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

Monday, December 12, 2011

There Is No Pie!

Photo: Cato Institute
Wit and Wag P.J.O'Rourke takes a shot at one of the most enduring thoughts that disturbs many nights for the "99%" - the zero sum game.  This belief, held by many, is that there is a fixed amount of anything.  The only way someone can add to their pile of stuff is to take some away from another.  Thus is borne the concept that the rich have stolen their treasures.  As a manipulative strategy, it works wonders  - create the Haves and the have-nots and make sure the have-nots believe that they could have more but for the Haves.

Re-distribution follows with a body, government, making the deal:  "I'll go get the goodies due you from the bad Haves, but you'll have to give me some of your freedoms in order to do it."  Historically, many folks surrender their unalienable rights for the prospect of having someone (government) insure their economic and social justice.

But that's not the way the universe operates - there is no "pie."  Wealth is created, not taken from a "fixed" stock.  The Hermetic adage "As Above, so Below; as Below, so Above" provides a format:  The Universe is expanding - there's more Universe being created.  There is, certainly from our limited perception, no end to creation.  If that's the case with the "Above" then it's the case with us. 

O'Rourke notes how his teenage daughter laments how "unfair" everything is.  The Universe is rigorously fair due to the Law of Attraction.   The physics of the universe keeps everything in perfect balance.  Many folks are not comfortable with such thinking (indeed, they are uncomfortable because of their thinking) and must have someone/something to blame for their misery.  Scapegoat, Devil, the Haves...  But I digress.  P.J. puts it nicely (audio file with commercial header and trailer).

Think for a moment of the difference between a zero-sum outlook and one that sees no "pie."  The zero-sum folks live in a world of conflict - each must compete, seize, and hold his/her piece of the pie and make damn sure nobody else snatches some of their stuff.  The "no pie" folks live in a world largely free of envy and resentment.  The pursuit of happiness is the ruling norm and some people will make that pursuit with more or less zest than others.  But, and this is the important but,  the good, happiness, "stuff" available to anyone is not reduced by someone else gaining a good, happy or stuff.

The "no pie" people are able to divert their energy and attention to what they want and desire rather than surrendering their energy and attention to the envy and resentment of what others have.   If you're not sure how the zero-sum envy thinking can interfere with daily living, visit this musing on a fellow who had a grudge against Bing Crosby.

The marvel in all of this is everyone's inherent freedom and ability to choose their thinking.   This is news for many folks.  Spread the word, it's their best road to happiness.

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