Paradigms

Way back in the day, I studied the philosophy of science. I also studied the sciences. I pretty much left it behind as an active study, but these things informed and inform and will continue to inform my engagement with the world. My youth was informed by scientific study and my childhood informed by the character Spock. You know, that counts for something, anyway. I do not now consider myself to be a scientist, though I feel that I continue to apply a scientific attitude in my engagement with the world. So, I sometimes find it a bit surreal when I’m accused of being otherwise.

In specific, I’ve come to understand that I engage the world informed by the science and scientific method I’ve learned, and an attitude of scientific philosophy, which is at odds with the deathly serious certainty held by defenders of a religious faith in science, or, more generally, anything at all, I suppose. Even more generally, I feel I’m an edge-seeking thinker, looking at and wondering about those places where anomalies demonstrate the vulnerability of paradigms to shift. (The particle to the wave of that is that this same thinking is also pattern-seeking.) I think that means that I hanker to have a, sadly twarted, healthy humour, in myself and others, about accuracy. One thing I do is experiment with how rules breakdown in interesting ways and what that means. You know, I’m a Munkchin. (Anyone interfering? 3 … 2 … 1 … Time’s up! I kill Medusa and gain a level.)

I suppose defenders of the faith tend to feel a paranoid kind of fear of anyone, so I shouldn’t take it personally, willing to look for anomalies, or who point out the difference between fanatic faith in one, true paradigm and the real method and philosophy of science. And, they are happy to externalize their feverish insecurity onto others by claiming they’ve got the truth of a thing and anyone that is even willing to question that thing is at some kind of fault. You know, that’s usually when the righteous accuse other people of being witches, of some kind or another. Sometimes those accusations are purely out of fear. Other times those are out of some measure of strategy and sociopathology. The former is merely sad, the later, however, is most scary and something to validly take personally and seriously since it is thwartsome of liberty of thought.

The predictable fiasco that follows this realization is that defenders of the faith, machiavellian or otherwise, in a pique of persecution complex, then preemptively, or at least with more melodrama and passive-aggressive forum shopping, breathlessly turn about and accuse those intolerant of intolerance of being intolerant instead, and thus the whole thing devolves into a recedingly bizarre and sinister farce from which the only escapes are taking names and tossing people to the lions. (See Crowley’s new comment on Liber AL II,57. Unfortunately, I’m all out of lions. Does a ginger tabby suffice? “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!” I need to refill my hipster PDA, it’s getting full of names.)

I keep meaning to go back to my notes and figure out all the texts that were required in my philosophy of science course, but the only one I remember for certain is Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

The ideas introduced by Kuhn have been misused quite a bit, and the ubiquity and emptiness of most usage of the terms “paradigm” and “paradigm shift” has greatly damaged the utility of these term and the original ideas. Because of misuse, many valid and important points about and supported by these ideas made may be misheard or ignored.

Paradigms are internally coherent models which explain sets of observed phenomena. The knowledge, observation, of phenomena is understood within the context of a paradigm, and are made sense of through the coherence of a particular scientific model. A paradigm shift does not change the observed phenomena, but it does change the understanding, the meaning, derived from the phenomena.

This is the difference between knowledge and understanding. Understanding is changed through scientific revolutions when paradigms shift. Phenomena only change when the method of observation is improved, and then it is not really the phenomena that change but rather the observation of them.

There are those that legitimately toil within a paradigm, doing the day to day work that is involved with applying the implications of a particular paradigm in an almost mechanical way. They mainly and merely seek verification of their current paradigm, usually through application, and maybe occasionally the falsification of another. I know my personal bias is showing here; I’m sure it’s all quite rewarding to those that tautologically find it rewarding.

There are also edge-seekers willing and able to do new science. By a willingness to contemplate anomalies, and the possibility of falsifiability or inexplicability within a current paradigm, edge-seekers are able to approach with a real scientific attitude the interchangeability of paradigms. A paradigm is useful to the extent that it explains phenomena, and harmful when held onto in spite of or in the face of falsification or inexplication.

But, I’ve also noticed, you probably have too, that there are defenders of the faith. These are the ones that use the banner of science to champion a particular paradigm as truth instead of using the method and philosophy of science to become more accurate (see xkcd 701, including the hoverover, for one clue to discern the difference: as opposed to waving the banner of “science”, the use of actual science does not always give welcome answers to the wielder). These defenders are devoted to discovering nothing that upsets their existing paradigm and are so very often over-willing to do what it takes to prove that to others, with a fanatic’s frisson and fervor.

