Boiling It Down: Two Key Things that Help in Understanding Life

Context and Process.

Every specific, moment, individual part or person can be perceived, understood, assessed, and appreciated as part of a greater whole or context. Indeed, if one wants to achieve any of these four things in any situation or setting, one has to think about and reflect on how disparate parts are part of a context. When one can imagine or conceive of the big picture, then all the specifics make more sense and one can even understand relationships and connections much better. That is BTW why knowing and studying history, culture, and psychology are so important. They provide us valuable, useful structures and frameworks for more comprehensive, accurate overviews and perspectives.

For the fact is that everyone and everything did not spring intact, separately, individually, from the world or from God (if one is religious). A baby is born to parents, who were themselves children of other adults, and so on. A child going to school is part of that school life as well as also part of a family or home base. We and everything are in one or many contexts in a single given moment..

Process is built into everyone and everything from the get-go of experience. A plant begins as a seed from which it ripens through stages, yielding a flower in summer, before declining in fall and winter. Some plants or flowers are reborn the next year and their process continues. But, generally, when something dies–and people, animals, birds are good examples–that marks the end of their process of life and living. (Though some believe that life process continues in some other form such as in spirit or through rebirth or reincarnation.) But always process is a series of stages which have a life and flow about it. Generally, process involves imagination, creation, attention, growth, change, and a sense of moving from A to B to C and so forth–that is, implied continuum and continuous process. If anything, process helps us to understand and cope with change and daily flow.

I think these two things put a lot of things and life into perspective. Through context, for example, one can come to a better understanding of how setting and historical times affect an individual’s choices and values. Through process, one can come to a better understanding of where any person, creature, or thing is within a life cycle. This is a view that both subsumes change and helps us to understand the importance of choice relative to flow, change, and ongoing process.

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