Boundaries

October 13, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Category: Activism, Art, Auto-Biography, Play

As an activist with an evolutionary focus, there is a particular way I go about engaging in intervention.  Evolution is all about connection.  Experiencing unfolding at multiple levels (personally, societally, biologically), I don’t feel a compulsion to make something happen, to cause change, to struggle for an equality.  I am not wrestling with opponents.  What I feel is an attraction to contribute to those places where my efforts can have an effect.  I experience relationship in the places where I intervene.  Like engaging in art or writing, there is an experience that I’m part of a process larger than myself.  An idea, an action, a strategic arc with related tactics draws me in as if it were seeking my attention.  Just as there is that ongoing conversation between my conscious and unconscious mind, there is an identical conversation between my conscious/unconscious and my environment that murmurs to me, like an always present river, about what it would be fun to do.

I’ve spent much of my life unconsciously sensitizing myself to these river whisperings as I’ve sought ways to transcend conventional barriers.  If in college I could convince two professors to allow me to keep a journal as part of the requirements for a course, I’d make notes for both courses in a single narrative.  For example, I merged two independent studies, children’s literature and clay sculpture, in one journal for two grades.

I typically read at least six nonfiction books at the same time, usually from several different disciplines, jumping from book to book, letting ideas rub up against each other, revealing patterns not normally related.

Over the course of 30 years, I’ve looked for ways to make a living from passions and turned vocations into something I adore doing.  Back and forth between work and play, I feel compelled to interconnect what feels compelling with what I need to do to make money.  I’ve made nine different career attempts over those three decades, seeking ways to make making money fun.

As a cartoonist, one way I went exploring for comic ideas was to run mental comparisons of two seemingly unrelated things or concepts, find a specific bridge and juxtapose similarities where none would intuitively exist.

This process can be difficult on relationships.  My wife and kids end up working in my businesses.  Boundaries become blurred as husband, wife and kids, wearing different hats at different times, are required to behave in cooperation with different frames, depending on the circumstance.

Clearly, much of this blurring of boundaries is more neurotic than artistic.  Professional intervention is sometimes required to sort out the various overlapping waters as attention is paid to keeping rivers within their banks.  When cooperation transforms into symbiosis, the benefits of boundary blurring disappears.

Still, the act of blurring boundaries and removing barriers seems to be a reflexive urge.  Over the course of a lifetime, examining the tinker in tinker toy, the connections between the nodes of our existence, I’ve become sensitive to change and the boundaries between the scales of our experiences.

I experience science, evolution, politics, art and spirituality as connected.  I experience deity as secularized by specific processes of evolutionary transformation while at the same time I feel science spiritualized when observing/feeling that there is no such thing as alone.

When we let barriers disappear, the world around us becomes clearer.  As an activist, this means I am not fighting for change.  I have no enemies.  I’m listening for those words the river makes.


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