Destinations Shape Us. What's Yours?
Focus questions for Adelaide Lunchtime
Seminar, 20 July 2019
Note: About Focus Questions: a) Please read them before you come to the meetup. Think about them so you have more than "instant opinions" to offer. b) Feel free to add more focus questions. c) THE FOCUS QUESTIONS ARE JUST A MENU TO CHOOSE FROM. From this menu we can discuss whatever seems interesting. d) Focus questions are not intended to push one viewpoint! You can adopt any position you wish. We actually like friendly disagreement - it can lead to deeper understanding.
1. AND WHAT IS YOUR GRAND QUEST? Tell us a
little about it.
2. HOW IS THE QUALITY OF YOUR JOURNEY
LIMITED IF THE ONLY DESTINATION YOU CAN IMAGINE IS DEATH? "The
Journey is More Important than the Destination" is an idiom often
accepted as obviously true. Is it?
3. AS A TRAVELER (in body or in spirit) YOU
MUST HAVE A QUEST. (At least that's Thor's view). It doesn't matter
much what the quest is ... You can hunt for unusual bottle tops or
collect kinky cigarette lighters, or become a world expert on UFOs.
The point is, when you have a goal, you have an excuse to kick in
other people's heads, starve yourself for a world record, or head
off to the South Pole. Once embarked on a journey of the heart, or
of shoe leather, the world is coloured with meaning, no matter that
your destination may be, after all, a mirage... (see Thor May 
"Traveller on a Leash, or a Free Spirit?" - a fake interview with
4. WE SET DESTINATIONS IN THINKING TOO, OR
FAIL TO, OR WANDER ON THE JOURNEY. What are the consequences of
these choices? Is knowing more and more about less and less really
the best way to succeed (even within a specialization)?. The answer
seems to be no. A winding path can be the fastest way to a
destination. See: "Why generalists thrive in a specialized world"
]. So why does specialization limit creativity?
5. IS SETTLING FOR RANDOM DAILY STIMULATION
- media, drugs, gossip, sex, watching spectator sport, music shows
etc - ENOUGH TO FILL A SATISFYING LIFE FOR, SAY, 90 YEARS? Explain
6. DOES IT REALLY MATTER IF OUR DESTINATION
DREAM IS ILLUSORY? Think of 'eternal life' (heaven), or trying to
learn a language you are never going to master (Chinese for me), or
aiming to make a billion dollars, or ....
7. THERE IS SUCH A THING AS MAGNIFICENT
FAILURE. EXAMPLES? Think of those who never tried, who meekly lived
and died as blobs in the landscape. And then there are colourful,
crazy or tragic figures who bravely tried to be heroes, or
gangsters, or inventors, or dancers ... and never quite made it.
8. A QUALITY OF EMPIRES IS THAT WHILE THEY
LAST MOST OF THE PEOPLE IN THEM THINK OF THEMSELVES AS SOMEHOW
EXCEPTIONAL AND SUPERIOR TO THE PEOPLE IN OTHER LANDS. THEY SEE
THEIR EMPIRE AS HAVING A MISSION, VISION OR QUEST. Is this illusion
useful, or damaging? Why?
9. FORMAL EDUCATION SYSTEMS IN MANY
COUNTRIES TRY TO PERSUADE STUDENTS TO ADOPT CERTAIN IDEOLOGIES AND
EXPECTED LIFE PATHS ? Is this legitimate? Why or why not? What is
your actual experience with this process? Examples, stories?
10. LARGE CORPORATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS
(AND MILITARY FORCES) ALWAYS CLAIM TO HAVE A MISSION. EMPLOYEES MAY
EMBED THE COMPANY MISSION AND STATUS AS PART OF THEIR OWN IDENTITY.
Is acting out you life with this kind of borrowed identity a
worthwhile ambition for those who undertake it? What about your own
Comments & Extra Reading
Thor's own websites:
1. articles at http://independent.academia.edu/ThorMay ;
2. legacy site: http://thormay.net .
Destinations Shape Us. What's Yours? (c) Thor May 2019 return to Ddiscussion