bird poops on plum branch

buster


Buster Benson

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congruence
bird poops on plum branch
buster
I'm reading a great book, here's a sort of long excerpt:
Everyone lives in the same world, and because we make different models of it, we come into conflict. Two people can look at the same event, hear the same words, and make completely different meanings. From these models and meanings we get the rich plurality of human values, politics, religions, interests, and motives.

Some of the most important parts of our map are the beliefs and values that shape our lives and give them purpose. They govern what we do and may bring us into conflict with others. Values define what is important to us; conflict starts if we insist that what is important to us should be important to others too. Sometimes our own values coexist uneasily, and we have to make difficult choices. Do I tell a lie for a friend? Should I take the boring job with more money, or the exciting work that is badly paid?

Different parts of us embody different values, follow different interests, have different intentions, and so come into conflict. Our ability to go for an outcome is radically affected by how we reconcile and creatively manage these different parts of ourselves. It is rare to be able to go wholeheartedly or completely congruently for an ooutcome, and the larger the outcome, the more parts of ourselves will be drawn in and the more possibility of conflicting interests.

Internal congruence gives strength and personal power. We are congruent when all our verbal and non-verbal behaviour supports our outcome. All parts are in harmony and we have free access to our resources. Small children are nearly always congruent. When they want something they want it with their whole being. Being in harmony does not mean all the parts are playing the same tune. In an orchestra, the different instruments blend together, the total tune is more than any one instrument could produce on its own, and it is the difference between them which gives the music its colour, interest, and harmony. So when we are congruent, our beliefs, values, and interests act together to give us the energy to pursue our aims.

When you make a decision and you are congruent about it, then you know you can proceed with every chance of success. The question becomes, how do you know when you are congruent?
This is an interesting thing to find out about yourself. What is your congruence signal? It's so true that sometimes it feels like your whole being knows that something is the right way to act for yourself in that particular moment. Sure, sometimes you're drunk. But seriously, that's probably where the phrase "with all of my being" comes from. The talking and thinking parts are usually in control (EXCEPT when you're drunk, stupid, or crazy), and I know that sometimes you can reason and think about why you want to do something but there are other parts of yourself that aren't convinced and yet don't have a mouth or brain to articulate why exactly, other than with feeling, instinct, motivation, and desire.

Another thing to consider is that just because you are congruent about something doesn't mean it's right. It just means that your particular self has an instrument for each part that needs to be played... the song can still suck.

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I think my congruent feeling is when I want to squish something really hard.

Yeah, that's the feeling. I want to smash something up into a ball and eat it. :)

Hello friends, buddies, fellows! My congruent feeling is here when I want to smash, light on fire, or bite hard something I love. That's the song I play when all my musicians play at once.

Surprising

(Anonymous)
I'm just surprised that the excerpt you liked says in the 2nd paragraph: "Some of the most important parts of our map are the beliefs and values that shape our lives and give them purpose."

Isn't your standard argument that life has no purpose, values are just a way of saying "I like this", and beliefs something you don't believe in?

- Josh

No, my standard argument is exactly what this excerpt is saying:

Two people can look at the same event, hear the same words, and make completely different meanings. From these models and meanings we get the rich plurality of human values, politics, religions, interests, and motives.

Everyone has their own model of the world with beliefs and values within ourselves (adopted from our environment and people around us) that can even come into conflict with themselves. I believe that our beliefs exist, I just don't believe that there's anything magical about a belief that sets it apart from a preference, a prejudice, or an assumption... they're all shortcuts for understanding the world, communicating with others, and living pragmatically within it.

Re: Surprising

(Anonymous)
Well, the part I quoted was from the excerpt too: "Some of the most important parts of our map are the beliefs and values that shape our lives and give them purpose."

I guess we must be experiencing that part where two people look at the same event and remember it differently. The stuff I remember us arguing about was hearing you say "life is meaningless", and later "I don't have any beliefs", as well as "values are just a way of saying I like this". All of which, aside from being a pretty dark view of things, is a view of the world I don't think you really live down to. It's also pretty different from calling beliefs and values some of the most important parts of our lives.

Here you are just describing how people have different perspectives, which is pretty obvious and not worth debating. Ironically, if your standard line was that people see the world differently, it wouldn't really lead to arguing about whether life is meaningful or not, or whether belief is special or pedestrian. You'd just say "people see things differently" and move on.


Most of this argument has really been about trying to explain a miscommunication. Ironic because it's about the fact that people see things differently, and that this fact is the cause of the miscommunication. NLP has a process called the Meta Model that could help us discover the source of the miscommunication, because I really don't think we disagree about anything other than how we phrase the sentences.

1) I don't think life is meaningless, I think that the meaning is self-generated/society-generated, and isn't inherent in the structure of the world outside of people (as religions and other belief systems tend to state). Hidden forces like karma, sins, sankara, engrams, demons, etc are not the meaning-generators or containers. People are.

2) I didn't say I didn't have any beliefs... I just said that they don't have any magic power over things. They're opinions that speak as much, if not more, about yourself than about the world they're trying to describe. I do have beliefs, and one of them is that some of my beliefs are wrong.

3) I did say that values are just another way of stating preference. They might be widely held preferences, but they're not universal by nature.

I think that's the essence of what's bothering you. I made a statement that, to me, is about the lack of absolutes and the universal and the need for personal meaning and values, and you interpreted as a statement about the futility of life. Just so you know, I don't think my life is futile or meaningless, and I do think beliefs and values are some of the most important parts of our lives... mostly because if we didn't have them there would be no universal net to catch us.

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