When I was ten I noticed a book on my
brother's shelf called Sophie's World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy by Jostein Gaarder. I thought, 'cool, a book with my name in the title, I should read it', obviously without any idea that it was to forever change the way I think, and ultimately the way I live. In chapter two, Albert Knox tells Sophie that most humans are buried in the fur of a (presumably elephantine) white rabbit which has just been pulled out of a hat by a magician. Philosophers are those who climb up the rabbit's hairs to stare into the magician's eyes and try to understand the workings of the 'trick'. Since reading that I've always tried to maintain perspective and to question life as if atop the hairs aboard the great rabbit of life(!)... This blog is a home for the (life-permitting) daily overspill of (copied, contradictory, inconclusive) thoughts, many related to music and being INFP and some decidedly not, from one little furry journey. Click here for the blog-warming post from Jan 1 2010, or 'follow' me below (and left a bit).

Sniff sniff, tweet tweet: The latest on twitter from the Rabbit Perspective

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Searching for Oneness: Personality in High Definition

'Finally understanding the meaning of the word 'oneness' - used to think it was pretentious and woolly, now think it's vital.'

~ Me on twitter, April 10 2010

The Healer [INFP]

'To the INFP healing means mending those divisions that plague one's private life and one's relationships. It means treating oneself and relating to others in a conciliatory manner, helping to restore lost unity, integrity, or what INFPs call "oneness".'

~ David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II, pp. 157-8,
read by me, May 10 2010

It's going to take a separate oversized blog post to begin to delve into my premature thoughts on 'oneness'. The point of posting the above quotations is to raise this question: Is it because I'm an INFP that I think and act a certain way, or is it because I think and act a certain way that I'm INFP?

Or both? I suppose this all depends on whether 'INFP' is a noun or adjective, or both in different contexts. If it's a noun then 'INFP' is who I am, and these four letters can therefore replace the designation 'human being', i.e. 'I am an INFP'. If it's an adjective then 'INFP' becomes a value judgement attached to my status as a human being, i.e. 'I am an INFP human being'. This distinction may seem trivial and a fumble into unfamiliar territory, but depending on which interpretation I believe in at any one time, I view myself (and possibly therefore act) in specifically different ways. I would explain further but I run the risk of another identity crisis and a journey to the ESTJ dark side of logic and precision.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Turtle Perspective

Just a brief one today to post something which I 'retweeted' on twitter, originally tweeted by the writer of the infpBlog (definitely make a visit if you're INFP or have to deal with one).

'INFPs are rabbits dreaming about the fastest course to our Ideal, while the Js are the turtles making slow & steady progress to theirs.'

Nice and self-explanatory. It also made me happy to give more/some depth to this blog's title! And, would you believe it, on a wee google excursion just now I discovered the blog 'Slow and Steady... A Turtle Perspective'. I wonder if the author is INFJ. I wonder if he talks to his computer (May 8: 'Next Stop: Reality') too.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Next Stop: Reality

A couple of weeks ago I got in the elevator in my apartment block ('elevator' when I'm in this country, 'lift' when I'm home, for diplomacy's sake) and, by mistake, pressed '6' rather than '8'. Without really thinking, I just assumed that the elevator would realise my error and give me a direct ride to my floor. When, of course, the elevator did stop at 6, I felt strangely confused and let down. No doubt this was something to do with the fact that I'd not yet had my daily coffee, but my idiocy is also interestingly revealing.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Validating the Rabbit

'Feeling truly understood and respected for their unique perspective and strong values is important for many INFPs' ~ from personalitytype.com

Although I can often doubt that my perspectives are unique or my values strong, I like to believe that they are and strive to make them so. Finding the above sentence made me, and I'm sure many other INFPs, incredibly happy. But why is it so important to some people (including myself) to have their thoughts and feelings validated, or at least formulated into something a little more concrete than just a fleeting thought or feeling? A coffee date with Jung is well overdue and, in an INFP's dream world, entirely possible.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Don't blame me, I'm INFP

A slightly different post today, as the rabbit has seen a light! I'm not talking about the 'rabbit in headlight' syndrome this time (Jan 24: 'Fight or flight, filter of freeze'), but more about a friendly, guiding, illuminating swarm of fireflies (16 of them, you could say... just keep reading). Sometimes it takes something external to give us the big leg-up we need on our journey up the 'rabbit hairs'. My gravity-defying boost, if you will, has come in the form of Mr Carl Jung and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Buddhists Against Banking

I've just arrived at (yet) another (hugely generalised) reason as to why many of us folk in the performing arts world are happier chaps than, say, investment bankers, who spend the majority of their lives having to live in the future. Living in the future can, of course, be the best kind of living of all - the possibilities are endless - but if you're never allowed sufficient time and energy to feast on the fruits of your planning, life must be some kind of unfulfilling out-of-body experience. If your present is in the future, you'll never get the chance to unwrap it, as it were.

