Friday, March 13, 2009

Thoughts On Change

We are really all blind to the reality and to what it really is. A person is really his or her body, and all life experience is ultimately body experience. Our physical senses allow us to perceive an indirect, dis-synchronized, superficial image of the world: partial-spectrum two-dimensional picture, feeling, sound, taste, and smell.

I often marvel in amazement at how strongly humans (their thoughts and actions) are bound by their tendencies--the biological drives and mechanisms that are instilled in all living beings. How much childhood affects the rest of a child's life. How people want to be accepted and loved. How much our emotions affect our behavior. When I think of this, I imagine that we live in a world--a world in which the forces that guide us are invisible to our senses, but can only be known through means like science and reason. It's as if life is a mighty current, and we're drifting blindly in it with a given potential for change, but to change direction requires tremendous amount of effort. Indeed we are often unaware of our own motives for our actions--we are unaware of how we would act in many situations, and we don't know what we are capable of. (In the Milgram experiment on obedience (1961), it was estimated that only an average of 1.2% would go though with completing the experiment--administering a 450-volt deadly shock--whereas in reality it turned out to be 65%). Our inherent and acquired tendencies and habits are immutable to such a great extent, and they govern our lives. All change is extremely gradual. We are bound by the invisible forces of the Universe, whether or not we are aware of them. However, I believe that free will lies in our ability to change through identifying these forces--becoming aware of the physical and the psychological reasons that guide our actions.

But y'all can see me now cos you don't see with your eye
You perceive with your mind
-- Gorillaz, Clint Eastwood

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