Being Ridiculous

Looking for some other information I came across this today

“Ethnomethodologists have often noted the blank, glassy stares and strange states produced by violating peoples’ expectations – by, for example, getting into an elevator and facing the other people in it. It’s in such “paradoxical states” that people often may assimilate new information quickly, without filtering. They also may be able to “abreact” psychological trauma.”

Is not living about existing in a paradoxical state? People can be complex beings with beliefs that seem diametrically opposed… we can laugh at a funeral; cry at a Christening; Scream from happiness; and Love people we hate.

It interests me because of the duality of creation and destruction. From confusion and uncertainity, can come new ideas, concepts and constructs. How many times have you been at the lowest point, and then, suddenly know the path, completely unseen before, to take? There is a reason we state: “the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Our familiar constructs are too rigid and the conformity prevents the assimilation of self-awareness. Those who have learned the Code, never reach the highest pinnacle of that same Code because interpretation and creative expression brings us to that peak and those are subjugated by technical lessons.

What we think we know, we know only because we have defined the acceptable. As someone who can grow too rigid and complacent in her thinking, I need shock value sometimes. We must regain the simplicity of the fool and child; experiment (safely) to learn our own discoveries.

From looking at something in a ridiculous, unexpected way, enlightenment occurs.

This entry was posted in Essays, Learning w/ Play & Curiosity and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Being Ridiculous

  1. Greenwinae says:

    Someone said that “Religion is a defense against a religious experience”. Knowing all the rules and formulae, and following all the accepted practices, can block you from making the intuitive leap into real understanding.

    • Now you coming over (finally) and posting your wisdom that is more wisdom then my post… is just a bit showing me up (once again)… you… Shamanistic… Ghost Chicken Dancer…. *grumbles* 😀

  2. Greenwinae says:

    I am just really impressed – the seventh level of spiritual development (according to spiral dynamics) is the ability to embrace paradox and balance apparent contractions to achieve deeper perception. You are there!

    • You are so full of horsesh*t. I guess you are practicing for that role as one of the Native American clowns? They aren’t married and usually have to do some pretty disgusting things… of course, in being married you do some pretty disgusing things… 😛

  3. Pingback: Horse evasions to going forward « Common Sense Rider

  4. Today I produced some blank glassy stares and strange states by violating the expectations of some co-workers that they could free-wheel along and contribute rather little. “You expect me to take responsibility?” “Yes, why else do you have ‘project manager’ in your job title?”

    But complexity is not paradox. We only see it as paradoxical through insufficient enlightenment. Real paradox is embodied by the “doublethink” of George Orwell’s 1984. (Unlike you, I have lived in the aftermath of a totalitarian state, and have experienced my fill of such thinking.) A challenge of life is resolving situations that appear to yield only opposition – external things such as liking to ride but having to work in an office, internalities such as the anima/animus. The phrase “fearfully and wonderfully made” comes to mind.

    Then there is the “holy fool” of Eastern Orthodoxy (and perhaps other faiths besides) who is more enlightened through his or her relaxed grip on the superficial realities of man-made conventions and constructs.

    Wish I lived closer to you guys – it would be interesting to talk some more over some wine, or even over glasses of the award-winning cider that an old man sells from a booth on the way to the barn.

    • I think in paradoxes, we humans are a living one. I have beliefs that other would cause opposing: I believe in a need for the death penalty, yet I am not Right Wing; I am pro-choice but believe in a national system to support new mothers and have worked (for free) at non-profits to help them; I believe in national health care, yet I probably would never use it myself.

      This idea of paradoxes, I’ve been playing around with. This intrigues me because of dealing with people who have fears of riding. When placed in a paradoxical situation – or given a statement of such – they become unstuck/unlocked from what is holding them back. It’s almost the result of a Mental Optical Illusion – what I see doesn’t exist, yet I see it.

      “Eurekas!” don’t happen through logic or planning them.

      Like looking at a photo upside down – or seeing a photo at an extreme closeup – changing your state for male to female 🙂 – walking backwards (which I’ve done in a Tai Chi clinic) – singing a song in the elevator with others present – skipping into an office building etc…

      No I haven’t lived under a totalitariaian state – only George W. Bush which was hard and difficult enough for me.

