John Ehrhart's blog
I watched the NOVA special on Space the other day and one reference caught my attention. The host, Brian Greene, said that most of the universe is made up of space – makes sense, but then he qualified it by stating that atoms are mostly space, and if you sucked out all of the space from the Empire State Building, you would have something the size of a small BB.
We returned from our 10-day family road trip on Sunday night after the final leg of the drive, an eight hour excursion across Nebraska and eastern Colorado. I now know why that house of a car from Ford is called an excursion – it is like the spacious and luxurious wagon on the Donner Trail – you are no less likely to freeze to death and be eaten for food, but it's comfortable while your actually moving. We were driving an Acadia, which is just as luxurious, but it has fewer bathrooms.
With the seeming abundance of whining, crying, complaining, instigating and melodrama going on during our trip, one wonders where all of the optimism comes from at the outset. It's not like we have never done this before. My central practice on this vacation is working with that moment when I feel unconscious emotional reactions arising, when chaos ensues. I want to stop the unconscious reaction, but I also don't want to repress it. The key for me is catching it and experiencing it to the fullest degree possible, with as little judgment as possible.
My wife and I are driving our four kids to a family reunion in Wisconsin in a couple of days and we always enter these situations with caution, fear, a dollop of hope and a fistful of blind ignorance. We have several traumatic experiences stored in our unconscious emotional memories - even the mention of driving the kids half way across the country elicits anxiety and involuntary twitching.
The following series of blogs are written in an effort to discover the voice that wants to emerge from my personal trials as a father and as a student of relationships, conflict and consciousness. I intend to employ a humorous perspective and although I may delve into philosophical territory, I will temper it with references to the ludicrous and the laughable.
An empowered adult perspective is a state of consciousness distinguished by characteristics grounded in responsibility, and attained through the fundamental principles of restorative practice. We lecture our children on how they must learn to take responsibility and we are sometimes baffled by their inability and often downright refusal to do so. Yet how often do we contemplate our own capacity to take responsibility for harms we cause in our daily life?
Honesty and truth telling represent a fundamental standard of moral and right living in our society. It made it into the 10 commandments, and although it is seen as a virtue it is not valued much as a useful practical tool in business and politics, mainly because it gets in the way of progress. This is grounded in the wishful attitude that the ends justify the means. I would argue however that if the ends require deception for their realization, then maybe the ends themselves would benefit from reexamination.
What happens psychologically when conflict occurs?
Activism & Spirituality