Trusting in thought, or yourself

What, exactly, should we trust in life? Between all the words, theories and beliefs, how are we to pin down our own sense of what it all means and the choices we’re facing? This sense in which we all, as individuals, must stand within this reality and decide for ourselves which options we’ll make part of our own personal response to existence. As if that’s what human life “is”.

How are we to build such a certainty? Map out a clear enough sense of modern realities – and, the historical or intellectual paths that led to them – within which we can confidently yet compassionately judge whatever might be placed before us. This idea that the mind must somehow reflect the nature, content and limitations of contemporary knowledge while still finding its way forward.

Because who’s to say the process of thought is infallible? Given all the ways flawed assumptions might derail logic and shunt us into versions of reality not quite capable of capturing life’s fullness. Each perhaps tending toward taking thought in service of self to spin events into narratives that shore up our own personal psychology, how are we ever to bring that into a mutually compatible whole?

In many ways, it just seems we occupy an interesting position, as humans: these strangely independent creatures intent on forming our own ideas to make our own decisions based on our own personal sense of reality. As if, within each mind, everything stands reflected in its own distinct constellation of meaning; those contents then being the compass we’re using to guide our path.

Isn’t it all we have in life? This ability to think for ourselves. Not to “need” to rely on others’ judgement because we can create a clear enough understanding to judge for ourselves the rightness of whatever may be suggested. Isn’t that, perhaps, the “ideal” of the human being? Being able to stand alone and trust the contents of our own minds to guide our thinking.

For me, I’m generally wanting life reflected in a way that makes complete sense – without threats or blind trust being required when sheer honesty could perhaps serve better in letting us see where we stand, what’s being asked of us, and what might be at stake. Because, to what extent can we ever really trust others? As opposed to feeling secure in our own understanding of life and the future we’re serving to create.

Within complex modern realities, how can we wield our judgement with such a thorough understanding? Do we have a clear enough overarching sense of life’s divergent, competing or contradictory meanings? Have we truly grasped all the processes of life itself, be they natural, social or individual? What kinds of ripples or unintended consequences might be amassing from varying degrees of ignorance in any given area?

Sometimes it seems we just stand within rapidly shifting realities, battered by tides of opinion, struggling to retain that firm centre from which we need to navigate our way toward a better future.

Notes and References:

Seeing what things mean
If environment shapes us…
Do we need to understand the past?
Acclimatisation to a world of meaning
Can each be true to themselves?
Culture, thought & coexistence
Who can we turn to?
The trauma of ignorance
Intelligence, wisdom & common sense
Any choice but to take a stand?
What’s at the heart of society?
The courage & pain of change

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Life as adjustments in meaning

Imagining life as this intersecting network of all the lines of meaning established between us – all the places where things meet and judgements are made over the social, cultural, economic or deeply personal elements of any existence – how are we ever to find the right balance within it all? The mind may happily assign labels and values to everything it sees, but to what extent is that picture it’s creating truly real?

Sometimes it just seems we’re comparing things that cannot be compared in this impossible conversation that never quite touches reality. As if, looking from all these angles, we’re not yet bringing things together with an overarching meaning that actually works. All our perspectives, more often than not, jutting up against each other in an impasse we cannot resolve.

Especially now we’re drifting into such a personal sense of life’s meaning: each person developing their own culture, their own value systems and priorities, their own idea of what’s right or best. How often are we really talking about the same things on the same terms? Are we “right” to shut down anyone not seeing things as we are? Where does it lead?

There seem so many times where the messages we receive about something’s worth stack up strangely against how we might feel about its real value. Times we’re left with the jarring dissonance of our views being misunderstood, undervalued or cast aside by those we’re with. Say, over the environment, the balance of the social with the economic, the value of self, or any number of other valid concerns.

