The Eye of the Storm — reflections (and vote for witnesses!)

in OCD4 years ago (edited)

The Eye of the Storm

by @d-pend


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Introductory Note

In the past several days I have taken a break from my usual creative activities and put my efforts towards doing what I can to inform myself of current developments on Steem. Now that we are at a stalemate of sorts and I have done just about all that's possible given my limited means — including powering up over 1000 STEEM to support the overturning of Sun's sock-puppet centralized-exchange-voted witnesses and taking to Twitter to spread awareness — it may be as good a time as any to reflect a bit on why I value the Steem community and continue to be involved despite misgivings regarding the behavior of many individuals.

If you are not abreast of current developments, a good article to read as of the time of writing this is @ura-soul's most recent post. You can also listen to the most recent conversation between witnesses and Tron representative Roy. Keep in mind if you do not have time to catch up on everything you can always proxy your witness votes to @d-pend as I am voting for whatever actual human witness is most likely to pass Sun's sock-puppet accounts in the short-term.

[Note — from my perspective the most important thing at present is the continued functionality and integrity of the blockchain. It is likely that Sun's team is running his pseudo-witnesses all on the same server which is a major risk. What's more, I do not believe they have coders familiar enough with the mechanics of STEEM to not crash the chain entirely by instituting poorly-written and hastily-executed changes via a potential fork. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to put differences aside at this juncture and re-assess witness choices once there is a more stable situation. See the list of witnesses I recommend voting at the bottom of this article.]

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Steem Community Strength


While the events of the past few days have been difficult and chaotic, it has also been heartening to see a display of the solidarity of the core community. One thing I have always enjoyed about posting here is that I am liable to meet and discuss with people holding widely varying viewpoints who, nonetheless, are able to share a passion for the potentials of blockchain technology in ushering in a new era of greater abundance for humankind. Many here hold the underlying assumption that human creative energy and attention are inherently valuable and need to be monetarily rewarded as such as long as we have a currency system — in order for all humans to come into a greater realization of their value to the whole.

Currency and Communication


At its core, this is not about money per se — but speech, expression; participation in the continuing evolution of our species. While the average standard of living on the planet has increased over the centuries, there is a massive percentage of wealth locked up in the coffers of a tiny number of so-called "elites." They are, of course, simply human beings with the same concomitant limitations we all share. Thus, they find themselves unequal to the task of using their vast wealth to efficiently steer the course of developing human society. The blame cannot be laid on them alone: they need help. It is each individual's responsibility to realize their inner greatness and take action on that knowledge. However, the creation of a mechanism that allows all voices to be heard and valued — what STEEM was originally supposed to embody — could greatly accelerate our shared learning as a species.

In a collective macro-organism such as homo sapiens, it is interchange of energy, currency — constant communication — feeling together, compassion — that fuels and guides our shared path forward. Therefore it is worth looking at places where stagnation and hoarding of resources motivated by an atavistic survival fear are ruling the hearts and minds of "those who have," even when their survival needs are already met many, many times over. To progress, it is necessary to refrain from reverting to the dualistic blame-game of perpetrator and victim.

First, those perceived as enemies must be re-humanized and be seen to be equal to ourselves — neither inferior nor superior. Eventually, it must be realized that no entity is an enemy, but only a fellow adventurer-in-consciousness struggling towards the light of understanding the purpose of their existence and taking an unique route towards that end. We are soul-scientists creating hypotheses about which actions will cause us the greatest fulfillment, then acting these experiments out on the world stage in order to ascertain their effectiveness. Inevitably we stumble, inevitably we fail, lacking omniscience. Yet the "dynamic human spirit that refuses to submit" arises again and again, full of exuberance and resolve, over and over, to refine our way of being in the world.

What has lasting value?


It may be worth visualizing yourself at the time of your physical death and asking the question — Given the manner in which I live now, given that which I pursue and value, will I be satisfied on my deathbed that I have done everything I came to do? Really visualize it. Who is around you as you are passing, where are you and what are you thinking and feeling? What do you spend your last few moments saying or doing?

When doing this exercise — for me, it quickly becomes clear that bickering, clamoring for a slightly bigger piece of the pie, manically acquiring more and more physical resources to bolster bodily security, egoically asserting one's superiority over others, needing to be "righteous", conquering so-called "enemies" etc.. — in short, most of the concerns of the undisciplined animal mind — would have basically zero importance at the time of departure from this realm. I would be more likely to be abiding in a state of awe, wonder, gratitude for the unfathomable fact that "I exist" — and be in simple appreciation for this fact.

In fact, it is due to our "beingness" that anything we do or have has any value whatsoever. People want to be in our presence not because of what we have or do but because of what we are and are becoming. There is a penetrating clarity available in focusing on essence rather than the scintillating, ever-changing melodrama of content that allows us to have true power despite what is occurring. All great women and men learn to tap into this "infinity-point" of stillness and are able to dwell in the eye of the storm while the mob rages and throbs directionless. This inner effulgence is present even in the midst of the most voracious typhoon; it is present on the desolation of the battlefield; it is there in the bleakness of the deepest despair.


