Month: April 2017
A proposition is disturbing, a proposition comes to you, towards you : it’s an impetus, it gives you something to feel, a proposition is the contrary of a steady lukewarm attitude, a proposition is showing a potential of actions : if you accept it, it will build, with you, another state of your life, a proposition can be interesting, a proposition can move your brain, your spirit, or put you on alert, a proposition is an invitation, a proposition shows you a new way to organize the world, a proposition shows you a contrast between what you have and what you could have, a proposition is an upsurge : the world is talking to you, you can be modified by it, a proposition can make you move, a proposition can destabilize you, a proposition can trigger a rearrangement, a proposition can result to a big satisfaction, to a richer moment, a fulfillment which could join up with your personal library of experiences and make you available for more exploring paths.
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Freedom & Hungriness : exploring a domain “in a roundabout way”
Imagine you want to explore the life of Abraham Lincoln, or the D-Day. You can do that the proper way, reading a biography or watching a good documentary. But I like to find other path, in a roundabout way, finding another door, another color, being a little casual and inappropriate.
Take the Lincoln example. You can :
- Read about someone’s around : his wife, a general, his murderer.
- Read about what happened after him, or the American life before him.
- Find pictures on the web about him, his life, his handwritten letters.
- Read a diary of somebody who knew him.
- Find everything about his opponents.
- Explore one month only of his life and the country’s life too.
- Find a Lincoln forum on the web and spend months exploring, reading questions and answers of specialists.
Casualness in knowledge exploration is a possible way.
Thanks for reading!
The power of questions & the strength of possibilities
The power of questions is the power of intriguing you.
Some questions don’t even need answers, but have the power to move your brain, to make it invent. Invent concepts, ways, doors, solutions, views…
Questions are events (because where you live, there is no florescence of questions). Questions are interesting, they can also be disturbing, or funny.
You can make the decision to let yourself be driven, or be pushed around by the power of questions.
Questions trigger movements in your brain, movements of dance, of dodging, or even swerving. Smile!
Questions secrete glowing happy interesting fog-patches of possibilities around you.
Maybe questions can meet… your own questions. Maybe they help you to ask some more questions to your partner, or… to yourself : to be surprised, to discover the strength of possibilities.
Sorry, I’m French, and if my quirky English tickles you, my bad.
Tool : Invention. Events. Decisions. Movements. Possibilities. Questions are powerful. Ask, or be asked? Both! Dolphins are fast and elegant, they seek this dance.
The “Titanic Octet” state : stop panicking & arrange twinkles
The beginning is this : when you’re in a group, in a system, when everyone panics and runs, trying to save the situation from a complete wreckdisaster.
Imagine you’re working in a store in December. It’s crowded like hell. You need forty employees to make it work, but there’s a flu epidemic and you have ten persons on board. Donc, so, yes : it’s a disaster and everything is falling apart. Everybody runs to (try to) save the day. Mais c’est la catastrophe !
It can be fun, funny, at least sarcastically funny, right? When people begin to laugh (inside their belly, or really) because it’s all crazy, right?
This article is about AFTER that state. When you now know that the boat will sink, you and your colleagues stop trying to plugseal all holes. You take your instruments and you all quietly begin to play.
When you can’t save the situation, and after you laughed watching many little panics and disasters around you, there’s an understanding : you reach a quiet place where you feel like a zen tree in the middle of a storm.
Then, in this calm, you arrange sparkles where you can : a smile, a five-seconds quiet dialog, a treasure. You do your 2% of good thing in the middle of the catastrophe. It’s not about resistance anymore, it’s about humming, life poetry and micro-elegance :
…offering glimmering moments for those who can notice it…
Breathe! Thanks for reading!
“A model is a lie that helps you see the truth” – H. Skipper
“A model is a lie that helps you see the truth” is a quote by Howard Skipper, an American doctor.
Here I try to extend this pattern, replacing “model” by cousin ideas : “pattern”, “structure”, “map”, etc.
So what? A “model” is not the real world, it’s a construction made to help us to understand the real world.
A MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY, right? A map is a LIE, it doesn’t give you changes, colors, moods, light, temperature and life. But it’s a useful, thought, for a purpose…
You can be very serious while modeling things (in Science) and an architect will build models (in cardboard or on computers), but you can also be a little casual “just to see what you’ll see”.
For example you can see each of these things : a school, a couple, or a battle, as : a machine, a living creature, a computer, a kingdom or a business company. If you “apply” your model, you’ll rule out something, but you’ll find interesting things too. Then, trash the model. Because it’s a LIE, of course!
