autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

Supporting change versus manipulation

Random thoughts tonight on the above topic; mostly, this is the result of recent endeavors. I decide, upon some contemplation, that the difference is the same it always is – intention. Also, that intention cannot be objectively known anywhere outside the head of the actor.

My thoughts:

Supporting change is the process of aligning thought, word, and deed to the ideals and ethics deemed best suited to affect the outcome in the appropriate direction. This, of course, posits as foundational that the change being sought is, itself, quite independent of one’s personal bias, preference, or desires.

Needless to say, that puts the vast majority of activities “at large” in the second category – manipulation; I define manipulation as the willful activity of using the appearance of ideal and ethic to foster an appearance of supporting change that, in actuality, is an intentional effort toward a change that is anything but so nobly motivated; instead, it is quite dependent upon one’s personal and preferential bias and desires.

(Small divergence here: Neuroscience, of course, laughs at all of this and tells us that it is ALL manipulation. Which takes me to this next bit…)

When I look around at the human endeavor, it often seems that manipulation is somewhat the status quo; I think at this juncture that it is all but a physiological impediment of our species, frankly; we simply have not evolved to a place from whence true adherence to ideal or ethic is consistently possible. I further think this is so fundamentally accurate that we actually deem the effort “futile” but for increasingly rare and utterly transient instances of exceptional happenstance.

Indeed, no human in our history, ever so inclined, has suffered less than the abject calumny and abrasion of a world too oft and well reminded of higher possibility (for all they are inevitably mourned as exceptional beings posthumously). I am certain you have experienced at least one such instance, dear reader; some genuinely well-intended and selfless act that, instead of being seen as such, is run aground amongst everything from accusations of manipulative intent (projection) to skepticism of normalcy (poisoning the well), or outrage (which I most often perceive as guilt; be it due to the selfish wish to “have thought of or done it first” to “hating that one is reminded that one ‘ought’ to be a human to whom such thoughts would naturally occur”).

We are, I think, a curiously twisted race at core; self-loathing (as above outlined) easily warping any avenue by which nobler goals can be achieved and, most of it, entirely due to the screaming id that must be sated.

Not that I am any better, mind. Oh no; let me not give such hypocritical impression. I suppose I could say I strive not to be so, but how do you say such a thing and not immediately have it reek of the very same thing (and for the same reasons of skepticism, manipulative intent, or outrage)?

It occurs to me that there is a reason why such humans as have managed better tend so consistently to quietude and humbleness; either they early understood the need of it, deduced it and were capable of shifting their core to manage it, or were born truly mutant in that they never felt the tug of the insidious id at all (or it was an easily silenced distraction).

I find myself hoping the former two possibilities but, more and more, I suspect it is the latter.

Maybe the reason we are doomed to repeat history is simply that we have not yet stressed or strained ourselves hard enough that evolution could do its work. Or maybe we are so merrily impeding what we know to be the evolutionary shifter through which all living things eventually pass that we have succeed in ensuring our repeated failure.

Did I have a point? Not really. As I said, this is a random sketch of the thoughts doing their usual salsa, mambo, fox trot, shuck-n-jive through my head. I am chuckling lightly as I shove ol’ “croc brain” and toss a look askance to ask, “What the bloody hell has gotten into YOU tonight?”

What an amusing and wholly arbitrary thing, life.