Not To Worry, We Cannot Change Anyway
Change has been the topic of many of my blog posts and there is a big chance that will not change. It keeps fascinating me, and I see it as a driving source of Life itself.
The perspectives I have towards change, however, do change. Or vary — to be more accurate. I’ve stopped tossing away previous perspectives because I’ve found they’ll always merge or fit somewhere else: in another idea that pops up, in something I wish to share with you, and definitely in my desire to stay as open minded as possible.
So here’s a fresh one, which I just caught with the InterNET:
We cannot change.
I can’t say I fully agree with Mark (I’m a fan, not a groupie), but I do appreciate the point he makes:
“When people lay around whining to their therapists and ex-wives that they’re finally going to “change” themselves, they are promising something imaginary and made up. If they used to lie and now they stopped lying, have they “changed”? Are they permanently and irrevocably “fixed”? Will they never lie again? And even if they don’t, will it matter? Please tell us—millions of pissed off ex-wives would like to know.
We don’t know what change is because we don’t know what the hell we are. If I wake up tomorrow and do the exact opposite of everything I do today, am I a changed person? Or am I simply the same person who decided to try something different?”
I experienced a pretty good light-bulb moment (dolphins were clapping) when I read the words “something imaginary and made up”.
Remember the article I wrote about the stories we tell ourselves? About how the perspective of non-duality reduces all our mind made stories to illusions, since there is only Self that knows the one truth? Well, you sure remember it now.
As Mark Manson describes how the word “change” gets our identities involves, he emphasizes the stories we create for and about ourselves. Mark basically points out how believing those stories like we used to believe in Santa Clause (or Sinterklaas for the Dutchies reading this), makes our self-confidence suddenly rely on whether we succeed in changing. The success we aimed for isn’t always attained, and this is when “things get emotionally turbulent”. An effect for which Mooji designed the “drop everything” exercise…
I just love it when two seemingly opposite gurus agree!
Okay, they agree according to me. And I’ve just labelled them as seemingly opposites. You see the stories I am already creating here? The identities I have attached to these two people? Poor guys, they aren’t even here to contradict any of this.
Anyway, the angle where I don’t fully agree with Mark his claim that we cannot change, is that I sure do FEEL very different than I did years ago. And I KNOW that my thoughts have changed. Some self-destructive thoughts have definitely been replaced by much more motivating ones. The voice in my mind doesn’t scream at me anymore — well, not as much as it used to.
Isn’t that change?
If we take Mark’s perspective, change only occurs through altered actions. There’s a danger of defining ourselves through those actions too — it’s exactly what Mark warns us for, not to get our identities involved. Because who wants to be defined by their actions alone? I don’t.
That’s where Mooji comes in. And A Course In Miracles (ACIM) as well. I am much more than the sum of my actions. Self exists inside my actions, but Self exists outside of them too. According to Mooji and ACIM those kind of changes are irrelevant because they have no effect on the Self. And according to Mark I have merely succeeded in adding “slightly more optimal actions and decisions” to my life.
On the one hand it feels good to choose to believe that I am more than the sum of my actions. On the other hand, it kind of feels like I am giving up something too. My identity. Bummer, I used to have such an amazing identity for a story. Or such an amazing story for an identity.
Of course it’s not easy to give up my stories— let alone (a part of) my identity. This is why Mooji’s “drop everything” is meant as an exercise since it is quite hard for the average human brain to not do its “job”. Think. Ponder. Make up problems and stories to solve them.
So let’s just add this to the assembly of perspectives for now. And see what comes up next.
[The original version of this post can be found on my blog: businessconjunctions.com/blog]