Slamming An Evolving Door

WARNING: Don’t read this post…

If you’re planning on watching, or are already watching but haven’t got to that bit yet in episode 9 or 10 or maybe 11, a Chinese TV romcom-drama known on Netflix as Well-Intended Love as I shall be spoiling it for you, by chatting about it and one of the most awesome plot twists I’ve seen in a long time which genuinely had me going WTAF just happened, at some point herein.

Now that’s out of the way… what now?

Fandango of This That And The Other pingbacked the post I wrote yesterday because his latest Provocative Question – Fandango’s Provocative Question #25 – is inspired by one of the items, #8, on a list which I shared from this article – Learning Mind: What Is Existential Intelligence and 10 Signs Yours Is Above Average by Kirstie Pursey

10 signs your existential intelligence is above average:
1. You spend hours lost in thought, contemplating various aspects of human existence.
2. When asked a question, you always look at the bigger picture and not just the details.
3. If you need to make a decision, you like to take every eventuality into account to see how the decision will affect you and others.
4. You are very interested in philosophical and religious debates.
5. You are interested in the morals and values of society and politics.
6. When you meet someone, it is important that they share the same values as you if you are to be friends.
7. You often consider the nature of consciousness.
8. You regularly wonder what happens to us after death as well as where we were before we were born.
9. Others find you quite intense at times.
10. You find it hard to switch off and enjoy frivolous activities.

– excerpt from Learning Mind: What Is Existential Intelligence and 10 Signs Yours Is Above Average by Kirstie Pursey

That article was discussing one of the intelligences which Howard Gardner identified when he was working on his Theory of Multiple Intelligences.

When I shared that list in my post I was simply sharing something I found interesting. I didn’t explain exactly how or why I found interesting (other than mention that it prompted me to make a mental note to check out Howard Gardner and his work).

I’m not a fan of lists like that. But I do find them interesting because of what I perceive in them, what they make me ponder about… such as the human practice of making lists like that.

One of the things I found interesting about that list (and the article where I found it which gives it context) was how it was phrased and used.

It always bothers me when people do that whole – How high is your IQ – type of thing. I sometimes enjoy being bothered… because it prompts me to investigate what it is that’s really bothering me – sometimes it helps me to clarify a personal problem, an attitude which needs a health check, an ego issue which is way passed its date of usefulness.

I noticed in the comments on Fandango’s FPQ post that someone asked: “Does anyone wonder what happens to a duck when it dies? Or a mosquito? Or a carrot?

The answer to that is: Yes. People do wonder these things. Scientific research spends a lot of time and resources investigating wonderings of those things.

It’s also worth wondering if there’s a scientific reason why “we humans think that we are so fucking special” – also from the comment on Fandango’s post. Maybe the answer to that will be revealed once the Hard Problem of Consciousness is solved.

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

― The Dalai Lama

Fandango’s FPQ #25: Where do you believe you were you before you were born and what do you believe will happen to you after you die?

I don’t really believe anything (I don’t believe that either).

I grew up with narcissists for parents, and one of their favourite pastimes was to find out what you believed and then destroy it.

Narcissists can be very valuable teachers…

One of the lessons I learned was that I don’t actually need to believe in anything to exist.

I like to keep my mind open until my brains fall out.

I quite like the idea that there is a finite amount of energy and matter in the universe. This finite amount of energy and matter appears to be infinite because it’s a vast amount of finite stuff. This stuff recycles itself.

My version of that is – Someone makes a table. The structure of that table came from a bunch of other stuff which was unmade. Perhaps it’s made from bits of other furniture. Perhaps a tree was cut down and the wood processed for that purpose or maybe someone just took a big chunk of cut trunk and said – That’s a table!

I’m made of cells and other organic material – energy and matter. That energy and matter recycled itself to make me, and will recycle itself to make something and/or someone else when I’m done here. Maybe I’ll fertilise a tree which will become a table.

Speaking of trees…

That pic above is a close up of the base of a beech tree trunk after loose bark was removed. It is a beech tree in my garden which hasn’t “leafed”. It has buds but those buds haven’t opened to reveal the unfurling of leaves.

While this beech tree usually leafs later than the other beech and other trees… and has its Autumn fall also later. This time I think it’s been invaded by Honey Fungus. Beech trees are supposedly resistant to Honey Fungus, but… this particular beech is in the death zone of my garden.

That’s a bit dramatic… there’s much plant life thriving there so it’s not exactly true that it’s a death zone. However the Honey Fungus has claimed the lives of a tree and a shrub since I’ve lived here, and since there are quite a few old tree stumps in the area, this HF has been at work longer than I’ve lived here.

