[Excerpt from Energy Report: July & August 2011]
The Attitude is our way of describing one’s basic philosophy, or one’s basic filter for interpreting the world, and how one tends to bring that philosophy into the world. Pragmatism is basically the philosophy of theorizing, experimenting with those theories, and then choosing the most practical.
Pragmatism is the building up of theories from the processing of one’s own experiences, and then applying those theories to substantiate them, which gives rise to new experiences, which then give rise to new theories, and so on. However, Pragmatism is not just about the collection of one’s own experiences, but the consideration and inclusion of other people’s experiences and theories along the way. It is through the experimentation and application of all theories that Pragmatism is healthy as an Attitude, or is in the Positive Pole of Practical/Efficient. Pragmatism is not about convenience or lazy interpretations, when in the Positive Pole, but a consideration of a multitude of perceptions that can work, could work, or has worked, and then choosing from those the most Practical, through experimentation.
When Pragmatism falls into the Negative Pole, there is no Practice (practical), no Efficiency, and certainly very little consideration of alternative theories to one’s own. There is only Prejudice, Presumption, or Dogmatism. These words not only describe the lack of validation of the theories, but describes the blocking of challenges to one’s theories, including the very nature of varying contexts. When Pragmatism falls into Dogma, one’s perspective is locked in a way that leaves little room for the consideration of even one’s own new experiences, or alternative perspectives, that could update or clarify the original theories so that they are capable of being validated, useful, Practical.
A simplistic example might be one who “knows” that he can get on the other side of a wall, because he knows that others have done so, so he rams himself into the wall. This is an experience that tells this person that ramming into the wall is probably not the most efficient or practical means for applying his theory that one can get to the other side. The Pragmatist in the Positive Pole would then try to climb it, or crawl through a window, or use the door, or just go around it, or all of the above, comparing each experience to determine the most practical solution, but also including feedback and experiences from those around him so that he can experiment with those, too. The Pragmatist in the Positive Pole knows that the shortest distance between two points is not always a straight line, so to speak.
The Pragmatist in the Negative Pole may simply continue to ram himself against the wall, eventually busting through, and then insists that this is the only way, or the best way, or the way that works, because it worked for him. Eventually. ...
Also, keep in mind that all Assimilative Overleaves “slide” to the other Overleaves as a means for manifestation. All Assimilative Overleaves are rather transparent, if you will, and though defined in their own right, tend to require other means through which to apply that definition. So the Pragmatist, then, would “slide” to the Attitude that is most Practical for the occasion, or the most useful for digging in to Dogmatism. Though an Assimilative Overleaf can use any other Overleaf in that category, a person will tend to choose one or two as habitual places to slide.