But and And

Discover the power of flip-thinking.

It occurred to me at a very young age that there are no problems in life. It took me the next ten years to train myself to recreate that context effectively along with a means to deliver it so that it comes alive for people.

There are no problems in life. I mean that quite literally. There are no problems in life is not to say that there are no problems for human beings. Whether there are or whether there aren't problems for human beings (and given our propensity to say we have problems, it would seem as if there is some agreement that there are), and whether they disappear or whether they persist is the focus of this conversation.

In order to take a cold, dispassionate look at the source of problems for human beings, it is first necessary to have as a context that there are no problems in life. In Zen we say "If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?". If an event occurs, no matter what size, large or small, and no matter what it's scope, it is simply what's so. There is no problem until someone interprets, construes, says, or declares that there is a problem.

All interpretations aside, naturally occurring disasters (volcanoes, tsunamis, even meteor strikes which can cause extinction events) are simply what's so. For the most part, even though our survival mechanisms may get the better of us from time to time to the degree that we interpret benign events and hospitable environments as "good" and we interpret hostile events and inhospitable environments as "bad", we can get that naturally occurring disasters are simply what's so about living in the world. All expectations aside, life and the universe never promised to be benign or hospitable to us. In fact, for the most part, life and the universe are very often extremely hostile and inhospitable to us. And while we may not be willing to confront that (or worse, gripped by survival we may not be able to), that is indeed what's so.

Where we fail our natural respect for what's so is in our everyday ordinary conversations when transformation and possibility are not present. So we confuse accepting what's so with resignation, we confuse being with life the way it is with apathy, we confuse allowing things to be as they are with indifference, even with carelessness.

However the first thing you learn in a transformed life is that you can not bring new possibilities into being by changing things. You have to create new possibilities, in other words, you have to invent them from nothing. So paradoxically in order to bring about something new ie in order to not simply acquiesce, pedestrian like, to the probable almost certain future, it is essential to first develop the permission to get things exactly the way they are and exactly the way they aren't right now and to first develop the permission to be with things exactly the way they are and exactly the way they aren't right now, and to not be interested in changing anything at all!

Here we are talking about huge potentially catastrophic problems like global warming, world hunger, and war, and in the same breath we are also talking about private more personal problems on a much smaller scale like experiencing rejection when the pretty red-haired girl I want to date is not interested in me.

I had proposed that any situation regardless of its scope is a problem only inasmuch as we say it shouldn't be that way. If we regard any situation regardless of its scope as what's so then it is not a problem. For example:

Problem: I like the pretty red-haired girl but she's not interested in me.

No problem: I like the pretty red-haired girl and she's not interested in me.

But makes it it shouldn't be.  
And makes it what's so.

Mastering this distinction gives peace and freedom.

Being that this essay shows up as the written word and not as the spoken word, you are called on to really get that. You can not get what I just said by mere understanding it. You have to try it out to really get what I'm writing. You have to be in that moment and experimentally master this distinction.

The common confusion that arises here is that we say that if for example global warming, world hunger, and war are regarded as no problem then we will not pay attention to them. That is a naive misinterpretation grounded in cynicism and resignation. Acting out of what's so (coming from a space of no problem), is generating a future of one's own design and is a stand of power. Acting out of changing what shouldn't be (coming from a space of problem), at best maybe changing the probable almost certain future but only ever so slightly, is a perpetually fretful place to stand which ensures life will continue to drag on at this petty pace.

Breakthrough the problem, transform it, flip your thinking. Flip-thinking is turning a problem into a fact, in order to create opportunities. Bend it, transform it, because it's about what is and not about what shouldn't be.

Are you still busy with what should (not) be ? Then you are stuck in your problem. Change your but into an and, and you will free yourself from the complain. Practice, practice, practice...

By the way, could it be that the only difference between problems that disappear and problems that persist is we keep on chattering about the ones that persist?

About the Author

Joeban Machiel - Life Enthusiast. Possibilizer. Coach.

With today's stand of more than 1 million views and thousands subscribers I want to leave you here with an experience, rather than to merely impart new information. Don’t just take it as value what you read, test it out and see if it works for you. In any case, even the truth, when believed, is made up. You must experience the truth, not believe it.

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