career Choices

After Visiting the Library  I found a great book for young old––
for   plotting  future career considerations:


Career- graphic guide to finding the perfect.. (DM publishing)


I decided to make my mindmap  (A note and brainstorming tool)
using page 10:

Understanding Yourself

mindmaps are a great tool   for  brainstorming or general notes––
all you really need is a pencil and paper.
I used  Freeplane  software  in this case. (note: freeplane requires Java)

Here is my map:


Understanding yourself: for Careers



Outline Form:



Understanding Yourself- Career Paths  outline form (Freeplane)

click here shows an outline in text


Good luck on your own Career choices

Cash Value of Meaning and Truth

To better understand William James’s  metaphor of  the Cash Value of Truth, I would like to make a case that “Cash value of Meaning” would be an improved word choice for today.
This is to say that from a subjective stand point, a person decides what is meaningful and how meaningful in any given context ( family social, work social environmental, aesthetically such as Studying a sculpture in a gallery) etc), in a market like process. Each context has own meanings, finally interpreted by the person, himself in his own interests.William James

A simplified example two people in the context of conversation.

Each person brings memory, previous opinion, biology, world view, diction and present mood into the field of conversation. This context of meeting  includes the physical location, and participants, including anything in the background. It maybe limited to what was discussed. If the two converse freely, the talking points and their significance of each discussed topic is decided by the participants in a intersubjective manner. All the topics discussed belong to the conversation and should rely only on that field at the time. How significant each topic was is prioritized with events in that field of conversation.

This may have been a meaningful exchange. The importances of this bracket event: the conversation, is experienced and prioritized by emotive, intellectual and active reaction. the important moments are provocative.

Later, If one the participants, reflects on the conversation earlier (people usually do) to define more meaning, they are now creating a NEW context. Now the context, or field, is with the person and his memory. Probably not as provocative… the entire market place is within the coercion of his own world view and mood of the location and his body/mind. The participants of the market place, of this moment of reflection are entirely himself. All arguments are of himself… body,mind, location.

  • Each meaningful experience is localized event. This fits with James thoughts that life is a series of interwoven experiences.
  • Interpersonal / intersubjective meanings are less coerced when it is discussed or experienced with multiple participants, whether other people, organisms, or environmental agents. just as William James market- like metaphor suggest.
  • The building blocks of are more constant meaningful ideas are defined tested and retested by new day to day experiences.

“Truth’s” for  William James,  are meaningful (in that they provocative or conscious constructed) ideas that are assimilated by one or many by verification in the marketplace of a reality. Truth is always contextual, always referring to experience, social, environmental, spatial, etc.  Truth always refers to an experience or a series of experiences where they are verified intersubjectively by all the participants in the field.  This holds true in science and other Academic contexts where ideas are rigorously tested by  the tester,   subject and controlled fields of testing.

Meaningful Conclusion

Truth Happens to an Idea as James proclaims, after rigorous testing in experiences, or its deemed as not true.
“Meaning of Ideas” is when those ideas and happenings, true or not, have a significance or use,  and  a how significant or useful to the ideas that are  tested in the realm of experiences.

Diversity and Individual freedom

What would be the point of championing personal “freedom” without championing “diversity”?.
How can one talk of how fervently he or she values their own ability to make choices, have control of his world view and life styles, what actions they take today and in the future, without regarding the freedom of choices in others?
If one wish to advocate to others his / her ” personal freedom” : What is in it for his audience if they can’t have this same freedom for themselves?

Please excuse my rhetorical device…. No one actually to told me that they disdain diversity today . I am just entertaining the idea that social diversity and personal freedom go hand and hand.
After all, I expect that a large group of people, a community made up of individuals who enjoy their freedoms , would result in a community made up of individuals who act and think quite differently. — potentially a diverse population. I couldn’t possibly advocate personal freedom, without advocating the freedoms for others, the freedom to be different in some way than others.

