Being awake means being aware of your situation.

The more you are awake, the more you realize about your situation.

If you are fully awake, you are able to realize and judge your situation from an external position (“on a meta level”).

With this in mind I need to say, I have long been not fully awake. I work and live day by day, but deal with my situation mostly on just the situational level: reacting to challenges, correcting errors, earning some money. But I am not always aware of the larger goal that all these steps should lead to, I’m not aware of the direction that my life currently has when looked upon from the outside. I am “just driving it straight on”. And I hate this state of being lulled into the societal system … if I do not feel really awake, I do not feel really alive.

I thought about what I would do if I really, really care about somebody and take somebody seriously. Like, say, in a partnership.

I think the deepest expression of that, for me, would be something most other people will think is quite strange: shared information management. The most important part of my thinking is externalized to documents, mostly mindmaps, but also blog posts, idea lists etc.. If I would allow somebody to be part of that way of “written thinking”, by reading and writing, that would be like telling “her” everything and allowing “her” to be an essential part of my life and plans.

Just talking is way too ephemeral to be about taking somebody seriously, if there are other means as well.

Why is it that there is so few real (authentic and helpful) community in our Western societies? At least in Germany? At least in the part of Germany that I know?

Community, just as climate and faith, is no material entity, but rather a statistical figure, or if you want, an informational entity. That is, we must beware of category errors, so as to mix up these categories of entities in language. Therefore, let us not think that community “is there” if some preconditions are met, instead it “can be measured” wherever it is made up, and the “preconditions” are the positive influence factors.

But in our current state of society, there are many negative influence factors (to be detailed out). So that, due to lack of knowledge and as a “least common denominator” in society, practical community in groups larger than two is normally confined to sitting down, eating, and talking superficial stuff.

When talking against small talk here, I don’t want to not surpass the fact that, at times, the content of small talk is only the meaningless vehicle to implement important non-verbal communication, like showing interest in another person, showing love, but also (and more common) showmanship and self-display etc.. In these situations, you can forget about the content, but what is important is the mode of communication: respecting or not respecting the communication partner(s), letting them talk or cutting in, the intention of the jokes employed etc..

Adding to an inspiring conversation (thanks, Judith 😉 ) at a party yesterday, here are some thoughts on the adequate role of emotions.

Human emotionality is the image of God’s. In this sense, we cannot determine if there is any innate “meaning” in emotionality: the eternal God could’ve found himself to have emotionality, and could have created human emotionality for that reason alone. However, we can also assume that God is what he wants to be, and as he is good, he uses his emotionality in a good way. So, instead of asking for the meaning, we can at least ask: How can we use our human emotionality in a good way?

I’m now making a basic assumption here that would need another article to detail it out: good use of human emotionality is to:

  1. Use it as the way to experience the outer world. In the broadest sense of emotionality as “inner experience”, without it we would experience no “qualia” and thus lead a boring, mechanical life, even consciously unaware of our own existence. Emotionality, therefore, makes life interesting, intensive and (hopefully) beautiful.
  2. Use it as the driving force in life. Without being enthusiastic about something, human beings don’t strife hard to reach something. Other motivating emotions are anger (hopefully justified), hope, faith etc..
  3. Use it to connect to other people. Emotions are a means of communication and social bonds.

So emotions have at least these three aspects: experiential, motivational and social. In all aspects, our emotionality, and with it, our human existence, is “unlogical”. In the sense that there’s no way of logically deriving an emotion from the circumstances in the outer world alone. For example, there’s no compelling reason why I am enthusiastic about the things I am, as they could be exchanged at least by similar items. (Now some naturalists will argue that they can be derived from the combined circumstances of the outer and inner world (i.e. outer world and brain content), while free will proponents, like me currently, would argue that this is not possible either. I won’t go into that here.)

Now, in spite of being illogical, emotions can still be justified, in the sense of being an adequate experience of the outer world, an adequate motivation how to affect the outer world, or an adequate act of communication. To abbreviate, I will call those emotions to be “true”.

For an emotion to be true, it is however not needed that it arises without conscious contributions. If there is a reason to have joy, our joy is still true if we ignite or amplify it by activities like celebrating, music, or having a meal, maybe with alcohol. Remember e.g. the commands for religious feasting in old testament times. But note also that “true” emotion also relates to the degree, not just the quality.

Now, here comes another assumption that needs detailing in its own article: emotions should be true. Because our inner experience is a secondary world, using information to represent the outer world, and to maintain false information willfully is lying, i.e. a moral problem.

And here is where the practical questions start. For example, I’d say that substance-induced emotions (the inner experience mediated by drugs) are untrue if they don’t conform to the condition of the outer world. People might use drugs to feel relaxed, or uninhibited, or to forget their problems. But these feelings don’t change the external world: their stressful condition, inhibitions and problems are still there, they even grow bigger because they are not being dealt with.

