The Interface: Herds and outliers

Maybe considering people’s quirks and prejudices would help illustrate the point.

Or perhaps we have inadequately made the point that people see the world through filters that precede thought, and then they alter what they see and what they think by their values and decisions. If you once see that, you have seen the most important thing about emotions and feelings.

Do you think so?

We do. It is only in devaluing feelings, in deafness to emotion, and in what we can only call an idolatry of thought per se (at the expense of feeling) that deadness is enshrined in life.

“Feelings are the language of the soul.”

They are. And if you become deaf to feelings, you no longer have any evidence that the soul even exists, let alone that a soul is what you are. In being deaf to feeling, you make yourself an orphan in the universe; at sea, rudderless, in entire isolation, hence desperate.

That sounds like our world, all right.

More so the Age of Reason, that wound up unleashing horrors upon the world out of the disregarded unconscious mind and minds of men.

I know that you are not advocating that we abandon reason for emotion. But I am a little bit at sea as to what it comes to, in practice, one by one.

What it means in terms of how each of you should live, you mean.

Yes. I’m sure it won’t be “one size fits all,” but I don’t know how you would conceptualize what the implications are.

Quote the indicated excerpt from Dirk’s email of October 2.

[“First and foremost though it once again highlighted to me that my experience of the world is not usual. It is not how most people do experience the world. And it isn’t even a way that most people can ever experience the world. And so – even though I can describe it to you and others; for most people that explanation either rings entirely false, or utterly alien. It is simply not within the range of available experience to contemplate.

[“As an imperfect analogy, it is like I hear in a different range, which only partially overlaps with how others hear. My default in this analogy is to hear in a part of my range not heard by others, and hence completely outside their ability to relate to.”]

Notice what he says here. It is as if he hears in a different range, beyond the common limits. To some degree this is true of any outlier; whether it is cause or effect, we leave to you to think about. After all, hearing a common range is one aspect that goes into the commonality that is a herd.

Are you saying we are all herd animals, we are all outliers, depending upon who we live among?

Is this not your experience?

You refer to my finding the Monroe community as what I call “my tribe,” after decades of being entirely surrounded by what seemed like herd members living lives alien to me. Yes, it is so.

Each of those herd members is more individual than appear to you. From each person’s center, the world is part herd, part outlier.

I think you mean, we can each identify with some and not others, hence we could each be considered to be a part of a herd, only the composition of the herd would differ.

Again, is this saying anything you haven’t always lived? Depending upon how you slice your life, you are part of a different herd and are separate from others you live among. There are no absolute divisions in life. We keep reminding you of that. Concomitantly, life is replete with approximate divisions, relative boundaries.

In Dirk’s case, for instance, he is distinctly an outlier in some ways, but he is definitely firmly within different herds: managerial, scientific, theoretical (i.e. abstract) thinkers. In none of these three categories is he an exact fit, but perhaps none of you is an exact fit anywhere. And in fact we will draw you an approximate rule of thumb: The more conscious you become, the more of an outlier you realize yourself to be, until you reach a point where your understanding makes a sudden turn, so to speak, and greater consciousness shows you your “herd-ness” in ways you had lost sight of.

Thus – now listen, here, and think about this – how you perceive yourself and the world may be seen as a mood, quite as accurately as it may be seen as a conclusion. That is, the same data seen differently may lead to different conclusions in different mental circumstances, so in what way can it be said to be a logical conclusion rather than a chosen attitude?

If your rational conclusions actually rest upon a (usually) invisible foundation of feelings, can you be said to be rational beings primarily, or feeling beings? And if, being feeling beings, you reason yourselves into thinking you are primarily rational beings, can it be any surprise that you find life confusing, disorienting, contradictory, nonsensical?

Now extend the argument. If what you consider to be your objective view of the world, of life, is in fact the result of a way of seeing the world, seeing life, and that way of seeing is based in feelings prior to thought (because based in pre-conscious perception), how rational can your view of life be? It is a rational construct, yes. It is not, and can never be, strictly rational reporting of what is.

Thus, your opening thought: People’s view of the world is obviously personal, eccentric, conditional. You can see that by observing anybody else. Your own views, of course, are rational, indisputable – at least, they are until you change them for a new set of rational indisputable views.

It is by looking at the effects on others of their prejudices and special ways of seeing the world, that you get a sense of your own.

Now, relate this to what we have been sketching. Other people’s make-up is part of the “other”; part of the shared subjectivity that you participate in but do not define nor control. As such, it is not “you,” yet it casts light on “you.” Or, it can if you allow it to. It is in this sense that the “external” world is said to mirror the internal.

Since you can see that no one else sees life unfiltered, you can see that you don’t either. And that knowledge can be immensely valuable.

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