Alright, so I’ve also been reflecting upon the miraculous and mundane this week. Yep. True. Why?
Well, there was a time when the mundane was all I really saw. Pretty cynical. Yep. Also truth.
And, it is important for me to keep this truth in my awareness.
You can at one moment see the mundane in the miraculous, just as you can see the miraculous in the mundane. Yep. It is really all about what we choose to see.
Meaning that it is all about how we know ourselves; know and feel our truth. Really.
When we know and love ourselves, we see the miraculous everywhere, and love in everything and everyone. It works that way. Fun and beautiful.
Alright, a poem, here we go.
The Miraculous and Mundane
Blade of grass, mundane in one moment And miraculous in another
Just as a crack
in the pavement, miraculous in one moment And mundane in another
The viewer views, the Creator creates, the Miraculous or the mundane
We view and see, yet what we see is not always all there is to be seen
Look closely within And ask the questions needed, to Set yourself free, upon, and within this life
You can view the miraculous everywhere, And in everything
The miraculous is always there awaiting your return, and inner-knowing
Though you may think it gone mundaneness everywhere look again with new eyes, and you shall see that which was always there and will always be
That was fun.
As you enjoy your weekend, be on the lookout for the miraculous. Take a look around and notice. Notice all of the miraculous within you, and around you. You are all, after all, miraculous human beings. Just as you are.
Milarepa is an account of a great Yogi Sage, Jetsun Milarepa.
What I loved the most about the book, similar to the Bhagavad Gita, was the multiple connections to life today. Yep.
For instance, there is a part in the story where Milarepa is asked by his Guru to build a house on a particular piece of land. Well, Milarepa did as he was told. And?
Milarepa’s Guru came to inspect the work, and although the work was fine, the Guru said, hm, nope that’s not quite right. You’ll need to pull that entire structure down, and start again over yonder. Wow.
Well, this happened 9 times. Yep. 9. What’s the point? Hm.
Think about life. How many times has life said to you, nope, that’s not quite right, try again? Yep, of course. Me too.
That’s what life’s about. Creating, acting, learning, growing, and loving, with both our minds and hearts.
Milarepa’s Guru was teaching him persistence, discipline, and about the trials and tribulations of being a human being on this planet; and, the compassion and grace we all need, both for ourselves and for each other. Important.
The Dalai Lama
Right, so the next book is Dalai Lama, My Son: A Mother’s Autobiography. It is good so far. Very interesting, well written, and, of what I’ve reads thus far, a wonderful historical account of Diki Tsering, the Dalai Lama’s mother’s, upbringing.
Now, the reason I brought this book up is this, ready?
So, I start reading the book a couple of nights ago, and it occurs to me to watch a little television. And?
I turn on the television, and guess what show comes up first? Ha! Watch.
Check that out! Fun.
Anyway, so I watch the documentary, and it is wonderful. You can find it on Peace Jam. What’s it about?
Well, essentially, it is about conversations that scientists and the Dalai Lama have been conducting for over 30 years. It is a fun exploration and comparison of what is termed in the documentary as Western Science and as Buddhist Science.
I’ve always known, and have read quite a bit about the similarities between things that happen in laboratories experimenting with quantum physics, and the body-mind laboratory experimenting with deep meditation.
I have, however, developed a whole new level of experiential knowledge in the latter area over the past three years, so the documentary was even more fascinating.
I had a blast writing the two social construction installments this week.
As some of you know, I started practicing meditation about three years ago; taught to me by someone that spent 15 years in India. And it has been one of the most important developmental inquiries in my life. So, of course, when I read that title, I was like, wait, what?!
Of course I read it. And?
The writer completely missed the point of meditation. Further, the “expert” the writer draws examples from throughout the article is questionable, at best, as an authority on meditation.
Well, what followed then was an important distinction for writers that came as an insight of reading the article. The distinction? Yep, here we go.
I’ve written a couple times about the importance of making the distinction and understanding the difference between theory and practice. The distinction between the two is paramount in organizational development and education.
Yet, what I’ve been reflecting upon more this past week is just how important the distinction between theory and practice is for writers. Yep.
As I’ve been writing for years, I think I’ve always understood this distinction, yet it’s really only been the past three years that I’ve really known about it. Did you catch the distinction? Ah, if you did, excellent, if not, never fear.
Before we get into the discussion of theory and practice, let’s define our terms.
Very good. Now, what do you see? Yep, it’s pretty straight forward.
Theory is about idea generation. About trying to explain something to the best of one’s ability by rationalizing the knowledge one has about a subject through their intellect. Yep, that’s about it. Practice?
Different. Practice is about doing something. It is about understanding a subject through the practice of actually doing that subject; and, then explaining that subject through the practical knowledge now possessed.