Defenders of the faith seem to be focused on purity of doctrine and sub-cultural identity maintenance. That’s not the method or philosophy of science. It’s definitely also not minding one’s own business. It’s being a busybody, both sneakily behind people’s backs and but also brazenly in the open, and then running as quickly as possible to touch the flagpole of “science” as a rhetorical convenience only when necessary to avoid being tagged “it”.

(I suppose to be fair there’s also, to fill out the obvious fourth frame, those that don’t use science at all, and so on. These might be called kooky, whereas the defenders of the faith are creepy; neither are Addamses also, but I also suppose it’s no mystery that both are kind of ooky. But, I further suppose, as long as there’s Wednesdays around, I’m kinda cool with this fourth.)

The key to scientific revolutions here is the rough ashlar, the anomaly, the notion that all paradigms contain their own seeds of destruction, in that they cannot and do not explain everything. You know, say it with me: they are maps, not territories. But, that failure becomes a fulcrum for the builders. Paradigms are meanings derived from sets of observations, theories derived from observations. It is the anomaly that initiates change, and the power of the scientific attitude is an active spirit that is both able and willing to go to those edges and contemplate change by climbing to the top of the pyramid just to see from a different perspective, with all the other potential benefits that accrue therefrom as a bonus. And, the stone rejected by the defenders of the faith becomes the foundation of a new temple, levered into place on the fulcrum of change.

It’s important to also understand here the difference between function and form. Real scientific attitude does not prejudge or prejudice the form that is derived from the function of thought, but rather only the method by which the function of scientific thought is enacted. Rather, it is the religious faith of science which prejudges and prejudices the function of thought to condition the form derived therefrom. Mind, both are subject to the human condition, which could lead to a wide tangent discussing metaphysical concepts. But, since these metaphysical concerns are the same for both cases, I chose to make my calculus on the differential. Scientific method and attitude is a function that does not determine, aside from metaphysical concerns, form.

Eventually, people pushing one, true paradigm end up saying or doing ridiculous things to defend the privileged position they’ve given their pet. The example that springs to mind most strongly is the possibly apocryphal example, heard through reading Robert Anton Wilson (What book was that, anyway? Was it The Earth Will Shake or 1561840033”>Cosmic Trigger?), of the committee which consistently dismissed evidence of meteors because the idea of a meteor did not fit the prevailing paradigm. This is an egregious example of the defenders of a faith rejecting observation in order to preserve a paradigm, but no doubt there are many other and other less egregious examples throughout history.

The notion that all paradigms have limited boundaries of applicability, that they contain their own sets of inexplicability, means that the activity of defending a paradigm as one true anything is inherently nonsensical and illogical and unscientific. And, vehement hatred of other paradigms, or those operating within different paradigms, is bogglingly, self-evidently, torturously backward to the very idea and philosophy of science. It seems to me, that kind of vehement hate is a failure of humanity to live up to the potential afforded by the idea and philosophy of science as a function which liberates them from tyranny of form determined for them by faith.

The implication of this structure of scientific revolutions suggests to me is that the people of the world need is not advocacy, violent or otherwise, of another one, true paradigm; but, rather to grow up and evolve to the point that they don’t have the maniacal need for there to be one, true paradigm. Like Herbert’s last book written in the Dune series, it’s the messianic impulse from which humanity ultimately needs to be and becomes free. We need to be free from the tyranny over ideas and thought and understanding that the notion of one paradigm to rule them all implies and requires.

Real science, science that is honest with and about itself, recognizes that understanding is always provisional, and susceptible to radical revision at any point not just when new, unexplained phenomenon are observed; but further that the same phenomena could at any point be explained simultaneously via radically different paradigms. And, that observation is dependent on methods and tools which can never be perfect or exact but rather are more or less accurate, always have a margin for error and have a mechanism of observation which can be questioned.

Real science is a fiery liberation of thought; not thought shackled to a rock, perpetually pecked at by birds. Whether out of revenge or not, being shackled for thinking is the ultimate reward for standing idle in the face of defenders of the faith victorious. Being pecked by birds is the constant conscious reminder of paradigmatic anomalies ignored. The only escape is escape. Either break those chains or refuse them in the first place; or be resigned to fate and hope for rescue, like some outmoded formula of the damsel in distress in a tattered prom dress.