You see, in my estimations , We still need to include group ethics in a conversation of freedom of the individual. Freedom is contextual, there would be no need to talk of civil liberties of persons (or other critters) if their was no one else around.

I champion the ethics of reciprocity and dignity , the golden rule : treat others as I would wish to be treated; expect the same in return; expect that all sides are esteemed. Its a cornerstone of individuality and diversity in community.

If I demand others to tolerate my personal freedoms in choices in belief , attitude and action then i must tolerate other’s freedom in choices of the same.
To do so is to expect that another may have a different lifestyle, way of thinking, way of being, then my own. If we are not trampling on each others dignity, well -being, or personal freedoms this should work out fine. To respect one and another, does not mean we have to like every aspect of one and other.  To do so is to respect and expect diversity and personal freedom.

Simple Daily Emotions Chart for Children (revised)

This is a  quick revision   of    post:  “Daily Emotion Chart for special needs kids.” the chart is deliberately  simple following the K.I.S.S  method.  Although it was inspired to help  a  child with special needs,   anyone could use it modify it or make their own.  The next post will feature a new simple feeling chart or tracker that is better suited for adolescents or adults.
Now, I have to go shovel Snow,  have a great day!

I have a friend with a special needs child. She told me  that, she was upset. She  unable to communicate what she saw in her child’s behaviour at home to her sons teachers at school. Her son’s teachers were having a very difficult time managing him at school. Because the child was diagnosed with a mood disorder (as well as some serious behaviour problems and patterns)
I suggested having him fill out  a mood chart to aid in comparing his behaviour with affect over time. Somewhere I found an hourly mood chart on the WEB, downloaded it, and made some copied her.
I found out a couple months later, That the teachers at the school were actually sitting down and filling out the chart with her son. My friend was filling it out the chart at home as well and sharing with case workers and her child’s psychiatrist.
It was the  simplest tool that helped aid  a child to communicate what he was feeling to his teachers, his mother and his professionals. A simple aid to help people get on the same page.
Sadly I cannot find the mood chart I downloaded back then, so i thought I’d take the time to create a simple new one.

Not only does a feeling chart give the support people to  a special needs child a better understanding of what the child is thinking…

It gives a child a chance to do something many are just afraid to do…Voice what they are feeling. Express themselves confidently.

emotions-chart-picture  There many kinds of charts, colorful ones…
but since i make no money for making charts, well my chart is simple.

You can download a PDF copy (readable with Adobe, Foxit Open office, etc) Clicking Here:


A download is also available on the Charts Tab of Pennsylvania Echoes Blog.


Since the the original post  I have offered the  Daily Simple Feeling Chart for  children in a couple other formats:

 Available in  Doc(Ms Word) and Odt formats (Open Office / LibreOffice  Writer Formats)

intersubjective disagreements, Markets and Democracy

I still believe democracy is still important.  I also believe in the spirit of civil rights: that a person has ownership over his body  and is free to cognate (think, feel,  be attract to, be mindful of) as  he/she wishes  — whether I  like what or how or a person thinks or not.  Its really that outward actions   that one places guidelines and restrictions on — this: responsibility part of freedom/responsibility.   what one “owns”,  one is responsible for. Freedom and responsibility are intertwined.

This is an ideal condition. More accurately i believe most people are best suited gaining relative freedom, responsibility, and self-sustainability, whether by pursuing these concepts or recognizing opportunity as they come along.  Physical and circumstantial conditions  can  limit these realizations for any person. However I am going to stick to an ideal concepts for now.

If freedom of choice and thought  is  individual right to  cognate as he/she wishes, then responsibility is something that includes more than an individual.. a group or a society.  How can a group of free thinking and choosing  individuals, with so many different attitudes and thought processes, come together and decide how not to trample over each other with their actions?

The following  video  is an interesting video that suggests that Democracy is, metaphorically, a intersubjective market place for  individuals to decide standard value and meaning in a group dynamic…  such as community or society.

