Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Meaning Making Machines

On some level we're all meaning making machines. We all take things that have happened and we make them mean something. This is all in the Landmark Forum, by the way. Something happens (or we think it's going to happen) and then we make it mean something. That's just what we do. Sometimes we make it mean the same thing as a whole bunch of other people and then we have a "culture." But really, there's no meaning in anything. We put it there. It's just what we do.

And when something happens that we like and we make it mean something good, there's not usually a problem. It's when we take something that happened in the past (or something that's going to happen) and we give it a meaning that doesn't work for us that is where it gets interesting. Often the thing that happens and the meaning we give it have no relationship at all. So we can get all bent out of shape because of how our parents treated us or our bosses or life, and then we go on and think we're not enough or we're not capable, or we're not going to get what we want, and feel bad and go unconscious. Then we're not really present to what's happening at all, but we're stuck in our pattern of making meaning that's not true or good, and we're not being with who's in front of us.

We're not going to stop doing it. But if we can notice when we are doing it, we can snap out of it, come back to being present and then get on with things until it happens again.

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