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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Dancer and the Dance

How can we know the dancer from the dance?
 (W.B. Yeats)
Do you prefer thinking, talking or doing?.... (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 883).

I will begin answering this question by describing times when I do not like to do any of them. I definitely do not like to think if that means rote memorization. Nothing would come closer to hell for me than needing to remember a long list of unfamiliar words such as in taxonomy or anatomy, or a word for word recitation from memory of the Gettysburg Address—whatever strong points exist for doing all these. I do not like to talk when I have nothing useful to say—some no doubt would say that's why I tend to be on the quiet side. I do not like to do activities that cannot be redeemed through identification with some worthy purpose. This does not mean I begrudge humble tasks if they can be identified as having a worthy purpose. For example, cleaning the bathroom shower floor or washing the dishes while not my favorite things to do nevertheless can be seen as serving a worthy purpose.

When do I most enjoy thinking?—when I am lost in focusing on a problem whose solution is just around the corner—when anticipation is tangible. I enjoy thinking almost to the point of being unstable when fresh perspectives or insights appear materializing as if from a jumpgate. Finally I enjoy thinking when that entails organizing and fleshing out basic meaning—when getting to what I really think about a subject entails uncovering subliminal experiences in all their diversity and foundational commonality. Such behavior is something I no doubt share with all humans, and this partly explains why humans find it fun to think.

From this it can be predicted that I like to talk when I feel I have an insight to share—I then have the enthusiasm of a child upon making a new discovery. And, of course, insight need not be heavy, serious stuff. Much humor that lightens and invigorates everyday conversation is filled with it. On the other end of the emotional spectrum is talk I do with trusted loved ones when I feel down and in need of encouragement. So the truth is I like to talk when feeling especially positive or negative. I don't mess much with “Mr. In-between.”

I like to act when I feel I can be useful or helpful—and thereby (in my own mind) have the carrot dangling before me that someone will be appreciative. I must never underestimate the role others play in eliciting my actions. Both my parents have passed away, but even yet I seek their approval down the corridors of eternity.

Thinking, talking, and doing” pretty much sum up the gist of any life. We owe it to ourselves to give due consideration to these aspects of our being.

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