Reflection 316: Self-Awareness

September 7, 2012

Copyright 2012 by Steve Perrin.

As I see it, phenomenology applies the powers of mind to understanding the self. Fundamentally, it is self-reflection taken to an extreme degree in discovering not the everyday, self-accustomed I in its everyday world, but how the biological self pieces together that I from the several dimensions of consciousness. These dimensions include sensory impressions; meaningful interpretations of those impressions; as well as feelings, biological values, autobiographical memory, accustomed habits, personal points of view, and felt situations within which subsequent courses of action become meaningful.

Phenomenology, that is, accounts for derivation of a course of appropriate action from analysis of sensory input within a situation informed by both current motivation and prior experience. It is an ongoing process for suiting actions of the self to the conditions shaping the situation within which that self exists as a coherent whole composed of diverse dimensions of consciousness.

From my own self-analysis, I identify these dimensions as including, on the perceptual side:

  • the cultural setting of experience
  • expectancy derived from past experience
  • arousal or wakefulness
  • attention
  • sensory impressions or phenomena
  • concepts as recognizable classes of sensory impressions
  • understanding within fields of interrelated concepts
  • feelings
  • biological values
  • culminating in a perspectival sense of the situation one is facing at the time.

Dimensions of consciousness on the behavioral side include:

  • judgments prompted by felt situations
  • decisions about what might be done
  • setting of goals
  • planning of projects and relationships
  • execution of projects and relationships
  • culminating in a program of action monitored by attention.

The entire assembly of coordinated dimensions of consciousness constitutes a loop of engagement joining an individual to a world within the situation as consciously construed in his or her mind.

By this scheme, our lives don’t just happen as they do; we make them happen in light of our biological motivations and prior experiences applied to our current situations as we construct them in our minds. Yes, we respond to patterns of energy interpreted as events in the world, but we also make ourselves happen as our engagements with those ongoing events develop moment-by-moment.

Phenomenology is the conscious and deliberate study of those momentary events in our personal experience as based on the dimensions of consciousness that apply at the time. Even if we don’t study them, those moments happen unconsciously anyway—as if we had no agency in their doing. Phenomenology applies the powers of the mind to personal experience, highlighting our role in making ourselves happen as we do.

No more and no less, phenomenology is the process of making ourselves—not world-aware—but self-aware. That is, it lets us shoulder responsibility for being ourselves without blaming the world for making us who we are. No learning can be more crucial than that in coming to self-understanding and self-realization. Which is why I am subjecting you to this exercise.

As ever, I remain y’r friend and brother, —Steve from Planet Earth

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Copyright 2012 by Steve Perrin.

In Reflections 281–299, I have laid out my thoughts on consciousness as I live it every day. Or it lives me. I am a dutiful scribe doing his best to keep up with the flow of his own inner voice. In these nineteen posts, I have summarized thirty years of dictation from within, doing my best to capture the gist of my personal experience.

I could go on—and one way or another probably will. There are fine points yet to make. But the rough outline of one man’s streaming consciousness is enough to give you an idea of my looping engagement with sensory impressions, felt situations, and actions as suggestive of the world I live in every hour of my life, which is what I set out to get down in succinct form.

With engagements, the flow is the thing, from one moment to the next, featuring one dimension of consciousness at a time, eventually getting them all in, then moving on to the next moment and next event. I have proceeded from expectancy as carried over from previous events, to arousal, attention, and sensory impressions at a useful level of discernment; then on to interpretation of those impressions, understanding them, feeling and valuing their import, building to a felt situation representing the world I am in as seen from my personal perspective; leading to judgment about what do do, to decisions, to setting goals, to projects and relationships, to signals sent to muscles culminating in action in the unknowable world of matter and energy, completing one loop in preparation for the next after that.

So goes my consciousness; so goes my awareness; so goes my life. That’s how I experience it, that’s how I view it, that’s how I reflect upon the complex events flowing through my mind. What I offer is an anatomy of my mind itself, not my brain. Of my brain I experience nothing beyond what I read in neuroscience textbooks, which detail molecular events taking place in other people’s experience, not mine. They write their books, I write mine, all purporting to deal with consciousness as revealed from different disciplines and personal perspectives.

