When you reach a certain age, running around with no clothes on stops being socially acceptable.
It’s the best example that I can think of to show how we learn about the intangible things. How an emotional experience can be as tangible as a physical one.
The hot pan analogy started me thinking about how we form beliefs about things. Adam and Eve have taken it a step further. We don’t just form physical beliefs. We also form emotional ones.
And I think that it works in the same way as the burning pan scenario. We learn by reaction.
If people start handing me fig leaves, or pointing and laughing, I’m going to start experiencing shame. I’m going to make the link between wearing no clothes and getting a bad reaction.
If what I say makes people laugh, I’ll believe I’m funny. If it leads to a two fingered gesture, I might reach the opposite conclusion.
If Jo Bloggs calls me pretty, I’ll probably feel quite good; but, if he points out my latest spot, I won’t.
It’s simple really.
Whilst we’re busy working out that hot pans equal burnt fingers and that naked paddling pool parties stop at a certain age; we’re working out a whole set of emotional reactions. Picking up a load of signals that relate, not to the external world, but to us as people. To who we are and where we fit into it all.
This is normal, it’s part of what nature intended. There’s just one little flaw. Sometimes you can get the interpretations wrong. And sometimes, the interpretation can be right but the reactions can be wrong. And when 2 and 2 make 5, you can easily reach some wrong conclusions.
This is what started me on my sociological dissection. A helpful therapeutic prod into questioning some of my own self beliefs. Followed by a little agonising burrowing around into my head.
What I found wasn’t particularly nice; but it explained why I treated myself so badly.
It showed me where I’d gone in the wrong direction. And what I needed to do in order to go in the right direction.
Tags: self belief