We Don't Want What We Think We Want
Updated: Nov 12, 2019
AND HOW TO ACTUALLY GET WHAT WE THINK WE WANT
DISCLAIMER: I am typing this here, in case someone may find it valuable, but this is no replacement for actual professional assistance for a sufferer of any mental health condition. Saying "You don't want what you think you want" is definitely a perfect way to get passionate, push-back comments on social media: "How dare you?" "Who are you to tell me what I should want?" "So according to you I am an idiot who needs guidance to even know what I want? "Do you have solid, statistically significant, scientific data to back this up?
How dare I? I don't dare to do or say anything. I am just saying most people I know or hear about, myself included, whether they are famous, non-famous, infamous, good, bad, etc, after talking with them for a while, they actually seem to agree with this. It is everyone else who is daring to say so, not me. I don't think talking about free will, determinism and consciousness (or unconsciousness) is much of a daring act. Who am I to tell you what you should want? I am nobody, I am not telling you what you want. I am saying, most of US don't want what we think we want. Big difference. You can want whatever, I just don't think you realize you don't want what your conscious executive mind is telling you, you want. Are you an idiot who needs guidance to know what you should want? I have no idea. I never said anything of the sort. People want all kinds of things, they just get upset when they are called on their assumptions, excuses or rationalizations for why they are not getting what they want, and they realize that there is a level of truth to it. Otherwise, why get upset? I will never tell you what you want, but I will tell you sometimes we sneakily DO deceive ourselves. I would even dare say most of the time. Do I have solid statistically significant data to back my stuff up? you know what? Of course not, this is just a friendly blog post, and I am not shooting for a Nobel price here. I do have logic, and this topic is closer to philosophy than hard science or medicine. I do feel strongly the logic behind this perspective is sound, and rather inevitable for it to develop.
Now, let's get on with the substance. The power of intention, the law of attraction. The universe conspires to make your wishes come true. Well, yes. And no. In previous posts we have covered this to some extent. We know wishing for something with a tipping majority of our being - having a majority of the conscious agents that make our self synchronize toward a common goal - is essential to creating something. Whether or not you believe in the Law of Attraction, the power of intention, or whatever you want to call it, a true wish creates wonders, literally. But even understanding this, it's a very challenging task to actually synchronize your overall collective intentions to actually bring yourself to create something. Most of us think we know what we want. We want to be rich, we want to be happy, we want fame, acceptance, etc. The reality behind it, is that we do, to a certain extent, but we also have other competing and often more compelling semi-conscious wishes, while we also forget that we are not who we think we are. We are not a monolithic being, we are a collections of conscious agents, existing together to thread what we call the self. I want to write about this, because I happen to find the power of true intention to be truly infallible, but flawed when explained by current literature. Our true wishes do come true, inevitably, but again, we don't really want what we THINK we want. Often times, we don't want to be rich, we often just don't want to have unmet needs; we may not really want to have sex with as many partners as possible, we may actually want to have a fun and fulfilling relationship; we don't want to be famous, we may be looking for purpose. Recapping from previous posts: - You are not who you think you are. The "you" that wants something, also competes with the bigger "YOU" (all of our fellow conscious agents within you) that may want something else. This is unavoidable. - Your smaller self also competes with the non-executive agents in your body (bacteria, gut neurons, etc.) that literally may wish something completely opposite to what your executive minds wants.
- There's an even bigger YOU, comprised by other people, your family, your society, and all living beings around you, from the smallest virus to a whale.
