The Fog of Thought
I read a lovely metaphor in Jack Pransky’s book Seduced by Consciousness. It asked you to imagine that for your whole life you had lived in an environment clouded by fog. The fog was always there so you never ever had a good idea of your environment. Then one day the fog cleared and you could see your environment clearly for the very first time. What a difference that would be!
Even if the fog came back your experience would be different because you had had a glimpse of a wider reality. Let’s now say that the fog is real and the fog is our personal thinking and feeling. That is quite a radical idea. Our experience of life is what is actually covering up what life really is. It is the fog of thought.
The opposite point of view which is accepted as ‘truth’ by most people is that we are living in the feeling of the world and that our senses are giving us accurate information about how the world really is. This view is called naive realism,
“…the philosophical position which states that ones sense perceptions provides direct evidence and therefore knowledge of an external reality, which is not conditioned by ones perceptual apparatus or individual perspective.
What is NAIVE REALISM? definition of NAIVE REALISM (Psychology Dictionary)
Inspite it being the way most of us believe the world really is, such a position is untenable according to mainstream psychology. It is not some new age woo woo hocus pocus, this is mainstream psychology.
One person who took this beyond where most people go, that is took it from an intellectual position that made little difference to life to an embodied experience that changed his (and subsequently, many other people’s lives) was Sydney Banks, the founder of the Three Principles Approach (3Ps).
Without going into the details of the 3Ps in this article, in essence it is a way of understanding life that makes a positive difference in how we live. Although in its infancy research is beginning to come in about the successful impact such an understanding can have in troubled communities, prisons, education, therapy and various other fields.
Perhaps uniquely, the 3Ps do not ask people to practice a particular technique, meditation, 12 step process or anything else. The model is one of understanding through engaging in conversation with people who are grounded in this way of understanding. In my view, such continued conversation over time, where an individuals life concerns can be addressed and processed in terms of the 3P understanding, is the equivalent of a cognitive restructuring so that the person’s individual experience of life in the moment is seen in a new light.
The fog lifts.
One of the practical benefits of this is that any context where results are important, for example, business, will benefit from having teams that are working with, and from, greater clarity of mind. It is about the link between state of mind and performance in such a context.
All you have to do to begin your journey (should you so wish) is to begin the conversation. I am happy to point people in the direction of links with more information, and here is one to get you started:
I would also suggest you download my free workstress audio series (which you will find the link to on my homepage).
Let me know what you think in the comment and join the free Facebook group!