December 29, 2007

Tools in-form us, sometimes for the good

Filed under: links, philosophy, praxis — bentrem @ 1:01 pm

In his “The TrueTalk Blog: One More From Andrew Sullivan…” Tom Guarriello quotes from an interview in The Atlantic:

” The task of talking out loud about one’s own mistakes is a very helpful thing to do. […] Blogging is a whole new way of writing, and a new way of experiencing the world.” [How about “can be“? – bdt]

What caught my eye was Tom’s “That business about experiencing the world differently as a result of blogging […] It changed the way I moved through the world, made me more observant and reflective.”

In my comment to his post I wrote “you’ve captured the essence of something broader and more general.”

“since my main point is about valuing subjective narrative, well, heh, I can’t try to just blow you off! *grin*
So I’m going to loft your assertion into a different orbit, where blogging will happily co-exist with spontaneous poetry or weaving or any other principled practice. That’s ok, yes?”

In the vajrayana wisdom tradition the power of transformation in-forms a person’s view so /nothing/ is destructive. But that’s to them, in that situation. I feel the need to emphasize that this doesn’t mean all influences are beneficial. I don’t see that novel forms and venues for expression are necessarily edifying or liberating; I’d far rather than principled practitioners called potential by its right name and thereby enable some form of critical consciousness: neither “doom and gloom” nor Polyanna in rose-coloured glasses.

Sullivan’s “talking out loud about one’s own mistakes” resonates most deeply in me: my analogy has always been the group conversation we have experienced around all the campfires that drew us together over our long history … narratives, self-reflection, instrospection, conversation … in short: discourse. But isn’t it jejeuene/naive to say that the oceans of drivle we see in blogs and chat rooms evidences self-emancipation?

“Growing up” is inevitable, unless one dies young. And so is growing old. But there’s nothing inevitable about the authentic sanity that marks the mature adult. And blogging doesn’t make it so. (Nor does tweeting … but danged close! *grin*)

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