  5. This post, in a sideways way, is related to an earlier post called “Two States Cannot Exist”

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  7. Oh yes, political paradoxes. But there are three scales of politics: left-right; conservative-radical; grey-green. So Hitler was a vegetarian who banned fox-hunting, Ceausescu was a horse-lover, Gandhi wrote that fascism was a good idea because it might overthrow the British Empire (he told the Jews to “accept their fate because it would enlighten them!”), and Roosevelt who founded the first National Park also enjoyed shooting big game. In our own mudane ways we believe in causes that don’t fit any predetermined mould.

    Looking at a situation from a different perspective is interesting. Walking into an office singing (or anyway listening to music) makes reality seem unreal, like entering a film shoot.

    Imagining a different state is harder. One has a construct of what it might be to have the opposite gender or be an Eskimo, for instance, but cannot really know because necesarily one has only second-hand knowledge. So one imagines and perhaps focuses on concepts that are personally interesting rather than actually central to what one is imagining. So, a nice exercise perhaps, but not easy.

    Compared to that, breaking down the off barrier by being ridiculous is straightforward. People need more play in their lives, to become less tight-a**ed, and that perhaps is one true place for paradox. Anyway, a place accessible to many whereas the esoteric concepts that fascinate some necessarily gravitate towards gnosis.

    • I would have to say that I believe most people have a hard time thinking outside of their own concepts. Our bodies actually prevent it. For example, imaging what it is to be asleep – how did/did we? exist before we were born? After we die, what happens? Can you imagine the moment of your existence that took place yesterday at 4 p.m.? Can you be that person you were 10 years ago, without the knowledge gained in those 10 years? Who will you be tomorrow?

      These can drive you insane – or to religion – because our mind cannot encompass those realities. I cannot ever BE my husband – and in discussions with him over 20 years, the mystery of who he is – as well as his incomprehension of who I am – is one that is still not solved or measured by the other.

      Roleplaying can help – and if we incorporate play – and free ourselves from the restrictions of “that’s too silly” and “I’ll look stupid” then perhaps we can run through the fields neighing, waving a string tail behind us, looking for the wild herd.

      It’s why the person on the Horse Quest should always choose a safe horse — not these romantic Mustangs, or abused Rescue Horses, or OTTB, as their first horse.

      From taking clinics and watching others, also evaluating what has worked for me or did not, breaking through the constructs can only be done if vulnerability is reached – and this can often be breached by stepping sideways and approaching in ways we don’t expect. Sometimes you have to sneak up to the fox…

      I am extremely guarded. I seldom open my real thoughts or feelings to others. I was raised in a family environment that if I showed weakness the other wolf cubs attacked. I have had to learn when I can allow that vulnerability and even now, those moments are going to be kept as private as my outer face can conceal.

      To survive, far outweighs mental health. I can be depressed, broken in mind, but if I am surviving my warped mentality finds that the Prime Operative. This is the time of bullshit that I have spent 25 years trying to understand, assimilate and rise above. To survive is not enough.

      That is why I do not function well with clinics or clinicians. It turns out that I apparently do not function well with even online clincians. Of course, too many of these people want you to check your wondering mind at the door and that certainly will not work well with me.

      BTW I understand Theodore Roosevelt. Hunters (though I am not) used to understand that the guardianship of the land was important if they wanted to keep hunting. The Native American understood this also. It is the idiots in certain high places of today’s government that seem to find the balance of our ecosystem (and where the fuck their food comes from) beyond their ability to understand. They buy it from the grocery store, wrapped in plastic, so of course it will always be there!

  8. Years ago these things might have driven me insane – they nearly did, and it was religion that saved me from becoming quite crazy. Then a harsh eight years in Transylvania taught me to survive, even as I went through tragedies piled one upon another without a safety net. I know a little of what you mean even as you say that surviving is most important. I suspect that I have reached the point where I know that I can survive, so the struggle is for enlightenment. I have an inquisitive mind and a love of myth and story, and that seems to equip me well to explore.

    The curious thing is to discover an Old Soul. There are strong and wild ancestors back there, distant, faintly perceived. I hear the echoes of a powerful woman, or several – perhaps a composite figure – who intrigues me. That has a bearing on present storytelling, for I am exploring her essence. Perhaps in a roundabout way, but exploring nonetheless. No-one can be another, yet it is strange to carry a hidden inner memory of another who, ever so slightly, one actually nevertheless is.

