The Chicken or the Egg

Cause and effect hog the limelight on the stage of life’s mysteries. We get trapped in circular arguments.

Are fat people unhealthy or are unhealthy people fat?
Body shape has too many variables to sort out cause from effect, so anyone who claims to have a simple answer, doesn’t—most especially if they’re asking for money to know their secret.

Do facts hold the truth or does truth make it fact?

The answer to that is usually popular opinion. How that opinion is formed will determine the truth of the facts, or the facts of the truth.

Did God Create Man or did Man create God?
My opinion: organised religion is the lazy man’s moral compass. No need to debate the nuances of right and wrong if a best-selling book tells you the difference.

Those old books have been translated several times from the original teachings of some very wise men (and women, but men created religion so the women don’t get any credit). Each translation has its own agenda so religious doctrine is about spirituality like political pamphlets are about enlightenment.

Can you make something real by pretending it’s real?
Try telling somebody bad news with a smile on your face. If you pretend the news is good, it might help to deal with the consequences, but it won’t change the news.

There are plenty of experiments to prove we can convince ourselves that something is working when there is no explanation for its success (or failure). This placebo effect works, both positively and negatively for a person’s health and well being.
What is the Placebo  Effect?
How does it work?

Can Science solve mystery or is Science the mystery?
A committee of mainly white, affluent men developed a way to structure enquiry to prove the answer to a question was the truth. It’s called the scientific method:

      1. Ask a question
      2. Devise a theory to test possible answers
      3. Design experiments to test the theory
      4. Draw conclusions from the results of tests

It might seem logical, but it’s not possible to come up with a theory that isn’t influenced by your personal life experience. Those experiences are unique to you, so your theory is biased by your history. Then, the design of your experiment will exaggerate the distance between you and the true answer. If your theory is flawed, and your experiment is bogus, your conclusions don’t stand a chance.

So, let’s say your theory does survive the flaws in the scientific method, and you reach a sensible conclusion. Then, your work gets out into the public arena, and interpretation of your theory is beyond your control.

Is positive thinking a cause or effect of success?
If you consider your life is a success, it’s easy to think positively, and attract more success to you. But if you think your life sucks, and that’s proved to you every day, negative thinking becomes a habit.

When you’re in rut, it’s very difficult to have faith in something for long enough to make it happen. It’s easier to put your faith in escapism (drugs, religion, work, or constant travel) than it is to think hard about how much your life sucks.

For positive thinking to work, it needs to be applied to a concrete goal. If your world is confusing, nothing is concrete, so it’s difficult to pin down a realistic but inspiring goal. That’s how man got away with creating religion. It’s a genius method to control the passion of the rabble and keep them working for you.

So you need to find your own, unique passion. You don’t have to be a genius to work out what gives you pleasure. If you can ignore the pain that often accompanies pleasure, that’s called passion, and that’s what you need for positive thinking to work for you.

If you have no passion, achievements will take too much time and energy so you’ll stop at “good enough” on your path to whatever you consider to be “success”. Unless you’re prepared to die or die trying, you’ll just end up with not being dead.

What comes first? Success or happiness?
Gurus tell us that happiness is a choice. If that’s the case, then success must also be a choice.  Let’s apply the scientific method to find your best choices:

      1. Ask your question: What do I want from life?
      2. Devise a theory: I would be happier if…..
      3. Design an experiment: this could be anything from moving house, or enrolling for further learning, to getting out of a relationship.
      4. Draw conclusions: to be constructive, best to remember there is no such thing as a mistake, just a learning experience. A good conclusion might be to return to step 1.

If you choose something/someone to blame for the fact that you don’t like your life, you’ve given away your power to do anything about it. That’s the path to drugs, religion or aimless travel.

So fake it ‘til you make it! This will work, unless you’re trying to reach orgasm first.

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