of lions and monsters

by Stormfish August. 01, 2013 3488 views

recently, someone told me that "whatever a mind expects, a mind will find".

while this is a bon mot that seems to say something deeply profound and inspiring (i.e. it is up to you to think positive so you will reach good things; and consequently, if you think negative, your mind limits you to only bad results), i believe this statement is grossly misleading, wrong and a disease of our mechanistic, simplified, entirely uninspiring mass media world view. here is a random example from the internet [123whatnot.blogspot.ch].

let me explain - i am not against positive thinking. i am not against seeing things in a good way and empowering yourself with positive feedback to reach beyond your limits. i am certainly not against fun, joy, hope and happiness; i do believe that these are valid goals that should be preferred above pain, despair, misery and boredom. so i surely do not oppose whatever people are trying to reach these goals.

what i DO oppose is linear simplification that one leads to the other. it is a build in short circuit function of thought. our minds are built by very different, competing and often disputing parts, it consist of both “positive”, joyful, creative thoughts and “negative”, destructive and painful one; both are necessary to understand the effects of reality. there is a balance between uplifting, bright things and dark stuff that drags us down. but the downers are neither “negative” as the uplifting stuff is “positive” - both are simply necessary to keep us grounded in reality.

thus, the encouragement to “think positive” makes only sense if there would be any danger in the human mind to constantly “think negative”. and while psychologists and “mind gurus” make A LOT of money with this nonsense, it simply isn't true that the majority of human beings are endangered in the slightest bit to constantly think negative. why? because we are trained life and thousands of years experience to AVOID pain and SEEK fun.

thinking negative is as necessary as thinking positive, because the initial statement above is simply WRONG. it is not your mind that determines whatever effects you… it is reality, your environment, the world outside. your mind just interprets incoming signals. and as such, if you want to stay alive, you better interpret them correctly and not just according to your emotional desires. thinking positive gets you nowhere; acting according to the reality you are exposed to, does.

and that reality contains both monsters and lions. both monsters and lions are part of your reality, the environment you have to survive in. thus thinking of the beauty and power of lions, while disregarding the monsters luring in the dark, will get you killed - because both of them, the lions and the monsters, are after you.

so, please do not always think positive. think negative for a change, at least for some moments, at least every now and then, at least until the point where you awake and see that mere wishful thinking does not cause santa claus to appear. try to endure the resulting painful emotions, the inconvenience for your fun craving mind, the feeling of something is lacking and something might need to be fixed. try not to fall into the consumerist, mechanical trap of constant self encouragement, the masturbation of the mind. the constant bombardment of the pleasure principle. because it isn't your mind's expectations that limit you, it is reality. and as much as you want, you can only change very little of that, despite your (also built in) hubris of self overestimation.

i speak for myself, but i talk to you.

medieval catalog of the “living beings encountered while traveling to far away countries”; displayed on an interactive screen during the brilliant exhibition "animali [animali.landesmuseum.ch]" @ the landesmuseum zürich, spring 2013

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Larry Sample 6 years ago

"If you smoke ( Ganja ) you don't want to war". Bob Marley

I know, totally not relevant to your commentary. But where my head is at right now. Peace friend!

6 years ago Edited
Roxanne 6 years ago

and while it is true and i do agree i still cannot help but remind myself to be and think positive simply because it feels better then to be in a funk, no matter the reality

6 years ago Edited
Roxanne 6 years ago

this post instantly reminds me of alice in wonderland

6 years ago Edited
Josy 6 years ago

It seems to me that anything should never not can exist and define itself in absence of its opposite. Maybe Carpe Diem and keep open eyes ?

6 years ago Edited
Abe Jackson 6 years ago

When I browse through images here, I seldom take the time to read anything longer than a sentance or two. This time I stopped and read the entire script...it was worth reading what you wrote.
(I spend a large part of my day listening to negative situations that don't require a solution, just an ear to absurb.Sometimes the hole gets too deep and then I have to go play BASKETBALL)

6 years ago Edited
David Swatton 6 years ago

How dare you suggest that I take a balanced view... that's outrageous. Surely in order to get anwhere I need to aspire to the sensational, the extreme and the gratuitously self-indulgent.... :-)

6 years ago Edited
Asiamack 6 years ago

"Take advantage of five matters before five others: your youth, before your old age; and your health before you fall sick; and your wealth before you become poor; and your free time before you become busy; and your life before your death." Meaning of a hadith in Arabic which I picked up from the internet. It is positive in every sense. Something positive to ponder.

6 years ago Edited
Antonio Gil 6 years ago

Spot on. At last. Eye opening words.

6 years ago Edited
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