It pervades every conversation: words are spoken and the assumptions beneath them – the nuanced shades of tone or subtle assessments of any given item’s value – speak volumes about how things are seen, treated, admired or dismissed. Listening, all you might hear is the discordant jangling of things that aren’t being thought through or valued rightly within the everyday conversation of modern society.

Maybe it’s something we just have to live with: the thinking that lives in the systems surrounding us filtering into the minds of those living within them. What choice do we have? Many ideas don’t seem open for renegotiation. We might look for our meaning or worth in how we’re reflected in the eyes of society, culture or the minds of our peers, but I’m not entirely sure those are set up to value things fairly.

Seeing life as a web of the personal “meeting” all that’s around it – these inherited systems, ideas and judgements of anything’s worth, power or consequence – might we not simply drift toward those sharing our views, speaking less and less to those who think differently, until our thinking becomes unchallenged? Living in our own world, our own version of reality, where meanings are agreed upon.

If the self, the mind, is our way of understanding society and where we stand, how are we to balance our own sense of worth, value or potential with all these ideas that are hemming us in?

Notes and References:

If environment shapes us…
Seeing what things mean
Threads, becoming a united whole
Deepening understanding
Working through mind & society
Is there any end to the power of thought?
The struggle with being alive

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If environment shapes us…

How free are we ever likely to be of our environment? In so many ways it must shape us – our identity, experiences, thoughts, relationships and expectations – as everything we’ve ever encountered leaves its mark and becomes some part of who we are. Almost as if this large part of “being human” is the imprint the world is making upon us.

It seems like an interesting relationship, the one between us and environment. This sense in which we’re almost breathing in all that’s around us, forming our own ideas about it and then taking up our place in the flow of events. All these ways we find meaning or seek our worth within whatever face the world turns toward us; somehow charting our path between all the praise, judgement or shame.

As if all the ideas around us, the explicit ones and all those embedded in the nature of society, seep into the mind to become our understanding of life, how to live it and what matters most. The “meaning” within our environment perhaps informing how we are in the world, towards others and within ourselves: the conversations we’ll have, assumptions we hold, judgements we’ll make and things we think we can get away with.

Where do any of those things come from if not from our environment? All the subtle cues as to what our community deems valuable, admirable or worthwhile. The warmth of recognition, acceptance and approval set against the fear of rejection, criticism and error. Our whole landscape letting us know what it thinks and how we should be if we want to thrive in this setting.

Almost as it “to be human” is to step into our world, come to an understanding of it, then decide what we’ll add: how we’ll respond to whatever we’ve found here. The contents of our environment becoming the contents of our mind; everything having found a home there somewhere on the bookshelves of our mental spaces. Each person picking up their threads and weaving something new into the mix through their choices.

What, then, are we to make of the modern world? All these ideas, artefacts, opinions and struggles blending together into one vast global landscape filled with differing perspectives, lifestyles and values. So few conventions or agreed-upon notions of how to think about life and take our place within all this. Very little by way of reliable guidance or oversight as we each decide for ourselves what we’ll make of it all.

Surrounded by so many attempts to influence, belittle or coerce us into various courses of action. All this effort to make people feel inadequate, afraid or uncertain, just so we’ll buy into whatever solution’s being offered. In many ways, an environment seemingly designed to undermine us and any sense of our own worth; a place full of threats, attacks, promises, lies and strangers.

If we can’t help but somehow absorb what’s going on around us, how are we to respond to this strange atmosphere we’re currently living in?

Notes and References:

World, heading for a breakdown?
Seeing where others are coming from
Why assume there’s only one set of values?
Lacking the human side of community?
Systems, their power, whose hands?
Shaping the buildings that shape us
Visual language and spaces

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The battlegrounds of our minds

As humans, how do we stand in the world? Isn’t the essence of “us”, at least a significant part of it, that we reflect the world in thought? That, of all the creatures, we see things with our minds, put those observations into words and share those thoughts with others. Being human being, perhaps, this idea of converting experience into thought and seeing what we make of it all.

