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KNOWING vs. BELIEVING

A conversation is recounted in the book # Shantaram  in which the character, Khaderbhai, says: “There is no such thing as believing in #G...

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Saturday, 8 March 2014

THE VAGARIES OF EXPECTATION (Part 3)

The practical outcomes of expectations turn on the meanings our minds put on the events we were or were not expecting or demanding.  If we demand that something should or should not happen, and it doesn't or it does, as the case may be, we may feel sad/disappointed/angry/scared.  If we expect the worst, and it doesn't happen, we feel relieved/happy and so on.  If we don't expect something to happen, but it does fortuitously, our feelings may be mixed depending in the event.

I was involved in a difficult and long-running arbitration last week, with the expectation of a stressful period during the hearing and with no prospect of settlement.  On the day the hearing started, a settlement offer was made to my client, which was accepted.  My experience: relief and satisfaction.

I was cycling a week ago, enjoying the bush and countryside, when a giant heron softly alighted next to the path I was following. Completely unexpected.  My reaction: joy and upliftment.

I mentioned in a previous blog a deal which I expected to happen within a certain time, but which didn't.  My reaction: annoyance and anger.

I expected my father to live well into his eighties. He was fit, healthy and lived a model lifestyle.  He had a heart attack when he was 78, out riding his bicycle.  My reaction: shock, dismay, disbelief, and all the grief that goes with losing a parent unexpectedly.  

The point is simply that we set our minds and ourselves up in such a way that we think we know what Life has in store for us and how it should be.  When Life's actuality varies from the way we have it set up in our heads, that is when we suffer.

What if we could just be open to whatever Life had to offer, with no expectation that it should be different from the way it actually is?  How much quieter might our states of mind then be?

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