Then I remember: The necessity of constant review — attentiveness. This is akin to attempting to maintain balance under wobbly physical circumstances. Surely, psycho-emotional circumstances are no less demanding, balance-wise. Whew! My guilt subsides as I remember the secret of animate balance.
The Secret of Animate Balance
Animate balance is never ‘over and done with’; rather it is ongoing moment-to-moment awareness. Normal physical balance (like standing) happens at a subconscious level, of course. Once you get past the toddler stage, normal living balance is maintained via the subconscious ‘awareness’ of your inner ear and autonomic nervous system, leaving you to carry out your daily concerns with deliberate awareness. You free to be as ‘super-conscious’ as you can be, or just daydream as you like.
However, what happens when you attempt an unusual physical task like standing on your head or walking on a railroad track rail? You can’t just achieve balanced, forget it, and go on other tasks. You must review your balance status continually. The more novel the balance task is, the more active review necessary. On the other hand, if we don’t venture too far out on the physical limb, we maintain balance automatically, naturally. Yep, most of us can walk and chew gum pretty well.
Maintaining psycho-emotional balance, even in normal daily life, is a whole other matter. Other animals don’t have this balance issue, mainly because they don’t have psychological issues, for the most part. They just feel what they feel, without an “I” second-guessing everything. Human animals seem to be the only exception. Chapter 71′s, Realizing I don’t know is better; not knowing this knowing is disease, hits the nail on the head. Most likely, our species has yet to evolve a ‘no brainer’ way to counterbalance the emotion-linked-mental triggers of this “dis-ease”. Until that occurs, it is up to us to observe and continually review as impartially as we can if we want to maintain some degree of psycho-emotional balance. To paraphrase 71, — Re-realizing I don’t know is even better.
A recent NPR interview, Therapy Helps Troubled Teens Rethink Crime, speaks to this, and the following quote sums it up:
Most serious violent events are almost Seinfeldian in their origin — someone saying something stupid to someone else, and that escalating and basically turning into a tragedy because someone had a handgun in their waistband at the time. “The solution to the problem”, Ludwig, Pollack and their colleagues surmised,” might lie in getting kids to slow down and think about their actions”.
Ludwig says the course was based on a kind of training called Cognitive Behavior Therapy — a mainstay in modern psychotherapy. The technique aims to get people to think about the way they think, and to recognize unconscious patterns of thought that produce unhappy life outcomes.
Unfortunately, within a year after the program ended, its effect seemed to fade. Teens in the group who had gone through the training went back to having the same arrest rates as kids who hadn’t gone through the program. Ludwig says the researchers are still exploring how to help young people retain the powerful benefits of this sort of psychological training, as part of a range of efforts in Chicago to stem homicide.
The comment above, “researchers are still exploring how to help young people retain the powerful benefits…” is odd. The answer is obvious, in my view: review, review, review! The hitch here is that one must desire to review, and desire is the main distraction thwarting review. Therefore, as chapter 64 says, Taking this, the wise person desires non desire. Naturally enough, the ‘young and foolish’ haven’t acquired enough wisdom for that yet. Oddly, these researchers found the only thing that actually works, yet it they “are still exploring how to help young people… “. Huh?
The researchers have shown that the kids need role models in the form of constant in-person contact with older and wiser people. Certainly, modern culture makes that a little more difficult to bring about. Now, it is all about funding programs that soon end. The last time constant role model contact was truly possible was back in the hunter-gather epoch where social segmentation was minimal. Back then too, there were fewer ways to go off the tracks. On the other hand, back then most role models may not have lived long enough to become significantly wiser. After all, we are attending the ‘school of life’ where the longer you stay in school the more chance you have to eventually ‘get it’ — more wisdom of course.
(See Exquisite Balance for other factors at work here.)Share on Facebook