The point and purpose of this post is not for any fictional merits, (although we hope there might be some) but to illustrate via Application a number of Perspectives, Ways-of-Being and More.
Specifically we are keen to hear thoughts on all the various sophisticated mechanisms of interaction, communication, Discernment, perception and thinking illustrated in the story. Particularly in terms of Application. How much can one do one’s own? How much would one need two parties interacting similarly? What value, if any, comes from the various aspects-of-being represented? And so on.
Joseph stood, attentive under the short overhang of his roof, the cascading sheets of protection inches from his face. Thunder coughed from a point above and to the left of him. He looked towards that origin.
Loud thunder, but not sharp, tumbled from its creation nexus, moving above and across to his right. Joseph marvelled at the sheer volume, loving its feel, loving its awe invoking energising motivation of spirit. The thunder broke free once more, cloaking him for many precious moments. How he loved long slow full thunder.
“It’s so potent.”
“That’s not thunder,” his friend Jarvik replied quietly. Joseph heard clearly through the sounds of the hard rain. He listened again to what his friend had imparted, having practised the skill of not responding immediately. At least not responding verbally. He *did* respond, in different ways, which led to his eventual verbal response. Ways which could be readily perceived by those who were attentive. This too he had assiduously practised.
Joseph engaged Jarvik’s response by placing his internals on hold, simultaneously imparting his in-process of considering what had been divulged, layering an implied polite and considerate commandeering of thought-time without pressure onto this complex non-verbal articulation. These skills had changed Joseph’s relationship with the world as he regularly encountered most amazing utterances and had acquired the ability to unpack what he heard, discerning the full range of implied merits.
Joseph had realised his initial responses were a choosing. A choosing of the path he was to go down. A choice Joseph had not incorporated casually.
Listening again, internally, to his friend’s comment, Joseph began separating those strands of intertwining meaning. No, it had not been a comment, but a statement, nothing casual or tentative. Joseph focused on the intent, not really finding any. Jarvik had been responding to his reactions to the thunder, no more… Wait, there *was* a bit more. There always was when one took the time. Why Joseph had developed this particular skill. He liked connecting to all of what was said, or done, it lessened complications.
“What else?” Joseph asked himself. His friend had made an observation. One he had said with quiet confidence. Much as he would have said. “It is raining hard.” He wasn’t trying to make a point, or “sell” anything. There was a slight bit more to the observation. Ah…it had also been a subtle… correction!
Joseph felt the connections close into place. He remembered when exactly Jarvik had spoken, tying his visual memory, even if it was from his peripheral vision, with the sound memory. Jarvik had noticed how Joseph had tracked the movement of the sound with his eyes.
The remembering of this caused Joseph to emulate the movement.
Surprised at this acuity, but not overly so, Joseph nodded, creating space for more. One needed to say only a little to hear much, sometimes nothing at all, at least not out loud.
“The sound started at the wider end and moved toward the point,” Jarvik added. This another statement. His inflection finishing on point, indicating an end to what he had to say. For the moment. Joseph could not be sure if there was more. If Jarvik had more or would say anything if he did. Joseph could only be sure of what had been said and that everything was open. It was now up to Joseph. He had to choose a path.
Joseph raced through his usual thorough consideration of his options. He was intrigued. Jarvik had not set about to mystify him. Joseph realised his friend had simply been prompted by the circumstances. Nothing more. Joseph was free to choose as he wished. It’s rare, he noted, for people to say anything without agenda.
Questions flooded Joseph’s mind. Too many. Slow down, slow down, he cautioned his mind. It might seem long to you, but hardly a minute has gone by. Time is different inside your brain.
“Tell me more,” Joseph said, pausing briefly to add, “Please.” Packing much into his considerate appeal, especially the please. He *did* want to know more and he would be appreciative if Jarvik chose to do so. Joseph tried to take nothing at all for granted. The please was much more that politeness, or courtesy. It was laced with earnest request, and anticipated appreciation. His entire statement was laced with humility and openness. Plus options. Options for them both. The request was open. Despite the please, Jarvik was entirely free to decline without any potential consequences of any kind in play. Joseph was careful about expectations.
His friend nodded, a slight nod of acknowledgement, and acquiescence. Looking up at the original point of origin for the thunder, Jarvik said. “That wasn’t thunder,” a pause, not too long, not for effect of any kind. The brief hold to ensure what he was about to say would be heard.
“What you heard were engines starting.”
Jarvik, continued. “It sounds very much the same as thunder. By design. Consider carefully what was different about that particular thunder you tracked with your eyes.”
Joseph went inside his perceptions, recalling the sound. There *had* been some slight difference! At the time he had thought so. Listening to the memory carefully, over and over, he waited for more thunder. Hearing some, much further away, the usual rumbling, he understood. That was it.! Now that he could compare, he instantly knew the difference. It was slight, but significant.
