We often hear about letting life carry us, but what does that actually mean? Why can life feel like such a fight, such a huge struggle at times? Why, when we try to control or account for everything, does life give us a firm no? What the hell is going on? Is it really such a simple thing as changing perspective?
I think it’s easy to get tripped up when we start taking everything personally. It’s easy to think everything is out to get us when really it’s just that nothing is inherently for us until we make it so. If your first option is always you shut off and drift along, you can be swept in any direction. You tell the world to decide for you. If you have no investment in the outcome, why should it fall in your favor? I outlined more about that particular idea in a previous post: Beating the Odds.
Here, I want to elucidate a phenomenon. Most neuroscience is done based on the assumption that humans are passive. This means that essentially decision doesn’t matter because or programming takes care of everything for us. There are proper responses elicited in us based on our environment. This is one of the problems in philosophy, as I stated in another entry: a satisfactory expansion of nuomenon, of qualia, of experience.
There is this dichotomy, this dissonance, this strange happening where we experience having a choice, we feel like we have free will, then behave as if we don’t, as if we are helpless. Every day, people repress themselves, they erase realities, they dim their mind instead of lighting it up.
There are very few studies detailing active perspective. The emphasis in our culture is one of passivity. Consumers passively buy products, folks passively watch entertainment, even our institutions like school are set up to induce a passive attitude. I feel as if this disempowers so many, that it disempowered me. I kept suffering people taking advantage of me because all I had was a passive perspective of life. I never spoke up for myself or drew the line until I became an active participant in life.
When I made the decision to develop an active perspective, something beautiful happened. Life ceased to be something happening to me. People’s actions and reactions ceased to be a personal attack and merely a reflection of their state of mind, and best of all I began to feel so light I thought I’d float away. Answers to questions I’d been asking since I was a child suddenly became clear. Life flowed differently, and all it took was a tiny change in perspective.
It is easy to let your critical mind shut down. It is easy to let the patterns that establish themselves throughout your early childhood to continue to carry themselves out automatically. Yet humans are literally not automatons. You can always change the programming. Being active is usually the harder option; the rewards for doing so are so much greater.
Nature can’t be fooled; it will send you exactly as much as you give. When you settle for being passive, whether from disillusion or weariness or sheer laziness, you lose focus. Quantum physics hints that when an observer isn’t looking, random events occur. This is literally what happens when you check out. When you don’t examine your life or yourself, random stuff happens. This is why we are the creature that plans long-term. The people who made the largest contributions and who were the must productive had active perspectives. Their focus was sharp and intense. They actively engaged the world around them until amazing things fell out of it.
Think about it. Actively.