I owe a lot of what I’ve written – or else a lot to the style in which it’s written – to a very small circle of people.
I just noticed that they’re mostly men. I don’t know what that says. An effect of patriarchy, probably.
That very small circle includes: Erving Goffman, sociologist and dramaturgical analyst (life is a performance); Eric Berne, psychologist and transactional analyst (parent, adult, and child ego states; also games people play); Winston Churchill, bulldog and apostle of determination; Mahatma Gandhi, enigma and apostle of love; Werner Erhard, perhaps more than all the others combined, ontologist and apostle of a world that works for everyone.
Erving Goffman compared life to theatrical performances. He taught me to see everyone as playing a role, with pre-scripted lines and gestures (arising from vasanas or core issues).
His most succinct book is The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Groundbreaking for me, who has always been a student of patterns in human behavior.
My metaphor of a “constructed self” is derived from his work. Not original.
Eric Berne first helped me to see the reasoning behind some of the games we all play. He was the first psychologist I read who was less moved by moral or religious explanations of things and more moved by what he actually looked at and saw.
How was I to escape something about all forms of relationship that rubbed me the wrong way if I didn’t even know what it was. Berne showed me. It was the games, rackets, and numbers that we all engage in to get what we want or avoid what we don’t want.
We seem to ignore the law of free will, thinking that others should be the way we want them to be. And it goes on so far below everyday consciousness, we have to dig it out with a garden hoe. Way down there. Yes, that feeling of power over and power under. We hate being controlled and yet we try to control others. It’s a paradox.
Will it take a (r)evolution to get us to stop?
Winston Churchill because I’m a pillar (1) and I admire his dogged stick-to-itness. His uncompromising eye on the future and on victory, in a time of war (we are not in a time of war). “Hitler knows … uhhh… that he must break us in this island, or lose the war.” I can’t stop watching videos of him, I’m so inspired by his determination, his valor.
In a writing class, we were advised once to take our favorite author and transcribe pages from their books. I chose Churchill.
I’d be happy if I reached levels of peace and love similar to Gandhi. He’s the leader I’d most like to be like, if I led. And all lightworkers are leaders in their chosen field. If they’re not, they’re shortchanging themselves and everyone who’s invested in them.
And Werner Erhard. If I could look back on my life and review my accomplishments and feel as satisfied and accomplished as as I think Werner will, I’d view my life as totally successful.
Werner studied the works of a lot of people, though not the same as I did. Curiously, he knew everything they knew and a hundred times more. Such is the power of enlightenment over book-learning.
I now see that he lived in a higher dimension (which one I have no idea). He knew higher-dimensional love and lived from it every day. That’s how he knew that the world could be made to work for everyone. Higher-dimensional love will assure us of that.
He had a mind that was capable of the most incredible views of things, distinctions that arose from them, and ways of knitting it all together that I’ve ever seen. (2)
I’m not sure I could find words to capture my indebtedness to him – and to all of the other stars in my pantheon. And I feel driven to acknowledge it.
The penny has not yet dropped. Connections have not been made among what they all said. It sits as disconnected bits of information, like a card file.
I haven’t yet integrated it all – plus Krishna, Jesus, Adyashanti, Bodhidharma, refugee law, and world history.
The penny has not dropped.
(1) A pillar has the agreement to stay till the end and push the remaining latecomers through the portal, from this side.
(2) John Enright came close to him for insightfulness and John too was enlightened. See Enright, Enlightening Gestalt.