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Posts Tagged ‘self-programming’

I haven't seen anyone else summarize this view of internal states so clearly before. I've learned a lot of this elsewhere, but hadn't summed it up in quite that way. The book “Trances People Live” has some of the same material, presented very very differently.

From DirtSimple.org, The Multiple Self:

As soon as I could see that, it was obvious what I needed to do: pipe the output from the “intellectual” net into the “emotional” net, instead of trying to integrate the data downstream in the “consciousness” process. And literally, as soon as I imagined this, the two upstream networks integrated, and the need to feel bad went away. I still felt bad physically, in my body, so I “shook it out” and it went away. (It appears that shifts in glandular output and neurotransmitter states are used as a crude system-wide state machine to aid in sorting input and output, so even after you adjust an upstream source, you may retain some kinesthetic “pollution” downstream until you garbage collect it.)

Many Circuits, Loosely Joined

Now, before I go further, I want to explain that the “emotional” and “intellectual” networks I just mentioned were not my entire emotional or intellectual being. That's precisely the sort of large-scale behavioral integration that our brains do not have by default. I integrated two isolated “understandings”, each of which was a simple script to assign meaning to a certain class of events. In programming terms, each of these nets could be considered a “business rule”; just pattern recognizers that fired off to send “me” their analysis of the situation. It's just that one of those rules fired off a “knowing” and the other fired off a “feeling”.

So, the fact that I did this one particular edit of my brain's rule system does not now mean that intellectual understanding is now integrated with all my emotional impulses. During early life, we write a lot of scripts in our brains that are not abstracted or reused in any significant way. …

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Following links a couple of days ago, I found a really compelling and honest account of someone firing their employee. I didn't want to close the window, because one of the phrases was resonating so strongly with me.

This morning I summarized the teaching I found there and printed out two lines that I've now taped at the top of my monitor– because I need the reminder in this distraction-filled life. Two reminders, really: how to focus, and that people can't see inside each other's heads, we have to go on what we know externally.

“What you really do is who you are; what you say is just moving air. We show our true priorities in life by things we actually do.”
– SR Chalup

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“When I see my life as a tragedy, I become a victim.
When I see my life as a triumph, I become empowered.
When I see my life as an endless stream of interconnected events, linked by compassion, I become Sakyamuni.”
–SR Chalup

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… but sometimes you forget that you already know them.

We fix our own hearts like a lone man building a dam, or repairing a foundation. At some point, engineering principles are left behind, do not scale, and we are left helplessly to say, “this looks like it should go here”, or “let's see if this holds”. Yet the most elaborate and complicated structures can begin as a handful of mud daubed onto an empty space.

SR Chalup, A Walk by the Sea, 10/04/1995

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A framework for understanding poverty, by Ruby K. Payne

Whether you have grown up in poverty or in wealth, this book will teach you things you never knew about yourself and your culture, and how it differs from others. Worth buying or reading just for the “class assumptions” quiz, one each for poor, middle class, and wealthy. The questions alone will be a real eye-opener.

I got the book through the library LINK+ system, thinking it was a socioeconomic text. It turns out to be a guidebook for folks in public service, such as teachers, program administrators, and health workers. The book very clearly and candidly tackles the differences in values between classes. It can get a bit heavy-handed at times, but that’s almost a requirement to hammer home the point that people in poverty (and they differentiate between generational and situational poverty) have different values from the middle class. The generationally wealthy have different values from the middle class, too, but the middle class doesn’t spend nearly as much time bashing them as individuals because of those values.

Which, in my opinion, is why all 3 classes are included, as the message is that time and again one sees middle class “helpers” designing programs and individual approaches that are almost guaranteed to fail when dealing with people in generational poverty, because they go directly against the values of those people. Points are also raised about how the differing value sets work against people who are trying to reset their class affiliations, either from poverty to middle class, or from middle class to wealthy.

In my specific case, I am made aware of certain values– and expectations! — of mine which are directly working against my success in some career goals and my satisfaction level in some friendships. That’s incredibly valuable to me. It’s also more than slightly upsetting, seeing more clearly the extent to which I’ve self-sabotaged various things over the years, and also how I’ve unwittingly sometimes ridden various assumptions to the top. Well, I’ll raise a glass to more conscious choices, and continue the learning curve.

I mentioned in an earlier, friends-locked post that I had been feeling keenly disappointed in what I perceived as a lack of reciprocity among some people that I helped through difficult times. Well, there’s a direct-pattern value from generational poverty that says that one is required to share one’s good fortune with one’s community, and that the community will share back. People help each other through difficult times. The middle class community, on the other hand, values self-sufficiency, especially financial self sufficiency, above personal relationships on that level. If you get a bonus, you’re not even obligated to take all your friends out to dinner or buy a round at the neighborhood bar– those are poor to working class values, not middle class.

A specific example– over the years, especially the ‘bad valley years’, I’ve cheerfully picked up the tab for lunches and dinners for friends who weren’t working. Fast-forward to now, when I’ve had some business disappointments (employee nightmare costing me a full quarter’s revenue, and the fiscal year’s profit; me taking some time off to finish a book project). The same friends are going strictly dutch when we go out, down to line items like who had a soda and who didn’t. Nice. Guess who feels like a dork? Not them! [PS- These lunch/dinner folks are not on LJ, afaIk, so if you're reading this and feel guilty, it's all in your head.]

So I will chalk up several of those disappointments to class values. There are still one or two cases where I feel like folks personally took advantage of me, either because we were involved or because they perceived me as ‘rich’ compared to them, or both. But going forward, knowing the differences frees me from having to pick up the tab so much, from giving things away because I feel obligated to do so, and generally acting like I’m still stuck in rural NH/Maine during the 1970′s recession/depression.

I also will work on confronting my feelings about how to integrate my love of dressing in unusual ways, and my hatred of brand brandishment with the undeniable FACT that brand conformity (in clothing) is perceived as reliability and stability by the class of folks who hire and fire at the levels I work, and who network socially while clad in those brands. Ugh.

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