Tag Archive: choice

Time (part 2)

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In the first post on time we pictured time as a series of rooms, one after the other connected by doors. As you walk into a new room the door behind you is locked forever in the past and the future awaits through the next doorway. Now imagine that instead of one exit out of the room or present that there are multiple doorways for you to choose from. Each door leading to a new room again filled with more doors, branching constantly in new directions with new paths to choose from. Now we have options to choose from on which door to take, which room to go into. Instead of being forced along a singular path we have the power of choice. Instead of a singular route through the doors there are always different paths and directions that one can choose to move in with the only exception being the door you entered through. As before in the idea of B-series time all of the rooms already exist and it is up to you to decide which room you end up in.

 

This idea of multiple rooms simply waiting for you to choose and enter is similar to the idea one of the possibilities of a multiverse, the idea that every branching path of your life exists and you yourself are just living one of those versions. In the many-worlds interpretation of the multivers there are multiple versions of you reading this just as you yourself are and there are nearly other versions of you doing different things. Even the most outlandish acts are being done by some of your doppelgangers, some are robbing banks and committing crimes while others are the President, inventors, celebrities, etc. The choices that they made in their life as well as the circumstances around them allowed them to be something, someone else entirely. The differences can be as small as whether you brushed your teeth this morning or not to even something as different as whether you are still alive or not. Depending on what choices you made you are on a different branch of your life. Small decisions become major ones as each one compounds on one another creating a very different you.

“Anything can happen now that we’ve slid over this bridge, anything at all…”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

The idea of the multiverse is pleasing to most people as it creates a version of us with no regrets. A version of us that made the ‘right’ choices in life and is happier than we are with our present version. Unfortunately no matter how similar those other versions of us are, they are not us as the experiences and choices that they have and made, made them different from us. They do not share the same memories and thoughts as we do. So while the idea of a ‘perfect’ version of us is pleasant we are still here, living our own unique lives.

We are in a single room at any given moment and the other versions of us are in different rooms as they chose different doors to go through. We do however have choices in front of us even though there are none behind. Which door will we choose to step through which future shall we make? Most of us lead our lives opening the closest door or the easiest one to step through, the path of least resistance and struggle. We are akin to a leaf floating down the river of time not knowing which direction it flows, where it turns and branches off, but like that floating on a river we can paddle and swim against the current to go where we want to go. If the idea of multiple worlds or universes is true than not only are multiple instances of the past and present true, but also the future. While we may not be where we want to be in our lives in the present the options are all there in the future not as maybes or possibilities but as actual real occurrences that you only need to reach. Not the President yet in this version of reality? It doesn’t matter as there is a future version with you as the starting point who becomes President. The real difference in making an effort is knowing whether or not you will succeed.

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the idea of the future already existing and an almost infinite number of possibilities already existing all it takes is finding the correct doors to walk through. We can however make a difference in the course of our lives. Each new door and room doesn’t have to be a complete mystery. There is a pattern, if you look hard enough and we can map a way to rooms we would like to be in. The rooms that we pass through might not be pleasant and some doorways are harder to enter than others, yet with perseverance we can reach the final destination of our choice.

PalHachi~

Intuition and that Crazy Feeling

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We tend to place less and less importance on our own personal intuition, instead relying on logic and reasoning in our daily lives. For day to day functionality logic and reason definitely is the way to go as intuition and feelings aren’t too well known for long term planning, but intuition should still play a part in our daily lives.

Intuition is often mistaken for wishful thinking or just emotional judgement. Carl Jung a pioneer of modern psychology in the early twentieth century described intuition as an “irrational function” of the ego relying on feelings more than logic. Intuition and following a hunch is often considered an irrational action as there is no basis of proof or reasoning behind it. However, intuition or ego based thought processes are still based on knowledge and experience. It just happens so quickly that we do not input the superego into the equation.

“Intuition is the key to everything, in painting, filmmaking, business – everything. I think you could have an intellectual ability, but if you can sharpen your intuition, which they say is emotion and intellect joining together, then a knowingness occurs.”
David Lynch

Intuition while it tends to follow emotions is however based on experiences that are remembered and unremembered. While our senses are active our conscious minds only process a fraction of the information, usually what is based on importance and survival. In many cases our minds only process the information that we want to, but the other data points still remain in our subconscious. Even though we may not consciously process that information it is still there as data for the rest of our subconscious minds to analyze and process.
Intuition is most likely an evolutionary process and an extension of reflexive action. Reflexive action is based on stimuli and action. Whether it be a bump to the knee that causes our leg to jerk or the sudden rise in adrenaline and attention at the sound of a loud noise. Intuition expands those basic reactions by creating a sudden urge or impulse based on learned experiences.

In many cases we’ve all experienced what happens when we go against our intuition, or that crazy feeling. We trusted people that we instinctive knew that we shouldn’t because it seemed irrational and later on regretted not following our intuition. We’ve lost out on opportunities that felt right, but seemed wrong. In all of those cases our intuition, the collection of facts and experiences in our subconscious minds is ignored. Just as often we feel regret for not following our intuition and rationalizing ourselves out of a difficult decision.

