Rifle Shoulder Switching & other Aiming Transmutations

Some guys are astronauts, some other astronomers, right?

Someone who wants to be an astronaut, because of an accident or bad vision, has to give up, he’s sad, what’s the meaning of life, etc.

He must aim differently. Use what he learned to work in the boat industry. Become an engineer or a scientist, to help organize, calculate or help the guys in the rocket.

I read this phrase recently :

One does not do what they WANT to do, but what they CAN do.

Now think about how many times we have to do this in life…

It can be the simple “lower expectations”, but it’s often richer, or more complex.

We have the whys : why do we have to change our aim? Change? Interruption? Surprises? Betrayal? Death or dearth? Did you fail an exam? A breakup?

Then the hows : is it an instant modification based on instinct? Is it wanted or piloted by circumstances? Do you need help? What about the nature of the coming change? Is it about intensity, complexity, a change of nature?

Something, then, is bending.

In French, to say “to change your tune” or “to change tack”, we say : “Changer son fusil d’épaule” – something about Rifle Shoulder Switch.

What happens inside? Disillusion? Bitterness? New steam? Relief?

M. Yourcenar said something like :

There’s a relief in the deep of each powerlessness

 

You’re a conversationalist but your best friend disappeared in a love affair with a Belgian mountain climber? Blog the possible chats’ ideas!

You’re a painter but you lost both arms in a paintbrush accident? Teach your art to young people!

 

I put this again : What about the nature of the coming change? Is it about intensity, complexity, a change of nature?

Do you know examples?

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Intervene in Groups

In two consecutive days, I learned things about groups. This coincidence puts me on alert (of course). Here’s the result :

ONE

Currently reading Dr Yalom’s autobiography. He tells how he began to work with groups, as a therapist. To train and to learn in University, he joined a 8 days group therapy, sat in a middle of a dozen other people. The psy came in and told the group something about they won’t talk about the past but “the now only” – which is obviously stupid – then she kept her mouth closed. Silence.

Yalom, also there as a watcher of course, saw it coming, a blossom, from silence, of different bursts. Each people had their own way to react, from “Fine!” to “Come on!” to silence, to “She know what she does…” to “You’re manipulating us!”. Then the therapist had like a whole bunch of little trees in front of her, which grew up all by themselves, from a single sentence. Then works with that.

TWO

I talked yesterday with someone who’s a member of an association of “out loud readers“. Of course it’s interesting! You want to know why, and what does one learn in a such place, etc.

He told me the coach was really great, because VERY directive. One person begins to read out loud in front of the assembly, until she squarely interrupts them, give them instructions to follow – beck and call. Most of the time, instructions given are surprising, though clearly made to disturb and break patterns : one plays as an actor, one is slow, or shy, one is grey neutral. Boring.

She orders to whisper, to walk while reading, to be mean or frightening, even if you read a French XIXth Century love novel.

THREE

See me coming? Yalom writes than one of the powers of the therapist comes from… he gives his attention to the patient. I love to think it’s the one secret of all this article. The coach, in a group, pays attention to you. That is a present, and a very powerful thing, in a world where nobody really pays attention.

It’s one of these things which shocks you when you grow up, when you realize that in society, at work, in family, in many circles or conversations :

Most people let you talk waiting for their turn to talk.

They don’t really care : they want their turn.

Thus the simple knack from Dale Carnegie : LISTEN to people. Listen to them really. Then you’ll get smart questions, then listen more.

 

What do you think about ONE and TWO styles of group leaders? Give a small seed then listen and use what you catch, or give strong instructions which will disturb or break patterns? Can this second style be used in therapies?

Thanks for reading!

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Complementary Partner?

When you’re young, you like simple, you like big statements. “Life is sad”, or “I’ll find my prince”, or “I wanna be an actor”.

Some people stay there, it’s why they love categories. They REALLY think they are INTJ – and if you say that sometimes you are also an INFJ, they say you don’t understand the concept. They use boxes and labels. For themselves.

Big question I had when I was in my twenties : “What’s better, to find a complementary partner or a same as you partner?”.

With easily guessed consequences :

  1. If you marry someone like you, it’s easier, you party together, you love the same movies and musics, and your sex life is paradise.
  2. If you marry someone not like you, it’s a mess : quiet vs loud, classical music and hardcore rap, reading in bed and motorbiking in the mud.

After all : BooksTeaCat, SportsBeerDog & their Social Interactions Necessities

Then you grow up and you live and the constant rain of complexities, disillusions and surprises end up to your upgrade : it’s A Matter of Levers – simplicity is senseless.

As we are moving forward in our days, we change, we plug to possibilities, we have many speeds, many joys, many powers and weaknesses, we have many intensities, and feelings.

(And it’s the same for your partner, silly!)

Whoever your partner is, the result is a mess, right? So what? That’s life! Amor Fati!

Oh snap : When you hate someone and 3 mn later you deeply love this person

  1. When your other is a lot like you, it’s great : my lover is a cat person, a book lover, a quiet person, and she has no car (oh this is perfect!) – we evolve in the same aquarium. And I can write or take photos as much as I want!
  2. When your other is a lot NOT like you, good. Why did you choose this person? How do you dance? Isn’t complementary perfect? Don’t you like to read alone when your spouse kills ducks in mudfens? Don’t you have a friend to talk to when your lover is a man of zero words? And also don’t we all need to be disturbed?

