The duty of rhetoric is to deal with such matters as we deliberate upon without arts or systems to guide us, in the hearing of persons who cannot take in at a glance a complicated argument or follow a long chain of reasoning. – Aristotle
Facts are not liberals’ strong suit. Rhetoric is. – Thomas Sowell
Rhetoric is cheap, evidence comes more dearly. – John Fund
Rhetoric is a poor substitute for action, and we have trusted only to rhetoric. If we are really to be a great nation, we must not merely talk; we must act big. -Theodore Roosevelt
The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. – Adolf Hitler
A system is a cohesive conglomeration of interrelated and interdependent parts. Every system is bounded by space and time, influenced by its environment, defined by its structure and purpose, and expressed through its functioning. A system is more than the sum of its parts.
Let’s talk about system, When you want to learn something you usually create a system, even if you don’t think about it that way. You might have an instructor, perhaps some written material, and then there will be exercises you do. And then there is you, changing over time. Let’s consider skiing for example.
You would hire an instructor, perhaps you have watched several videos before going to the ski lodge. The instructor gives you exercises involving, balance, edging, rotation, and pressure. Depending on your abilities and background you grow new neural circuits, and with time you begin to improve.
So we have a creation made up of interrelated, interdependent parts; a system. You becoming a skier is the objective, and the production is more than any of its parts. If you only practiced balance, edging, rotation, and pressure separately, they would do you no good when you put on the skis and got on the snow.
So why am I putting so much into this concept of “system?” Because while the word is often used, few grasp it’s power. We think rhetorically but we live systemically. That one sentence can have much power, so it is worth looking at a little more.
For thousands of years Rhetoric was a main element of advanced education. This is part of the reason there was so little progress then, and why we have so many lawyers now. Science and systems analysis are recent developments and have just barely begun to make their way into the educational system, and the common understanding.
If you doubt this, take a break, and define those terms. Now Google them and see how you score. We will cover both in greater depth when we explore a Thought-System, but for now lets focus on the concept of a Life-System.
The idea of a Life-System might seem far out, but in actuality it is quite common, but not recognized as such. Being a religious person, such as a nun or priest is an example. So are being a Navy SEAL or a business person. Whether you acknowledge it or not, you are a system. I am suggesting that you accept this, then take control and become what you really want to be.
Perhaps it would it help to think in terms of a role-playing game, where you don’t get to pick your character. Consider, in a role-playing game you will assume the role of a character in a fictional setting. And you will act out this role within a narrative, either through acting, or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development. Your actions succeed or fail according to a formal System. But in life you know nothing of the narrative or Rules of the Game. You think that’s life, and you are this particular limited character. You need to know what you are, really.
On the home page of the web site I said that for me, what I wanted was to be a Warrior-Scholar. You may immediately realize this is not for you, and quit right now. Good call. I would be lucky if this material applied to one in a thousand.
Are you still there?
Okay, if so then we have already begun. You have begun to apply the concept of “system,” to your life, and we are developing an objective. Last week I said, ” The 1eye Life System is an answer to dystopia. It organizes your life around nine concepts, and provides the exercises to make them real, so that you are free of your Matrix. They change you, guide you, and are the ultimate affirmation. You will never lose, nor be in doubt, and you always be comfortable in your own skin. It is a technique you will use when in despair. It will cause you to be the hero of the adventure that is your own life.” Now let’s take that apart. We have where you are now, which I describe as dystopian, then we have the nine concepts, and the exercises. And those will be our table of contents.
Our system will look like this. We will wrap up the entire thing in a mnemonic of 25 words. Twenty-five words, nine concepts, you can do this. But without emotion, nothing will be achieved. Some of that, your personal motivation, must come from within you. I know it is there or you wouldn’t be reading right now. But we will work much on emotional control. Part of that is because I have so much trouble with it. Part is because if we can control our emotions we can do anything. And so we will collect and focus some of the emotional tools provided to us by our culture.
We have music, poetry, novels, and most powerful of all we have movies. We have nine concepts, and so we must have nine movies to provide the emotion to drive them. So when you use the mnemonic you will recall the emotion, if only for a second, that drives that position. See how this is a system?
And then we have the exercises. Don’t skip over this for it is crucial. This is not sit-ups or that kind of exercise. I know that would get us nowhere. These exercises are just a repurposing of what you do in your normal day to day life, just with a different focus and awareness.
You shower? Good! From now on, for a few moments of your shower, we will practice the mnemonic. You drive? Of course. But how much of your life is spent driving. Say 30,000 hours. What if we repurpose some of that, and make the driving experience more pleasurable?
And now the elements of the system coming together. There is the material we organize under the nine concepts and recall with the mnemonic, and then fuel with emotion as we burn them deep into ourselves with simple exercises that reprogram ourselves.