So I’m opposing here any kind of drug addiction (even addiction in general) as “untrue use of emotions”. I also oppose use of external, stimulating measures to cause emotions that can not be caused without them in healthy people: these are “unnatural” emotions and thus not true to reality. Among these are psychedelic drug trips, the inner experience of being in a drunken stupor, and the like. I do not oppose the use of drugs that affect the central nervous system in medicine: they cause untrue emotions, but just as a bye-effect that must e accepted to reach a higher goal like palliative treatment.

Also, the frequent use of stimulating means to cause (true) emotions can indicate a kind of emotional inability, which will need treatment and training. For example, I myself need to learn relaxing based on facts like enjoyable, good social relationships, that is, independent of sensual stimulants in the current situation.

Through all my education I’ve thought that people with good technical and intellectual abilities are in an enviable situation when it comes to utilizing the world and influencing it.

That’s one of the reasons why I invested here. The result: a guy with a relatively broad range of education in computer hardware, software, programming, Internet technology, technical communication in German and English, publication technology (incl. photography, typography etc.), some mechanical engineering, some vehicle technology, craftsmanship in metal and plastics. Yea, and some other stuff.

Now, during the last two years, I learned, and during the last few days I recognized, that the whole idea of mastering the world through technology is crap. Why? As a technician, you think thus: the world is a technical system, quite complex, but if you look deeply into it it will be manageable. Because technology is basically logical. Now, the error is here: the world is basically not a technical but a social system. Bummer.

And social systems are not logical. So that the highly qualified technician with all his logic simply has not the tools to successfully interact with the social system. He’s left in a dark corner with all his technology, tampering around with that and having some fun, but without money and with just a few friends. I mean, real friends, not those with just technical needs or technical abilities. Because, both money and community are acquired through social means, not technical.

I’m now gonna detail out the profile of some of the “real masters of the world”. Which does not mean that I would want to acquire all of these abilities. It’s basically a sad thing that the world is not logical, as this means basically that you’ve gotta be an actor of one or another kind, to be successful. (As for me: yes, I’m gonna learn some social stuff to live out better community, but I don’t care for monetary success. My technical answer to the latter has been in the making for a decade now, which is about self-sufficient technology. Zero need. Full stop.)

But, regarding the socially successful qualifications that I wanted to detail out:

  • The charismatic person. A person who triggers to be trusted and followed. As it has nothing to do with logic, charisma can be used for any purpose whatsoever, not just for the correct purposes. Hitler was a charismatic person who used his charisma for the wrong ends. Barack Obama is a charismatic person who’ll use his charisma for the right ends, I hope.
  • The beautiful person. How different would the world look today if Cleopatras nose had been one or two centimeters longer (said C.S. Lewis).
  • The affable person. Here, I don’t mean being nice, patient and friendly towards people. This is no social ability that would grant any success in this world. The affable person is one who can contact foreigners without any problems, and quickly makes new friends among them. And as most business between companies is arranged on the basis of personal connections (German Kontakte / Kontax, Chinese quanxi), having many friends in the business world normally means to have many customers. You don’t even need to be high-qualified in your profession to have monetary success … .

There’s currently a very funny thing happening in my favourite 4×4 truck forum. A young woman wants to buy herself a Magirus Mercur 4×4 truck, to live in it. She asked the forum for tips how to check the vehicle and how to drive home, and got a deluge of tips, hints, help, private phone numbers, addresses, help offers, everything, really.

Now the long thread got really funny when she said, she got no co-driver as her boy-friend had to take care of her dog. One guy in the forum then teased “If there are some ‘disappointed hearts’ now?”. And another one: “Yea, jus’ wanted to say, this is probably the longest and most diplomatic getting-a-truck thread that has been in this forum ever. Before the concerned person even started to drive … . To other people this forum had surely answered in the sense of: If you’re driving willingly without tools, engine oil and stuff, a sleeping bag etc., you don’t need to call us up if things are gonna be a cock-up.”

Which proves, probably, that women can have a pretty easy life if they learned how to ask for help. If they’re really good, everybody will have fun helping and nobody will get disappointed. I know that kinda relationship myself, with respect to a young women, now also a friend and a long-term neighbor. We have this hey-it’s-fun-to-help-ya style of relationship for six years now. No flirtation implied. It’s just nice to see her doing fine.

Ones choice of words expresses, among other stuff, ones conceptualization of things. Ones understanding of the world and the relationship of the things inside.

Regarding choice of words, I always wondered what might be an appropriate word for the “marriage” relationship type, including the pre-marital time that shares the same type of relationship quality.

It’s not to be called friendship: it encompasses a friendship, but has some exclusive quality that distinguishes it from that. It’s not to be called partnership, as again, it encompasses partnership, but has some exclusive quality that distinguishes it from that. Because, I may have other partners in addition to my spouse … e.g. business partners, accountability partners in an intentional community setting etc..

But I finally got to a conclusion (inspired, not my own idea, though). I now have the right word for the special pre-marriage and marriage man-and-woman relationship type. This word is: pair relationship. In German: “Paarbeziehung”.

Start date: 2009-01-19
Post date: 2009-01-19
Version date: 2009-01-19 (for last meaningful change)