Thursday, June 13, 2013

I wrote this the other day, conditions beyond my control kept it from being posted, until now. Enjoy!

9 June 2013
12:00 PM

Enjoying the Ineffable
Remember: The Experience is Personal

I think that I've mentioned this before, but if you don't recall, I'm an introvert. If you didn't know, I'm still an introvert. Every time I have completed the Myers – Brigs Personality Inventory I always show to be an introvert. * Not just part way into the introvert range of the scale, but way to the side, nailed to the wall introvert. Many people make the mistake equating introversion with shyness. Do not make that mistake. Growing up with bright red hair and being the biggest kid in my classroom, I was never allowed the chance to be shy, my phyical presence took care of that.

Oh, there were moments when we as students endured the teacher's misguided forms of controlling a classroom of unruly youngsters just wanting to be who they were and eager to interact with the world. Sitting still and raising your hand to get recognition first in order to just to make a comment about what was going on was nearly intolerable. The situation was made worse when yon teacher (She was always yonder because often the class seating was arranged alphabetically. Sometimes the teacher would, at semester's change, reverse the seating in order to give everyone a chance to sit in the front, as if that were some sort of privilege. I never had the opportunity to discover if sitting up front was what it was hyped up to be. I was so big that I got to sit in the back of the room perennially because, I was told, the others couldn't see the chalkboard around me. Thus the teacher was always at a distance from me. Hence she took on the qualities of someone far from me, or yonder.)

I was happy being left alone. If things in the classroom got boring (as they often did) there always was a large bank of windows through which I could always cast my attention. This brought up two interesting situations. One) if I wasn't wary and disguised were my eyes were the teacher would call on you in front of class, this was a mild rebuke and an underhanded way to use peer pressure and mild situational ridicule to keep the attention of the class within the room. Everyone disliked her for this. It was sneaky on her part, and showed that she was willing to foment a form of divisiveness in the classroom in order to maintain her dominant position as Dominatrix of the educational process. Two) If I managed to become so enamored of what I was so easily available just through those windows, I quite easily lost track of monitoring the dullness happening in the classroom. My attention was totally fixed on the squirrels hopping about on their daily business, making erratic moves, punctuated with hesitant start-stop movements, furtive committing to one direction then reversing in another, they were the Don Knotts of the animal world, just on the other side of that quarter inch glass. In just a flash they could become as smooth and quick as a race horse, undulating their way in one direction describing a smooth wave form just like on an oscilloscope, their erratic movements and slinky nature was way more entertaining than whatever Mrs. Fullofherself had going on.

The sad part of this was that she had a bad habit of interrupting my wonderful out-the-window-education. For some reason she thrived on everyone's undivided attention. Its sad that she was so needy. In hindsight, I would have thought that the school board would have hired more understanding teachers, we were no there for her fulfillment of her own issues, whatever they were. The other sad part was that she was not as entertaining as she thought she was. Her entertainment ability was nowhere close to what was happening just outside of the window.

Third grade, forth grade and fifth grade followed this same pattern. Dull teachers running a very dull show, and trying to make the mutineer, renegade, rebels among us yield to their social deficiencies. Thank goodness that particular school was in a wooded setting and there were plenty of windows. By the time I got to the sixth grade I had learned what to expect from the teachers, the natural world had taught me a lot. It was a shame that school dominated so much of my time. I learned that adults in positions of authority often had no idea what it was like to try to interact with children. (Only years later when I was deep into my studies of psychology and taking test and measures courses did I get an opportunity to find out exactly how far beyond most people my intellect was. No wonder I found standard school so boring. They were aiming for a common level that I could see in my rearview mirror, I had been there and gone a longtime ago.)

Looking back at those very instructive years, I learned most of the academic stuff on my own. Granted we had reading class, but it seemed more of an impediment than a situation to learn.listening to others read aloud while waiting to have my whack at it was intolerable. I often read to myself racing many pages ahead. When suddenly it was my turn, the teacher had to call my name gently to bring me back to the present, where the class was. I would inquire as to what page we were on, upon finding out, I would turn back to where everyone was waiting, read my two paragraphs, then flip the pages back to where I had left off.

