This latest rant was triggered
through an excerpt from Andrew Cohen's newsletter
Here's the portion that did me
Finding the Light
I trust your summer is going great. Let's savor every moment
of it . . .and then we will enjoy what comes next. That's all
there are - moments to be appreciated.
Do you think there are any situations that are hopeless or
incapable of change or healing? It is not so. A jasmine tree
proved this to me when I took some cuttings and planted them in
pots. After a few weeks the bare sticks began to burst forth
with tiny bright green blossoms. Then I noticed that the buds on
one of the cuttings were growing downward. "Look," I pointed out
to Dee, "I must have planted this one upside down; the leaves
are headed toward the ground."
"Don't worry," she answered, "They'll find their way to the
Sure enough, after a few days the little leaves changed
direction, and soon they were all moving rapidly toward the sun.
I marveled that the jasmine bush was intelligent enough to
figure out where the light was and head for it. Surely, I
reasoned, we embody the same wisdom to find our source of
strength, and we have the ability to transform errors, no matter
how seemingly insurmountable.
Ok, this is out of context, but the assumption being made is
that this story can be applied to human being and doing.
In my opinion, this is the reason that we have so much strife
in the world. It is not the essence of this story--that a
built-in intelligence exists--but the idea that if only we
following our hearts everything would be hunky-dory.
Quite frankly, I feel (this is just me now) that this is
pollyanna and VERY DANGEROUS. This "projection" onto people
and the inference to societal problems is not only failing in
actionablility, it fails to accommodate the parallel streams of
consciousness occurring among people.
Plants (according to the Santiago Theory of Cognition) cognize
just like people do, although they don't have reflective
self-awareness. They act out of a simple set of rules that
Humans on the other hand have a reflective consciousness that
moves far beyond replication.
To substitute simple actions of a plant and then to superimpose
them onto a complex adaptive system with an reflective
consciousness goes from a stretch to ludicrous.
Plants don't blow themselves up in buses!
The oversimplification of life leads us to take simple
approaches to very complex problems--in itself creating even more
complexity. While I rant against driving this chain too far,
it is critical to stop using these stories to correlate between
non-reflective life and reflective life.
While we can learn many things about life from life, we have to
be careful about projection to forms that have no correlation, or
limited correlation to the context.
I think we'll all just sit back and let the millions in Africa
dying of aids and infecting needless victims (with their rituals
of light finding) with HIV...and we'll just let the
Palestinians and Israel work it out and we'll just let them all
find the light...no worries....
The oversimplification and application of unrelated paradigms
to each other may be a very inefficient way to solve problems--to
put it mildly.