Freedom vs. Security

August 18, 2010

“figure it out”… a sort of tag line… it includes both figuring things out as in you are the constructor and it is up to you to build and maintain your reality, while also figure it out as in you have to answer a question (the more passionately “prescribed” side of things)…

Steve Holt provided some good momentum in the direction of “Freedom vs. Security”, which I would agree is a HUGE deal regarding human sense-making, decision-making, and action-making…. so Ill explore my thoughts on it further.

The above is a link to a great article I read in the magazine Shambhala Sun not too long ago… Obviously, it’s Buddhist (take it for philosophical value, not religious, or however you like)… but also, I would love to hear what other people may think about it in regards to Complexity Theory (which many in the western science community seem to think is a new way of thinking).

Note the similarity where freedom vs. security in conflict theory is a core conflict of happiness… and where the article notes that humans suffer (lack of happiness) chiefly because of a contemplation of permanence… which I would say is because they desire security (permanence, certainty, pattern, proof, answers, truth, reassurance, etc…)… although something like Maslow’s hierarchy make me cringe like crazy.

Years ago, I came across the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” series of books, which I think is where I first started to inquire about “freedom vs. security” because of one quote regarding formal education… which you could also take in light of Mark Twain’s quote, “don’t let your schooling interfere with your education”, oh and another, “once you find yourself on the side of the majority, you know it is time to reform”… but back to the book’s quote, which was, “some people study for security, and others study for freedom”.

Now take a second and reflect on that, and hopefully the marketing realities of current formal education, corporate certification and association, and such will flash like wildfires in your brain…. Oh they promote studying for Freedom… yea right…. more like Security, and mostly in the form of “getting a job” or “making more money”… but more philosophically/psychologically it simply “satisfies” our selves.

Personally, I think it would be great if people could study for freedom, but I dont know if anyone can escape the lure of studying for security… but we also have to realize that the security IS NOT real… It emerges from our contemplation of permanence and assumption of certainty in regards to temporal concerns. Only creating more of a self-fulfilling ponzi scheme prophecy of something of the sort.

In some of my next posts, I will present some personal diagrams I have created to help me navigate the ideas more visually, but hopefully might make some sense to everyone else.

To sum up some of where I will explore is in response to a GREAT recent blog post of Dave Snowden (which I would reverse to switch emphasis)… he said “Uncertainty is the surface manifestation of complexity at work”… which is certainly consistent with complexity theory, because this statement obviously focuses on the system not the interpretant… but got me thinking (because I focus more on the interpretant)… I cannot get around the fact that humans created complexity theory, which means I cant get around the idea that complexity doesn’t exist in the system itself, but in our minds (referring to a figure-ground pattern emergence type problem here)… so I would respond to his statement with “Complexity is the surface manifestation of uncertainty at work”… even if a system was truly complex, how and why could we ever recognize that being absent of our own minds? When you transplant the idea back into the starting article, chaos and complexity emerge from OUR contemplations of impermanence and acceptance of uncertainties, while complication and order emerge from OUR contemplations of permanence and assumptions of certainties OF THE SYSTEM but not IN THE SYSTEM… which we then project back onto the system and then fool ourselves and teach our kids and society that it is actually the systems that maintain those qualities intrinsically, and it is up to us to “find it out”… Look to how people use language to illustrate this.

Specifically to address what I think about freedom vs. security, I think I would say this… we contemplate a permanence of the past, allowing a meditation of security in the present, allowing assumed certainty of the future. To escape this passionate egotistical self-fulfilling achievement driven goal setter view, would be to contemplate the impermanence of the past, allowing a meditation of freedom (thought, belief, action) in the present, allowing you to accept uncertainty of the future. It’s got a Buddhist slant definitely, but I find it quite consistent with current consciousness research, quantum physics, complexity and chaos theory, semiotics and symbolic interactionism etc…

Oh and there is nothing wrong with focusing on security… I only have a problem with people thinking the source of the security is outside of themselves, rather than a reflection of themselves… which is why I also have a problem with thinking a construct in the present is greater than those interpretants who the construct emerged from (gold having “intrinsic value” as example). The “United States” only exists in the past, we decide today through thought, belief, and action, whether it exists in the present, which tomorrow will tell us the order we lived in today.

Inquire at will, but I dont think should forget that that which emerges and is observed by you is but a reflection of the agitation you introduced (be it a question, your 5 senses, a probe, etc…)… while at the same time your mind will more than likely solidify it as actually “existing” out there rather than seeing it as a manifestation of mind. I believe I saw Mary Douglas has a good quote pertaining to this, but can’t think of it right now.

My next post will concern my idea of an “emergent interpretant”… which is the thing which I think allows the illusion of a social construct to exist in the present with us, and pull us along as if it is in control.

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