Wednesday, March 05, 2008

HOMO SATIENS
Magical thinking. When you think about it, all THINKING is magical. What is a thought. In reality it is an electrical-chemical reaction in that 3 pound blob of jelly that holds your ears apart. Every thought is a miracle of evolution.

What really separates us from the other animals covered in fur, feathers, and scales, excluding Faeries, Unicorns, and Mermaids of course, is that some Homo Escapeons THINK that their THOUGHTS can affect the space/time continuum.

In Psychological terms Magical Thinking or Ideation, can be defined as the unreasonable expectation that your thoughts possess magical, invisible, energy which can affect Life in the Universe.

"Luke, USE the FORCE!"

This illusion of control or influence on the space outside of your noggin is an evolutionary, psychological aid that Homo Escapeons developed to combat the threat of living in this arbitrary, unpredictable, world. We needed a mechanism that allowed us to cope with the reality that sh*t happens, so we invented a crazy little thing called HOPE.

Why? Because most Homo Escapeons want and need to believe in an equitable Universe. We therefore choose to believe that good and bad things happen for a reason.

Some people opt for a belief in a universal, moral, Governor, collectively referred to as GOD. Most Theists believe that this personification of the Universe is keeping score on their behavior and doling out the appropriate punishments and rewards.

Life is perceived as the cumulative experience of receiving the rewards and/or punishments from GOD all of which are the direct result of their personal thoughts and deeds. It's a dress rehearsal for the afterlife because the nonsensical occurrences in this world couldn't possibly be all that there is to it???

Life is too CRAZY.

At one extreme, some Theists like the Prosperity Gospel Christians, view GOD as a cosmic bellhop who is at their beck and call to shower them with material wealth. At the other end of the spectrum are the martyrs who practice corporal mortification and deny themselves earthly pleasures as a sign of piety and subservience. Some Extremist Theists go so far as to blow themselves up in the hope of really impressing GOD despite the fact that their sacred text absolutely forbids it.

The vast majority of Homo Escapeons relate to GOD, or a reasonable facsimile, on a more practical (less dramatic) level and try to manage and balance their lives on the Doing Unto Others Gold Standard of human behavior:

Treat others the way you want to be treated. DUH.

Other forms of Theism allow adherents to interpret events from a more passive, nonparticipatory stance. The Karmic/Fatalistic point of view allows it's disciple the luxury of not being their brother's keeper. Personal interference is seen as meddling with the Grand Scheme Of Things. People get exactly what they deserve and personal interference is inconsequential: your fate is sealed.

Magical Ideation generally ranges from low in Skeptics who accept that sh*t happens and that they are accidental tourists (meh whatev) to completely overwhelming in Schizophrenics (it's all about ME ME ME) who envision something significant in everything.
For a few oddball Skeptical Empiricists like yours truly, who despite all evidence to the contrary, adore and embrace magical thinking, there are some serious issues to resolve. (HELP!) Managing my magical thinking, with varying, virtually imperceptible, levels of success, is accomplished by hourly reality checks and ritualistic ceremonial behavior such as Blogging and buying Lottery Tickets.

I need to flush my brainpan.

However at the epicentre of it all is DOPAMINE, the regrettably, labelled (DOPE)neuro-transmitter that tags and bags experiences as meaningful events and keeps meticulous records of such events.

My brain sounds like Jon "Bowzer" Bauman from Sha Na Na. Everytime I do something that feels good he sings:
"OOOH Let's Do Dat A-gain
BOW-BOW-BOW!"

Levels of this chemical in your brain may explain why some people are like TIGGER and ravish every waking moment waltzing in LA-LA-LAND while others are like EEYORE and struggle to see the point of getting out of bed in the morning to trudge through another miserable, meaningless, day. Somedays I somehow manage to be like both of these characters, simultaneously?
Perhaps some of you feel like that too?

Is your inner Eeyore/Tigger combo getting enough Dopamine to sustain your magical thinking?

15 comments:

  1. Hope works like visualisation. You can change the way you behave by changing the way you think. Thinking positively, you're more likely to act in such a way as to bring about positive results. You're happier and more confident when you think positively, although you may not realise it, and other people react to that. That's a much better explanation than "god" or "magic"! :)

    You called me a Theist the other day, which I overlooked. I am not! :P

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  2. you watch Winnie the POOH! eeeeeeeewwwwwww!

    more than that, probably what forces the brain to work optimally is positive feedback...but like you mentioned so clearly here, the association of us with things, our defense systems, our reactions just keeps us in the grid, in the system of the universe. So now, where does God come in here...probably because we tried to get out of the grid, but we cant, hence we created someone outside the grid. God. Which is so vividly portrayed in Matrix (part 2 n 3 sucked). So, its nothing new, but we must find ways to stay moving in the grid, or we will be just redundant data.

