Duck! and Gather

Finding the Joy in Operations

Posted on: August 8, 2006

I ended the last blog entry by posing a challenge to myself: “I need to find the joy in operations”. Well, you know me. I’m always up for a challenge. šŸ™‚ Count me in.

Here’s what I think is going on: As I have podcasted, I believe I am of the Eight type according to the Enneagram model of human personality. According to my unfinished book, Personality and the Brain, this may mean that my brain is left PFC dominant, and right amygdala dominant. This right amygdala dominance serves to jolt me “awake” when faced with a challenge that I have accepted. It’s sort of a general “start the engines” kind of switch.

My left PFC dominance tends to make me look out at the world and see only abstractions. I’ve previously blogged about the strangeness of Livin’ in Abstractions. One effect of living this way is that the infinte richness of reality is reduced to a small set of workable “handles and nobs”.

Seeing reality this way leads me to dividing the world of work into “projects” versus “operations”. To my limited brain, operations consist of the “same old, been there, done that” sort of stuff. My right amygdala doesn’t fire for that sort of work, and I remain sleepy.

But if I was a whole brain person, rather than a half-brained jackass, I’d realize that the only constant in life is continous change. That is, life is a flowing river. And dipping one’s hat into it one moment is always different from doing so the next. A whole brained person might notice the differences. These differences lie in the details which serve as the babies that are thrown away in the abstract wash.

So for me, the challenge of finding the joy in operations is the challenge of waking up my sleeping right PFC. How to do that? I don’t know but I do suspect that the answer will be found in practices like meditation, yoga, social interaction, and creative expression (e.g. creative writing, art, music, dance, etc.), to name a few.

I realize this discussion may seem obtuse to you. Maybe I’ll try to flesh it out in podcast when I have the chance.

Here’s the related podcast: (87) Finding the Joy in Operations

3 Responses to "Finding the Joy in Operations"

I would say that most folks live in abstractions. I probably mentioned this a lot already, but I enjoy Robert Anton Wilson’s work, and he talks about this all the time, except he uses the term “reality tunnels” (borrowed from Timothy Leary, I think). Most people walk around applying their B.S. (belief systems) and imprints, etc., to every situation, seeing “reality” through those prisms. It’s hard to try to step outside those imprints, and B.S., etc. and really experience what reality is.

Short of some natural bodhissatva, I think most humans have to really work at this, most likely using the methods you mention (yoga, etc.) to become more whole brain.

Keep up the good work, BTW. I enjoy the podcast for the most part. I say for the most part, because I don’t follow sports, so the basketball stuff sort of causes MEGO – I’m probably more of a political hound, or business news hound, as you put it. I did get obsessed at one point my youth in playing a basketball game called “one-bounce, however, and I can understand how something physical like that can utterly consume you. šŸ™‚

Thanks Sean. Yeah, I really gotta get over that basketball and sports stuff. It’s a strange addiction.

I agree with your take on abtractions. We all see reality through the filter of our beliefs. Those filters give us an abstracted reality.

What I’m saying is that different personality types process that abstracted reality differently. Right PFC serves to process it directly, holistically, all at once; left PFC processes it indirectly, individually, and sequentially. Basically, right PFC sees the “whole” but misses the “parts”; left PFC gets the “parts”, but misses the “whole”.

A balanced brain would be better at seeing both the whole and the parts. I think personality types 4, 5, and 9 are biased to view reality in this more balanced way. But even if one’s brain is balanced that way for perception, one would still likely fall into the trap you describe: ie. one processes that whole-parts reality through the filter of one’s beliefs.

And this discussion hasn’t even touched on the warping effects that fear/desire have on our particular perception style (ie. whole, parts, or whole & parts).

[…] So, for now, the best I can do is to put all comments in a moderation queue, and approve the useful ones as they come through. That happened this morning when Sean posted an interesting comment on “Finding the Joy in Operations”. So there will be a delay between the time you issue a comment, and when it appears on the site — the delay determined by how far away I am from my Mac. Sorry. […]

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