My contribution is to present an overview of one man’s consciousness compiled from his immediate experience of it in the original. Neuroscientists can study the brain forever and never have consciousness reveal itself to them. It exists as a whole, not an assemblage of parts. So I look to to the whole as it presents itself to me, and write about that. I can describe it as I experience it, but I cannot explain it. I leave explanation to others relying on different methods than I use.

My method is to deal with what I meet through introspective reflection. In the case of this blog, adding to 300 separate reflections on my first-person singular experience. It’s a suggestive method, but not always clear. I pay close attention to what I experience, but trial and error are at the fore, so I hit or miss the mark I am aiming at.

After 300 posts, I feel it is time to rest my case. The gist, as I said, is contained in Reflections 281-299. I suggest you go back and read them in order, and see what you find relevant to your own streaming consciousness. That way we can meet mind-to-mind as equals, which all of us—given our unique hopes and strivings—truly are.

I deeply appreciate the attention you have paid to my blog. Thank you for the time and effort you have put in. I invite you to give me a sign at this point; write a comment at the foot of this page. I remain y’rs truly, —Steve from planet Earth

Copyright 2012 by Steve Perrin.

Actions (including speech) are how we get out of our heads and make ourselves known to the world. To reach the point where considered action becomes possible, we must shift our attention from the felt situation that motivates us to judging what kind of act would suit that situation. Once in that place, we can set goals for ourselves, engage in projects and relationships meant to lead us toward achieving those goals, and then implement them by acting within our projects and relationships to make our situated selves happen in the world, which is as far as we can go on one particular run of conscious activity. We then start on a new run by paying attention to incoming sensory impressions as shaped by expectancy and arousal, which redirect us to a revised understanding of our situation, and on to a further round of mental activity.

So runs our loop of engagement, from expectancy to arousal, attention and sensory impressions; on to interpretation of those impressions, understanding them, feeling and valuing their import in the form of an experiential situation as an extension of our personal history; and then on to judging the significance of that situation, setting goals, planning projects and relationships, and finally, implementing them in terms of intentional actions in the world.

Consciousness doesn’t circle so much as spiral because every round is different. Details get refined, skills improved, awareness enlarged, goals more closely approached—all heightening the sense of engagement. Two things escape our attention because we cannot attend them: 1) the working of the brain in supporting the mind, and 2) the working of the world in formulating it’s response to our individual projects and relationships as enacted, which remains to be sensed and interpreted during further rounds of engagement.

In summary, our loops or spirals of engagement comprise formation of sensory impressions, construction of felt situations from those impressions as interpreted, and taking appropriate action in light and fulfillment of key situations. Round by round, consciousness streams by as it does on a journey or in games of tennis, baseball, chess, or charades. The play’s the thing; our engagements are ongoing. If we take a break, we simply engage in other ways, as in dreams and reveries, or while on vacation.

As children, we grow into ourselves, learning how to engage within the intimate circumstances of our rearing. As a result, there are as many styles of engagement as there are childhoods. For instance, as adults, those who learn to fend for themselves without empathic support often end up being out for themselves alone, or solely for their sort of people, and don’t worry about the general well-being or self-fulfillment of others so much as hitting the jackpot or scoring points for themselves. They can be highly competitive, even thriving on the misfortune of others, on making a killing, inciting violence, or waging wars of aggression. Cooperative or diplomatic engagements are not their thing. They act as if they were alone in the universe, so worry only about what they can get out of it, not what they can give to or share with others. Their game is king of the mountain, which pits one against everyone else, a stark parody of Darwinian evolution. “One for one, all for none,” is their cry, the source of a great deal of poverty, suffering, and human misery.

No, engagement with others is the key to survival, starting with being on good terms with yourself through introspection and self-understanding, moving up to satisfying and respectful engagements with others (often unlike yourself) through play, working together, cooperating—each identifying with all as multiple variations on a single theme. If you can’t see yourself in others, you are missing the point of why each one is unique. Which is to to add to a whole through individuation, complementarity, and cooperation. So do we all fit together in forming one human family within one earthling family, which we are in both cases.

No man and no woman is an island (Donne’s metaphor), entire of itself. We all may be unique, but we are not alone, and never have been. We are made to engage again and again—our minds are proof of that.

Each man and each woman is one piece of the puzzle (my metaphor) of humanity, and of all earthlings beyond. After 299 posts, that is my message. As ever, I remain, y’r brother, —Steve from planet Earth

Copyright 2012 by Steve Perrin.