I remember one of the girls in my class telling me in all honesty that she thought that I was obnoxious, because I was never where the class was. Who did I think I was? She was one of those students who hung on every word the teacher said, sat still in her desk and when she wasn't doing anything she put her hands, folded neatly, on top of the desk and sat patiently, looking stright a head, waiting for the teacher's next directive. The curious part of me had no time for that. If the teacher thought that I was going to sit by quiet and compliant while she might get around to the next item of business... well, I'm not made that way. I can see through most situations and people like a glass of water. It shows to me very easily if someone is going through the motions “teaching” (read indoctrinating) me and if they really want to make it possible for me to learn. There is a difference.

Mostly for me school was a tedious series of social learning opportunities about how authority figures like for things to progress, interspaced with moments of “aha”so this is how the universe works. I got glimpses of the way to understand things using the linear way of seeing things, and then I let the holistic understanding just dawn on me. Not only was it effective, but it easily became my own, not something I had assumed from some authority person who told me what I should know.

So I am very used to being by myself. Rather than feeling ignored I feel as if I have been granted a reprieve from being held hostage to the acculturated norm. It is so freeing, to not be held to the day to day behaviors and expectations of others. That being said, I thrive on being met by others where I am, not where other people want me to be. The times when people can be with me as a human being with needs and wants specific to who I am are wonderful. These opportunities are rare. I am thrilled when that happens. The sad part is that it happens so rarely.

Most of the population are extroverts, approximately 75%. Most of our mass communication mirrors the extrovert trend, which leaves most introverts behind. In my practice I had noticed that most of the people who seek therapy assume that something is wrong with them. This is the unspoken message that they get from the rest of society. Nobody is telling them overtly that there is something wrong, it more subtle. The implied message is to be like everyone else. Get up get out, party hearty, dance like nobody's watching. Well that may sound good to others, but it certainly holds no flavor to most introverts. A lot of my previous work was helping people see that there is nothing wrong, they just are different from most other people, and how to be comfortable with that. So most introverts naturally feel estranged from the way nearly everyone else acts, the very foundation behind the behaviors is so foreign to them.

Even though I was comfortable with my nature, it took a while before I could put words to it so that the thinking part of me could rest as easy. Our thinking minds are bound to using words, thinking, linear thoughts and arguments before it can rest easy. That thinking mind is dependent on a narrative, and it has to make sense. In fact it wants to have a final resolution that sometimes it will accept a tenuous conclusion because it gives some semblance of finality to an impossible problem. Often this can result in some strange beliefs, like superstitions. As much as the linear mind wants surety and to be in charge, is the most comfortable being dominant, the other part of our mind is amazingly silent, recognizes nearly everything as soon as first seen,is almost always correct, sees everything as a whole without needing separation,and does not have to be competitive. Everybody has these capabilities, but most people have lost the ability to recognize this silent but thoroughly effective part of them since near the end of childhood. During my early elementary school years I managed to be able to maintain selective access to this ability, thanks to the inadvertent help of my many teachers and their total devotion to their favored adult-like way of doing just about everything. Once I learned of the bicameral brain and the specialities of each, I realized that in my own nonsensical way I managed to keep my avenue to the right hemisphere intact.

To this day I enjoy being by myself, in the woods, where words serve no purpose and I seem to naturally belong. I used to live in a rural setting within a state nature reserve. As often as I could, I would walk the various trails throughout the area. I would take my dogs along on these walking visits. Sometimes I would come upon a visual that provided enough material to make an interesting statement.

The label on the package calls them Jelly Bird Eggs. The name seems to fit

Nest of a different sort

* The MBPI is not one of those tests that one can habituate to, as in many IQ tests in which memory and recall could influence the results. Since people tend to show different aspects of their persona in different conditions, multiple exposure to instruments like the MBPI actually show more of a zeroing in on an accurate type indication. 

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