A model is a construction made to help us to understand the real world.
It can be using a structure and also “a way to explain how it works”, moves and evolves. Let’s use the model of “a business company” to study “a married couple”. Who’s the CEO, how does the money flow, what are the goals, etc…
It can be more like a skeleton, a complex map of “what it is”, or a single archetypal word :
- Mauss studied suicide or gift and made entire books about these. A way to search for “what is common”, the “fundamental characteristics”.
- Simmel studied the bridge : it links two territories, it is a territory itself, it “shows itself” as a bridge, and it is a “will of connection” (over a river, for example).
Yes, this leads to Archetypes (Jung)
a statement, pattern of behavior, or prototype (model) which other statements, patterns of behavior, and objects copy or emulate
To Forms in philosophy (Plato)
pure forms which embody the fundamental characteristics of a thing in Platonism
and to the most precious diamond : the Symbol.
a symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, object, or relationship. Symbols allow people to go beyond what is known or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different concepts and experiences.
(All quotes from Wikipedia – I bolded some words)
Who’s right? Skipper who uses the word “lie”, or Plato and Jung who seem to seek a “pure form”? Is all this a search for a link, common aspects in different things, or are these just tools to explore a concept , moving aside difficulties and details? Are you more interested in details, or structures? Why do we say that there are only a few ways to tell a story (Google : Seven Basic Plots)? What are the “order” games like MBTI, Zodiac or Enneagrams? Is a symbol the tiniest and more radioactive possible model?
Let’s say you’re introvert, fast, jealous, a father, a murderer or a valet. Is it a lie, because it’s true but way too simple (and a label on your face) – then you list the subtilities, the movements, the reasons, etc -, or is it a funny truth which could lead you to make decisions, or find other archetypes to think about?
You can also read : Ecceity
Yeahh, overthinking, I know…
Thanks for reading!
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Arthur Rimbaud & Glenn Gould : The “Big Less” Temptation
Rimbaud was a French poet who had a huge influence on Arts and Literature, but stopped writing at 21. He became a merchant, mostly in Africa (in coffee trading, for example!), and died at 37.
Gould was a Canadian pianist who stopped giving concerts at the age of 31 and became an eccentric hermit in recording studios.
Different destinies, but a similar pattern : at one moment, they stopped completely something they succeeding in, they closed a door.
Rimbaud stopped writing. Many wondered why : The artist had said everything? He wanted to explore another face of his personality? He had a secret wound? Dead wordsourcespring?
Gould didn’t stop making music, but never came back playing in concert, and he explained himself about that.
I write this because I wonder if sometimes we should consider a similar flip. A combination of levers & dials, studying what’s good in our life, considering that insisting (even in different ways) could be, from now, a failure : it’s maybe time for a closure?…
The Big Less is about considering to close a part of you which… works. Why would you do that, like “I park it”? Why would you stop what works? You feel you miss something? It’s too easy? You reached a plateau? I works but the wrong way? You lost a goal? You need to experiment to enrich? Fresh air? You need to get smaller to go faster? A fresh start to go elsewhere? You’re afraid of some ticking-over routine? Is it a bad idea? Why?
And who knows what will happen after some years? Maybe you’ll realize you needed the big disturbance of it? Maybe a bigger room will open? A secret path will appear? Maybe you’ll make good Bach records, or trade coffee?
Have a nice day!
Ears & Belly Button : The Roots of STRESS
You are stressed, that’s awful, because of your job, your family, your manager, something you read, anything. Stress! Help!
One day you are so stressed out that you begin to search the entrance. I mean… If you are stressed, the stress probably enters, penetrates, comes INTO you, right?
By the ears? Nope. Your belly button, maybe? Nahhhh!…
How does it work?
Well… It works. Until you realize :
YOU make stress. Your own BRAIN builds, makes, produces, manufactures stress.
Bummer and crap!
Happily, the day you understand that you become a Master Zen.
A stressful phrase, guy, situtation or event appears in front of you, and, how magic! : you don’t secrete stress, you just DON’T.
(well, you can stress if the werewolf is chasing you in the night, Okey)
You could swallow this little quote from Krishnamurti, then :
OBSERVE WITHOUT ANY CONCLUSION
This is a good secret.
Things appears, shit happens (or hits the fan, as you say, I like this joyful idiom), people around you are NOT steady, they are alive and surprising. Watch, don’t stress, be calm, dance. Amor Fati!
