I Can’t Believe It !

” I can’t believe it ! ”

How many times has this thought come to mind, while looking at something or hearing something that surprises.


Reality (experience) didn’t match with thought. (belief, expectation, memory)

Example: Your oldest friend (insert person here) has established years of precedent for doing something. Now they have started doing something else, suddenly and very different from before. ” I can’t believe it ! ” comes into mind.

Example: Lived in a house many years without a ________. (insert noun here) Got “used to ” living without it. Eventually installed one. The next day I looked at it and the thought ” I can’t believe it ! ” came into mind.

Thought lags reality.

The changing, fluid nature of real existence perpetually clashes with the static, past-based nature of thought.

But what of thoughts of the future ?

Future thoughts are made from things that happened in the past, even recent past, and then imagined forward.

Thought derives from the done.

Thought presents us with a simplified version of what we encounter, like the maps they hand out at the zoo. The map doesn’t show what you really went there to see – the peacock’s display, the Polar bear swimming around, feeding time for the Komodo dragon – but it will help you find these things by indicating the shortest path to get there. So it has a practical utility. But the little cartoon picture of a hippo is merely a simplified representation of the magnificent brown belligerent vegetarian that your grandson wants to see. And no one mistakes the little cartoon for the real thing. At least, not at the zoo.

When we treat thought as if it were real, we are treating cartoons – representations – as if they were the things represented. Misidentification begins story-making.

The story-making function runs along with thought like the greyhounds that ran alongside carriages of days passed, weaving a path in and out and all around.

At least the dogs ended up somewhere real at the end of the trip.

Am sticking closer to the real, these days.

Fewer stories. Fewer myths. Fewer mistakes, at least of misidentification.

It makes life simpler.

Who couldn’t use that ?


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thanks for the zoo map to this site:

And to National Geographic for the hippo:

About dominic724

A former seeker starts blogging.
This entry was posted in Human Experience and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I Can’t Believe It !

  1. Wonderful post, Dominic. So very, very true.

  2. So clear. Thanks!

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