Life and spirituality journal

25 October 2019: Reason

Just finished the hugely insightful Enigma of Reason (2017) by the pioneering psychologists, Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber.

life and spiritualityKey takeaways — Reason is lazy and biased towards our OWN ideas (myside bias) and against ideas we oppose. Raises the importance of:

(i) Dialogic approach, discussion, debate
(ii) introspection

Authors make a compelling case that convincing others is the proper, evolutionary domain of reasoning, highlighting the lower effectiveness of solitary reasoning. In my mind, this makes deeper self-awareness and self-understanding even more necessary as we are pre-disposed to being lazy when evaluating our own minds.  

Reason understood as a tool for social interaction and social consumption also explains why reasoning can drive people towards decisions that are easier to JUSTIFY, whether or not they are otherwise good decisions. Just think of corporate, cover-your-ass environments, where the “safe” option for which you are least likely to get fired is typically favoured over more creative alternatives. A problem made worse by empty suits with no skin-in-the-game being in managerial positions.

17 October 2019: Human connection

Is modern life too “Anonymous-transactional”? A problem related to scale, tech and connectivity. Our total number of daily interactions (emails, calls etc.) can be huge, but the average time spent per person tiny. Different to hunter-gatherer or village communities, where one would expect a large number of interactions with a small group. Allowing a chance to form deeper, more meaningful human connections. 

16 October 2019: We are not automata

Psychiatry and much of psychology still operate from the mechanistic view of the human as an isolated automata. Assuming that what is wrong has arisen independently within the person and disregarding environmental factors. This is truly a tragedy.

15 October 2019: Being the author of your life

life and spiritualityWe can so easily get stuck living the scripts handed to us by others – whether our parents, peers or wider society. There is nothing more liberating than becoming the author of your own story. Of your own unique path in life.

And, it is fear and hidden conditioned beliefs that stop you. The often non-conscious feeling that you are ‘not allowed’ to deviate from some script of how you feel you ‘should’ be. Only by looking into your mind and the nature of its (hidden) fear can you hope to break free. Only by challenging the non-conscious narrative that is at play can you have real authorship of your life.

Artwork by Douglas Gordon

10 October 2019: Whose got THE answer?

In the opaque realms of human behaviour (mind + body) and socio-economic interaction (group behaviour), the more someone claims to have THE answer, the more suspicious you should be of them. It is better to say “I am not sure” rather than to create a false narrative. Complexity and causal opacity are very real.

3 October 2019: What is life about?

Life is about problem solving, but life itself is not a problem to be solved.

9 September 2019: Creativity deficit

This chart from Rory Sutherland’s latest book, Alchemy, sums up the deficit of creative thinking in large organisations. “It is much easier to be fired for being illogical than for being unimaginative”

life and spirituality

16 August 2019: Life and spirituality

I find this quote by the artist Lee Krasner to be true of so much in life:

“You can have giant physical size with no statement on it and vice versa. You can have a tiny painting which is monumental in scale.” 

12 May 2019: Programmed?

Seeing this art-piece made me think of how we can so easily get locked in doing soul-destroying work. How we can keep ourselves stuck in situations of psychological pain and constant stress, as we chase externally “programmed” ideas of successOur human conditioning may be strong, but it is not final. We have the ability to break free. We have the ability to actively choose different paths that serves us better. But, we have to find the courage within ourselves to do so!

Artwork: “Can’t help myself” by Sun Yuan and Peng Yu. Displayed at La Biennale di Venezia 2019

Seeing this art-piece made me think of how we can so easily get locked in doing soul-destroying work. How we can keep ourselves stuck in situations of psychological pain and constant stress, as we chase externally “programmed” ideas of #success. Ideas of success constantly pinned to achievements that are outside of us, when true success comes from within. Our human conditioning may be strong, but it is not final. We have the ability to break free. We have the ability to actively choose different paths that serves us better. But, we have to find the courage within ourselves to do so!Artwork: “Can’t help myself” by Sun Yuan and Peng Yu. Displayed at La Biennale di Venezia 2019#executivecoaching #lifecoaching #career #mindfulness

Geplaatst door Harsha Perera op Zondag 12 mei 2019