No, I haven't been indulging in psychedelics. Although...hmmmm.... nope.... too random. And I'm too old for that anyway.
And where to post this? Spirituality? No, in unschooling, where the conversation of depth began in regards to education. And because PBH's value judgment of depth being encouraged over shallow exploration. This is where it started, and I love you ladies!
I've been pondering and puzzling over this and I've hit a brick wall that reminds me of the walls I busted through when first attempting to understand the nature of the universe (I'm not kidding and I'm not going bonkers--as soon as I finish this the computer is going off ad i'm making dinner). Clearly I am beyond the realm of education and children. I am talking grokking ("Stranger in a Strange Land" reference--look it up, it's a useful word) depth in a broader dense--deeper sense, if you will.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Anyhow, remember "Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"? An increasingly psychotic exploration of the meaning and nature of "quality". For a refresher--the narrator is on a motorcycle trip with his son (on a Harley Davidson--breaks often, cinch to repair by the owner) and his friend (on a BMW--rarely breaks, expensive to repair and requires a specialist). The story becomes a smaller and smaller part of the narrative until whole chapters are devoted to pondering all aspects of "quality", until towards the end, the story creeps back in.
His son, who has so far disliked the trip, shares that he can't see what his dad is seeing. His father realizes his son has been sitting behind him, unable to view anything on the whole trip.
Catharsis is reached. Story ends. OK, not a good synopsis. Very good book, if you go for that sort of thing.
So, same with my brain examining depth. One way to look at depth is specialization over generalization. Another way, not entirely separate, is more akin to diving into living fractals. E. O. Wilson does this nicely as he describes the denizens of the bark on a tree.
Then there is the value judgments we place on depth, especially in regards to specialization vs. generalization. Humans seem to have a tendency towards specialization, but it seems it's the generalists that pioneer new lands. Specialization in society breeds consumerism (vs. production), but the generalist big box stores, which cater to that consumerism, are forced to not be specialists, and this creates openings for smaller businesses that specialize. Specialization by everyone can make bartering a little difficult, but without it, the need for barter seems less. Value judgments: depth brings about our awe and our respect, but only to a point. We ooh and aaah and then talk about balance (child prodigies, rather off-in-the-head-artists a la Van Gogh).
We have such a contrary relationship with our need to take things to such richness and depth, but at the same time be aware of all that surrounds us in the world. We both desire a medical specialist, and bemoan the loss of the general practitioner. We encourage children to study something in depth, then worry when they won't bring their noses back out of it, we speak of balance, but hold up the accomplishments of the single minded.
I think I'm repeating myself over and over. I can sit in the woods and look closer and closer at the same square foot of space, in between reminding myself to look up and about. I can get to know this corner of the world well, but clearly at the expense of keeping myself informed and worldly. I'm not sure how I would value that. I'm not sure about why I encourage depth of focus in my child, not understanding it--what it is and where it comes from and what the benefits are.
Oh. OK, that's the end of the ramble.
Edited by SweetSilver - 9/24/13 at 8:32am