I'm Not Good With This Touchy-Feely Stuff, But...

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    Sep 21, 2014 5:46 PM GMT
    I want to start this topic off with a story, a parable, if you will.
    I was outside not long ago, sitting on my patio, enjoying my sunlit, stress-free day off, and observing my surroundings. It was then I was struck with a startling realization.

    I was suddenly aware of all of the wildlife present; insects, birds, and squirrels and shit around me, as two squirrels in view chased each other along the back fence, alive with the call of the wild, behaving only as their bodies told them to.

    How had I forgotten to do the same?
    How had I become so unaware of myself?
    The mating rituals of other animals are not unlike ours. They follow specific patterns that can communicate an array of feelings.

    I feel a sudden disconnect with my natural self, my id. Perhaps the draw of staying alive lies in the desire -- the hope -- to one day return to our "natural" selves... the ease of self-expression which once coursed through our veins, that was all that we were, and now it seems burdensome, even embarrassing to recall.

    It was then I realized -- I'm not out of the game because how I look. It's because I'm not communicating. I just forgot how to, somewhere along the line.

    My only explanation is that culture and society have a way of systematically stripping of us of our humanity, in a way, shaming people out of their skins.

    I thought this might be good advice to anyone struggling with self-expression and extreme introversion, which I think constitutes a lot of us here.
    It's definitely a personality trait, but anyone can learn how to express themselves. It's about finding your skin again and forgetting the transience of life for awhile.

    Reminds me somewhat of this old legend:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selkie
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    Sep 21, 2014 6:27 PM GMT
    I have learned to be careful of what I express because I have lost sight of myself in the process of expressing whatever is on my mind. But expression itself is a spectacular thing.
  • Unnamed6

    Posts: 1141

    Sep 21, 2014 10:38 PM GMT
    teroh saidI want to start this topic off with a story, a parable, if you will.
    I was outside not long ago, sitting on my patio, enjoying my sunlit, stress-free day off, and observing my surroundings. It was then I was struck with a startling realization.

    I was suddenly aware of all of the wildlife present; insects, birds, and squirrels and shit around me, as two squirrels in view chased each other along the back fence, alive with the call of the wild, behaving only as their bodies told them to.

    How had I forgotten to do the same?
    How had I become so unaware of myself?
    The mating rituals of other animals are not unlike ours. They follow specific patterns that can communicate an array of feelings.

    I feel a sudden disconnect with my natural self, my id. Perhaps the draw of staying alive lies in the desire -- the hope -- to one day return to our "natural" selves... the ease of self-expression which once coursed through our veins, that was all that we were, and now it seems burdensome, even embarrassing to recall.

    It was then I realized -- I'm not out of the game because how I look. It's because I'm not communicating. I just forgot how to, somewhere along the line.

    My only explanation is that culture and society have a way of systematically stripping of us of our humanity, in a way, shaming people out of their skins.

    I thought this might be good advice to anyone struggling with self-expression and extreme introversion, which I think constitutes a lot of us here.
    It's definitely a personality trait, but anyone can learn how to express themselves. It's about finding your skin again and forgetting the transience of life for awhile.

    Reminds me somewhat of this old legend:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selkie


    This thread of yours probably deserves a better reply from me, but one must be careful at expressing one's vulnerable self when one is within a sea of people who have poor intentions. Though I'm a recluse, I'm generally a person of free expression and uninhibitedness but that's because I already come from a position of strength. Have that strength somehow and perhaps one could have "their skin again" and doesn't need culture and society, but otherwise being free without that strength, and as Thomas Hobbes put it, nature was really "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short", and as any episode of the Equalizer would demonstrate.
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    Sep 22, 2014 11:35 PM GMT
    sounds like u had an epiphany.. one of those moments in life where everything just seems to make sense icon_smile.gif
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    Sep 23, 2014 6:51 AM GMT
    Wikipedia. LMAO.

    Not that Wiki is without some value. It's my go-to source when I wasn't to find out which celeb turned queer or died in a car wreck this week.
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    Sep 23, 2014 8:48 AM GMT
    One profound difference between us and the animals (and the rest of the creaturely nature) is our ability to ascribe our relationships and interactions "sacred" meaning. In this sense, we are much more than our bodies, conscious of our soul and spirit. When we forget how different we are from the rest of the living creatures, perhaps we rob ourselves of our true humanity. Expressing ourselves is an exploration of these deeper meanings that makes us unique.
  • Trauts

    Posts: 1012

    Sep 23, 2014 10:18 AM GMT
    I do agree that sometimes communication needs practice. What I can relate to your post are the times when I get that "forgotten how to socialise" feeling, if I coop myself up and stay away from people because of work. Then when I get out again, it takes a while for me to adjust to socialising without being as awkward as possible.
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    Sep 23, 2014 1:44 PM GMT
    TerraFirma saidOne profound difference between us and the animals (and the rest of the creaturely nature) is our ability to ascribe our relationships and interactions "sacred" meaning. In this sense, we are much more than our bodies, conscious of our soul and spirit. When we forget how different we are from the rest of the living creatures, perhaps we rob ourselves of our true humanity. Expressing ourselves is an exploration of these deeper meanings that makes us unique.