Don’t we almost “live” in our minds? Identifying with those processes of observation, reflection and the naming of things. Living our lives through whatever narrative we spin or inherit from the world around us, so many of our choices in life effectively being formed by whatever ideas we have in mind and paths they lead us to tread. Don’t almost all of our actions stem from the world of our thoughts? (Notes One)

The meaning we assign to things seems, in a way, the meaning we bring to life through our response: our assumptions or evaluations becoming “real” through the fact we voice them, act upon them or let them inform our unspoken beliefs. Isn’t “the mind” where we form such views? Where we’re weighing things up and deciding. Where the steps we’ll take in life are determined.

If we’re all acting on our thoughts, they must matter. Each seemingly insignificant idea inevitably rippling out from us to become potentially quite significant realities for the world. Doesn’t every choice matter? Every action becoming a reality in someone’s life or a cumulative pattern shifting things in certain directions through the subtle reinforcement of our involvement. (Notes Two)

Perhaps, then, it’s only natural we experience such conflict in the world of ideas? If “what we think” has the power to change the realities around us, our minds seem the focal point for many important battles. Of all that’s going on in life, the idea of getting people to see – and, care about – the consequences of their choices, beliefs or actions may be the only real option we have for creating a better future.

What’s it like, though, living in that mental space? Not only the fairly insistent and overwhelming contents of our own minds as we attempt to chart our course within an imperfect world, but also this strangely aggressive collective conversation we’re all now immersed in. Almost like this pooled thought process of “everyone” trying to describe their concerns and iron out all the differences.

Sometimes it seems we’re all just fighting to have our thoughts heard; struggling to make space for anyone else’s (Notes Three). Everyone caring deeply about whatever “life” placed at their feet, we rightly want others to see those problems and help fix them. With our selves so tied up with our lives and our thoughts about them, it seems likely all of this quickly becomes personal – each person’s sense of self or worth on the line.

Standing within flawed human realities and attempting to agree what to do about it seems, in many ways, far from easy.

Notes and References:

Note 1: The philosopher stance
Note 1: Problems & the thought that created them
Note 1: How quickly things can change
Note 1: Power in what we believe
Note 2: The incredible responsibility of freedom
Note 2: All we concern ourselves with & encourage
Note 2: Whether we make a difference
Note 2: What we create by our presence
Note 2: Losing the sense of meaning
Note 3: The thought surrounding us
Note 3: Is there any end to the power of thought?
Note 3: Desire to retreat, need to engage
Note 3: Do we live in different worlds?

Thinking more of the attempt to communicate, there’s What is the public conversation?

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Is there any end to the power of thought?

Sometimes it seems, if all thought’s doing is running alongside our view of reality, we might spend forever simply churning through all its possible iterations. As if, having explored our own perspective, we might then explore those of any other, identifying every divergence and source of difference before going onto the next… Presumably, that might never end? These constantly shifting reflections of reality in thought.

Can’t almost anything be made “reasonable” by someone having strung it together in terms of causality and logic? Any individual perspective being something we might set against another and argue over. Conceivably, “meaning” and “relative significance” can be viewed any number of ways or stacked up in different orders to reach different conclusions. Anything, perhaps, seems reasonable if you accept its worldview (Notes One).

As if there’s not an objective reality or agreed way of looking at it – a common set of meanings – so we’re no longer speaking the same language or having the same conversation about it. As if we might spend all our time disputing personal assessments or interpretations, talking at crossed purposes and never quite touching on the truth of any given situation.

Doesn’t lack of agreement propel us away from conversation? This sense in which, not agreeing on simple terms, we can’t move beyond them to discuss the complexity of how things come together. And, whether it’s modernity’s pace of change or the ways technology propels us all forward in rapidly-evolving worlds of our own choosing, aren’t we increasingly far apart in how we see things?

