Beware of the What If
instead of reality.
Imagination is a tricky thing. “What If” can create alluring… fantasies. One can imagine infinite futures, yet only some of them are feasible based on the probabilities of a very specific set of skills and a very specific set of actions. In fantasy land, one tends to overestimate one’s skills, creating a set of non-optimal actions that lead to mistakes, repeat patterns, and learning, hopefully. Deep inside, one can also underestimate oneself, letting fear cause inaction and put oneself into a funk. Ultimately, reality is an opportunity to learn, explore, and know oneself.
Life feels like an infinite “expectations vs. reality meme” that runs on overdrive. This is captured cinematically in this scene from 500 Days of Summer. The human mind is a pattern recognition and prediction machine that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. Well, except for maybe the dolphins, whales, and octopi - those guys seem intelligent in some alien way we don’t fully understand yet.
From infancy, humans create stories. When we don’t get what we want, we think, maybe it’s because of me. It’s my fault somehow, because I’m bad, because I’m unworthy. This pattern gets encoded into our psyches and we spend our lives seeking validation to prove it wrong.
The Buddha second noble truth says,
“Suffering is due to attachments and expectations, to grasping and clinging.”
But, that’s just the beginning.
We then go out into the world, and collide with other people’s fantasies and perceptions. Delusions, attachments, and expectations, amplified by technology. These conflicting delusions can lead to violence, on a massive scale. This is a story as old as Humanity.
Now, Humanity has introduced an entirely new element to the equation. The computer. We birthed a child that will evolve and grow into an artificial intelligence more alien than the cetaceans and octopi.
There was another meme floating around a few years ago when I was in Taiwan.
Memes are lossy compression pattern communication algorithms. They take an idea and express it. In this case, it is expressing the paradoxical perceptions of reality that are all “real” yet extremely low resolution. During this Pandemic, this current ongoing Election story, and this upcoming holiday season, there is plenty of opportunity to see where realities are colliding with each other.
The photo expressing “where I really live” in Taiwan is featured in this Boston Globe photo essay about the world population. That article paints a beautiful and poignant picture of reality. We are over 7.8 billion people (adding 800 million of us since that 2011 article) living on a paradise garden world, in completely different realities. We organize into families, tribes, cities, nations, in order to create lossy compression filters to process the infinite nature of reality into comprehensible coherence structures.
The answer is for each of us to take individual responsibility to clean our energetic rooms. Explore the expectations and attachments that we put on those close to us, talk about them, clear the energy, create Coherence. Let go where appropriate and develop teamwork where appropriate. Create seed crystals of manifestation with trust and love, and imagine a better future together. One that is executed through specific sets of skills and systematic sets of actions to embrace uncertainty and fractally co-create reality.
Day 16: Whale and Dolphin Conservation #GivingChristmas