A calm faith vs the two forms of blind conformity

A calm faith vs blind conformity

Before proceeding to other topics, let’s clarify what “faith” means (as distinct from blind conformity).
When a child is first learning to speak, they mimic the sounds that they hear. The child may learn that other people keep calling them Alexandria, and saying to them “your name is Alexandria.” However, that series of sounds is complicated (challenging to pronounce), so the child simplifies the sounds to “Lex.”
So, first, there is blind conformity, like copying the sequence of sounds “Alexandria,” and then there is variation. To take the long name Alexandria and shorten it to Lex… is natural.

If someone asks young Lex how to write the letter X, Lex may have no idea what they mean or may have a general vague idea or may even be totally certain and confident. Now, imagine Lex arguing with someone about the shape of the letter X.

“No, don’t be silly. Everyone knows that a letter is only valid as an X if it meets the following 10 very strict rules. First, a diagonal line that is perpendicular will cross at the midpoint of….”
Why argue? Why is the shape of an X so important to Lex? Why is agreement with others so important? Does Lex get upset if someone says that the shape X is a numeric code for ten (the number that comes after nine)?
calm faith arises when the following two things are BOTH present: certainty PLUS courage (no disturbance about other people and their conformity or non-conformity). One who is easily disturbed may be accurate (even certain) about some detail (or maybe not). But their disturbance is not faith. Their disturbance is insecurity, doubt, even panic. Does Lex have a tantrum about the idiots who keep insisting that the X on the clock is a 10?
Lex goes through distinct stages in regard to the letter X. First is total ignorance. Next comes repeated exposure to a pattern, so that the pattern is recognizable to Lex. Then comes copying or blind conformity, then validation or correction from others (who may or may not be accurate and competent). Lex may even begin to experiment and refine things, like pushing the boundaries: does “X” include “><” or even “8” (which is like a curvy X that connects at the top and bottom)?

Soon, Lex may be ridiculing others for calling the X on the clock a “10.” Lex may say, “look, it is clearly X O’clock, not 10 O-clock! Can’t you even read?”

The initial humility of Lex’s blind conformity may shift toward paranoia, which is an unmet desire for others to agree with ideas that are familiar to Lex (rather than face Lex with the potentially disorienting transition of learning new things). There can be blind conformity in behavior layered over the inner experience of doubt, panic, and disturbance.

“What do you mean that this X is not an X at all, but is a multiplication sign? There is no such thing as a multiplication sign because I would know if there was! You are just a big poop head.”

Lex’s fear can extend in to arrogant terror, blame, contempt, and rage. The possibility that terrifies Lex is that Lex may still have some learning to do.

Why isn’t that exciting and intriguing? Because Lex is afraid of admitting to confusion. Instead of admitting confusion, Lex insists on her own comprehension and competence. Lex may even attack any divergence from Lex’s familiar version of blind conformity… simply because too much uncertainty is disorienting to Lex, frightening, terrifying, disturbing.

“Stop disturbing me! I am still trying to really practice writing the letter X and you are like totally distracting me with talk of Y and Z. SHUT UP! Leave me alone. Let me master X in private. I do not want to openly admit that I am still learning about X. If you cannot conform blindly to X with me, then we cannot keep each other’s company- or not without some firm structure and leadership to keep us from freaking out. I’M BEING SERIOUSLY!”

Lex wants the presence of authority, but Lex is not ready to really provide it. All Lex can do is attempt to exclude alternatives.So, Lex may be confused. Lex may get quite frustrated and emotional and antagonistic and upset. “How can X be 10? 10 is 10 and X is X!!!” Lex may get hysterical and aggressive, insisting that the Romans and their Roman numerals are myths, not even real, not valid, evil, probably just a fictional civilization that never even existed because it obviously should not have ever existed, it’s a threat to the sanctity of our holy alphabet, it’s a shameful historical anomaly in the history of human language and human civilization.
Lex’s blind conformity may stop being humble and become rigid, frightened, arrogant, terrified. Again, Lex may even be right (at least partially) but, if Lex is arguing passionately about what is the real shape of X and what is not- if Lex is upset about the topic to the point of distress and even aggression- then that is terror and panic, not a calm faith. Hysterical arguing is the pretense of faith, the signal of the most antagonistic form of blind conformity.Lex is not ripe for proceeding yet and may never be. Those with a calm faith know blind conformity when it is displayed. They know humble blind conformity and they know arrogant blind conformity. They know respect and curiosity and a sense of humor- as well as the absence of those things.

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One Response to “A calm faith vs the two forms of blind conformity”

  1. oldthom52 Says:

    Greatlove it.
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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