Now, both are needed. Yep. We need both intellectual knowledge and practical knowledge. However, theoretical knowledge can never supersede practical knowledge. Why?
Because no matter how much we know about a subject, we can never really know about that subject until we engage in it. Example? Sure.
Let us say I want to create a new budget. One that will connect all of my daily spending to my bank accounts, which will then funnel back to a spreadsheet that I can track daily.
I can theorize about how a new budget system like this might work by reading about it, however, I will never really know if it will work for me until I try it. Simple, right? Yep.
Why, then, is this important to writers? Because when we write, and we are writing about something that we are theorizing about, we should own it.
We should let the reader know that the piece they are reading is a theoretical exploration, not a practical one. Why?
Alright, here are
3 Reasons Why Writers Should Know About the Distinction Between Theory and Practice
Being transparent about the subject matter we write about is important. It’s important to our own development, as writers, yes, and as human beings; and, it’s also important to the reader.
When we write about a topic that we know intellectually, that’s fine, write about it that way. Letting the reader know that you are conducting a theoretical exploration is just fine, and needed.
Have you ever heard the phrase theory informs practice, and practice informs theory? It’s true.
When we theorize about how something might work, we will only ever really know if that theory will hold true by conducting an experiment, yes, or by simply doing it. Yep.
And, when we do something, like create the budget from the aforementioned example, we will learn things we did not, could not, theorize about; and, we can then recreate the theory in light of this new information. Finished? Nope, not quite. Why?
Because someone else might conduct the same experiment with the budget system, let’s say, and get a completely different outcome, or experience. Yep.
I once had an instructor that would say, show me any theory, and I can show you a mitigating variable for that theory. Meaning another idea that would change the outcome of the experiment, or experience.
Therefore, it is very important when writing to elaborate on the knowledge that we currently have, both intellectually and practically. It helps readers know where the limits of our knowledge is, and where they can pick up from, if they choose, and move that knowledge forward.
In owning the limitations of our own knowledge, whether it is intellectual or practical, we are being thoughtful. I love reading an article or a book about a topic where the author has been intentional in communicating the limits of their knowledge.
As a reader, this kind of commitment from a writer garners a whole different level of trust from me. And, I am more likely to read more of their work.
Being thoughtful about our own limitations is an important thing to do; though, it will probably feel awkward and scary. Human beings don’t usually like to own their own limitations.
Yet, I would argue that owning our limitations is not, in and of itself a limitation. Rather, owning our limitations is a starting point, a strength.
A place from where we can grow and develop. Learn more, both intellectually and practically.
And, in that growth, guess what? We learn more, which means we can do more, and be more. We can write more. More about what we know about. Both intellectually and practically. Fun.
Of course. When we stand in our truth, we get back way more. Though owning a limitation feels scary, it is the only way we can ever grow and develop. If you have no limitations, or rather, areas to grow yourself, then there is nothing to ever read, or really do.
Life inside of that world, where we know all there is to know, is finite. That world is the limited one.
However, when we are truthful about our own developmental opportunities, we immediately become unlimited. Why?
Because we have now taken a stand to learn more, to develop more, and to possibly transform the person we are today into a whole new iteration. A new self that stands in the reality, or truth, about themselves. That is powerful. A paradox?
Yes, and no. The whole world is full of paradoxes like this one.
We are fearful of the exact thing that, when embraced, is the key to relinquishing that exact fear. That is life as a human being on this planet.
Alright, so there are 3 Reasons Why Writers Should Know About the Distinction Between Theory and Practice. And, to be clear, this distinction is important for every human being. Really.
It is important in all aspects of our lives. When we are clear on the areas we want to develop and grow, we can engage with people in meaningful conversations and create contexts to move those aspects of ourselves forward.
We can learn more, become more, and then, yep, do more.
It has occured to me in writing this post that I can do a better job of letting readers know about the limits of my intellectual and practical knowledge.
Though the focus of my writing is, and will continue to be, on both my intellectual and practical knowledge, writing this post has brought a new awareness of this topic to the fore of my consciousness; and, for that I am grateful.
Though the four had lived in a world full of change, they did not feel it, nor did they think much about it. Their lives had been, up to this point, rather monotonous.
Not like the days when their ancestors lived in the four corners. Those days were full of change even the catalysts felt. For a catalyst to actually feel change, it must be on a global scale.
What the four didn’t know, couldn’t know, was that the seeds of change, they, were about to embark on a journey for the ages. One that would have even concerned their ancestors.
Unlike the East, the West was hot. Very hot, and dry, not wet and humid like the East. No, the West was a dry, arid, desert landscape, with rolling sand dunes, and distant mountains, which surrounded the Valley of the Sun.
