Do take a look at the comments on the previous post, Let's Pretend (please click here), as some very interesting ideas came up. Please also click here to see further comments on Unity Is Powerful, as Dr Rob Yeung emerged out of the network of gossamer threads which comprise the internet to protest that I hadn't been very fair about his book on office politics. I have duly apologised and I have to say that it comes as a relief to discover that the book wasn't - apparently - as horrid as I thought it was. This makes me realise how new I am to this blogging business, though. It's like you're taking part in a discussion one night in the pub only to find that, say, George Bush is suddenly sitting beside you, complaining that you've got it all wrong about his foreign policy.
Come to think of it, I did have a go at Bush and Blair in a previous post. I wonder...? No, it's OK. They'll have a lot of other blogs to get round first.
It's interesting in terms of what we've been discussing here, though. I found that I was very eager to correct any misrepresentation I'd made about Dr Rob's book, so at least I wasn't hung up on "the need to be right". As far as I was aware, I was simply keen to make a correction in the interests of truth - but was there something else going on as well? Was my main concern really to prove to the world what a fair-minded and generally admirable human being I am?
Which leads us on quite neatly to what I wanted to say in this post...
Did you try what I suggested last time? The idea was to imagine that what Einstein said is right: that we are, in essence, an integral part of the universe rather than separate entities. If we take this idea to its logical conclusion it would mean that we are all essentially one: that when we look into someone else's eyes, we see ourselves staring back; that when we smile at someone else, we are smiling at ourselves.
Some people might view this idea as a precursor to mental instability, but others may find that it taps into something inside them, something they like. The important thing is: how does it make you feel? You don't have to believe it, but if it makes you feel good, then why not go on pretending? And is it really, after all, such a ridiculous idea?
It is no more ridiculous, surely, than this all-powerful construct we carry around in our heads: this Thing which is our Image, this 'My Space' of the mind. We all have this image of ourselves - and which we imagine others share - which we preen and polish with everything we do. We judge our every word and action to see if they make us look better or worse in the eyes of the world, before slotting them into the fabric of this Monster, which we feel we have to rebuild and repair every moment of our lives.
But what if we don't have to bother with any of this? What if we aren't in competition at all? If we're really all one, as we've been discussing, then the various sources of stress I've mentioned in recent posts - with the possible exception of Trick Or Treat - lose their power to affect us. Why should we bother what others think, or care if we win an argument, if we're only really competing with ourselves?
At this realization, a great weight can suddenly fall from our shoulders. Suddenly, there's nothing we have to prove any more. All the years of ceaseless striving can finally come to an end. There's no shiny image of ourselves by which we will be judged. It doesn't matter. At last we can simply be.
These may also be of interest: