Ok… So, apparently this was an amazing post, because the responses I have been receiving are so bloody cool and inspiring!

I have no definitive answer to this question. Like most of the posts I, well… um… post. I am merely seeking to have a deeper understanding of myself. A deeper knowledge of my own experience so that I may live the most rich, responsible, ethical, compassionate, and exciting life possible.

So here goes the exploration for me.

My understanding of human construct is similar to the definition Matthew shared to world construct: “to build or assemble something by putting together separate parts in an ordered way.”

I think that we as human beings have no choice but to do this the minute we are born, as way of simply surviving in the world. Meaning that the moment we are born, we are these blank entities that see no difference between ourselves and the rest of the world. To refer back to my “balance” post and the doctor speaking on the difference between the right and left brain. We have no understanding of our abstract selves, our abstract I, therefore we see no difference between me and you and wall and chair and bear and dog. We simply see the world as an extension of ourselves.

However, this is not true, and through experiencing ourselves in the world, we recognize the separation and the differences between me and you, me and the chair, me and the dog, and we begin to build a sense of ourselves; a sense of who we are separate from the rest of the world. Now in this building of us, of ourselves, we are also building our understanding of “not us” of the rest of the world.

It is my hypothesis that this is the human construct. The understanding that we build of ourselves, the world, and the way the two work and relate.

Whoah! That was tough for me to explain and I hope it made sense… Whew!

So, how does this relate to beliefs?

Well, I feel like when I believe something I will not question it. It is simply the way the world works. It’s a part of my “construct” that I never question, I just believe it is so. Now, this can be as simple as “I should always walk on my feet,” or as abstract as “My god is better than yours.”

Point being… we all have different experiences that ground us in our constructs and influence us in our beliefs. So, how does this relate to limiting beliefs and the Olympics?

Well, I feel that sometimes we can limit ourselves with our beliefs and refuse to push our limitations with the belief that it is simply not possible to do more–be more than what already exists. I feel like the Olympics are an amazing example of how these beliefs can be challenged and ultimately changed.

Michael Phelps is an amazing example of this in his capacity to break his own world records on a consistent basis. The man who first broke the 4 minute mile, Roger Bannister, is another example of this. For years it was a global belief that this simply could not be done… Until it was. Now this is not even something that is questioned.

The 4 minute mile is now a standard for Olympic runners. Thanks to Roger Bannister, our capacity to push our limits as human beings was stretched and strengthened, we evolved! I feel this is an amazing and inspiring example of what we as human beings have the potential to achieve by simply letting go of the beliefs that strangle our core abilities to progress and ask the question “what if.”

I really enjoyed reading these responses and want to thank you all deeply for your thoughts and ideas! It is so amazing!

xo
Allison

PS… I wanted to highlight this comment because I think it’s really really cool and it brings to light a topic I would love to explore next.

What is justice? We can deal with truth separately… let’s do one at a time… baby steps 😉

1. Kirk D. aka “SPARTACUS” Says:
August 15th, 2008 at 4:48 am

Hey Alli-Mack,
Here is my 2 cents worth…
I believe human construct is simply our nature in action. We all have the remarkable ability to think, to act on our thoughts, to communicate and respond/relate to others. We can’t escape it, though some can try to deny it. We all seem to learn about life based on what we experience personally and what others have experienced. We can’t help but to influence each other and I believe it is our duty on this planet to do so. We all have opinions on what it is we should and shouldn’t do. This is the our personal commitment to our view of life, (free-will) and it is a beautiful thang…Lord Palmerston in the House of Commons on July 21, 1849 said, “Opinions are stronger than armies. Opinions, if they are founded in truth and justice, will in the end prevail against the bayonets of infantry, the fire of artillery and the charges of calvary….” (This asks the questions, What is truth? What is justice? Hopefully to be discussed at a later time.) Opinions are truly powerful, and I’m reminded of the Emperor with no closes. How do we know if we in a sense have on closes simply based on our opinions, regardless of how popular or unpopular are opinions may be? Great agents of change always seemed to walk to the beat of a different drummer, swimming up stream and cutting against the grain of society. I pray that I am at partially dressed or at least learning to get dressed. Scary at times, but this quote seems to reinforce Alli-Mack’s new commitment of 30 minutes a day of reflection in search of the answer to this question of “right/correct belief” . Dr. John Mackay, a former President of Princeton Seminary, said, “Commitment without reflection is fanaticism in action. But reflection with commitment is the paralysis of all action.”
This causes me to ask the questions, who am I really and why do I do what I do?
2. Kirk D. aka “SPARTACUS” Says:
August 15th, 2008 at 4:55 am

