Deal With it, Princess

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Here’s a short fable that might be about you. Or someone you know.

Once upon a time long ago, after the invention of clothes but before the invention of shoes, there was a fabulous princess.

Born into wealth, she spent her days not working but rather wandering about her father’s vast kingdom, skipping down the pathways, stopping now and then to bask idly in her good fortune, or sometimes to frolic.

One day she was skipping along, and she stubbed her bare toe on a rock sticking out of the pathway.

She was quite upset, and became horrified at the thought of all the other aggressive and dangerous rocks that might be out there. So she pranced, at a cautious half-speed, back to the palace where she stormed into to the office of King’s closest advisor. She demanded that he have the entire kingdom sealed in leather, so that she never would have to suffer the pain and humiliation of stubbing a toe again.

After a moment, the advisor realized she was quite serious, and he began to to sweat a little. Her request, even if it could actually be carried out, would be hideously expensive even for such a fantastically wealthy kingdom. But the princess had her father wrapped around her finger and was unaccustomed to not getting what she wanted. Denying her wish would upset the king greatly, perhaps costing the advisor his head.

So he proposed a pragmatic solution. “Your highness, what if instead of paving the entire kingdom in leather, we create leather garments that we can slip onto your feet, so that you will be protected wherever you go, in our kingdom and even beyond?”

Being a fabulous, materialistic princess, she loved the idea and shoes were invented that day. By the time she died she had two thousand pairs.

(Traditional fable, hat tip to Jon Kabat-Zinn)
***

Such a wealthy and demanding princess might actually have had the worldly power to pull off her original solution, or at least most of it. Money and influence, external power in its two classic forms, were not normally limited for her. So if she could have the whole kingdom rendered harmless by gilding it in leather — or even pleather if the overlay had to be so large it drove cows to extinction — it would be incredibly costly and cause all sorts of unforeseen practical issues, but her problem could indeed be solved.

A person without vast reserves of wealth and power, such as one of her subjects in the village, wouldn’t have this option and would have no choice but to suffer a lifetime of scraped heels and disjointed toes. After all, if you have unlimited control over circumstances, then you have no problems.

But nobody has unlimited power over the world around them. So a wiser person brought to the princess’s attention, in a very diplomatic manner, that the problem she perceived as being everywhere only ever existed at the point of contact between her and the world around her.

Her extensive resources were usually enough to obliterate anything she perceived as a problem. She had always needed money and influence to solve her problems, because she had always been in the habit of defining a problem as the thing that vexed her, rather than what it really was: the friction between herself and that thing.

When she was finally able to carry with her a remedy for the problems that sometimes occur at these points of contact, she found three things:

  1. That the problem (and consequently its solution) is much smaller than it appears at first
  2. That the remedy is something she can carry with her and apply everywhere
  3. That the resolution of the problem has little to do with the details of the thing she runs afoul of, and everything to do with how she engages it on her end

Handle your end

As much as I don’t like spelling out metaphors, this story obviously isn’t about shoes or toe-stubbing. It’s about how you define problems in your head, and it’s how you think of problems that determines their size and scope. Your problem can be an entire kingdom rife with jagged rocks that must be removed, avoided or neutralized at all costs, or it can be a tiny patch of skin that is sometimes prone to some nasty friction.

The amount of energy and stress involved in treating the problem changes drastically when you recognize that the problem only exists at the point of contact.

The older I get, the less frustrated I am by my inability to control the circumstances around me, and the more I realize that the problem is never the circumstances anyway. The problem is the friction between me and that circumstance, and the extent of that friction is something I always have a say in.

As I gradually come to understand the relative unimportance of the form my problems take, the better I get at fielding them in real-time. Often I can skip the actual “problem” part and get onto improving the situation without the customary mini-tantrum.

If you think of problems solely as properties of the outside world (and not as the relationship between you and your circumstances), then in order to take care of it you have to find a way to control the circumstances around you until they become different enough that they don’t bother you any more.

This is the conventional mentality human beings use for dealing with problems, and there’s a better way. Constantly trying to manhandle circumstances to suit your preferences takes an enormous amount of energy and resources and is often impossible, unless you have trillions of dollars. Not all of us are spoiled princesses, though you always have the right to act like one if you choose.

Friction, when we’re talking about running afoul of circumstances, is determined by the quality of your state of mind when something undesirable happens. The worse your state of mind, the greater the friction, the bigger the problem and the more it takes from you before you’re through with it.