That doesn’t mean intuition is always right, as there are always exceptions to every rule, but following that gut feeling can generally lead to greater rewards as in many cases following intuition is following a greater risk.

At Yale University in the 70’s a study of intuitive skills showed that for certain intuitive people their sense of intuition was just as accurate without any other information. By only nonverbal facial cues they were able to come to the same conclusion in a much shorter time without anything needing to be said when compared to more rational students who were able to come to the same conclusion only with added information and more time to process the information.

Intuition however is not an issue of wishful thinking. You may purchase a lottery ticket with a gut feeling that you’ll win but it is merely wishful thinking as there is no data for your mind to intuit from. Intuition mainly applies to circumstances where your mind is processing information faster than you can give conscious thought to it, whether it be your gut feelings about a person or relationship, or your intuition on a certain idea.

“The only real valuable thing is intuition.”

Albert Einstein

Intuition is not a talent or skill based on pure emotion or desire, but based on your brain simply being able to process data than your mind and giving you a rapid fire answer. It is based on pattern recognition and picking up on cues that we normally don’t focus on or realize exist, whether they be certain facial cues in a person, body language or the intonation of their voice. Through our experiences we have seen different combinations of the three thousands of times and also have seen the outcome. While our conscious minds tend to focus more on the words said than the cues given our subconscious mind is able to pick up on cues and hints that were always available to us and can give us a general knowledge of what will happen next based on past experience.

In making decisions on complex issues such as what major to study in college, what car or house to buy and even who to date, studies have shown that the intuitive or gut choice in most cases leads to people being more satisfied with their decision in the long run. Taking the standard route of a pros and cons list when making a big decision doesn’t take into account what is most important to you. In the long run one good reason tends to nullify a hundred other ones.

Gravity

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Gravity is a natural phenomenon and also one of the most powerful forces in nature. Everything and anything in the known universe is affected by the pull of gravity and is what makes the Earth go round and round. The pull of gravity affects every single object in the universe from objects as large as planets and stars to things as small as atoms and the particles that it is composed of. Even in the deepest reaches of space there is the pull of gravity.

The basic concept of gravity is simple, everything exerts a pull and the more mass that it has and the closer you are to it, the stronger the pull. It is the force that keeps our feet on the ground and also the force that limits humans and most creatures to a two dimensional field.

One of the most unique aspects of gravity in physics is that it can transcend space and time and in theory, at the very least is beyond the four dimensions of space-time that we experience. The idea of gravity and the pull that it has in science is generally relegated to objects with mass, but since it is a power that affects both space and time we can apply it to a different aspect of our lives.

Gravity regardless of the power that it has is something that we can overcome with enough effort or force. Gravity naturally keeps us to the ground, but through science and engineering humans have been able to conquer it, flying high above the ground and even pushing it to the point where we can completely negate the pull of the Earth to reach out into space.

We easily recognize the power of gravity in the three dimensions, how objects of more mass from the Earth to the Sun exert more and more of a pull compelling other objects to be pulled into it’s sway. Even the idea of a black hole with enough gravitational pull to capture light in its grasp is a concept that we readily accept. Gravity as applied through the three spatial dimensions is not a difficult concept for us to grasp.

However how gravity affects us in the 4th and 5th dimensions of time is something that we never think about. When thinking of the 5th dimension we recognize that all possibilities exist, but for the average person we tend to be pulled into a very ordinary life, a life of mundane routine that is followed day by day. While there are and always have been individuals who have been able to pull away from mediocrity into greatness it is and has been limited to a small few. So what is the difference between an Einstein, a Churchill, a Christ and us mere blips in history? For those individuals that are remembered as changing the course of history to those of us who aren’t even worthy of a footnote, what is the difference?

In the idea of the living in the 5th dimension every possibility that our lives may have gone already exist. In most of those lives we are ordinary without anything ‘great’ to remember us by. In other lives though we have achieved greatness, whether it is to wealthy, successful, famous or simply happy with our lives. All of those possibilities not only have happened, but already exist.

For everyone even the greatest of the greats the gravity of their lives is towards the common, the typical and the most likely. In the near infinite possibilities of options in our lives and the choices that we make the greater mass is always towards the common, the typical, the ordinary. If we limit the near infinite possibilities of our morning to a feasible number like a hundred we come can see what the number or mass of the chances are. In eighty of those hundred worlds we drink a cup of coffee to start our day, in fifteen we drink orange juice and in four we don’t drink anything at all, but in one, just one of those possibilities we choose to drink a bottle of hot sauce. In 5th dimensional space-time all of those have already occurred, but for most of us we drink coffee as that has the highest number of possibilities, the largest mass and the greatest pull and so is the easiest way to go. We live a life of the ordinary because it has the highest probability of occurring in the different timelines and is the easiest path for us to follow.

In a tiny fraction of the near infinite possibilities that exist for us in space and time we do have the possibility of doing something amazing, something that would mark us in the pantheon of greats who changed the world, but the pull of normalcy is the strongest gravitational force applied to us. To pull farther and farther away from that pull we need to apply more and more force, much like the difference between the energy required to jump and inch to fly thousands of feet about the Earth to leaving the orbit of the planet as a whole. To reach better and better, to strive farther and farther we need to simply apply more and more of our own energy.