    I didn’t grow up in a predatory family, but I know what it is to have parents who ridiculed all that they did not understand (which was a lot) and how that turned imagination inward upon itself. The price of that is being paid still. One can get past the pain and recrimination, but the self-censorship linger. So one tip-toes around therapy, talking, saying what they want to hear, without necessarily moving far forward. Never allowing oneself to become vulnerable because that opens the door to ridicule. One can only become vulnerable in private, and living with someone there is little privacy.

    It was interesting to spend time with a Native American. Yes, there is a different view of nature, more of a wholeness in the aproach. In the Old World we are far from that, and the cruelties and killing are institutionalised within corporations. There is landscape, indeed beautiful scenery, but ecosystems are those of the farm. I long for wild boar to appear, so that the land becomes trickier, so that town people going hiking actually face a little danger. But it won’t be allowed.

    • I have heard via the grapevine that Hempfling is very close to the earth on his island and butchers his own meet and lives very simply. The person who posted about this said it changes how you percieve and live your life as she once lived this way but no more. Personally, I am rather addicted to the comforts of my dishwasher and the few cable television shows I watch.

      If you live in certain states you have the chance of meeting cougars and bears on the walking trails. When I worked in a state park, I met mostly rattlesnakes, deer, and beaver. If I was on my own I would opt to live on a mountain somewhere, but would make sure I have Dish Satelitte! LOL!

      I think you get to a point, that survival is never enough. It’s just surviving! and that is when we realize we, as people, are more then flesh, bone and a need to grunt and slam our food across it’s head.

      People on the whole are fragile things. And going through the fire is not really possible or even suitable for some. Instead of re-birthing them, it consumes them. Some of my siblings are mentally crippled and though function as adults, are not what they could have been.

      My people are from your land somewhere… My mother was redhead, my grandmother blonde, and I was a blonde (the bottle helps nowadays) – they are Dutch and probably Gaul. My father’s line is Germanic with probably some Scots with a black temper to match. They have a tendency to punch out their son’s psychiatrist and slap down their pregnant daughter… thankfully that was just an uncle.

  9. I remember life in a village where we tilled the land and butchered pigs. I remember the earth turning beneath the plough, the slow walk of the draught horse. I have not forgotten the sharp knife and swift death, the crudely chopped slabs of flesh, the feast that followed death. Strange it was to be surrounded by people who were hospitable to visitors, full of talk, easily pleased, and yet swift to deal out death. That was survival, yet it was more – friendship and reality, richness yet simplicity. Much is there that I shall not forget. Yet modernity ruined them – a superfluity of goods, easy credit, manipulation by those who would profit from fellow man.

    So survival is not enough. Yet most wage slaves – for such are most workers – merely survive. The peasant survives but gains some nobility in the process. What nobility attends those who work in offices or factories?

    You and I see that survival becomes insufficient because we think, because we seek each to grow. That distinguishes us from the masses who would fill their bellies and be satisfied.

    It is good companionship that I long for, the sort of fellowship that Tolkien idealised, people to live alongside and experience life with. That is a high ideal indeed. Through the internet slowly I am meeting such characters, but most live oh so far away!

    Maybe one day you will trace your roots over here? I have heard a theory that America, especially the South, was shaped by the fact that many who sailed the wide ocean were the mis-fits here, those too rough or adventurous to thrive in an old society solidifying into dull conservatism.

    I too have some ancestors who mixed Scots, Norse and Germanic. One was a pirate, a tarnished brand all the more devalued since people now think that a Scots pirate resembles Johnny Depp in makeup and a kilt! But, being adopted, I have not the slightest idea of where I really originated, nor who contributed to this curious, troublesome, wonderful Old Soul of mine.

    • Brutality and the adrenalin rush of being present in a life that presents danger and immediacy teaches… but of course has it’s own despondency. The BBC version of the Manor House (where today’s people went and fulfilled roles in a manor house – from scullery maid to land owner) showed quite clearly the crushing mental weight of poverty.

      It also showed men’s cruelty to men. What idiots that the new landowner fulfilling a reality actors’ role started living it! A non-thinking moron.

      One really odd thing about America that others don’t understand – we never had, never will have, a ruling class. Racism yes, but even someone sneered at due to color can become the President.