This is the self-reliant person’s mentality for fielding problems as they arise, giving you much more leverage than the more classical approaches, which befit uptight princesses perfectly but are also still common in our world:

  • blaming the bastards who did this
  • wishing for relief, or fantasizing about an out-of-the-blue solution or some other deus ex machina
  • talking and thinking about how things should be or what other people should be doing differently

Unless I’m already really cranky, I now regard these all as wasteful indulgences that increase the friction between me and my circumstances. That friction is the real problem, not the circumstance, so I don’t want to make it bigger by losing myself in those kinds of trains of thought.

All these kinds of thinking have two important traits in common:

  1. They have a snowball effect. You could spend your entire life talking to yourself and others about how Sheila shouldn’t be speaking to you that way, or people shouldn’t drive the way they do, or they shouldn’t make the package so fucking hard to open.
  2. They keep you wrapped up in the idea that other people, or the world at large, owe you a solution for this, and that you can get to it by convincing yourself or someone else that this situation is a horrendous injustice that just shouldn’t be! (*sob*)

Both of these make the friction greater, and keep you from fixing the problem. They make your problems bigger and your capacity for solving them smaller.

As I said in a response to an email from a reader frustrated with the state of the world:

If you look at the different approaches to happiness — the various religious, philosophical and psychological perspectives — you’ll find that almost all of them conclude that happiness is not particularly circumstance-dependent. It doesn’t depend on somebody’s situation, but their mental relationship to their situation.

The smooth-sailing you often hope your circumstances will bring you can be achieved much more reliably if you worry about your end of the point of contact. What’s required is a commitment to tend to your end of of the deal — what you let your mind do with it. Self-reliance, again.

This is the high-leverage end of the stick. It’s always with you, you can apply it anywhere, and you don’t need a rich daddy or two million dead cows.

R

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{ 60 Comments }

Mehreen February 2, 2011 at 3:25 am

A brilliant write up. I’m sure there are many who will benefit from it, including me :)

David February 2, 2011 at 6:02 am

Thanks Mehreen.

Fons February 2, 2011 at 3:53 am

Hey, it’s my first time commenting here but I’ve been reading your articles for a while now. I think they’re amazing and that you are amazing at coming up with these insights and sharing them.

I want to let you know that it’s great that you write these articles, sometimes spelling out something so simple yet something that apparently no one realises.

I want to thank you for sharing your insights and helping the share of people that reads your blog (hopefully) apply these insights into making the world a bit better, step by step :)

David February 2, 2011 at 6:04 am

Heh… I’m just trying to deal with my end. Any world-changing that results is completely coincidental. :)

Yankeedoodle February 2, 2011 at 5:20 am

I just coincidentally just came across a quote in the Zen Habbits blog that applies to the story:

“Rather than trying to adjust the wind, adjust your sails.”
http://zenhabits.net/relationships/

David February 2, 2011 at 6:05 am

Another one I’ve heard is “You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf.”

Yankeedoodle February 2, 2011 at 5:40 am

What are your thoughts about George Carlin? He was an extremely cynical and extremely negative person who just seemed so bitter about people around him. I think he is funny in a tragic way, but I find his negative thought process to be draining and demeaning towards other people. Do you think a highly critical, pessimistic, and cynical person can truly be happy?

David February 2, 2011 at 6:10 am

I’ve come around on George Carlin. At first I thought he was just a cranky old man, giving us the “the whole world sucks” schtick. But I eventually learned he was an intelligent guy who cared about humanity’s welfare, and his approach was to parody it.

I think cynicism gets in the way of happiness, because it’s a persistent attitude that other people have to change in order for you to be okay with them. And of course, they don’t change. Cynics derive a particular low-level delight in human dysfunction, which becomes a self-sustaining reaction, because the fuel supply is endless. I try to stay away.

Lisis February 2, 2011 at 7:18 am

“Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.” (George Carlin)

I wonder how long he was an idealist before he turned cynical? ;)

Meg February 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm

He never stopped being an idealist–that’s what drove his humor, he never stopped seeing the absurdity between human expectations and actions. His manner of delivery helped to get the message to people who would otherwise have just tuned it out. Brilliant man.

David February 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I think idealism and cynicism come from the same place: a preoccupation with “the way things should be.” Idealists think it will become that way, cynics think it won’t. Carlin was right on the money.

