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Friday, April 10, 2009

Learning As Loss

Sometimes a person doesn’t know what they have to gain from a course of action until they do it. Sometimes it's not possible to see ahead until you stand on the next step that you can see ahead. By stepping up to a challenge, perhaps that is the only way to find out for yourself what you are getting from it after you have done so. Sometimes this finding out takes time to allow its effects to seep in enough to show up. This is especially true when the course of action involves losing something intentionally - sort of like losing weight.

Learning from intentionally subtracting a course of action is a "Very Weird Experience." As adults, we're so used to adding things. We don't think of undoing them.

I guess the religious practice of Lent is somewhat applicable here, where people intentionally give up something to experience the lack of it. Perhaps it's a course of action designed for the result of sacrifice or gratitude when you get back the activity or consumable that you gave up. Perhaps the Easter holiday this weekend is making me think of such things. Probably it's merely how much I used Alexander Technique and David Bohm style Dialogue both to practice subtraction for sharpening my own self-awareness.

It's a odd characteristic: as you are giving up something, you know well what you are giving up. What you may have to gain can feel like only a promise; an uncertain elusive conviction of faith or a whisper of potential. Often, you can’t have both - you must choose to continue either the old comforts you know well - or make the leap of faith. Because sometimes, you can’t go in two directions at once, having your cake and eating it too.

I have experienced myself leaping into the unknown. It feels like a complete willingness to risk everything. To me - it feels great, even if it's a little shaky from being a new thing. Sometimes there's a cost. But at least I've decided.

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