If we’re each tending to experience our version of reality as the only one – having that belief constantly reinforced as we forge ahead in our own direction – how are we to speak to others? Surely, we’ll all be out on the extremes, fired up by our own concerns, struggling to understand how anyone else might see things differently.

It’s hard to talk when we’re all on such different pages. As if each person’s now living in their own mind, their thoughts fuelled and amplified by unknown sources. As if the words we share increasingly fly in from left field; leaving you wondering where the person’s coming from and how exactly they got there. Not having the time – or, inclination – to unravel the details, we perhaps drift apart further.

What, then, is the value of thought? Of reflecting reality in our minds, coating it in words, and seeking common ground over how we need to be seeing things (Notes Two). Isn’t there value in being on the same page? Somehow fleshing out our perspectives into a purposeful sense of what’s happening, what it means, and how best to respond.

If “to be human” is to rightly grasp complex realities in thought and make the best of them, where are we to find time to achieve that? Without a common sense of life’s meaning and the roles we’re playing to bringing that about, might “thought” not just isolate us all in angry realities of our own making?

Notes and References:

Note 1: Power in what we believe
Note 1: The sense of having a worldview
Note 1: Where do we get our ideas from?
Note 1: Systems, their power, whose hands?
Note 1: The stories that we hear
Note 1: Belief in what we cannot see
Note 2: The thought surrounding us
Note 2: Understanding & staying informed
Note 2: Learning from the past, looking to the future
Note 2: Connecting truthfully with life

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Desire to retreat, need to engage

In so many aspects of life, the desire to retreat can easily seem as strong as the need to engage. Almost as if all the problems of the past and difficulties of the present engulf us within complex situations we can perhaps only hope to resolve: time, flowing into our lives, presenting us with a picture of all we need to fix if the future’s not to be worse or, even, the same.

On the personal as much as the collective or systemic levels, so much is deeply flawed (Notes One). And, in ways we cannot – as human beings – resign ourselves to simply letting be part of our lives. Don’t we have a responsibility, as thinking beings, to ensure that the world we’re upholding makes sense and bears up to scrutiny? To make sure our reasoning holds water.

Sometimes it seems the whole of our history can be seen as the paths from ignorance to enlightenment: all that we didn’t know, understand or appreciate gradually being brought to light through the extremely valid resistance to practices or ways of being that don’t live up to the ideals we’ve placed at the helm of modern Western society.

Almost as if the path of civilisation is this outworking of thought, as reality itself tests our commitment to the principles we rightly hold dear – equality, freedom, togetherness. All the time we get it wrong, isn’t it vitally important that’s challenged? Individually or collectively, letting people know when values aren’t yet being successfully brought to life seems essential to the realisation of any ideals.

If, though, life is lived somewhere between ideas and realities, how are we to stand within it when both our thinking and our systems may be mistaken? Are we to cling to things, refusing to budge or re-evaluate where our thoughts may’ve come from? Holding dearly to the psychological or material security that past may have furnished us with. Or, throw it away from us in disgusted betrayal?

Unpicking the formative ideas which shaped our thinking as much as they did the realities that we’re trying to understand seems an incredibly complicated, confronting task (Notes Two). Aren’t our thoughts deeply nested within our environment and the beliefs – worthy or otherwise – of those who sought to help us find our feet within it? Isn’t “all this” a strangely tangled, intensely lived blend of various people’s intentions?

As humans – often, identified mostly with thought – changing our minds about anything seems understandably challenging. Where are we to stand as we unpick these threads we’d been given and lived our lives around? Are we to doubt everything, if we come to see our own judgement or understanding as having been flawed? Does the ground beneath us simply crumble? (Notes Three)

That we stand in the flow of time, picking up what’s handed to us, seems strange; even if it’s the only way we can really go about things. Hopefully, in shoring up our foundations, we’re better prepared to find the right paths from here.

