Live a Life of Possibility

 

... where we possess a greater capacity for “possibility thinking
Nicolas Sparks

 

I have sometimes limited my focus on my perspectives in life, and have often become caught up in a stream of events that I might not have anticipated.  If my decisions about how to behave in the world are not aligned to my aspirations, I will surely disappoint my vigilant intuitions.  Ultimately I reason that the mind is the charioteer of the will, the reflexive unconscious and gut, and the feelings of the heart that impels our behavior in the world.  But if we do not have a balance of these integral human motivating agencies, then we find ourselves beguiled and possibly left empty.  Precisely where we have a greater capacity for “possibility thinking” and achievement lies predominantly within the realm of the mind.  Those who do not stride forward with their life’s ambitions often have failed to sail toward a once planned venture.  They are rudderless, and follow a current that may lead them to unexpected courses in their voyages.

Plato's Charioteer
Plato’s Charioteer Tripartite Mind
1) Mind: Charioteer
2) White Noble Horse on Right: Spirit
3) Black Ugly Horse on Left: Appetites

 

Listening and acting on the advice from others and not acknowledging our own hearts may be a lifelong undertaking that leads us to misadventure.  When reaching for greener pastures, we ought not to overlook that which is right in front of us.  We become dissuaded and influenced by those around us, as we begin to doubt our own capabilities and ambitions which tend to slowly diffuse and disassemble as if they had never existed.  The passion once felt is shrouded deep within our former selves replaced by other transitional interests that cover the deeper longings of our hearts.  I have an affinity to what Henry David Thoreau set out to discover on his stay at Walden Pond.

Henry David Thoreau

 

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

― Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays

American philosopher and naturalist Thoreau isolated himself at Walden Pond in Massachusetts from 1845 to 1847.  His experiences during that time are published in Walden (1854), which Thornton Wilder called “a manual of self-reliance.”  In a well-known passage, Thoreau stated his purpose: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.  I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation…”  In the first essay, “Economy,” Thoreau comments that most men are slaves to their work and enslaved to those for whom they work.  He concludes: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation….”

If we embrace our heart, activate our resolve and nourish the potential of our minds, we create a force that is so powerful, the world of possibility becomes exponentially larger.  But why do we not follow our “gut” feelings, and we delude our better judgements?  Much of this comes from listening to external sources, and all too often from our own voice of self-doubt.  We disband our goal to unify our lives with our passions by accident or by misdirection of an immersed ego caught up in a distraction filled world.

When we take a path with the least resistance, we may misplace our heart’s desires with a surrogate.  Our lives are tempered with contention that customarily helps us find a quintessence in contrast to the banalities met in a lifetime.  We must never allow ourselves to detach from possibility!  Fortuity can be a life renewing salvation or equitably a life saving virtue if we are cognizant of it.  The first step is taken when we recognize this dynamic in the equation.  First and foremost, we must be open for opportunity.  We must be receptive and keen to providential forces that dwell within our mortality.

But what creates possibility?  The most satisfying creation comes from our own doing even if it is initiated indirectly; such as the consequence of our own talents which may open opportune doors to us.  There exists possibilities that we are aware of, and those we are unaware of.  There exists possibilities that we may never actualize, and those that we may never appreciate because we are caught up in other distractions or have distorted the inner balance within our minds.

 

 ☥☥☥

 

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Steve Jobs

 

I’ve realized that I must aspire to create a cohesion between the mind and the feeling centers of my being.  I usually operate on an intellectual level better than the emotional level because it comes to me more easily.  Ironically I show great depth of empathy for others yet I fail to sometimes envision my own deeper feelings and emotive motivators that direct me.  In establishing a cohesion with all of these forces is the challenge to be reconciled.  This could be a daily routine, and with practice one can hope to achieve the balance necessary to bring about change in one’s life that aligns with a true self image.  I ask of myself only for patience and dedication, as the rest will take care of itself!  I say unto you live a life of possibility, and you will realize the intention you set out to do.

Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
Lao Tzu

 

Conflicted

Why do we dwell on an emotionally charged idea, or maybe why do we dismiss it altogether?  Have you thought about just how you have formed your ideas and beliefs about the world, and what just prevents us from dismissing the baggage we often collect?  Are we willing to question the foundations of our belief system when there is a conflict about what we’re told, and what we deem true?

The lack of having any external support group when you are feeling low is excruciatingly painful.  The strength to pick oneself up is much harder, when your internal voice has to operate without prejudice, when your internal voice diminishes your own internal criticisms that are weighing heavily upon you so that you may overcome the obstacles that you face.  Having conflicting conscious thoughts will always place you under scrutiny with your own judgments and this is sometimes a burden we do not freely share with others only to quietly suffer within our own creation of doubt.  But why must we anguish over these times of self-doubt?  Perhaps it is because we listen and acquire information from sources that give us a faulty valuation.  We’re taught to listen and respect our elders, the authority figures in our lives since they have benefited from their experience for more years than we have.  But I urge the reader to question authority since the argument is of a qualitative nature, and not one based on a quantitative accumulation of knowledge despite its inherent appeal to some.

