The other day, Woody wanted to make a point about fractals and tessellations. I still can't hang on to what he was saying because neither one of us was strictly sober. Woody tells me that out in blogland, he has been banned from several sites on account of his mouth. I can believe that because I've been studying his outspoken character. I expect that he got all wrapped up in his rhetoric and insisted on his dominance in cognition and conversation in a way that made people think he was a complete asshole, or ass-whole. What makes him a recovering ass-whole is his ability to recognize and reflect on his behavior patterns. In a word: Awareness. That awareness allows him to expand beyond his own frame of reference.
A person has the opportunity to change his/her pattern. A Mandelbrot set does not. No matter how far a pattern expands, it endlessly replicates itself. No matter how intensely narrow the focus inward, the pattern continues to repeat. The pattern does not change whether the focus is inward or outward. Nothing ever changes with a Mandelbrot set because its behavior is determined by equations. It's kind of like that with Ass-Wholes. They are closed. Their frame of reference is fixated on Self to the exclusion of others.
I'm happy to say that Woody knows a whole lot more than I do about the circumstances that push an Ass-Whole into the recovery phase. That's why he's one of my Valentines. The Man from San Antone is a Valentine. JDHays is a Valentine too. That's nice because last year I had an Existential Valentine's Day where it was finally proven that I exist in an of myself. I didn't have a Valentine at all unless you count my mother (Stonerdate 02.15.09). I'm even having a pot luck in my living room for Gigi and her girl friends. She's also one of my Valentines. Gigi is so sweet that she said someone was "our" age. I'm not sure if she thought she that was fifty or that I was 32, but it was sweet either way.
Since last Valentine's Day, I've been noticing that people are either open or closed to ideas. I don't even want to talk about large groups of people closed to ideas like a Single Payer System and Marriage Equality. I want to talk about people who are open to enlightened exchange with others and those who are closed to it. Call it love, if you want to. I will say that in my view, love is about inclusion and when it comes to the health care system, there's a whole lot of excluding going on. In yoga class this week, the instructor read a passage about how the universe we see is a reflection of ourselves - and when we reach out an empty hand asking the universe to give us something we think we lack, the universe sends you emptiness. Send out hostility and suspicion, it comes back at you like a boomerang. Offer the glow of authenticity, and the universe responds authentically. Namaste.
So I was getting all Namaste and stuff over Fractal Tesselations and began to wonder: What if our spirits are kind of like endlessly regenerating Mandelbrot sets where the perimeter of the frame of reference is made of something that either permits or denies interplay with other spirits? I'll admit that I was smoking weed at the time, but that doesn't automatically render the question meaningless. That material would be more or less open to enlightened exchange based on a number of factors but some part of an individual's pattern would expand beyond it's own periphery while other parts would reflect back onto itself. Similarly elements of another's pattern could penetrate some areas of the perimeter while others would bounce off in another direction. Ergo: for some people the perimeter would be like a chain link fence, others more like Swiss cheese with variable degrees of openness, and the most closed people would be like a suit of armor. The way we reach out beyond our perimeters here in blogland is a nice example of intellectual interplay. On good days, we might even expand each other's consciousness and spheres of influence. I'd call that a Valentine's day bonus.
Like everything, there has to be a healthy balance or you'll be so open you can't find your center or so closed no one can get in. When you're so closed nothing and no one can get through your perimeter to your spirit - at least sometimes - then you're imploding on yourself. That's the way people become black wholes sucking the life and joy out of everyone around them.
I'm not so sure how to break though the barriers some people set up to prevent an enlightened exchange of ideas. For the most part, it's easier and more relaxing to forget them and their barriers, and to avoid the event horizon of a black whole all together. Every now and then, we might chuck a rock or two at one of those closed souls hoping to let a little sunshine in. No one can ever change another person, but through our interactions we can have an impact that changes an individual's frame of reference. Perhaps that sounds like a lofty aspiration, but I try to take the high road on my personal vendettas.
In the case of my recent project over on The Bluestar Trail, I did not initiate anything that might be construed as a personal vendetta without consulting with The Clergy. I discussed the situation with JD from This Tumbleweed Life who is totally a preacher, and he recognized that I had gone too far on this trail to turn back now. That's not exactly a blessing, but JD is from Texas and he understands that a man's got to do what a man's got to do - especially when that man is a Menopausal Stoner.
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