The Fort Smith Experience Part 11

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”   ~ Albert Einstein

Instead of using part 11 to delve more into secrecy and secrets I've decided to wait and use part 12 for that.  I want to use part 11 to examine some earlier statements I've made and see if they are still viable and then see what that flows into.  That said, I'll begin with a couple of lines from the first paragraph in part 1.  

"…even though Fort Smith is included in the title of this blog and even though it may appear throughout this blog, Fort Smith is not the subject of the blog. Instead, it is 'experience' that will be the focus of this writing." This statement isn't exactly accurate is it?  It seems to imply that Fort Smith and the experience are two different things.  However, Fort Smith is the experience and it is the experience that we're exploring.  And while the experience does seem to be the focus of this series, it is really more about what is causing the experience (the belief systems and the choices) that is the actual underlying focus.

Another statement made in paragraph one part 1 is:  "And although the subject I will be addressing is quite obvious and known, like many things that are obvious and known, it generally goes unobserved and unrecognized." I consider this statement to still be viable. Everything that has been addressed thus far in this series, even if it might seem new, is nothing new for anyone who has taken the time to read a post or two or even more. However (and this would be my hope), perhaps the experience for you, the reader, has, at times, been somewhat like standing in front of a window and looking out to the view beyond, where just a slight shift in body position can significantly alter the perspective of what's being seen out the window. Ever so often, it's just a slight shift in our point of view and/or focus, that is all that is required to make a world of difference in how we interpret what we're viewing.  And that difference in interpretation can sometimes dramatically change the trajectory of our life's journey.  That noted, it just might be, that if we were to change our point of view from which we view the city of Fort Smith and change what it is we focus our attention on, our interpretation of what we perceive could significantly alter the trajectory of Fort Smith and thereby change the Fort Smith experience.  Whether the altered trajectory would be for the good or for the bad would, of course (as it always does), depend on how we choose to respond to the experience.

At the end of part 2 I had this to say: "This blog is my way of sharing how I finally came to have a viable (for me) understanding of the Fort Smith experience."  Well…that statement still holds.  This series is primarily just my peculiar way of sharing a bit of my Fort Smith experience and commentary with regard to how I understand that experience.  I  have no desire, need or want to convince anyone of anything or incite anyone to do anything other than suspend, for a time, some of their preconceptions, beliefs and conclusions. If you, the reader, are willing to make such a suspension, it is hoped that by doing so, that your mind will recognize that as an invitation to open further so as to allow even more possibilities and probabilities of thought to safely enter.

I do admit, there are things being mentioned, things being pointed to, within the posts of this series, that is only for those who have the ability to hear the melos (the song), in the blank space between the notes and see the meaning, in the blank space between the words.  As I mentioned in part 9, I rely heavily on your ability to extrapolate and willingness to do so. That is as it has to be in this time and space for there are far too many things that I cannot just come right out and openly state within a blog posted on The City Wire.  Even if I did make an attempt to do so, such a blog post would never be approved by TCW, nor should it.

Some say it's better not to disturb a sleeping dog, instead, just let the sleeping dog lie.  The folks from this camp of thought also don't want anyone to rock the boat they're in and they much prefer for others, as well as themselves, to leave, what they interpret to be, 'well enough' alone. Some of these same people many times believe that, by only accentuating the positive, thinking only optimistically (always see the glass as being half full not half empty), by only looking for the best in everything…they can, at the very least, circumvent and escape the negative, and at the very best, totally eradicate the negative from their memory and/or experience. I'm very familiar with this belief system as it's one I used to adhere to myself for quite sometime. And while it's a very good system in many ways (certainly, it's far better for one to look for the best in things, accentuate what's positive and think optimistically about outcomes), it sabotages itself by fooling itself that it can avoid or vanquish the negative without confronting it.  It's basically another version of one keeping their head buried in the sand instead of responding.

So many times with humans, when their choices result in a negative experience, instead of taking the time to really look at what occurred and get it all sorted out, the experience is covered over with some sort of pretense (we can get very creative with this).  While the pretense might help to mitigate the impact as well as help the person to seemingly forget about a negative experience, the experience doesn't go away. It drops down into the unconscious mind where, because it's not being looked at, grows in harmful potential. That, which is in some way considered to be negative, that is not looked at and released, will eventually and inevitably become enormously detrimental to the one choosing not to look. Indeed, something negative going unconfronted will become a person's self installed hidden booby-trap that can be unknowingly triggered and explode into view when least expected  (always seems to happen at the worst possible time). Or, the 'booby-trap' might take a different form such as a steady drip of 'bad luck' that the person is unable to explain or escape from.  Because the so called booby-trap exists in the person's unconsciousness and out of their field of conscious perception, and because they continue to choose to ignore it, not only are they unable to connect any dots that would reveal it was their choices that led to this experience, they don't even see any dots to connect.  The only thing they can do for some relief is blame someone or something as being the cause of the negative circumstances they're experiencing. Of course, this response just perpetuates the adverse condition as it keeps the source of the problem (the person with the problem) continually separated from the solution of the problem (the person with the problem).

Here on the pages of The City Wire, much of what is interpreted, by one or more, to be negative about Fort Smith, most definitely does not go unnoticed.  Much that is negative about this city, many times over, gets thrown onto the table and looked at through comments contributed on these pages.  However, that noted, the 'looking' does not evolve into asking why.  Asking something why it is the way it is will eventually open the door to that secret hallway that leads to the "unseen hand" or "the man behind the curtain."  And, like in the Wizard of Oz, when the curtain is pulled back and the hand pulling the levers is revealed, the mysterious source that has been causing all the difficulty, will instantly become impotent as all its power was both derived from and held in place by the mystery.

Until such a time when the cloak of mystery is pulled  away to reveal the basic "why" that truly explains the condition of Fort Smith being what it is, Fort Smith will continue to exist as an almost city.  An almost city caught in the equilibrium existing between the opposing forces of can and can't. The most likely probability is that the 'cloak of mystery' will endure and maintain its integrity.  The city will probably continue to be split in its response to its declining condition. Part of the city will live in fear of what is to become of it tomorrow, the next year, the next decade while another part will choose to escape into the wanna be fantasy imagined by wishful thinking.  Wishful thinking that  Ad agencies and PR firms can cook up into seductive copy peppered with statistics artfully arranged to impress and entice.  Of course, as a critical component of the promotional package, strategically staged graphic images will give the promise of a tangible experience just like what is being described in the promo. All intended, of course, to lure unsuspecting and gullible visitors into an illusory version of a city that appears to have something going on but, in reality, is stagnating in a mentality petrified by chronic fear and seemingly lost in an eddy of past memories associated with what are recalled as being 'better times.'

It is not likely that Fort Smith will choose to ask "why" it is the way it is and then follow that line of questioning through a gauntlet of possibly deadly ordeals to its source and in so doing free itself to rise like the Phoenix from the ashes.  But, imagine IF…IF, Fort Smith did somehow manage to free itself from its lengthy term of self-imposed imprisonment and then go on to become a thriving, progressive and prosperous city….wouldn't that make a great movie?!