If an internal struggle of conflicting feelings and thoughts that are remnants from adversarial external sources which have filtered into part of our thinking, then it may result as a troublesome cognition.  At a time of duress, we may give these critical token thoughts more weight than what is actually merited.  When we have contrary thoughts that disturb our resolve, we may lose focus on what is important and lose our bearings within the fog of ridicule.  If the diagnosis is a conflict that we ultimately control, and that we are the sole proprietors of our appraisals, then why does this seem to accommodate antagonism within our own minds?  Are we not in the best place to undertake a corrective direction in our thinking?  The answer could just be the way our thinking normally occurs.  How we process our information, and how we learn this information influences our decisions on how we also filter what we think we know and have come to believe.

How our thinking has evolved through-out our lives with a blending of experience, observation, rational, and emotional syntheses that have created and forged our thoughts and influenced our belief systems is commonly accepted as fact.  Some beliefs are conscious, and some operate on deeper levels we may not be consciously aware of.  I submit that we are creatures of habit, including our processes of reasoning.  Over time we form patterns of thought based on presuppositions about how we see the world.  Our patterns of thinking are much like a learned response directly correlated to the sympathetic nervous system.  The sympathetic nervous system is one of three major parts of the autonomic nervous system (the others being the enteric and parasympathetic systems).  Its general action is to mobilize the body’s nervous system fight-or-flight response.  It is, however, constantly active at a basic level to maintain homeostasis.  The homeostatic response to the world in our belief system may just operate at levels we do not question or lend ourselves to very often, hence the subconscious thoughts that drive many of our conscious thoughts bring about deeply felt concepts that influence us.  Whether we are to conclude self-doubt in times of conflict or conversely whether we are influenced on an alternate level is due to these presuppositions we rarely question.  They are the subroutines in our daily thoughts, the notions that lead us to make conclusions binding feeling and logic together that can change the way we see the world.  A convoluted fabric of thought, feeling and drives that work together to create a consistent view of what we observe that may at times disrupt our lives when conflicting notions enter into this process.

As children we develop a basis for meeting the world on how the world is presented to us.  Most children have a very natural way of experiencing the world, until they matriculate through the cultural pathways placing various lenses upon their scope to shape a reality largely based upon the teaching of their families.  Much of what is cultivated on pre-cognitive levels comes at a very early age, between birth and maybe six years of age.  The developmental stages of childhood maturation are still in development and not yet “hard-wired” at this age.  Our mental processes are forming from the examples given to us by our families and we build upon these foundations as we grow.  It is precisely some of these foundations that we no longer tap into and question.  They are the subroutines, the pre-cognitive staples that formulate some of our learned beliefs about the world.  They are very elusive since they are found in deeper structures within the brain, given the immense amount of neural pathways formed in childhood and developing until they lose their functionality.  The principles on which we form our ideas is largely influenced by these obscure percipient vestiges of thought.  We are seldom taught the skill to search deeper into our assumptions.  The contributions of Ludwig Wittgenstein in his philosophy of language are an invaluable insight on this topic when analytic philosophy is applied to our logic.

If these premises are sound, then where does that lead us?  Does this explain why hypnotic suggestion can displace deeper modes of thought we seldom have access to?  Why the importance of right thinking in the eightfold path is crucial for Buddhism?  Why the Zen use the Koan to disrupt the minds normative way of thinking?  Or perhaps why so many psychological personality disorders exist due to the formation of traumatized neural pathways during childhood?  Enneagram theory accounts for much of this due to its approach.   Again I ask, does this explain why we torture ourselves, being conflicted by ideas that we have only partial answers to, since much of the presumptions are buried deep within our minds?  I refer you to the work of Dr. Bruce Lipton for further analyses on this matter.  I highly recommend the work he has uncovered.

If the human experience is largely based on our ability to mediate its variables and problems, to arbitrate the ethical conditions that life brings us, then paying attention to what we conclude about our condition is preeminent.  Indeed, misjudgement is the cause for many mistaken paths we lead ourselves.  The purpose of trial and error, testing ourselves to the rigors of our decisions in everyday life is part of being human and also essential for our ability to learn through experience.  Learning that we must be mindful of our prejudices, that we must pay attention and heed to new information that may not be consistent with what we think we know is crucial to expanding our views.

Before you judge others or claim any absolute truth, consider that you can see less than 1% of the acoustic spectrum.  As you read this, you are traveling at 220 kilometers per second across the galaxy.  90% of the cells in your body carry their own microbial DNA and are not “you”.  The atoms in your body are 99.99999999999999% empty space and none of them are the ones you were born with, but they all originated in the belly of a star.  Human beings have 46 chromosomes, 2 less that the common potato.  The existence of the rainbow depends on the conical photoreceptors in your eyes; to animals without cones, the rainbow does not exist.  So you don’t just look at a rainbow, you create it.  This is pretty amazing, especially considering that all the beautiful colors you see represent less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum.

 

The earlier statements I’ve made about this paradigm of psychology are based on my studies.  I draw from many sources and fields to illustrate my views.