Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The Ed Norton Approach to Shifting Perspective

Realizing truth is shockingly easy, in any scenario and at any scale. It's often not a matter of learning, which is laborious, but of shifting perspective, which is instant and effortless. The truth is always blowing in the wind. It's right there in front of your nose, awaiting your embrace.

The impediment is the need to recognize - and let go of - previous wrongness. That’s the hard part, because, being an unflattering process, emotions arise. So you must adjust yourself to accept the possibility that your assumptions might be crap.

You can’t let go of something while continuing to embrace and defend it. Visceral self-skepticism is requisite. Not self-loathing, not neurotic ambivalence. Just an earnestly alert blitheness. "Hey, wouldn't it be interesting if I were totally wrong on this?"

If you have a big ego (most do, including mild-mannered quiet types), self-skepticism challenges everything you've been clinging to. Terrifying! So wrongness stays.

This is why wise people advise us to work on ego. Loosen those straps, they say, and quit clinging. Then quiet your mind to reduce shouty mental distraction. By the time you've run that gauntlet, years have been spent preparing to make an easy shift of perspective so you can become a little bit less wrong.
What's worse, 95% of the time you'll bring that ego and clinging and noise along with you, so the supposed shift of perspective becomes a dramatic pose rather than an actuality. You'll conjure up a mere emulation of knowing.
Jeepers, so much work for something intrinsically effortless! Just shift! Choke down ego, favor childlike earnestness, open yourself to fresh perspective, generally STFU, and blithely try another perspective!

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