Tuesday, December 28, 2010

a manifold sense of self formativity

One might find a philosopher’s obsession with child development rather odd, especially my interplay of phenomenological and psychological stances. Yet, it’s easy to appreciate that somehow the nature of our humanity is ontogenic (actually, evolutionarily developmental). Living beyond eras that took the gods to heart, we can only appreciate ourselves as somehow-natural inquirers cycling a young star in nothingness, lusciously growing and assembling what matters in light of legacies that don’t portend how creatively we may further them, even originating what they could not even imagine.

I do my little things with the time I have. I’ve more or less finished my current excursion through child development (though I have one more near-term topic to do, probably mid-January), all of which was intended, this past season, to preface an extended excursion into positive psychology’s sense of developing authentic happiness. And that is medial for more ambitious work, planned a couple of seasons ago, that being medial to a Project that has grown hilariously elaborate in recent years.

So, back to childsplay: I’ve “completed” my little phenomenology of developmental learning (including some spun-off postings noted in that page); and true to form, it just makes me eager to move on.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

developmentality as generative modeling

There are many ways to approach human development as such. My way of thinking about it is very hybrid, in terms of well-worn clinical and empirical research. But currently, I only want to highlight the scale of possibility that the notion of development may provide for integrative inquiry.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


My preciously-titled posting yesterday has implicit motives related to my implicitly prevailing Project; but I also had in mind the Christian originality of highlighting the extraordinary child—indeed an extraordinariness belonging to human potential as such, symbolized in an initial possibility of wonderful potential, exemplified (in principle) by every birth. Strip away all the theocentrically cultic aura and practices, we still have a universalistic, humanistic valuing of human potential in a gift to one’s world we may presume as the gift of the child. (This is about the born and desired child, not a politics of “Life” that posits theologized humanity in the unviable fetus. We all agree that the born and desired child deserves all our hopes and grants of opportunity.)

Christmas day is an oasis in an unfortunate economy of consumption. It’s about a retroactive sanctification of a teacher’s short life, in the folkloric Image of an impoverished birth (as Christianity as such didn’t arise for decades after the death of Jesus, didn’t become doctrinal for centuries, and didn’t cause prevalence of this holiday until a millennium later).

Love has become such a trite notion, bandied about by vacuous lives that sustain vacuous economies. Finding philosophical importance in the notion is like expecting appreciation of a great poet in a mall. Many philosophical ethicists may find dim importance to the likes of Princeton philosopher Harry Frankfurt, whose stellar career might be capsulated as one of finding love of reason in reasons of love—like finding a love of humanity in one’s humanity of “love.”

To love our own nature is to love our ownmost futurity, and this is reflected in one’s child, but not as ours—not as one’s own (not as a child living for us—for our satisfaction, for there being fulfillment to the adult’s life, as if the meaning of life is to reproduce and have the result mirror our hopes, let alone our expectations). The “our” belongs to us, all together loving the mystery of a new generation that will carry on, even forgetting us in most genuinely embodying our legacies.

The light of the child is the child of the light: time and being.

Friday, December 24, 2010

dear diary

It’s not surprising
that clearly-unextraordinary minds
(including myself) might want
to understand clearly-extraordinary minds as well
as one can, dwelling
with their traces (their works)
of peak experience, Moments
in evolving weaves and histories of high
humanity: peaks or points a dweller may
design into novel meshes
for further dwelling
and weaving

Sunday, December 19, 2010

broadening oneself

Notions of enriching oneself are innumerable. But I’m gradually introducing a specific model of learning in creative individuation that has persuasive empirical bases. Part of that is the notion of building oneself, discussed last week. Today, I’m exploring one more aspect of the model (albeit in my own way): the intrinsic appeal of broadening oneself.

with respect to post-religious spirituality

I’m fond of the California legacy first associated with the “human potential” movement of the ’60s, especially inasmuch as it (or they or one) avoids/avoided (in the ’70s and ’80s) “New Age”y fantasy rhetorics.

My history here is long. I’ll just note that I’m also fond of authentic Jungian views of “individuation” (now an ordinary term in my thinking, but it came into my life from Jungian engagements many years ago, though I would not call myself Jungian). I’m not as enthusiastic about Buddhist views, but I have affection for their studied simplicity. I believe that the Esalen Institute has a fine legacy, and regional resources such as Tassajara, Green Gulch, and Spirit Rock are darling. MindBody interweaving should be integral to health care, and mindfulness is integral to living well.