Sorry about that.
The last quote by Dr. John Mackay, a former President of Princeton Seminary, should have said, “Commitment without reflection is fanaticism in action. But reflection WITHOUT commitment is the paralysis of all action.”

Add yours Comments – 62

  • paul

    on August 18, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    “If you want peace, work for justice.”

    To me, that explains it perfectly.

  • arash

    on August 18, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Cathy lynn,
    If we were not angry we wouldn’t need those pills to bigin with.

    Puffy,
    It is not “Just a System” the correct term is “Just assisst ’em” an analogy once I heard from someone trying to justify punishment. He said we are not trying to harm criminals. The way I see it is that when someone makes someone else’s life unsafe then he believes in an unsafe world so we assisst him to have the kind of world he wishes, an unsafe place to live.

  • Michelle19

    on August 18, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Hi Allison, I have been reading your blogs but this is the first time I’ve had the urge to leave a comment even though it’s totally unrelated to your blog post. First though, I want to ask you a question. Are you a Christian? The reason I ask is that I see the things that you write about in your blogs and the theme of each is almost always the same. You write about the meaning of life, human beings, compassion for mankind, freewill etc.
    You always seem as though you’re searching (I could be wrong) for some kind of answer to life or to the meaning of human existence but I just want to tell you what I think. Jesus Christ is the only way to obtain true, boundless, fulfilling joy. That’s why people who don’t know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour are so unhappy, I mean people look for fulfillment in all the wrong places like in acquiring wealth, acquiring possessions, supporting charities, thrill seeking and even in people. But the entire world has nothing to offer compared to the fulfillment, completeness there is in Jesus. And I don’t mean that as a Christian you just walk around skippin’, laughin’ and singin’ and you’re always jolly because there’s always some days that you feel miserable and unhappy but with God that feeling doesn’t last because there’s hope and assurance in Jesus Christ. The One who came into the world to die for our sins. The meaning of life isn’t to serve ourselves or other but it’s to serve Jesus and only in Him will you ever experience true happiness. That’s the problem with us (human beings) we’re just so self-centered, all we thing about is ourselves and that’s human nature. That’s why it’s hard for people to believe in Jesus and surrender their lives to him because they want to be in control of their own lives and the ultimate and inevitable outcome of that is sadness, despair, emptiness and a hugh void. A void that only Jesus Christ can fill. I know that this may seem like the ramblings of a religious wack but I’m not only talking about religion it’s more than that. There are a lot of religious people who go to church every Sunday, who talk about Jesus, who say the love Jesus, who say they believe in Jesus but the lives that they live don’t reflect that, I’m talking about my firm believe that Jesus Christ loves us and cares for us and He wants us to live by His word and live according to His will. And I’m not saying that Christians are perfect (after all we’re only human) we make mistakes and we sin but the important thing is that when we falter we ask God’s forgiveness. To summarize everything that I’m trying to say, the reason we were created is to serve God, to proclaim His goodness and to live our lives according to His will. That may be seem hard to do because as I said before we as human beings don’t like to give up control of our lives but it’s the best thing you can do for yourself.

    Oh, by the way I really like your character on smallville.

  • Kirk D. aka "SPARTACUS"

    on August 18, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Hey Alli-Mack,
    Hope you don’t mind me calling you that?
    I like to give my friends nick-names and since I don’t know you personally, I figured I’d shorten your name. (Hope its cool with ya?)