The following was revised from post
subjective disagreements, market and intersubjectivity
posted originally 6-06-2011

A market, group or society makes decisions on values and meanings as a whole while its  diversity   engines the interaction between components or individuals.

Interesting video  shared by     entitled “Intersubjectivity“.

The narrator uses the example of a stock in a market to demonstrate how intersubjective relationships determine value. As he demonstrates on the chalkboard   it is the the whole of a free  market that determines a price of a stock, and  the  market requires  subjective disagreements between individuals with  different perspectives to work. That is, without the differences of subjective  valuing of a particular stock,  with different subjective  opinions of  the individual  buyers, sellers , no trading activity would take place.

Even though the participants  have come  to this market with similar interests: business, market trading, interest in a the same stock, …it is the difference of their belief  ( in particular the worth and value of a stock) that makes the market work.

If I look at this Market as a simplified model of a society, what can I infer?
Although people often seek out common interests, values and other people like themselves… its the diversification  of people in a democratic society that sets the societies values.
We are in a society as bound by our differences and disagreements  as we are bound by our similarities.
if  our economy is engined by the diversity of subjective disagreement in valuing, diversity of professions, I may assume that socially …as  communities or nations… we are better with diversity. Diversity  in  faiths, philosophies, opinions, conservative and liberal view points, life styles, etc.

What can we live with?
A society makes decisions as a whole based on values and belief  that are different then its  individuals. This means to preserve our individual rights, beliefs  and values we must tolerate  other subjective rights, beliefs an values, and come to common decisions we can all live with, decide by a democratic society as a whole.

Intersubjective Ethics.

A  democratic society  of individuals in complex relationship  is  powered by its diversity of subjective view points  and lifestyles ,as it is its common-ness.

If  we do agree  as a  democratic society that diversity is a necessary….or  at least diversity is a positive attribute, than we  must have some definition of tolerance.
One must be able  demonstrate patience and fairness when dealing other individuals who think, believe and act differently then himself, if not welcome the differences.
One must be able to deal fairly with people differing faith, ethnicity, health, education , background,  gender and age, etc that is different then themselves, as they have different needs and values, but are just  as important to a society.
Tolerance is an important  personal ethic to define, just as  other intersubjective  ethics such as reciprocity and dignity.

Society and the individual.
I think that, if we look objectively at societies as gestalts of intersubjective interaction, we can better understand the relationship of the individual to society. At the same time individuals interact within a spectrum of agreeing and disagreeing values ,beliefs, and perspectives  they also come together to make decisions as a whole in  democratic community, nation, or society.

And if you disagree with me, I will respect that. :)


Compassion is the understanding of others, with the cultivated awareness of suffering.    Perhaps  more  accurately,    Compassion is empathy with the awareness of suffering.

The western concept of “empathy“, popular in the writings of twentieth century humanists, philosophers and psychologist has its own active verb tense. “to empathize” or “empathizing“. compassion does not have a verb tense in English… perhaps ” to sympathize“… but I will stick with Compassion, here.

To empathize is to imagine another’s experience,  compare that experience with his/hers and to be affected.   One empathizes with another person(s), organism(s) and their circumstance. It should be noted, that from a stand point of certain schools of thought,as in Zen Buddhism, Humanistic Psychology and existential- phenomenology, an organism is always considered with his circumstances. One is always interacting, affecting and being affected by his environment . This is “experience”, the participation of an organism in its world. “Phenomenology” is big ugly word for the study of experience(s), from subjective lenses.    “Empathizing”, is being affected by and imagining another(s) experience(s).

Another overlapping concept is “perspective-taking“. “Perspective taking” is imagining another’s experience and world-view.   Perspective-taking is objective and rational in method; and deliberate in avoiding any emotional affect and judgments.    To take another’s point-of-view and study while holding back any personal bias and presumption would be perspective taking. (see also Husserl’s bracketing or epoche`)
Is it at all possible to remove all bias?    Some psychologists argue that perspective taking is a primitive form of empathizing .

