Good Friday III

Fateful Friday

This is my 3rd ‘Good Friday’ post. I can’t decide if it’s fate, or habit. I wonder how many times have I sat here and wrote these words you’re reading right now?

According to some scientists the universe is approximately 13.8 Billion years old, the earth, only 4.54 Billion years. It’s estimated that mankind is only 1.8 million years old.  The average lifespan for a human being is approximately 80 years (depending on where you live). Although it hasn’t been proven, most believe there’s a cyclical nature to life, a never-ending loop.  Whether I’ve repeated myself a few thousand times, or you’re reading this for the first time, in either case, its quite miraculous. The follow up question is, “What comes next?”.

If only it were possible to see beyond the line of time to the curve ahead that brings me back to the start. I can’t help but make striking connections to how fate plays it’s hand as I try to live in multiple worlds (fictional and non-fictional).  Swiss psychoanalyst and theoretician Carl Jung suggests that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate. That is to say, suppressing conflict within your subconscious, the world naturally seeks balance and must manifest the conflict for an individual to deal with consciously. Therefore, if all aspects of the psyche, especially the darker impulses are not engaged, the universe will create circumstances to bring them to the light: The divided psyche must be dealt sooner or later to move from a state of inner chaos to peace.

As I dig deep into these fictitious character’s I’ve created, craft their story, and decide their fate. I can’t help but wonder if they know mine. Perhaps in exchange for giving life, they offer a glimpse of what’s to come for me.

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My Nemesis

Every Great Story Needs A Villain

In trying to understand the characters I’m writing about. I took the Myers-Briggs Humanmetrics Jung Typology Test.  It’s a methodology, personality questionnaire. This assessment is designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. This is the essence of understanding characters. Or so I would imagine. I needed a baseline to find how accurate the test would be for determining my personality. My results were successfully intriguing. And as most personality test results go, it highlighted key aspects of my cerebral character.

Now understand that some writers deal with voices inside their heads (most are only character voices trying to tell their stories, others not so much).  The only way to silence those voices is to record the story. For example, there is a story about a Navajo grandfather who once told is grandson, “Two wolves live inside of me. One is the bad wold, full of greed and laziness, full of anger and jealousy and regret. The other is the good wolf, full of joy and compassion and willingness and a great love for the world. All the time, these wolves are fighting inside of me.” “But grandfather,” the boy said. “Which wolf will win?” The grandfather answered, “The one I feed.”  Naturally most people would fight and feed the good wolf. But I would approach the situation a little differently; as characters (of my psyche) these wolves would speak to me. Should I live the life of the big bad wolf, or simply tell its story as the good wolf? How would I tell that story? What if these wolves weren’t really fighting? What if by comparison they gave each other purpose?

This brings me to my Nemesis, the character in my story I didn’t understand. I’d already created the protagonist, his story, arc and goal. I took the Humanmetrics test, answering as my hero would with ease because in my mind, I’m the hero. I knew him better than he knew himself because I had fed him regularly and his voice was more prominent. The results confirmed the kind of person I envisioned him to be, and that Humanmetrics was worth its weight in gold! I grew more excited to get to know his nemesis. I took the test, and was shocked to learn that his results were much more aligned with my own. What if I’m not the hero in my stories, but instead the bad guy?

What’s more troubling is the amount of people who regularly suggest that as a manager I need to be more of an asshole, or manipulative to my direct reports to avoid being taken advantage of and get things accomplished. It’s expected, even desperately wanted by some, which I feel is very telling.  However, I believe the want is more of a reflection on the psychological expectations of others: Treat me badly and I’ll behave. Some say I need to take it further and be more nefarious in my personal life to meet my goals. Perhaps. In any event, the Big Bad Wolf is always hungry, and people demand I dress him in sheep’s clothes and feed him to join the pack.

What Colour is the Ocean?

“Strong intention in a noisy mind is useless; it’s akin to throwing a big rock into a turbulent ocean. There is no perceptible effect.”–Deepak Chopra

A simple questions doesn’t always receive a simple answer. Many people willingly accept a concise answer and go about their day. That’s fine. Sometimes there isn’t reason to care. Sometimes there isn’t time to know the entire explanation. Sometimes there isn’t any room for ambiguity.  The answer, the story, and the truth must be clear, concise and unchanging because that’s what’s expected. Yet, the fact remains it isn’t. Regrettably,  this fact makes most people uncomfortable. Without clear concise truths about the world we inhabit, ambiguity could mean the unknown, and the unknown is a scary place to be.

As children, most of us can recall times of great wonder and imagination.  Building sand castles on the beach, constructing forts with sheets and furniture, or playing out dramas with dolls, teddy bears, action figures or lego.  As we become adults, however, we give up that imagination in favour of the so-called rules and codes of responsibility (because we’re told me must put away ‘childish’ things).  Our brains, being a muscle, atrophy and lost the capacity to expand, adapt, transform and evolve: Adults marvel and study how a child grows and develops–but ironically ‘successful’ development is evolving into an adult world of repetition, boredom, and stagnation. Without imagination we settle for predictability at the cost of dulling the human experience because its safer, dependable, and more reliable according to Deepak Chopra.

For those struggling with an answer about the ocean:  The blue hue of water is an intrinsic property caused by selective absorption and scattering of white light. Impurities dissolved or suspended in water may give water different coloured appearances. Some may not care about the explanation, and some will accept the aforementioned wikipedia definition.  However, those who can accept and feel comfortable in the ambiguous truth will have a better time swimming in it.

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