Friday, April 19, 2019
5:20 a.m. All right, friends. On today’s agenda?
You may wish to continue reading about George Washington.
As I did all Wednesday and yesterday? I can afford to give you an hour. This is Lexington Day, come to think of it, isn’t it? Well, do you really want to skip?
We could talk about circles, if you wish.
That’s an interesting circle in itself. I woke up with the thought – when? Yesterday? Wednesday? – and it is a thought I have had before. I mentioned it here yesterday when I suddenly remembered having had it, and now you – I? – suggest we pursue it. So, whose idea originally, and whose instance now? But I realize, “whose” is pretty meaningless, an arbitrary attribution. So –?
You may wish to state your thought, as your stating it, rather than our doing it, removes the attribution as a source of friction.
As we have done in the past. Okay.
Perhaps because I was reading of Washington, my thoughts jumped –
No, that isn’t the way to approach it. who cares what hopscotch I played to get there. Trying again.
It occurred to me that we all like to see ourselves as part of a circle,
No, you do it. I’m meeting resistance.
You are allowing the resistance to interfere. The way to overcome that is to slow down, and the way to slow down is –
Recalibrate. Breathe. Con-center-ate.
Okay. Think of any aristocracy. That’s what gave me the thought most recently, come to think of it, David Rothkopf’s Superclass. Any self-described elite, based on whatever distinction, thinks of itself as a circle that is above “the others.” If it is wealth, or genealogy [that is, ancestry], or membership in some organization, or achievement, even perhaps in some common dedication to a purpose – regardless what provides the sense of separation, there is a division that appears, implicit or explicit, between how one relates to those who are in and those who are not. At its crudest, it expresses as snobbery or elitism, at a less crude level, it is very little more than a part of one’s sense of self. But it has consequences. People within the circle, if they have power of any kind, are apt to be extraordinarily gracious and accommodating – to each other. They tend to be quite different in their dealings with “others.”
Okay, over to you.
Yes, your resistance rose to a level high enough to make you wish to quit. Why is that, do you suppose?
These sessions so often go off in directions I don’t expect. I don’t know, you tell me.
Better if you work it out. Our pointing out the fact is interference enough, in a way.
Interference isn’t always a negative. Sometimes it is a positive. But anyway, work it out. Feel it out.
Well, what I said could go any of several ways. Examples, say. Maybe I don’t want to choose, or it seems like too much.
You’re getting closer.
Well, I don’t know, sometimes it’s like a log jam, all that pressure and no outlet.
Is that it, though? Too much to say? You have been a writer all your life, whether or not you have been able to express certain kinds of things.
There’s a certain level of discomfort in it. I suppose it must have to do with the subject matter.
Yet in this case you are discussing a social phenomenon, and to some extent a psychic phenomenon. The examples that come to your mind are historical, not personal. So where is the discomfort coming from?
Well, that’s the question, isn’t it? I don’t know. I get, “list the examples,” and I can do that. Confederate dragon ladies, whites in a mixed society, the rich as Upton Sinclair described them from his first-hand knowledge, the superclass elite Rothkopf describes from his own insider vantage point.
Since none of these give you emotional resistance, try those closer to home.
My own elitism, you mean? Other than a pride in historical grounding and in an ability to synthesize it, and in my own explorer status, there are the things I was born into, but they don’t amount to much emotionally any more – country, family, geography, ethnicity.
You are proud of your talents, if not necessarily the use you have made of them. There is many a person who is quietly as proud as Lucifer; it is part of the human situation. You can even be proud of your humility, you know.
But is it pride we are driving at?
I can’t quite get it. Yes, pride is involved, but it isn’t as simple as “we are special,” I don’t think.
There is that aspect. But perhaps more to the point is that it is an identification with a part rather than with the whole of oneself, even sticking to 3D considerations.
A keeping to the familiar rather than broadening out to the whole?
In more senses than one. Thoreau, as you well know, said “We are all provincials in the universe,” but identifying with any subset tends to blur that distinction.
Sort of inevitable, isn’t it? We naturally would identify with what is closest to us.
Yes, but we are looking at the effects it has, when one considers oneself as if he were only a member of an inner circle, rather than also a member of the vast indistinguishable mass as seen by every other inner circle.
It seemed a simple thought. People draw a circle and include themselves among a self-perceived elite, and treat others within the circle differently than they do those without it.
Yes, and it is a valid insight, only we aren’t all that concerned with social conditions except as they affect the potential for individual expression. And every position offers that potential.
I guess this session is more of a how-to than a discussion of substance, huh?
You see a distinction?
I guess I do, yes. How to use a flashlight is one kind of subject. What the flashlight illuminates when used is a related subject, but not the same subject.
If you will remember that words may be sparks as well as billboards, you may see this session differently.
Well, maybe. Okay, see you next time.