Introduction to InitialDrafts


The Search
The Fog

This is an early and developing introduction for a printed version of InitialDrafts. It is here for review and comments. Although some of the text is developed, much of it is only raw notes or simple phrases but unformed sentence.

The following provides ideas on how to approach InitialDrafts. But this is not necessary. The entry to InitialDrafts can simply be to start reading. All that is necessary is to know that the meaning of any piece is the meaning found by the individual reader. There is no absolute meaning. The general nature of the writing and the almost no punctuation leaves open to the reader the finding of meaning and the recognition of self. Reading can begin anywhere in the pieces. The following text provides some ideas of a more guided approach. It also describes some of the philosophy of InitialDrafts.

There are no answers here, only questions. Even what first seems clear ideas, suggestions, or phrases – more pose questions to consider. This life, given humans as we are, allows for very little of answer. The species does not have the ability, though it often clings dearly to the deception it does. Human reason and perception are strongly limited. There are no answers here. But it has always been in the endless pursuit of question to determine a next step.

When we finally come to look for ourselves we find the search is in fog. We are ahead unformed and we come from a past only partially known while we live in a now to which our eyes are shaded or which is passing by so rapidly as to be but a blur. It is a fog which exists as such only in part, the rest we impose.

Caught between inherent fog and self imposed blinders, between the desire to know and the need to remain unaware; this is where we attempt to know, where we seek to find who we are.

But the fog only hides while we still feel. And the feelings drive us, sometimes with trepidation, to understand. We don’t always want to understand. We wonder, what might understanding reveal. It is better, sometimes we think, not to know. But feelings don’t think and by them, we are driven to hide or driven to understand.

We feel the angst of not knowing yet sensing. We sense a longing for something better where we are or for something better in who we are. We feel abilities within us but undeveloped, we feel limitations seen but unaccepted. We see the world we imagined and then see the world that is.

Perhaps the strongest feeling, to feel a rightness, a sensibility in who we are, what we are going through or suffering, the decisions we have made or are about to; this need for affirmation from within and without drives strongly. It drives sometimes towards an accurate seeing of what is and sometimes to layers of self creations. Before there can be affirmation, there must be knowledge and recognition of the self, the selves seeking affirmation.

From what we know, from what we sense, from what we feel as well as from so much that is unconscious; from these things which sometimes agree and sometimes conflict, from these things which we sometimes want to know and often want to hide from; from all this we decide to know better who and what we are. And. sometimes we decide not to.

Many things can prompt a search for self or to better understand self. Confusion. A need for affirmation. A need to test self in world. The shock of observing the effects of the unconscious. Driven by the desire to know me. Driven by the need to have some control of me. The experience of suddenly I am standing there and I see myself. I am at some end and I need to see my way out. I suddenly hear some encouragement, some affirmation and it all looks different. I hear a different way to be in life and I think I want to try that; wonder if before I had been mistaken, had been wrong.

Further, it is a greater question than often we like to admit, how much of self is within control of our choosing. And sometimes it seems we find a self that is somehow both self and not of self. How much are the decisions made by something unconscious. How much of what we decide is dictated by what we think we thought but actually was what we felt. Now we come to mind in body. We are sparked to enter the unconscious. We are sparked to see what is felt.

In the search for self, it matters what you do with what you find. It matters what you do with you you meet along the way. You will find parts you feel good about. And you will meet parts you will feel can no longer be allowed. In all cases what matters is whether what you find feels safe to reveal itself. If it does not, it will hide or it will fight back. Understanding and growing self is a long term process. In it the seeker and the things found must be able to work together. It is an odd thing that both the seeker and the things found are you. The working together of these internal aspects of self is wherein the crucial importance of acceptance, non judgemental observing, affirmation and patience. Even the parts you would utterly change must be seen and interacted with in ways that are productive. Parts you would change develop resistance as if independent. But approached with effective means history and habit and defenses can be overcome. Still it takes time.

So when we finally come to look at self, we also seek affirmation of who we are, acceptance of who we have been and encouragement toward who we might be. These things we deserve, these things are necessary. For there are wide and significant impacts in their absence. And no less do we need sometimes a thrust in the directions we would go and sometimes a push from where we were and who we have been; from what we sometimes no longer wish to be or where we can no longer be.

