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How to use feedback in practice, The Silver Apples

Dear friend,

All of life is relationships. Some of those relationships are obvious, and some we take for granted. Each relationship, regardless of kind, remains possible because of feedback. If we are to find our way through the quagmire of the present age, we must find ways to work with our resistance to the relationships and feedback that are present in our lives personally, and collectively.

Firstly, I use the word relationship in the broadest way possible. The relationships we might consider obvious include the ones that we find ourselves in with other people and objects that immediately surround us. Some of those relationships are fleeting and seemingly inconsequential, and others may last us our entire lives. Although it may seem possible, relationships cannot truly be discarded or dissolved as easily as we'd like them to be because of the relationships we take for granted. We exist in a closed system on this planet; every single atom, molecule, and even breath is recycled and borrowed temporarily by our bodies. Our lives unfold in the context of this singular planet, and so far, no one has successfully survived living outside of this planet for a lengthy duration. Moreover our bodies are sustained by countless microorganisms which are as much a part of what we are as our own thoughts, feelings, and desires. More broadly, our planet is inseparable from of an unfathomably large cosmos, and our lives unfold in relation to that larger context of which we are hardly aware.

Ordinary activities like walking next to someone, sharing the same space with other people, beings, objects, etc. have the potential to make us aware of our own presence, impact, beliefs, and desires. We understand a great deal of our own experience in relation to the social context and our environment. The information that is given to us about ourselves is feedback.

The word feedback often makes people very uncomfortable because it often arises in the context of performance reviews, or outright criticism. Feedback, however, is the beautiful way that nature communicates with itself in order to optimize processes, and to bring things back together that have been disconnected. Our capacity to thrive depends on having a healthy relationship with feedback.

Here are some thoughts on how to use feedback in practice:

Inspired by The Silver Apples - Program


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