It will begin to free you.
I took a seminar where we considered “people as conversations.”
Premise: People, beyond having meat bodies and hardwired brains, are beings shaped by language, abstract concepts, and cultural evolution. People are conversations: coherent collections of language statements, both self programmed and influenced by others (“Look both ways!” “Don’t touch that!” “Watch out!” “Study hard!).”
While “meat bodies and hardwired brains” are limited in their ability to change, conversations, by contrast, can be very malleable. We can “rub off on each other” just by talking and hearing. This is how we influence others and are influenced ourselves.
To illustrate the difference – if you and I have different hair colors, talking to you is NOT going to change my hair color. But if you and I have different opinions about a circumstance, it is very possible for you to influence my perspective. This happens between people every day. In fact, you may convince me to get a hair rinse, which WILL change my hair color – but you did it by changing my conversation.
So… THEN my seminar leader introduced the concept of “conversations as different lengths in time.”
Corollary: People, as conversations, consist both of short conversations (for example, the ones that end when we die) and eternal conversations. Eternal conversations connect all people at all times, says the premise. And there are three eternal conversations: Community, Art, Spirit.
Ever since that seminar, I’ve considered those words – Community, Art, Spirit. As best I can come up with, Community refers to that underlying connection all people have with each other, no matter how individual and separate we appear and think and act in everyday life.
And Art, I figured, referred to music and painting and writing – you know, the arts. So I asked the instructor, “What about science?! What about engineering?!” She thought for all of two seconds and said, “Oh, those are just more Art.”
So I invite you to think of yourself and your associates as conversations, and to tease out the component threads of sentences that we are. Sentences such as, “I believe in helping people,” or, “I like olives!” And many, many more. I invite you to explore, with me, “What are the eternal conversations we are made of – Community, Art, Spirit?” Along with the short stuff too, of course.
I predict this will bug you so much it sticks in your mind, and that you will find examples in things like Tweeting and Blogging. I predict that it will, curiously, begin to free you.
Either that, or I predict, you will forget this whole thing the minute you close this window! (In other words, THIS conversation won’t have made it into your Keep Set! ;)