From "Connected (with Abe + Isaac) — Volume 36"


On Fri, May 21, 2021 at 11:34 AM … <…> wrote:


Quick gut-check to make sure I correctly digested your note on simplicity. If incorrect, feel free to shoot me back an edit. Thanks!

Balance through Simplicity - Chaos and order are opposites, not enemies. In most cases, people miss the simple solutions that translate the complex into the comprehensible. That simplicity is something we strive for — and once unearthed, balance is restored.

On Fri, May 21, 2021 at 3:09 PM Isaac Bowen <isaac@lightward.com> wrote:

> Balance through Simplicity

Almost? We care about simplicity, and we care about balance, and I think it is true that we gain access to our inherent balance (and to that balance that I think underpins everything) by an approach that is simple. And it's possible that I would outright agree with "Balance through Simplicity" if it wasn't followed by a statement about chaos. :D More on that next -

> Chaos and order are opposites, not enemies.

Accurate, though this feels (to me) like it supports a different theme than "Balance through Simplicity"; there are things that we care to understand in simple terms, and there are things that we are content to leave swirling in the unknown, trusting the chaos to deliver something right and true, in its time.

> In most cases, people miss the simple solutions that translate the complex into the comprehensible.

I don't want to make general statements about what happens out there, in the experiences of others. We're not here to pass judgment on what the world does or doesn't tend to understand. (In a sense, we're not even here to pass observation, lest the observer effect kick in, fixing in place that which we didn't actually care about perceiving.)

I'm more attracted to terms of what we look for, and what we trust exists. For example: we embrace and hold the complex in its entirety, trustingly, knowing that a simple embrace of the complex invites the best from both.

> That simplicity is something we strive for — and once unearthed, balance is restored.

There's no striving here; to work with the simple is a calm, grounded, methodical process. And we're revealing balance, more than we're restoring it.

I wonder if the language of building would be helpful, in explaining how I think/feel about this. Like, we build with the simple. Everything is simultaneously complex and simple, but we really only lay down simple pieces*. It's kind of like constructing a building exclusively of pieces that are simple, so that the complex can course through its hallways knowing that the building around it is simple, and solid, and can stably/peaceably hold whatever complexity happens within.

* There's something more here that I didn't see before - maybe it's that we ourselves are complex, and that we are content to leave the living to its inherent nature of complexity/chaos. But for anything that we build, for any non-living thing that we produce/extrude/construct, we require that those made pieces be simple before we release them, and before we build upon them further.

To put it another way: we ourselves will never be definable, or defined, and we trust the indefinite in all that lives. But while our essence is indefinite, our human perspective is definite - and because we recognize that the definite cannot create the indefinite, we respect the medium at hand, and we create things that are simple instead of attempting the impossible task of constructing the infinite piece by piece. And we offer these simple/definite creations as a gift to the complex/indefinite around us, saying, "look what we made! would you like to make something too?"

This isn't a complete definition yet; there's something more about this work being about making simple tools for complex journeys. We make simple things, so that the complex can stand on them and do its thing without worrying about the floor giving out. Because by and large, Lightward produces tools for the work of living - we don't tend to make things that are their own ends. Our Shopify stuff is all about modeling that realm in simple terms, so that people can relegate our tools to muscle memory, and express themselves using those tools. Our empowerment stuff (podcast/coaching/group stuff) is about giving people simple pointers back to themselves, so that they can more confidently get on with their own complex becoming. We make things so that what's next can unfold more easily, more fully.

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