Mind Games

I have realized the way I think does not produce much happiness.  And a lot of it has to do with the fact that I am not good at playing mind games.  I’d say apart from ameliorating physical suffering mind games play the most important part in one’s well-being.  Below I’ve outlined some of them:

Have a fortuitous relationship with the placebo response.
Putting a charm on your door to ward away evil spirits may sound stupid to a western mind but I imagine it works and the placebo effect is the thing doing the heavy lifting.  The ability to pray in faith successfully requires expertise in navigating the intricacies of the placebo response because you have to believe you’ll going to get what you ask for while not expecting it—all while not letting successive disappointments get you questioning the mechanics of your belief.

Compartmentalize
This applies for the prayer example above because you are effectively cordoning off parts of yourself (not doubting) to keep your beliefs going.  One cannot be a Christian (at least not an Evangelical) without compartmentalizing.  Without compartmentalizing one would be devastated over the eternal torture that awaits most in the afterlife.  Without compartmentalizing one cannot believe cats and pigs should be treated differently just by respect of their location.  Also you have the ability to check your brain at the door before entering a room (be it a church, a board room, a bar, etc..) this will do wonders for you  partly because then you won’t be so bothered with the things those in power in these contexts are presenting.

Your soul is a structure, cordon every room off with firewalls
Today’s world asks too much of us emotionally.  The only way one can survive without losing their sanity is sandboxing all their relationships (this is a computer science term that in this context basically means holding your soul at arm’s length).  Having faith is not something one wills like ordering pancakes.  It is something that happens naturally behind one’s back.  And by the time one realizes that they had faith in someone or something it is usually far to late to salvage anything (this usually happens when said faith has been broken).  I’m not advocating not trusting anyone, just guarding your heart and not letting anybody get too close and monitoring your thoughts of someone for signs of having too much faith in them.

All three of these come into play and help with perhaps the worst problem one can have with their faith, having faith that God will do something and then being totally devastated when he doesn’t act (to the person’s credit, said devastation seems to prove they had a lot of faith).

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