And this, to me, is the difference between a real scientific attitude, the function of science, and the rigid form of religious faith in science. A religious faith in science conflates observed phenomena and the understanding that is derived from those phenomena. And, the religious faith in science approaches both phenomena and understanding with various levels of non-skeptical certainty. A real scientific attitude recognizes that the accuracy of observation is never exact, but is conditioned by the qualities of observation. A real scientific attitude recognizes that understanding derived from observation is always provisional in the face of additional or more accurate observations, including the possibility of a need for radical paradigm shift to explain new phenomena. A real scientific attitude generally seems always skeptical not certain. A religious faith in science generally seems always certain not skeptical. Real science seems to express itself in its followers through rigorous methods but flexible understanding. A religious faith in science seems to express itself in its followers through ruthless methods and rigid understanding. A real scientific attitude is adaptable and ecstatic, whereas a religious faith in science is as atrophied as any foolish lover of Medusa ever was.

I think I bring, as best as I am able, the ever-provisional understanding of this theoretical structure to the way that I engage the world, others and myself. While I generally feel it’s the best thing for me to do (except when it’s not), I’m also open to the possibility that can change for me. To the extent that I have my liberty of thought undiminished by another’s rigidity and faith, my attitude does not require others to do as I do or think as I think. However, I suspect I will continue to be vocally intolerant of intolerance to myself, or to those around me whether close to me or not, when I encounter it. At least, until I get more lions. Or, find a way to tolerantly chop off Medusa’s head.

I previously posted some initial thoughts about paradigms in, honestly, a kind of screed. From the content of that post, it may not be clear why I think the topic relates to my category of esoterica, I think this continuation will tie those together usefully. I note that Mark over at Darkline made some of this connection already based on my previous.

It’s already been over a year since the previous Ask the Initiates panel at Sekhet-Maat, part of a weekend of activity around the annual Thelemic Symposium. Although it’s come up before and since, I recall especially that one of the questions I was asked by the students was what I thought about the reality of magick and magical entities. Now that the Ask the Initiates panel came around again, the topic came around again as well but I may have brought it up myself because I was thinking about it.

My answer has generally been that If I take seriously the notion of “as above, so below”; it simply doesn’t matter whether my experiences are due to some logically positive objective materialism, purely artefacts of my method and mechanics of perception, or even more abstractly simply contained only within a Popperian third world. In other words, I reject the premise that it needs must be answered in an Aristotelian way, that I must answer whether these things are either true or false, real or not real, and that I must accept the particular epistemological stratum in which another intends to hunt for snark.

Not only is the snark a boojum, you see; but, these are particularly my boojum. The reality of these entities in question is an epistemological one, not an ontological one; and most definitely not a phenomenological one since the answer is most emphatically about personal consciousness and not a universal. The question of the ontological and phenomenological reality of magick and magickal entities is actually irrelevant to my ability to engage with them and the utility to me and mine of that work. But, the epistemological reality of these same could be of the utmost importance. The real question is not whether these entities have some objective existence, but whether I gain knowledge and experience through the interaction, the relationship. And, moreover whether I have a justified belief in them.

So, I say it doesn’t matter, except, of course, that it does matter in a way. It may be of the utmost importance that I believe, for the efficacy of a particular magical operation, for the usefulness of any knowledge gained in the experience, one way or the other. But, the important issue is that it may also, at some other point in time-space, be equally or more important for me to believe the opposite.

One of my favourite examples of this is Goetic or Enochian work. The operation is one which I might summon specific entities, with whom I work to develop a relationship, or, in cases, mastery over. One view is that the entity has an objective existence independent of my own cognition and experience of the interaction. However, another way of viewing this: I might be simply externalizing parts of myself in order to gain the distance necessary to integrate those parts of my shadow with which I could not otherwise engage. It may be completely necessary for me to not only act <em>as if</em> the goetic entities are real with independent existences, but also to actually, for some period of time, be <em>completely convinced</em> that is an objective fact.

If for the purposes of a magickal operation, I tend to believe one way or another on the question and the operation is not successful, then it may be necessary to change my mind, alter my thinking, or, change my consciousness in accordance with my will (to sort of make a mishmash of definitions). In other words, if a particular paradigm doesn’t seem to be effective, try another. (And I can’t help but wonder how someone unable to change their consciousness in this way is capable of doing magick at all.)

