The Vertical and the Horizontal


“I finally had time to really dive into your presentation of Kendrick and his work, the videos, the articles. His frankness, simplicity, humility — that’s high end stuff. Makes me think of a pearl or gem that gets so sanded down by the elements around it that it just becomes pure, all artifices worn away, shed. I tend to be like most around me, just led by what is already getting attention, what is familiar, what is presented to me instead of looking, listening deeper. I don’t make the effort to explore beyond my familiar and comfortable reach most of the time, so I’m appreciative of your presentations of these treasures on your blog.”

“I watched the video of Viktor Frankl and the interview with Kendrick Lamar on your blog, and both of them really connected with me, or I connected with them. I felt very strongly about the ’maybe it’s time you give back to life’, and the acceptance of change (during a devastating health issue that I thought was the end of everything). Watching these, listening, and really taking in what was being given, made me realize that that choice is also mine. So find joy in that, and give back in gratitude for what I can do…”

“This is very cool how you’ve drawn attention to Kendrick Lamar in your blog, especially how you frame these things in ways that others don’t. I understand that it’s not his accomplishments you’re pointing to as much as his personal voice and philosophy within a subculture that most of us are unfamiliar with but probably consider suspect. This is a consistent challenge you offer up, finding ways to expand beyond self-limiting personal subcultures of prejudice, assumption, stereotype and the structures we have in place to keep those separate and secure. One of the many ways you help get me ‘out of school’ and into real life experiences as a constant practice.

“I also love this simple yet wildly significant insight: ‘Kendrick Lamar de-feminizes the human traits of love and empathy, which in Hip hop culture is feminized.’ That fits in very nicely as another look at this theme you have in motion all the time, perfectly summed up, I think, in a quote you included in your blog last year from D. T. Suzuki: ‘Practically, it means the unfolding of a new world hitherto unperceived in the confusion of a dualistically-trained mind…our entire surroundings are viewed from quite an unexpected angle of perception.’”

Thank you, folks, for your enthusiastic and skillful reception of recent offerings here. I’m encouraged by the responses, including ones that I’m not including here, which display a wide spectrum of admirable human qualities and real capability.

Personally, I’m also relieved and pleased to have aspects of “the vertical” highlighted and folded into the conversation in a dimension of personal focus within the world at large that in general obsesses over “the horizontal.”

The Horizontal: Acquisition of information, things, prestige, money, intellectual understanding, and marketable cleverness.
The Vertical: Prioritization of intuition, qualities and virtues, presence, compassion, beauty, and wisdom.

Or, as Hetty Einzig explains:

“Purpose and intention go beyond goals and denote direction of travel…and has the power to unite conflicting agendas and set all endeavor in a wider context of shared meaning.”

Here’s a different, excellent, and honorable voice speaking in a wider context of shared meaning…

“The World Health Organization estimates that by 2020 the second largest cause of illness among human populations, and disability, will be depression. That’s an extraordinary state of affairs, isn’t it? As the world seems to be getting materially better off, levels of depression in materially wealthy societies are increasing … So I just had this conviction, and still do, that everyone has a deep reservoir of talent and ability. And everyone has this kind of unfinished business, and if you can give them the opportunity, wonderful things start to happen…”
– Sir Ken Robinson

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