This is chapter five of my new book, "Daddy, how do you know?" You can read the entire book at DaddyHowDoYouKnow.com. I hope you enjoy it and pass it along to other contacts. Please feel free to connect with me. Thanks,
Chapter Five: Your mind and people around you--your environment makes you.
Your mind is special; it is the only mind that thinks like you. I believe everyone’s mind is special, just like snowflakes--every snowflake is different, so is your mind different from everyone else’s. This is OK.
We want to blend in, be like someone, or everyone else. We often want to be different, but the same. This is because we want to belong.
We need other people in our lives. And being the same or different from other people allows us to choose the people we want to spend time with in our lives.
We all want a sense of belonging, and aligning our ideology with others can give a sense of being with someone who cares about us, like a family feeling. Maybe I should be like the athletic star or the pop star. We want to be popular. How do we get to be popular and belong in a certain group? We want to be the same as others, so we blend in with a certain group.
We now get bombarded with commercial messages on how to be popular, how to look successful, how to be part of the “in” crowd. On estimate the average American gets 3000 commercial messages a day in one form or another. I don’t remember most of the messages of yesterday, but my video camera in the brain picked them up.
So we select what we want, and push the rest back into our brain somewhere, perhaps in the sub-conscious recesses of our brains.
How we believe. We observe the world around us, and because the mind is like a video camera recording everything, we cannot keep all of the data in our memory banks to use on a daily basis. We store all of this data in our brains.
From this selection we add meanings to what we have selected and observed. I select from a day I remember seeing a religious symbol, and because I saw this symbol I am moved, so I convert to this religion or decide my religion is just fine. So we draw conclusions from what we select, and we also add meanings.
And then, most importantly, we make assumptions, whether those assumptions are true or not. We believe ourselves, and take personal actions on these beliefs. Maybe we will decide to change or not to change, to keep our religious faith, our political and social values, based on our assumptions.
Do you think these assumptions, conclusions and beliefs are correct?
Do we need to explore our beliefs and see if they are correct and up to date? Can we be a person in the 4th or 5th order of mental development to examine our assumptions, conclusions, and beliefs?
This is the science of epistemology, the difference between knowing something is true and believing something is true.
How do you know that something is true, with all of the change and knowledge exploding in our world?
We have to be aware something we believe now could later be false. How do we deal with something we thought was true, that now is proven to be false? Can we make a law that says this belief will now be true and all ideas that oppose this belief are now false? Can you go to jail for not believing correctly?
Not just worldly issues--the Sun does not revolve around the Earth, the Earth is not flat--but also personal issues--I thought someone loved me, and now I know they do not. I thought I could trust this person and now I know I cannot.
We grow, we accept, we expand our knowledge of the things around us.
I am a member of the “Magic Castle” in Hollywood. I have been taking you there since you were a baby. As you have grown up, your Uncle, also a member of the “Magic Castle,” has taught you magic tricks. These tricks seem real and are very entertaining. But are they real? No, they are tricks that look real. People are fooled by the magic; in life are we not fooled by politicians, religious leaders, community organizers, bosses, and people we trust?
Two magicians, Penn and Teller, have a TV show called, “Bullshit,” and they look for the truth in people and ideas. (This is another program you are not allowed to watch until you get much older, but as you grow up I am sure you will be able to find these shows on DVD or whatever it is called then.)
Examining ideas is a good thing; it is what you will be doing as you grow into the 4th and 5th orders of human mental development.
Experts, the “Who Said’s” of the world, may not have knowledge that is the truth. And remember, the truth changes.
It is not a bad thing, it is just a thing you must remember, and epistemology is the ongoing search between what is real and what is a belief.
Aristotle was a Greek Philosopher who came up with an idea called the dialectic. The concept was easy: when two opposites were exposed there was always a middle that could be discovered.
Hegel, a German Philosopher used the dialectic to show how societies had opposites and progressed forward as a result of this historical materialism.
It is easy to see different societies and how humanity has moved forward in time.
Traditionalism is a word to describe what society was like in the recent past. It looks like the third order of the adult.
If you are part of a group, society, political order you are required to have a like mind. You are required to put the group ahead of your own self. The people in the group will have some common denominator, live in the same place, and do the same things. They will have the same religion, politics, and nationality.
You will have leaders talk about the group’s ideologies. People look for their leaders to have the answers, not have the answers themselves. The third order wants order and answers.
Leaders will want to raise the children of a society, give children the ideas leaders want to promote. Leaders will move to create society’s infrastructures, hospitals, jobs, even thoughts that are supposed to be thought And create wars against people who do not share the same values, or who have natural resources needed to keep the infrastructure working.
Members of this society are looking for leaders they feel will take care of them. The ideas can change based on what is happening in society, the leaders can change, but there is always some kind of leadership in control of the structure of society.