Thanks for reading!
PS : You know what a werewolf is, right? So, as a French ESL, can I invent other “weres”? Like a weresheep or a wereswan, a weregrasshopper or a wereguineapig?
“It’s not wise to simplify things in order to understand them”. Gilles Deleuze
“It’s not wise to simplify things in order to understand them”
Wishes, Willpower, Drive : the “I want to eat the world” state
The “I want to eat the world” state is a strange disease. I think we all cross this state at different parts of our life :
- When you’re a teen.
- When you’re about 20 years old.
- When you really fall in love for the first time.
- When you ineffectively want to express something through art or writing.
- In midlife crisis after you watched your life and said “Now what?”.
- Under intense boredom.
You feel FILLED of energy, wishes, willpower, drive, but there’s also a huge frustration.
This frustration comes from a powerlessness, an incapacity to find a way to unfoldblossom this strength. You want to eat the world, but how?
- You have the drive but not the purpose or the goal.
- You have the drive but not strength enough (or any more).
- You have the drive but you’re stuck in the cages of your own life.
- You don’t have enough time, or money, or anything : you lack.
- You never find where to apply this energy.
- Everything you try fails.
- Your heart is burnt to the ground and your tired.
- You feel you’d need some help, but you get zero.
- I boils inside without any apparent way out for this steam.
So what now what? Well, nothing! Either you find, or not. Try ways to explore, to steampipework something. Begin things and watch. Ask around you. Invent goals for this energy.
If it fails, well, just watch and feel it boiling inside. That’s the acceptorian oriental way…
Thanks for reading!
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Writing in another language
I’m French. I write in English. Why? Here’s what I see :
- Blogging in English forces me to me short and simple.
- So it’s like pendrawing instead of oil painting. Water instead of wine.
- I constantly check (and thus learn) vocabulary.
- So I have to think about the French vocabulary too.
- I am not distracted by any search of French “Style”, and it’s a relief.
- I quit my well known ground, to find another babyway to walk on another soil.
- Writing in French is like “too easy”, it flows fast (as I type) from ideas to words.
- Writing in English is more like building a little plane-model with unusual words. It’s slower, and a pleasure too.
- There’s a playing child pleasure into it.
- As it’s not my “tongue”, I feel really more chilled out when I write here.
- Therefore I can focus on my little tools, not “How to say that in French properly”.
- I invent words with a smile.
- I make mistakes on purpose… with a smile.
- I know and feel that I miss something, and I have to ignore it, and let go.
- I can speak English, but I’m also quite lost in it. I explore, then.
- I learn constantly about American culture, just by watching the way this language expresses things.
- Idioms are different, and each time it’s like finding a jewel.
- It’s probably an exercise for “one day write in French”, with new eyes and muscles-of-the-brain gained from writing in another language.
- It can also be a way to voluntarily lose bad habits in my own language.
Beautiful books are always written in a sort of foreign language, said Marcel Proust. That’s a great seed for the mind, don’t you think? It’s about style. When I’ll “write back” in French, I’m sure I’ll be richer, then, because of my English exploration years…
Drunk texts/Sad texts/Angry texts/Sleepy texts
The idea of texting (which is : “words, on phones, between two persons, in real time”) has some consequences.
Emojis help you to color/read sentences, but not all the time.
Beware of arguments in textings!
Texting contains a whole bag of possible problems.
It’s fast : you write and send, you don’t have the quiet comfort of emails, which you can polish for hours or days before sending.
You miss the context, the sound of voice, the eyes, the gestures.
Emojis are false friends. They indicate when it’s humor, for example, but they don’t say about the subtilities. Is the fun colored by sarcasm? Alcohol? Nonsense?
So, as a reader, you often guess well where’s your conversation partner – “He’s drunk, let’s take this in consideration”, or “it’s 3 AM there, I suppose she’s sleepy”. But sometimes, you don’t, you just DON’T!
Someone’s sad. Or had a drink. Or just learned really bad news (but can’t tell you). Etc.
You just have to guess. Build, in real time, your own dials.
The tools are easy to define :
- Don’t have long serious conversations in texting, it’s dangerous.
- If you can’t avoid it, be both aware. Meta-communicate around it.
- If you have to, or if you have to argue, call. Voice.
- Don’t forget you don’t have the gesture and the eyes and expression of your friend.
