Why Logical Causation is Non-essential
We are all familiar with the logic of cause and effect. Something happens, then something else happens as a result.
If we get angry, this is because something has happened which triggered the emotion to arise. This either happened so quickly that we were unconscious to the event, or we actually made a choice to grasp the anger and become angry. Either way, something happened to trigger the anger to emerge, it didn’t just happen by itself.
What mattes more, the logical reason for why the event triggered the anger to arise, or the simple knowledge that this event triggered the anger to arise?
I know it sounds like I am asking the same question twice, but there is a subtle difference, and really, it depends…
Time for Action
If you see someone is danger or peril (like falling in to the sea) you may spring in to action to help them immediately. There may be a cursory check to ensure that you will not put yourself at the same risk by entering the situation to help them, but you will not analyse in detail how they have ended up how they are, you will just take action and help.
After the event, people may reflect on what has happened, and why it happened to ensure that changes can be made to prevent the situation arising again.
Using the example of falling in to the sea, this could mean installing life rings to quickly help people after the have fallen in, adding better signage for people to become aware of the risks so they act accordingly, or putting up railings to stop people entering in the sea at all.
Note that moving the sea is not an option!
But what does this mean for us?
Why but why?
Sometimes the underlying reasons for exactly why we think, feel or behave a certain way can be extremely complex involving multiple factors relating to our past experiences and self-perception. This does not mean that unpicking and reconstructing our mental processes will be impossible (this is the process described in the rewriting the script tool), it just means that it will take a concerted effort over time.
The person in the sea will drown if we take too much time.
The first and most important step on the path developing our emotional awareness is to learn to be able to name our emotions, to be able to identify what is going on and what could have triggered it to arise.
Why this happened does not matter so much and not knowing this does not detract from the value of the information you have acquired.
Awareness if the first step that enables choice.
If we know something will make us angry, or that we have an addictive personality so that in certain situations we may be prone to behaviour we might regret, this awareness gives us choices about how to proceed.
We don’t need to know why to make these choices.
Think of it this way, you can save yourself by making choices so you don’t fall in to the sea. You will live to grow another day… Once however you develop an understanding of the why, it does not matter if you fall in the sea because you have learnt how to swim.
You can’t learn how to swim though if you have already drowned!
The goal of self-mastery if to grow and develop ourselves so that we can handle any situation that emerges in life. This doesn’t mean though that we need to tackle everything head on all of the time.
Is it important that we pick our approaches wisely and distribute our energy accordingly.
Throughout the mountain pathway I have shared tools, tips, and insights that I have used to grow and develop myself – some are quick to apply and some take time.
Use a balanced approach to have the optimal growth that is right for you.
Take the pliable perception tool as an example… There was one post about the long-term strategy for this area, and five posts containing twelve quick insights that can be applied straight way… By the time you have cycled though all twelve you may just have got your feet under the table with the long-term work.
Awareness is the foundation of growth, not knowing why.
When you know why though, there will be nothing to be aware of.
Enjoy, for now.