The Past

We’ve all had troubles in the past. We learn from the bad experience. This caution assists us to navigate. Most of the time this is helpful but not always. Sometimes caution can turn into the type of over-caution that works as a magnet that helps to attract the things that they’re  trying to avoid!

When it comes to relationships, everybody that’s had a significant other has been through the pain of an emotional roller coaster ride. Perhaps they’re still going through one. Everybody wants answers as to what went wrong in the relationship. Perhaps the relationship finished and they’re apprehensive about starting another. I’m hoping that when they learn about what went wrong, they’ll become interested in learning;

1. How to fix it

2. How to prevent it from happening again

3. How to recognize problems

4. How to solve them before they become full fledged monsters

However, in order to learn about the above, you need to do some internal exploring. Uncomfortable truths need to be faced and people need to become brave enough to explore their wrong doings and what motivated them to do so in the first place. Unless they do this, chances are good that they’ll continue to make bad choices. When people change partners without learning about their mistakes, they usually end up facing the same problem that’s wearing a different pair of pants! This begs the question. Why would they want to go through this hell again?

We all live in the same world or more accurately, we live in the same physical world. However, there are many different beliefs. These beliefs can be very different. Some are true. Some are misconceptions, errors, or flat out wrong. For example, it was believed that illness can be cured by cutting the wrist and draining out the bad blood.

Today we laugh at the obscurity of, ‘the olden days’ and are far removed from the ridiculousness of it. Uh, er, maybe not. We no longer practice bloodletting. However, there are still situations where our false beliefs can still add stress to our life. In order to give you an example, I’ll first spin a yarn. I’ll tell a story that’s obviously false but I’ll pretend that I believe that it’s 100% factual. In the next few paragraphs, I’ll be facetious. I’m intentionally being ridiculous. I’m doing this because I want you to see the folly of blind certainty. Later I’ll show how this blind certainty can bite a person in the ass! When this is realised, the reader has a decision to make. What’s more painful? Getting bitten in the ass or facing up to uncomfortable truths?

When I first encountered the star gate I was confused. I went to a rental car place to get some transport. I filled out the paperwork, handed over my money, and drove off in a white car. What I thought was an ordinary car wasn’t so ordinary. I don’t know how this happened but it teleported me into a parallel universe!

I suddenly found myself in a world that was different. The difference was subtle but not so subtle. The world was 99% the same as the last one that I was in. However, that 1% difference stood out like a wart on the end of a person’s nose! This small difference was hard to ignore. Many of the other vehicles on the road were also white cars that were the same make and model as mine! I’ve never seen such a high percentage before!

That probably doesn’t sound like a big deal to you but it is to me. There were DEFINITELY not that many in the world that I came from! This PROVES that I had been teleported into a parallel universe!

I’m going to go out on a limb here. I’m starting to feel like you don’t believe me. I’m sometimes clairvoyant and I’m picking up on a bit of scepticism. I imagine you thinking of something such as, “It only seems as though there are now more Camerys. The reason why you’re noticing more of them is because you’re driving in one.” YOU MAY BE THINKING THIS BUT YOU’D BE WRONG! This is not the case! There are definitely more white Camerys! I knew that you wouldn’t understand.

I’m meeting other people that are also in a different universe. They’re in a different universe to the one that I’m in but somehow we can meet. I’m not sure how this is possible but it is. I know this to be true because I can see it in their eyes. They have the same 100% certainty that I do!

Another thing that we have in common is that we understand that some of the people that we see are not in the same universe that we’re in. For example, before I went through the star gate, I was in a universe where Toyota Camerys were not as common. However, I understand that other people are still in the universe that I left and see only a few of these cars! In short, my universe has an extraordinarily high number of white Camerys in it. However, I know that there aren’t as many in the universes that other people live in!

OkOkOkOk. I’m being facetious. I’ll drop the act. I don’t actually believe that I went through a wormhole into another universe. I noticed more of the same cars that I happened to be driving. Reality didn’t change, my attention did. I pretended that I was so consumed by blind certainty that I was certain that my world was different to the one that other people live in.

My star gate story is bullshit but not all of it. It’s an analogy that I use to describe one aspect of human behavior. I have met many people that act as though they live in a parallel universe. This, of course, isn’t logical. Nevertheless they cling to the ‘fact’ that their reality is true, absolute, and should not be questioned. In fact, many will get aggressive if you call this a product of their perception. I’m using the white cars concept in order to show how it can produce absolute certainty and how this certainty will help to maintain this other universe that we become trapped in! I was certain that my universe had an increase of white cars. Other people have the same blind certainty but in another matter. They see that:

1. Men are scum.

2. Women are superficial bitches that are full of themselves.

These people acknowledge that not all men are scum. However, all the men that they meet are. This is what I mean when I say that they live in a parallel universe.

