I’ve heard this ‘think outside the box’ quote for quite some time. What box are they talking about? Do they mean the habitual thinking that runs much of our lives? The beliefs that tell us who we are? Is this the box we look into to find our daily instructions for life? Pretty much these instructions are ‘what we always do,’ perhaps modified a little over time out of necessity. Living in said ‘box,’ our lifetime can be eaten up slowly without satisfaction. This is the reason to think outside the box.
I’m going to ask a different question.
What happens without this box of ideas? Will we fly apart, will pieces of us blow away in the wind? Are we unable to think or feel or reason? Will we be at the mercy of circumstances, the vicissitudes of life? Oh yeah, like we aren’t already! Somehow we learn that we are thinking in a box and told to think outside of it. Are you confused yet? I know I am.
Leaving my wiseacre talent aside. What would thinking outside the box look like? That question suggests there must be more than what is inside said ‘box’. I say loud and clear, ‘there is no box!’ This cliché is a way of speaking about patterns in our minds. Our personal ‘box’ gives us our individual sense of identity and beliefs about the world .
Some folks enjoy a more positive system of belief, some are negative. We even hear that such ideas leads to the haves and the have-nots. This supposes positive beliefs suggest a feeling welcome to everything, a green light to take or manifest and not worry about the effect on others or the planet. There is a kind of negative system of belief that tends to worry about oneself, the world and others, to feel responsible for the effect of humanity on the planet. It’s weird how these ideas play out over and over and are seldom recognized when shown as ineffective.
If our habits of mind produce an individual identity existing in a ‘box’ we’re now asked to think outside of? OMG, WTF etc! Aren’t we being seduced to believe that we are in this box in the first place? Whether housewife or whore, the dots are laid out before us inside our box of beliefs. Remember, we are talking about beliefs,not facts.
Our own, box of ideas we filled from our history, some beliefs are quite old, the best marketers of the day tweak these ideas with the help of focus groups, psychologists and other ‘experts’ who figure out how to sell us the same old load of nonsense, in new shiny packaging, usually with a sexual zip to it, in innuendo of course. The ad’s don’t say “lose weight, get a boob job and get your pussy licked all you want!”
A temporary solution to the failure of our beliefs is our tendency to buy a lot of crap, made by neo-slave labor, what we call ‘retail therapy.’ How often are these things a momentary pleasure, but strangely unsatisfying and that feeling in turn creates a desire for more. We imagine that the next purchase will be the right one and give real satisfaction. This is another way we follow the dots and try to live in our box. However, if you’re like me, the effort and money you’ve spent gets you no where, it leaves you both high and dry and up shit creek without a paddle. Apparently, we just need to think outside the box. But, we don’t have instructions to get out of the box. Just how are we to think beyond our identity and it’s old limits? Would we just be following other dots right back into another box? This kind of game leads to two outcomes, either you lose, or you lose a different way.
Consider the vague title of this writing, Do we Follow The Dots or NOT? That is the question I am posing: Is it possible to not follow the dots, to leave behind automatic instructions your habituated mind?
We can Consciously disobey our habits of mind. The dots are just patterns of thinking, they can be followed or not. You can actually can disobey, even the patterns in your mind that give you your sense of security. I have, and I can tell you it is always truly exciting being in the unknown and improvising from the facts. It is so new, so alive, and not without risk. On the other hand, unquestioned beliefs that are automatic and offer false sense of security can be dashed by unforeseen circumstances.
Habits give you fewer choices in your own life. Ideas that keep you hog-tied are not safe! You absorb many of these beliefs in your family, social, and religious culture. These ideas are poured into your young brain as facts when it may actually be prejudice and this happens without your conscious consent. How do you know you are you are thinking your own thoughts simply do a rendition of what you learned. If you rebel, you’re still being led by the belief and now you’re just following the dots in the opposite direction.
Did I say it was just you that follows the dots? It’s everyone who does not know that it is possible to disobey the mind without rebelling. Disobeying the mind, means consciously not following the dots. The decision is yours. You can be a slave to ideas or be consciously intuiting, reasoning and living in trial and error. You can navigate, create a new way that is neither obeying or rebelling just by being here, using your past ideas without being imprisoned by them. Nothing was ever done that someone wasn’t the first to do. You can live discovering what ideas to keep because you are discovering continuously what has value in the real world.