Alfie Cohen, Author of “Brighter Side of Human Nature“…… poses another  phenomenological approach to empathy that he calls “feeling-into“. To “feel-into” another’s circumstance, personal happenings, gestalt or being-in-this-world. Feeling-into is an full cognitive investigation of another’s subjective experience.

Back to Compassion

I do believe that there are people who can empathize or feel-into another’s situation without compassion.
A study of the psychopathology of some dangerous criminals might support my claim.   For example: there are a few who feel powerful or aroused when they imagine themselves as the victims of their violent attacks. in this case there is empathy and perspective taking, for pathological pleasure, but no compassion.

To act with compassion is to act and empathize, while recognizing and considering suffering. To act with compassion is to act and be affected by the suffering of others.

Understanding suffering is at the core of any study, religion, or way-of-being that is called Buddhism.  Thus compassion is a much talked about subject-matter . Understanding the nature of suffering is fundamental to Buddhist practice.
Note below a translation of the four Noble Truths of Buddhism

Four Nobel Truths of Buddhism .

  • Suffering Exists in Life
  • The Source of Suffering is attachment
  • The Emancipation of Suffering is attainable
  • The Path or the “Eightfold Path” (wisdom, conduct, development)

In Christianity, (at least from my non-religious outsider’s stand appointment), A great deal of importance is placed on the suffering of Jesus at the end of his days. In interpretations,   God seeks to empathize with man in the Life and times of Jesus. Followers seek to understand God in part by empathizing with the life and Crucifixion of Jesus. The very important Christian theme of Redemption is tied to suffering and compassion just as it is the teachings of Jesus, in the “Sermon on the Mount“.

Compassion is care for others. What can, at times, be overshadowed is the care for ones own well-being.   IMHO: It is important to act in the same compassionate manner for his or herself, as he does for others.   Just as important as anything written here:    The care and wellbeing of one’s self and others includes happiness, pleasure, curiosity and a spectrum of experiences…. not just suffering.

Compassion maybe a cornerstone of ethics along with self- esteem and reciprocity. If we truly love and esteem ourselves (that is, our being) ;    If we treat each other in the manner we wish to be treated, then we may presume that no one likes pain and suffering.   We’d care for ourselves and others, and act accordingly— rich in understanding perspectives beyond our own.
It would be unethical to deliberatively harm another (or one’s own being) that we have compassion and care for.

Intersubjectivity and Interpersonal Brighter Side Repost

Intersubjectivity and Inerpersonal Bright Side” was origionally posted: dec 5, 2011.

Look upon other people and see that we are all  humans.  We  roughly appear to have the same forms and physics, the same sets of uniquely  human behaviors ( such as use of language). Upon deeper inspection, by biologists  who study DNA, There are traits and characteristics that are universally Homo Sapien or  human.
Meet and talk with other people and discover that people have cognitive differences of each person; Travel and note the cultural  differences of people.
If  you are one who has used medications and therapies for serious health problems, you will quickly learn the unwritten rule : “what works for one may not work for another, everyone is different“. One can infer each Homo Sapien is  biologically different from the next, Same  goes for their sum total of subjective  experiences. The individual  has characteristics that are unique.

I am  pretty sure  that a universal model does not apply when talking about all people, most of  the time. But we also, in talking about the human race per se , or groups… education  ,communication or interactions ..need to talk about more than just the individual. I certainly want to know more than the individual that is me.

Self and Other, Person to Person

As I am  a subject of my  own permeated world that I participate in,  other persons are the subject of their own. As  subjects we have considerable influence upon the world. a subject acts upon other things.  In  the shared circumstance, such as that  of  a  conversation, or any other interpersonal experience, Each must treat the  “other” as a subject of overlapping or joined existence– an intersubjective circumstance.  Intersubjectivity.