Notes and References:

Note 1: Is this the ultimate test?
Note 1: Making adjustments
Note 1: Finding flaws
Note 2: Where do we get our ideas from?
Note 2: “The Measure of a Man”
Note 2: Power in what we believe
Note 3: The world we’re living in
Note 3: The value of a questioning attitude?
Note 3: How things change

How we might know when we’re on the right track was also part of Doing the right thing, we erase consequences.

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Sensitivity & the place for feeling

When it comes to being human, are we best off leading with our heart or our head? Living through the heart, there’s perhaps a risk of losing our selves by being so caught up in the lives of others. Existing too much in our heads, we perhaps become detached from all that life means from the human perspective. Finding some kind of balance between the two can be exhausting.

At times it seems we’re encouraged to mainly be rational – as if that clearer form of knowledge is something sturdier and more reliable to build our lives around. In many ways, perhaps it is? This objective, reasoned voice of observation that can happily and confidently deconstruct events and assign everything its place as cause, effect or solution (Notes One). The whole of life neatly pinned down, defined, predictable.

Yet the mind can often seem cold by not also assigning the proper feeling to all its assertions. It can sometimes seem disconcertingly easy to run events through the channels of our minds and emerge with crystal clear theories about everything; perhaps overlooking the fact that each item in our chains of thought relates to somebody or some situation that might be crying out for more compassionate awareness (Notes Two).

Can thought exist without feeling? Are we fully human if we’re not dipping down into the realm of emotion to check how well our ideas are working out on that level? As beings who “can” feel, perhaps it’s important we find a way to bear those messages in mind as we’re going about our lives. What would it “mean” if we listened only to the head and cared even less about the feeling of the heart?

But then, what can we do if feeling threatens to overwhelm us? Drowning our capacity for reason with the emotive reality of what each aspect of everything “means” from countless perspectives. If each choice we make ripples out into the social, systemic environment we all share, we may risk paralysis by delving too deeply into the uncontrollable world of others’ emotions.

Equally, might it not be that our own emotion overwhelms us? The frame of mind with which we approach life perhaps getting reinforced by the expressions of hope or despair we’re tuning into in the world around us; our feelings amplified, for whatever reason, to the point where our ability to see otherwise gets clouded over (Notes Three).

In every area of life – personal, social, international, global – it seems things can touch us too deeply or not enough. The challenge perhaps being to find that balance between letting life in too much, too little, or just enough that we’re able to make sense of things without losing our steady resolve to respond both compassionately and intelligently (Notes Four).

Who’s to say which way’s best? If “being human” is to have feelings about reality and be sensitive to the feelings of others, maybe such qualities simply need to find a respectful and constructive home within our lives.

Notes and References:

Note 1: The thought surrounding us
Note 1: All that we add to neutrality
Note 1: How ideas find their place in the world
Note 1: Strange arrogance of thought
Note 2: Overwhelm and resignation
Note 2: What if solutions aren’t solutions?
Note 2: Whether we make a difference
Note 3: Does being alone amplify things?
Note 3: Emotion and culture’s realities
Note 3: It resonates, but should it be amplified
Note 3: Desensitised to all we’re told?
Note 4: Being trusted to use our discernment…
Note 4: And, how much can we care?
Note 4: Reading between the lines

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Joining the dots

Thinking about why ideas matter – why we argue, wanting others to see our point of view and make it their own – is it that we all seek for our personal perspective to be accepted and acknowledged as a common truth? Maybe that’s simply communication? Needing our thoughts to be voiced, heard, and understood within that shared space (Notes One).

What, then, are our thoughts? Maybe each person’s simply joining the dots with their minds: taking the facts, experiences, events or elements of “life” then creating narratives of causality around those points to, hopefully, establish a coherent sense of meaning. Everything coming together as our own, personal “picture” of what it’s all about and how best to live.

Of course, we all have distinct areas of experience, interest or expertise: those things we know better, care about more, or feel most need to be changed. Often, though, it seems we all might be trying to superimpose “our picture” over that of others. Each encounter being a chance to “correct” the significance someone else might’ve assigned to the elements of their worldview.

