Becoming not being
You’ll see that phrase up at the top of the home page here, just underneath the heroes not zombies title.
Such a phrase can lead me off in many directions. For example, it brings a focus on verbs instead of nouns. Nouns are words we use to name things. We categorise with nouns. We put things into defined boxes and then argue about the purity of the box’s contents. Verbs on the other hand are action words. It’s harder to pin a verb down. It’s always changing. Every Sunday you’ll find a post here about a verb (put the phrase “A to Z of becoming” in the search box and you’ll find lots of them).
Eric Cassell says in his “Nature of Clinical Medicine”
I say that “thinking about processes differs from thinking about a thing in at least four aspects. Process implies change, a direction of change, a rate of change, and a purpose, result, or outcome of change”
Who I am today is different from who I was yesterday, last week, last year. I am still me and the nature of change in a human being is of constant adaptation and evolution. It’s developmental. The cells in my body are constantly changing, some dying off, some being born. The connections in my brain are constantly changing – with every thought, every image, ever memory, every sensation.
I AM change.
There are many directions of change in the Universe, but the one which fascinates me most, is the one which underpins “The Universe Story“. If we start about the time when there were only Hydrogen atoms, and follow the change through to the emergence of Life, and on to the births of you and I, we see a direction of change – towards every greater complexity, from fairly simple atoms to complex adaptive organisms – and up into the emergence of consciousness. With this direction of change we see more and more diversity in the Universe.
The direction of change is towards ever greater connectedness and ever more uniqueness.
The rate of change is not constant. We see that with evolution. There are no smooth transitions from one life form to another. The changes occur in leaps. We see that in the development of a child. One day they can’t stand up, then from another day they can. One day they can’t walk. Then they can.
Change occurs in quantum leaps.
Cassell mentions “a purpose, result of outcome of change”. The thing with outcomes, is that they are only what you describe at the time you describe them. Outcomes lead to new changes. There isn’t a stopping point. You could say the same about results. So what about purpose? I think purpose is discovered, and/or created through narrative.
The narrative of change creates and reveals meaning in our lives.
The photograph at the start of this post, is of a cognac cellar. The barrels sit there in the dark for years as the cognac constantly changes, every year producing a unique new flavour.
Becoming not being.