TGU on the ins and outs of communication

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

6 a.m. Between my brother’s very welcome visit and recovering from my latest bout with asthma (now pretty much accomplished, I think) I have been either too occupied or two centered-elsewhere (doing things) or too unwilling to concentrate effort here, and so we have let Sunday and Monday go, and I was prepared to skip until Thursday if I went with Paul to D.C. tomorrow. But – maybe not. Let’s talk.

You want to know how we are going to connect vast personal forces, and good and evil, and 3D-as-only-part-of-life. In short, you hope for some form of resolution of several clumps of understanding that do not seem to cohere.

And you seem unable to do more than sneak up on the subject.

There is a lot of “B” to sketch, relative to “A,” and a lot of “A” to look at differently in response to newly understood “B” – and so forth.

Yes, I get it, but it would be nice to actually get there.

And what do you suppose “there” means in context? Another camping place? It could be that, but it won’t be that for everyone who pays attention, so it will be that only for those whose situation calls for it to be so. Others will find it no resting place, but  tangle of loose ends.

If I hear that right, it means there is no “there” except provisionally. One man’s resting place is another man’s mid-journey, another’s portage, another’s scarcely perceived interruption.

Isn’t that your experience of life? You all seem to be (perceive yourselves to be) on the same journey through the same terrain and the same time, but actually you are each in your own movie.

Ken Kesey’s insight.

Not his solely; certainly his metaphor.

All right, so the same fact that guarantees we won’t all get stuck on the same problems, in the same places, also means we won’t all experience resolution at the same time or place.

Nor will you all be equally and simultaneously perplexed. What is suddenly clear to one will have been obvious all along to a second, and still opaque to a third.

And that too is our experience with putting out this material.

Yours, and everyone’s. Who do you think was ever fully and universally understood? More to the point, who ever fully understood even the material s/he brought back?


Now, this that we have just said – these few minutes’ worth of material – will strike some as irrelevant, some as obvious, some as in fact irritatingly redundant, and perhaps only a few as enlightening in any respect. And yet it is as integral to the work as any other thing we have said. The difference is not in our selection nor in your transcription, so much as in the relative match or mismatch to what the reader brings to it.

I suppose we could generalize that even farther, come to think of it. I looked, one day, at Amazon reviews for the little book Ruth Shilling made of my 2000-word article  on accessing guidance. I found four or five glowing reviews saying how helpful and concise, etc., and one saying it couldn’t have taken me 15 minutes to write it, it was an obvious rip-off, not even worth the 99 cent price. Same book.

But people bring to their lives – and don’t imagine for a second that anyone is or could be an exception to this – the assumption that, in effect, they are the center of the world. What strikes them, strikes them in relation to where they are. How else could it be? The only mistake people make about it (which could be easily avoided or corrected) is to think the center-of-the-world perspective absolute rather than relative.

To generalize a little more – you really should stop blaming others or other things or fate or chance or your own guys upstairs. And for that matter, don’t blame yourselves either. Things that matter to you don’t “just happen,” or – a better way to say the same thing – things that just happen don’t affect you unless there is a reason in your makeup for them to happen. Thus, in effect, the same reality experienced intellectually either as predestination or free will.

Interesting point. But we have now filled nearly five pages, in only 30 minutes – to make that one point.

No, that is by your count, for you, like anyone who reads this now or ever, tend to count only what you recognize as new, omitting what is a discrete point if you already knew it, of if you don’t notice it, or if it is so immediately obvious as to slide in sideways.

So then –

Yes, we hear it always. So where are we going, how do we get there?

Etc., etc. A job for bullet-points?

That technique only works effectively if alternated with slower-paced exposition; otherwise the receiver’s mental habits adjust to the new rhythm and the advantage is lost.

Okay, interesting.

The point is to convey new sparks and provide the tinder for the spark to ignite. No tinder, no fire. No spark, no fire. Sometimes the reader has tinder concentrated and the spark is enough. Sometimes the reader has sparking potential to burn (so to speak) and needs new tinder from an “external” source (us, in this case) for a spark to amount to anything. How could we provide different needs for many people if we did only one thing, or proceeded in which seemed to be an “efficient” manner?

I have defined efficiency as sometimes the ignoring of context, as when the construction of the interstate highway system sort of absent-mindedly accelerated the decline and near destruction of the railroads as passenger carriers.

Sometimes it is impossible to take context into account, as we are just saying, so in effect it becomes either the ignoring of context or the adoption of a strategy to overcome the effects of that inability to take it into account; and that is what we are doing.

So, here is a whole session on what some will see as a trivial question about communication; others will experience as an illuminating light on how they experience the world and why that way; still others may find it leading off to cognate questions previously unconsidered.

And some will say, “Well, there wasn’t anything here for me today.”

And nothing wrong with that last unless they forget to add “for me”; it is people’s tendency to forget that their own makeup and situation is always part of what they experience that leads them to judge as if they were Anubis.

Are you calling our readers jackals?

Yes, very funny, but that is the dynamic behind the interaction. What does not resonate for one is not necessarily trivial or obvious or false or irrelevant to others. You can’t judge data absolutely any more than you can judge people absolutely, or your own lives.

But this is enough for the moment.

All right, well, our thanks as always.


One thought on “TGU on the ins and outs of communication

  1. Thank you. This leads me to think about how much my own viewpoint fluctuates. Sometimes it is easy to let things/understandings/misunderstandings just be. Sometimes one just jumps into the fray as if one’s own viewpoint were some precious jewel worth fighting for.

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