Conclusion


A broad perspective and the ability to hold the big picture always clearly in view stems from the knowledge that we are untouched by evanescent circumstance. The most practical thing any of us can do is nurture this ability to remain calm and relatively unaffected by news that is perceived as negative. We can then maintain a clear mind and make wiser decisions than if we were motivated by survivalistic fear. I truly hope that these reflections are a catalyst for a feeling of inner tranquility that is solid and lasting. We can be in action to protect what we value without demeaning others or becoming out-of-balance if we continually practice staying in touch with the inner strength inherent to us all.

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List of witnesses I am currently voting:

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@blocktrades
@good-karma
@roelandp
@yabapmatt
@anyx
@someguy123
@ausbitbank
@gtg
@themarkymark
@aggroed
@steempress
@thecryptodrive
@cervantes
@drakos
@therealwolf
@followbtcnews
@lukestokes.mhth
@steempeak
@abit
@ocd.witness
@emrebeyler
@curie
@stoodkev
@jesta
@actifit
@netuoso
@liondani
@arcange
@pharesim
@timcliff
.

[Note on witness voting, repeated from above — from my perspective the most important thing at present is the continued functionality and integrity of the blockchain. It is likely that Sun's team is running his pseudo-witnesses all on the same server which is a major risk. What's more, I do not believe they have coders familiar enough with the mechanics of STEEM to not crash the chain entirely by instituting poorly-written and hastily-executed changes via a potential fork. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to put differences aside at this juncture and re-assess witness choices once there is a more stable situation. Proxy your witness votes to @d-pend if you are unsure.]

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Writing and images
by Daniel Pendergraft
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Published to STEEM
March 5th, 2020


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But One


If we see but One Thing clearly:
all else by It made clear,              
that One beheld most dearly      
does draw all else so near.           

If we feel but One Thing truly:   
all else shall be made plain.        
Then world-chaos, unruly           
becomes a quiet lane.                   

If we walk but One Road only,    
the journey is complete.              
Then tired soul is shown free— 
undisturbèd, pure, replete.        


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Sort:  

@d-pend I must say since I discovered your blog, it has become a favourite!

Forgive me for leaving yet another comment under your post.


In fact, it is due to our "beingness" that anything we do or have has any value whatsoever.
People want to be in our presence not because of what we have or do but because of what we are and are becoming.

To be honest, I've felt growing up (and even now) that as a quiet contemplative soul I tend to be overlooked. To be regarded as invisible by people around me, like a wallflower.

As such, I noticed that I would give (and sometimes over-give), and yet I realise giving of myself doesn't lead people to notice me any more than they did in the past. They'll take whatever I offer them - time, resources, attention, love - and carry on obliviously.

But your statement in bold just stopped me in my tracks.

I shouldn't have to try so hard to prove that what I have or do is valuable.


Is this the ultimate paradox: that the moment one just is and ceases to "add" anything on to prove his or her worthiness in the eyes of others, that person just gained inner power and naturally draws others to him or her?

@d-pend I must say since I discovered your blog, it has become a favourite! Forgive me for leaving yet another comment under your post.

I'm flattered :-) And I love having discussions, so comment any time you feel like it!

As such, I noticed that I would give (and sometimes over-give), and yet I realise giving of myself doesn't lead people to notice me any more than they did in the past. They'll take whatever I offer them - time, resources, attention, love - and carry on obliviously.

I can relate to that. I'll paraphrase what I've read about the phenomenon of being a "giver" — we often tell ourselves that we are giving freely and want nothing in return, but subconsciously, we are actually manipulating those we believe we serve into being a certain way for us. Then we become upset that they "don't appreciate" what we have to offer and perceive ourselves in as exploited. The result is sometimes a vacillation between eagerly 'helping' others (often in ways they really don't want to be) and keeping totally to ourself so others can't "take advantage of us."

There is of course the complementary phenomenon of the chronic "taker" personality, who believes that having others give them time, energy, and resources will result in a feeling of power and fulfillment. Since they are run by desires which endlessly proliferate, they are never satisfied by exploiting the "giver" personality type and the relationship eventually deteriorates.

As usual, this is merely conceptual and a false dichotomy — in reality we all contain the archetypes of the giver and the taker within us, and are really craving to come to a balance where we discover that "giving and receiving are the same." But perhaps I'm digressing?

I shouldn't have to try so hard to prove that what I have or do is valuable.

Yes! While an extremely empowering realization, I find it necessary to constant remind myself — and let others remind me, too.

Is this the ultimate paradox: that the moment one just is and ceases to "add" anything on to prove his or her worthiness in the eyes of others, that person just gained inner power and naturally draws others to him or her?

