Saturday, June 01, 2019

the definition of self...

Yesterday I visited a friend in the hospital who is dying of cancer. He wanted to talk at length about the ego and how it has nagged him his whole life. It appears to me that the self is only part of the picture, and that we are given the choice of looking at the lines separating us from each other, or we can look at the vibrancy of relationship connecting us with all else. To draw a line on a page is a convenient over simplification of reality and relationship. Lines can be used to define, clarify, illuminate, isolate and divide. If our own definition of self is without boundaries we are better prepared for the dissolution of boundaries that comes at death.

I'm not sure that this is exactly what Friedrich Froebel had in mind. Children who were deeply immersed in nature, in science, in community would be led to a holistic understanding of self that would serve throughout life, even at the end of it, giving the opportunity (and consolation?)  to think one's last thoughts of others rather than for self.

The principles were as follows: Start with the interests of the child and move from the known and proceed toward the unknown, move from the easy to the difficult, from the simple to the complex, and from the concrete to the abstract. These engagements, unlike Bruner's temporary "scaffolding" build a firm and lasting foundation for the child's engagement in life. The ego serves to keep the child's learning on track(or an adult's life on track), but can become the instrument of derangement.

Bob Dylan, beat poet for my generation, came up in my visit with my friend. A line that stuck with me from those days, was "being bent out of shape by society's pliers." Are we not each bent in some ways by the circumstance of growing from childhood to becoming adults?

What can a person say when a friend faces turmoil at the time of passage from life? We are connected with each other if that serves as any sort of consolation. That can be described in words, but is more simply put by being present and awake in each other's lives.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning likewise...

No comments:

Post a Comment