Is that why conversations can come across as personal attacks? If our ideas arise from our experiences – the meaning we’ve been able to piece together and make our own – aren’t the conclusions we’ve reached part and parcel of who we are and how we’ve navigated life up to this point? “Correcting” another’s viewpoint is perhaps always going to be confronting. How can anyone speak into that reality?

Not to say people can’t be wrong or there isn’t truth to be found (Notes Two), but how can we go about uncovering it? Nestled as it might be within the intricacies of our lives, how do we respect another’s experiences while also challenging their conclusions? Is it possible to separate the two and say it isn’t personal?

Who’s to say someone’s experiences and ideas are “wrong”? If this is what people carry within them – the moments they’ve lived, lessons they’ve learnt, meanings they’ve spun to manage – maybe we all just experience the many different sides of life. Coming to see things through other eyes, our own perspective might be greatly enriched. If all these viewpoints stand within our world, shouldn’t they matter?

We might get impatient – caught up in the clarity of our own insight, wanting others to accept it so life can proceed on that basis – but can mutual understanding be rushed? What does it “mean” to brush another’s ideas – the meaning that emerged for them out of the felt realities of their lives – away and ask them to go with ours? Should we rush ahead at “our” pace, or pause to ensure everything’s truly working well?

Does the truth of each experience need to be heard? Within society, does each human reality matter? Can other’s lives be folded into other ideas of what’s a valid path of “progress”? Given the complex, often hidden, nature of modern systems, maybe it’s really important that we listen to those affected by it all.

Notes and References:

Note 1: Frameworks of how we relate
Note 1: True relationship within society?
Note 1: Going towards the unknown
Note 2: Do we need meaning?
Note 2: Thoughts of idealism and intolerance
Note 2: Imperfection as perfection?
Note 2: What it is to be human

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The struggle with being alive

It’s almost as if we’re poured into this. We “meet” the world in the faces it turns towards us – family, peers, culture, community, education, social systems all merging together into the sense of meaning we have of life. What we become surely depends, in large part, on what we meet? Then, what we make of it.

And, of course, we’re not the same. What hurts one deeply might be a nothing to someone else. The meaning things hold in our eyes must be fairly unique: the unrepeated convergence of our own perspective; the way experiences merged into all we believe, know and feel so deeply (Notes One).

Who are we to say the experiences of another don’t count? Isn’t everything that touches on the shore of our islands meaningful? All that comes to tell us how the world sees us and how much it cares.

If people are told they are “wrong” – their understanding of life, the way they’ve crafted their identity around it – what does that mean? Life, conceivably, is the meaning we find within it and how we attach that to the personal self. Each living through this, taking part, finding our way. (Notes Two)

Sometimes, despite the best intentions, people can miss the point of their own worth or misunderstand the ways of the world. It’s possible. In subtle ways, we can believe that our views, our thoughts and being, don’t matter as much as assuming the “right” veneer.

People can become buried rather than alive inside. Disconnected. Feeling it doesn’t matter what we carry within us, as the world isn’t interested. If “life” doesn’t connect with us, doesn’t draw “us” out or seek what we have to offer, it’s perhaps natural we withdraw in self-defence?

What exactly are life, youth or education? Is this simply performance? Wanting others to be “like us”, we draw them into the drama of our own lives – offering them parts to play, assigning roles, accommodating  interests somewhat as we’re all subsumed into the ongoing narrative of pre-existence. To some extent, yes.

But then one thing leads to another and it’s all compounded: wounds, mistakes, errors in judgement become our lives, met and often exacerbated in every encounter. Walls get higher, deeper, stronger. Heels dug deeper in confusion at the messages we’re receiving from life. Alone, we might doubt everything.

It’s interesting, really. From an early age so much seems set in motion that can easily spiral into something more lasting: labels can stick, behaviour or communication patterns becoming how we’re seen, how we relate to others, and how we see ourselves. Limitations in skill or understanding can become “the self” (Notes Three).