    Agreed.
    I love animals (minus the few insect phobias) and believe they should be treated humanely but I never believed that humans and animals are equal.
    There is just so much more complexity to a human than just intelligence that animals just don't have.
    More or less they are held captive by their natural instincts.
    As long as influence exists, change exists.
    It is the reason why I believe anybody is capable of change as long as they actually want it. People's personalities can be one way and then later in life be completely opposite.
    An animal will always be just what it is.
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    Sep 23, 2014 1:48 PM GMT
    teroh saidI want to start this topic off with a story, a parable, if you will.
    I was outside not long ago, sitting on my patio, enjoying my sunlit, stress-free day off, and observing my surroundings. It was then I was struck with a startling realization.

    I was suddenly aware of all of the wildlife present; insects, birds, and squirrels and shit around me, as two squirrels in view chased each other along the back fence, alive with the call of the wild, behaving only as their bodies told them to.

    How had I forgotten to do the same?
    How had I become so unaware of myself?
    The mating rituals of other animals are not unlike ours. They follow specific patterns that can communicate an array of feelings.

    I feel a sudden disconnect with my natural self, my id. Perhaps the draw of staying alive lies in the desire -- the hope -- to one day return to our "natural" selves... the ease of self-expression which once coursed through our veins, that was all that we were, and now it seems burdensome, even embarrassing to recall.

    It was then I realized -- I'm not out of the game because how I look. It's because I'm not communicating. I just forgot how to, somewhere along the line.

    My only explanation is that culture and society have a way of systematically stripping of us of our humanity, in a way, shaming people out of their skins.

    I thought this might be good advice to anyone struggling with self-expression and extreme introversion, which I think constitutes a lot of us here.
    It's definitely a personality trait, but anyone can learn how to express themselves. It's about finding your skin again and forgetting the transience of life for awhile.

    Reminds me somewhat of this old legend:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selkie



    Very insightful post and good to see something on here with a little depth. I agree with you 100%.
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    Sep 23, 2014 1:51 PM GMT
    MartyredNeons said
    TerraFirma saidOne profound difference between us and the animals (and the rest of the creaturely nature) is our ability to ascribe our relationships and interactions "sacred" meaning. In this sense, we are much more than our bodies, conscious of our soul and spirit. When we forget how different we are from the rest of the living creatures, perhaps we rob ourselves of our true humanity. Expressing ourselves is an exploration of these deeper meanings that makes us unique.


    Agreed.
    I love animals (minus the few insect phobias) and believe they should be treated humanely but I never believed that humans and animals are equal.
    There is just so much more complexity to a human than just intelligence that animals just don't have.
    More or less they are held captive by their natural instincts.
    As long as influence exists, change exists.
    It is the reason why I believe anybody is capable of change as long as they actually want it. People's personalities can be one way and then later in life be completely opposite.
    An animal will always be just what it is.


    You assume so much about other species you know very little about. We are learning more and more about the complexity of animals every day. We now know they are capable of things we though impossible just a few years ago. When I was a kid, if you said a gorilla could learn sign language or an elephant could paint a realistic painting you would have been laughed at.
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    Sep 23, 2014 1:52 PM GMT
    I feel as if our devices and our dependence thereupon contributes a great deal to this lack of awareness. Subtleties like a slight change in the weather, or a shift in facial expression, are lost on us when our faces are in our screens. I'm no better than anybody else in this regard.

    I'm (very slowly) reading a somewhat amusing book called Hamlet's Blackberry which encourages the reader to make time like you did to just be in the moment and truly observe what's around you.
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    Sep 23, 2014 3:39 PM GMT
    Scruffypup said
    MartyredNeons said
    TerraFirma saidOne profound difference between us and the animals (and the rest of the creaturely nature) is our ability to ascribe our relationships and interactions "sacred" meaning. In this sense, we are much more than our bodies, conscious of our soul and spirit. When we forget how different we are from the rest of the living creatures, perhaps we rob ourselves of our true humanity. Expressing ourselves is an exploration of these deeper meanings that makes us unique.


    Agreed.
    I love animals (minus the few insect phobias) and believe they should be treated humanely but I never believed that humans and animals are equal.
    There is just so much more complexity to a human than just intelligence that animals just don't have.
    More or less they are held captive by their natural instincts.
    As long as influence exists, change exists.
    It is the reason why I believe anybody is capable of change as long as they actually want it. People's personalities can be one way and then later in life be completely opposite.
    An animal will always be just what it is.


    You assume so much about other species you know very little about. We are learning more and more about the complexity of animals every day. We now know they are capable of things we though impossible just a few years ago. When I was a kid, if you said a gorilla could learn sign language or an elephant could paint a realistic painting you would have been laughed at.


    That's what I mean though, it's all taught they will not ever feel inspiration to follow these pursuits. They learn it because we teach them that, but it's behavioural and not because they actually have a 'passion' to do these things.
    At the end of the day, you can teach them skills and tricks and when left alone they'll just revert back to being an animal. Never heard of an elephant painting, I'm pretty sure it was just taught to hold a brush and smear paint.
    I don't think there was a particular motivation behind the elephant painting other than a human teaching it, and it seeking a reward for following a direction.
    Regardless, once the elephant is left alone I highly doubt it will independently go to a canvas and begin painting.
    It'll just do what an elephant does.
    I'm not questioning animals intelligence, that's why I said there is more complexities to humans than just intelligence that animals naturally do not possess.