As we attempt to know self we find a self at many sometimes opposing levels. Self that is apparent, self that is unknown, self in need of other, self that must be alone. All these selves within this one I with each vying to act the loudest, or maybe expressing a need to remain the most hidden and quiet. If I am to know me, how much of myself must I know. If I am to be comfortable with me, what do I want to remain as is, what do I want to be other, what must be accepted, what must find gentle but firm encouragement to become what will be next.

InitialDrafts is a particular style of writing that intends to prompt recognition of the self that is within awareness and the exploration of the self that is at deeper unconscious levels. The reader who pursues this with pause and reflection can find many things. Among these are affirmation of who is self now, respectful questioning of who is self now, ideas for change, confidence in staying as is, a nuge to ask whether there might be change.

One unique aspect of InitialDrafts is that these things, these pieces of meaning are not read by the reader as things said by another person. Instead, InitialDrafts uses words to prompt discovery of what is within the reader. The meaning of these pieces is measured by the meaning, ideas, and effects within the reader.

In order to do this the writing is at the same time general and specific. The words and phrases are of a very general nature. They are meant to have no absolute meaning. They are meant to prompt what is within the reader, to conform to the reader, to become an experience where the reader recognizes themself. The writing uses little punctuation to allow the reader the greatest flexibility of individual reading. And where the words “I” or “me” are used, it is meant for the reader to be identifying themself.

This requires not only active involvement but sustained reflection as well, though the effort can and should come only in amounts and times as is possible for the individual reader.

InitialDrafts is meant to lead to a number of things that apply to the reader. These include recognition of who the reader already is. It also supports and facilitates the effort to find further and deeper understanding of self. To these things, the reading provides affirmation of both what is and what is sought for. The reader experiences “ah, yes”, this is me. The reader feels the sense of something deeper and unknown lying beneath.

There are many ways to approach InitialDrafts. The pieces can simply be approached directly. The pieces are effectively read when you read and ponder, then reflect, and then read again. And repeat this over time. Recognition and understanding deepens with reflection over time. And it changes with the changing circumstances and the changing person within time.

A person exists at many levels and many layers. A self is partially known and partially unknown. InitialDrafts provides an experience to provoke recognition of both the self that lies within awareness and the self that lies beneath immediate surface awareness. This experience comes of combining the readings themselves with a process of reflection. The aim is understanding, affirmation, challenge to continue ahead.

To reach these things, you may desire to simply read and reflect upon the pieces with no external input. This is an excellent approach. Other readers may look for a more guided approach. This could be guided interpretation, or a guided approach to reflection.

A good start is to first read a few pieces. If the desire is then to continue to read and to reflect on the readings alone, you should do just that.

What follows are thoughts on a guided approach.

InitialDrafts is meant to encourage and to facilitate in two realms, exploration of self and affirmation of self. The exploration of self is at two levels, the self at the apparent surface that is known and exploration of self that is unconscious and or undiscovered. In the exploration of self, there is recognition of self and there is search for self. In the realm of affirmation is confirmation of parts of us and support for courage to address the other parts. The efforts are difficult and crucial. We begin with the exploration, the search for self.

Life in its totally is a thing of tremendous complexity. And while many pieces can be known to some degree there remains mystery in the whole. And even of the pieces one comes to understand, there is after that first understanding innumerable layers wherein lies deeper understanding. And all this evolves in time. Understanding of a thing today may yield to an entirely different comprehension tomorrow. All this is so of not just life in total. The difficulties of understanding exist all the more immediately within self, within I.

When we finally come to look for self we find the search is in fog. It is a fog that cannot be wished away or pushed away. The difficulty of knowing is in part given by the complexity of life. It is difficult to pierce in part because so much of self is in unconscious. But in part we can impose even more to the fog from how we perceive and approach the mystery. Or how we do not.

How then do we see in fog, how iis the fog to be pierced. We seek understanding, ideas, memories, projections of what may be. If one rushes ahead, there is often collision. Pieces can shatter and become unrecognized. Even if you reach what you headed out for, the rushing ahead affects the thing sought. A collision may destroy the thing sought or the forced rapid movement didn’t put yourself in a position to see. The fog requires a combination of our abilities to perceive. And it is not just a combination of senses, but our other perceptual abilities as well. This includes intellectual ones but also feeling and memory. And also listening to the unconscious.

How can we hear what is unconscious. Several ways, all that revolve around observing. Unconscious may be unknown to the frontal mind, but unconscious has it’s effect. It is what makes it so powerful and sometimes dangerous. So we may not know it but we can watch for it’s effects. By seeing what it makes us do, we recognize it and begin to have a control of it.

