The Fort Smith Experience Part 15 (b)

" 'When someone is searching,' said Siddhartha, 'then it might easily happen that the only thing his eyes still see is that what he searches for, that he is unable to find anything, to let anything enter his mind, because he always thinks of nothing but the object of his search, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed by the goal.  Searching means: having a goal.  But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal.  You, oh venerable one, are perhaps indeed a searcher, because, striving for your goal, there are many things you don't see, which are directly in front of your eyes.' "  ~ excerpt from the book, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.

Speaking of, 'there are many things you don't see, which are directly in front of your eyes,'  let's look at an example of that as it pertains to the mindset of Fort Smith.  This is one of those "clues" I mentioned in the previous part.  Note:  the clues that we will be looking at are not hidden clues nor are they ambiguous.  They are in plain view for all to see and we all look right at them yet we don't see them for what they are.  Their meanings are overlooked in the clouds of complexity in which we think.  As we examine these clues, which I interpret to be messages from the city informing us of its condition, I wouldn't be surprised if a clue or clues suddenly pop into view for you.  If this does happen I hope that you are okay in sharing what you've seen with the rest of us.  The more we look at, and the more viewpoints we look at things from, the more clearer the picture will eventually become. Although, that said, the picture will most likely become more confusing before it becomes more clear.

If you will, imagine a person that has absolutely no awareness of the existence of a city by the name of Fort Smith, Arkansas. One day, though, in speaking with a friend, Fort Smith suddenly shows up on this person's radar for the very first time.  In a conversation with a friend,  the friend, without any elaboration (they're in a big rush and there's no time for details), tells the person that the company they work for is transferring them to Fort Smith, Arkansas. This unexpected information prompts curiosity and the person decides to find out something about this city their good friend is going to be transferred to.  They do a search online and wind up at Wikipedia's page on Fort Smith. Their attention is immediately pulled to the photo on the right.  It's caption reads: Garrison Avenue in historic Downtown Fort Smith. Their eyes then move down below the photo caption and read…Nickname:  Hell on the Border….Motto:  "Life's worth living in Fort Smith, Arkansas"  Okay! Hit the pause button.  Let's look at this.  What a telling clue this is.  Here, clearly revealed in plain sight, in an incredible example of cognitive dissonance, is a statement, perhaps a warning, perhaps a plea for help…that is, at the very least, the city of Fort Smith overtly informing the person, indeed, informing anyone who bothers to look, that it has a mindset that is torn. Torn between two irreconcilable parts. Is life actually worth living in hell?  If the fictional person we're talking about here is a deep thinker, the striking contrast between the city's nickname and motto, will probably arouse their curiosity and prompt them to explore the dichotomy.  But, if the person does not have a proclivity or predilection for pondering; the sharp contrast between nickname and motto, will most likely only cause them to be amused for a moment. Hence, the significance of the contrast will be missed i.e., the obvious and profound message from the city regarding its mental state will not be recognized, and the person will have no thought to giving their friend any heads -up about the city they will soon be moving to.  Note: we will probably discuss this more later.

A couple of weeks or so ago I tuned into NPR in time to hear a man (perhaps the mayor of Las Vegas) talking about Las Vegas putting in a bid to be the location for the 2016 Republican Convention.  What really caught my attention was how passionately and how definitively this man was describing his city.  There was absolutely no ambivalence in his statements. The city of Las Vegas, without any doubts or reservations,  spoke clearly through this man and made it perfectly clear that it knows exactly who it is, what it does, what it can do and what it has.  When the man finished speaking I found myself comparing the way Las Vegas used this person to speak about itself to  the way the city of Fort Smith uses its citizens and administrators to speak about itself. The contrast between both the manner and the message was profound!