On the hand, a we appreciate, as it were, [another  persons]  otherness, and on the other hand we appreciate the humanness we have in common

Brighter Side of Human Nature. Alfie Kohn chapter titled The Self and Other
Kohn goes on the explain  intersubjectivity in a meeting  (conversation, circumstance, Dasein etc) .  After the two fold contrast of Self and Other arises; and two subjects recognize an intersubjective  meeting, A   twofold attitude with the contrasting  of  sameness and difference arises. This is not a state between sameness and difference, according to Kohn, rather a “dynamic tension of the two”.

One  who appreciates both dimensions of otherness and common humanness is able to appreciate a given individuals subjectivity […] a subject is an actor, a knower, a center of experience and while two individuals share  these features each is  also a different subject.

I would postulate  that one is  often comforted in the  sameness beyond humanness in a intersubjective moment.  A subject maybe comforted in the sameness of culture, age, gender, ethnicity, ideology.  Perhaps, for better or for worse,the  Sameness    we find in other people confirms ones own identity.
We are at the same time excited by the novelty of otherness, sometimes startled…. sometimes curious. If   man is  to reach  beyond his own hands grasp , it could be said one seeks  out  otherness beyond himself. In interpersonal relationships, we very often find another person’s Otherness, including the persons individual experiences and circumstances, compelling or alluring.

Beyond Objectification

Many Neuroscientists believe that they have located “Mirror neurons” in the human brain. These neurons are believed to activate when we observe   other people actions.  In certain developmental stages (the experts argue the exact ages)  one learns by observing others, an interpersonal  action.

The understanding  that: other people  that one contacts (meets and interacts with) in his/her  own experiences,  have  similar  experiences  of their own, more than any stone, tree , structure or object;
and that they impact and influence  as subjects within their own experiences… this is understanding  takes a practical leap of faith.
But this understanding, which requires assumptions supported by a subjects growing experiences, lifts one beyond dull  solipsism and egoism , to the richness of an intersubjective matrix, which is our human world.

Modern Physics may suggest a  “subject:object” or “I:it” outlook as impractical. All things  have influence on all other things in a field, whether the affect is grand or arbitrary.  Any subject acting on a body, whether a stone, tree, another person, earth, sun, is influenced by the other in return. Objects are not static or inert.
For the purpose of interpersonal subject:subject or intersubjective relationship We may  as, Martin Bubers suggest, choose “I:thou” interpretation over “I:it” .

The Brighter Side

The rich understanding of other people in their  Dasein beyond ones own existence is one thing and Learning from others another. We also have to live with each other in space and our societies.  If I am ” to treat others  in the manner I wish to be treated“, Wouldn’t I have to know what is it like to be in another circumstance?

I am Reading Alfie Kohn’s The Brighter side of Human Nature“. Which postulates an individual’s existence is ideally positioned somewhere between the poles of  Egoism and Altruism, and the motivations of an individual lies somewhere between self-interest and pro-social selflessness.
He writes about the importance of  “Perspective  taking” including Empathy (or feeling into)
three types of perspective taking:

  • Spatial and perceptive:  imagining what its like to be in someone else’s physical circumstance.
  • Cognitive:  imaging how another people (and organisms) think,feel and act from their perspective including strengths, limitations
  • Empathetic: Being affected by another’s circumstance.

Perspective taking is understanding another’s perspective, while Empathy is “feeling into”, or being affected by another persons perspective or circumstance. In quoting by Robert Salmon Perspective taking and Empathy…”Are  form[s] of social cognition intermediate between logical or moral thought ”

Cohn synthesizes the work of scientist(including doctors , biologists) , psychologist, educators, and  philosophers and the book is   heavily annotated.  Cohen further illustrates the importance of  understanding intersubectivity in interpersonal relationships, to promote the pro- social(or altruistic) and motivations and actions of individuals. He makes a strong case for an the Altruistic interests of the individual beyond self interest. I would recommend the book for all, but especially humanists, individualists and existentialists.

To be a subject in Existence is  moral participation. To act upon and with others requires Dignity, Reciprocity, and Tolerance, (Ethics) in addition to subjects self -interests and mutual interests with others.