Here’s where I find myself thinking about the quote from the Principia Discordia: “All statements are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense.” The corollary to this might be that in doing magick one will likely need to be pragmatic and artful about the power and limitation of dogma. (I’ll stop before I make the claim that this is also the secret not just to magick but also to peace on Earth, but – Oops. Never mind.)

The mechanism by which this happens has, for me, always been about liminality as long as I’ve known the term. But, moreover, before I really had incorporated notions of the liminal into my thinking, this is surprisingly similar to the act of acting, or rather, for me, the act of being, on stage. For me there’s a concept of an “actor’s brain” which is essentially a doubling of consciousness wherein there is both a character and an actor. Where the former cannot know certain things, the latter must know them; and the “actor’s brain” is where these paradoxical states are reconciled, co-located. Similar to the audience’s suspension of disbelief, where they simultaneously believe and disbelieve the theatrical event; the “actor’s brain” is a place where two conflicting sets of wholistic personality and understanding co-exist, and inform each other, but neither completely subsumes the other. (There are things, in my direct experience, that the character side of the “actor’s brain” knows about how to be and behave which the actor side is unable to discover or fully understand or replicate alone.) In addition to being similar in my experience to the “actor’s brain”, I find this paradigmatic liminality to also have resonance with the notion of suspension in dialogue and Bey's notion of an autonomous zone also, and from there a whole host of other things.

Of course, there are other paradigms of acting, to continue the simile, than mine. There are those that are merely mechanical and those that are more fully intuitive. My particular paradigm is one I operate in because of the efficaciousness of that paradigm for me. For the mechanical paradigm, I find that more about performance than ritual, and to and for me theatre is always best when it is ritualized; the mechanical paradigm seems shallow and is to treat the theatrical experience, for both actor and audience, as one of simple deception and manipulation. For the more intuitive paradigm, I find that a slippery slope to madness as so many actors get lost on that road. But, that’s about the utility of these paradigms for me. However, for all these three, there are great actors that have operated in each.

Another example that has always come to mind for me is what I’ve come to see as the Renaissance paradigm shift of astrology. There seems to me a significant paradigm shift where previously the upper determined the lower. after the renaissance, the inner determined the outer. It seems to me that the understanding of astrology radically changed as the paradigm shifts of the Renaissance did. Whereas typically a modern view of the universe is that it is determined from the inside out, that the individual mind and perception of the world, one’s consciousness of the world, changes the world; an earlier view would see the individual as being determined from the outside in, that one’s consciousness was the last mile in a cosmic broadband connection to the divine. Whereas astrology might now see the vagaries of an individual reflected in the stars, that the quirks and foibles of the self are written above, that the individual choices are helped or hindered by the influence of the spheres; it seems to me that an earlier world-view would have seen rather that the self is a reflection of the divine whole, a facet of the larger totality of the universe, that the self is a product of the functioning of the spheres. So, in an older overall paradigm, the notion that the personality of an individual would appear and be amenable to study through the outer makes a great deal of sense. On the other hand, in the newer paradigm, the direction of influence is essentially reversed. In one the stars are the environment in which one acts, and in the other the stars are an intermediate layer in which the influence of cosmic order can be traced to either end, the above or below.

Depending on what kind of information I was looking for, I might need to approach astrology in a radically different way. You know, if one does approach it at all.

Paradigms are sets of meanings derived from observations. The observations don’t really change, unless I get better or different mechanisms and methods of observation, but the value of the meanings derived from those observations is directly related to the utility and efficacy of those meanings as they apply to the work; whether that’s the work of daily living, where the notions of newtonian physics and vector maths and a sensory feedback loop are useful to me as I try to cross the street with my life, or that’s when I’m engaging in a magical operation and trying to gain some effect through affecting efficaciously.

In this way the aphorism “as above, so below”, and its corollaries and co-legates under the wings of their ruling dux, the esoteric archidoxes of the seven hermetic laws detailed in the Kybalion, are all ways of saying paradigms matter but it is not necessary to hold on to them for dear life. “As above, so below”; “as within, so without”; and even “solve et coagula” - these are also structurally the same as the interplay between Self and the Other. There is the Jungian shadow to be integrated, and the self to be absorbed into the communal.

