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Nov 28, 2005


Molly Gordon, MCC

Okay. This rings several of my chimes.

DING: Is the 1st person trend a "revolution"? An evolution?

RIFF -- I suppose it can be neither, either, and/or both. Whether or not it is revolutionary to explicitly address or assert one's own point of view depends on context. It seems revolutionary to move from being embedded in one or another colletive reality toward autonomy.

It seems (to me) that coming from the "I" is evolutionary when growing autonomy involves moving toward a more complex (not complicated) set of perspectives. Yet, it is also true that coming from the "I" can be the hallmark of an adult behaving like a teenager (at best?) or infant (at worst?) with elaborate appetites and opinions.

DONG: First person for the sake of what? Coming from "I" for the sake of a more intimate connection with another, in order to establish a more accurate context for one's* point of view, or for the sake of a more im-mediate encounter with and account of one's experience is worlds apart from using "I" to arrogate power inappropriately, to pose as expert, or to fan the flames of narcissism. (who me?) And yes, one can accomplish power grabs, posturing, and self aggrandizement through the use of 3rd person.)

*(hmmm... does the pronoun "one," ostensibly a 3rd person pronoun, point subtly to a first person point of view?)

DING: It seems to me that 1p and TIME are inextricably related, not to mention capacity (emotional, spiritual, intellectual) for taking in multiple 1p perspectives, the skill to aggregate them in the pursuit of wisdom as opposed to data or even information. How we conceive of, experience, and "use" time is affected (even determined?) by our developmental attainments. Time to read blogs, time to learn to read blogs, the ability to notice that there might be a learning curve -- these and others depend on material, cognitive, and ego development -- three aspects of development that by no means proceed at the same pace.

DONG: Perhaps there is a distinction between the cultural implications of "I" in various domains and the social/systems implications. Culturally, I hesitate to applaud the "I" emergence. Yes, it can be a profound invitation to engagement, responsibility, creativity. However, unless we who take the I-road (I just can't help myself), inquire early and often into our motives and the results of our actions, the strengthening of "I" may proceed with the same sort of ethical and ecoological lag as technology. I'm not against it, just cautioning.

On the side of social and systems matters, the I perspective can be a call to a level of mature engagement that injects heart and intelligence at many nodes of our networked existence. A consummation devoutly to be wished. The I perspective can also be a means of bridging the high-touch/hi-tech gap. I've made some very good friends online, and my work has thrived in virtual media. Yet, again, a high degree of self awareness and disipline are required to animate the high tech relationships with blood and spirit. Since diving into cyberspace, I've also dived into cycling, paddle-boarding in Puget Sound, and meditation.

DING-DONG: I could go on (can you tell). But the real point of this comment is to say thank you for your provocative and intelligent voice. of course, that's just me saying that.

I didn't document my remarks as I play fast and loose with other people's ideas. Still, I should note my debt to Jenny Wade, Ken Wilber, Don Beck, Robert Kegan and Susann Cook-Greuter.

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