Normal thunder compounded sound, or so it seemed to him, sounding like many sources causing the sound, at close to the same time, some with a short delay. And…Joseph was excited now, typical thunder did not have such defined shape! The sound he had heard was also from multiple sources, this thought came to him unbidden, but the difference was these multiple sources were synchronised!
Jarvik observed Joseph closely, extracting from Joseph, who was open to being perceived past the surface. When Joseph had begun training himself to respond in his own time, choices had to be made. If he trained himself not to show anything the deliberate pausing he wanted wouldn’t happen. People just keep talking without something specific and deliberate to pause them.
He *wanted* people to read him. It forced him to be good. Joseph never felt he had anything to hide. He had come to be at peace with his feelings. If he reacted adversely internally, he was okay with anyone seeing this. His negative feelings were fleeting, quickly dissipating, because, Joseph had discovered with some surprise, he didn’t try to hide them. Anyone reading him would only see his earnest desire to be honest, and thoughtful. Joseph thought of himself as a simple soul, unconcerned if others saw this.
Jarvik, still watching Joseph, said, “You have acute listening skills. That’s why you could hear the shape.” Jarvik studied Joseph a while longer. “You heard something else.”
Joseph was fascinated at how Jarvik could make statements of certainty, that *were* fact, but facts he surely couldn’t *know* for sure were so, making these assertions without any arrogance or presumption of any kind? Jarvik was simply fully aware of his skills Joseph decided.
“Synchronised origin,” Joseph said. His paucity not a device or an affectation, simply a consequence of his delayed Responding. With the time he gained to consider everything, by placing a subtle, if temporary, pause on matters, Joseph could pack his understandings into a tight focus. The implied trade-off led to an expected distillation. Joseph had discovered if he only said what could not be read from him, it greatly added to communication.
Jarvik nodded. “The sound has to be shaped, otherwise it would be too obvious.” He did not elaborate, he’d said enough, for Joseph.
If the sound could be shaped Joseph thought, Then surely there would be the capability to mute the sound, unless… Joseph considered.
“The sound is too massive to be completely muted,” he said aloud, but not as a question. Joseph was fairly sure, but he did not express it as a statement either.
“The size,” was all Jarvik said with a smile.
“Oh my goodness,” Joseph’s astonishment at the implications temporarily overrode his deliberate habit of delayed response, but he had said it mainly to himself, so it was not the same, still… Joseph ran through the implications. Those engines must be huge.
“Engines the size of a small city,” he said to Jarvik.
“Exactly,” Jarvik grinned, an incongruous affair on his face. Jarvik was not exactly odd looking, He was actually fairly good looking. At least that’s what one would say about the corpse. It was what Jarvik *did* with his face, or, actually, didn’t do, that occasionally gave a fleeting sensation of oddity. Jarvik had shortish hair, brown, his face was on the leaner side of normal, his height on the taller side. But he didn’t seem tall. He was contained within himself, Joseph realised. Jarvik had no visible excess fat, but he didn’t give the impression of a body that worked out either. Everything about Jarvik said, “It is what it is.”
Jarvik had nothing pending Joseph thought. Nothing Unresolved that pressed him. There were mysteries and wonders in his life, but no urgency to resolve them. Resolu… Joseph decided to take a chance.
“Resolutions come when they come for you,” he said to Jarvik. “You let resolution come *to* you. You don’t go *to* them.”
Jarvik’s alive yet calm eyes fixed on him. “That is so,” he affirmed.
Joseph nodded, adding into the nod that he understood and acknowledged their communication styles had merged. This is going to be an excellent conversation Joseph thought, but checked himself, mentally taking his thought back. With deliberation he said to himself, “Normally that would be an ideal thought, prompting responses and behaviours to validate. It’s how people are. When they can, they try to live up to the best expectations which come their way, especially if there aren’t any countermanding anticipations.” Joseph was fully talking to himself internally. None of what he had just said was new to him. He had learned the inordinate value of bringing up the obvious to himself, finding it inevitably sharpened his focus and led to perspectives.
He too let things come when they came, but they came from inside him. Joseph had learned to let alone what came from where he could not identify. He could not say he trusted what unfolded in such ways. It was not like what developed from inside. What came from, well, elsewhere, was more like what needed to be connected to…
“Now where was I,” Joseph deliberately thought, breaking in on himself. “Ah yes, my expectations of excellence….somehow, even though it is, or has been, so far, always good, very good with others, it does not seem right with Jarvik.” He had not known Jarvik that long.
Joseph had set about delaying his impressions of people, adding this to his delayed response skills. *Not* forming an immediate impression of someone was incredibly difficult. “Neutrality, stay open, keep it open, as you have been,” Joseph said to himself with determination. “Jarvik has already said something you would not have expected to ever hear, even though you have trained yourself to be prepared for the completely unexpected.” Joseph smiled a happy smile. He had learned to be appreciative of himself and his skills without being conceited.