Shanna Mann February 2, 2011 at 6:32 am

Thanks for handing me a parable that I can share with others (before, my explanation has always been, “It’s not the thing that upsets me, it’s the difference between reality and what I feel ‘ought to be’. Therefore, I must give up that desire for things to be other than they are, because it’s only causing suffering for me” which I think you’ll agree is excessively Buddhist for most people to apply to their lives)

David February 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Hi Shanna. One thing I try to do here is un-denominationalize principles if they come with a particular religious or philosophical “ism”. Like you say, they can be a turn-off, even if everyone can draw something useful from it.

There is a lot more to dealing with problems at the point of contact than I’ve shared here. I didn’t want to make the post too long-winded, but mindfulness really is the most powerful tool for learning to field problems in real-time without slipping into reaction. But the principle by itself is helpful.

Roxanne February 2, 2011 at 7:18 am

Good morning,

A friend recommended your site a couple of weeks ago, and since then I keep wondering how a guy gets smart so young. I appreciate reading what you have to share.

Thank you,
Roxanne

David February 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Well I’m flattered Roxanne. Luckily I veered off the tracks badly enough early on in my adult life that I spent a lot of time figuring out how to steer better in life.

rachna February 2, 2011 at 9:43 am

wow. wow. wow. absolutely brilliantly captured. most solutions to our problems are within us only – and mostly they are as simple as ‘how WE look at the problem/situation’ and ‘what do WE do to solve it for us’.

David February 2, 2011 at 4:21 pm

That’s been the big revelation in my life: that so much can be improved on my end that the other end barely matters.

Mark V. McDonnell February 2, 2011 at 9:46 am

Aces, David. Glad to have encountered this, and all your work.

Zack February 2, 2011 at 10:40 am

I love you.
PS – Love the cussing ;)

David February 2, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I love a well-placed bad word.

John B February 4, 2011 at 8:32 pm

There are no bad words, only bad reactions to words. No?

David February 4, 2011 at 8:44 pm

There are words that most people agree are “bad”

And that consensus creates bad reactions almost right across the board. So maybe the word does carry some of the badness with it.

Tom K February 2, 2011 at 2:10 pm

If you’ve got a “problem” you *are* the problem. Fixing problems is like trying to get rid of your shadow by digging a hole to put it in, and good riddance.

http://jancox.com/

David February 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm

There you go… great way of putting it.

What’s jancox.com?

Tom K February 3, 2011 at 10:43 am

Web site for Jan Cox (Jan Cox [1938-2005], philosopher and post-modern mystic.) who I knew well for many years. There’s also a Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JanCox/

He’s not for everybody but he’s worth looking at until you know for sure he’s not your cup ‘o tea.

noel February 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Nice.
Ignorant and illogical people are the rocks in my world. Anybody got shoes for that?

David February 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Hmm… Safe to say you missed the point here noel.

Yes I have shoes for that.

noel February 3, 2011 at 7:55 am

Ack! I was was just trying to be droll. I’m appreciating your efforts to make those “shoes”. My point was, ignorant people are the most daunting obstacles in my life. I mean racists, homophobes, misogenists, etc. Dealing with them is difficult, and we can’t cover them in leather, huh?

David February 4, 2011 at 8:49 pm

The problem with ignorant people, or anything else is mostly how we react to them. If they didn’t trigger anything unpleasant in you, then from your perspective there would be nothing difficult about it. I’m saying there is a lot that can be done from the reaction end, and when you realize how much, you have a lot of power over the quality of your experience. It begins to matter less and less how ignorant other people are. That’s the leather.

Paula February 2, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I needed to read this today. Thank you, David. I will read it over a few more times and evaluate my “circumstance” AND my attitude towards it.

Henway February 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm

I’m a big believer in personal responsibility. Noone will take care of your problems, and noone owes that to you, no matter how unfair your life has been up to now. It’s our responsibility to own up to our actions and do what is needed to make ourselves satisfied and content.

Nea | Self Improvement Saga February 2, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Oh how I love the creativity here. This article teaches a wonderful lesson on personal accountability. We can blame, fuss, moan and groan forever about whatever; but the truth is that nothing gets fixed until you fix yourself. Every problem is an opportunity to do just that.

nrhatch February 2, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Wonderful post, David.

