Being is Irreducible

We are more than  our ideas,  as are  other people. We are are always more than our categories, distinctions and reductive ways  can capture. The identification with, and differentiation of self  and other always fails as an adequate description of self or others. This  generalizing, totalizing ,  xenophobic creating tendency  is the result of  a fragmented way of looking at  our irreducible humanity of both ourselves and of other human beings.

4 thoughts on “Being is Irreducible

  1. We are not simply the same. We are not simply different. We are the same, but different. Balancing an awareness of what we have in common with what is different is, I think, the key to avoiding an “us and them” attitude.

    Also, I think it is important to accept the inconsistencies in our own psyche. An “us and them” attitude tends to be a projection of the divided self. But inconsistencies in the self need not be divisive any more than differences need to be a source of division between people. There is great wisdom in the symbol of the yin and yang – differences as complimentary and their acceptance as a route to wholeness.

    What we might characterise as “evil” is a relational problem. There may be behaviours which are destructive and beliefs which are toxic, but they arise within a wider context and tend to have a defensive function. So looking at the individuals who may behave in these ways or have these beliefs as “the bad guys” – generalising and reducing the totality of their nature and situation – tends to perpetuate problems. A systems view which concentrates on relationships while accepting the complexity and also the changeability of the individual is the alternative.


    1. There is wisdom in what you write. As I find myself changing it is not that there are bad guys and good guys but there is an awareness of how fragmented thinking has its consequences. The collective of humankind is somewhat resistant to change ( in general). I can accept that.I do not judge others for that. I know that this is where the collective world is and some may be more attached to old ways than others.There are many who embrace change. But I see no need to be passive about what has changed in me are reflecting and expressing that. I bring that to the world not because I must change others but because I am that change.


      1. That makes sense. Any change in ourselves changes our relationship to others and that, in some way, changes those others. Not only can’t we control such a process, we may often be unaware of it. But to the extent that we approach living with greater awareness in the world consciously, I think there are two key elements :

        1. Speaking what we feel to be the truth even if we sense that it may be disturbing to others.

        2. Expressing our unconditional acceptance of others as they are now.

        We need awareness of the challenges we face (which can be daunting) and we also need the strength to face them, and that comes from a healing of excessive self-critical feelings. Deep feelings of insecurity are the norm. What we need is to grow a culture in which an acknowledgement of this fact brings us together in mutual aid. At the moment, our feelings of insecurity too often push us towards competition or hostility, which, of course, only serves to increase the sum total of insecurity.


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