Ming the Mechanic:
Different Worlds

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Different Worlds2002-02-26 00:55
11 comments
by Flemming Funch

There's a certain type of problem I occasionally have had in the past with certain individuals which usually ended up spending a lot of time for both me and them and ending in a depressing result for everybody concerned.

And, now, I've recently been wondering here what makes Mark tick, since he's a person who seems to have a lot of drive and willingness to do something in some areas I'm also very interested in, but we also seem chronically out-of-synch when we try to talk about it. And it seems like a case of different world views to me.

Now I think it was Mark's quote contest that made me understand something, and then step back and glimpse a bigger picture which might be worth looking at. And I will try to present that as objectively and constructively as I can manage. This is a bit sketchy, though.


The kind of problem I previously was having was that every year or two somebody would come along that I would have very lengthy and rather mental discussions with. You know, several 5-10 page letters back and forth every day, taking hours to write. And it was based on that both I and the other person felt that there was a great basis for collaboration and that we were really close and there were just a few details to sort out. And it then takes weeks and weeks to end up with the realization that we agree on most things except for one overarching meta-assumption that then ends up killing everything. One person I was having such conversations with was David Devor of the Project Mind Foundation. Extremely intelligent, well-studied and eloquent person. And it seemed like we agreed philosophically on most everything. Except for one thing. That one thing was that he believes in one absolute truth that can be expressed precisely in words, and I believe that everybody has slightly different perspectives and there's no way everybody can agree on what reality is. He believes in one reality, and I believe in many realities, and even though the way he looks at the reality is very similar to how I look at it, he can not accept my version and I can't accept his, because it would make us give up our basic assumption.

And now I realized that it is a somewhat similar issue Mark and I have had. One reality versus many realities.

That made me think some more about it and construct a list of the differences between two stereo-typical personality types or belief systems, or whatever we'll call it. And, lacking proper terms for them, I'll call them type X and type Y. I say I'm a type X.

XY
Many TruthsOne Truth
Multiple realities, multiple viewpoints are all "correct" in their own right, but looking at a different parts of the whole.One reality, one truth. Different viewpoints are just incomplete opinions about what is really there
Language is imprecise and everybody has different references for the same words.It is important to define things precisely and make an exact agreement
We can't say what the absolute truth really is. It is the sum of all our truths, and then something more.The most important thing there is to do is to state as the truth in a clear way that everybody can agree to.
God is indescribable, mysterious, beyond wordsGod is the word. Divine and universal principles can be clearly and precisely stated
Uncertainty is fertile and exciting.Uncertainty is messy and shows lack of commitment.
A creative chaos is productiveOrderly and deliberate progress is productive


Now, the point is not just that we're using different words. At least not in my book, supposedly as an X person. It makes no difference at all that we use different words and different frames of reference, if we can still get what we're talking about.

Years ago I had a heated discussion with Richard Bach about reality on his Compuserve forum. That is, it was a heated debate until we realized that we were simply using the same words for different things. I talked about multiple "realities", and what I called realities he calls "illusions". Both would refer to our everyday type of physical world, though. And what he calls "Reality" with a capital R is the bigger or deeper universal intelligence that everything sort of is made from. And I perfectly well agree with him on that, and I see the point in calling them that, so no problem there.

No, the dichotomy I'm talking about here is where it is NOT a relief for both parties to notice that we're just talking about the same thing in different ways, with different words.

XY
Backs up their world view by studying general semantics, quantum mechanics, new age "you create your own reality" philosophy, NLP, personality types, and anything else that shows multiple facets of lifeEither studying or trying to construct ultimate presentations of reality. The Bible, The Kabbalah, ancient text, sacred geometry, The Theory of Everything, moral rules or laws, the right political agenda, etc.
In a group: Looking for openness, honesty, free exchange of differing opinions. Tolerance of differencesIn a group: Looking for purity and uniformity. People who've already agreed on the exact rules, who don't waste time questioning things, but get things done in a focused way.
Bringing forward our different perspectives and sharing them honestly is refreshing. If everybody has different perspectives it is very frustrating.
It means we're about to get some work done.That they have been brought out means we're even further away from an agreement.
Next step would be more detailed sharing and laying out of different preferences, and we go to work.Probably time to step back and bring forth some big important principles that everybody just MUST agree to, in order to re-establish agreement.
When we have established our different perspectives, THEN we can busy.When we agree on how things really ARE, THEN we can get busy.
Things happen if you bring the right ingredients and the right players together, and you get inspired.Things happen by making them happen - by predicting and controlling the circumstances.


OK, this could use some more work, but am I making some sense?

What I'm trying to find is an understanding of there just being different ways of going about things, without any of them having to be wrong. Sort of like how some people are good at thinking about abstract ideas and general possibilities, and others focus on the specifics and the practical. And in any functional group, we need all sorts of capabilities.

So, I'm trying to get over my previous conclusion that I just once in a while run into somebody who doesn't accept the idea that different people can have different viewpoints, and that I should just stop wasting time with them sooner rather than later.

See, I suspect that there are many more people in that Y category than I maybe suspected.

And I suspect that maybe NCN needs to be more comfortable for those people as well. I.e. there are probably many people who get confused and frustrated by the general "anything-goes" and "whatever-you-want-to-do" approach of NCN, taking it to mean that they're somehow supposed to carry out their projects the same way, with a bunch of argumentative scatterbrain people who can't agree on anything and who think that everything will just miraculously happen by itself.

The Type Y person will often come into NCN and see it as something to conquer, or to convert to a certain program. Or maybe as something to understand the plan of, so that they can join the program, and maybe improve it. The type Y person tends to assume that NCN works as in the right column, that there's a clear agenda, some precise definitions of what we're doing, and a plan being executed, with any minor disagreements being eliminated along the way. And if NCN is found not to work that way, it should work that way. So, either they push for that to happen, or they leave. Somehow if would be good if that type of person had a chance of finding what they're looking for, without wasting time on engineering a hostile take-over of the network or something like that.