It was in this Valley that Lorel, and the People of the Sun lived; and, where the Castle of Sand was located. Like Sheldon, Lorel was the Mage of the East, and as such, fulfilled their obligation to the People of the Sun.
Unlike Sheldon, Lorel preferred to live alone. No Quara running after, nor house servants picking up after them. Just Lorel. Well, Lorel, and Hok, Lorel’s falcon, who, like Lorel, had lived in the Castle of Sand for generations. In fact, Hok’s ancestors had served Lorel’s ancestors for as long as anyone could remember.
Lorel was in their study at the top of the Castle, when Hok flew in and perched themselves just over Lorel’s shoulder.
“What’s the matter, Hok?”
It was just then that Lorel sensed it, them. Lorel quickly made their way to the window overlooking the vast dunes to the East. Sure enough, five riders were making their way to the Castle.
Surrounding the Castle were hamlets, many of them. The hamlets were where the People of the Sun lived. Lived, and thrived. Even though the People of the Sun didn’t take care of Lorel and the Castle proper, they took care of all of the surrounding landscape and hamlets.
And, though no one took care of Lorel and the Castle, there was one in particular, one tribesperson that looked in on Lorel regularly. Talom was their name, and their dedication to Lorel was complete.
Talom was a senior advisor among the People of the Sun, and was known for their great intellectual prowess. Even Lorel considered Talom one of the smartest people they had ever met.
As the riders approached the hamlets, Talom readied themselves for conversation.
The first rider was young. Younger than Talom expected. The rider gave off waves of arrogance, not surprising Talom in the least. The other four riders stayed back, while the youngster dismounted, and approached Talom on foot.
The hamlet’s inhabitants spilled out into the narrow streets that connected the small homes constructed of sand, sticks, and brush. Children and teenagers raced up to stand behind Talom, while their parents yelled at them to stay back.
The young man approached, and said “Who are you, old man? We’re seeking Lorel, Mage of the East. We’re not interested in talking to the likes of you. Simply point the way, and we’ll pass in peace.”
Talom snickered inwardly. The arrogance of such a boy to suppose he could simply ride up to the Castle of Sand, and speak with Lorel. Funny. Absurd. Talom gathered himself, breathing slowly, patiently, and just as the boy was about to speak…
“Who am I? Why, who are you, young master? We are the People of the Sun. This is our hamlet, which lies in the shade of the Castle of Sand.”
The young horse rider paused, grinned, then stepped back, looked over his shoulder, and said, “Seems like we have an issue here. This old one will not let us pass. What should we do boys?”
While the young horse rider was speaking to his fellow riders, Talom could sense something. Yes, it was Lorel communicating with them through the fire pit just to Talom’s right. Fire was the Mage’s Art, and they could do just about anything with it, including using it to communicate.
“Talom, what’s going on? Why is this boy here with four other men, and those infernal horses? What do they want?”
Talom still breathing slowly and patiently, answered back, “Master, I don’t like these horse riders, there’s something wrong with them. Not sure what it is, but something is amiss.”
Just then the boy advanced toward Talom at an amazing speed, drawing a throwing knife as he did so, and as he was about to throw, a curtain of fire erupted between the rider and Talom. The horse rider almost ran right into it, yet stopped just in time.
The boy stumbled back, tripped, and tumbled to the desert floor. Now scrambling back towards his horse and the other rides. And, doing so quickly.
As the boy was retreating, Lorel came walking down the narrow hamlet streets towards the wall of fire. As Lorel passed the gathered children, they brushed their heads and shook hands of parents and caretakers, young and old alike.
Lorel then made their way toward Talom, standing right beside them. In that same instance, Lorel withdrew the wall of fire. Hok was sitting just over Lorel’s left shoulder, on the top of one of the hamlets, taking in their Master’s poise under pressure.
“What do you want? You don’t belong here, and are not sanctioned to be away from the Center. The Center is where you live, and where you are to stay. The far reaches of the West is no place for you. Now go.”
The boy stood up, brushed himself off, and called to one of the other men to bring him the pack.
Pack, what pack, Talom thought. Talom didn’t like this at all.
One of the older men brought the pack over, handed it to the boy, then made his way back to his horse.
The boy said, “We were tasked with delivering this to you. It was not an easy journey. Several died. We are what remains of the dispatch. This is for you.”
Lorel took the pack, opened it, and upon seeing the contents, stumbled backwards, almost falling over.
What in the world was the East Mage’s Book of Change doing with these men, and that infernal boy? What was it doing in the West, about as far away as you could get from the distant East? And, oh no, what about Sheldon?