What Does It Mean to “Change Your Mind”?
I change my mind a lot, but I guess my excuse is that I “see all the possibilities”. If I was being flippant about the “failed” decision, I wouldn’t have to swallow my pride so often and so hard. It hurts to fully dedicate myself to a future vision, to lean in—and then to step away. But this is just self-rationalization. The real question worth asking is, “What does that phrase change of mind actually mean? Do you exchange one mind for another? Where does the other mind go? Is it like moving a file to the trash bin and letting it sit there, or do you fully delete it? How does our Corpse Processing System (CPS) let go of unwanted information? Is there a transmission of heat? Or do our eyes light up for a second or two? Or what happens?” I think the answer for me is that I exchange one CPS completely for another. A new body, entirely. This sounds like something you might read on the back of an “As Seen on TV” body wash. A new body, entirely.
Point being: I tend to make decisions using everything I got, pushing my entire being into the living space of one possibility. And when I have worn that space for awhile, I discover that it is uncomfortable here, here, here. And then I move out of that old space (entirely) and tabernacle in a new space (entirely). Now that we know this, I want to figure out: Is this good?
On Re-Arranging the Furniture in a Living Space ((Feng Shui!) I think)
On the one hand, I see a lot of value in making full-body decisions like this. Of course this is probably like the guy who gets drunk one night and says the next day, “There is a huge social benefit to drinking.” So take this for what it’s worth. But whenever I have lived in a bedroom or a garage or an apartment or a house, I always go through cycle and cycle of rearranging the furniture. I put the bed there, in that corner. I slightly tilt the desk. I change the place where I do my work. I organize the books on the shelf by color, then by size. And I change, change until some set-up clicks and I keep it that way. It might be weeks, or months. But in that time, I comment on how much better that new set-up is, I argue for it, defend it. I see why it is a good choice, the best choice. And then maybe a few months in, I see something. A way that the set-up isn’t actually working. The bookshelves there are getting in the way of the sunlight coming through the windows—whatever. I change it and maybe I revert it to the original set-up, finally satisfied that it is best possibility.
Or I try something new. And that new arrangement is “the one”, the perfect arrangement. It is the arrangement that allows me to see how all the past arrangements weren’t working, weren’t cutting it. There might be a brief moment of cognitive dissonance where I remember all of the good arguments for the past arrangements. But they don’t convince me anymore; it’s not like they are bad arguments, only that the arguments appeal to different matters. And it is not like these different matters aren’t valuable, but that the newest arrangement appeals to matters of more value.
Now that I have explained the way that I re-arrange the furniture in my living space, let all of the ramifications of this wash over you. “Oh my gosh! The same could be true for worldviews, beliefs!” Yes, exactly. That’s why I brought it up.
Thanks, Adam. Adam: “Everyone blames me for everything! You’re the one that’s dumb: I’m just the one that made you that way.”
When I am planning for the future, I have an expectation that the thing is actually going to happen. I really enter into it. And I have very good reasons for that thing. But my experience is that it doesn’t happen and it proves to me that I am not living in the physical world, but in my mental theory of what might happen. The imaginary template goes over the surface of what I experience.
Grasping for a good thing is fine. As my theology professor revealed to me, when Adam and Eve wanted to eat of the tree, they wanted a good thing. It looked good because it was good. But I need to learn how to go through the process of learning to understand my present condition, so that thing is not only a relief once it happens, but a realm of existence that is more meaningful and full of understanding. It is not about going through something difficult to get to an easy place. The difficulty is my failure. The narrative is going from a small place to a larger place. And the rings of calamity and intrigue that shape my present condition will only repeat themselves in larger and more dramatic forms.
As my pastor once taught me, this is what happens in the book of Revelation. The destruction of the world starts out small and brings the world through cycle and cycle more eaten land, until the final day when all of death is swallowed up in death. Things become so disastrous that the high cliffs of smoky waves that are the prayers of the saints crash onto the shores of my present condition and break me free altogether from this cycle of repeating seasons, ending in an eternal youth previously seen in each yearly tilting of the sun.
So in asking the question, “Why do I do this to myself?” I think the answer is that I am like my father, Adam. This means that yes, I am wishy-washy and I easily change my mind and that I am a coward and prone to flights of fancy, forsaking the responsibilities that are currently in my life. I can imagine the way things could be better–to a fault. So I guess this is a confessional post.