Our minds hop from one to the next, situation-to-situation, like islands in an archipelago. From one instant of focus and feeling to another, that is our grand adventure, coming to clarity here, then moving on. Setting new goals, starting new projects, entering new relationships, one engagement after another like pearls on a string, event after event, adding up to a life.

There is an organic logic to this progression, like a sequence of base pairs serving as code for particular amino acids, which add to a particular protein, which folds to a particular shape, which performs a particular role in the life of a cell.

Every situation serves as the basis for the one after that. Awareness flows instant-to-instant, minute-to-minute, event-to-event, day-to-day. All adding, as I said, to a life.

Such are our loops of engagement. We reach for sensory impressions, interpret them, fit them to our understanding, then construct situations which we judge according to our fears, needs, and desires. From there we decide what action is called for if we are to be true to ourselves. We set realistic goals, channel our energy and skills into doable projects, seek help and support from those we trust, and make ourselves happen in the world in fitting response to the situation as we have constructed it from the evidence of our senses

After getting clear on a situation, we shift attention from perception to action—to what we are going to do about it. We set goals and get down to work. So does the life force—the urge to make ourselves happen—drive us to keep up with our situations as they develop.

Getting up, washing our face and combing our hair, walking the dog, fixing breakfast, getting the kids off to school, we prepare to take on the new day. We check the news or headlines to see how the situation has changed overnight. Then we schedule ourselves to get done the jobs we feel called to do, and do our best to meet the expectations we set for our daily performance. At the end of the day we review all we’ve done, and get set for the day after.

So goes the mind, the day, the life: situation-to-situation, with us at the core providing the energy, each doing his or her share of the work. All organic: body, mind, and life. The grand adventure in which we each play our part.

Organically, I remain, y’r friend, –Steve

Reflection 286: Layout

July 4, 2012

Copyright 2012 by Steve Perrin

Like the lay of the land, here’s how I see the lay of my mind.

I picture the basic layout of my mind (distinct from my brain) as consisting of two areas, an incoming, sensory area, and an outgoing, motor or behavioral area. Introspection ponders the interplay between the two areas to learn how sensory stimulation leads to physical action, and how action spurs further sensory stimulation.

My mind appears against a background of memories, dreams, a sense of my bodily position in space, among assorted cultural gifts such as language, numbers, science, religion, art, and other customary models for conducting our affairs, all of which I can draw upon at any time in becoming familiar with myself.

Too, my mind appears to be composed of diverse “elements” or “dimensions,” as a band is composed of players of diverse instruments, each contributing a different range of sounds. On the sensory side, I can detect degrees of interest or arousal, expectancy, and attention even before noticing sensory impressions at a particular level of sensory detail. I very quickly resort to interpretation of a concrete sensory impression in terms of a conceptual grouping of similar impressions, readily fitting it to a group I am familiar with through personal experience. This morning, for instance, I heard a bird call which I recognized as a series of notes sounded by what I call “black-capped chickadees,” thinking to myself, “that’s a chickadee” even though it may have been a mockingbird. I am capable of categorizing just a few chords as “Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.”

Still on the sensory side of my mind, I discover positive or negative feelings about how I receive sensory impressions based on generalizing from prior experiences, along with values I place on such things in my organized field of understanding the relationship between various sensory experiences as interpreted.

The upshot of all this sensory processing in my mind is a sense of the situation I am engaged in, raising the question of how I am to make an appropriate response to that situation to further develop my engagement. Which advances me to consideration of dimensions on the motor side of my mind leading to physical action.

On the motor side, I begin with judgments about my current situation, which inform my decisions about the direction I want to head and the goals I would like to achieve in furthering my current engagement. The goals suggest various projects and relationships I might undertake to achieve them. Here I enter the planning stage that prepares the way for specific actions to take as appropriate to my situation as I construe it in my mind. Executing the moves I plan to make, I monitor my behavior as I go with awareness of how my body is positioned to accomplish what I set out to do.

Then my surroundings change (or not) in response to my actions, affecting (or not) my senses in new ways, setting up another round of sensory and motor engagement in my ever streaming consciousness.

Through introspection, I see that I rely on the separate dimensions of my mind to different degrees as my circumstances require, and that I have alternative levels of engagement to fall back on to save time and energy in achieving a desired result.