A very long time ago, someone who could observe the obvious and articulate their observations in a way that would permit others to have a deeper understanding and purpose with regard to their personal existence, articulated the three basic conditions of existence (laws of the universe) and their relative order of seniority.  These are: the condition of Be; the condition of Do; the condition of Have.  Do is senior to Have and Be is senior to Do.  'Have' is the goal, objective, target, destination, result, product, effect is the embodiment of the desire and/or need and/or choice.  'Do' represents all the physical actions and efforts required to bring about a 'Have.'  'Be' is the "hat" e.g., mom hat, dad hat, worker hat, boss hat, student hat, kid hat, preacher hat, slob hat, scum ball hat, kind person hat, psychopath hat, victim hat, president hat, chef hat and so on and so on ad infinitum.  In other words 'Be' is identity (at any given time each one of us is being something, we are wearing one hat or another, we are being an identity). 'Be' is a thought conversion device, a communication device, and a learning device where thought systems (in the mind) are converted into multi-dimensional physical realities i.e., the physical experience with all that implies.  All Having and Doing comes from Being.

Note: as we proceed  it might be easier for us to grasp the concepts we'll be considering if we can think of Fort Smith as being a person rather than a city.  For example:  If Fort Smith were a person would this person be someone I would want to be friends with?  Would I want to hang out with this person?  Would I want to invite this person over to my house for dinner? Would I trust this person enough to loan them money?  Is this a person I would like to collaborate with? Would I want to have this person be my business partner?  Is this a person I could depend on to help me when I need their help?  Is this a person that could be my confidant?….you've got the idea.

When we see a person behaving (the Do) and we see the effects (the Have) they bring about through their behavior, we will modify their identity (the Be) by attaching descriptive labels to it.  We choose (usually there is no conscious choosing taking place, instead a default social response is automatically enacted)  our labels to reflect our emotional interpretations of our perception.  What we are perceiving is the person's behavior (the Do) and the effects (the Have) that  their behavior brings about. Whether the effect is desirable or undesirable and whether we  want to improve it or eliminate it, it is impossible to do so through either the effect or the behavior.  While it may appear at times that we can, by exerting enough force onto the behavior, modify it more to our liking and thereby get an effect we want, it is not the behavior that is being modified.  The modification can only take place by going through the Be to get to the mind.  When the mind changes the Be changes, the Do changes and the Have changes.

You might, by now, be getting the idea that when we look at Be, Do and Have, we aren't getting the full picture…there's more to the story and there's an earlier beginning.  Well, you're right, there is.  I suspect that as the concept of the three basic conditions of existence was carried forward through time, pieces of the story, for whatever the reason, were let go of by neglect or purposefully cut away in order to make the concept into a device for controlling and/or enslaving others.  Also, along the way, the order of seniority got shuffled around.  We see evidence of this all the time.  How many times have you heard someone make statements like, "If only I Had ______ then I could Be, then I could Do."…"If I could Do  ______ then I could Have, then I could Be."  The relative order of seniority in Be, Do, Have is the relative seniority. It's a universal law.  Arrange the three conditions in any other way and the concept becomes unworkable.  For example:  Just look at the concept of credit…the ability of a customer to obtain goods or services before payment, based on the trust that payment will be made in the future, which is an obvious case of trying to make Have into Be.  In other words, if a person has credit they can Have before they Do and Be then becomes the effect.  Be, is the identity (the hat) and the hat of a person with credit is debtor. Debtor is an effect.  Do you consider the credit system to be sane and viable?  Sorry about that, being that we have all been so thoroughly inculcated that it is not only viable but a necessary way of life, that's not a fair question.  Of course, we believe it's viable. It just has to be used "intelligently" that's all (at least that's what we've been indoctrinated to believe).

Fort Smith has a problem with its Have.  This, of course, means that it also has a problem with its Do.  We all know this.  We talk and discuss it all the time here on The City Wire and elsewhere.  The subject just seems to loop and loop and loop some more. Sometimes we talk about the Be (the identity) of Fort Smith but it doesn't really get all that much attention.  It appears that the problems with the Have and Do of Fort Smith get the lion's share of attention and are trying to be bettered by working on the Have and Do and pretending the Be is not of much importance.  Ironically, it is the Be that has the most importance. Any problems with Have and Do can only be solved by going through Be.

On part (c) we'll discuss this a bit more.  Oh yeah, regarding Fort Smith's motto…considering the current condition that the city is in, I think a more appropriate motto (at least for the time being) is:  "Esse quam videri"  (To Be than to seem).