Living in Opposite-land

((Warning: INFP piss-n-moan gripe session)))

What does Opposite-land look like?

Due to the unique perspectives provided By introverted feeling and extroverted intuition, my perspective in life is filled with overlooked and uncommon truths.  My greatest frustration lies in the fact that while these greater truths are guiding principles in my life, this seems to produce puzzlement in others.   For whatever reason, it seems as if “conventional thinking” requires us to ignore the obvious fact that social reality is more a matter of perception than fact.  The following quote comes from philosophytalk.org and summarizes my thoughts superbly:

“…social realities are all around us. Think of cocktail parties, football games, bar mitzvahs, political rallies, and even nations…And in connection with this sort of thing both parts of that phrase “social reality” are worth focusing on. All the things I just mentioned are things that really and truly exist…But at the same time, they’re all made up entities, at least in a sense.   People just sort of decide that these things are going to exist. And so they do exist. Seems kind of like magic….social realities are just creations of the human mind. Not individual human minds, but collections of human minds…put a bunch of people together, let them exercise their imaginations together; let them agree; and presto, you’ve got a new social reality.” (Taylor, n.d.)

Functioning in this sort of socially-defined reality, requires a bit of self-deception.  We must learn to abide by the rules of the game.  Ignoring the obvious for me is an ongoing struggle.  I’m like that child in the Hans Christen Andersen fable “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.  I wanna ask “why that man is naked?”  However, I suppress this desire out of a painful awareness that pointing the obvious isn’t “a good idea”.

Acccepting The Backasswards Flustercuck…

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There is a place called oppositeland where bullsh*t is truth and truth is bullsh*t.

It is a reality that exists thanks to the active willful collusion occurs amongst society’s members.  As individual members of society, we tend to live out what we are taught. For most of us this means embodying an existence that presents as a reflection of greater sociocultural misperceptions. As a result, we ignore greater truths in order to perpetuate trivial falsehoods.

Systems-of-belief remain unquestioned “truths” and are perpetuated as self-fulfilling-prophecies.  We fail to acknowledge the possibility of believing otherwise.  Life becomes an endless hedonistic treadmill.  We chase after affectively forecasted futures like hamsters on the wheel.  Our greatest oversight: failing to recognize the solution can’t be uncovered with the same mindset we utilized to create the problem.

Reading the fine print

Playing by society’s rules is really quite simple:  blindly follow like a happy little mushroom.  Mind you, it’s important to read the fine print before you sign up as a willing participant.  In order to maintain the status quo, we must, as members of society, collectively ignore greater truths in order to perpetuate trivial falsehoods. This status quo is an an agreed-upon reality of “the way things are”. This predefined & familiar reality is essential as a paradigmatic reference point in our daily lives. It tells us “who we are”, where we’re going and how to get there.

In his book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” Thomas Kuhn, (2012) describes paradigms as explanatory models comprised of beliefs and assumptions that provides us a “way of understanding”. When society’s members work together to support a belief unquestioningly, many aspects of this belief system appear objective facts. With social norms in place, individual’s are liable to page a huge price for bucking the trend of conventional thinking….

The problem is paradigms are self-perpetuating. We can’t see the solution from within the same mindset as we utilized to create the problem. Therefore, we’re complaining about what we see in the world, when in reality it is our “way of seeing” that’s the biggest issue.

Examining the Price I’ve paid….

  1.  Life has became an endless hedonestic treadmill. I’ve engaged in a never-ending process of affective forecasting that has meant weighing current decisions from a cost benefit perspective with the overarching goal of maximing happiness & contentment.  Along the way,  the present moment has been sacrificed for past sorrows and future worries.
  2. I’ve lost sight of who I know I am, in an endless chase for acceptance, love and belonging.  I’ve allowed others’ opinions to dominate myself perception.  I present to the world, what I feel it wishes to see, while denying the very truth of who I am.
  3. Despite my best efforts, I’ve felt like I’m running toward nowhere, stuck in the same place.  Little did I know my problem was simply a matter of misplaced motivations, and an incomplete understanding of the problem.

Working through this mess?

*STEP ONERadical Acceptance  (Think Serenity Prayer)

*STEP TWOAccept Responsibility for Your Life..

*STEP THREELearn from Your Mistakes.

*STEP FOUR – To make chance happen, take consistent efforts to transform your life, (i.e. stages of change & DBT)

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References

Kuhn, T. S. (2012). The structure of scientific revolutions. University of Chicago press.
Taylor, K. (n.d.) Social Reality, [blog post]. Retrieved from: http://philosophytalk.org/community/blog/ken-taylor/2015/04/social-reality

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