So, how can you bring yourself - small and big - to wish for something so much across the board, that it inevitably comes true? That's the billion dollar question. You know you want money, but not enough to really create it. You know you want to lose weight, but not enough to actually do what it takes to become fitter. The list is never-ending. Things of all kinds of nature keep happening in our lives: getting lunch, falling asleep, getting a paycheck, losing a job, getting a new job, getting a friend, losing a friend. All these events are things that were created as a direct consequence of our actions. but what about those other things you think you really want that you can't quite achieve? Are they impossible? Are we predetermined to have wishes come true out of our "automatic" beings, rather than those that come from our executive mind? Not so fast. Think about everything you have created in your life, the small and the big, the wanted and unwanted. By now, having this understanding, you should know that everything "you" and "YOU" have wanted have always become true. Sure, some of the bad staff may have been the bigger YOU rather than the small you, but that's precisely the key to this! Everything that has happened to you, has occurred because of the LARGER you that has created this situation. And that's your answer, you need to escalate your wish from you to the larger YOU, in order to create it. Except... I wish it was that easy. How can you escalate a small wish from your executive mind to that of the larger YOU? Let's be clear. In short, there is no answer to this, this is why you are alive, so you can figure this out on your own. We are here not so much to create something, but to FIGURE OUT how to create that something. However, you have been reading this long, so take comfort, I will not let you down. There are some inevitable paths we will encounter, and knowing about them is very helpful.
There are some inevitable and very general things we can mention about how you can escalate a goal from a smaller set of conscious agents, to a larger set of them. In summary, trust and function. this is what my previous posts were about. You cannot achieve something without creating value for others and propagating it. The core of this post is the propagation part. You an also call it communication, marketing, information synchronization, etc, etc. The label doesn't matter, the idea behind it does.
Let's make it as concise as possible:
1. Make sure your goal/wish, is as functional as possible. It's impossible to have an absolutely functional goal, unless you are God. So go easy on yourself. All of us will have various degrees of selfishness, fear, distrust and other negative properties of our beings that have come out of interacting with other conscious agents that warranted it. You don't want to be kind, warm and fussy to a lion, if you are gazelle being hunted down to become a meal, you want to use your fear to run away to safety. The point is, be compassionate with yourself, if your previous goals have been selfish, arising out of fear or simply dysfunctional, let it go. Find your true wish by surrendering to the fact that you need a purpose that creates higher levels of function in the world, and take it from there. If you are still struggling, being honest about your fear is a great way to start clarifying your goals. Anything that arises from fear, ends up in dysfunction. Check there first.
2. Propagate your goal as effectively and as widely as possible. Other conscious agents, at the cellular or societal level, will not know that your executive mind, the central you, needs to create something that adds true value to you and others. This is a sales game, but not in the annoying used-car-salesman way, but in the genuine way of getting closer to higher and higher levels of function, by demonstrating it to others, in the most honest and clear way possible.
Step 2 above, is all above marketing. For the longest time in my life, I thought marketing was a necessary evil, a useless activity of capitalism that had no value whatsoever, and I have come to learn how spectacularly wrong I have been about this. There is good marketing, and there is definitely bad marketing. Good marketing ALWAYS has the following qualities: Its message is perceived as honest, it engages your emotions, the idea behind it is relatable and the advertised product delivers it. In my lingo, I would call those qualities: clarity, honesty (actual one, not just perceived), inspiration, permanence, readiness and trust.
You may be thinking, how could this type of marketing or propagation of goals can for instance help me get in good, physical shape? Do I need to run ads to my gut bacteria? It absolutely does help. Not so much in the classical sense, but when you have clarity, honesty, inspiration, readiness and trust, nothing can stop you.
In an internal sense, your entire nervous and circulatory system communicates with each other down to at least every millionth of a second of your life. Clarity from your executive mind is the first step to communicate to your entire body (nature takes of it) what your intent is. Don't underestimate clarity, and honesty. Some people meditate, others (like me) simply write music and blogs, others talk to friends, it doesn't matter how, you have to get honest with yourself. No matter how embarrassing or awkward it may seem to be, get honest with your self, and lay everything down with as much clarity as possible. You need to know what your collection of wishes are, so you can know which ones are competing with others. For instance, if you have a wish for vengeance or envy, but also you have a desire to be respected and looked up to, you have an impossible contradiction there. I am not going to tell you what goals are functional and which ones are not; we can all figure this out by ourselves by asking ourselves, is this goal of mine bringing value to me and others, or at least to me alone, while not hurting others? If the answer is no, then that's not a functional goal, and it will never truly become a reality.
