I've been having a look at what's in the manual lately. I think you may also conclude that it's about as accurate as we now consider a 100-year old medical textbook to be or a 15th Century map of the earth.
In short, you wouldn't use an old DOS manual to learn today's computers.
Of course, the operating manual for human being-ness is not something I keep in a drawer next to my bed. I don't even remember being given it, so it's a bit shocking to discover the out-dated principles it contains are playing out in my life today.
It's too bad we don't get a new version delivered to our doors each year like phone books, because then we might see just how out of sync they are. We've really gone way too long without the necessary new edition!
What we are trying to do is to run our brilliant and beautiful lives (our modern software) on some very old mainframes. Breakdown seems pretty inevitable, don't you think? And you can reboot all you like, but eventually it's just going to hang there or power down.
We have much more information now on how humans really function, yet we've been slow to update our understanding of "How Life Works." Have you been reading the manual lately? Personally I'm well known for ignoring instruction manuals (and ending up in a technical twist!)
Eight Persistent Un-Truths About How Life Works
1. All least part of our happiness is outside of our control
I read an article just this week on HuffingPost by a psychologist who quoted apparently well-known scientific evidence that we control only 50% of our happiness levels - the rest is controlled by the environment and our genes.
Grain of truth: We do experience ups and downs in our happiness levels which we do not fully understand.
2. We are incomplete in some way
So, when was the last time you declared you were enough as you are? The game of life seems to be set up as a search to find our missing pieces. Do you think it's really possible for us to lose or be missing essential parts of ourselves?
Grain of truth: If you keep telling yourself you are inadequate you will feel that way.
3. We are damaged by what happens to us
We undergo physical harm and mental torture, but there are many exceptions to the rule that says we must always emerged damaged and ruined by what happens to us. This is a rule that was broken by Viktor Frankl, to name just one person
Grain of truth: Bad things do happen. Psychological damage is not inevitable or there would be no exceptions like Frankl -- and there are many more.
4. Some people are permanently damaged
You might be amazed to know that you would not have to look very far to find someone who had genuinely and inexplicably recovered from the "incurable." Here's a great place to start, listen to Bill Pettit on this video.
Grain of truth: The body can be damaged. It will die. Is there anything more to you than just your body?
5. Events are the cause of what we feel inside
If they are, how do they get in there? If they are, why doesn't everyone feel the same way about the same event?
Grain of truth: Lots of events are totally outside our control. Feelings are not in events, they are in humans.
6. People can and do make us feel things we don't want to feel
Ever stopped to think if someone can really, truly, "get into your head?"
Grain of truth: Humans do react to what others say and do.
We may not be aware of all of the thoughts that are passing through, but what happens in our heads is always entirely our own process.
7. Love can be taken from us or lost
This can only true if love is limited to a physical body. Do you think it is?
Grain of truth: A loving feeling does disappear when loving thoughts are absent.
8. If a particular thing happens, a certain response must inevitably follow
Ever wondered if it was OK to feel happy after someone dies? Does it seem wrong to be happy when lots of people are unemployed? These are social ideas, they are not psychological truths. "Automatic reactions" take place in a backdrop of thinking about how things are and should be.
Grain of truth: We do have thoughts about what it is OK and not OK to feel.
We simply have feelings that are in line with what we think.
There are many other assumptions about how we work that we could look at one by one, but it's nice to boil them down to as simply as possible.
Let's lay out the truths so far:
- Events, people, and things cannot get inside us.
- We only experience our thoughts about events, people and things.
- Whatever thoughts are we will feel them.
- We are free to think.
- We are not free to: not experience whatever we think.
- We are not aware of every single thought that comes by
Shall we make it even simpler?
You feel what you think
You can't NOT think
Isn't it nice to now how the system works?