|Why we can’t get it right once and for all||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)|
|Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2021 14:40:19 -0700 (PDT)|
A nerdy post for a Sunday but I’ve discovered why I resist the idea that you can define the rules of your community before you commit to move-in, or as one community did, write ALL the rules before too many people get involved. (“Too many” was more than three.) Each of us constructs our own reality that changes moment-to-moment with new information. People coming together in a new organization, assembling themselves in a new order, and taking a new direction, will be most successful if they can synchronize their realities—not conform them but make room for them. That can’t be done by setting down rules. Everyone has a different idea about what they are getting into and those ideas change throughout the process. "How Emotions Are Made” by psycho-neurologist Lisa Barrett presents the findings of current research on how the brain works — how the brain forms mind. It is a groundbreaking explanation of why the classical models of certainty and boundaries don’t work. Why you can’t get it right once and for all, or why the perfect answer hasn’t been worked out in 30 years of cohousing. It doesn’t work because the classical models of organization aren’t true. Our concepts and expectations (she calls them predictions) about the world are defined by each of our brains and are re-formed each time we bring them to consciousness (and probably even while we don’t). Re-forming means correcting and extending them. Each opinion, response, action, etc means re-assembling stored data—not just consulting our stored already polished responses. The brain starts this assembling and ordering before we are even aware of needing a response. My analogy, but I think it is accurate: Making a decision is like searching a database in which we have stored many terabytes of information in tiny bits and pieces. These bits are corrected and added from second to second because we perceive new information, form a new piece of emotional reality, and have new experiences. With each decision these bits are re-assembled in a new unique way to meet the current unique need or goal. Cohousing brings a ton of new experiences that have to be perceived and sorted out. Your brain is likely to come up with different responses are bound to change in every contact with the group, and certainly change over the years of building the community. Concepts of reality and solutions to problems will be re-perceived or re-ordered by each person many, many times. The synchronization of realities is important and takes time. You have to give your brain and everyone else's brain time to do that. A few decisions can be made on the basis of current information but writing them in stone is unlikely to be workable. Exploring and understanding realities is likely to be more fruitful. To the extent that considering rules does that, it can be a good practice. But it needs to be done in a way that enhances bonding, not sets up fences. The book is not an easy read but not impossibly technical. The ideas are discussed in a more precise vocabulary. (It aligns very nicely with Buddhist teachings about the self if you are familiar with those.) It’s the only book I’ve ever read in which I have 3 bookmarks in addition to strategically placed stickies and highlighting. Barrett gives so many examples that I get bored and want to move on so I have skipped whole chapters. Then find I need to go back and read them. It makes more sense when I understand why I need that much detail. "How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain" by Lisa Feldman Barrett Ph.D, Neuroscientist in the Psych department at Northeastern. https://amzn.to/39oR55L Sharon ——— Sharon Villines http://affordablecohousing.com affordablecohousing [at] groups.io
- Why we can’t get it right once and for all Sharon Villines, March 28 2021
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