You remember the popular Clairol “Loving Care” television commercial…
Only your hairdresser knows for sure
Everything we believe is based on our personal assumptions about reality. When Chicken Little got clunked on the head by an acorn, his perception was “The sky is falling!” Just like Chicken Little, our perception is our reality—even if it doesn’t line up with everyone else’s.
Our minds have models of what they feel represents reality. Everything we think we know is based on implied assumptions we’ve embraced about how reality works. These assumptions are known as “constructs.”
In science there’s a principle known as Occam’s Razor—this concept states that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. Using Occam’s Razor we understand that the more constructs we need to have for a belief to be true, the more likely it’s not.
Some beliefs require an awful lot of constructs…the belief that we’ll always be alone, the belief that we’re not smart enough, the belief that we’re not creative, the belief that no one cares. These types of beliefs require thousands of constructs about reality in order to be accurate—there’s a much greater chance they’re not.
It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.
It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.
— Mark Twain
What do you know for sure—for absolutely certain?
“Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan
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© 2012 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved
I am not sure I know anything for sure. of course my ego thinks it does. I think there is humor in here somewhere? I know you well enough… or do I?
Be open to the flow, allow the world to inform and offer choices, so nothing is for sure.
Jeff – Your advice is sound: “Be open to the flow.”
What’s that saying? Dogs and their masters look alike… I love the picture! I’m absolutely certain that I am about five feet tall, depending on the tape measure I’m using!
Barbara – I kid you not…Willa and I have the same color hair and the same texture, wiry! Five feet tall — that makes me think of a song my mom used to sing: “Five foot two, eyes of blue, but oh what those five feet could do…”
It becomes clearer and clearer that I know nothing, but the awareness that we are IS everything. Watching the thoughts always arising insisting that “such and such” is so alternates between being exhausting and being a grand joke. It’s interesting–I just read another blog 2 seconds ago that said exactly the same thing as yours. It is such a valuable teaching! Some day this teaching will penetrate to the core of us, all of us. Blessings, Laurie.
Kathy – “…but the awareness that we are IS everything.” Blessings right back atcha, siSTAR!
I am pretty darn sure that if I don’t get out and do something physical today I am going to turn into house-bound slug. It’s just too pretty outside to sit indoors and color all day, it might fire the brain but does nothing for the physical plant: Me. It’s just so easy to sit and wonder, shall I use crimson or would vermillion be the better choice? Instead I must bend my back, reach out for the hoe and…Strike!
Sandi – Knowing you, one thing’s for certain — you need to be out and about!
What I know for sure is that what we put our attention on expands in our life. We have the power to create and, therefore, we should create something wonderful.
I first learned these concepts years ago from Dr. David Simon, a native of Chicago and co-founder of the Chopra Center. David passed away on Jan. 31. Always trying to find the joy in all life experiences, he and his family had a documentary film crew record his journey of life after diagnosis of a brain tumor. Some of the scenes are included in the link below which is The Chopra Center’s video tribute to him.
If I put one foot in front of the other I can walk a mile.
Meaning: I can overcome anything–maybe not today but in time.
Hi Laurie, Wow, what a question! I know for sure that I don’t know as much today as I will know tomorrow – but having said that, who cares? Some days it seems as if we are all living in the Twilight Zone – other days I feel all the Oneness of a Buddha – and then there are times that Monkey Mind takes over and I’m sure I’ve gone off the edge! 🙂
SuZen – Your comment made me laugh. Like you, sometimes I feel I’ve done gone round the bend 🙂
Oh Laurie you have me on this one! I imagine all sorts of things to be true at any given moment. Then in the next I change it up and decide, well – maybe it is something else. I absolutely LOVE to play with various truths and I have decided that if I can make it a positive truth I will just live my life that way. This has got me in trouble several times but I have decided it is worth the risk and do it anyway.
Terrill – I like your policy, “If I can make it a positive truth I will just live my life that way.” Some risks are well worth taking 🙂
A very thought provoking post today.
I’m not sure that anything is an absolute certainty, although at times we like to think their is a lot of certainty in our lives.
The quote from Mark Twain, is spot on with this one. 😀
Magsx2 – I really liked Mark Twain’s quote too 🙂
Whenever I find myself stuck on an idea or concept I attempt to name it and then decide about changing it. I found myself thinking on my walk how much I love being outside and alone and I kept thinking, “I would not change a thing about today” I started to enjoy the thought.
