While reading The Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram I found myself constantly underlining, looking up, and writing down words and or philosophical theories that I had never heard of (or been consciously aware that I had heard of) or applied a name to. For example:
Epistemology: branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge. It questions what knowledge is, how it is acquired, and the possible extent a given subject or entity can be known.
Solipsism: philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure
Inter subjective phenomena: phenomena experiences by a multiplicity of sensing subjects.
Even words I previously thought I had a relatively strong comprehension for I found myself writing down. For example:
Sentient: having the power of perception by the senses: conscious
Corporeal: of the nature of the physical body; material, tangible
Sensuous: perceived by or affecting the senses
I wanted to try and understand every intention of every word. This made David Abrams writing that much more beautiful. I couldn’t help to look up every, and I mean EVERY word I felt even the slightest definitional doubts about. I found myself in awe with the authors writing. Every word I didn’t recognize turned out to be the most perfect word that could have ever been used in that sentence, unlike the person who types “happy” into the thesaurus hoping to sound more intelligent (or something like that), and/or unlike some writers who overuse their prestigious knowledge of vocabulary to the point where I feel like screaming. David Abram had no choice but to have chosen the words he chose.
All the literature we have been reading thus far combined with the literature I have been coincidentally reading in my other classes has taken me on an emotional and intellectual roller coaster. Our behaviors are biological, thus we have no control over our experiences, they are predetermined, but wait this can’t be true because then none of the interactions I’ve had or will continue to have, with anything outside my body, can be genuine. I would like to believe the latter of the two but of course neither perspective can be “proven “or “disproved” and thus my sanity will continue to suffer.
“Neither the perceiver nor the perceived, then, is wholly passive in the event of perception.” (53)
“…any visible, tangible form that meets my gaze may also be an experiencing subject, sensitive and responsive to the beings around it, and to me. ” (67)
Mindful, respectful actions
Can a person learn to be a leader?
Once again I can not help to detect wisps of “nature” vs “nurture” in this question. IT’S IN EVERYTHING!!
Even if one learns the “appropriate skills” that are expected of a leader will they be able to intern take those skills and project them into the world? I am skeptical. To bitterly quote Mary Oliver’s Poetry Handbook, “Evvveryyyyoneee knows that poets are born and not made in school. This is true for painters, sculptors, and musicians. Something that essential can’t be taught: it can only be given or earned or formulated in a manner to mysterious to picked apart and redesigned for the next person.” While Mary Oliver clearly states that her book is about the things, in poetry, that can be learned, she is directing this statement towards those in the world who she believes were already born to be poets.
Is this inherent destiny also true of leaders? Say a person was “not born with leadership abilities” even though that person may dream of being a leader, without those innate skills is it possible?
Perhaps their is a spectrum, while one person may be a great leader, depending on how one might define great, another might be a poor leader, a leader without credibility of which people do not entirely respect. Then why is that person in a leader ship position? We all have identities, identities that we form within and about ourselves and identities applied by those around us. Whether we like it or not, the way I identify myself may be entirely different from the way those around me might identify me. Perhaps I perceive myself as a solid leader, but to the perceived am just a schmuck.