Projecting Our Conventions

I listened to the late Harold Bloom today in an interview, recorded a few years ago, with Michael Enright of CBC radio. Something he said struck me. That was that we humans use convention as a way to help deal with chaos, the consequence of this being that the use of convention is suppressive.

I often feel with others that there is a subtle imposition or projection of their perceptions and way of seeing the world on to me. I suspect that this is how the human ego functions. It all seems to be a very normal way of surviving and bringing order to a chaotic external world in lieu of opening to what is missed in that orientation; however no less authentic and relevant. That includes the realty of a sense of vulnerability as an impermanent being in this universe.

I am increasingly aware of what is missed in being dependent on conventions and how our tendency to understand the world in terms of isolated, external and conditioned criterion is confining.

At a personal level I feel at times as if barriers are being constructed around me in which I am constrained and defined by a force external to me. There is something amiss in this. How can we expect to understand well what is going on in cosmic history apart from a careful examination of what goes on in the interior striving of life that reaches the summit of its intensity in humanity’s spiritual adventures?

It’s not that others are the problem. The pressure is in fact arising from the insistence of my own demands; possibly to the degree that I am attached those norms and wats of seeing and have abandoned direct experience as my guide to knowing myself and the world.

Maybe it is all a necessary and unavoidable step in human development. But in arriving at a place where I am seeing the limits of convention and discovering more openness I am realizing that there is a point where we become aware of how much of what we do and expect is limited in our blind acceptance of what we have been told about God, religion, culture, science and most any other thing we come to believe in.

Maybe it requires an act of grace that we are enabled to step out from what we have been conditioned to believe, to discover for ourselves the deeper truth of life. I don’t know, but, I am extremely grateful that something of my being has been enabled, to question and inquire and to realize the limitations of convention and to allow myself to be drawn to a more open and expansive envisioning and other possibilities than what convention allows for.

Author: Gord Clements

I find some satisfaction in the act of attempting to express my experience of life through painting, writing, language and other art forms. I have been painting for over thirty five years and combine my love of art with a meditative and contemplative way of life. I have an intuitive sense that true creativity is something that arises from beyond and through the self that can be explored and shared through some form of expression although I always hope to open to the influence of that which is beyond my limited sense of self.

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