- Therefore, don’t put the other’s speech in serious boxes. These boxes are probably inaccurate. Or invent them alive, moving, mutating, fragile.
- Listen to your intelligence and to your guts : If you feel that something is wide of the mark, pay closer attention.
- Never hesitate to ask details, a time to think, or an explanation.
- Ask for a change of media : email, voice, real meeting.
- Meta-Communicate again, if you’re hesitating, ask about the mood of your partner.
Etc. Have a nice day! Follow me!
The sadness of Chekhovian heroins is ours
Anton Chekhov wrote a few plays, and hundreds of short stories.
When you read him, the “archetype” of the Chekhovian Heroin begins to appear in your head.
She’s a woman. She’s sensitive. She dreams of another life. She’s a bit sad.
Here are three examples.
A stormy day, a man, with drops of water in his beard, says a declaration of love to a young woman. She ignores him. Years later, they both live alone. They are still in contact. She cries on her lost life, the time flowing, the too lates. (A Lady’s Story)
A butterfly-minded spouse is unable to see the value and the kindness of her husband, and realizes it too late. (The Grasshopper)
A young woman takes on the ideas and habits of every man she loves. People laugh at her, and at the end she is lost and alone. (The Darling)
There’s a lot to learn by reading Chekhov : We all do what we can. We fail because we’re afraid, or we think we know. Life is short and we should dare more. And we all are a little stupid, and ridiculous…
Most of his short stories are free on the web. You’ll also find many “Selected Short Stories” in book. I assure you : it’s better than many Self-Help books!
Thanks for reading!
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What should I do? / What would you do in my place?
There are some moments in life where you really need to “stop and think”. Armies of difficulties or huge boredom, impossible choices or stupid auto-illusions : you need help, obviously!
You can ask your best friend or a specialist, your sister or anyone :
What should I do?
This is a good question, and you’ll probably listen carefully…
But there’s another way to ask, which is :
What would you do if you were in my place?
And this is a totally different question. You should, then, listen closer. Your partner will maybe ask… “Really?”. Then the answer won’t be the same…
You can ask the two questions in a row, asking for both.
Then you can follow, or not, but the second question requires your attention : your interlocutor will probably watch your next steps. It’s a question of trust, an intimate process.
Thanks for reading!
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By Jove ! GILES is a genius cartoonist
Giles was a cartoonist best known for his work for the British newspaper the Daily Express.
He drew mainly single but highly detailed panel, about British life.
I bought dozens of books in UK on ebay for nothing : he’s absolutely unknown outside of Great Britain because his “jokes” were often linked with British events. It’s now outdated, but what remains is so gorgeous that… I had to write about it. I’m thankful, in a way!
I admire him for his sense of space, light and scenery. There are often plenty of funny little details to look for. This gives you a special smile.
He invented a British family, and the star is “Grandma”.
I chose here three panels linked to bad weather. I love the three characters trying to hide from the cold wind in 1, the perspective and the wet road in 2, and the contrast of the guy sleeping and the rain outside in 3.
In a single drawing, you have a whole British mood. You will find plenty on Pinterest. Really, give it a try, watch his sense of image. This guy always knew where to put his camera…
Bloody rain! By Jove!
#INFJ & #INTJ & the Tango Feeling/Thinking
“Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.”
To say it very quickly, Henri Bergson, a French philosopher, says there are 2 ways to know something : Analysis is “turning around” the thing, it gives you a map, but Intuition is about “entering” it, it’s the only way to “feel” what is the thing. That makes sense, right?
Well, I linked this with the two MBTI families, INFJ (F is for Feeling) and INTJ (T is for Thinking).
What is YOUR way of appreciating things? Do you think, or do you feel?
I think I’m obsessed with the idea of weaving a braid with two opposite tools. Reason & Feeling, Numbers & Harmony, Improvisation & Schedules, Slow & Fast, etc. I constantly play with the idea of weaving them.
- Maybe you are, like me, a INTFJ?
- Maybe you like to be moved by a symphony AND to know how it’s built?
- Maybe you like to have projects AND to decide thing in a second.
- Maybe you invent poetry with your nose in the wind AND you organize words precisely while you write.
- Maybe you like to decide and organize things AND you pray God at the same time?
So… when I do tests about MBTI I find myself a INTJ, but sometimes a INFJ. I feel like the French knight with a sword in a hand and an axe in the other. I hope you appreciate my power! 🙂
Why thinking couldn’t weave feeling?
Thanks for reading. Have a nice weekend!
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