Getting above the line

When we're in either the Bad or Better Places below the line, our plate is way too full to care about others. We see the world in B&W terms (dichotomous, binary, either/or). We take what we're seeing literally as if any subjectivity is unproven, superstitious or unrealistic. Our minds are anxiety ridden which gives us urges to escape this inner turmoil with some outer distractions. We become extremely materialistic, over-consumers because it provides emotional relief, not because we need that much stuff.

Below the line, we accept college life as it is. We have no way to question authority, challenge the value offered or disagree with the assignments, tests and grades that get dished out. We admire professors for being objective, extrinsically rewarded and as toxic as our friends and family. We either win or lose, succeed or fail and progress or fall back in school. We're getting cheated out of a good education and have no qualms about cheating our way through unreasonable demands on us. We either become content junkies for new ideas or conventional junkies for the thrills of sports, parties and sex. None of this is good for our brains, bodies, health or emotional well being.

Getting above the line to the Good or Great Places becomes a huge challenge. The possibility of a healthy experience offers no appeal. The switch to intrinsic value and self motivation appears extremely unrealistic. Trusting subjective interpretations over objective evidence appears flawed, delusional and unreliable. We prefer to assume there is no place above the line worth seeking.

Most of the time, we remain stuck in the world below the line until we meet someone with a very different outlook, frame of mind and way of relating to us. This person does not make sense in our usual terms. We question how this is possible, where is this person coming from and how s/he got to be this way? We realize there is more to the realm of the "adjacent possible" than more of the same variations.

We may get pulled up to the Good Place above the line by this person. We will get asked questions about our feelings, fascinations and envisioned future. Rather than getting regarded as a productive slave and active consumer, we're approached as someone with a unique voice, viewpoint and palette of self expressions. The fact we get pulled up, rather than pushed, speaks volumes about trusting us and respecting our own timing, motivations and outlooks. We realize we can accomplish more and better things without all the excessive control, structure and power-trips that infect the worlds below the line.

We begin to take interest in others interests as we learn from such more interest being taken in our own interests. We discover how our subjective sense is more fitting to our priorities, values and moral code. We see things our own way and allow others the same freedom. Above the line people are far more interesting to know which makes it much more rewarding and easy to pursue a deeper understanding of their interests.

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