Thoughts on Thinking

"When somebody persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes

"If you're unhappy with your life, change your thinking." Charles Fillmore

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it." Eckhart Tolle

"People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them." Epictetus

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

"Consciousness is a terrible thing to waste." PunditGeorge

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Great Drama!

There is, as best I can tell, a generic conflict that is the basis for all drama - a “one-size-modified-fits-all” plot in the human adventure. In the distant past the great conflict has been described as a fight between good and evil, dark and light, and so on. There are many ways this fundamental conflict plays out in matters large and small.

Quick Quiz: Which of the following statements represents your general belief:

A. The Universe is finite; the Earth has limited resources; their use must be carefully controlled and distributed since the Universe is static.

B. The Universe is infinite; the Earth is abundant; there is no limit to resources because the Universe expands according to demand.

There are better ways to phrase it, but that’s the gist. A Yin and a Yang that groups basic thinking. Which best describes you? Unsure? Check your general sense of feeling: Those who embrace/believe in A are often fearful, unsettled, fell that “life is a burden,” and generally uncomfortable. Those who embrace/believe in B tend to be more comfortable and have more fun with life in general. More simply stated: A: “There isn’t enough.” B: “There’s plenty.”

Those who have faith in the limited must act to acquire, preserve and defend resources. The dominant thinking is focused on the lack of something and thus attracts more, well, lack. The converse describes those who have faith in the unlimited experience. Their thinking is more aligned with thoughts of abundance and thus they attract abundance.

The drama occurs when those “A” folks see those “B” folks getting “stuff” that according to A, they shouldn’t have. The worldview of the A folks is that if those rascally B folks have something, it’s because they stole it from some poor wretch. Or, if anybody has anything, it’s because someone else has less. A.K.A. Zero-sum game.

Zero-sum game is defined as: “Situation or interaction in which one participant's gains result only from another's equivalent losses.” How unfair it is, then, for anyone to have anymore than anyone else, whether house, car, groceries, health, happiness... It’s easy to see how zero-sum thinking drives politics, religions, and relationships.

For those who give zero-sum meaning, it is true – it’s self created. Think about it. When you feel good, does that mean that someone, somewhere, must feel bad? If you decided to voluntarily become sick, would that action result in a sick person suddenly getting well (at least for as long as you were sick?) But that’s the logic many people live by. In the same sense, would the amount of sunlight available to anyone be diminished if everyone on the sunny side of Earth suddenly decided to sun bathe? The use of the sunlight by any and all has no effect on its ability to supply for any one or all.

Confounding astronomers and cosmologist is data indicating the universe is expanding. It was expected to be reaching a stasis, then begin collapsing. They have no idea what force is driving the universal expansion. The search is on for a “dark matter” to make the math work. Now that’s a thought that’ll go bump in the night!

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