How we relate to the issue IS the issue. :)

Yankeedoodle February 3, 2011 at 3:36 am

The accommodations made for easy automobile travel at the expense of other modes of transport is a glaring example of the spoiled princess trap in practice. The amount of resources required to build and maintain the infrastructure and to build and maintain automobiles are enormous. There are numerous negative externalities of a car happy society ranging from numerous car accidents to various health ailments to car dependency. Yet many of us spoiled princesses want to keep the infrastructure biased towards accommodating the automobile at the expense of other modes of transport going at all costs. Walking can be a daunting task in various circumstances, esp along loud roadways billowing with noxious fumes. Many people complain that walking is boring and inconvenient (like stubbing one’s toes on a rock). Many of us want to believe that by paving cities with roads (covering the kingdom with leather) will make life so much easier and better, yet we fail to take into account that other modes of transport (shoes), can be just as effective if accommodations were made for other modes of transport with fewer externalities. Of course it doesn’t have to be all roads or no roads, but having more transportation options allows people various socio-economic backgrounds to get around while having a net effect of fewer negative externalities.

Murray February 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Taking this to absurd lengths we have media reports here in the UK of a woman (an Oxford Law graduate) who has launched a £100,000 legal compensation claim against her tutors for failing to prepare her “examination techniques” properly for the New York Bar exam.

Clearly taking responsibility for one’s own life and performance is becoming an alien concept.

Lach February 4, 2011 at 5:59 am

This is brilliantly told, David. Excellent parable. For a second, I thought the princess was going to demand that all rocks be eliminated from the Kingdom :) A demand which would also find no shortage of analogs in the real world. Don’t like something? Obviously the solution is to ban it from society! People would do well to heed this very wise teaching. But I fear, if that ever happens, the major news networks may have to close down for lack of public interest.

Bunnygotblog February 4, 2011 at 5:58 pm

This is truly a lovely story which in some ways applies to me.So I will bookmark and give you a thumbs up.

BOSH February 4, 2011 at 8:56 pm

If the man is right, his world willl be right . . .

Daniel February 5, 2011 at 2:40 am

Nice article David.

Did you ever read about the Stoics?
This writing reminded me a lot of them, because it is one of their main themes.
Knowing what lies within ones power and what not.

noel February 7, 2011 at 11:36 am

I think your point is a good one – how we react to the world and accomodate points of contact with it is most important – but I hope you don’t mind if I poke at this idea a little:
What if the princess is concerned about a river instead of a rock? How would thinking about point of contact /friction help to decide between learning to swim, building a boat, or building a bridge? I would characterize such decisions as depending on efficiency and feasibility – and sometimes massive solutions are good ideas.
What is the point of contact between the Egyptian people and their leader? Most every aspect of their lives, it would seem. I imagine they got to the present state of change only after talking about how things should be in ways that many thought were just pointless bellyaching, until now.

michi February 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm

I like to remind people that when faced with some unpleasant situation or thing, there are two options:
1. Change the situation or thing
2. Change my reaction to it.

The first is SO MUCH HARDER than the second.

Changing my attitude is quite a liberating thing, once I could wrap my head around what doing some means.

noel February 9, 2011 at 8:36 am

Excuse me for being the fly in the ointment, but “unpleasant things” include slavery, starvation, and injustices of all sorts. Changing your attitude does little to help with these problems, even though it is often a good start.

David February 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Well next time you are a starving slave you’ll know you’re at the wrong website :)

This post is about much more than attitude if you read between the lines, but even so I disagree that attitude does not help the problems you mentioned. Check out Viktor Frankl’s work.

Shanna Mann February 9, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Sorry Noel, I must agree with David. Practically speaking, all problems come down to your interaction with them. Does objectively improve your quality of life? No, not by objective measures. Subjectively, though, it all comes down to attitude.

I recently heard on a TED talk an Indian innovator (a poor one, it was a talk on crowdsourcing innovation amongst the impoverished.) who said he totally disagreed with Maslows hierarchy of needs. He said, you don’t need security to be spiritual. Spirituality can be attained at any level in the hierarchy.

noel February 10, 2011 at 9:17 am

The distress of fellow humans – starving slaves, for example – concerns me a lot. I think Frankl (an awesome individual) would have approved of someone stopping the Nazis before they did what they did. I was talking about how to decide when a “change the world” kind of solution is good. Covering the land with leather is ridiculous, but piping clean water to everyone would have seemed just as ridiculous a thousand years ago. “Changing attitude” was responding to michi – his words. You didn’t respond to my comments to you. That’s fine. This is a great blog. You write with rare wit and depth.
Shanna, most people who are suffering from significant deprivations are going to be focused on getting their basic needs met. It seems unsympathetic to say they could be spiritual anyway, even if it’s true.