    Anyways…Wow I am honored that you choose my comments. I’m new to this blogging thang and I think that its a great vehicle to connect with others and an awesome mode of expressing our thoughts and sharing them with others.

    As far as justice is concerned I believe in a right & a wrong, a reward & a consequence system that is in play throughout the universe. A giving of account for our actions, but I don’t think justice can be called justice without some sort of anchor of absolute truth to hold it in place. I think justice would be impossible if we all did what was right in our own eyes. Doesn’t there need to be some kind of common ground upon which we all stand and come to terms with, in order to say something is right or wrong and this is the punishment for that wrong or this is the reward for that right?
    Author OS Guinness, in his book “Time For Truth”, said, “Without truth we are all vunerable to manipulation…If truth is dead, right and wrong are neither, and all that remains is the will to power, then the conclusion is simple: Might makes right. Logic is only a power conspiracy. Victory goes to the strong and the weak go to the wall…When everything is reduced to the will-to-power, manipulation is the name of the game and victory goes to the strong and the ruthless. “Law!” Cornelius Vanderbilt once snorted. “What do I care about the law? H’aint I got power?””
    I believe justice loses it’s bearings and gives way to the power of the storms that can rage within the hearts of men without the anchor of some sort of absolute truth.
    I hope that makes sense and I know I’m opening up a whole-nother can of worms, but what can you do. Those are my honest thoughts and they are always open to rethinking.

  • Bouroux

    on August 18, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Hi Allison.
    It’s an amazing blog.
    I like the link that you do between beliefs and the Olympics.
    I love the idea of pushing the limits but not at any price. The human body has limits that we must accept. Someone who mortgages his life to beat a record by taking drugs when destroying his body should not be considered as a model.
    What impresses me, are innovations in sports that I compare to the art and creation. The diving in the swimming are becoming more complex, gymnastics routines are changing.
    For the Olympics, the belief that the end justifies the means is widespread.

    “Well, I feel like when I believe something I will not question it. It is simply the way the world works. It’s a part of my “construct” that I never question, I just believe it is so.”
    When you say ” I will not question it” , I don’t understand. For me, openness is to test my beliefs. It’s ironic, your next blog is unquestioned beliefs.
    Have a good day.
    bye
    Claude.

  • Phil Damico

    on August 19, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Faith is how far you are willing to take your belief’s. Whether its God, the World, career, your lover, family, etc. I believe in evolution but that it was started by creation. Dont have to see God to know that he is there. You cant see air, but you can Breathe! Fun topic, great bloggers, you rock Allison. looking forward to future blogs.

  • Ron St.Amant

    on August 19, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    What is justice?

    Justice is righting a wrong in a way that attempts not to create another wrong, while simulatneously being practical, pragmatic, and reasoned.

    Failing to reach these goals leaves the action taken as revenge, vigilantism, or some other wild act.

    As we are limited beings, we can never achieve real justice, since every action in itself colors or alters every reaction.

    The sublime is a blind justice, but perhaps if God exists it is only to Him that such a justice can be found.

    We can do our best. We can make a compact to live under the rule of law, and accept the imperfect system, while always striving to make it a more perfect one.

    There will always be situations that seem unjust: that some are rich while others are poor, that some are healthy while others are sick, that some are protected while others in jeopardy. This is in part a product of our imperfect nature.

    I guess I’m a contexualist in the sense that I believe intent, in many ways, is our salvation. If we strive for justice, we are in a sense free of the fickle whim of fate- the things we cannot control.

    There will always be those who don’t care, and simply ignore injustice- the selfish without conscience. There will always be those who seek justice in a doctrinaire sense- the activist without perspective. Both operate in a vacuum. Both in a sense are relativist.

    Perhaps then this is my longwinded way of saying that justice is often an abstact concept that unfortunately must be exercised in a concrete world.

