There are different parts of you as a whole. They can be classified under different schema. There is the mind that is your thoughts; the uncontrollable ones and the controllable ones together. These are largely effected by another part, the body, which can be thought of as the housing for all the chemicals and emotions. And then there is You; the you that exists before your thoughts. It’s the thing that observes your thoughts. It’s the thing that tries to reason and decide what you do and what you think about. Though sometimes it will lose the decision battle to your body and what it wants or the decision battle with the mind and the mind will run on uncontrollably.
In any case, it’s very useful to think about the separation of these parts. It allows you think about your emotions in a very interesting frame: “I’m really anxious today” transforms to “My body is very anxious today and my mind is out of control even though I know that I have nothing logically that should really make me feel that way.” It externalizes all these negatives.
Though we can’t control the body and the mind, we do have control over the observer. The observer is the little boy on the back of the very large elephant. He will keep on tapping the plodding elephant in particular directions. And over time, the elephant will learn. But it’s an elephant, it takes a long time will ignore you for a while. Your mind and body are the same. The observer needs to work consistently to actually make a change in the way the mind naturally thinks and the body feels.
There are two main camps around the issue of whether humans have an ability that science does not yet understand. The abilities are most commonly described as having energetic connections with everything around us. There are many different takes on what this actually means, but the gist of it is that physics says that any matter exerts waves into the space around it. Some argue that it is those energetic waves that allow things some form of communication. Others propose that, akin to the breakthroughs in quantum entanglement, because all matter was condensed together at the beginning of the big bang, all matter in the universe shares a form of quantum entanglement (kind of badass to think about if you ask me). Other parts of entanglement could arise from matter or energy having been in one life form which then gets consumed and transferred into other different life forms which would then share matter and energy that was once part of a unique form. Whatever the case, hippies abound saying they can feel friends’ auras and know when something is wrong among other things.
The other camp thinks the hippies are nuts (my most sincere of apologies to anyone who takes offence to the term hippie). I typically find people from these camps expounding studies of humans interpreting ‘white noise’ stimuli. In these studies, it is found that humans will project some type of form onto white noise stimuli when in fact no such pattern exists. So they argue that when someone says that they can ‘feel’ friends, etc. is projecting some sort of pattern onto stimuli that in fact has no such pattern or basis to it. They point to other studies that show humans have a great propensity to think they ‘knew’ something was going to happen that already did. We are disproportionately confident of our correctness towards things that have already happened. Behavioral economics has done wonders in this area.
Now, I believe the white noise studies and their outcomes. But I think the truth lays somewhere in the middle. Quantum entanglement is very real. Energy fields are very real. There are very real studies of people being able to detect different crystals in different covered boxes. There are very real studies I’ve covered before on people’s abilities to detect (above the threshold of chance) where a friend standing behind them is looking on their back/head. But I think the truth lays somewhere in the middle of all this hub-bub. I think it’s most likely that yes, we make stuff up in our heads. But a good portion of what’s going on does come from all of these energetic and entanglement pieces. I think it also ranges for different people drastically. It’s very likely that someone who has taken years to try to concentrate on being sensitive to all the energy around them will have a better ability to interpret that energy than someone who thinks it’s all bogus.
Either way, science has a lot of exploration left and that makes me excited 🙂
A friend of mine recently read me a passage from a book talking about people’s different views on what work should be like. One view was that work should always be perfectly fun, that you should be in flow and that as soon as it becomes difficult, you’re not doing your best work. The opposing view argued it is from difficulty that good, high quality work arises.
I found it interesting because somehow I agreed with both of these views.
I think the reconciliation comes from the fact that the word difficulty has a very negative connotation. I don’t think it’s natural to associate difficulty and enjoyment. Difficulty usually brings to mind thoughts of stress, late nights, cramming and the like. But I think it’s possible to meld the above two views into one in which you can be in a very happy state of flow solving very difficult problems. The trick would be to know when difficulty turns to stress and when you should take a break :p
I’m writing this in hopes of inspiring someone to do research on this topic. I’ve followed up with some leads in behavioral economics but after speaking with people there, it seems that the topic is best suited for a psych study.
The rates at which people acclimatize to new stimuli must differ from person to person. When person A gets a new car, how long does it take for that person to, when they see the new car, no longer receive that jolt of pleasure. Everyone returns to their natural state of happiness at some point after new material stimuli are introduced. But it’s the rate at which people do this that could be interesting. If person A takes a very long time (maybe several months) to acclimatize to a new stimuli while person B takes only a few weeks, what does this say about how those two people might be advised to find satisfaction.
Also, research could be taken down the path of trying to uncover what characteristics of products increase or decrease the acclimatization rate. Product developers would really like to know that.
I think there’s probably 4 situations. People who acclimatize fast and slow and then of those people, ones that focus on material goods and ones that focus on non-material goods. That would create an interesting matrix of outcomes.