From an external perspective, a conscious agent cannot wish for something it doesn't know, or doesn't have at least a basic concept of; for that very reason, the direction or vector that drives an agent to create something, is only 'allowed' to have any kind of movement, because other agents in the system are benefiting from it. In business talk, this is called "creating or providing value". The vast majority of cases in which our wishes don't become true, is simply because they are not based on functional, altruistic goals, but instead arise from selfish or fearful ideas that die quickly because the system that contains it will never truly support them. They may remain, much in the same way a gazelle keeps running from the lion every single time to avoid getting eaten, but nothing actually changes, unless whatever you are creating brings value to agents in the system. Progressive goals, are altruistic goals. Conservative goals, may be adaptive, but are usually based on fear, and understandably so. We need to walk before we can fly.
The power of our executive mind is not to be understated. We have an almost unlimited ability to inspire ourselves and others, and many different ways. Good marketing works when it appeals and engages the emotions, because of this power. Showing it's better than telling. When all of our senses are engaged, information propagates like wild fire, because our emotions are engaged. At a personal level, you don't ever want to shy away from experiencing with as much as you can of your being the message of your goal. If your consciousness is not receiving a powerful torrent of information, is not going to react and synchronize all your living cells to your goals. If you want to love exercising, set yourself up to have an amazing workout, feel grateful for every little feeling of endorphins and energy, and cherish it. You can't to do this by reading about it or watching a video, you have to do it yourself, and consciously focus on the experience you are having. That's why people learn by doing, not by being told instructions. It's a very different thing playing a piece on the piano than silently reading it on a piece of sheet music; you are engaging your entire body and mind to play a piece of music, while on the sheet of paper, is your mind alone doing the playing. You are more than your central, executive mind, and you need to surrender to this fact if you wish to create any internal change.
External goals to your own body are no different. Most successful marketers or sales people will tell you that having an experience, is always orders of magnitudes more effective than simply telling a buyer about a product. Seeing or feeling it in action, often sells products or ideas by themselves. Find a way to do this, and the sky is the limit.
Trust is essential to escalating a small wish to a larger one. I cover that in detail here, because it's the cornerstone of any kind of creation, success, growth, progress, or whatever you want to call it. There is no wish-granting, when there is no trust. Communication stops there, completely. On the other hand, no one is perfect. Trust also entails being compassionate, forgiving, and knowing that people are fallible, and that things can be achieved despite these imperfections.
Some conscious agents won't be ready to embrace your higher-function direction or goal, and you have to let them go. The teacher not only appears when the student is ready, but the trusting-proposing agent, also appears when the distrusting agent lets go of fear. This is not pleasant, but it must be accepted. Don't despair if other people don't respond well to your message or goal of reaching higher levels of function in everyone's lives. We will all have our turn to accept this universal truth, and just like us, in the past, no one has always been ready since birth to learn every lesson in life. There's one funny saying in my native Colombia which roughly translated means: "It is scary to see God if you have never met him". I like the analogy here, not the religious tone from it. because I, an outed agnostic by most standards, will not spout any doctrine here, but can definitely say with great certainty, that any concept of God will involve infinite or nearly infinite function, a maximum state of harmony. I can believe in that, if at least in a concept, because the arrow of time takes us eventually there in an inexorable manner. Even if we self-destruct at some point and another species has to complete the job - much like the dinosaurs weren't ready to remain here when they became extinct - there are many conscious agents that won't be ready to deal with some information. Our job is to let that go, and be ready, when they, in turn, also become ready.