How can we break that? Can we come to see our personal development as almost inevitably flawed, yet, somehow, wrap that reality in a greater understanding? Can we create wholeness – healing – by somehow letting go of all that’s harmed us, then dust ourselves off to get on with “life” in this equally flawed yet insistent world? Hopefully, we can.

Notes and References:

Note 1: What it is to be human
Note 1: Personal archaeology
Note 1: What if it all means something?
Note 2: Absolute or relative value
Note 2: Do we know what stands before us?
Note 2: The dignity & power of a human life
Note 3: What you’re left with
Note 3: Living as an open wound
Note 3: We’re all vulnerable

On the flip side of all this, there’s This thing called love, Love of self & Problems & the thought that created them.

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Personal archaeology

Living our lives, we inevitably accumulate “history”. Every little thing leaves its mark, creating ripples we cannot hope to control. All that shapes us, becoming the experiences that inform our thinking, the wounds that hurt when we think they’ll be touched, the grooves of how we engage with life.

It’s as if this imperfect world imprints itself upon us in youth, leaving many things we might spend a lifetime trying to iron out. Because, realistically, no one’s perfect. Much as we might hope to be, our knowledge is generally incomplete. We try our best, but life’s a complex reality to master.

And we all knock into one another. One person’s suffering often becomes another’s too. Limited perspectives can effectively negate another’s being. Whenever we’re acting out of imperfect understanding we surely risk impacting those around us? Offhand comments can lodge in another’s psyche to become truths they’ll live by – small, seemingly insignificant, perhaps thoughtless words or gestures taking on a life of their own.

While we might have the finest intentions, the accumulated impact of countless interactions can cause problems. Personal opinions and preferences can echo in other minds as “how things should be”. It’s this strange, invisible world of formative experiences: things that loom large in our past, casting shadows over what follows.

In a way, it’s simply “life” – people doing their best and all of us living through the consequences. If we knew more, we’d do differently, but, in reality, what’s done cannot be undone.

It’s true of society, of family, of culture, education and friendships. They shape us. In differing measure and with varying levels of deliberation, but, nonetheless, they combine to make us who we became (Notes One). I’m not saying that, beneath all that, there’s not an innate sense of self also playing its part, but the faces life turns toward us carry great weight.

What are we supposed to do with that? How, as well as living increasingly complex lives, are we to excavate such a past? And, even if we do, does it help? Is there meaning to be found in uncovering the truth of our journey, the things that defined us, the arc of our personal history? Will we be able to “let it go” or do we risk becoming trapped within this powerless world of our own making? (Notes Two)

It’s the stuff of psychology, of therapists. This army of professionals following us round, helping us make sense of life. It’s important work. “Getting on with life” while carrying along unprocessed, unreleased issues can be a recipe for disaster. We’re unlikely to live our best life crumpled up that way.

Taking hold of yourself, really understanding how you are, is perhaps invaluable for life. People who’ve done such “work” can become powerful, compassionate members of society. We’d likely have healthier relationships and not fall prey to those seeing opportunity in wounds and weaknesses. True strength and wisdom might well be gained from understanding our past, if we’re prepared to go there.

Notes and References:

Some of the many beautiful books dealing with this aspect of life are those by Don Miguel Ruiz, including “The Mastery of Love” (Amber-Allen, California; 1999) and “The Four Agreements” (Amber-Allen, California; 1997).

Note 1: One thing leads to another
Note 1: Culture as what we relate to
Note 1: All we want to do passes through community
Note 1: The world we’re living in
Note 1: What you’re left with
Note 2: This thing called love
Note 2: Does being alone amplify things?
Note 2: Absolute or relative value
Note 2: Do we need meaning?
Note 2: Love of self

In a similar vein to all this, Doing the right thing, we erase consequences looked at the challenge of fully understanding “life”.

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