 

PalHachi~

Passivism and the Art of Doing Nothing

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I would like to begin by admitting that I am one of the great passive people on Earth and that I have mastered the Art of Doing Nothing. It’s the main reason why I started rethinking my life and writing down my thoughts and experiences. For those of us who simply go with the flow and are nothing but passengers in life the greatest sin that we commit is placing blame when it comes times to take responsibility.

Passivism is not the lack of action but the active choice of doing nothing which there are consequences to. In too many cases the passivist takes on the role of the victim and are quick to blame without realizing that our lack of action led to the victimization. By thinking ahead to what possibilities might occur or taking active precautions we can help safeguard ourselves from potential problems that may occur. Successful people tend to prepare for failure and try to minimize the damage that it may inflict. If we take a more active role to avoid, correct or change the circumstances in most cases we can change the outcome to something that is more positive.

A passenger in a car has little to no control in case of an accident and regardless of the circumstances is generally a victim, but looking further back the passenger always had the option to drive for themselves and accept the responsibilities of their life. It is easy to think that someone or something will always be on the lookout for us, to keep us safe whether it be family, friends or even God, but the reality is that in the end we are the ones who are ultimately responsible.

Passivism for me at least was always and attempt to take on as little responsibility as possible, but I realized that in reality it was just an excuse as I was still responsible for ceding control of my life to outside forces and then blamed outside forces when they fail.

Chances are if you feel that your life isn’t where you want it to be or you have hit rock bottom, the first natural reaction will be to place the blame on someone else. If you take the time to look back on the circumstances of where you and look for possible decisions and choices that you could have made you’ll soon realize that you are at the very least partly responsible and in most cases fully responsible for where you are in your life.

Understanding and accepting that you are ultimately responsible for yourself and must shoulder the responsibility yourself regardless of the circumstances is the first step in solving the problems that occur and can occur in your future. Taking on that responsibility forces us to be more aware of things that are happening around us and allow us to be ready for that rainy day. When you are capable of taking care of yourself then you’ll also know that you can help out others as well to build a supportive community and be an active participant in said community. Knowing that you are not just a passive observer in your life, but an active participant with the ability to enact change.

Jean Valjean Overcoming the World View: An Analysis of Les Miserables

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The main character of Les Miserables is Jean Valjean a former convict who after nearly twenty years of forced labor is released back into society. He is initially viewed only by the stigma of being a ‘dangerous’ criminal until he sheds the identity given to him by society to be the man that he truly is.

As soon as he is released he is considered a social outcast and treated cruelly by everyone he encounters because of his past. He had been arrested for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his starving sister and her family, an illegal and immoral act done for good reasons. As society labels him a criminal Valjean begins to accept the role that is given to him. Angry and bitter by the treatment he receives from the world he soon resorts to thievery to survive.

After being given shelter and food by the local Bishop and church Valjean steals the silverware and runs off only to be captured by the police and brought before the Bishop. The Bishop in an act of generosity lies to the police, informing them that the silverware was a gift and even includes a set of silver candlesticks, showing Valjean that while the rest of society views him as a thief and criminal that is not all that he is or has to be. The Bishop implores Valjean to use the silver to start a new life as an honest man.

After another act of thievery Valjean realizes that his life now had reached a crisis point, where he had the option of choosing what to do and who to be. He repents and the identity of Jean Valjean dies only to be reborn as Monsieur Madeleine.

Monsieur Madeleine uses the silver to start a new life and in a few years becomes a wealthy factory owner and Mayor of a small town. He is renowned for his generosity and kindness.

The character of Jean Valjean experiences what Christians would refer to as being ‘born again’ as he turns from a life of a sinner to one of a Christian. Regardless of religion this is something that anyone can do with their life by rejecting their current selves and remaking themselves into a different person. The idea of death and rebirth don’t need to be religious in nature and unfortunately also does not need to be a positive. Valjean’s mistreatment by society and his time in prison can also be seen as a moment of death and rebirth as he is changed from a man caring for his family to the ‘dangerous’ criminal that society viewed him as.

The cycle of death and rebirth often described in Buddhism extends beyond the idea of a physically cycle but to that of a mental, emotional and spiritual cycle that occurs to everyone. The simple concept that people change over time is the realization that the old is gone and the new remains. In some cases like the transformation of Valjean into a criminal it is mainly an occurrence due to outside factors, we simply change into what society sees in us. Whether that society consists of family, friends or the entire world many of us shape ourselves to fill or satisfy a certain viewpoint without even realizing it.

The second transformation of Valjean into Monsieur Madeleine is one of conscious choice. A suicide that kills off the old to make way for the new. These tend to happen when someone reachers a crisis point in their life or in other words hits rock bottom. You see such transformations in ‘Born Again’ Christians or other who find faith in other religious avenues. Again, this change does not need to be a positive one as some when they hit rock bottom can opt to change in the opposite direction.

Valjean before becoming Monsieur Madeleine had the opportunity to make that personal choice to be a criminal or to be a better man.

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