The way you expressed this reminds me of the Daoist concept of wu wei — actionless action. We make things happen by being content and doing nothing; then everything comes and goes effortlessly without us needing to cling to anything. The paradox is that when we want something so badly to fill what we perceive as our emptiness, we cannot get it. If we feel already full and let go of needing it, it suddenly comes. What a trip!

P.S. By the by, I noticed you use British spellings. Mind me asking where you hail from? I'm hyper-attentive to that sort of thing. I often feel the urge to mix in alternate spellings especially in poetry. I love the way it gives the same word a different 'flavour.' :-D !ENGAGE 37

So, so true!

I have been realising more that separating giving and receiving is just not the way to conceptualise them - for starters, no one can give without receiving.

And when we truly, truly feel loved and supported (i.e. receive), love will be overflowing and touch the lives of those around us.


And about wu wei...

I feel like that is my rightful form of taking action, even though it may appear as lazy in this hyper-productive world.

When I lean back, and not try to control or micromanage everything, it flows much more smoothly.


P.S. You're extemely perceptive! I hail from Singapore (a former British colony). But I have lived in the States for a few years. (:

I have been realising more that separating giving and receiving is just not the way to conceptualise them - for starters, no one can give without receiving. And when we truly, truly feel loved and supported (i.e. receive), love will be overflowing and touch the lives of those around us.

100%!

I feel like that is my rightful form of taking action, even though it may appear as lazy in this hyper-productive world.

I enjoy living a slower-paced life where I can appreciate the little things. What is the point, after all, in burning ourselves out as workaholics and damaging our health just to achieve society's version of "success?"

I hail from Singapore (a former British colony).

Oh, that's really interesting! I don't know many people from Singapore, but from what I've seen it's a really unique place. !ENGAGE 20

Yes, it's not only the length of our lives that matter, but also the quality of our lives - and that's dependent on the presence we bring to each moment.


What have you heard of Singapore?

Singapore's generally lovely, except for the extremely fast pace of life (I'm probably an outlier). But then again, that's inevitable for most urban cities.

Completely agree.

I first heard of Singapore when I was in 6th grade or so; my close friend's dad had a job over there and he told me about his experience when he came back. I mainly remember him saying that the laws were really strict, haha.

Other than that, I don't know much about its history other than being a unique melting pot of cultures and having English as the main language. Also watched a mini-documentary talking about how much of the natural habitat was destroyed in the process of urbanization and the attempt to "re-green" the city areas by implementing green architecture, which I find really fascinating. !engage 15

—Now what was that called again? Oh yeah, biophilic architecture.



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Hey @d-pend!

I just wanted to say that I think one of your greatest assets is the ability to speak your mind and share your point of view on such a deep, mature level that is always thought provoking but it's never aggressive or defensive.

These past few days/weeks have been difficult and emotional for our entire community but maybe this could be the time where we leave disagreements, differences, grudges and judgement behind to find the best solution for this situation and move forward with a stronger bond.

I might not comment on your posts that often, but I do enjoy reading your thoughts and poetry so I hope you'll keep sharing them with us. Have a great day! :)

I just wanted to say that I think one of your greatest assets is the ability to speak your mind and share your point of view on such a deep, mature level that is always thought provoking but it's never aggressive or defensive.

I'm so happy it comes off that way... I truly want to muse on things and do my best to be aware of my own biases and shortcomings. One thing I know for sure (perhaps the only thing) is that know basically nothing! Still, an ant must build an anthill.

These past few days/weeks have been difficult and emotional for our entire community but maybe this could be the time where we leave disagreements, differences, grudges and judgement behind to find the best solution for this situation and move forward with a stronger bond.

I hope so. I believe even if the whole chain were to melt down many of us would find ourselves somewhere new. "Nothing lasts, but nothing is lost." Though I still hope we can prevent a chain split and move forward here itself.

I might not comment on your posts that often, but I do enjoy reading your thoughts and poetry so I hope you'll keep sharing them with us. Have a great day! :)

I'm so glad you did comment today and grateful for your readership Nikolina! I will definitely keep sharing. Have an awesome weekend :-D !engage 30

Everything about this post is beautiful. Thank you so much for putting it together.

A couple thoughts:

stagnation and hoarding of resources motivated by an atavistic survival fear are ruling the hearts and minds of "those who have,"

This also rules the hearts and minds of those who have not.

The most practical thing any of us can do is nurture this ability to remain calm and relatively unaffected by news that is perceived as negative.

That is a rule to live by that I needed to hear today. I hope a lot more people can take that in and stop all the freaking out, both on steem and in the world.

Awesome reflections well i hope they reflect in Sun's eyes so he can see the real light of this community , i have voted for all that your have listed 👍

Awesome reflections well i hope they reflect in Sun's eyes so he can see the real light of this community

Hahaha, one can always hope !engage 15

Keeping positive but it will not be the end of the world 😊 Thanks for the tokens @d-pend 👍

Yes, we will all make it through fine whatever happens :-) !engage 5

I agree we are a strong community 👍



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