What we make up…

…is how we will experience the world. We all have a position. We all have a bias. We are, afterall, subjective beings. I’ve been listening to Tyson Yunkaporta (author of Sand Talk) quite a bit lately. He’s an Aboriginal writer and academic1 who brings an indigenous view to the world, in a unique (and dare I say fun) way.

I’m not going to do the work in this moment to go and pull the quotes from his book or the podcasts I’ve been listening to2. Instead, I’m going to summarize on a point he makes. That point is something like:

We are not objective beings. We are subjective beings. If we think that we can remove ourselves and our subjectivity from our observations (as scientists seem to claim they can), we are being idiots. We all have a position, and it influences what we see, think, and believe. The sooner we can understand that, the better we all will be.

Not sure how good a summary that is3, but it’s a big part of what I’m taking from my brief study’ with this guy. What does it mean to understand this? It means that we can let go of having to be right, and accepting that we are pretty much always wrong.

That’s oddly freeing, if you ask me.

  1. I’m not sure if he’d claim this title. He’s a senior lecturer at a university in Melbourne, but I’m not sure if this would be a title he’d like to be associated with.

  2. As I mentioned, I’ve been listening to his work, meaning that I’d have to go in search of them and transcribe them. I just don’t have it in me at the moment to do that. Heck, I barely have it in me to write this right now.

  3. Indeed, there is little to no chance that it is not subjected to, well, my subjectivity. I am, afterall, as we all are, making up what I see.

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