Monday, November 01, 2004

Ponder ponder... (ported from myspace)

"Okay, because today's been uneventful and ive been reading some Nietzsche.. its time for me to address a few issues. I was reading the SA forums when someone made a post about how he turned away from negativity and pessimism, he stopped thinking hes a failure, that hes worthless, and he started thinking positively. More so, he stopped hanging out with negative people because their negativity drained on him and made him negative. This guy has made a critical step, he examined himself and his assumptions about life and CHOSE to change them. Whether the change sticks, thats also a choice he makes. He thought to himself "Why am i unhappy?" "Why do I always think i will fail?" "Why am I not confident in abilities as a human?". He answered these questions most undoubtably "because Im in a pattern of negative thinking, and its reinforced by the negativity of my friends." Here are a few steps 1) Realize there is a problem 2) Search for what the problem is, and what assumptions or conflicts are causing the problem 3) Soulseek and research for a solution 4) CHOOSE to implement the solution. Most people in the world who are unhappy, either do not realize there is a problem, or do not follow through with step 2, which can be VERY difficult. Further, more do not have access to the answers or cannot deduce it themselves.. and lastly.. a huge barrier is implementation. It is so hard to break those assumptions and choose to live differently. It is hard, but remember.. in the end it is a choice. "You choose your own suffering." If you choose not to seek out the problem or ignore it, you choose to suffer. If you choose not to search for a solution, you choose to suffer. If you choose to stop choosing to implement the solution, you choose to suffer. You are NOT your thoughts, you are NOT your emotions, you are NOT your genetics, you are NOT your experiences, you are you. You and the values you hold have always been there. Seek them out and embrace them. In Zen buddhism it is said "Be who you were before you were born". Nietzsche speaks of the transformation of man to overman (a rough parallel to reaching satori or enlightenment in zen.. but not quite the same.) He speaks of the transformation from camel to lion to child. The camel is one who is burdened by values which are not his own. Such as Christians or other religious folks who lived by values which were given to them without examining them. In King's reflective judgment model (link at end), these people would be on the lowest end of being able to THINK FREELY. They assume the views of authority figures are TRUTH, without examination. But then, a few... they realize they have the power to say "no". They realize they dont have to follow the "Thou shalt" and instead say "I will", they question the values that have been given to them. These people, are the lions. They fight back and gain freedom... In King's model they would be in the middle stages. Last comes the child. The child stops saying "no" and says "yes". He says yes to life, he creates his own values and lives by them. "His spirit now wills his own will, and he who had been lost to the world now conquers his own world". These people are at the end of King's scale. So.. have you read this and has it gone over your head? It is best to get into a pattern of critical thinking, of breaking assumptions. When you interact with other people, pay close attention to yourself, what assumptions are you making about them? If a girl doesnt call you back, does that mean she doesnt like you? If a parent doesnt let you go out does that mean they hate you? If a friend of yours is late do you accuse him of not respecting your time? Examine things you do also, when someone is rude to you, do you lose control and yell at them? This isnt to say you shouldnt make judgments, judgments are important, but BE AWARE of them. The next step is to test whether you were right, ask the girl whether she was avoiding you, ask your parents why they chose not to let you go out, whatever. Try to understand situations from all angles and not just your own. Being able to see things through other's perspectives is a great tool. Because if you are able to learn these peopls frames of mind, you can interact with them differently and become more personable. When you look around the world, what assumptions do you make? Try to notice things around you that you havent noticed before. When youre at work and theres a certain protocol for how things should be done, stop and think.. "Why is this?" ask the hard questions. When you go to church, stop and think "Why am i doing this? Is this something I CHOSE to do, or is this something i ASSUMED was the right thing" I felt I was on a good path, but a friend of mine recently showed me the true power of this critical thinking. We were discussing management theory, and he posed me with such a simple question "Why are managers needed?". He exposed so many assumptions I had about leadership and the way corporations are run. But that was fine, if there is no other answer.. assumption or not it is the right way to proceed. Him, not being a business major or anything, started just thinking of a system which was the antithesis of my assumptions.. basically.. a corporation that is a group of selforganized cells working towards a common goal. This is when my memory was jogged and i realized this was a theory we had spoken about in one of my classes, a brand new theory on management called chaords. He had no previous knowledge of this and was able to deduce it through critical thinking. So, to anyone who bothers reading this, i say.. go out in the world, go into your consciousness, examine assumptions, and CHOOSE to think for yourself. I guarantee that once you discover who you are, you will be happy. King's reflective judgment model.. or in chart form: " thanks Kt

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