I am a computer programmer by day and philosopher by night. I post once or twice a week. I aim to prevent blogging from taking to much time, while allowing time to develop each idea before posting it. Each has some reference to human, universal, or societal truths, while presented in an organized, understandable & consise way -- this is the plan anyway. Results may very as what rings true for one may seem false to another. Also becuase sometimes I get things wrong.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The word 'Should'

When we use the word 'should' it generally means that reality differs from our preconceived notion of it or what we want it to be. It means that we value our preconception or vision of an ideal world more highly then reality. We thus do not fully accept the facts before us.

When we reach a should situation (where our reality and our beliefs about reality clash) we have 3 options:

First, we can give up on reality completely by accepting instead our own fantasies. In this case we lose all connection with reality. It seems absurd, but many people do really do this. The problem with this method is that reality is still there and it will always come creeping back in. The creeping back in is very painful. Because of this pain, the choice is not a favorable one.

Second, we may choose to live with the duality of the two 'worlds'. We half-heartedly accept the world we have, but all of the time thinking things should be different. By keeping reality close we can usually avoid the difficulty of being hit over the head with it all at once. (As is the case when we make the first choice.) However, it sets up a constant battle between the two and creates a level of uncertainty and discomfort.

Third, we could give up on our view of things. Instead of embracing a view of reality, we can accept what actually is. Whenever our view of the world is wrong we throw it out and begin again. It may sound easy and obvious. To the contrary, most people, without realizing it, continue to hang on to their views of what should be as if they depended upon it, or as if believing could bring it about. (There are ways that thinking or visioning can bring about real change, but this comes from a different mind set and a different part of us.) When we make the third choice we choose to take on life as it really is. A sense of peace is the immediate result.

More reading/listening:

This was largely inspired by a Zencast I was listening to yesterday:
Zencast 5 - Introduction to Concentration

I was also thinking of a quote I read a while ago from Byron Katie's web site:
"When you argue with reality you lose - but only 100 percent of the time."
(I am not advocating her site, I just liked the quote. I am not familiar with her or her web site.)

"Rebellion Against Reality"

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At Sun Feb 12, 09:50:00 PM EST, Blogger Bar Bar A said...

James! This is really good stuff! I needed to be reminded of it due to a fantasy I just gave up this weekend. It really is painful when reality sneaks up on us hand slaps us, its much better to live in it all the time and learn to appreciate it.

At Mon Feb 20, 12:43:00 PM EST, Blogger stevie.be. said...

good quote. thank u for that :)

At Mon Feb 20, 12:46:00 PM EST, Blogger stevie.be. said...

this is beautiful. to live in reality is to truly be conscious. that is my goal. i love that you are able to take an everyday word like "Should" and make it something that i can learn from. this will carry with me everytime i start to use it in the future and i can look at why i am using it. thanks :)

At Wed Apr 25, 09:25:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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