There's also the banking aspect of investment banking. Enough said.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Say no to vanilla

As much as we may try to convince ourselves otherwise, we all, in some way, pigeonhole people in our minds, not into racial stereotypes (although this may play a part) but personality types. This doesn't necessarily imply negative feelings towards other people; it's just human nature. I may just be speaking for myself here, but when we meet people we judge them instantly as being a type of person with which we are already familiar and treat them accordingly. Sometimes I even subconsciously find similarities between a new acquaintance and one specific person I already know, and end up communicating with them as if they were this old friend. In many ways there's nothing wrong with this, and in fact it can be very helpful. Being aware of broad 'flavours' of people, such as conscientious early birds or time-oblivious space cadets, provides us with shortcuts to relating to others, and is a form of self-preservation; we're unlikely to

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lonely Musician, Lonely Planet

I'm still on an injury-induced break from playing and, as ever, new circumstances have led to new relevant(ish), related(ish) perspectives...
  • Musicians should perform more music. Artists don't just paint the walls of their studios.
  • Being satisfied with just playing the notes is akin to an actor standing on stage reading a script.
  • Practising for months on end without ever performing (or desiring to perform) is self-indulgent, selfish and, frankly, missing the point. If we waited for a 'finished product', the world would be eternally silent. And nobody likes an awkward silence.

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Musician in Silence

[Not to be confused with March 30: 'The Silent Musician']

Musicians should listen to more music. Artists don't walk around with their eyes closed.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

white rabbits white rabbits flying rabbits

Everyone loves April Fools' Day (even the fools, a few months down the line). The superstitious amongst us love to inject some good luck into the four-and-a-bit weeks ahead by declaiming the words 'white rabbits white rabbits white rabbits' (or some rabbit-inspired variant) on the first day of every month (see 'Rabbit rabbit' wikipedia article for extensive info on the positive vibes emanating from this blog's title!)

Why can't every day begin with the same good intentions for light-heartedness and high hopes for good fortune? As I've already mentioned (Feb 14: 'Happy New Moment'), we could all do with some of that refreshment that a new month can bring.

The novelty of April-1st-style pranks and overwhelming optimism would never wear off. And rabbits might fly. Honestly, I read about it today.

white rabbits white rabbits white rabbits

Just bringing some luck

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Preparing the impromptu

Yet another connection between playing music and living life:

Both should have a balance between planning and spontaneity.

Yet another excuse for my experiments in the kitchen.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Silent Musician

This afternoon I sat in an orchestra rehearsal in my normal place but, because of injury, without my cello. Even though the rehearsal did, of course, have my undivided attention, I started thinking about a note I hurriedly made on a list of vague, potentially bloggable ideas a few weeks ago (the Mac sticky note widget is a great invention), which reads: 'We need to be more like conductors rather than individual players in an orchestra, who too often see one part of the bigger picture and do not empathise'. I wrote this during a period of thinking a lot about the parallels between playing music and living the other bits of life, and how the processes should ideally be symbiotic. ['Symbiosis': A great word which I spent an age trying to recall, defined by my Mac dictionary widget as 'a mutually beneficial relationship', and not to be confused with 'osmosis' which, for some reason, I keep doing, and totally misleadingly gives me mental images of GCSE biology experiments on potatoes.] My experience today has finally inspired me to transfer this thought from sticky to Rabbit...
Real interests are those about which you get angry with others for not sharing.

Monday, March 29, 2010

An excuse to regress

Maturity is not feeling the need to be mature.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Joy of Laundry

Yesterday I sat in a laundromat for a good chunk of the afternoon. Understandably, I expected it to be a fairly brain-numbing and/or depressing experience. I was pleasantly surprised, however, when I started to feel a bizarre sense of peace and happiness, which I don't think came about just because the reality couldn't have been much worse than my expectations (see unbelievably undeveloped March 1 expectation-related post) or that sunlight was streaming through the windows onto white bright walls and washing machines (see environment-related posts). Seeing as I had a lot of time in which to do nothing other than try (unsuccessfully) to eat my yoghurt without a spoon, I found myself trying to figure out the root of this unexpected Saturday afternoon tranquility, and I came up with this:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A golden gateway to happiness?

I just changed my new phone's wallpaper to a picture of a sunset over Golden Gate Bridge, taken from somewhere up high and looking a long way into the distance (and a little less ominous than the one shown here). I instantly felt more relaxed, positive and the happy realisition of the relative insignificance of so many things, and then I thought all over again what I thought when I was at the top of the CN Tower (see Jan 6 post, 'Your Country Needs YOU (in snow and in health)', containing empty promise that I would explain the 'CN Tower Effect'). To slightly expand on my Feb 2 ponderings, 'A new month, a new hero', (and Alain de Botton's well-developed insights):

Healthy mental perspective can begin with beautiful, broad physical perspective. The world would be a happier place if we all lived on top of a green grassy hill. In theory.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Save a goat this Easter

The bunny is back! After Spring Break, pre-Spring Break stress and post-Spring Break exhaustion, I'm finally fed, watered and raring to resume that never ending hair-climbing journey once again. After nearly three weeks off, due largely to an extended period of snow and of brain saturation similar to my mental complaint of Jan 24 ('Fight or flight, filter or freeze'), it's difficult to know where to begin, especially after a welcome change in my physical location from Rochester NY to the Dominican Republic (pity me!) and the resulting changes in my mental outlook and focus, as my Feb 2 ('A new month, a new hero') self would have predicted.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Expecting someone?

So much rests on expectation. More later.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

'Money can't buy me forgiveness'

Why is it so much harder to forgive ourselves than other people? Too much emphasis is placed on the negative feelings we project outwards to others rather than inwards to ourselves. Surely if we didn't allow ourselves to get angry about hitting the snooze button for three hours then we wouldn't infect other people with our negativity when we finally get out of bed. Yes! Another psuedo-justification for sleeping in tomorrow.

Wow. I just stumbled upon forgive-yourself.com. This cardboard man to our right, the 'Emotional Healing Wizard', can help you become an 'Appreciator of the Magic and the Power of Forgiveness' for a mere $27. On second thoughts, maybe I'd be happier wallowing in self-loathing