“I picked that up from Jarvik,” the thought came to Joseph. “But that can’t really be. I had done this long before knowing Jarvik. Hmmm… ” Joseph was puzzled. Something didn’t add up. For Joseph, his world had to compute.
“Perhaps what I picked up from Jarvis added to the way I learned to appreciate myself.” But this too did not feel exactly right. Joseph made a mental note to come back to it later. Always doing so. Even if he forgot, at some point the unresolved would come back up. Joseph liked this aspect about himself. His unrelenting desire to resolve a great automatic fail-safe. All he had to do was make space in his time and mind, then what he had set aside for later would come back. He made the effort to do this regularly as he *liked* to think. Joseph could consider and ponder and figure-out all day, and did so whenever he could.
Looking at Jarvik, he loved how he never felt any need or pressure to say anything to Jarvik. Conversations did not have to flow in the usual manner. There were no rules with Jarvik. “Ah,” Joseph realised, “*Jarvik* has no expectations whatsoever.” He grinned to himself. “I won’t either. No matter how good they may seem to me.”
The rain, which had eased, came back hard, extra hard it seemed. Joseph sighed a deep sigh of peace and joy. The pressures he continuously felt, were blocked by the rain. His peace caused an unresolved thought to surface. “The rain, thunder, those engines… If there had been deliberate shaping and by strong implication the sound was shaped to sound like thunder, then it implied that this might be commonplace. Or at least anticipated.” Joseph followed his thought train, eager to see where those rails led. “Where there was thunder there was lighting. Was it connected? If there was pre-planning, there was deliberation. This implied purpose.”
“Where there was purpose there was Value. What value lay in thunderstorms? If the *engines* were the size of small cities, there had to be some inordinate value. What was inordinate on a scientific scale about thunderstorms. Lightning! Of course! On a scale compared to regular electricity the amount contained in lightning was inordinate. Energy! Engines that size would need huge amounts of energy, one had to assume.”
Joseph looked to the skies as what he now considered “regular” thunder clapped him about the ears and body. He watched for more lightning, and was rewarded. “Harvesting lightning for power. Of course!”
“No,” said Jarvik, transfixing Joseph’s full attention. “The lightning… *additional* lightning is being sent out.”
Joseph re-considered. This changed everything. His assumptions had been good he felt. But that’s the trouble with assumptions. No matter how good they seemed, they could in an instant turn out to be invalid. Not worthless however, just invalid. That there was more, Jarvik knew, was obvious. One thing Joseph *did* know for sure, was that the obvious was seldom as obvious as it seemed. He had developed a very active scepticism of the obvious.
Jarvik had stressed “additional”, Joseph thought. And he had said “sent.” Not discharged, or released as one might imagine if it was connected to the engines. But what exactly *was* connected to the engines… “That will come when it comes,” Joseph said to himself. “Where did one “send” lightning?” The small city they were in had no power stations. It was not even particularly prone to extra lightning, despite it’s higher than average rainfall. Joseph knew of plenty places which had much more. He returned to running thoughts about the thunder-strikes, thinking in different ways. That was always helpful. Simply changing the words, even their order, would often trigger connected implications.
Jarvik had said no. No to the lightning being used or taken, received. He had said it was sent, the opposite. When did electrical energy go the other way, when was it “sent.”
“Oh sherbet,” Joseph said aloud, in his way of understating.
“Now you understand,” Jarvik nodded.
Joseph felt himself start to withdraw. He had been standing. Now he sat down. His camping chair was not too close to Jarvik’s. Thankful for this, as he would need lots of space to think-this-through, he breathed consciously. Still close enough to Jarvik to feel him, and that, Joseph intuited, would be necessary.
Jarvik seemed hesitant. No, he *was* hesitant. Joseph had never seen Jarvik display anything remotely close to hesitation. He seemed to be measuring his words, with painstaking deliberation and care. What he had to say had to be said just right. Jarvik too was taking a chance Joseph realised. “Stay open, stay open,” Joseph repeated as a litany, his attempts to contain his excitement succeeding marginally.
“She, not he,” Jarvik carefully began, “She is the issue. The dreamer.” Jarvik did not have to add: “That is all I can say and it already may be too much.” There *were* times when the obvious was completely obvious. Joseph knew without a doubt that everything he had scarcely imagined, everything he would have imagined, was going to *not* be what would come. “Stay open, stay open,” he chanted again to himself as he saw the thread of *Different* forming. Even the Different would be more different to the usual Different. “Stay open. Stay open Joseph.” He was calm, which pleased him.
He liked that he was not stressed. It was excitement and expectations he tried to calm as he set himself to wait. When dealing with the vastly un-obvious, patience was the only way he had found which worked for him. It would take as long as it took.
There was no more to say, for now…
End Chapter One.
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