I hate seeing patterns in the way people think and act. Hate recognizing them. Hate predicting what someone will do or say, or understanding what makes them do it. I’ve seen it so many times in so many people – constantly reacting as if following a predefined computer program.
Witnessing this scares me, because I always wonder how much am I really exactly like that – unable to act outside the pattern.
And if I am like that, I am not what I would believe a free human being to be. I am a predictable pattern that’s not alive but simply living. Supposedly, like any other organism on this planet.
Consciousness would – in this case – actually be something we experience passively. We would mistakenly think we exercise free will. We wouldn’t even be able to tell that we don’t, simply because we lack the needed brain power to recognize it and understand. It wouldn’t be free will at all, but a mere enactment of the patterns that are engraved in our brains. And I would hate that so very much. I don’t want to be that! And yet I see it so often around me. People incapable of going outside their loops, always moving within a very limited set of ideas creating their fixed image of themselves.
Seeing these patterns in other people is not something I find useful. It would only ever be useful if there was some sort of key to the patterns that I could use to unlock them. I would then actively try to unlock people’s minds – help them see themselves objectively from the outside, so they could decide to break that relationship they’re so invested in with themselves. Try something completely new they were not capable of before. Redecorate their brains from time to time. Change a little.
We’re all engaged in an inner conversation with ourselves, repeating or echoing our own thoughts for various functional reasons. But who is repeating whose thoughts?…
That constant inner dialogue could make room for trying out things that were never there before. In a vast world of experience, why would we ever want to limit ourselves to predefined patterns? Get out of your head! Take a look at your inner dialogue. Listen to yourself, hear yourself saying those things you have repeated the most. And then do some target practice with some of those things. Bang bang! Gone!
Now that free space can let something new shine through. Something you define with today’s mind and not with yesterday’s patterns.
What I really love is to be surprised by people from time to time. The smallest surprises! They are all small victories against our stagnant nature.
Patterns are for sure very useful, we don’t need to constantly reinvent the wheel to function properly. It is absolutely great knowing someone well enough so you can match them like cogwheels. Stability, equilibrium, moderation, predictability are all working great in helping us achieve our goals. Having long term goals that you stick to is also generally a way to live your life that makes a lot of sense.
The problem is really only if our particular thinking patterns are fixed in a state where they don’t necessarily work in our favor. And we have a blind spot exactly where the patterns are. We tend to accept those and not even realize it.
At some point, something better than what we set out to do is happening right next to us, but we can’t recognize it. The challenge is noticing them at all, because they fall outside of our normal patterns. And we are short-sighted. We don’t pay a lot of attention to what we are constantly telling ourselves. And we don’t pay a lot of attention to what is actually happening outside of our minds either.
We are so invested in our usual internal dialogue that we just never stop and think to replace it with something better. As they say, you can’t see the forest because of the trees.