Wednesday, July 8, 2009


“I can’t stop drinking alcohol. If I don’t get my daily bottle of whiskey, I’ll get sick. It is a genetic thing. It has been proved scientifically. It could also be a deep social conditioning but it doesn’t make any difference. I can’t stop drinking. I need alcohol to live a decent life. I'm not a boy scout. No rehab or therapies work for me. Some people pop Prozac, others smoke pot and I drink whiskey. Stop your nagging. You have to accept me as I am or leave.”

This is a typical mindset of an alcoholic. He can’t see that he has to do something and that he can do something. His deeply ingrained mindset is not the truth. It is a deeply ingrained mindset.

We all have or have had deeply ingrained mindsets. I have always nurtured the idea that there is not much point with anything, really. The human race is mad and there is nothing we can do about it. I have tons and tons of proof of human madness, including my own. A few weeks ago, I caught a glimpse of that mindset, realizing it was just a mindset and that was very liberating. “Bloody Hell! It's just a mindset.”

I’m now reading Ellen Langers book Counter Clockwise. Here are a few quotations from her wonderful book:

“In most of psychology, researchers describe what is. Often they do this with great acumen and creativity. But knowing what is and knowing what can be is not the same thing.”

“When faced with disease or infirmity, we may find a way to adjust to what is. In the psychology of possibility, we search for the answer how to improve, not merely to adjust.”

“There are many cynics out there who are entrenched in their beliefs and hold dear their view of the world as fixed and predictable. There are also people who, while not cynical, are mindlessly accepting of these views.”

“In more than thirty years of research, I have discovered a very important truth about human psychology: certainty is a cruel mindset. It hardens our minds against possibility and closes them to the world we actually live in. When all is certain, there are no choices for us. If there is no doubt, there is no choice…”

“People are not that observant, although we think we are. We see what we expect to see, even to the point that we don’t notice things that others clearly do.”

“People have a tendency to see what is and to assume that is what must be.”

“We can all say we believe in the possibility of improvement, but unless we really do, we won’t find it. That is, we are more likely to find it if wee look than if we presume it cannot be found.”

“Tightly woven ideas and theories may be fabrications that make it hard to see how things could be otherwise.”


Doreen said...

This is exactly what Byron Katie says: "When you become a lover of what is, the war is over. Since I don't believe my thoughts, I have no hopes, fears, or expectations; I'm a woman without a future. I live in the open where everything comes to me. Reality is a very fine place to be and guess what? Any time you question your mind, you discover that that's where you are, too."

And Eckhart:
"The Now is inseparable from who you are at the deepest level."

"Naming something as bad causes an emotional contraction within you. When you let it be, without naming it, enormous power is suddenly available to you."

Ellen Langer is absolutely correct in what she says. But I have to say that what is understood is that the possibilities are in the openess of the present moment. When what you live in just "this" you have inherent ENDLESS possibilites. No need, for hope, fear, desire, etc. You become completely open vessel to the world of possibilities. No contraction arises. With thoughts of what "might" happen in the future we create the end of possibilities.

She is saying essentially the same thing, but what perhaps, she may not realize, is that the mindfulness she speaks of comes from the realization of the Now. An Effortless Endeavor with Endless Possibilities.

Doreen said...

Yes, she is talking about one's shift in perception. One definitely sees things differently when the "beliefs" about things change.

Doreen said...

mindset = conditioned mind

Doreen said...
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