My favorites are, of course, the people who agree with me and think I’m smart and funny. I love when people agree with me.
But in second place by a hair are emails that sound like this:
“I know “the secret” works! It’s changed my life. Why must you be so negative? You are sending out negative energy which will only come back to you. If that’s how you choose to live, fine. But, I don’t!”
For now, let’s not even bother analyzing the evidence that “The Secret works.” Suffice it to say, it wasn’t long ago that we were saying, “I know that sacrificing a virgin every night brings the sun back the next day… because the sun keeps coming back every time we sacrifice a virgin!”
(BTW, do you notice how similar that is to: “I know this book is the word of God, because it says so in this book!” But, anyway…)
Instead, let’s look at some other components of this “argument”:
1) First, it ends all discussion. “I know I’m right so there’s no need to think any more.” This is how our brains are wired… once we come to a conclusion we like, especially one that we think relates to attaining happiness, we are stuck on that conclusion like paparazzi on Brangelina. And rather than examine our conclusion, and seemingly risk future happiness, we shoot the messenger.
2) Second, it reveals that the speaker doesn’t even believe what they claim to believe! Here’s how: The only reason they see others as NEGATIVE is because they are POSITIVE they’re right! “These people say they “create their own reality,” but they don’t recognize that they “create” (as in “perceive”, not “attract”) negativity with their own “positive thinking.”
Look, I get it. If examining my beliefs might ruin my future satisfaction, and reveal that I’m not as smart and evolved as I thought, I wouldn’t want to go there either!
By the way, when did “negative” get such a bad rap? If you want to lick an electrical socket and I tell you that I think it’s not a good idea, am I being “negative”? If I later change my mind, am I alternating about the current?
Someone asked me, “Do you think it really matters if people believe in this stuff?”
It’s not about what they believe, it’s about why they believe, how they come to believe, how they don’t recognize they’re believers, how they treat people who don’t believe, and how they don’t recognize when they’re hypnotized by believing.
Without recognizing what a phenomenon like TS reveals about our thinking, some “interesting” things could happen.
For example, I hear a rumor that some people (more than 50 million) know for a fact that Saddam Hussein had WMDs and helped with 9/11… and “if you’re not with us,” you can be put in jail for life without legal representation. This rumor may not be true… but I believe it.