“Intentions vs Dispositions” & Widenings

ONE

Bourdieu explains this concept (which is a GREAT dial to watch) in his conferences about Manet.

To make is short, he says that when an artist “makes” something (a movie, a painting, etc), audience and critics talks about his/her INTENTIONS.

As if artists knew exactly what they do and the impact their work will have!

Kundera said that sometimes he receives a thesis written by a student about his books, and explains that he had no idea all these ideas were in them !

TWO

Bourdieu opposes Intentions to Dispositions. Manet’s work is not “a crystal clear intention to have this impact”, but it’s more like a bouquet of tendencies, an aggregate of his childhood, his education, training, his time, his friends, his changing or searching personality, his work too, the building of it, etc.

THREE

I think we can watch this pattern, widening it to human relations in general. There, it plugs to the second agreement. People don’t do thing with big “intentions” towards you, but they deal with their own dreams and values, linked to you or not.

FOUR

It’s linked with the idea of Umberto Eco & the Open Work, and Intertextuality (“the meaning of a text does not reside in the text”). In short : the audience reacts, but they probably don’t get the “intention” of the author (if there’s one). The audience builds its own system of reactions, according if necessary to the imagined, supposed “intentions” of the author.

Same in life, right?

FIVE

Disposition is the “tendency of”, the trend. A human being will is a complex system, a changing aggregate. You watch, then, the… Propensity. The natural tendency to move this way, to act that way.

You have no idea how a scandal it’s been for Manet’s work : Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe, and Olympia. Bourdieu smiles : maybe someone asked the painter, one evening in spring, on a terrace in Paris with a beer “What do you do this day?”. “I paint”.

SIX

“Haecceity” !

Endless Amendments : Reality

SEVEN

We’re not islands, but we are, in a way.

Intentions do exist, yes, but for ourselves. I love this example (from Kundera again) : the intention of knowing.

CONCLUSION

Watch someone act (crazy or not). Understand it with dispositions (the whole system this person is in, education, wounds, life, milieu, changes, desires), not with intentions.

 

Have a great day!

 

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Endless Amendments : Reality

There’s a tree, in front of you, while you walk.

Perception. Your eyes send images to your brain. “It’s a tree”.

In a second, you brain has the image, thus the word and the concept linked to it.

You brain has a powerful tool : Analogy.

If it “looks” like a tree, thus you decide it’s probably one. Then you watch and fix, adapt.

Analogy is pretty good for representations, drawings…

If you hear something behind you, your brain computes immediately a 3D-Map of what is probably there. Then your turn around and your eyes fix, amend the “reality”.

Successive drafts, like instant sketches…

Endless Amendments…

 

Yes, it’s splitting hairs the French way, to imagine dials. Donc :

  1. What if a word was a tack? And a strong one…
  2. What happens when our senses send us something else than the tacked word?
  3. How do we know that all these are the Letter A?
  4. Who are those who think with preconceiveness?
  5. Why am I wary of words (as labels)?
  6. What are hallucinations?
  7. Why should we train ourselves to endless improve, enrich, amend what we think we know?
  8. What is movement, here? Haeccity?
  9. What is to plug with possibilities and propositions?
  10. What does “She’s mean” mean?
  11. Really?

 

Have a great day!

 

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When you don’t manage to console someone

“Quand on ne parvient pas à consoler”, we say in French. This alone is a problem to translate. “Parvient” is from the verb “parvenir”. Dictionaries translate it with :

  • To succeed
  • To manage

But it is NOT that meaning. It is not a “success” (with what, a medal, a fanfare?) to console a crying person (it’s not fixable). And “to manage” (organize, control, etc) has little to do with listening to a terribly sad somebody.

So there’s a word lacking here. A mixed of “to reach”, “to achieve”, “to manage with invisible wills and means”, “to get through”…

 

Achieving comfort of somebody’s grief or sorrow need a whole harp : listening means, empathy, silence, freedom, focus, acceptance and maybe conversational skills…

Becoming a father I learned that children have terrible grieving moments. Despair which comes from the heart, in the deep. Kids need security, and when they are afraid to lose it, it’s terrible. It’s one great joy when you console your child, in front of a tree moving in the wind, or during a walk, or on a chair. Listen, talk, look, hug. As a mother, a father, you need to be here, and you find your own ways.

 

When I read books about self help, or psychology, or mental care, I’m always very interested by a passage or a chapter about “how to listen“. Specialists think about it very closely (maybe I’ll write about this alone, one day).

Sometimes, you don’t manage to console somebody. Grief and sorrow… Because…

  • It’s unconsolable
  • You’re not ready
  • You’re too close
  • You are tired
  • You are annoyed by it
  • You’re overwhelmed
  • You’re sad too
  • You don’t understand
  • You’re not strong enough

 

Sometimes you think you fail. Even if we can’t talk about communicating vessels, you’ll catch a part of the sadness.

Well, I think the main thing is the fact… you’re here to listen, right? If we think we didn’t manage to comfort the other one, maybe we did. A little. Because we were there.

 

Have a nice day!

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Seeing to Finesse amid Chaos

There are many levels and kinds of chaos. You can be in the middle of a furious battle or a sales assistant in an overcrowded store near Christmas time, it’s chaotic.

There’s a dial to watch on every agent working in mayhem. From 100 (“I use my skills and I understand & master everything in my field”) to 0 (“I give up, I crash, I cry, now fuck this shit”).

It’s interesting to watch the cursors and levers (“I activate”) and dials’ needles (“I see what is happening here”), between efficient overactivity and sarcastic sloppiness.