What’s the secret here? To stay yourself, of course. Not to bend too much, at the risk of losing your inner light…

Mmhhhhh…

“Opposites attract, but similarities bind”. Is that true?

The “Let’s make it a dance” tool says this : “When it’s difficult somewhere but you have to insist and you have to stay in the system, just accept and absorb the difficulties – and invent a dance. Your dance. It’s a mess, but you can dance it, smile, and climb the stairs”. And ignore the others. Nobody can understand your own dance. It’s a secret.

Sorry, this article is a mess, tant pis. I don’t even know where it went. Hence, I found a picture of my Eliette playing watergunning (or squirtpistoling) with a friend, voilà.

Bonne journée ! Thanks for reading!

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Everything that goes wrong goes right

Are our Fears camouflaged Desires?

Empathy – and words linked to it

Empathy? I wrote an article about having too much of it : The “Too Much Empathy” Syndrome

The ability to feel (or guess) what another person is feeling, believing…

We thinkers like to examine it, but I realize there aren’t so many books about it.

My first idea is it’s because it’s a big-deep quality. It’s like being dexterous or green fingered, and being clumsy. You can’t, really, change that.

  1. One can not develop their empathy.
  2. One certainly can not make someone develop their empathy.

My second idea is that though we all have, built in our deeprofound mind, a prehistorical dose of empathy – some people only, then (education? culture?) can develop the flowers of empathy from it, some others don’t. It’s dry. That’s it.

Another word? Attention. If you have empathy, you watch people around you, your kids, your love – you have a like perpetual computing algorithm which “guesses and reports” what probably happens in others’s heads. You read them continuously.

Another word? The decentering process. To have empathy you have to decenter. The next word is selfishness, then.

Another word? Relational Intelligence. A dance between a dry empathy which we need to understand the others’ intentions and feelings, and a warm empathy which is deeper and linked to love.

Maybe one can develop the first one? A rational empathy, is it possible?

Then it leads to empathy as a tool, in management, teaching, or therapy. It becomes, then, a… lever (or a leverage, which one’s the best?).

How to we detect a lack of empathy? How does empathy rejoin the love of stories? And what about “types of conversations”? Where and how does a lack of empathy become an… asset? What about justice, or police? What about mother/baby? And father/baby? What is vicariance, and how is it used in pedagogy? What is the “pleasure to help”?

A teacher who has empathy knows how to interest his class, then he has their attention, then they learn

Thanks for reading!

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Ohh I found a book on my shelves, “A History of Empathy”. I’m on it, OK?

The wish for mentor

Mentor sounds good. It’s not a guru – where you feel it’s toxic, too much, manipulation. It’s not a guide. It’s maybe in the middle…

It’s not a muse, nor an authority, it’s not a coach, not your parents, or disturbers.

I’m reading Irving Yalom‘s autobiography, where he tells his constant need, during his growing life, for a mentor. An adult person who would have “detected” his uniqueness, his talents, his whatever makes one special…

Then, this person would guide you a little, would show you things you should know, and would probably tell your parents (who aren’t aware, of course).

It’s a cousin-pattern of many things, linked to Types,

  • like the teacher who unblocks you with a single phrase,
  • the uncle who offers you a magnifier (or a telescope),
  • the best friend who marks/scars you forever with a single innocent observation,
  • the soul-mate lover who disturbed you so much you’re reconfigured in the whole of you, or almost.

Wishing you had a mentor is almost a Type in itself : overthinkers, introverts, shy people, book lovers, quiet seekers.

Everybody needs attention and understanders (and I think it’s why some love stories are so intense), good conversation lovers, listeners, good askers. Here, it’s something else, right? Not sure…

Every other helper I listed here can embody the role of the Mentor… one needs. Someone who gets you, even in a 2 seconds sentence,

  1. points you out to others
  2. shows you possible paths (doors, windows)

 

Well, we should NOT need that, but… we do what we can!

Have you met a mentor? Have you been a mentor to a kid? Should you? How?

 

Thanks for reading!

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The Dreadful Need of Weakness

I read somewhere that Beckett talked about “l’affreux besoin de faiblesse” – the dreadful need of weakness – we all have inside.

When you’re 18 and you have to write about this idea in philosophy course, you fulminate against the teacher, right? But this morning I found it really… arousing.

It’s different if you think about yourself, or about… someone else.

Our need of weakness, when it becomes a necessity to let go, or to choose closure, loneliness and quietness : no events, a life all bland. Can I say “eventless”?

Or when you give in to your flaws : love of good food, or cigarettes.

Vocabulary :

  1. Postponements : procrastination as a need of weakness. “To hell with it”, as a need of weakness.
  2. Lies : because we don’t want to deal with consequences. When we say what the other needs to hear… to have peace.
  3. Drifts : waiting time, hands over reins… just to see what happens? Or for the pleasure to see decisions made by others? Or to witness how something will crash…
  4. Relapses : stop smoking, but…

 

Other words?

And why this need of weakness? To regroup? To stop? To be looked after?…

What do you think? When does it happen? How do you detect and accept it in other people around you?

Thanks for reading!

 

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“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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