Shanna Mann February 10, 2011 at 9:30 am

mmm. Well, I was pointing out that they have the choice, the same as we all do. It’s a basic human ability, this concept of choosing your reactions, and it’s not tied to intelligence or socio-economic status.

It’s also something that’s tied solely to the individual and cannot be used as a measure or judgement. therefore I find it a bit of a red herring to say that pointing out this fact is unsympathetic… it is neither sympathetic or unsympathetic, it simply is.

It would, however be unsympathetic to attach judgement to the practice, for example, to withhold aid to those people “without the right attitude.” Perhaps that’s what you worry this kind of argument lends weight to?

If that’s the case, I do agree. It may be a fallacious argument, but people support sloppy arguments all the time.

noel February 11, 2011 at 9:15 am

The issue was not spirituality, it was problem solving. Remember the leather-land vs. the shoe? Some problems are best solved by “dealing with it” on a personal level, some in a more “change the world” way (and I know the personal level would be involved in the latter case, too). My point was never to dispute David’s original advice – that problems should be addressed from the point of contact/friction perspective – only to try to see how that helps us to distinguish between those cases.

Shanna Mann February 11, 2011 at 9:26 am

Really? I thought that it was fairly straightforward: If the problem is within your reaction to all those “dangerous and aggressive rocks”, you simply take steps to protect yourself; either by making a conscious decision to do something differently, or by consciously changing your perception of the issue.

So I think what you’re saying is that we need criteria to differentiate those situations where it’s the action that’s needed, not the attitude?

Anna February 13, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Well, I’m not a princess and I’m not dealing with it very well! I don’t know how the hell I can tend to my end!

I have, what seems to me, to be a very difficult personal situation that has affected me negatively for years. Initially, I tried to put a positive spin on things; it could be worse right? I tried to convince myself to suck it up, play the martyr and get on with life in spite of how my circumstances were troubling me. I have drifted, choosing to ignore how things have affected me mentally. This has led to severe bouts of depression, self-doubt, despair and social isolation. I’m losing faith in religion, in myself and in others. I could go on here but I’ll spare you.

*Of course* there is a solution to my problems; however, I have always felt that this ‘so called’ solution is actually worse than my original problems! Or is it? So, essentially I can’t deal with either! It has been very difficult to regain perspective and improve my own life.

My mind has run amok. My own negative perceptions, my moaning and drifting have only led to failure; it’s never ending and self-defeating. Does that mean I’m insane? Or just inept? And yes, I’m familiar with your friend Vik but he can’t help me…his works are intriguing but he’s dead and doesn’t have a blog. ;)

No one can help me, and given my complete and utter lack of self-reliance, apparently I can’t even help myself.

Don’t get me wrong. I fully believe in personal responsibility. (The song ‘Just’ by Radiohead comes to mind here.) I’ve given up on looking for a savior; I’m looking for myself. It’s just that I’m a bit hard to find at the moment under the present circumstances. :?

David February 13, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Hi Anna. I don’t know anything about your circumstances but it sounds to me like the worst part is its effect on your state of mind. That’s what I’m getting at with this post. The point of contact with our problems happens in our minds, and there are certain mental skills you can pick up to tend to that point of contact with much less anxiety.

I don’t want to start prescribing mindfulness meditation as the cure-all for life’s problems, but I can’t think of any better way to learn what “problems” actually do to our thinking, and the habitual thinking patterns that stress us out. With mindfulness meditation you can learn to see the problem as it arises in your consciousness — and you see that it is only ever a feeling. That’s all a problem can be: a feeling you have that you don’t want to have. Learning to field these feelings in real time is possible, and it makes a lot of “solutions” unnecessary. That’s the point of contact: the feelings that arise as a result of circumstances. Most of us never learn about the impermanent and arbitrary nature of feelings, or how to observe them without getting lost in them and letting them snowball.

Ten years ago I was really stressed out about my situation and I came across a book that began a huge turnaround in my life. It’s very simple and you can read it in an evening or two. It’s called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.. and it’s all small stuff by Richard Carlson and it’s what exposed me to the notion that my problems (and everyone else’s) are almost entirely created by how I relate to my circumstances mentally. He offers 100 little tricks and insights for dealing sanely with life as it comes along and you can put them to use immediately.

