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  • #139993
    Vin
    Participant

    This is a lengthy but well-written article about a world-famous musician who posed as a street musician in DC Metro:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040401721.html

    The article clearly implies that we have “lost” something as a society when such a thing goes largely unnoticed. Is this a fair trial, though? The one thing everyone at a metro station has in common is that they are all trying to get somewhere quickly; often, they are in a hurry or late. An argument can be made that even if they had known the renown of such a person, they would have stayed for very little time (if at all) to ensure they were not late to work.

    I would like to see if anyone has opinions on this, and how it applies to the way perceive the world around us, not just as Jedi, but also as everyday people.

    Oh, yeah, credit where it is due. I saw something that lead me to this on Reddit.

    #156742
    Jax
    Keymaster

    Very interesting! I don’t like to walk around with headphones on because I can’t hear what’s going on around me, so if I were there that day I have no doubt I’d notice him. I always notice music. But knowing my time management skills I wouldn’t have a lot of time to stay I bet. lol  However, in my daily life I try to pay attention to see beauty around me.  I’m sure I’m not aware as I could be, but that’s been one benefit of the Jedi path – appreciating the small things.  And if I had been there and learned after what I missed I would really pay attention to the small things!  Very interesting.

    #156776
    Yoshio
    Moderator

    A very interesting story, but for me the outcome isn’t so astonishing. Maybe, as it was written in the article, he would have gotten more attention in Europe but I’m pretty sure not much, especially in the morning rush hour. In my opinion this is a matter of the fact that people have to deal with to many things already in the morning. I think most of the people allready start to think about their work when the get up in the morning. Because of that, they have to deal with all the problems occurring on their way to work which gives them little to no space to notice anything “unusual” going on around them. This shouldn’t be an excuse for not notice beauty when you see/hear/smell or feel it. It’s just the matter of the fact.
    To change it, it’s up to everyone himself! Herein, I think, we as Jedi do have a benefit as we work on ourself to become more calm, paying more attention to what is going on and try to pic up also small details. I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t have recognised the musician, but I’m also pretty sure that I would have recognised the music itself. So, if you would like to get the joy of “discovering” things like that, you have to work on your own attitude to become able to do so. My working colleagues do laugh when I tell them, that, when I went out of the office mostly all of the work belonging things I leave behind me and don’t take them home with me. That shouldn’t mean, that I’m not taking care of what is going on in my job or that I’m not interested in. For me it’s more the fact that I try to stay focused on/in the moment which gives me the possibility to notice other things.

    One other story, which might fit in here as well, is, that my ex-girlfriend was always astonished that I’m able to notice animals much early than she was able to do so. For me, this has to do with amount of attention you are able to pay to your surrounding and you can only increase it when you are able to calm down your mind and get your head free of unnecessary things.

    #156787
    Magdelene Nashira
    Participant

    I think people see what they expect to see.  If people attend a famous concert hall or something they expect to see a famous performer and would act with different respect.  But if people see an entertainer in a public place with a money cup, they expect it is not someone famous. 

    This reminds me of another story I found online a month or so ago.  I think it was a news site.  But in that story an anthropologist decided to do a study of the human tendancy toward greed.  So he got one-hundred $1 bills and taped them on the ends of branches on a tree on a crowded city sidewalk.  Each bill had a note that said something like “Don’t question it, sometimes good things just happen”.  He wanted to see what people’s reaction would be.  He expected them to fight over it or race each other to get them, or something like that.  But to his surprise the most common response was to just walk right by the tree and not even notice that the money was there.  Of the few people who did notice, they were somewhat suspicious.  A few people took a bill, but most people didn’t take more than one.  But the thing is, most people just don’t expect to see money growing on trees in the middle of a busy city sidewalk, so they don’t.

    #156789
    Jax
    Keymaster

    That’s a good point.  If something happens that is beyond our ability to believe or understand it we may simply not take it in.  I heard a story, I don’t know if it’s true, about the first Native Americans to encounter the landing explorers. Since they had never seen a large oceangoing ship they didn’t see them coming.  Their brains couldn’t process the possibility, so they didn’t see the explorers until they left the ships.  I can’t fathom that happening.  That’s one of the reasons why I advocate being open to possibilities.  What if something completely out of the ordinary happens and I miss it because I thought it so impossible my brain wouldn’t take in the experience?  I prefer to have my mind blown and try to figure it out later than to not have the experience at all.

    #156803
    Yoshio
    Moderator

    One true story which fits in here very well is onething which happened to me.
    I was working for a security company as summer job and there it was that I was standing in front of the opera hall as a kind of guard to watch the people who enter and keep does out who had no permission to do so.
    So, I was standing there and watching the crowd and it was that time of summer that Mrs. Clinton was visiting Salzburg and by doing so she also visited the opera hall. This was allready very interesting for me, as I was able, through this job, to see here quiet nearby.
    But one or two days after this day it happened to me that two girls were walking down the pavement. I looked at them and thoughted to myself: “The one of the two you know.” But I didn’t had a clue from where or when. So I was digging in my mind asking myself: “Was she a schoolmate?”, “Do you know here from the dancingclass?” and so on. But everytime I thought: “No, not from there” or “No, not from this situation” and so forth.
    At the moment when the both where just passing by in front of me it came to my mind, popping up from nowhere, that the girl, I was looking at, was the daughter of Mrs. Clinton.

    The thing is, as Nashira already stated, that, if you are not expacting to see someone or something, it is very likely that oversee it. This could also happen quiet easily if you meet someone by accident in a completely different setting than normal, that you wouldn’t recognise him.

    #156808
    Jax
    Keymaster

    True, but at the same time, the experiment wasn’t to see who would recognize a world renown classical musician but if they would recognize beauty.  We could say they didn’t expect to see beauty there, but how many people allowed the possibility?  They had their headphones on, were talking on the phone, or were so pre-occupied with their own thoughts for the day that they couldn’t see the beauty right there in front of them.  I think that’s the lesson the authors want us to take away from it.  However we can take more than just that from this.  Our preconceptions of a situation clearly make an impact on what we experience.  This prevents us from seeing things as they are, which is an important Jedi trait.

    This morning, when I was in a rush to get to work close to on time I took a deep breath and recalled this story.  I smiled and enjoyed my moment – the trees, the smell of nature, the humidity (yuck lol) and kept myself from getting too lost in my future work.  Thank you, Vin, for sharing this!

    I look forward to more examples from you all as well. 

    #156809
    Jedi_Phoenix
    Moderator

    Hm, I feel like I have to justify this since I live in the DC area….but that’s not possible.  No matter where you are in that area, people are always on the move.  And it is VERY common to see people at the metro exits playing music and asking for money.  And also, even if people didn’t stop to give money, that doesn’t mean they didn’t recognize the music or appreciate it.

    There was one time when I waited for a group of friends at an exit and the man was playing a trumpet.  It was very beautiful music, maybe I should of thanked him.  I think part of the other problem is that some musicians who stand out there “stalk” certain people, and it can become a dangerous situation fast. 

    Ok, enough justification, lol.  I think this is really a test on perception.  And psychology experiments have been done on this before.  Its called selective attention, or we see what we want to see.  In the study, they showed players passing a basketball and participants were told to count the number of passes.  however, half way through, a person in a gorilla suit comes in and then leaves.  Over half the participants missed this.  So psychologically we are wired to have very selective attention.  As Jedi, after learning this, I wouldn’t say its near impossible, but it does take a lot of concentration.

    Oh, here is the video… ;) http://viscog.beckman.illinois.edu/grafs/demos/15.html

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