I am amazed how often I can read old ideas but then recognise ideas from modern science or psychology or counselling in them. I seem to remember a saying about there being nothing new under the sun. Well maybe there are new technologies like computers and technology but in terms of human behaviour how can much have changed even over millennia as people are still people.
This morning I was thinking how years ago when I wanted instant pictures to add to a project about houses that I was doing I had to use a special camera that processed the film instantly. I had to lift up a big camera and take the picture, pull the film with its special cover out of the camera, wait a little while and then peel off the backing. The resulting photo would then be stuck into the file.
Today’s student would take a picture with the phone they always had with them anyway then check the screen to see if it was right. The phone could quite easily be smaller than the pack of film I had to use with my camera, never mind the camera itself. When they got back to college they would download the image from the camera to the computer and insert the digital image into their report. Times have changed.
People haven’t. Think about this ancient saying”The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good then your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad your whole body will be full of darkness” The eyes are what we use to take in images just like a lens is an important factor is taking a good picture.
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Quality of the lens
One lens can be a very different quality to another. You can have a lens that is adjustable in the sense that you can change the aperture. In other words many cameras have a lens that has the ability to let in more or less light which then affects the quality of the image. Too much light and the picture is blown out and all you can see is the light and very little of the image. Too little light and all you can see are dark shadows if you can see anything at all.
What comes through the lens affects what is recorded on the film or if it is a digital camera on the chip. This is very true in terms of what we take in with our eyes.
The old saying is that when our eyes are good everything within is will be light. In other words if we have a good experience that is recorded in our thoughts then those thoughts will influence to act in a way that helps us shine, be positive look good.
The other part is when our eyes are bad everything within will be darkness. In other words if we have a bad experience it is like a lens that does not let enough light through to take a good picture. The resulting image will be dark and unhappy as all the good stuff was overwhelmed by the darkness.
What is the result?
The modern thought specialist would say that our bad experiences or thoughts that have created a dark area in our thinking are the ones that prompt us to see things in a negative fashion. For example someone could say something that hurts us or that triggers a negative response such as “I won’t do that again” or “It is too painful to try that”.
They become part of the learning mechanism that says now I know that brings unhappiness so I will not do that again. Problem is that we do not just learn the good ideas we sometimes learn bad ideas as well.
Learning has been defined as a change in behaviour and we learn what to do and what not to from being a small child. In fact for most of us we have learnt a lot of things long before we can remember.
We don’t remember what has come through the lens to trigger the learning i.e. what made us record certain actions as being good or bad. Yet what we have learnt influences our behaviour.
How do we escape?
The same ancient wisdom advises us to think about the things that are admirable, true, noble, pure, excellent or praiseworthy. How so we do that? First step is to follow more of that ancient wisdom and capture negative or harmful thoughts so that our minds can be renewed.
In other words the old old advice was to replace the negative unhappy thoughts with possible uplifting thoughts. The aim being to dwell on the happy ones that are now replacing the negative ones.
Some things don’t change because this idea is seen in many forms of counselling including cognitive behavioural therapy.
What do you think of this advice of replacing negative for positive thoughts? Have you tried it? If so how have you benefited from it?