Those modes or levels of engagement and appreciation can have wide relevance for folks—offering important aspects of living well that may be widely relevant. This pertains to, let’s say, the midland of our humanity, which is the great common ground of our belonging together in our humanity. Aspiring to explore heights is wise to appreciate that the heights depend on the surrounding midlands.

I’m aspiring to explore heights, but that presupposes good (excellent, I hope) appreciation of midland conditions of possibility, which explorations of human development in general must include. However, conceptualizing generally-relevant developmental aspects of flourishing, relative to an interest in aspiring to explore heights, likely doesn’t relate well to a general audience that the aspects can be about. In other words, the “same” belonging together in “living well” may be understood in various ways (e.g., relative to all kinds of approaches to living well by various health care specialists and various psychologists). What I’m doing—on a road to doing—is not exclusive of other views of living well. But a good inclusiveness depends on the developed view that would show how the inclusiveness can go well or work well. So, my attention to showing inclusion is distant, while my influence by those I feel inclusive with continues in the background of the road displayed. (See narrative like a road—ancient trope.)

I can’t imagine agreeing wholly with everyone I feel good inclusion with. I might even cringe at some choices of understanding. For example, I’m quite wary of most “spiritual” modes of expression (or rhetoric, in the best sense that good philosophy involves a high acuity of rhetoric). Yet, I’m appreciative of what authentic expression is seeking to evince or show. Usually, I have no trouble being rapportous (another of my little neologisms).

I bought a nice book yesterday, titlted to sell, but written by someone who seems to be a very wise psychotherapist, in the best sense of the California legacy: Daring to Trust: opening ourselves to real love and intimacy, by David Richo. Like many therapists, he survives (I suppose) in a difficult economy for wise guys and extended learning processes by giving workshops and publishing books through little presses. Part of the economic “problem” here is that desire to do good prevails over desire to make money. So, “Dave,” who has many books (though I hadn’t heard of him earlier), has taken kernals from many and put them into a sequenced presentation of what he’s doing, which makes an interesting synopsis of what the California legacy is, called “human becoming.” It’s endearing—well-suited for a mind/body communication for couples workshop in a medical center.

I note that as a good example of what I find inclusive (in a very accessible mode) of what I’m exploring in my own way, which is going to go uphill for a little while before coming back to aspects of ordinary empathy, good relationship, love, and mindfulness in that pursuit of mine to understand “authentic happiness” (mid-2011). Then, the road will go uphill again, into highly conceptual adventuring (late 2011? onward—onward), unlike anything I’ve done online so far (having rather rigorous, very discursive focus).

Sunday, December 12, 2010

building oneself

Generative feeling of childsplay makes itself into aspiration and sustained purpose having promise of fulfillment.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

valuing satisfaction for its place in a promise of fulfillment

This is about actualizing a long-term conception of who one is.


I need ‘mindality’ relative to terms—mentality and mind—that don’t work for what I have in mind.

Friday, December 10, 2010

thinking after Habermas

In my grand plan for conceptual gardening, I want to situate Habermas’s work in detail relative to my own projects, but without inviting more attention to my discursive play and prevalently non-Habermasian political interests than suits a specific focus on his work.

So, I’ve initiated a new blog. (I like the simplicity of its template.)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

cultivating self-enhancive curiosity

The heart of a growing mind intrinsically reaches into all the little mysteries it can find for enjoyments that draw one into more reaching, never ending.

Friday, December 03, 2010

ontic lightness with an orange

An orange” is one among oranges, including a hue of orange among hues of orange. “Orange,” then, is an emblem for a range of hues whose boundaries might be a matter of taste.

What, after all, is a hue? Life is full of spectra, and we have innumerable emblems for innumerable characters. So, thinking of conceptuality in light of orange might make of its gathering of hues a symbol of conceptuality.

Carrots used to be purple, grown in the Middle and Far East, until the Dutch introduced orange carrots in the 16th C. (So, it wasn’t mere reverie to see in the carrot a violet soul.) Purple carrots have become rare because intensive breeding has made orange carrots more widespread (though your modern carrot may range in color from white through red to almost black—let alone hues). However, many modern carrots aren’t especially healthy; meant to be orange, they’re kinda yellow or brownish; same with the fruit. A really good orange is a sign of health.

So, the character of the orange concept has legs.

Walking well and a lot is healthy, too. Doing so with a good, orange sense of humor amid so much conceptual pretense here is even better.