Common or Uncommon Sense?

Common-Sense is cultivated when individuals focus their attention upon acquiring their fundamental human need for meaning by becoming skilled at understanding universally agreed upon or shared-meanings.  

Shared-meanings are constructed by people in their everyday interactions with one other, and become a convenient resource to interpret the meaning of elements of social and cultural life.
When people share a common-sense, then they share a definition of a commonly accepted reality.

As has been stated by many in the study of interpersonal communications, every problem of interpretation is a problem of understanding, and thus a commonly shared social reality affords groups of individuals an expedient way of communicating with one another.

Because we all have our own separate subjective internal world and version of reality, communication between two or more individuals can become strained and misunderstandings frequent when definitions and meanings are too loosely constructed.

Intersubjectivity represents the psychological relation between two or more people, and the act of communicating is the sharing of subjective states between individuals. Because we all have different internal realities, no matter how much effort one may apply into assuming a common reality, divergences (partially shared meanings) in meaning do tend to give rise to misunderstandings between individuals and groups.

Some examples of partially shared meanings include; when an individual displays a sense of self, either authentic or false, when an individual lies, when an individual displays aberrant emotions socially and when one plays a practical joke.

Lying occurs when an individual is aware of two definitions of a situation or reality, and chooses to act upon the reality that best serves themself, denying the existence or validity of other realities. When the liar does not emotionally compensate the other for their breach, extreme internal psychic imbalances can manifest, in both the liar and the one who was lied to. Depending on the emotional significance of the breach in trust, in either the liar or the one who was deceived, an individuals internal reality can become severely disrupted.

In individuals who commonly employ lying in the course of their everyday social interactions, their internally reality is most often adapted towards that of the culture they are a part of. For those who rarely lie, the experience of being lied to can be very discordant to their sensibilities and provoke either the need to assimilate the experience truthfully or cause them to comform their reality in favor of the common reality of their group.

A shared cognition and consensus is essential in shaping our ideas and relations, when acting in social situations. Similarly, language is a resolutely communal abstraction, not a private one as its fundamental purpose is to communicate with other individuals.

Love is perhaps the best example of intersubjectivity, as it implies a shared feeling of care and affection between individuals.

In the study of Intersubjective Systems Theory (IST), intersubjectivity is viewed as the process of “psychological energy” moving between two or more subjects. IST is defined as the constitution of psychological systems, or fields, in the interplay of differently organized experiential worlds. Emotional experiences always take the form within Intersubjective systems.

Enter the Romantics

18th century Romanticism bequeathed us with a depth of viewing human nature and behavior that had never truly been conceived of before. Goethe, through his intuitive processes, combined art and science, physics and metaphysics, and dark and light, to reveal to us through his allegories, insights into the human psyche and soul that opened the hearts and minds of so many.

Though not specifically, nor even theoretically, he found his voice through plays, poems and prose, to guide those with eyes to see and ears to hear to places they were meant to wander. He did this very deliberately, by remaining free of any specific dogma or ideology, though so many have always been so determined to pin him with one label or another.

Through Faust, and his other works, Freud, Jung, Carus and others were able to begin to discern the existence a deeper and largely inaccessible part of the human soul, the unconscious.  

Before this was understood, the masses did not view themselves so much as individuals with interiors that could be organized and enhanced to ever fuller expressions. The idea of an unique interior subjective existence of the individual was foreign to humans, as was the concept of the self-improvement that resulted from aligning the hidden world with ones conscious realms.

Goethe himself exemplified the possibility of the realization of living to ones full potential, as his life itself and not so much his individual achievements or failures, were literally living proof of the profundity of his thoughts. The interplay of light and dark, like the balance of the expanding and contracting forces we humans must contend with, were brought into an inspiring balance that resulted in a focused intellectual and influential powerhouse.

I suppose a modicum of common-sense is a necessary condition for a peaceful society to function, but what truly elevates and draws me forward is not the idea of the ordinary, but the ideal of the extraordinary!

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