      I am not saying this to brag about the U.S. personally, it may be one of our greatest strengths, but it is also our greatest weakness – are ancestors were rejected and tossed out of country upon country – for civil disobedience, murder, mayhem or just religious differences. There is a crude brutality that exists under the surface of most Americans today – though also a very generous nature too indeed, but most are not willing to admit it.

      The stupidest thing the Terrorists did was kill people on those planes. Now, no matter what, no plan will be overtaken by a terrorist again that has Americans on it. We would rather die in a suicidal rush, with no pilot among us, then die by another’s hand. That has already been proven time and time again with each plane where a disruption has occured – the passengers threw themselves on top of the disrupter and pretty much took him out of commission.

      We will never be harnessed. Either because we wear mule ears and bray or because we are like a mad wolverine. People outside this country don’t understand the thin line between madness and brillance that permeats the genes that produced the Average American.

      Again, I don’t brag about this – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rolled my eyes about someone’s right wing religion or stupid beliefs in this country – and now gun buying is at an all time high because, ohmigod we have a Black President! The world is ending cried Chicken Little.

      The Average American – part moron, part crazy, and 100 percent against authority in their personal lives.

      Well… people don’t want to question. That used to piss me off. LOL! I was younger then and had more anger. Teaching riding lessons to idiots and users, taught me the lesson that each has their own journey and must have the energy and fortitude to walk it. I cannot walk it for them.

      We are far away! But the Internet also makes it easier to be blunt and to strike the hammer across the swords blade.

  10. The class system over here is a curiosity. The fundamental conservatism in Britain brings out the best in us (standing up to tyrany in 1939 comes to mind) and the worst (man exploiting man as if by right). Yet, I think that revolution would just mean that the proletariat would eat all teh food, drink all the beer, then wonder what to do. People are comfortable knowing where they stand, and few enough are really trodden down that they want to revolt. Not for nothing did someone (Marx?) refer to “bread and circuses” to keep the masses amused. It works.

    The terrorists were stupid, just like the Japanese military was stupid at Pearl Harbour. One does not attack a much larger force possessed of great vitality and ingenuity. The terrorists are nihilists, and that sort does not know reason as we would understand reason to be. That makes them all the deadlier, yet your superior resources enable you to defeat them (and Britain too since we are roped into the same struggle.) Now at least you have a more intelligent leadership, not one fundamentalist grappling with another (and invading the wrong country – but let us not descend into politics).

    There is a very interesting theory that the history of Britain really continued via the US after the power of the former was eclipsed by the latter. Basically, the idea is that the more vibrant British ideology was transported to the US, where it has flourished and reached its ultimate expression. Perhaps like so many sociological ideas, there is truth in this without it being the whole story?

    The general dislike of authority has good and bad factors. The good side is more freedom, which is really just an ideological benefit, and the chance to be more entrepreneurial. The bad side is typified by a high crime rate, and the health insurance situation that animates so many nowadays. I may have issues with a class system, but I receive free medical care whenever I need it. I don’t earn as much money as I would in the US, but I can walk around the town at night in reasonable safety. Linking us is thoughtless government that allowed bankers to wreck our economies, driven by the masses thinking that loans give them something for nothing.

    There is considerable cultural difference between peoples, and this causes confusion. You are not in the same place as me culturally, but closer than, say, a Russian. I lived eight years in the Balkans where a book of stories by Chekhov fairly well lucidated the underlying mentality – an old, solid way that had profound strengths and great weaknesses, a flawed nature that can produce monsters unchecked. Then we are different to Chinese, etc, etc.

    In this turbulent world, there is perhaps a moral that the English-speaking peoples should stick together, where possible bringing other Western Europeans on board too. Otherwise even more foreign cultures will overwhelm us. We may be “divided by a common language” however that is poor excuse to slip into obscurity.

    • One thing that I did experience when in Europe, and one of my brothers lived in Germany for 7 years – is the idea that the U.S. is rift with Crime. When I watch BBC America try to give stories about the U.S. way of life, I am always left scratching my head and thinking WTF?

      I have no fear walking through my streets or my town. There are certain places I would naturally avoid because 1.) I don’t buy drugs; 2.) Don’t sell drugs; 3.) don’t belong to a gang. Being in those places would be unsafe for me but it is a small area of the square footage of this total city that I live in.

