I know, I know, obvious, but it took a quantum physicist to really get this point across to me. (David Bohm, if you’re curious.)
That’s one of those truths that is simultaneously counter-intuitive, obvious, easily defended with logic, meaningless, and profound… yeah, all at the same time – love those quantum physicists!
The really quick explanation/argument for it is that:
1) Any way of rationally knowing or defining anything is limited to some description of it, some listing of characteristics, for example.
2) Everything is in constant flux. Literally, everything is constantly changing (remember, it took a physicist to really get this across to me).
3) However you describe something, saying what it “is”, that description is gonna fail to some degree, because that which you’re describing is constantly changing, i.e., evading capture by your description. Nothing actually “is”, as can be rationally known, described, explained, etc.
Yeah, we could go down a looooong road of picking this apart, arguing, perhaps, that a description isn’t the thing described (agreed), but, for all intents and purposes, I mean, we really treat things, discuss them with friends, write about them, think about them, etc. via some description. This is how things exist to us, practically speaking.
And that has specific application, clinically. Otherwise, I wouldn’t bother bringing any of this up.
So often we resist change. I see this with patients, when discussing change in their habits, lifestyle, behaviors, etc. And, if you look closely, I’m sure you’ll see this basic issue pop up all the time, in your life, in the news, etc.
When a topic comes up and there’s a possible alternative that may be strongly counter to the status quo, a lot of times the argument against that alternative is that this “is the way things are”, or “this is the way the world is”.
For example, diet habits can be extremely difficult to change. So often, poor dietary practices are a result of limited time in the daily schedule. On first approach to this issue, I’ve often heard that there’s not enough time and that’s just the way it is.
There are numerous potential examples, but they all have the core theme of resistance to change because of a staunch assertion that the way things are is “the way the world is”.
Now, enter the physicist. He would argue that, technically, that basic point isn’t true. Technically speaking, you’re only describing the way things have been. Maybe they will continue, but, strictly speaking, there is no “is” to the way things are.
Life is constantly changing, maybe in small ways, maybe barely noticeable, but fluctuation is the only constant.
And that means the way things “are” may be a useful way to think of them, but the reality of ceaseless flux means things are up for alteration.
The “death” of a new (better) future occurs when we choke it off by insisting old patterns, old ways of being, repeat into the future.
Some would argue we – literally, consciousness – are at that pivot point between “was” and “gonna be”. We are the “now”, and, in the now, maybe you can exert some control over how things change.
We’re not making change happen, here. That’s just the nature of existence. We’re simply helping direct and guide the nature of the change.
Interestingly, we’re already doing this. We’re already influencing the future by being the now.
We just, typically, don’t consciously realize this, so our influence is lost, minimized.
Worse, yet, we may even be guiding the future to repeat past bad habits/situations by simply believing that the way things were is how they will always be!! Crazy.
Ultimately, there’s deep, profound even, potential for liberation, here. It doesn’t matter how horrible your situation is. I, with the backing of Dr. Bohm, guarantee it will change (with the caveat being perhaps for the worse, but Hey! even that will change.)
I urge you to take the helm. Consciously assert your presence at that pivotal point of Now and do your part to make a better future.