In earlier times moving from one place to another was hard. Transportation was limited. By foot, boat, horse, the number of miles you could travel in a day were very limited. People bloomed where they were planted, as your Great-Grandmother would say. Ideas traveling from other people were very limited. Societies had, in effect, a natural wall around them.
Modernism--where we are and where we are going--what do we have in store for us?
With the invention of the motor vehicle, trains and planes, society was able to move more rapidly over greater distances in a short amount of time, putting strains on traditional society. People moved, and as a result society became more diverse. You were no longer tied down to a single place. Technology and communication began having an impact on how we thought and felt. Radio waves were commercialized, the invention of television. The World Wide Web gave people more ways to have information and communication, true or false.
People stopped trusting leaders as much as in the past. Leaders became harder to identify, employers talked about “owning your work.” As people became more independent, more educated with different ideas, they began questioning what their lives meant.
There were no “self-help” books before the early 1900s. The first self-help book was by an American, Napoleon Hill--“The Laws of Success.” While truly ground breaking at the time, it is probably not a book the average person looking for something to understand their life would now read.
Technology, information, and education began to change and challenge the traditional society. People are looking for answers and often not finding them, or will latch on to an idea, only to discard it when a new idea comes along that looks shinier and brighter.
Disappointment comes more often with our leaders, our employers, and our society. We often feel “over our heads.” What should we do, whom do we trust? Is this all there is to life? We look for uncomplicated answers to extremely difficult situations. We do not like to be on our own. It is difficult to chart our own path, to think for ourselves.
In today’s society, many countries would like to close off information and technology because it threatens their leadership ability. Leaders don’t want people to think independently, or have different ideas that could change the society they lead. Yet time marches on, communication moves forward, technology increases the different ideas and concepts will continue to move forward through different forms of communication. The World Wide Web continues to provide information that is increasingly hard to stop or control.
In today’s world many people feel alienated. They don’t know what the truth is or who is telling the truth and who is not. Does a truth even exist? What and why are we getting worked up about something that may not make any difference a decade from now?
How do we best make decisions, and the decisions we make--how did we come to them? We have less focus on tradition, the old ways are no longer important as we move forward in this global connection which continues to get stronger, despite efforts to stop or curb these technologies and ideas. Pressure is put on leadership, and the old ways slowly fade away to make room for new ideas less comforting.
People want to stay in their comfort zones, but are being forced out; as a result the collective consciousness of people of the world changes and many leaders want to stifle this unenviable march forward.
Life after World War Two is different compared to the ‘60s. In the ‘50s there was “Leave it Beaver;” in the ‘60s, “Free Love.”
The ‘60s “Free Love” gave way to the ‘70s “Disco Fever.”
The ‘80s were the “Material Girls.”
The ‘90s were the decade of cell phones and the Internet.
At the beginning of the 21st Century, search engines were making newspapers and libraries an option. E-mail made personal communication instant.
You could write a book about each decade, as things move faster and faster with technology, science and communications.
While decades may change, look at how centuries change. What was a person’s life like 500 years ago compared to today? Is 500 years such a long time ago in history?
Two very entertaining reads about 500 years ago are Ken Follett’s books “The Pillars of the Earth” and “World Without End.” How would modern people survive in a world of 500 years ago?
How far have we come since 500 years ago, how far have we come in just 100 years, where will we be in another 100 or 500 years?
500 years ago we were Pilgrims and Puritans. 200 years ago we became revolutionaries, idealists; we fought a Civil War in America.
We overcame a Great Depression and fought World Wars less than a hundred years ago.
After the World Wars, Baby Boomers have changed how we see the world and our connection in the world.
And now you, Chance, will be part of the Generation Y.
From Pilgrims to Generation Y in 500 years!
Society changes much faster today than in the past. Today, in the 21st century, we are going to find technology and communication improve and move faster into our world and beliefs.
Wrong or right, some people cling to beliefs and don’t change their mental model. But society does change, beliefs change as a part of the largest whole. The world beliefs change as time marches forward. You, my son, should be aware of this fact.
People do not like change even if it is good. People stay in jobs, marriages, charities, personal relationships, because people do not want to change.
I am not saying that you should change because of change, but you need to be aware of it, so you can make a choice to change with the part of your life that is going to be ever-changing.
Jobs change, bosses in those jobs change, and you need to be aware of the change so you can make a choice to change with the job if you so choose.
Marriage changes; you need to be aware if you decide to get married that the relationship is going to change and you are going to have to change with it.
Personal relationships change, you are going to change, everything around you is going to change and you will have to make choices to change with the growth around you.
We have talked about change, choices, your self-image, mental models, attitude, risk, and a life plan.
Now is the time to look at the “Forward Wheel.”