9.22.2005

The Laws of Normalcy

Are you aware of the force that pulls you constantly to the earth's surface? The force that binds you to the crust of this sphere we call home? We call it gravity and its power is undeniable. Man has fought it for almost as long as he has existed. Human mind has tried to reject it, tried to break free from it's hold, and for moments, at least, has succeeded. Man takes flight and challenges the clouds for supremacy. But eventually gas runs out, wind dies down and gravity is more persistent than we are. The old axiom rings true again and again that what goes up must come down. We are settled on this earth for ancient reasons and since no one has come up with better reasons, we stay here. It is probably no accident that when we die we fall not just down but often into the earth.

Normalcy is similar to gravity. Powerfully compelling us to find a status quo and stick with it. To define ourselves with a pattern or projection of what we are like and what we can expect from life. If it worked for generations before us then it will work for us. If this is the way I've always done something then this is the way I will continue to do it. Or if not to define ourselves, at least we define our schedule, our eating habits, our work and other peripheral activities that we can then point to and call 'ourselves.' We are almost always looking to even out the ride, settle into an efficient pattern to get us where we are going. We all want smoother sailing to get us through our journey. The stronger our patterns for our lives the fewer questions we will be forced to ask and the more we can take on assumption. And assumptions streamline the process of everyday living.

Let me ask you a question: Have you ever witnessed a moment when another human being, either through traumatic events or personal discovery, realizes that their life could be different? Sometimes even should be different. And for a shining moment they reject the pattern they have thus far chosen and start off on another path entirely, living their life with boldness and clarity? I have seen it. May have even lived it. And I have noticed time and again that despite the revelation, no matter how great, the tendency to ebb back into the pattern of previous living is incredibly strong. Sometimes the point of clarity was vivid enough to last a lifetime and it remains a fixed point of change. But more often than not, the point of clarity dims as it recedes into the past.

So, why this essay on normalcy, I hear you ask. Change is difficult and often unwanted. Change is helpful and often unexpected. And when we are handed our chunk of change in life we get to make a choice: we can absorb it into our current life pattern or we can choose to change our life pattern to fit our new circumstance.

And I was curious... Which do you do?

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12 Comments:

Blogger Worldgineer said...

I'm with you up until the end. If the change can be absorbed, I think it's the usual case to absorb it. No sense in becoming a Hari Krishna just because someone gave you a flower. In my experience that change has to be opposed to your life style. Then a choice must be made: continue as normal and give that thing up, or keep the thing and lose normal. Sometimes even asking the question can make you wonder why normal is normal, and change it.

I can imagine the other case, and I'm sure some have changed their lives even without the need. It's just not as common, and may point to a "normal" that should have been re-evaluated long ago.

(such great life issues on the blogs today - have you been talking to [chopper]?)

22/9/05 14:52  
Blogger Worldgineer said...

I forgot to mention one point. I do always try to re-evaluate normal. No sense in doing the wrong thing over and over.

22/9/05 14:53  
Blogger k_sra said...

I wondered about the word "absorb" as I wrote it and couldn't phrase the thought better. I think I meant, "hack off its limbs to fit the preconceived mold you already have in place" except with prettier words.

What did chopper write? Must investigate...

npykyem

22/9/05 14:55  
Blogger Worldgineer said...

Ah, gotcha. I try never to be a chopper (and I don't mean [chopper], I mean limb chopper). You just don't know someone (or something) until you know someone (or something), and no matter what experiences you've had in the past this experience may be completely different. At least that's the attitude I try to keep - I've certainly been lazy and pre-judged before.

22/9/05 15:29  
Anonymous normzone said...

There's a photo I took...my ex-wife is talking to my sister about opportunities to go to school and change her life.

My sister was a welfare mom - she went to school and now shoots x-rays for a living. She makes pretty good money doing it.

In the photo my ex is all charged up on her soapbox and my sister is looking at her in dawning realization.

I shot the image from about 40 foot away with a long lens...I knew something was happening.

Did I turn an essay question into a photo exhibition?

22/9/05 16:00  
Blogger dag said...

I am to normalcy as Podkletnov is to gravity.

I do not think outside the box. I am an inside the box thinker, I just created a much larger box to play in than most others. My box is made of silly putty, which can morph at will into any form it needs given the current shiftings of my life. My box has a splendid vectored thrust propulsion system that enables it to accelerate, turn and reverse thrust on a dime, which gives it the ability to keep up with anything, anywhere.

I perform both of your choices simultaneously, the circumstance determines which one weighs in above the other.

And no, you can’t test-drive my box, but if you’re really nice and smile perty, I’ll let you sit in it and make engine noises.

22/9/05 16:31  
Anonymous calum said...

Normality, as we call it in the UK, is relative. It is a fluid constant, insofar as what your circumstances are right now define what constitutes your present normality. Normality is permanent and inescapable but normality cannot exist independently of your behavioural patterns, external forces u.s.w. (no matter how seemingly random these patterns and forces may be). Normality is, in fact, a model created from an aggregation of these things. Therefore, when change comes along, it cannot break you out of your normality. It can only alter your normality. The question, being, really, how much are you willing to alter your normality to accommodate any new factors?

Me? I'm letting the days go by, letting the water hold me down.

23/9/05 08:49  
Blogger Lukas Abrhm said...

what the shit is normal?
please explain.
because i don't think it exists.

(says the village athiest.)

23/9/05 19:07  
Blogger k_sra said...

Normalcy, lukas, is how you define it as an individual. 'Normal' in the way I use the word here is the average behavior or thought pattern for the span of your existence. Your personal pattern of living. Whatever or however Lukas does things. There is also of course a societal "norm," but I was, for the sake of argument, only focusing on the individual.

25/9/05 12:46  
Blogger k_sra said...

dag, if you are to normalcy as Poodlektov is to gravity than you have removed 2% of normalcy's power from your life. That and no one really believes you did it. If you're like Poodliktenov, that is.

I do both also. Sometimes you gotta go with life and sometimes you gotta fight it. And sometimes there's nothing to go with and nothing to fight and that's when you decide if you want to create something or if you just want to chill.

And I don't need to drive your box and I'm trying very hard not to make any dirty comments cuz my sister told me it was unlady-like. : )

Oh and one last thought. No one can keep up with "anything, anywhere" for the simple reason that no one wants to. I defy you to keep up with something that you don't want to keep up with. (and as soon as you try to keep up with something you are uninterested in just to prove me wrong, you're technically not not interested anymore so it no longer counts as something you don't care about. Hehehe.)

26/9/05 13:44  
Blogger dag said...

I see you've been doing your homework on Podkeltnov's work. One thing you missed is the indirect effects of his work. Although his original IGG is only reputed to effect gravity in slight amounts, it creates all sorts of interesting side effects that are worth pursuing. So I may not be able to effect normalcy much, because it's something that has a different benchmark for everyone, but the outcomes of my interactions with others and consequential decisions spark changes in others that can have a snowballing effect, as we both know.

You are entirely correct on keeping up with everything, no one can – unless they have unlimited funds, an army of conscripts and a Batcave secret hideout. I guess I do only keep up with everything I wish to. What I should have said was I can keep up with anything that sparks my interest. There you go again, getting all logical on me, but that’s a good thing.

I know you really want to drive my box. If you can convince me you won’t wreck it, then you can have it for the evening.

26/9/05 16:27  
Blogger Prom said...

Change has always been easy for me but then I've for the most part been the one to initiate it.

Semi-periodically I've chucked one life and taken up another with hardly a backword glance.

Step boldly forward from living an examined life as it unfolds.

27/9/05 07:17  

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