- Mental Health
Beneficial Pretending vs. Believing
A Belief-Free Placebo Effect
Allow me to say a few words about a special kind of placebo effect---the one that is not based upon belief and positive expectation, but rather upon a bold statement treating our desired results as a "matter of fact".
At first, you may find it hard to dismiss the element of a faith in it; but, as we go along the difference will be there, if only in a glimpse. We are actually talking about a special frame of mind which is bypassing our everyday common sense, our logicalness, and even our desire to have a better health, more happiness, confidence, whatever.
So, let me start by giving you an example from my own life. For quite a while now, I have been practicing that "ancient healing technique" qigong. I must have mentioned it in a few of my previous articles; but what I may have left out was the fact that I don't believe one bit in its effectiveness.
Now, here it is where we start going against the grain of logicalness, and only curiosity may prompt you to keep reading---because everything may look like a bunch of nonsense at the first glance.
So, you may be asking---why am I doing something so "religiously" almost every day if I don't believe in its effectiveness. It calls for a sound definition of belief itself, so that we can continue. Belief, or trust, is not a reflection of ultimate reality of the factual state of things---it's a deliberate construct of mind.
It is one of the functions of our mind to produce beliefs, so that we don't have to figure out the same thing over and over again. It can be true, or not, and due to this very attribute of belief of being questionable, it always carries a hidden subconscious counterpart of "disbelief".
In other words, our beliefs are a product of a pair of opposites---a conscious wishful thinking and a subconscious doubt. With our belief we wish something would be a certain way. And that's why---in my qigong practice I don't "believe" it works.
Pretending---All Real in My Quantum-Self
So, what "works", if belief doesn't? A bold statement resembling the one that came from the burning bush at Sinai, as it identified itself to Moses: "I am that I am." In this case it's: "It works because it works". No belief is involved---simply because my beliefs proved themselves to be wrong many times before, so I could not play on that card in my creating a new model of my intimate reality.
What I am doing there is creating something out of thin air, like we do in a make believe game. I create experience of something being true, while not believing, not wishing it to be true, but "knowing" it's true. So it works simply because it works.
The inner technology of processing reality is completely different whether we base our conclusions on any kind of rational thinking---or we bypass any logicalness and simply "live" our conclusion.
So I keep practicing that Small Universe meditation attached to qigong, plus its physical moves as they are done mostly by hands pretending to move my "chi" energy in my body. The crazy part is that I don't know whether there is such thing as "chi", but now we are going down the rabbit hole of quantum reality.
Namely, quantum reality is way different from the reality conveyed to us via our five senses. On that realm our body is merely a bundle of highly organized energies orchestrating life in us. And our thoughts and especially emotions are also a part of that energy bundle, doing their job of directing the level of our vitality.
Thus, as far as my quantum-self is concerned, my pretending is just as real as anything else, because it's my "experience". I make it my experience by simply stating that something "is because it might be"---not by believing that it is, which would provoke its subconscious counterpart that basically echoes our beliefs with: "Who do you think you are kidding".
One of the Possible-Me in the Mirror
In the process of my becoming an out-of-box thinker I must have asked myself million times: "Does it have to be this obvious way? How can I be sure that my present state of health and happiness is the only possible way of my being? And if it's not the only possible way, who and what is preventing me to be perfectly healthy and blissful right now? "
I just went on and on with my questioning my status-quo: "If my present picture of my life is different from my teenage picture of life, how many more pictures are there that I don't know because I allow myself to be stuck with this one?"
Thinking like that brought me to this relativism of "my truth"---and my convictions being unreliable. I had to start building my inner reality on something better than belief system, because my beliefs were constricting me, imprisoning me into a frame of mind that was just replaying itself ad infinitum.
As I looked in the mirror, I suddenly realized that that image looking back at me was the physical manifest of the sum-total of my experiences generated by my beliefs. It was not "me", but one of the possible outcomes of my inner processing of my reality.
Again: One of the possible outcomes of my inner processing of my reality. So I had to unstuck myself from that frame of mind. How? People normally fall in the trap of their logicalness by "replacing their beliefs" with some "better" ones. By more "positive thinking".
Positive thinking is fine, but it has to flow out of an already changed inner reality, not as its initiator. At one point I realized how having beliefs was O.K., but I didn't have to base my intents on them. I could go spiritually rebellious and create my states out of thin air---against any logic, any common sense.
The Only Game in Town
Well, bear with me for a moment while I unload my dislike for the traditional way of interpreting what is real. So, common sense is crap. And medicine is crap. And science is crap. And evidence is crap. Knowing is crap.
O.K. now I feel better after saying that. For, we know nothing outside the prison of collective consciousness. Just because it's possible to play by its rules, it doesn't make it the only game possible for us. Once we follow certain rules, the game looks real, relevant, because it's playable.
What happens when the mankind keeps blindly following the rules of the only paradigm they know, the only one that's well played-in and looking like an undeniable realism? And what happens when no one is questioning on their personal level their being duped into that game, because they never bothered using their own minds?
Can we see the meaning of that Beatles' song that goes: "We all live in a yellow submarine". Indeed, like some marine creatures that never could fathom how there is also a "dry world out there", we keep playing our games that are making us alienated from our predestined potential of creators.
So, when we practice qigong or in any other way "live our pretended experience" as quantum entities---are we deceiving ourselves, and how "psychotic" is it? Well, yes, it looks exactly like that when we treat it with our common sense. Please, think deeply about the following statement:
Everything that doesn't fit into our game of interpreting reality is bound to be labeled as insane.
If it was easy to yank ourselves from the stranglehold of our own belief system we would do it---if only for the hell of it to see what "the other way" looks like. I have seen a fellow who was hypnotized by a stage hypnotist and told that he could not lower his hand that the hypnotist had lifted above his head.
I will never forget that silly look on the dude's face, as his will was struggling and struggling to put his hand down. He could not until he was allowed to do it by the hypnotist. Well, I keep seeing the same wherever I look, whenever I see the evening news on my TV.
Experiencing the Unbelievable Will Do
As I am writing all this, I can't help but sense some of you searching through the files of your mind for a suitable "category" where all this may be coming from. Zen? Spirituality? Philosophy of absurd? Matrix Energetics? Physics of miracles?
Well, none of the above. In many ways it has a lot to do with my own intellectual baby Subjectness which I wrote about in one or two other articles. I won't go there now, and I am not recommending that you read those articles. Why? Because this special, belief-less form of placebo effect is just as "hard" to grasp as subjectness---or it isn't.
Thus, you either can or you can't experience life without heavily relying on what you "know", "believe", "remember as possible-or-not from experience". You see, deep down I don't even believe in "nutrition", because humans have lived to an advanced age and in a great health without eating by the book.
And yet I am pretty watchful what I eat. Just like with my qigong, I am using this eating regimen without believing in it---while merely pretending that it's good to eat that way. Again, pretending is not the same as believing, although we call it "make believe". Even kids playing Superman don't "believe" that they are that hero, they are only acting it out, living it, experiencing it.
Similar to that biblical burning bush that was identifying itself with "I am that I am"---preventing Moses to make a concept out of its essence---so is this belief-less pretending saying in effect:
Don't try to make any sense of it---simply live it, experience it!