To sum up, some of the dimensions of my mind that introspection might encounter include, on the sensory side: arousal, expectancy, attention, sensory impressions, various levels of detail, interpretation, feelings, values, understanding, all adding to the makeup of an existential situation as I construe it in awareness. And on the motor side: judgments, decisions, goals, projects, relationships, plans, all leading to more-or-less effective action in the world.

I offer this rough anatomy of what introspection can lead you to discover in your mind not to discourage you but more to whet your curiosity about what you might learn about yourself if you stick at it for a time. Is it worth the effort? Since there is no other alternative available to us mortals short of living to the end, I would say yes, it is worth it. If I had known at thirty what I now know at almost eighty, I think I could have made more of a significant contribution to saving humanity from self-destruction in the name of “progress.” Where you put your personal effort is up to you. I just want to insert an option that doesn’t get much play these days because nobody stands to make money from your personal effort to know yourself better. Two things are certain: we have not yet bought or fought our way to a better or happier world. I say it’s time to try something so old it seems new.

I remain, as ever, y’r friend, –Steve from Planet Earth

Copyright © 2012 by Steve Perrin

Life of whom or what? Life of the Quaker Institute for the Future summer seminar 2012 held at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. In particular, signs of that life on one day, Friday, June 8, 2012. I witnessed that life because I was there with my brand-new Panasonic Lumix ZS15 digital camera.

Ed Snyder’s was the only presentation on that day. His topic was: “How to move forward from the current system of material consumption to no-growth and environmental sustainability while providing equity and a decent life for all.” No, not very catchy, but the talk focused on the issues that brought everyone into that particular room every day this past week—from California, Texas, Utah, Louisiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Brunswick, Canada and, via Skype, Montreal.

Here’s what it looked like, in the order I took the photos:

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Location—College of the Atlantic campus, Bar Harbor: (back row) Steve, Jim, Leonard; (middle row) Ed, Laura, Charlie, Keith, Shelley, Phil; (front row) Barry, Gray. (Not shown) David in Montreal.

As to what was happening in those shots: Ed was giving his presentation on the demise of life on planet Earth; the rest of us were trying to keep up with him. Ed’s talk was a description of possible courses we’ve not taken so far. Those routes (in Ed’s own words) involve “nonviolence, cooperation, community, and bottom-up decision making with emphasis on quality of life rather than continuing consumption of goods.” The course we’ve been heading is a dark and dangerous one, pointing us toward reefs, shoal waters, and the end of the world as we know it.

The beauty of this day in the life of the seminar came in contemplating the ten stages of the journey Ed laid out before us in terms of projects and cooperative engagements we could undertake to get ourselves back on the less traveled route to a sustainable Earth. The task was daunting but doable. We were being offered a plan, and in that plan, stage by stage, we found hope.

This was exactly why we’d gathered in Bar Harbor, so each of us would give a presentation from a different perspective that, collectively, would lay out the sequence of navigational skills we’d need to correct our course. Ed, master helmsman that he is, was giving us the tools we’d need to do the job.

This is my fifth blog based on the seminar. One more to go. This day was too intense to put into words, so I offer pictures instead. You should have been there.

As ever, I remain y’r vigilant friend, –Steve

Copyright © 2012 by Steve Perrin

Last week I showed a PowerPoint featuring eagles, herons, harbor seals, and sandpipers to the afternoon program at a local grammar school. All the photos of wildlife I showed had been taken within a mile of the school. I told the kids that they had the same opportunity to see what I saw if they’d get outdoors and look around. They were a great group, paid attention to every slide, and asked excellent questions.

On my way to the school, I’d seen first one great blue heron take off from the shallows along the river river, then another right behind it. Typically, great blues arrive from the southland on the first of April, but they were early this year. Driving home afterward, I saw an adult American bald eagle fly over the road just ahead of me. My message in the talk was that in order to see such sights, you have to take the initiative to look around and engage your surroundings right where you are.

The one question that really got to me (even though I didn’t field it very well when I heard it) came during the sandpiper section from a soft-spoken boy who asked, “How can you tell the difference between all those kinds of birds?” I said something to the effect that I worked at it because knowing my wild neighbors was important to me, and I’d kept my eyes open for opportunities to get to know them better. But driving home, that boy’s question stayed with me. We learn the names and characteristics of things that are important to us—things we engage with—such as tools, super heroes, makes and models of cars, brands of ice cream, TV shows, celebrities, singers, and as in my case, birds and other forms of wildlife. I engage with every bird I see, and try to get to know it by name.