Then I heard the gremlin voice saying, “Oh yes you would like to change things up, you would like no money thoughts in your day.”
I am cleaning my new oven now, to change those thoughts about money and send them away…focus on what an amazing piece of equipment has come into my life and how creative I can be with it….
Ah then I began to think about having a fundraiser to pay off my child’s medical bills, what could I do to bring in that kind of funds?
It is so hard to hold the mind still….I know for sure that thoughts keep coming and coming and sometimes they unfold in the most delightful journey.
What fun coming by here to read and see just what you are talking about with your catchy title!
Patricia – That doggone gremlin voice can sure be a stinker, can’t it? But it’s oh so much harder to hear when we’re outside in nature, or focused on something else — like you’re new oven 🙂
There is only one thing I know for certain, “I am”.
I am not certain about anything of the nature of my existence, and I am confident about quite a bit of it; and that I am (as some sort of something) is beyond question.
Everything else that I once took as absolute knowledge, has been reduced to a probability function (mind you, many of those probability functions are beyond any sort of ordinary reasonable doubt – meaning it would take some quite extraordinary evidence to have me seriously reconsider them).
I was part of a team in 1974 that worked out Pi to half a million decimal places, and at one stage I memorised the first 100 digits, then I worked out that the degree of accuracy that gave was an angle smaller than the width of a hydrogen nucleus in the Andromeda galaxy as seen from here on earth – ie no practical use what so ever. So now I just work with 3.14159 – which is accurate enough for most practical purposes.
And there are a lot of things that science has proven beyond reasonable doubt, and one must remain open to the possibility, however remote, that something new may open a new way of understanding that shows that the current one is a special case of some more general principle.
Ted – I enjoyed reading your comment, especially the part about remaining open to possibility. And I can’t even begin to imagine working on Pi — under any circumstances 🙂
As for Occam – I think he’s sometimes an easy or comforting option to reach for. It might seem like the mature commonsense choice between conspiracy and cock up is the latter. Growing up in Northern Ireland, it has very often proved to be the other way round – though we’ve had to wait 30 years for the release of official documents to have suspicions confirmed.
Paul – You bring up a great perspective — the other side of the coin.
Laurie, I believe that whatever you believed in when you lived, that is what will happen to you when you die. So if you believe you will go to heaven, then so you shall. If you believe you will be reincarnated as a bird, then that will happen.
A rather strange concept but it does fit every religion going.
I also believe I will leave the world in a slightly better state than it was before and if we all do that, who knows?
Kevin – I, too, believe that the world is a better place for having the benefit of your touch.
What I do know for certain is that there is a healing power in this life that allows us to get past the worst moments and embrace what we connect to and reap great joy from. While certainty is a tricky concept we can pretty much gage from experience what can be counted on to happen and what in all likelihood will not come to pass.
Sam – I believe in that same healing power 🙂
LOVE the Twain quote, and the other wise things you had to say!!
Terri – I’m glad you enjoyed the post, thank you for letting me know.
It struck me that the list of beliefs you include at the end (that have so many attached constructs) are what make characters feel so REAL in fiction. I’ve learned that these are also called “controlling beliefs” — a character’s belief of self that impacts her view of the world … Another thought-provoking post!
Melissa – You’ve hit the nail on the head! And while it’s absolutely captivating to read about fictional characters with lots of constructs (controlling beliefs) it can certainly add a lot of detrimental drama in real life; not only for those embracing the beliefs, but for those in their sphere of influence as well.
I’m living as fast as I can but I am still way far behind in my life!
Barbara – That makes me think of a funny bumper sticker I saw that said, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get!”
I suppose I know nothing for sure–though I firmly believe my partner loves me–among other lovely things. Great question!
Kathy – To know that you are loved is huge!
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Sam – I loved what you shared about Kevin Spacey over at Wonders in the Dark.
Lauire what i do know for sure …is that nothing remains the same… everything changes from one second to the next. Everything evolves no matter how small or subtle those things are.
Savira – The one constant, the thing that remains the same, the thing that we can count on, is change 🙂
I know for sureI love to read your postings!!!!!
Kim – Thank you 🙂
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