In this blog I already studied three different states :

  1. “Staggering State” & Observation Amusée du Chaos
  2. The “Titanic Octet” state : stop panicking & arrange twinkles
  3. The Hummingbird Tale

 

Ernst Jünger (German) was in continuously bombed trenches during WWI, and he was reading Léon Bloy, an angry French author, and noticed how the birds were back to singing, slowly, after a night of explosions.

Seeing to Finesse amid Chaos is a state of mind. It’s a security inner mode. A way to keep safe and calm when a part of you wants to scream. It’s to restore a Middle Age painting in one besieged city. To order, in December, a single book about the letters between a musician and a philosopher in the middle of piles of cardboard boxes full of best sellers. To study the youth of Goethe in a city ravaged by plague. It’s a long conversation about Pondichery, India, next to an overexcited screaming foam party…

Stay safe!

Have a nice day!

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Photo : B. Plossu

 

When your imagined map doesn’t fit with reality…

If you meet someone online, or even if you talk on Skype with a friend you know “in real life” but you never went to his/her home, your brain… works.

Your brain draws a map of this person’s apartment, or house.

According to the informations you have, you can NOT prevent your mind to invent “the other person’s place”. You’ve been there, haven’t you? Well, errr : nope.

You can hold two pictures of a room, or a complete Skype “Hey, do you want to see my place?” wandering : your brain does it : it builds a set of images and a map, it builds the light, the mood, the size of all of it.

Then…

One day you GO there. And this is disturbing. This porch, these lanterns, this mirror, this corridor, this carpet, this bathroom : you were all wrong, right? It’s different.

It clicks. You brain literally swallows the environment. It is trained to do it!

Now, you’re back home. And you have TWO memories of this place. Ah ah! So there!

The place you imagined. And the place you saw for real.

These are two different things!

OK, this makes us think, right? It’s a set of questions…

Our mind is constantly imagining what “will happen”, how this “will be”. Then, in front of reality, it… “fixes” it. It works in real time : if you hear a glass crashing on the floor behind you, your brain draws a whole decor, a scenery of “what I will see when I turn my head”.

What is disillusion?

Can you do that for a whole culture? A whole country?

What can we do, or study, with this knowledge? What if you were writing a movie? What tension could you use? More : what will your brain do with the first, imagined place, once you know pretty well the real one? Is it vanishing? Is it useless to keep it? Why? What if you studied the differences between what you expected and reality? What does it show about your brain?

What if you’re a couple and you both imagined the place you will be for a holiday, from a set of five pictures on the web? Would you talk about it, once you’re on site? I mean… about the differences of… the differences of what you imagined?

OK, I’ll have one more glass of wine before going to bed 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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Dowsing Reality in my Head : What is “Emotional Reasoning”?

You feel an emotion, so you think it “proves” something is true, this is called Emotional Reasoning. Wikipedia gives a good example of that :

…even though a spouse has shown only devotion, a person using emotional reasoning might conclude, “I know my spouse is being unfaithful because I feel jealous.”

This is a good little clockwork to watch and to take to pieces, right?

Of course people use this concept as a negative thing, a flaw, a disorder. Path to depression and all…

You have to think about Reason :

“Reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, applying logic, establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information.”

We all know that, and we also know that within the informations we gather (facts, things we see, informations, things people say), our emotions have a power : they color all of these, in bright light or in shades of darkness.

So if I understand well, Emotional Reasoning is a disorder, when we narrow reason only on emotions. OK.

I need my readers. Help! This concept triggers questions and subtleties. Could this be a positive thing? Where do you put the instinct, in this process? How can reason and emotions weave together to make a strong tool? Can an emotion trigger a seek of informations? And what about the fact that new informations would braid with feelings, instinct and therefore emotions to help us draw maps for living? Where is the balance to find? How to wring a disorder into a power? Imagine your have this disorder : does it prove that if you feel something is true… it’s not? Mmhhh…

Sorry for my wobblenglish…

Thanks for reading!

 

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From Quarrel to Joust : Elevation process

When your couple needs to fight, you argue. You can stay at reptilian or prehistoric levels : you scream, play flying plates & slamming doors, scream louder, or you can try to move the cursor up.

If your quarrelsome mood – oh what a great word! – needs to unfold, there’s are some wrong ways up like becoming sarcastic or using bad faith, stupidity or violent communication (one define the other : “You’re like your mother”, “You’re lazy”), silence icy treatment or using poor innocent third parties (the kids?).

I propose to rise from these low levels of arguing. Of course you can use Reason. If you know Transactional Analysis you can begin to dissect your communication and try to put it on “Adult -> Adult” mode. That’s OK! Think. Or ask a intermediary (not your mother-in-law!) to play the diplomatic card.

My purpose here is to imagine another “Right Way Up” : Jousting. It’s a change of mood. You fight… with a smile for the other. It’s a sparkling competition. Emulation is the key. It can become a game. You can really invent rules like : “You can’t speak until you waited two minutes in silence after I did, I’ll do the same”, or “Argue on both sides of a table… with pen & paper” (find your own rules).

Jousting is a clever way to quarrel. It’s like when you play chess with a friend, emulation is the key. You want victory but you help your opponent to climb too.”Right Path Up”. Finding solutions… and at the same time satisfy your need to fight. Joust!

 

Of course if you read my blog you know that there’s a pattern here, a tool for other situations : Elevation. When and where (and how) do you realize that you’re on a low level? Gaiety? Entertainment? Sex? When you’re in a useful place but you should maybe stop, think and push a lever. Which lever is it? Subtlety. Right?

This pattern is described here : https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/a-matter-of-levers/

Thanks for reading!

 

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