In my work as a corporate trainer, I remember a training session led by one of my mentors, pointing us to the innate human ability to take seemingly isolated objects and connect them together. He randomly pointed to three things... a ceiling tile in
the room we were in, the chair we were sitting on, and a crow flitting around under the patio tables and chairs just outside the window.
He then gave us some time to come up with a list of connections between those three things. He asked
us to think of anything and everything, no matter how crazy, for how the three objects could be linked.
After the assigned time for the exercise was over, everyone shared what they came up with. A few of the ideas were similar, but none
were exactly the same. Here's some of them...
- All 3 objects are within 50 feet of me
- All 3 objects make me uncomfortable... this chair is uncomfortable, I hate fixing ceiling tiles, and I'm a bit afraid of birds
3 are on the property of the hotel
- All 3 are made up of vibrating atoms
- All 3 have the colour black somewhere on them
- All 3 likely have dust on them
- All 3 reflect industrialization... the products created (chair, ceiling
tile) and the effects manifested (birds having to learn to survive in an urban landscape)
- If I heard something making a rustling sound in my ceiling, I could stand on the chair, lift up the ceiling tile, and discover it was a trapped crow flitting
- All 3 start with the letter C (chair, ceiling tile crow)
- Each represents a part of life (ceiling tile is heaven, chair is earth, the crow that can live on earth and in the sky is the symbol that heaven and earth are one)
What are some more you can come up with?
To be honest, I had to make up that list because I couldn't remember all 3 objects given to us nor any of the answers created, but you get the idea.
of us comes up with something to believe in (such as a fact that two or more specific objects are intrinsically linked), our minds can easily find evidence to prove it. With access to the infinitely creative power of thought, any list could be added to and
What's significant to me, are the ramifications of having a list already started in my head, that somehow appeared, with no conscious effort on my part...
...perhaps at some point in my life, I started
a list that connects "(insert name here) politician" and "dangerous"
...perhaps at some point in my life, I started a list that connects "oil pipeline" and "bad idea"
...perhaps at some point in my life, I started a list that connects "climate change"
...perhaps at some point in my life, I started a list that connects "peanut butter" and "incredibly delicious".
What's interesting is that once a list is started (a belief is set), then it becomes a door through
which I interact with the world. I open the door for whatever adds to the list, and I barricade the door against whatever contradicts it.
Having lists is very useful in this world of form. It helps me decide which politician to vote for,
and what to make for my lunch.
What's not very useful is retaining any specific list for any extended period of time, assuming it will ALWAYS be right, despite the continually changing nature of life and potential for new thought. It stops
me from questioning the politician I like, or considering a good idea from the politician I don't like. It stops me from discovering the world of culinary abundance that exists beyond my holy peanut butter sandwich, or being willing to even consider that it's
the sandwich carbs that are making me sleepy in the afternoon.
I assume that I can (and will) live my entire life with some lists, but it's such a relief every time I discover the next list I didn't even realize I had. Once exposed to
the light of awareness, the linked items that started the list either magically change or get completely deleted, so that I can take down some of the barricades I was using to protect it, and me. They're awfully exhausting to keep holding up.