Of course, it really doesn’t matter to me if someone else believes in my experience or not. My “unsubstantiated personal gnosis” is justified to me to the extent that it offers some utility to me. As the Book says, “Success is your proof” … The danger is that I become a victim to confirmation bias, but that’s really a separate question of the scientific rigour of my work. However, the utility of UPG requires necessarily neither that it be shared nor confirmed beyond my own practice. My ongoing personal testing of that UPG is part of the work, such that it may become, at least personally, confirmed and possibly maybe even shared, but it is that the work is that matters more than what is the work, so the necessity is of a different order. It matters not what my paradigm is, but that I have one and that it works for me in the work I need to do when I need to do it. What matters is not the reality of what I do, but the reality that I do it.

In this case, as opposed to a more strictly defined view of the sciences, replicability by others is interesting but not necessary strictly speaking for the value of my esoteric science, and the paradigm in which I operate my scientific method of the work, to be valid and sufficient. However, that’s not to say that sharing and confirming with others is not also useful both as a check on my own work, but also in participating in a community of workers on a shared syncopated operation, perhaps as in the formation of an egregore over time. But, this shared work and my personal work can exist, as much as it is possible for anything to do so since things necessarily on some level exist in relationship with each other, independently of each other. Neither is necessarily significantly diminished by not participating in a system-in-focus with the other, though those connections do necessarily exist in some larger or out-of-focus systemic relationship. In each case it doesn’t, except when it does, matter so much what I’m doing, so long as I’m doing it; and visa versa, it doesn’t matter what work the egregore does, so much that the work works.

In this way magick more closely resembles an engineering black-box problem than an effort at scientific experimental replication. Where the latter is attempting to repeat the method to arrive at the same result, the former is trying to sufficiently repeat a similar result through some method to be determined as necessary.

— The tertium quid

what is the resolution to the apparent paradox between these things? if i hold to the general belief that a paradox is resolved in a new way through the horns, by a move to another order of abstraction, then there must be a resolution.

<blockquote>“It will be seen that these various methods of attainment are all harmonious. The Method of Meditation and that of Abramelin are not superseded by the new AEon, but made subsidiary to it, and easier to employ in virtue of it.

It is indeed abundantly clear that these three paths are one.

The best and greatest of the antinomies, that between Magick and Mysticism, is transcended in the Method of the New AEon.”</blockquote>

– Aleister Crowley, The Temple of Solomon the King

<blockquote>“And this message, whether it be interpreted in Taphareth, the attainment of the Heart, or {124} in Daath, the attainment of the Mind, or in Kether, the attainment of that which includes and transcends all, the message itself is simple.”</blockquote>

– Aleister Crowley, The Temple of Solomon the King

– enabling dialogical space

both verb and noun

the place where the normal is suspended

the liminal

the folkloric forest

the ritual space

the TAZ

of course the interechangability of paradigms doesn’t mean not picking one.

gotta pick the one that works, has the most utility

make the best choices you are able with the information you have

not realistic to think that only one will suit you forever and ever

people change, conditions change; and in ecosystems, those that can’t adapt die.

like tacking in a sailboat or feedback loops in systems

the overall vector maths results in a course, which one may never have been aware of originally, but was the right one natheless

like the tao

— via http://mysticismmeditation.blogspot.com/2007/04/gunonian-esoterism-and-christian.html

Guénonian Esoterism and Christian Mystery Jean Borella

-

It is very inspiring to think about what Borella is saying. Many questions arose. What is esoterism then in its essence? Is there an ideal esoterism when the ego illusions are transformed? Did Guenon teach the doctrine of absolute esoterism? Looking at the criticism of Borella, he says:

“For my self the revelatum is ontologically one, esoterism and exoterism being only hermeneutic perspectives not objects or things. According to Guenon, to the contrary, it seems that esoterism and exoterism of themselves constitute the entire reality of the revelatum?”

