re: Western and Eastern thinking
Let me try to add another distinction.
- Western bias is processing the world through thinking.
- Eastern has a bias of doing and beingness.
Or at least with Taoism and Buddhism, they really need to be learned through repeated practice.
A Japanese spin on it would be ‘The Art of Taking Action’.
It’s not only an eastern thing, it’s likely a universal pathway to a different type of knowledge and knowing. For example, how many people would think that 2nd hand book knowledge of playing a musical instrument, learning how to swim, riding a bicycle, playing a sport, cooking, etc.
Would anyone who studied every single detail of the experts in any of those fields, along with understanding all the scientific models of how they theoretically work. With let’s say 10 years of PhD level mental understanding of those type of inherent embodied know-hows, translate to any level of competent hands on skill and performance of them??
Another distinction might be that Western has high bias for noun, while Eastern has more bias for verb. For example, in english there is a ball, and then descriptor of all the different types of balls (basket, golf, base, bowling, etc.). Let’s say there’s some languages out there where there is no noun form for a ball, it’d instead be described as bouncing, rolling, flying, etc.
Taoism has a pointer called ‘Wu Wei’ translated literally as ‘non doing’, but I think it’s sorta like this harmonious flow state of being, a sorta ‘effortless ease’. There is effort happening, but there’s also ease and non-effort. This links with an emphasis put towards an ideal of natural and spontaneous action, to work towards. ‘Trained Spontaneity’ that might take thousands of hours of practice to reach levels starting on mastery.
When you set the stage, it influences and traps the actors and audience into a certain mindset & stories.
re: Can you elaborate more on this point, difficult to understand.
The influence of environment and context is more about recognizing and honoring it’s effects, instead of just understanding. Actually I’d argue that academia and Western bias of viewing things so linearly as cause & effect, reinforces blind spots to environment and context.
Film makers and other performers would be more familiar with this, as they’re creating a performance, and play with many subtle aspects of the stage, framing, props, transitions, pacing, music, volume, etc. to guide the audience’s attention and create a story and experience inside the individual.
Magician’s play on weaknesses of people’s perceptions and limits of cognitive capacity. Here’s 3 examples videos, that capture aspects of how playing with environment or tweaking the story can guide or fool the other person.
Apollo Robbins has a really amazing understanding of limits of human perception and sorta actively hacks other’s people’s blind spots along with gently guiding other’s attention without them overtly knowing.
This isn’t as much of a trick, but his explanation of ‘bracketing of time’, is great about how context blind or context oblivious people are.
This shows how giant people’s blind spots can be.
I recall one of Peterson’s main meaning making models talks about seeking and obstacle functions of the primitive brain. Once the brain’s seeking mode is turned on, it automatically filters your awareness of the environment and makes totally invisible things that it deems non-essential. At the same time, as it’s reading the environment, it will automatically heighten awareness of potential obstacles.
Each individual can start the process of seeking meaning, but it’s at the mercy of what his/her environment/culture/family/etc has already predetermined. Technically there are choices to be made or not, but it’s largely controlled by an infinite amount of things out of one’s control. Then once a choice is made, pre-determined strategies on how to look for and deal with obstacles kick in, also usually below conscious thought or choice.
So, if one were to cultivate multiple perspectives and pay more attention to context and environment. One could take action in a way that would more cooperate with the environment, along with making constant minor tweaks in his/her environment and interactions. So that long term and for larger context, gradually the local environment and community around him/her would naturally flow and go harmoniously in a way that benefits his seeking goals with less personal obstacles, in addition to creating more flow and harmony (Tao) with those & all nature around.
So setting the stage is sorta like nurturing and creating conditions that are ideal for whatever long term event & harvest to arise naturally out of the environment. Not as fast and direct as cause & effect approach, but less friction and maybe more longer term and larger context benefit and gains.