Honey Fungus invades the roots of a plant and slowly strangles it to death, cutting off nutrient supply. The year before it kills a plant, that plant might fruit, flower and appear to flourish more bountifully than ever before – it’s rather poetic really, the plant knows it is dying and in its last breath of life it lives to its fullest, expressing itself more intensely than it ever has.

Melanie of Sparks From A Combustible Mind in her latest Share Your World asked: Do you consider yourself a pessimist or an optimist?

My answer is that I can do either, and don’t feel the need to stick with one or the other.

I think the beech tree is done for. But maybe it will be fine and I am wrong about it. It remains to be seen.

As for the Honey Fungus… I agree with Monty Don (I think it was him who said it), it’s a natural part of the garden too, it is nature at work doing its thing.

I seem to have a fine HF specimen which is thriving. Perhaps it will become like that super fungus specimen with an exact location which must never be revealed.

Melanie also asks in her SYW: Can War ever be just?

Trying to get rid of Honey Fungus is very difficult and requires some drastic measures, similar to Agent Orange (remember that) or an A-Bomb, which would probably kill more plants, lots of insects, perhaps animals too, in my garden, doing more damage than the HF itself would do. And there’s no guarantee that the drastic cure will solve the HF problem. So I’m not going to do that.

In some ways what the HF is doing is evolving this garden. Testing the mettle of the other plants – can they protect themselves or will they be invaded. And it’s challenging the humans who live here, perhaps it is asking – how really in tune with nature and what is natural are you?

Melanie asks: Are you health conscious?

I have to admit that the idea of the Honey Fungus and everything which it brings with it is rich with food for thought.

I can be rather remiss about my physical health, partly because my body seems to do better when I don’t try to interfere with it and its system of taking care of itself, but when it comes to what I feed my mind I tend to be rather conscious about it.

I do feed my mind a lot of what other people consider to be “junk”… it’s not junk to me and my mind.

Melanie also asks: Think about the people you love most in your life, what do you do for them?

Last night, I was feeding what could be considered “junk” to my mind in the form of a TV drama. The story is mainly about a couple falling in love. It’s very cute and fluffy… with a bit of psycho thrown in.

One character decided that the main couple should be torn asunder because she loved the male and had to have him. He and another character kept telling her that people aren’t dolls or toys you have to have because you want them, and that love is not something you force upon others and force people to have for you because you want them. Nor should loving someone = you owning them, controlling them, deciding what’s best for them because it is what you’ve decided is best for you, drugging them with a hynoptic on a regular basis and making them forget the person they’re in love with so that you can make your move and become their loved one.

I thought that character was the token baddie, doing crazy shit which would bring the main couple closer together in their love for each other, but no…

Apparently the writers of this show like to go where other Asian dramas don’t go – they made the male lead even more of a psycho than hypnotic drug doll girl. They led us to believe that while he was very repressed, self-contained, controlling, and a ruthless business mogul… he had a soft, warm, caring heart of gold.

But last night it was revealed that the way our main couple met… wasn’t quite what we thought it was, and that he wasn’t who we thought he was either.

In the very first episode the female lead is diagnosed with leukemia, and the male lead turns out to be the only perfect donor match for a cure. She worked very hard to convince him to be her donor, and save her while he played hard to get – who is this weird woman and why is she bothering me. He eventually relented, on the condition that she marry him. He was too busy working to get married, but his grandma whom he loves was ill and wanted to see him settled down in marriage – a contract marriage was arranged.

Except she never had leukemia in the first place – she had anemia. He’d fallen in love with her at first sight – she accidentally got in his car. Then he saw her at the hospital and decided he had to have her. He managed to alter her test results to give her a diagnosis of leukemia instead of anemia, and have himself put on a list as her perfect donor match… because he loved her.

Somehow regular dating and relationship stuff wasn’t an option for him.

I’m still reeling from the bombshell dropping – I have no idea where they’re going to go with it now. How can they keep the main couple together after that? My mind is enjoying this “junk” food.

People do do insane things when they’re in love (I packed up my things, got on a plane and chased my partner across the Atlantic), especially when trying to win someone’s heart, but this is… WTAF!?!

It’s an awesome plot twist for a TV show, but in RL that kind of thing is a definite no.

Narcissists do shit like that all the time – and that’s why we hate narcissists, or at least partly why we hate them. We also hate them because they inspire within us a lot of self-hate, often because we once loved them or still love them in spite of everything they’ve done to us, put us through, and we can’t wrap our minds around that.

What do I do for the people I love? Mainly I try not to be a narcissist.

