The other day I was babysitting my little guy while my little girl was at ballet. He does not eat much, but he has a weakness for a certain burger joint’s product. So, despite its lack of nutritious value, I caved in and there we went. I was feeling particularly depressed about a whole slew of things with a good dose of Weltschmerz thrown into the mix. I poured myself a stiff drink.
Within a few moments I was feeling better, and by the time we reached the burger joint and took our place in line, I was feeling positively lightheaded. All those around me, (who I would normally see as flotsam and jetsam), were transformed into sentient beings, glowing with all the most positive attributes any human being might possess.
The young south island woman at the till was transformed into a beautiful soul trapped in the penury of survival in the Game, and I gave her and everyone else in the place, a beatific smile.
People smiled back, the service was uncommonly good, and the wait for the burger seemed not only bearable, but downright pleasant. I left the establishment in the best of moods, feeling all to be right with the world and myself. As I mused on the complete metamorphosis I had just experienced, it occurred to me that nothing was different about myself or those I encountered in any substantive way. Yet something was different. Something so subtle, it was almost imperceptible. At the same time so profound, it changed the entire experience. It was my state of mind.
Our state of consciousness determines how we see, which in turn determines what we see. The objects studied are impacted by the viewer – that is to say a person we’re regarding is immediately impacted by the energy, or attitude directed towards them, which then will evoke an emotional response. They will be unaware of what elicited the response and their rational mind will attribute it to something else.
This too will not be done completely arbitrarily but will follow a kind of path of least resistance. We are drawn to people like ourselves – so if we are liberal we will likely assume the person we like to be liberal as well. This process takes place in micro seconds, the more time passes, the more iterations are completed.
Thus over time the stronger the case supporting our liking and esteeming this person becomes. Then cognitive dissonance sets in and our initial perception is locked in place.
Please do not take this as an ad for drinking, or any other form of narcosis. Instead, it is my attempt to share an ‘aha’ moment I experienced relating to the power of our state of mind. It also gives us a clue as to why we and others drink. The problem, of course, is that when the drug wears off my state, in this case by the time my wife returned, my state of mind had drifted back down to where it was before. No doubt there are huge dangers in relying on some foreign substance to generate and maintain this state. Instead, it is for me an affirmation of the fact that our state, or level of consciousness is the key to freeing ourselves from the tentacles of the Game.