Tag Archives: Transpersonal psychology

What the little birds told me

(Originally published 07/21/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 04/23/14.)

The pigeons. Years ago, when I had an office job downtown, I’d wait for the bus every afternoon on the south side of Baltimore Street one or two blocks east of Charles. Often, someone tossed down several handfuls of torn-up bread for the birds to eat, and I’d have time to watch them.

For the most part, the pigeons acted just as you’d expect: eating together, share and share alike. But I noticed one individual whose conduct was quite different. This guy never picked up any food from the ground. He never seemed to notice any food on the ground. Instead, he’d notice what someone else was eating, and go over and take it away from that person. Time and time again, he did this.

Put this fellow down on top of a pile of food, and he’d starve to death, because he’d never pick up any for himself. Put another pigeon with him, and he’d be OK — taking away what the other one picks up to eat.

How much closer can you get to the way some people act; who will not do anything for themselves, but only take away what someone else has worked for? Can there be a gene for this?

———— ♦ ————

When I lived in Barclay, I maintained a bird feeder in the back yard — different locations, but always visible from the kitchen window. Two species used to visit the feeder in flocks: sparrows and starlings. There might be fifty sparrows or fifty starlings there at a time.

Continue reading What the little birds told me

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Sifting dichotomies

(Originally published 06/08/13 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Republished here 10/30/13.)

In recent days, I’ve spent much time trying to sort out my understandings of Good and Evil, order and chaos, darkness and light. I read a lot about Zoroastrianism, wanting to be sure my thinking isn’t “dualist” like that religion. On 06/11/13, I wrote:

Like Manichaeism, a truly false religion, Zoroastrianism emphasizes a conflict between Good and Evil, which is absent from my thought. I prefer to think of something more like Yin/Yang.

Yin and Yang are both necessary, and alternate but don’t necessarily conflict. Yet the traditional concept of them also errs, trying to connect that same dichotomy to almost every other one imaginable:

hot and cold life and death
female and male young and old
too much and too little north and south (magnetic)
stability and change negative and positive (electrical)
past and future truth and error
large and small night and day
wet and dry creation and destruction
grace and works mercy and justice

I wrote 06/12/13:

So, needy people fail to make the transition from infantile to post-infantile behavior. Regardless of worldview, and contrary to the notion that self-love is subconscious, Christianity’s teachings would tend to facilitate that transition; people can consciously learn right conduct.

Transition is a key concept. One could ask if Good and Evil don’t just correspond to stability and change; Vishnu and Siva. But the nutrients in my bloodstream are destroyed and converted into wastes as I use them. Fire releases light and heat, but destroys that which it consumes; and, in most cases, produces wastes.

Many of these dichotomies are independent, and many — as with fire — involve ambiguities and shades of gray.
on air talent, talk show host, radio talk show, the homeless blogger

* Practical advantages of being a nice guy

(Originally posted 07/28/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 02/14/19.)

It’s been a long time since I last considered this; maybe because, for some months, there haven’t been that many jerks among us at the shelter. Whether the “spirit” I breathe out has anything to do with that, I don’t know.[1] But I was in the shower 07/01/12 and overheard that they’d run out of wash cloths, and that brought this to mind.

Just being a nice guy earns me concrete, practical rewards.

A number of mainstream people help me financially who definitely would not help a jerk.

If we’re in the smoke pit and I need to bum one, I’m far more likely to get one than would a jerk.

Last summer, there was a shortage of wash cloths, for reason that people were stealing them. At first, if you weren’t one of the first 40 to shower, you wouldn’t get one. Then it became 30. Then 20. Several guys, it turns out, actually donated wash cloths. I donated 15. They all disappeared.[2]

Some guys come to the clothes window and every day, it’s:
Continue reading * Practical advantages of being a nice guy

* What the little birds told me

(Originally published 07/21/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 08/09/18.)

The pigeons. Years ago, when I had an office job downtown, I’d wait for the bus every afternoon on the south side of Baltimore Street one or two blocks east of Charles. Often, someone tossed down several handfuls of torn-up bread for the birds to eat, and I’d have time to watch them.

For the most part, the pigeons acted just as you’d expect: eating together, share and share alike. But I noticed one individual whose conduct was quite different. This guy never picked up any food from the ground. He never seemed to notice any food on the ground. Instead, he’d notice what someone else was eating, and go over and take it away from that person. Time and time again, he did this.

Put this fellow down on top of a pile of food, and he’d starve to death, because he’d never pick up any for himself. Put another pigeon with him, and he’d be OK — taking away what the other one picks up to eat.

How much closer can you get to the way some people act; who will not do anything for themselves, but only take away what someone else has worked for? Can there be a gene for this?

———— ♦ ————

When I lived in Barclay, I maintained a bird feeder in the back yard — different locations, but always visible from the kitchen window. Two species used to visit the feeder in flocks: sparrows and starlings. There might be fifty sparrows or fifty starlings there at a time.

Continue reading * What the little birds told me

* Sifting dichotomies

(Originally published 06/08/13 at Trojan Horse Productions.)

In recent days, I’ve spent much time trying to sort out my understandings of Good and Evil, order and chaos, darkness and light. I read a lot about Zoroastrianism, wanting to be sure my thinking isn’t “dualist” like that religion. On 06/11/13, I wrote:

Like Manichaeism, a truly false religion, Zoroastrianism emphasizes a conflict between Good and Evil, which is absent from my thought. I prefer to think of something more like Yin/Yang.

Yin and Yang are both necessary, and alternate but don’t necessarily conflict. Yet the traditional concept of them also errs, trying to connect that same dichotomy to almost every other one imaginable:

hot and cold life and death
female and male young and old
too much and too little north and south (magnetic)
stability and change negative and positive (electrical)
past and future truth and error
large and small night and day
wet and dry creation and destruction
grace and works mercy and justice

I wrote 06/12/13:

So, needy people fail to make the transition from infantile to post-infantile behavior. Regardless of worldview, and contrary to the notion that self-love is subconscious, Christianity’s teachings would tend to facilitate that transition; people can consciously learn right conduct.

Transition is a key concept. One could ask if Good and Evil don’t just correspond to stability and change; Vishnu and Siva. But the nutrients in my bloodstream are destroyed and converted into wastes as I use them. Fire releases light and heat, but destroys that which it consumes; and, in most cases, produces wastes.

Many of these dichotomies are independent, and many — as with fire — involve ambiguities and shades of gray.

(Reblogged 01/05/17.)
on air talent, talk show host, radio talk show, the homeless blogger