Permanence, is self-explanatory. You may have all of the rest, but if your will is invisible, then it will remain that way, forever. This is where most of us could easily get discouraged, and "fail". I put fail in quotes, because some may say, if you fail - under the ideas of the philosophy behind this - it simply means your will wasn't true enough to remain, to give way to another true will. It's the typical chicken and the egg dilemma: did I not express permanence because my true will didn't create it? or was it a lack of permanence killed my true will? I have to go with the former. Honesty with ourselves is key here. We cannot possibly be expected to be in full-energy mode 100% of the time, and be present in the "marketing" of our ideas. Some days we just don't feel like it, and that's OK. The difference is, when you are flowing with true will, permanence is somewhat automatic, because you are on a mission that brings function to you and others, regardless of having a marketing budget or not. Therefore, any effort related to this, becomes easier and enjoyable, because you don't feel like you have much of a choice: you have to propagate your true will, not matter what. That being said, it's important to note this property of creation of our will, because it gives you great clues, as to what you may really want. It doesn't matter how shy of a person you are, if you are on a mission of true will, you cannot stop this, permanence will be like a river that flows not because it wants to, but because is inevitable, and everyone around you will notice this river of will, that cannot be ignored for long, just like those annoying ads you constantly see, and end up reciting their content by memory, whether you wanted to see the or not.
Beyond the propagation of our wishes to internal or external agents that can make them a reality, it's interesting to see how this actually develops in real life. True wishes that become a reality, can be recognized in a number of ways at many levels of existence. When you REALLY want to lose weight, the enthusiasm of a more functional state of being overrides, or almost enrolls the rest of your body into doing it. The temptation that seemed so difficult to resist, has become easy to overcome, because you want it so badly. We can say that the cravings for that cookie or cheeseburger never really went away, but there are more conscious agents wishing for something much more attractive, that drown out the voice of those fearful ones that still cling to the past. Wishes that increase levels of function in a system, are like a virus that infect every other conscious agent in it, whether they are bacteria or full grown humans. This is not a metaphysical thing, it's just a binary choice, that is inescapable. From a personal perspective, the executive mind is only the boss, the leader, but the actual work is done by the rest of the system that follows it. Now, leaders can be caring, inspiring, admirable and loving; but they can also be selfish, fearful, feared and violent. The power of the executive mind, rests upon the items listed above: clarity, trust, readiness, permanence and inspiration. It's impossible not to create true miracles when we nurture the leader in us with these properties. Trap alert: There are many types of leaders. There are charismatic individuals, while there are also introverted ones who can be very successful. Don't fall for this trap. The features of propagating success are clarity, trust, readiness, permanence and inspiration, but there are infinite types of messages, ways to be trusted, ways to be ready and to be inspiring. Don't let this discourage you, that is the fear talking, not the truth.
What happens when you take these steps and reach the next level? A tipping majority creates the change you sought. A tipping majority of your internal collection of conscious agents (bacteria, neurons, microbiome), or a tipping majority of people in your society who feel grateful your creation is making the world better (better, in its infinite sense: more fun, engaging, aesthetic, enjoyable, loving, etc). Whether you are thinking about your smaller being (your body your mind) or your larger being (your family, your community, your world), this tipping majority is the magic number of conscious agents you need to have any wish come true. You don't need a full majority, just enough to create something that eventually leads to the fulfillment of your wish. By the same token, the only thing stopping you from truly WISHING something that is true and therefore can manifest in your system, is to let go of fear and of any feeling of disconnection from "others"; let the overwhelming force of nature that we all carry manifest their true desires. People often can't get themselves to wish for something truly, and therefore never manifest it, because they are in a constant state of battle with selfish thoughts that don't allow this tipping majority to come to be. Our self-destructive tendencies are not something to run away from necessarily, they are part of us, and they will be with us for a very long time, because they have been useful in lower-trust contexts that we constantly leave behind in our lives. I often find that I can manage my goals better, when I forgive myself and my self-destructive tendencies, than when I chastise myself for it. Self compassion is an expression of trust, and again, trust is the cornerstone for truly wishing something. Fighting our self-destructive tendencies only makes them stronger, because we create a sort of muscle, resistance or callus to it, and they can rarely if ever, be overcome this way. Self destructive tendencies (or any kind of destructive tendency) is like the bully that is bigger and stronger than you; it can rarely be out-bullied, it can only be inspired to change, or at least ignored or managed, in the meantime before they become ready to change. Love,