Dealing with expectations, we’re always confronted by them. They are coupled to, if not driven by habit, by conditioning. It’s here in our intention to have weekly conversations.
Intention is how we aim attention. Judgment intersects with perception. Intention sets the stage for action. But, we are drawn back into incoherence when we expect intention to have weight.
“Of course intention has weight, have I no will?”
Ah, yes, but….
This is the point at which we lose touch with what is. Incoherence is the loss of this connection, coupled with an inability to recognize that loss. From here we begin to double-down.
Recent conversations have opened a space of inquiry around attention, subtlety, quality, and intelligence. There is much to examine here. It points towards another way of approaching action and exploring what coherence entails. For the moment let’s focus on the notion of quality.
Quality is a perception of subtlety, of the interconnectedness of everything at a texture finer than we can perceive. It is unapproachable from a quantitative perspective. Looking for quantity we impose number. Imposing number we coarsen the texture of perception. This erodes subtlety and removes us from the possibility of attending to/with quality.
Yet we are always looking to quantify. As simple an expectation as holding to a schedule promotes a quantitative attitude. Within a realm of conditioned habit that has just about everyone insisting, “Oh, come on now!” At the suggestion that there is anything wrong with holding to a schedule, “How else is anything going to get done?” We recoil.
Of course there is a confabulation going on within our habits of thought. We fail to distinguish between attending to violence/incoherence whenever we find it with “failing to act.” We see failing to act as the greatest fault. And so we go careening down a road to futility weaving between our unintended consequences.
All that is being asked is that we hold onto the question. Recognize the point of incoherence, the place where we allow violence to enter and disrupt our connection to what-is by superimposing our will, our unmediated desire, into a position of authority over how we will react/respond.
Not having an answer is no good reason for not asking/holding a question. Those are the most particularly valuable questions.
Let’s come to the concept of scale. A buzzword across all endeavors today, it is seen as a Holy Grail. We are meant to prototype something and then find ways to bring it “to scale.”
What is meant by this is that we make it repeatable. We bring it into the rationale of technology where value is assumed to lie in quantity and quality is deemed uncountable and therefore exclude-able. The inner consistencies of incoherent thought bolster its great powers. A willingness to discount what does “not fit” is at the heart of the degradation and destruction carried out in its name.
Quality dos not scale. Quality is not repeatable. Quality is tied to the moment and cannot be extracted from it. Quality is a perception of being in relation to what-is. In this way it is a guide. It is the real-deal that has been falsified into a pursuit of pleasure. Quality feels good. But that feeling cannot be maintained through an act of will. It has to be confronted in-situ.
Another force we turn on this relation-with-everything is disappointment. When quality fails to arrive on schedule we react badly. We berate ourselves for our imperfections. We seek out someone/something to blame.
All of this only takes us farther from the subtlety of attention required to have access to quality, to be able to find it, discover it as it arises – and it arises as a surprise every time.
When something fails to meet an expectation why rush into conclusions that take us deeper into incoherence?
Attention can be focused, but we are mistaken when we insist that it stay where we put it!
If attention wanders – outside of stereotypical symptomatic inattention as a result of a lack of its exercise – it is most likely intelligence at work leading us to shift attention onto something more pressing. Forcing it to remain in one mode we lose that hint of grace. We fall into the fog of stasis in which all of our capacities for perception bleed away from a lack of movement/change/difference. As our perception degrades we are only able to discern more and more gross variations. Soon we are unable to perceive anything but dualities. We are trapped in black & white.
Quality is a gift. Quality can be easily lost from sight. Quality appears and is visible as an act of grace as intelligence presents itself. Don’t ask it to scale. Don’t ask it to hold to a schedule. Learn to appreciate it when it comes, and to let go if it when it fades. Otherwise we lose the ability to meet it in its next incarnation.