Monday, April 9, 2012

Matter of Strategy: Identification


"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown." -H.P. Lovecraft in "Supernatural Horror in Literature" 
We all know the truth inside this quote too well. What we do not completely know produces the greatest thrills in our veins. It is devastating and makes us procrastinate as we do not know what is true or false any more. It blurs out our power of decision making and rational distinction. It is a total stand still that can have unlimited impact to even the bravest.

To overcome that insuperable paralysis - or to avoid the possibility that it could ever occur - humanity got really inventive. We avoid the uncertain, the mysterious, the people we cannot judge or label... humanity created words and labels for every object, every creature, every plant and every group of person. What you cannot name is feared, what you don't know is strange. Critical is the view on every being that we cannot sort into a different kind of category.  Billions of things in this world are unknown by you, most of them unnoticed.

When it happens that the unknown collides with your known universe, your brains algorithm of categorizing is giving you a first impression and decision. Your instinct is quite powerful that way, most people will hang on that first impression and not change their mind about you forever or for a long, long time. Easy seems to be the mind that can compute unquestionable labelling in such a hurry.


Now, some people are mature enough to not get blinded by their instinct and to tolerate the prejudgement that is packed  inactively somewhere in their unconsciousness. Unfortunately, there is no thing as label free communities. Sooner or later the curtains will open and you will know what others thought or think of you. No matter to what you did, or how the hammer of judgement falls on you, you will be disappointed and feel hurt in most cases. Only very few rare exceptions. Why is it like that?
"It will not end, you know. Not until you acknowledge what you are." - Jonaleth Irenicus
All the defining of the world, your environment. All the labelling, names, descriptions. All the experiences, dialogues, monologues, thoughts, doings... What are they all for? They are a forming of yourself, and still you only float with the environment. You look forward, you look backward. You seldom look on the present.

And yes: you watch the environment, you watch the world. You act as an observer. All your senses categorize. Perception and sorting in/out are your major doings. That vortex of perception is your main engine that keeps you running. Unfortunately, that engine does not really have a built-in module for self-perception. All the judgement of your environment but no objective point of view on yourself.
"Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.' " -Khalil Gibran

The question is, why would you need that as you know all your intentions in your doings? Self-reflection is a hard thing to do, as you have to look out of yourself in a very objective way, and for that you need a very aware perception of your environment. That never-ending circle leads to one thing: You and your environment reflect each other. You are the environment and the environment is you. So there is a reason why you cannot satisfy everybody - they are not part of your environment.

Judgement, as you can see, plays are very important role in our life. It is judgement that keeps us alive, keeps us running, makes us feel alive. Without it, we are nothing, as we cannot reflect with the environment. We cannot live without it.... but you do not need to stay in grudge or panic: The environment would also be nothing without you. We affect each other. Life works like that. So be happy about the seat you took in life.

Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible. -Maya Angelou


Nevertheless, we have to deal with a lot of bad judgement. Prejudices, labels that do not fit on us. Word that hurt and actions that make us regret who we are. In the end, stay positive and remember: Your environment is not theirs, what is not you will never be yours. You always can take place in your own environment. Conflict is the ordinary case if incompatible environments collide.