I had set up a teachable moment in that boy’s mind, and, driving along, I thought about how I could come up with an answer worthy of the question. We get good at doing things we pay attention to because they matter to us. Paying attention is the key, noticing in this case how birds are similar to one another, and how they are different. And having names for the different groups we can sort them into. The trick is to build on skills the kids already have and work from there by refining and expanding that foundation. Every student in the room knew the difference between, say, a robin, a crow, and a chickadee when they saw one, though they probably hadn’t thought about how they came to know what they already knew.

That’s what I could point out to them, how they already knew how to tell a crow was a crow and not a robin or chickadee. Size mattered, color, voice, habitat, way of moving on the ground and in the air, what they ate, who eats them, where commonly seen. Once they had grasped that, they could make a list of things they’d like to know about a bird to be able to identify it. They could move on to other common birds in the vicinity, and then to ones they saw only occasionally, like migrating warblers and hawks. Then they could pore through bird guides that set down the kinds of things we want to know in systematic order, and the kids could come to understand that order so they could make easy use of it.

I telephoned the woman who’d set up the afterschool program, and asked if we could have a follow-up session to address the question of how to provide a framework that would help kids learn more about birds on their own. She thought that was a great idea, and would speak to school administrators about how we might fit it into the schedule. Or if not that, how we could cover it in the summer camp offered by a local nonprofit. The wheels are turning, trying to build on a challenge a particular student wanted addressed.

That, to me, is how true education takes place. Adults rising to the occasion of addressing issues that students feel are important. Which requires teachers to listen to students and not strictly vice versa. Learning is a matter of give-and-take, making educated guesses, learning what the possibilities are, trial and error in the field, with as much practice as you’re willing to put into studying a guidebook and watching birds.

We learn about situations we get ourselves into, and in which we want to do better the next time. Enjoying the effort as a kind of adventure helps us improve our skills over time. Which is very different from completing homework that others assign to us. It’s the homework and fieldwork we assign to ourselves that really matters. If we want to get good at identifying birds, we first have to set that as our goal, then carry out projects and exercises that help us grow into the skills we want to learn.

If we want to learn how to use chopsticks, we have to be willing to work at learning that skill by actually eating—poorly at first—with chopsticks. It helps to eat food that comes in small chunks suited to being levered into our mouths. Learning to feed ourselves has strong survival value, so we’ll eventually catch on, particularly when we see others modeling the skills we’d like to get good at. In learning to play the guitar, it helps to admire those who can play the kind of music that we like.

In learning new skills, motivation is essential, close observation of others performing those skills, willingness to practice, and patience in keeping at it until our skills match theirs. Slowly, we grow into the person we’d like to become. That is, we make ourselves happen as who we’d like to be.

Self-transcendence is driven by urges inside every one of us, different in each case. The lives we create for ourselves are proof of the effort we put into being who we are moment-by-moment. Being the person others want us to be is a form of service to them. Being who we want to become fulfills the most basic freedom we are born to. We didn’t ask to be born, so can only rise to the the occasion of our birth by setting goals worthy of our human potential.

The job of educators, as I see it, is to engage with their students very closely in order to support their setting worthy life goals and choosing projects to enhance their development while, at the same time, making sure they explore the full range of their options, and become aware of possible dangers and limitations. Then to speed them on the course they set for themselves—and get out of their way.

Learning is always personal and experiential. Teachers can promote and encourage the process, but they cannot deliver it to their students via books, lectures, videos, or presentations. Teachers can be guides and models, but not passers-on or imparters of wisdom. Experience is something we reach-for and live, not get as a gift. When I was in basic training, my sergeants did their best to turn me into a killer, and I gave them an A for making the effort—but they failed. They set me up to poke my bayonet into a straw dummy while yelling, “Kill! Kill! Kill!” but I recognized the exercise as metaphorical and that I was only going through the motions. I became a still photographer in the Signal Corps and spent my days lugging a camera, not a rifle, which was the best use the Army could have made of the skills I brought with me when I was drafted.