  • Kirk D. aka "SPARTACUS"

    on August 19, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    I have often thought, are the rules of justice & the lines of truth up to us to make or to discover?
    Example:
    If I look back at the past and see how people of different ethnic backgrounds, gender, and class have been “mistreated” by another, there is something within that tells me, that is wrong and it needs to be made right. What should I say? Should I say this is ok, or that this is wrong because this how I was raised?
    If human life is precious, why is it precious? Why is it valuable? If it’s only because I say so, what happens if my opinion changes? Does human life cease to be of value? Or is the preciousness of human life an eternal moral that can’t be changed regardless of what I think?
    When I am confronted with my own mortality and someone threatens it for no other reason than, they feel like it or because they can, the lines of truth and justice seem to be so much more clear to. I think instinctively, my life is of value, whether someone else likes it or not. I then move in such a way as to perserve my life. If it is true that my life is precious, then should all human life be just as precious. Should it be my responsibility to treat others the same and have the same value for their life as I do my own. This seems to come naturally. Reality seems to check my personal beliefs, like the ground when gravity takes hold of a falling object. Many things look good on paper and sound good in my mind, but not until I take my thinking and apply it to myself and others does reality come in like a big eraser helping me to correct my thoughts and theories.

    Just thinking out loud… or is it in type.

  • *A.Mfan4eva*

    on August 19, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    As a psychology and sociology student, I am deeply fascinated by both the concepts of human construct and human nature and would like to thank you so much for once again offering a fresh and original perspective on a highly interesting topic (how on earth you manage to come up with so many wonderful ideas, I don’t know – you truly are amazing!).

    I must say I agree with your ‘definition’ of the human construct. I think it’s great that you pointed out the fact that our beliefs and experiences shape this construct: I truly believe it’s marvellous that no two constructs are the exact same, no two beliefs, no two experiences are the same. We live in a world of such diversity, with countless possibilities, and yes, we’ll always sell ourselves somewhat short because I don’t think it possible that we’ll ever see all the possibilites and opportunities that are out there. As for limiting our beliefs: well, I’m slowly learning to push the boundaries, with some HUGE thanks to your blogs. I think that thinking outside the box can sometimes be a scary thing, especially when one considers the countless ways a single belief can be viewed (take, for example, the way one might view religion or philosophy). I believe that, for may, limiting their beliefs simply comes down to a number of factors, such as lack of exposure to the outside world, even a lack of sense of self and community (hehe, I rather enjoy being able to stew this over… now I have something to write about in my journal). Back on track, though. Without giving to much about myself away, my construct of myself and the world I live in have changed countless times throughout my life, but no more drastically than when I was diagnosed fibrosis dysplasia, and my world was kind of thrown into chaos for sometime. I reworked my view of myself and the world, desperately trying to work out why it was me and not someone else with this diagnosis – selfish, I know, but I just felt so alone and scared. I forced myself to see outside the box, to question my beliefs, and I think, all in all, it was a pretty positive experience for me. Anyway, thanks for offering another interesting insight – from now on, I might try questioning my beliefs, rather than accepting them as concrete – never hurts to challege your beliefs, does it?

  • Janae

    on August 19, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    I realise this is completely and utterly off topic, but honestly, my mind is completely overwhelmed by your latest blog and the complete complexity of thoughts that arise compliments of your blog. Anyway, I was hoping you might be able to write a blog (or should I say type a blog?!) on how our perceptions of our human construct changes with major life events. For example, how’d your human construct change when you were awarded the role of Chloe Sullivan? I mean, you were 18 at the time (jeez, time sure does fly; takes me back to sitting down to watch the first ever episode of Smallville when I was all of 10, and you’ll never guess who I instantly fell in love with). I know that my construct changed with numerous life events and I was just curious how these life events affected your construct, if you don’t mind sharing.

  • Brad

    on August 21, 2008 at 11:14 am

    You should definitely read Daniel Stern’s The Interpersonal World of the Infant. Deals with a lot of the same themes about childhood development that you talk about here.

  • Jaidyn Ratliff

    on March 23, 2009 at 5:04 am

    Taylor rocks, joe sucks!