Mark believes that all women are superficial bitches. In a previous experience, he approached a woman awkwardly and she ridiculed him. Ever since that incident he defends/prepares himself to meet this possible outcome from happening again. He protects himself from a possible hurt. Subconsciously, he prepares himself for the anticipated behaviour. Without even realizing it, he gets in the aggression first! His hostility towards a woman will mean that she’s less likely to be nice to him. After all, if he treats a woman like a bitch, she’s libel to become one! This proves that he was right all along! This reinforces his belief and helps him on his way to absolute certainty. In other words, his past encounter with a bitchy woman helps to ensure that the future women that he encounters will be bitches as well!

This happens because the top priority of the brain is to find meaning in something. At lighting speed it searches its massive database to find a previous experience which is the closest match to this new one. It then assigns meaning. In other words it takes this new experience and tailors it to match a past experience. This is why we live in the past, why we keep repeating it and why we keep making the same mistakes. We live today as though it were yesterday. In the example above, he had a previous experience with a woman that he considered to be a bitch. His past experience  then helps to ensure that the future women that he encounters will be bitches as well!

When searching for meaning, the preference for the brain is the find something that agrees with what we already believe to be true. That meaning takes priority over a meaning that’s accurate. Whenever we encounter anything, our brain searches at lightning speed for the closest matching experience that we previously had. It then ‘files’ this new experience with that previous one. In addition to this, it contorts the new one to make it similar to the old experience.

We delude ourselves that we seek the truth. In the picture, the magnet/brain has a stronger attraction to confirmation bias. This isn’t merely a selfish choice. It does this because there are more brain cells that are interconnected into this line of thinking. The converse of this is true as well. New thoughts don’t have the established network of neurons. This is because new thoughts are new. Essentially, we cling to our past because ‘it’s easier that way’. Trying to see a situation from a different perspective feels awkward. Also, we live in the past because our database is made up from the past. It takes an effort to refrain from getting sucked into this dilemma.

If we think the way that we’ve always thought then we’ll get what we’ve always gotten.

Author unknown

One one occasion, I spoke to a woman that was very upset. I’ll call her Linda. Linda told me something about her boyfriend that upset her tremendously. Years before she met her boyfriend, he hired a prostitute. It was three years into the relationship before he disclosed this to her. She then became outraged! “HE WAITED THREE YEARS BEFORE HE TOLD ME THIS! THAT MEANS THAT HE HAS BEEN LYING TO ME ALL THIS TIME! HOW CAN I EVER TRUST THIS LIAR?”

She told me that she had a long history of being lied to and is very sensitive to it. I told her that rather than being outraged for something that happened years before she met her boyfriend, she could instead be glad that her boyfriend has grown so close to her that he disclosed something about his past that he’s ashamed of.

When he told her of his experience with a prostitute, she had a choice of how to categorise it into her memory. In the past, she’s had many problems with men lying to her. This hurtful experience kept playing over and over in her head and helped her to decide to file this new information in the ‘lie’ category. For years she has been mentally chanting, “All men are liars”. This new experience proves that she’s right. However, there was another way that Linda could have categorised it. He’s regretful of his antiquity and believes that their relationship has grown strong enough that he can tell her of his past. She could have been grateful that he trusts her with this delicate information. She could’ve filed this new knowledge as proof that her relationship is growing stronger. Instead, she decided to ostracise him for it!

Her decision will have compounding effects. He trusted her enough to disclose something that he’s ashamed of. She then incarcerated him for it. This will reduce his trust for her and will help prevent him from disclosing other things in his past. His failure to tell her about his time with a prostitute is what upset her in the first place. Her choice to file this in the ‘lie’ category will discourage him from disclosing other things about his past. It’s ironic that she’s helping to create more situations where she’ll be treated the same as she had been previously treated. This in turn will produce more confirmation bias and that, “ALL MEN ARE LIARS” will become even stronger in memory. She’s diving further into her parallel universe and deeper into her 100% certainty. She knows that not all men are liars. However, all of the ones that she dates are. She knows that many other people are blessed with strong healthy relationships. However, she can’t seem to find a man that doesn’t lie. That’s because in her universe, all men are liars.

If I told her about a self-fulfilling prophecy, she’d explode and launch into a long well rehearsed speech about how many men have lied to her and how painful it was! She’ll dive into the straw man fallacy and tell me all about her loser boyfriends. Side note, the straw man fallacy is a common way to change the subject. This is done by attacking a straw man or fake enemy and steering the conversation into a direction that she would rather discuss. After all, why discover new ideas when you can rehash the old ones? We were talking about how her previous thinking helps to influence what she gets in the future. I want to talk about this because if she would understand how some of the self sabotage works then she would be able to reduce it. However, Linda changed the subject because she’d rather talk about how much of a victim that she is. This is a topic well known to her and she’s more comfortable discussing something that she’s familiar with. Besides, the topic of self sabotage is a bitter pill to swallow.

At the risk of repeating, Uhm, actually, there’s no risk about it. I’m repeating the first paragraph of this page and I make no apology for it. This is because now you’ll understand it better.

We’ve all had troubles in the past. We learn from the bad experience. This caution assists us navigate. Most of the time this is helpful. However, sometimes it’s not. This caution can turn into the type of over-caution that works as a magnet that attracts the things that you’re trying to avoid!

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