Education by command, authority, and fear is always a failure because it entails mind control, not learning. If any vestige of understanding is achieved, it is only a thin layer that will quickly rub off. I think of all the capitals I memorized in school, the national imports and exports of every country in South America, the Presidents in serial order, the differential equations. Now gone with the wind. Since getting my first camera for a box top and a quarter when I was four, I have worked at developing my visual skills, and made a living at it. Now that kind of film photography hardly exists any longer, so I’ve had to go digital, which I’ve done on my own.

Self-directed learning always morphs into the next big challenge, and the challenge after that because we keep growing into new versions of our selves until we die. Lifelong learning is directed by our self-governing loops of engagement. Those loops serve as our primary means for following our bliss. Once we figure out what resources are available, and how to make use of them, we can learn anything we put our minds to. We don’t need teachers, schools, or colleges; we simply live our own lives.

That’s my second take on the grand topic of education. I’ve barely scratched the surface, but the essence of my argument is that schools need to teach to the inner student, not the external demands of a society built to satisfy the views of a ruling elite.

Thanks for listening. And for being yourself to the hilt. –Steve

Copyright © 2011

Here is the next installment of the synopsis of my upcoming book, KNOW THYSELF: Adventures in Getting to Know My Own Mind. –Steve Perrin

Chapter 10, Values. I wrote most of this chapter while waiting for my car to be fixed at my cousin’s garage. Sitting for five-and-a-half hours considering my drives and motivations, I came up with a list of personal values, which I generalize here. Like all animals, we are born with instincts that increase the probability of our personal survival. We don’t have to debate the getting of water or food, we just tend to is as part of our nature. Gerald M. Edelman locates such biological appetites—he calls them values—in the part of the mind we identify with, the self, the center of our animal existence that determines the perspective from which we look upon the fabulous world. In our earliest days, warmth, food, comfort, protection, sleep, companionship, and stimulation are paramount concerns shared by ourselves and our families and caregivers. At some point, work becomes an essential part of meeting our own needs, first as an assigned chore, then as daily employment. After puberty, sex is a given, and later, a growing sense of duty to the common welfare. These seem to be part of the workings of the external world, which in a way they are, but precisely because we make them such as integral parts of the lives we actually lead. Many world problems stem from friction between persons or groups bent on fulfilling their biological values in competition with one another. Obtaining such benefits cooperatively or complementarily are other options.

Chapter 11, Goals. One of the primary characteristics of personal consciousness is the setting of goals to be achieved in the future. I want to pay off my credit card debt, reduce my carbon emissions, lose weight, advance my career, raise a family, take a vacation. The self gives each of us a sense of what needs to be done, then we figure ways to prioritize our several goals and build a future for ourselves and our loved ones accordingly. Setting and then working toward achieving goals is writ large in human culture because it reflects an internal dynamic experienced personally by every member so that we make ourselves happen according to plan. To a large extent, we live by making and executing plans for tomorrow so our future becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, more or less. What do I want to be when I grow up? Where do I want to be five years from now? How am I going to get there? What shall I cook for dinner? Such everyday concerns are the stuff of consciousness, making it possible for us to strive to live out our wants in stages matching our experience and capabilities in a given situation.

Chapter 12, Projects. I see projects advanced in conscious-ness as how we break all that we might be aware of down into manageable units we can deal with effectively. Projects marvelously focus my attention, screening out what is superfluous so I can concentrate on what needs to be done. To work on a project, we consider what materials and tools we need, what skills and assistance, where we are to do the work, at what rate, by what time, at what cost. Whether washing dishes, going to college, getting married, having children, or writing a book, we proceed step-by-step, putting first things first, then moving on to the next stage. A large part of the frontal lobe of the brain is devoted to planning and coordinating actions toward a desired end. The truly amazing thing is we can visualize a future for ourselves, figure out how to achieve it, then schedule our actions in such a way to make it happen. We just take it for granted we can do this, but only because our minds are built to accomplish such feats by building on earlier experience. We are not only reactive to situations but proactive in creating them. A great deal of our human genius is expressed in the situations through which we build a personal reality and a life for ourselves, one project at a time. Human relationships are a particular form of project dealing with how one person connects with another. In my experience, men are typically good at visualizing life in terms of projects to work on, women at establishing relationships within a supportive culture at the core of their separate lives. Working women live in both worlds.

Next post, the last portion of this synopsis of my new book on introspection dealing with chapters 13, Reality; 14, Conflict; 15, Power.