Observing and reflecting are the key. It is by learning to watch, to watch alone and wait while only listening. The answers are not found but waited for. They come when they are ready not when we are ready for them. More painfully, they come not when we are far past ready for a particular discomfort or suffering or angst to end. We can only pay attention.

It is attention that leads to reflection. Attention leads to awareness that demands reflection. This is tacit knowing, then intellectual consideration, with a series of affective judgements that something has come to be known, as what is.

But what is it we observe and reflect about. Some of it we become curious about in the course of life and choose to think about. Some of it comes from discomfort we feel but know not the source of and wonder where it comes from. Some of it comes from the advanced good sense of knowing we must always be in a posture of observing and reflecting. Other than what we know we should think about, how do we find what to think about. It is here we enter InitialDrafts.

InitialDrafts is an articulation of mind thinking and feeling, of feeling acting as thought. It is written in such a way as for you to recognize your own thinking, your own feeling, your own acting. It is written to evoke specifics but in a general way so that you apply your meanings. The words lead to and providing notions, ideas, and images of what is inside you.

There are many paths to knowing. One can be envisioned as in three stages that proceed ahead as well as intertwine.
1. There is a tacit, intuitive knowing before words.
2. There is a deepened, reflective knowing that comes of words.
3. That brings to a recognition of self and world knowing beyond words.

Expanded (to be further developed)
1. There is a tacit, intuitive knowing before words.
This is the realm of sense.
2. There is a deepened, reflective knowing that comes of words.
Here are rational ideas and conclusions.
3. That brings to a recognition of self and world knowing beyond words.
There is knowledge that goes beyond words that words cannot convey.

It is tempting to remain in one of these stages. It is tempting to complete just one or a few cycles of the three. But the world goes ever on and the self is ever moving. The deepest knowing is ever reached for and the stages and cycle are entered again and again. Each knowing may be deeper than before. But even more is ahead. Yet the cycle is one that can be entered and paused in as time, strength, and abilities allow.

InitialDrafts is a prompter of the knowing that comes of words. Attracted to it are those coming from a first knowing that may be more in sense than in detail. Those people who have a sense that something of importance is speaking unclearly but speaking. Words provide outlines and character to the senses that start tacitly. Often the best way is little phrases. Thus the form of the pieces. The phrases go round and stick and lead to the last, knowing beyond words.

What good is knowing if all there is is knowing but the thing doesn’t change. That is a difficult question. And to someone in the middle of suffering, there is often little that can provide relief. But is a way can be found to surrender to, to accept the process, it is found, in a miraculous way that merely understanding itself does provide relief to the emotional suffering. And mere understanding somehow leads, when not forced, to ideas to try.

The process can also provide a solace. This is by seeing the feelings as real, seeing they exist for others too, hearing it is ok to feel this. This is what is affirmation.

Where is meaning found.
How to read the pieces. How without looking for the meaning, for a meaning. To let some meaning bubble up; from what is already within and down deep. How to come back to a piece and let meaning of the new time and circumstance come. How to not judge self while doing all this.

Piece meaning that comes immediately and that which comes upon reflection. What is the “it” a particular piece means. This goes to layers of understanding. There is no “it”. And while initial feeling, initial understating is often a deeply meaningful intuition, there is always layers. Often the best understanding cannot occur till after long and sometimes even painful reflection. Life is not simple. And it takes tremendous courage and effort to see, to accept, and to act with awareness as to how much is unknown, to step as best as can be in now, while applying as much effort as possible to make a further clarified step next.

There are many different emotional and intellectual topics covered in the different pieces. At the same time, one piece usually involves multiple topics. And the same topic is brought up in different ways across different pieces. Like life, a theme resides in many stories. And many stories must be lived through and pondered on the way to understanding. And for deeper understanding to develop, there are repeated cycles of these experiences and their reflection.

So it cannot be InitialDrafts that points the reader to pieces that apply. It is the reader who discovers which pieces hold meaning for them. And it is the reader who determines what the applicable meanings are. Be open to topics you may not have thought applied. An individual may not be aware of the variety of themes, ideas, topics that apply given what may be unconscious or at various stages of reflection. And be open to the changing meaning and impact over time. Again like life, how we see, what we see, and what we are able to do changes over time. The same story, the same ideas, the same experiences looks, feels and is different over time.

The place to start is wherever you want. The time to start is whenever you wonder and have the ability to remain in the fog.