One of my home work assignments is to answer a question of Dave Pollard's as to what is the utility of blogging. So here goes.
For me the utility of blogging is that it has helped me feel more alive and more human. This feeling of being alive is growing and I anticipate no foreseeable limit to the trajectory of awakening that I am experiencing.
1. My blog is my special space where I have been finding my voice. Maybe I had a voice when I was 6, but decades of "fitting in" to the expectations of my my family, of my school, of the corporate workplace caused me to lose it. I lost my voice so long ago that I forgot that I had one or what it sounded like. Like Dante I was lost in a dark wood. My true awakening began as I stated to blog. "In the middle of the road of my life, I awoke in a dark wood where the true way was lost". This special space, so private and yet so public, encouraged my voice and teased it into world again. What was the force that acted on me? I think that it is the feedback that is part of the space. As my voice became more Rob and less Robert, other people began to notice and encouraged Rob to come out to play more often.
2. As my voice returned, I began to notice who and what gave me energy and also what drained it. I was drawn to certain people in the 'sphere. How strange that this process is the opposite of what happens in the physical world. In this other space, we get to know the personality before the person. In this space the engagement can be gentle. A comment here and there leads to a look at who has visited. Maybe over a year contact grows in intensity. Then you have to meet this person. You start with a phone call or better Skype with all its presence. I have heard of no one who when they have met, has been disappointed. Until now all my friends and colleagues have been drawn from the small circle of my physical space. School, my neighborhood, the workplace etc. Now, my friends are drawn from the world. The chance of a better match for friends, colleagues and lovers is a powerful utility. Every morning is a joy to me now as I drop by and connect to this band of brothers and sisters. As I look into the future, my heart sings in the knowledge that these relationships will only strengthen and thicken. As I get to know Rob and these others more, my deep loneliness, my fear of of my own death ebbs away.
3. A return to work as a function of community and fellowship as opposed to serfdom. What I am experiencing is a great coalescing of interlocking communities in the 'sphere who are finding ways to work with each other. And what work! Work that is about enhancing life, bringing back the human, putting the community as the end goal. Work as it always used to be - work that enriches the soul, the place and the person. Look at Dina in India who has been a pivotal influence post Tsunami. Look at how the marketers like Johnnie, Jennifer and Hugh are on the road to truth. I too have my circles here in Charlottetown with Jevon and with Will and Jarrod. Cyn and I are also working on a project. I look at at the learning world with Brian, Jeremy, Karina, Harold and Chris.
So many other groups are forming like planetary dust into new workspaces around a sun that is drawing out our lost humanity into the light again.
So for me, this is the utility of blogging - that it is recreating the lost world of a humanity that is connected to itself and hence to everything.
Back to my opening remark about Christopher Alexander. In summary, he believes that since the advent of the Enlightenment, that put reason on a pedestal, that the human race has closed down its ability to be an integral part of nature. We have lost the ability to connect what we see with what we feel. We live in a purely mechanistic world.
Alexander sees evidence of this in how space is designed. He shows the reader the difference between space that degrades life and space that enhances it. Space that enhances life has a whole to it. Inside this whole are energetic centres that support each other. It is beyond me to go further right now - have a look at his writing for your self. But what strikes me is that blogging is all about a space that enhances life.
Some of his words -
The structure I identify as the foundation of all order is also personal. As we learn to understand it, we shall see that our own feeling, the feeling of what it is to be a person, rooted, happy, alive in oneself, straightforward, and ordinary, is itself inextricably connected with order. 22.
Real life. .. is comfortable, rough around the edges, smooth as if it had been rubbed together. This kind of life is the ordinary life which is not connected to high art or fashion. It has nothing to do with images. It occurs most deeply when things are simply going well, where we are having a good time, or when we are experiencing joy or sorrow – when we experience the real. 38.
.. ordinary enough, or profound enough, to feel alive in some degree. .. they are alive because they are – as far as possible - concept free... They are vigorous and straightforward, where the soul of the maker has entered the thing – or where the ordinary processes of daily life, uncontaminated by ideas or notions of what to do, has unfolded in a way that we accept very easily. These things make us comfortable because we recognize them as genuine. 51.
The 'sphere is a giant, maybe limitless, fractal space that offers the most private and the most public expression. All is connected at all scales. The patterns are recursive. As each point touches another it enhances and supports the other. The Cartesian world is the opposite. It separates. It separates us from our selves. It makes all the other. Work and home are in opposition. Man is in opposition to man and to all of nature.
Blogging is integrative. It will have massive subversive effects on the world as we know it. It is already going to bring down the walls of the top down corporate world as the marketers (Johnnie, Hugh and the gang) see so clearly. It is bringing down the media state. It will bring down the walls of our education system. It will put relationships back at the centre of health. It will change our political system. It will leave no stone unturned of the institutional world.
At its time of pinnacle greatness, I hear its doom
I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
I am beginning to believe that the great utility of blogging is that it a small but immensely powerful tool that has the potential to redeem us. For surely it is not me alone who is lost in a dark wood but mankind?
Paradise is surely a lost world of integration. Adam and Eve took up reason and lost their essential relationship with how they felt. They, and we their children, lost our innate wisdom.