Posted by spoc on May 9, 2004, at 18:41:20
In reply to Re: Re: Bellyaching etal, posted by Racer on May 9, 2004, at 15:20:24
> ...That's the problem with trying to live in The World As It Should Be. Really simple: maybe it's the way it should be, but it ain't the way it is. <
*** Yes, and I think most people CAN regurgitate or guess what the "right" and ideal way to feel about and proceed on things is. So apparently with the kinds of issues at hand here, knowing how it Should Be, or being taught how to guess right about how it Should Be, doesn't in itself translate into improvement or action. This isn't the same as saying "...and therefore we are absolved of responsibility." It's just saying that maybe promoting awareness of a very ideal World as it Should Be (and Us as we Should Be) as a step in the healing/moving on process doesn't have impact where it counts. And assumes things that can't be assumed about what things are like for all others.
> ...I think, though, that "rational" is an artificial construct that does us a lot more harm than good. Sometimes it's just a case of finding the basis for the seemingly irrational. (Like a horse I had who couldn't be tied: found out years later someone had tied her badly to a log, she got scared and pulled back -- and the log chased her! Of course the feeling of being trapped would stay with her, even if there was no immediately apparent reason or rationality behind it. You have to look for the basis of the response, before you say it's irrational.)<
*** And the "basis of the response" can also be that it FEELS different -- and IS different -- to be in various people's brains. It may be easy to assume that everyone else has the same amount of chemical balance, energy, clarity, etc. available to them each day when they open their eyes. And that all of those who overcome great obstacles to be consistently happy people did so all by choice and determination; and all those who seemed to have it all (or certainly nothing to complain about) who have still managed to be unhappy are also doing so by choice. People deserve much credit for their hard-won victories, but I doubt that in all cases either result is due only to choosing to take responsibility for their own happiness.
That everyone is born with the same tools and abilty to choose happiness would also almost seem to imply that there is no such thing as an inborn component of personality. Someone who is going to need to adopt a whole different personality that is not their nature will face different things than someone for whom these ideal philosophies come rather naturally. Which isn't to say they shouldn't try, but the purveyor of positive thinking may not really know what that particular challenge feels like, and how long it may take to change. OR, what constitutes a great improvement already for that person.
So for whatever reason, people may be surprised what it would feel like to wake up with and go through the day, or life, with someone else's brain. And I don't just mean because of what they are thinking or obsessing about and choosing to focus on. There are organic differences, that some of those who are able to consistently embrace positivity and momentum have not experienced and can't speak for. They may *think* they would make all the same choices and do all the same things, but how can they *know* that? This should at least be considered in formulating a philosophy that is supposed to fit all, and be justified in making blanket unflattering inferences about those who don't fit it.
And again, this doesn't absolve anyone from taking responsibility for at least improving what they need to, and hopefully intending to continue doing so. But maybe extreme idealism with its implicit comments on character won't take them further and may take them in reverse. I doubt it is as simple as happiness being nothing but a choice; that all people regardless of individual makeup (historical, medical, emotional, etc.) are equally capable of choosing it; and that the failure to do so could only reflect immaturity and weakness.
> Thank you very much for bringing up some really interesting ideas, and doing so with so many fewer words than it takes me ;-D
*** Now of course that is something I've noticed and like about you Racer! ;- )