I work1 with people who want to work, collaboratively, individually and collectively on de-centering the self.
The idea of the self as the centre is suffused with how we think of our selves, what we are, and how others appear to be. It is in every nook and cranny of our history and culture, including and especially language, but also education, philosophy, politics, religion, spirituality — whatever that may be. It is the very stuff of which relationships are made.
How can we possibly begin to deconstruct this?
Indeed. And the problem is even bigger than that because ‘man’ (by which I actually mean ‘human’ but here I deliberately emphasize the male gender because of the crucial work done by feminists) is also situated at the centre of our thinking about the world and how it works and how it should work. How do we de-center the human? What happens when one thinks of a human as no more or less important than a tree or a rock or a mollusc — or a river or a grain of sand. How does that change ethics?
Our whole idea of what we are, individually and collectively—and for that matter, what it means to be, and what it means to act, has to be rethought, reworked, relived. And to top that, our ideas about what reality is, or to be more precise, what we believe to be real and what we believe to be true, needs to be deconstructed and reconstructed from the ground up.
Are you crazy?
Wouldn’t this process take hundreds, even thousands of years?
Is it impossible?
— Probably. It is an index of impossible things. But I would argue that one’s relationship with the impossible need not only be informed by empirical thought, by positivist thinking, logic and reason.
Anyway, what else are you going to do with your life? Is it enough to just try and enjoy life and hope nothing bad happens whilst you’re alive? And what are the alternatives? Vote for a different party at the next election? Join a protest against one or another government decision or some callous act by a multinational?
Ok so how do we begin?
— It begins with a conversation, one to one, or in a group.
So … let’s talk.
if you’re looking for the old ‘work’ page, it is here.
I call it ‘work’ although this is not how I earn my living and I don’t charge fees for my work. My time is not for sale, but it is work: it takes time and energy, it is often difficult and I have to be available to do it, no matter what.↩