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.

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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. :)

Burke, Balanced Anarchy and the Internet

 
A segment of James Burke’s TV show “The Day the Universe Changed“.
Here, from the mid 1980’s Burke predicts the Internet. It is a profound importance of the  Internet that it remains a communication medium where no privileged view should dominate, a communication of heterogeneous voices. – a global pluralistic  intersubjective forum that remains defiant of  the tyranny of any one way of thought.

Starting in my earliest teens,  I love science. My father loved History.  Growing up, together  we watched James Burke’s TV shows like Connections and The Day the Universe Changed  — The former a fun look at the history of science; the latter the history of knowledge.  I am still mad I missed meeting James Burke when we gave a lecture at a near by University.  I was in High School at the time of his visit to my hometown.

  • There are and have been, many ways of thinking and problem solving;
  • politics and culture  coerce world-views;
  • no one paradigm fits all circumstances;
  • systems of thought maybe, at times, means of control, and at other times maybe a means of freedom. freedom that leads to gained autonomy.

This I have learned and I credit James Burke, in part, to this education.

In 1992, On a college mate’s   computer , I saw the World wide Web and Internet for the first time.  I was blown away.  I started by playing a video game.  It was  downloaded to my friends Amiga in Pennsylvania from a server in England… in minutes.  Silly, but the potential was obvious.  I think a few young people take the Internet for granted.  To me, It was of the most important developments I ever witnessed.

What has the the Internet has come to be?  a  means of  communicating disinformation as much as it is  communicating “truth”  from any personal perspective.  But that too is  lesson in freedom and intersubjectivity.  An  individual has a choice what to believe or reject, without being told so by authority. An individual must seek out his own means of verification in   a sea of   data, and his own means of deciding what is meaningful, unimportant or outright bullshit.
I still welcome the chatter of many ideas.  I welcome the freedom  of discovery and ignorance without being told what to think.

The Internet is important.
And so is James Burke  :)

Some Soren Kierkegaard Quotes and Thoughts

“How absurd men are! They never use the liberties they have, they demand those they do not have. They have freedom of thought, they demand freedom of speech.”

I have been reading some Soren Kierkegaard quotes, lately.
He is one of my favorite thinkers, whos profound words would influence many in the following century. Academics Jaspers, Husserl, Heidegger, humanist psychologist Carol Rogers, and physicist Neil Bohr claimed Kierkegaard’s words as inspiring to them.
Here are some more quotes by the Great Dane:

once you label me you negate me.”
when one is being labeled he is objectified and dehumanized.

What is a poet? An unhappy person who conceals profound anguish in his heart but whose lips are so formed that as sighs and cries pass over them they sound like beautiful music.
As Laura Perls would later say: “without pain there would be no Art“.

KierkegaardAnxiety may be compared with dizziness. He whose eye happens to look down into the yawning abyss becomes dizzy. But what is the reason for this? It is just as much in his own eye as in the abyss, for suppose he had not looked down. Hence, anxiety is the dizziness of freedom, which emerges when the spirit wants to posit the synthesis and freedom looks down into its own possibility, laying hold of finiteness to support itself. Freedom succumbs to dizziness. Further than this, psychology cannot and will not go
The decisions one makes between: what he ought to do: his essence; his nature. and what he thinks he should do in preservation (dread) shape existence in Kierkegaard’s view. life is a series choices, the freedom in deciding comes with anxiety.
For Soren, ones essence or nature is his/her connecting to God. I wonder what he would have thought of Taoism or Zen, had he discovered it, for essence and nature are harmonizing with Tao and Buddha nature, respectively…. For the pantheist connecting with the Cosmos.

Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living.
Life is not just something to be analyzed from afar. the mysteries, hows and whats of life are understood by living or experiencing.

Do not forget to love yourself
Sounds so pretty simple. but read further:

In every man there is something which to a certain degree prevents him from becoming perfectly transparent to himself; and this may be the case in so high a degree, he may be so inexplicably woven into relationships of life which extend far beyond himself, that he almost cannot reveal himself. But he who cannot reveal himself cannot love, and he who cannot love is the most unhappy man of all“.
the path of happiness is authenticity. be true and find ones true nature, within and without and by living it. With that comes compassion,empathy, wisdom and love.

For more kick-arse Kierkegaard quotes  please check out this terrific blog link:
The Kierkegaarden.
from there you can receive daily Kierkegaard “Blooms” on twitter, Facebook, or RSS news Feed.

…..

I Do My Thing, You Do Your Thing Poster

I made a web poster for a friend:

I do my thing you do your thingI do my thing, you do your thing
(click on the poster for full size)

The words are a poem by  Fritz Perls and they are usually titled the “Gestalt Prayer“. Its not really a prayer, other than being a statement of affirmation. The poem could have been titled the “Gestalt Mantra” or “Gestalt Chant”.
 
What Perls  wished to affirm, I believe, is the spirit of independence and relative self reliance, that… with the concepts of  personal growth, sustainability and responsibility, are at the core of his Gestalt Therapy Theory.
-An existential phenomenology .

 
The Gestalt Prayer can be found in the work  “Gestalt Therapy Verbatim” by F. Perls.  The photo is mine… for some reason I like to photograph bees. I hope you find it to be a cool affirmation poster.
Thanks to Fritz and Laura Perls and the rest of the “gestalts”  for there inspiring words.

White Cloud, Blue Mountain, and Zen

“The blue mountain is the father of the white cloud. The white cloud is the son of the blue mountain. All day long they depend on each other, without becoming dependent on each other. The white cloud is always the white cloud. The blue mountain is always the blue mountain.”

Tozan, translated by Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginners mind.)

While Western thinkers debated through the centuries about  free will and determinism. the Zen mind found in him self  a fluid process, a relatively self autonomous being yet still interconnected to and affect by the otherness around him, embedded in his present circumstance. Always influencing and being influenced by ‘otherness” of  his world  still He is He.
A subject is a subject and his/her otherness is otherness, Yet they interconnected while being neither completely independent or dependent.

The organism and the field
breather and air
the teacher and the student
The husband and Wife.
Figure and Ground
“Heaven” and “Earth”

In a moment of  Zazen meditation one may  experience a sense of complete independence and dependence… a sense of freedom and singularity. Alluding to a metaphor of  Zusuki: one’s breathing is the swinging door between.

When one is  himself, he is at the center of is world, moment to moment he lives both relatively independent and dependent of the world. When living his active daily life that “swinging door” is often described as “Contact“.
Contact is the meeting of differences, a permeable boundary between two, a doorway to be mindful of.  Contact is also interdependence and difference, where two influence each other. From the first person point of  view, Contact is the swinging door between self (as subject) and other. When we meditate contact happens with  breathing.

In  Zen thought, one may be mindful of circumstances of when two are in opposition or when when two move together in the advantage of their harmony. One witness his  influence on his world and his worlds influence on him.  One recognize his autonomy and the world that is its own means.


video posted by Emptymindfilms.

We live in a series of “nows” one immediately after the other. Circumstances always change. The white cloud is always changing.The white cloud is always the white cloud. The Blue Mountain is always the Blue Mountain.

subjective disagreements, market and intersubjectivity

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. :)