Q&A May, 2021

Some confusion about important distinctions


John: I think I can see why you asked for feedback on today's Now-Next topic.  It does not look like you were satisfied with it. 

John (May 5th, 2021) [a 64-year old, retired teacher living in North Carolina, USA]

Dwight: No, that is not true. I just love feedback…I always enjoy it and can learn from it.

John: Here is a thought.  Now and Next fighting reminds me of the dialogue Freud talked about between the Id and the Ego.  Id wants to play all the time, Ego worries about what will the neighbors say, how will I look to society. 

Dwight: Yes, there seems to be some similarity in distinctions there. However, in my nomenclature, “Others” worries about what the neighbors will think and how we will look to society, not necessarily our Next. I’m not familiar enough the idea of the “Ego” to know if it is concerned about the future (which is the role of Next).

John: Superego is supposed to mediate.  The Greeks used Dionysian and Apollonian. Dionysus was wild and drunken; Apollo was stately and learned.  But, while Next plans, worries, and tries to make sure everything comes out right in the end (good luck with that), EVERYTHING that we actually do is actually done by Now!  Now possesses tremendous energy, it has the kinetic that gets things done, like your Goethe quotation about taking the initiative.  Capital and Labor!  So when they fight, it is time for arbitration. 

Dwight: Arbitration is not the best metaphor for resolving Now-Next disputes.  Mediation is much better.

John: And like the farmer who actually plants the rice, or the ox that actually makes the plow go, Now often gets durn little credit.  So see how you feel about emphasizing the energy of a strong Now, and gaining honor for the judge who tries to keep both Now and Next happy.

Dwight: The idea of a “judge” (who uses ideas of fairness and compromise) is a very problematic metaphor here. Any disputes between Now and Next need to be resolved in win-win way. Thank you, John.