      What is hilarious is how the local government gets all worked up when someone gets murdered like we are a Big City. Hmmm well you won’t catch me living in New York, Miami or New Orleans…

      In terms of healthcare, I pay for mine. I do want a national healthcare system in place but it cannot be all comprehending. It would simply bankrupt the nation. Compromises will have to be made but I have a 95 plus grandmother living on Social Security who isn’t doing as shabbily as I would have expected considering.

      Don’t know if it is available to you but a small film called I (HEART) Huckabees is very funny about nilhism and existentialism if you can find it.

      Are we all connected so we should care about everything – and nothing matters?

      Or is our impact upon the world meaningless, so we should do what we want – because nothing matters?

      heehee… Getting a bit deep in here… not sure I can uphold my side of this… May have to call in the Shamanistic Ghost Chicken Dancer… aka hubby.

  11. I never knew there WAS such a thing as an ethno methodologist. You have hit the nail on the head with this post as a description of the entire basis for the Tellington TTouch groundwork you know. “It’s in such “paradoxical states” that people often may assimilate new information quickly, without filtering. They also may be able to “abreact” psychological trauma.”
    May I link to this post?

  12. THIS IS A FASCINATING AND VERY ENJOYABLE CONVERSATION. Thank you both very much for allowing me to eavesdrop.

  13. nah, no heated debates over at my place. I generally am able to keep things to the low simmer. debates, yes. Heated, no.
    Often, i wish there were more heat. THen there would be more commentary!

    • I like debate but mostly, if I get the wandering-in poster it’s someone who doesn’t “get it.”

      Just had a post on one of my videos “but how did I teach the walk trot command by voice?”…. well…. now…. let’s start from the beginning…

  14. I ADORE wander in posters! I get so few. They are mostly in for the hot-button issues like TWHs or the Mongol Derby. They are amusing really if they stick to their guns without looking at evidence to the contrary. You can’t shake them. Often, they will make ME think, and that’s good. But most often, they make me shake my head in disbelief. Like your person with the question about walk/trot transitions.

    • As you know, Kim, HI operates under the radar. It’s really my own personal blog and I would like to make some more Internet connections with people who have like-minded quests on the path of horses, however, that’s not so simple as most people are searching for answers to these type of questions: “my horse is so stubborn? How do I get him to do what I want?” 😛

      Common Sense Horsemanship and Rider will be the more public, how-to blogs but even CSR I worry is trying to cover topics that are too big for a blog and will lead to misinterpatation. We shall see.

  15. Well it’s always interesting what people think of another country. I think that it’s true enough that the homicide rate in the US is appreciably higher than in the EU. But I expect that most of those statistics happen in a small part of the country (as they do over here too).

    I think that public healthcare can work without bankrupting the nation. Britain is not bankrupt because of healthcare (but instead because of bankers’ greed). Over here, for instance, an elderly person entering a care home would have to sell their property to pay. If they had no property then the would receive free care, however that happens in few enough cases. It is very difficult to avoid paying by transfering property to children. The state system pays for medical need, not for things like cosmetic surgery, and there can be a bit of a wait for non-urgent procedures.

    Of course there has to be a bit of public-spiritedness. Taken to an extreme, where would we be if people without children did not pay anything towards education?

    Heated debates are quite entertaining, however some bloggers rapidly become offensive when their pet views are challenged. Try to tell people, for instance, that wearing a helmet does not magically make them “safe”. There is a lot more to riding safely than wearing a helmet, and a lot of ways to die that do not involve head impact. (I have come across a couple of these over the years. Squashed head inside a helmet when the horse trod on her was not nice. Nor was being bucked off a bridge and dying of a broken neck.) But loud East Coast Riders with their English saddles and their oated Thoroughbreds don’t want to hear that danger might yet stalk them. I did tell one loudmouth that, shouting down all opposition along with her baying pack, she was behaving like the Taliban! The response was a complaint that “she did not ride wearing a burqua.” (I love it when someone so misses the mark. I am sure her tweeds and hairnet are quite fashonable.)

    If not as amusing as a prim and proper rider who turned up at a posh hunt with a splendid new crop bought at a car boot sale. Sadly, the rider had not realised that it was a dominatrix whip. However several tweedy old ladies were not deceived. Hmm, mispent youth?

  16. “Sadly, the rider had not realised that it was a dominatrix whip.”
    Well, there went the brand new keyboard. Coffee. All over.

  17. Pingback: Mental Benefits of Hooping for the Horseperson « Common Sense Rider

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