I have no intention of dropping my insistence on an underlying openness and multi-dimensionality of NCN. But I'm thinking along the lines of how to best make this all productive also for the people who will at first glance consider such a design a mistake that needs to be fixed.

Now, I must admit that in trying to construct the above, sketchy and incomplete charts, I ended up being confused by recognizing myself in the right column as well. Which is probably a good thing. And what I'm trying to say seems a little less clear than it was to me when I started writing it, but what the hell.



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11 comments

26 Feb 2002 @ 04:00 by shawa : Being a X+Y type of person...
...and having the TWO columns straight at the entrance of my temple - (one white, one black, as in the Tarot cards)-... Ming, what you´re saying makes a lot of sense, though the right hand column is a tiny bit too weighted, you stack the odds a little bit too much in your own favour, and I´m not sure you really KNOW what the other part is about , (and that is normal, of course!) I bet Mark is going to react! I have such a wonderful feeling that we finally are getting somewhere, but then, my work is psycho-synthesis (plus I´m familiar with the Kabbalah)...I´ve seen some very significant steps lately. I think that the concept of group consciousness (Alice Bailey) may bridge the two columns. In a group, BOTH columns are needed; BOTH types X and Y. However, for harmony to exist between them, a quantum jump is necessary on both sides. And I think that we´re on to it, because there is a lot of caring going on, too.What I don´t see clearly yet, is if both of you can be allies working towards a common goal, or if it would be best for Mark to create his own version of NCN (=sister website). To me, it feels like dividing energies, but perhaps it would be more efficient in the end. I think that Mark has to understand that he cannot change you, nor NCN. And of course, the reverse might be true also. I love to see how we process this, and I feel privileged to share this beautiful moment.  


26 Feb 2002 @ 04:14 by jstarrs : Definitions
One thing that has always frustrated me is the horizontally spiralling direction of most philosophical discussions. They seem to go round and round. In debate and, above all, debate concerning logic (Aristotlean & eastern)the first things that are learned are the definition of terms - without agreement on definitions, it's easy for a debate to turn around and around. Once definitions have been established and agreed on, then one can debate from various angles to up-hold or break down an argument. I think that's where alot of the above fall down - definitions are not agreed on (reality, god etc) and the result is an endless horizontal spiral. In that case, you can only 'beg to differ'. Or is there room for finding a common set of terms?  


26 Feb 2002 @ 04:14 by ming : Not knowing
Yeah, you're quite right Shakti, I don't really know. This represents a breakthrough of sorts for me, of seeing something of a point in attitudes I would otherwise have brushed off. But it doesn't mean I necessarily get it.  


26 Feb 2002 @ 07:20 by shawa : Ming...
Breakthrough is a delicate balancing act. I´m glad we have the opportunity. Though, of course, there is no guarantee on any results. In fact, the equation is not even stated, is it ?...  


26 Feb 2002 @ 07:48 by bushman : Resistance is futile?
Well, what I'm personaly seeing in this post.
Are we going to be humans when all is said and done, or will we be the Borg? Will we be free to be who we are and multidimentional, or a colony of Ants? One group is all over the place the other is not, but efficiant in thier own space, one reality is ever changing, the other is blind to the scinery, I prefer the scinic route myself, it may take longer to get to where your going and you make wrong turns and get lost now and then, isnt that what makes life fun? I also agree that the colective reality would be great to stay focused on the destination or get the job done in a timly fashon, I like my workers to be thinking the same when they work together but then we will not have the diversity that it takes to come up with creative designs or off beat ideas. I think the hard part or the over all mechanisim in all this is to be able to switch the two mentalitys on and off at will, or somehow create a simbiotic relationship so those that can't switch when needed, can be called appon. I think as far as the NCN goes we do that well, if they took and droped all the members of NCN on a desert island, we would become the most powerfull force on the planet , probably within days, lol.  



26 Feb 2002 @ 08:27 by bushman : P.S.
Hmmm, just ran across this item, Im guessing that it was found through the colective un-concious. lol
http://www.rense.com/general20/doyouown.htm  



26 Feb 2002 @ 14:36 by ming : Do you own yourself
Ah, excellent article, Bushman. I've better post this some more prominent place. Very important stuff for people to consider. ... And, yes, I agree with you, if would be very boring if we all had to think the same. So, now, heheh, I'm thinking about how we might assimmilate those who want to take over the world into our diverse free-will network, rather than the other way around.  


26 Feb 2002 @ 14:48 by ming : The Catch 22
Yes, ergodicity, you're catching me in trying to present THE truth about something, while I'm trying to pretend that all truths are ok. Indeed it is a type Y thing as I defined it, so I end up a little confused. It is sort of a logical gridlock. Like, I say "Anybody can do and say what they want, and nobody's gonna change that rule" and somebody else comes along and says "And what kind of dictator are you to say that it has to be that way?". And, indeed, I'm not sure if it makes sense to put it that way. My intuition is that a key unchangable principle in a new civilization has to be something along the line that you can always go along and do your own thing, as long as you don't hurt others. And I sort of insist that this is some kind of meta-principle that one can't touch. But then I'm being the type Y person who insists on MY version of thruth, or am I? And even if I am "right", there is a logical conundrum in it, as to what to do with the people who don't agree with that foundation. .... At any rate, I totally agree that any structure for facilitating social organization will be successful when it makes itself obsolete. So, with something like NCN, or your models for social interaction, the point of it is for it to transcend its origins, and take a life of its own  


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