blog traffic analysis
This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %CONTROL OBJECT PERSON RELATIONSHIP MYTH METAPHOR 900123 The metaphors which we use in our thinking and speaking infuse our feelings, attitudes and the spirit in which we approach the realities of our lives. The myths which drive our lives are motivated and guided by the metaphors in terms of which we perceive whatever we regard as real. If we regard people as objects and so regard people objectively as if people were only objects; we infuse our feelings, attitudes and the spirit in which we approach the realities of our personal lives with inappropriate objectivity. Objects can to a large extent be controlled, manipulated, coerced, forced, transformed, fabricated, etc. with planned consequences. This is not true of people. Treating people as if they were only objects does not lead to the same kind of satisfactory planned relationships with people, as we succeed in having with objects when we treat objects in exclusively objective ways. Living in accordance to a metaphor does not remake reality to conform to the metaphor. Metaphors can and do mislead us, as in the case of regarding people objectively. People are not elemental objects which can be manipulated and controlled as elemental objects. People are dynamic patterns of changing relationships. People are not static. People are not objects which can be manipulated and controlled. The essence of what people are may be found in the dynamic patterns of their changing relationships with other people; the essence of a person is in the person's changing relationships, not in the person's body as an object. If we regard the essence of a person to be in the dynamic relationships in which the person participates we are unlikely to fall into the prison of trying to control a person; for it is absurd to think that any one participant in a pattern of personal relationships can have the power to be in full control of the whole pattern of relationships. Any one person can only participate in the pattern of relationships among the persons of the community. Attempts to control such relationships are but a peculiar way of participating in the relationships; entailing natural consequences which flow from the pattern of responses of the other persons in the web of relationships. Personal relationships cannot be controlled because no participant in a web of personal relationships can control the emotions, feelings, fears, apprehensions, desires, aversions, etc. of other people participating in the web of relationships. The people of the web are not objects like balls in a game of billiards. The person who tries to control other people is not someone above the plane of the bouncing balls: such a person is but another participant in the web of changing relationships. The misleading metaphor of objective control may be escaped by regarding people as conceived by changing relationships. People become who they are due to relationships. People change due to relationships. People find satisfaction and meaning in relationships. Yet, it is difficult to avoid falling into the trap of thinking that the essence of a person is to be found in an elementary self who is the essential participant apart from the relationships which conceived the person. We tend to regard objects as having an essential reality which is independent of the interactions between it and other objects. In the case of objects, great power to understand, manipulate, predict, and control comes from regarding individual impersonal objects as having essential attributes which are independent of any interactions between the objects and other objects, such as scientists and their equipment. Elementary impersonal objects may usefully be regarded as having well defined measurable attributes such as: mass, volume, density, charge. In the case of persons, however, great tragedies flow from regarding individual people as having essential attributes which are independent of personal relationships with other persons. Outside of their personal relationships, persons do not have well defined attributes of any personal significance. To think and speak in languages which are predicated on the contrary assumption leads to tragedies. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================