Borella sees in Guénon the danger of reinforcing the opposition between esoterism and exoterism. We may risk losing sight of their nature and the revelatum. Borella has a good point about the hermeneutic perspectives. It is interesting to work in a hermeneutical way, especially with the interpretation of our experience. Borella says:

“Man is not a simple recorder of facts, he understand and interprets them as signs with a certain existential meaning.”

and picking one doesn’t mean the others go away.

also, the others are necessary for growth http://www.thorncoyle.com/musings/?p=159 (also crowley on meeting with other ideas)

Paradigms are whole systems. Magic systems are also whole systems.

it’s the job of the adept to eventually create their own whole system, their own magick.

in fact, if every man and woman is a star, then each person must, by definition, already be on the journey toward developing their own system.

i get now that doug and wendy whiner have conflated opinion with judgement such that when they hear opinion they think people are judging and when they think they are sharing opinions they are actually judging others. no wonder they get so confused and are such annoying people.

there seems to be a particular class of people that are particularly perturbed by thinking which is explicitly aware of paradigmatic possibility. this class of people seem to me to be those who confuse opinion with judgement, and that further confuse questions of law with questions of fact.

these people often hear others, when they bother listening at all, to be saying facts when they are stating opinion; and these people often use the language of judgment when speaking about their opinions. all because this class of people really don’t understand opinion; because they think all their opinions are facts, all facts needs must therefore match their whims and desires and all opinions to the contrary are wrong as a matter of fact.

for example these people hear a statement like “I enjoy french cuisine” as a judgement about a fact, perhaps that french cuisine is superior to any other; rather than as a person expressing their preferences and feelings about something. further, they often hear someone expressing a negative opinion as if that person were making a factual claim of that something being wrong or incorrect.

and, when speaking an opinion, this class of people seem to often use language which expresses judgement. for example, when trying to say that they prefer one thing over another, they will say “the first is correct and the second is wrong,” where their expression of opinion is stated in such a way as to imply there is no room for another to think differently.

opinions are

judgments are

questions of fact are those that are resolved by reference to facts and evidence, and the inferences made based on those facts. these are things which can be tested against observation made with as much specificity in measurement as possible.

questions of law are answered through the application of principles in order to arrive at appropriate conclusions. these are abstract questions and abstract answers, tending toward specificity over time through the process of building precedent.

it seems like the opposite of paradigmatically aware thinking is a kind of mechanical aristotealeanism where all things are either right or wrong, immutably for all contexts, and further no thing that is wrong in a context is every right no matter what other contexts there may be.

there’s no feeling or opinion here for these people. all things are broadly painted as questions of fact.

what a sad little world they must live in.

These are people like the Christians who believe that someone somewhere never having heard of Christianity is a doomed sinner, no matter how awesomely lived the life is. These are the kind of people that believe that pre-Christian resurrection stories are the Devil’s lies to obscure the one, true story that hadn’t been told yet. These are people like the tourist who travels to another place and is frustrated with the thick accents, wishing people could just talk plainly and clearly like they do at home. These are people like the parent who stands up in the school board meeting to protest foreign language requirements saying, “If English was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for my kids!”

These people are not only stuck in a worldview, but they’re somehow wired to believe that their worldview is the only one possible, in spite of any evidence that there are others. clearly anyone with a different idea of the world is wrong, they think. oh, how very wrong they are.

And so, they see criticism as heresy. They see difference as sin. They see people, not as stars in their own right and way, but as planets that merely orbit around themselves getting in the way of their own brilliance.

the short of it is that opinions are fine and dandy. what’s dangerous and stupid is when on the one hand those opinions are taken for fact or on the other hand other people’s opinions are judged wrong just because they don’t agree with one’s own.

In Magick Without Tears, Aleister Crowley writes: “To insist that anyone else shall comply with one’s own standards is to outrage, not only him, but oneself, since both parties are equally born of necessity.)”

but, in a truly brilliant retelling of the “this statement is a lie” paradox, that’s just my opinion.

in paradigms 2 i talked a bit about how cognitive flexibility is part of what i imagine to be a core magical practice.

i then recognized that I’ve ironically a somewhat inflexible attitude around that idea. there are things which i recognize i have cognitive inflexibility. these are things which i might take on in my life as areas in need of work.

i might do specific operations around these things. i might include something around these in my daily practice. I’d engage myself around these things in what I think of as a yogic fashion.

for me, the notion of yoga has been very useful. in the kind of physical yoga practice I’ve most often engaged, the idea is to explore a physical edge and then play with that by alternatively stressing and then unstressing, pushing and then relaxing.

i recognize there are things around which i am inflexible, both physically and mentally.

i recognize there are things around which I’m spiritually inflexible.

these are the places in my life which i think require work. i may be more or less willing to work those things, but these to me are my edges. these inflexibilities are indications of my shadow, parts of myself around which I have integration work to do.


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