I give them plenty of space in the relationship to be themselves, be their beings, do their doings, experience their experiences, discover their discoveries, and I listen to them say their sayings even if they may say something which conflicts with who I’d like them to be for me, what I’d like for them to do for me, and so on.

All of that could be summed up with the word – respect – respect them, especially during those times when you feel inclined to disrespect them because your ego is rearing its head up and demanding something.

And if your loved one doesn’t love you too – you can’t make them love you. Respect their stance even if it hurts you. Would you want someone you didn’t love to force you to love them?

Ideally we should never harm those we love… ideals are rather lovely, but often impractical and impossible to live up to.

solved quotation puzzle from All-Star Puzzles

Do I think I have above average Existential Intelligence? Nope. Certainly not based on that list.

I’d hazard a guess that Howard Gardner wouldn’t be too pleased that his theory was being used that way.

“While we may continue to use the words smart and stupid, and while IQ tests may persist for certain purposes, the monopoly of those who believe in a single general intelligence has come to an end. Brain scientists and geneticists are documenting the incredible differentiation of human capacities, computer programmers are creating systems that are intelligent in different ways, and educators are freshly acknowledging that their students have distinctive strengths and weaknesses.”


― Howard Gardner, Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century

But maybe he doesn’t care – it is often an intelligent approach to take, to not care too much about how people use what you say.

Do I think I’m “so fucking special“? Nope. Thanks to the teachings of Narcissists I’ve become very avoidant about thinking that way. Whenever someone else thinks I’m special… I tend to run away from them silently screaming.

Narcissists love to tell you how special you are and make you feel super duper special to them… and then once they’ve set you up on that pedestal, it’s time for a mighty fall, they topple you and let you know just how not special you are. You’re a huge disappointment, a failure, a loser and whatever else will get under your skin and dig itself in with sharp spikes… like the candiru.

It’s very tedious and exhausting, best to stay out of it and not care about it.

That’s it… any questions?

5 comments

  1. Nope. Nothing special here. In fact, most major disasters are a direct result of my inability to do anything correctly. Thanks mom!
    Compliments are difficult to accept. They are the lure in the trap. Do we ever really escape childhood or does it follow us like a shadow? Am I being too existential?😂

    That plot twist is great! I love watching movies or shows that have WTAF moments. Memento was a mind blower for me.

    Like

    • OMG MEMENTO!!! What a superb movie ❤ I got very confused watching it but loved every confused minute 🙂 Really liked the idea of tattooing notes to self because I'm very forgetful.

      I never do anything properly. And those times when I do it still doesn't work out as it was supposed to. I had a very big lesson in that a few years ago – things actually worked out once I stopped trying to do things properly. Trying to do things properly caused more mess and was costly. That's why now I've embraced the idea of being a mistake-making mess. It's my "superpower" so why not just go with it. There is actually quite a bit of subtle personal power in going with being a messy mistake-maker, you don't have to play that human game of being right, perfect, etc, which is very tiresome, you can never win it, and it makes people so stressed, cranky and mean.

      Blogging pushed me to get over my difficulties in accepting compliments – they are a lure into a trap, but not always. At first I kept getting into weird non-arguments with people online because I wouldn't accept their compliments. So I eventually challenged myself to just say "thank you' and stop saying "thank you, no thank you". I'm still wary of compliments and will probably always be, but that's okay.

      There's a great quote: “If you live off a man's compliments, you'll die from his criticism.” ― Cornelius Lindsey

      Mostly though when people give compliments, it's a gift they want to give – the strings attached are friendly. And you give a gift to them by accepting it, what you do with it once you've accepted it is up to you.

      Perhaps we're not supposed to escape our childhood or the shadow, but rather we're supposed to absorb it and transmute it into something else. Or something like that 🙂

      I love your comments, Angie!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Another exploration of the fantastic from our resident ‘brain-iac” (and yes dear that’s a compliment. If you want to accept it, that’s fine,but if you run, silently screaming, at the notion that others find you ‘special’; well that’s fine too). Thanks for Sharing Your World and answering the FPQ and the peep into personality types all rolled up into one great post. I can count on you for enlightenment if nothing else. Although, like one of my favorite foods sometimes..(the seven ‘layer’ burrito) there’s always a LOT more to what you write than might seem to be there. Thanks!! 😀

    Like

    • Thank you very much, Melanie 🙂

      Ha! Look who’s talking! I’ve seen you running from compliments refusing to accept them. You’ve written quite a few posts wherein you’ve argued with yourself when you’ve given yourself a compliment. There’s something about compliments which tends poke and prod us where we feel vulnerable, which is sometimes the best kind of provocative question that shows us the world within which we share with others 😉

      Like

Comments are closed.