Thursday, May 8, 2008

Everyone Has a Story

A direct link to the above video blog entry is at

A direct link to the above video is at

Last blog, we talked about the relationship between physical stance and a person's interface with reality. Have you ever tried Foxwalking? Have you ever tried stomping around like a sumo wrestler? As we saw last time with the arm-folding experiment, simple physical and mental tricks can have a profound effect on a person's mood, and the way they interact with their environment. For someone who is not happy with their life, this can be a tricky conversation: how much of what happens to a person is because of their own attitude, and how much is due to random circumstance and the actions of others? Here are a few paragraphs from chapter nine of my book:

Everyone has a story they tell themselves of why their life is the way it is at this present moment, and sometimes that story is not completely truthful. It’s human nature for each of us to want to put ourselves in a good light. Sometimes that means that we pass the blame on to bad luck or the malicious acts of others, when in some situations each of us should be admitting a certain amount of personal responsibility for bad things that have happened to us. From seemingly small things like “I should have exercised more” or “I shouldn’t have eaten that junk food” to much larger acts that seem to be deliberately self-defeating, there is a natural tendency for each of us to say “it’s not my fault”. Separating into fact and fiction the stories we tell ourselves for why our life is not the way we want it to be is not always easy to do.

For each of us, we will be able to remember moments of malicious, random, or foolish action that could have done us in. It’s hard to forget that moment where a large object falling or a silly risk taken might have resulted in our death if we had only been in a slightly different place and time. According to the worldview we’re exploring, all of those things did actually happen: that drunk driver you saw last year came over the hill and smashed into you head on, and now you’re dead.

And all but the most saintly of us will have moments in our own past where we know we made bad or unfortunate choices, yet we lived to fight another day. Each of us will always have a number of life-paths which could have (and in other quantum realities actually did) result in our death. So how did those of us alive at this instant end up choosing the path where we “dodged every bullet” and are here today, while others, it would appear, have chosen a path where they became another sad statistic?

In other words, if all possible timelines exist, does the person dying of cancer have another version of themselves that avoided the cancer-causing conditions and lived to a ripe old age? And if you are the person currently dying of cancer, should you be asking yourself why you chose that life path rather than another? Clearly, your average terminal cancer patient will tell you they did not choose to have cancer, and would find the suggestion completely offensive. This is a hard issue, wrapped in many conflicting emotions. A simplistic answer might be, the person dying of cancer didn’t believe or wasn’t aware they had the power to change their life-path, so they didn’t–a bitter pill to swallow, and one which fails to take into account the many accidents and diseases which a person could not possibly have known were coming, so any choice which avoided the situation would only have been dumb luck.

This gets back to our discussion of the limitations of the Binary Viewpoint. In simple terms, we can choose a path, or we can choose to not take a path, but there’s a third option as well: we can let chance or the actions of others choose a path for us. When we experience pain, injury and serious disease, these tend to eliminate all but the most basic and primal mental processes. Thoughts of higher dimensions and quantum reality (be they conscious thoughts or the subconscious processes we’ve imagined in this book) vanish when our attention focuses down to our body’s most animalistic desire for trying to find a way to get away from intense pain. We become like the fruit fly, whose role as a quantum observer is limited by its inability to imagine anything but the most simple desires for continuance.

Likewise, depression and illness will tend to close our minds to the possibilities for change that might be still available to us, just when that knowledge might be the most beneficial...

I sum it up in Boredom and Consciousness Part Two: "Are you bored? Depressed? Ill? Then of course you will tend to make different choices than if you were excited/happy/healthy. There's nothing unscientific about simple statements like these."

My song "Thankful" is about taking a moment each day to be grateful for the unlikely and amazing world we find ourselves to be in: and giving thanks is another one of those really powerful ways of changing your interface with reality.

A direct link to the above video is at

Enjoy the journey. And thank you!

Rob Bryanton

Coming up next: Anime, Gaming, and Cusps

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