    Btw...have I ever told you, you write so damn well. Imt elling ya now.

    BTW (2) Visit this post: something something is happening...its nice:
    http://tohellyea.blogspot.com/2008/02/bloggerville-crush-confessions.html

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  3. Well, let's get something straight here. Or try to at least. I, as a Wiccan, engage on occasion in "magik," which is NOT sitting around wishing good things would happen to me, nor do I really think that my wanting something outlandish or unreasonable to happen in my favor is going to just because I want it to. I DO, however, believe that somewhere in our brain is a mechanism by which we actually CAN influence events on the physical plane, but only if those events are possible, at least probable, and accordingly feasible according to the laws of physics.
    In other words, I can't cause money to fall out of the sky, but I can nudge the likelihood that I will acquire what I need to satisfy my needs. Call it "nudging coincidence" or whatever, but I have seen results that were outside the expected norm.

    Oh, and yes, nothing is free.

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  4. I'm definitely no Eeyore because I have never been able to sustain a good depression, no matter how hard I try. I am, however, some sort of Tigger-Sloth combo.

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  5. Im alot in one!

    And right now Im a Tigger TIGRESS who missed her dina..u'll know why if u read my blog.

    Keshi.

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  6. Well, maybe I do qualify as an Eeyore, but only because everyone else thinks I'm an ass.

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  7. stace,
    Now that you clarified your position on Satanism you are officially an Atheist again.

    The brain cannot tell the difference if you keep inputting data over and over and over..and if you use good old PMA you can accomplish amazing things despite circumstances and with a little luck

    ghostay,
    Blog Crush was very cool. There are so many amazing people out here and I haven't even scratched the surface...and great music!

    THE michael,
    I have Wiccans in my family too.

    I did admit that even though I strive to be a 100% rational & empirical I still love magical thinking..I think that we are hardwired to do it. How else could we cope with the thought of being lucky smart animals in the middle of frozen space?

    Still, I have been lied to for most of my Life so from now on I need proof before I sign on.

    citizen mondo,
    Well you would have a much better understanding of the subject than me...I am not surprised and totally impressed that you have a sunshiny personality..
    what a fantastic trait.

    Tigger/Sloth has me baffled.

    keshi,
    GRRRROWWLL! Ok I'll come and see.

    fronty,
    HA! Ya but what are ya gonna do?
    If I had a nickel for every ime that someone called me an ass...

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  8. HA! I just got home and posted a pic of a thinking chimp (no, it's not me) and now I come over here and find THIS!

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  9. ME???
    I'm just a Whitesnake......

    Sigh!

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  10. I am more of a pooh / piglet /tigger combo .
    I of course have my eeyore days but then being all pathetic and miserable ends up making me laugh.

    My favourite book EVER was Piglet does a Marvellous thing. Who needs religion when you have that :-)

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  11. G'day mate!

    So sorry to not have been around, (especially for the sex!) but I have been dealing with love and mortality.

    All is well and all is good..

    Thinking!

    Ahah, okay:

    "First, we assert that there is one original formless stuff, or substance, from which all things are made.......

    And this stuff is thinking stuff; a thought held in it produces the form of the thought.....

    There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, which, in it's original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.

    A thought, in this substance, Produces the thing that is imaged by the thought."

    http://books.google.com.au/books?id=ul_bNt0rHwUC&pg=PA13&lpg=PA13&dq=thinking+stuff+permeates&source=web&ots=c_q5zF4kjm&sig=unPhQfP_vmYtoQXXUtJQVailooI&hl=en

    The Science of Getting Rich: Wallace D Wattles

    ...and that is what I think.

    Thought is very powerful. I think, I am, I think.

    But I have also been told:

    "You think that because you understand ONE you understand TWO, because one and one makes two. But you must understand AND."

    Sufi proverb

    I have so much to learn still.

    Lord Tennisanyone!? What have you done with Homey Da Do Ron Ron....

    Too funny. :)

    Pam

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  12. The wonderful thing about tiggers, is tiggers are wonderful things!!

    (bow-bow-bow)

    Anyway

    I am a definite eeyore/tigger schizoloony. It's fun non? Sometimes it is not fun. But most of the time it is amusing at least. And because of the various ways our tigger and eeyore essences choose to manifest themselves, we schizoloonies can stand proud and sing "IIIIIIIII'M THE ONLY ONE!"

    On the other hand, I've been told today that I live on a high anxiety plane and should join an internet dating agency.

    Now THAT'S magic.

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  13. I'm sure as hell NOT curling my ass into a spring . . . .

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  14. I mean I alternate between Tigger-like energy and enthusiasm and sloth-like pure langour.

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