KEW Episode 51: Personal Inventory

On our journey to define the ARE vs SHOULD problem (Episode 50), we must first define the ‘existing conditions’. Like many scientific endeavors (and I’m NOT saying this is a scientific endeavor, rather, that I will take a scientific APPROACH), the Are vs Should investigation needs to know where it’s coming from to understand where it’s going.

And, really, the personal inventory is just that – it defines where we are at the beginning of our adventure. Doesn’t every good movie do the same thing? Isn’t this really just a classic ‘set the scene’ device we use to tell stories and keep them interesting?

And so on the path to personal growth and figuring out the Are vs. Should problem, we will first lay everything out on the table and start from there. Carlos Castaneda, in the books he wrote about Don Juan Matus, talked a lot about the table, and the tonal, as being the field of the ‘known’ or the ‘earthly’ possessions humans carry around with them.

But the personal inventory is about much more than just physical objects. It’s the feelings we have, the people we know, the relationships we build, the cars we drive, the foods we eat, and so on, and so on, ad infinitum.

Truly, the personal inventory is the story of everything that has happened to us in our lives up to the point at which we build the personal inventory. And, yes, it’s a huge job and no, I don’t expect you to nail every last thing.

The idea is that, if someone asked you about the ‘basics’ of the inventory: your likes, dislikes, wants, needs, desires, values, etc. you’d probably be able to come up with a handful of things quickly. And you might even think that those things ‘pretty much’ described who you are. And that’s the problem. We don’t see ourselves as being all that complex. Or maybe not AS complex as we truly are.

We are ourselves and our experiences. So TIME is a huge factor here. Our personal inventory is also our personal HISTORY. Much of the personal inventory is things we haven’t done, or thought about, in a long time. It’s our past and our present. It’s who we ARE and who we WERE. It’s physical and it’s metaphysical.

And, again, the idea is not to be complete nor obsessive. The idea is to think about this as much as we can, to establish a ‘who am I’ table full of things, and then to move forward.

Building your personal inventory can be fun. You will be surprised how interesting you are if you push yourself beyond your comfort zone and tolerate the pain of a thorough investigation of your self.

And, truly, if you don’t put forth an earnest effort (and you must define what that is for yourself), you will not make much progress on the Are vs. Should problem. The more you reveal about yourself, the more material you will have to work with.

While I’m not entirely sure what will come next, it will very likely focus on an ASSESSMENT of the personal inventory to think about where and how these pieces of you came to be. And whether they need to stay. Or go. And whether there are things missing that you wish were there. Please comment below with thoughts you might have about what comes next. More next week in Episode 52.

Direct podcast audio download here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/8746218-kew-episode-51-personal-inventory.mp3?download=true

or subscribe on Stitcher, Apple podcast, Spotify, etc.

Direct link to YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/psgP9inkpRQ

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel or follow my blog if you’d like to keep up with the progress toward the Are vs. Should problem.

Preview KEW Episode 50: Are vs. Should

In this ‘milestone’ Episode I’ll summarize a new direction for KEW. After 50 Episodes and 10 Curiosity interviews I have compiled, assessed, and researched most of the ideas, concepts, and thoughts swimming around in my head. I’ve discussed these ideas in real-time podcast format and learned a lot in the process. I appreciate you coming along with me on this journey.

Now that I’ve thought through most of what I needed to think through, I’ll spend the next 10-50 episodes narrowing down a more focused topic. I have realized that the message under my curiosity is fairly singular. It comes down to one phenomenon. Something I think may be fairly universal. Something it seems many humans suffer from. And I will start with one question:

Do you struggle between being the person you ARE and the person you think you SHOULD BE?

If you understand this question, or are at least curious about it, the next phase of KEW will be right up your alley. If you don’t understand this question you may be interested to pay attention anyway. If you are someone who ignores one or the other of these two ‘persons’, I may want to interview you.

From this basic question about the human condition I will develop a thesis.

Preview video below. Full Episode this Friday.

KEW Episode 35: Beyond Science

Before I ‘retired’ to stay home with my kids I was an academic research scientist. I taught classes, advised students, and led a research lab. I was pretty successful. The only reason I share that is to say I feel like I’ve earned the right to explain what science is, and what it ISN’T. In Episode 1 I shared a bit about what science is, and now I want to talk about what it is not.

Science is very good at asking questions about things we can measure, but it isn’t very good at addressing the unmeasurable things. Like emotions, intelligence (even though we try with the IQ), colors, music . . . Some things just don’t fit into the scientific method. And that’s OK! Some things, many things actually, are measured indirectly and sort of forced to fit into science, and that’s ok, too. Take my former scientific field, ecology, for example. Many ecosystems can’t be replicated (there’s only one Earth), so ecology doesn’t fit exactly into hypothesis testing and statistics, but we do it anyway. Science is pretty robust, but there are still things outside the realm of investigation via the scientific method.

So what do we do? Well, there’s metaphysics, a field which I know little to nothing about. But I like the idea of metaphysics because it’s ‘beyond’ physics. And physics is arguably one of the most advanced fields of science. So, metaphysics goes beyond physics but with an appreciation and understanding of the underlying principles of particles and such.

But I think calling it metaphysics, if I’m anywhere close to understanding what it is, is probably not necessary. I think we all understand, at least a little, that science can’t do everything. So we probably also accept that there are other forms of thinking that are totally acceptable.

The major difference I see, between scientific thinking and ‘other kinds of ‘ thinking, is the standardization procedures. If anyone can just ‘think’ their way through problems, how do you know what is accurate? How many hair-brained things have you heard people say? Are all of our ideas really just opinions? There has to be someway to filter through the crummy thinking to get to the good stuff. How do we determine what’s good?

While that question may be another podcast in and of itself, in Episode 35 I offer my thoughts about how we go about non-scientific thinking as a community. Similar to science we must peer-review each other’s thoughts through a traditional discourse. I long for a world where structured thinking about metaphysical subject is widespread and follows a systematic approach developed cooperatively by all of us.

Podcast download link here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/6975298-kew-episode-35-beyond-science.mp3?blob_id=29706826&download=true or via your favorite podcast app.

YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/Daii2LHwlBg

Preview KEW Episode 35: Beyond Science. Metaphysics?

During my brief stint as a philosophy major I really wanted to learn about Metaphysics. Mostly because I thought it sounded cool, but I really knew nothing about it. I’m not sure much has changed in that respect. But I was thinking recently about things that can’t be explained using the scientific method, like Self and Soul (KEW Episodes 33 and 34) and, well, this led to Episode 35.

Science is great, but it was designed to measure things. And those things have to be measureABLE. Quantifiable. So we can use math. Physics might be the crowing achievement of the sciences (but they’re all good) but just can’t do it all. So I think of metaphysics as being beyond physics – beyond the best science into a new realm

In the Soul episode I wondered aloud whether particles might have some precursor to awareness, and that this might lead to awareness when organized into a human mind. As with most ideas I have, I’m not the first one to offer this theory, but it was new to me at the time. The alternative, of course, is that particles do NOT have any awareness and that human consciousness or awareness is unique, and maybe magical. Either way this isn’t a question science can answer. Very well, if at all.

I’m sure I’ll keep pushing into the soul/self/awareness/consciousness space because I find it interesting. But first, a bit about what science can and can’t do, and a plea for more philosophy.

Preview video here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=450945185901457

Full Episode this Friday.