Ming the Mechanic
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Friday, June 22, 2007day link 

 Elementary magic
picture A simple principle that appears in many forms:

- An purposeful element in a changing environment is more likely to succeed, the more fixed its purpose is, and the more random motion there is in the environment. -

OK, that probably doesn't make it clear, so some examples and metaphors...

Let's say some extremely rare butterfly is looking for a mate. If it is in a very static environment, like your kitchen closet, and there's no other butterfly of that kind of around, it is out of luck. But if you drop it somewhere where thousands or millions of species live, and all of them move around a lot, it is more likely that the right kind of lady butterfly will flutter by. Some wind might help, bringing in specimens from elsewhere, or carrying our amorous butterfly somewhere else where other opportunities might exist. So, more movement helps, more random interactions, more flow, more chaos, even. But only if the butterfly remembers what it is looking for. If it gets confused by all the commotion and starts sniffing pretty flowers instead, it might not fulfill its purpose.

It is in part a matter of the number of possible combinations, of course. You have one item you want to match to another, and statistically speaking, the more random possibilities you bring by, the more likely it is that one of them matches.

But it is more than that. A fixed element will also tend to align and order and command fluid elements around it, under some conditions. The examples would have to get a bit more psychological or metaphysical to make sense out of that.

Let's say the US Immigration service rounds up a bunch of illegal immigrants on the street in L.A., drives them to Mexico and dumps them in a random town. There they are, confused and disoriented, not in control. And in front of the bus stop, there's a big friendly sign that says "Get a job here!", or "Cheap hotel rooms" or "Information" or something. Chances are, they'll probably go there.

Human minds like fixed, calm, coherent, comprehensible, consistent stuff. Simple, normal stuff that makes sense, and that orders the world. So, if you're confused, being thrown around by circumstances outside your control, and somebody offers you a simple solution or a simple answer, you're so much more likely to take it. More likely than if you were already in a well-ordered, stable and understandable situation.

Said a different way, humans are much easier to influence when they're out of balance. You're more likely to change if you're perturbed than if you're comfortable. And that's both good and bad. You're more likely to make a breakthrough towards something better when you're under pressure and everything's on fire. But you're also more likely to adopt a crazy new idea or join a new religion under those circumstances. Much easier to sign you up in a new cult if you're in trouble and somebody tells you that Guru Joe has the answer for you.

It is also a method of hypnotizing somebody. Confuse them with ambiguities or unexpected events, and then give them something to grab on to, a suggestion. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It is a good thing if you were stuck in a situation that didn't work for you, and the suggestion you adopt ends up working better for you.

However, seen from the opposite angle, there's a powerful tool there, for getting what you want in life.

Let's say there's something you very much want, like becoming an astronaut or getting a new car or going on vacation in Bora-Bora. There's still the first part of the principle there. The more people you get in contact with, whom you all tell that you want to go to Bora-Bora, the more likely it is that one of them will have a lead for you that somehow makes it happen. If you talk to five people, probably you aren't going anywhere. If you talk to a million or 100 million , chances are that one of them happens to have a ticket to Bora-Bora on hand which they don't need.

At the same time, if you're very firm and unwavering in your desire to go to Bora-Bora, and you'll proclaim this desire loudly, whenever you have a chance, no matter the occasion, something more will happen. You'll influence your environment in a more active way. You'll be known as the Bora-Bora guy for one thing, and others will talk about you. You're likely to become a sort of reference point for others. You might also influence others to organize around you, or align with you. If you meet some other people who don't know what to do, they might decide that it is more fun and meaningful to want to go to Bora-Bora, and they might join you in your quest. The more the world around you is in random motion without purpose, the more likely it is that chunks of it will align itself with what you're suggesting.

The Law of Attraction kind of thing inevitably will happen. If you focus your mind strongly on your want, and you surround yourself with symbols of what you want, and you talk about it, and you ask for it, and you look for it, and you keep at it, persistently, for a long time - you're very likely to get what you want. You're more likely, the more firm you are in your desire, and the more loudly you present it, and the more conviction you have. You're more likely to get it the more different environments you go through and the more people you meet. And it is both for statistical reasons and it is because you influence your surroundings. Nothing super-natural in that, but it can be quite a magical thing, nevertheless. You set yourself up as a strange attractor that chaos can order itself around.

You'll know other variations of it, I'm sure. Like:

"Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity"

You know, if you want good pictures, and you keep a camera in your pocket, and the right opportunity comes along, you take it out and get a great shot. It is luck, but then again, it isn't.

It's an elementary recipe for magic. There are two parts of the world, the internal part (of you), your thoughts, desires, emotions and immediate actions, which you can control, with a little practice. And theres the external part, the big wide world around you, which you don't control and which is in constant motion. If you fix an objective in your mind, if you desire it, feel it, and act accordingly, and you then expose yourself to as many different experiences as possible in life, exposing yourself to lots of people, lots of situations, lots of opportunities for furthering your desire, some of them will inevitably work out. Sometimes in direct ways, sometimes in indirect ways. But one way or another, the simple fact that you keep your desire alive and consistent will both align the rest of the world around it and bring opportunities to you.
[ | 2007-06-22 22:18 | 23 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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