I don’t know the nature of your situation so I can’t tell you what to do, but what I keep learning over and over is that I have no problems except for how I relate mentally to my circumstances. The book I mentioned gave me the initial insight, and practicing mindfulness has been what’s made me better at it.

Anna February 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Mindfulness meditation for a drifter like me? Is that possible? I’m not sure if I’m a good candidate given that I have zero self-compassion and am most likely the best ruminator you’ve ever met! Wait…could those be passed off as skills? Now, how exactly would you write that up on a CV? ;)

All I can say is that my inability to cope has taken a toll on my family. I’ve allowed this situation to change me and I don’t like the person I’ve become. My life isn’t shaping up to be what I wanted and it hurts all the more when I realize that I am one-hundred percent to blame. My skewed thought processes led me to make poor life decisions, which resulted in my now difficult circumstances, which then led to my negativity and poor mental state; it’s all relative and damned frustrating! I recently had a friend tell me she wasn’t sure if I needed a hug or a slap in the face! Perhaps I need the slap first before the hug and meditating, right? ;)

{“Man is not the creature of circumstances, circumstances are the creatures of men…” -Benjamin Disraeli}

I’m not sure if I’m expressing myself very well here. Thanks for taking the time to respond. I’ll look into the book you mentioned although I’m not so sure I agree that it’s all small stuff. ;)

Lach February 13, 2011 at 8:15 pm

What’s the best thing about being you, Anna?

Anna February 14, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Lach, I honestly do not believe there is anything good about being me. :? Not sure I know of any other way to answer your question.

Lach February 14, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Anna :)

Here’s a few positive things I noticed about you from your comments:

— You care deeply about your family
— You do the best you can to help people around you
— You never stop giving
— You’re thoughtful and introspective
— You’re deep and complex
— You’re tenacious
— You set high standards
— You’re wiser than you used to be
— You’re actively searching for solutions
— You’re taking responsibility
— You know you’re capable of being more
— You’re reaching for ways to expand and better yourself
— You care about how you feel
— You want to express yourself and your uniqueness
— You know you want more clarity, happiness and freedom
— You’re on the right track

Just a few things that came across in your comments. I’m sure there’s many more good things about you besides these. I’m sure you could find a few yourself, if you took another look ;)

Anna February 16, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Wow, Lach you just made me blush! Lovely, thanks! ;) Checking out your site now…

Ryan March 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Hey David…. the last 2 posts have reminded me a lot of the Zeitgeist movie series as well as a man called Osho.. Have you heard of either?

David March 2, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I have, and I have my reservations about both. Osho has written some essays I’ve really liked, but he is definitely a dubious character if you check out his history. I do take his works for what they’re worth though, character issues notwithstanding.

I have watched two of the Zeitgeist films and I come away with the same feelings: they give you a lot to think about, and they may be right on some of their claims, but they’re quite obviously attached to a certain stance and I think they try too hard to make it sound like there’s no other conclusions to make. For example, in the latest one they present a model for a utopian society as if there’s no real doubt that it would work, when I think it’s pretty clear that it’s full of holes. They try to disarm the obvious “human nature” objection right off the bat by poking holes in some of the conventional wisdom concerning nature vs nurture, and I think it all seems pretty forced and idealistic. I don’t want to get into the details of the films but they always give me this feeling that they want certain things to be true and they gloss over any counterpoints that might suggest that they aren’t true.

Serenity April 9, 2011 at 4:55 pm

David,

Exactly my thoughts on the Zeitgeist films! Great to hear someone else view it the same as I do.

I’m new here, and enjoying the delicious swim in your mind-space! Absolutely fantastic! I will certainly be back!

Love, Joy, Peace & Light!
Serenity

Dave Moore March 2, 2011 at 6:13 pm

21:02 … Friction creates resistance and resistance creates friction. …

21:26 To the friction of the physical universe love is the ultimate lubricant, smoothing all movement. Recognizing that the resistance in judgment is countered by the acceptance in love reveals this fact. …

There are two ways in living life, one without resistance and one with.
This is the conversation of, “Thinkers and Sinkers.”

How do I upload my photo? Thanks, Dave

David March 2, 2011 at 8:10 pm

If you go to gravatar.com it will link a photo of your choosing up with the email address you supply when you comment, so your photo will appear automatically here and on many other blogs.

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