maandag 2 februari 2015
Intro-Icebreaker: Pic of North American Indians canoeing in river
Question : What will change in the next moment ?
Imagination got going. One answer: “the eagle has landed” – the atmosphere = serene…for a good start:
Present: Hans, Mark, Michael, David, Cecilia, Farzaneh and myself
We are predestined to change. Depending on belief, political system and scientific background. Yet no matter if we believe in a soul or not,…something within us stays the same and gives us directions.
Cecilia added to the example of the person stepping into the river: “If a person steps into the river twice,...not only is the water changed, but also the person who makes that step, is not the same anymore….” Change happens on both sides,- the outside world and the inside.
After a short deviation we all agreed that personal change was where we wanted to focus our discussion on. Other changes that were mentioned: Environmental change, world change, political change, cosmic change, social change, global change, microscopic change, atomic change, personal or group change…
Hans likes to come from a broader perspective,…his thoughts came from cosmic spheres,…he talked about ‘the field`, solar flares and he said that part of our memory was outside of our brains, which had to do with electromagnetism and radio. Cecilia then inquired how that worked and before Hans could explain in more detail Michael remarked that it sounded slightly unscientific…Which brought us to an explanation about science: “Science is an assumption which has not been disproved yet.”, said Mark. David found this explanation very valuable and pondered over it for a second when Michael exclaimed : “Science is wonderful!”, with a big smile on his face.
Mark then sharply included the ‘time frame’ which made everyone aware of the ‘human frame’: Are we talking about changes in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years or hundreds of years …thousands of years ?
Farzaneh came with a very interesting remark: She said : “If I want to have success and I have a specific goal in mind, there cannot be much change…” In other words : if we have to focus on something very intensely we circle around a core and have no way to change much. It also means that if we are tight to a goal,…we cannot change much,…whereas if we have complete freedom, personal change is easy,...also considering political backgrounds and systems. It makes sense and explains for a great deal the character of change in a people and a person. It also explains the connection between personal change in relative free political systems opposite to a tighter structure. Also the opportunity of change that is given to a student with clear goals opposite to a person of the same age with no goals in mind. Personal change is more likely to happen in a person with freedom of choice.
To the question of the ’true self’, the ‘not changing part’ of our identity it was also Farzaneh who came up with an interesting observation. In her view we are what we do,…and identity was strictly linked to performance. And isn’t she right ? In a very dominant part of western society our identity is very closely related to what we do,…and not so much to who we are. But then again,…that might just be a momentary profession. But people will more likely ask about what you do then about who you are. Yet of course the deeper aspect of self is often far from the “what do you do ? -"question…
Our name for example does in most cases not change and therefore has quite an important meaning for our self and identity. There is some kind of attachment that influences our whole life. Yet it is just a name and the real me is somewhere else still. The core identity, the true self is of course also prone to change: Aren’t we all looking for a better me ? Isn’t it time for a real internal refurbishment (Cecilia)? And yes, says Michael,…there are many self-help books which proclaim exactly that. They teach you how to be a better you . (Mark) Business cases should be written,…they could even call for scientific proof to advertise cases of inner change and make them attractive in this economical system. There is much profit to be made with the outside change business, why not inside ?
Hans: “Our SELF,…it is something that accompanies us to the finish, ( meaning death) Hans also mentioned the soul as part of an elementary factor of our eternal being. He describes it as the small voice inside of you that tells you to do this or that. He also mentions the keys in life. Words uttered to you, or things that happened to you, way back when, that serve as keys for one’s own development. He talks about the lower self and the higher self which is not completely in yourself (!).
Michael and Hans get into a close up. Their views of life differ considerably. “We’re not from the same building,” says Michael. “We’re all one” says Hans. And he comes up with an interesting analogy. “Every wave is the sea!” What if we are all part of that same sea?
Mark defined this difference of opinions as a matter of belief and feeling. Michael brought in arguments of the evolution which arouse a great deal of interest. His question: “Is self-consciousness also part of the evolution?”
And then Hans asked the group: “Can you ever find true self without social reference?”
This question made us aware of the competitive society but also reminds us of the reflective character that seems to be needed for a sense of identity.
Michael does not believe in a soul, yet he knows for certain that there is a true self or character that does not change within a person…
Conclusion of that evening:
True change of a person is dependent on the weight of attachment one feels, believes in or is used to. That means we can change according to how strongly we feel attached to what we believe and know at the moment. The moment you let go of your bubble you learn a lot and you change, yet this change will hardly alter the inner core.(Farzaneh)
This brings Michael to another view: we are a different person depending on where we are? …but once we let go of that bubble we get a clearer picture of ourselves (Farzaneh)