comment by Epiphany ·
2012-12-11T04:07:20.700Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
What a brave topic. This makes me think. I realized, to my surprise, that I don't experience gratitude at good events happening and I can't recall a time when I ever have, even though I was formerly Christian. I wondered what "aliefs" I might have though, and I remembered one that has popped up to my surprise a few times semi-recently that because I am a good person I was magically rescued. (This is making me laugh so hard, at myself!). I also haven't done any praying or "please-please" for a long time.
So now I am wondering what the difference is between you and I that might give you insight into how to stop your gratitude alief and please-please alief.
I think the key, for me, has been the sheer number of things that went wrong outside of my control. I've been ridiculously unlucky.
I can guess from prior experience that right now, you're writing the bad luck off as something I caused myself. What if you didn't do that? If you haven't had enough bad luck yourself to see that nothing is controlling your life, then look at someone else's life and marvel at the luck they've had.
That's a belief, too: that people are in control. We get to have an influence, but no way to dictate what happens. Normalcy bias and optimism bias protect our sense of security. Without something to give us a sense of security, life is very stressful. I have a source of security in having lost a great deal of attachment (I'm not a religious Buddhist, but I have borrowed quite a bit from Buddhist philosophy). So, I have managed to, for the most part, deal with the fact that not nothing is in control, including myself.
Not god, not you, not me. Nothing.
That is a hard thing to accept, but that is what you are asking to accept if you want to get rid of normalcy bias, optimism bias, and your alief that there's some magic causing good things and preventing bad ones.
I had either the luck or the terrible misfortune, depending on how you want to look at it, to have the fact that I am not in control of my life shoved in my face hard. Not just once, but repeatedly. Not just repeatedly but like ad nauseum beating a dead horse to death three or four extra times repeatedly.
I woke up from a lot of silly dreams and lost a great deal of attachment.
I have found that often what I need when getting rid of something is to figure out what need it filled and replace it with something better and that it isn't until I replace it that I am able to get rid of it. As I see it, the main thing you're likely to need in order to let go of this one is some way to deal with the fact that the universe does not give a rat's behind about you.
Now I'm thinking about my rescued-good-person alief. That pops up after something bad happens, not when I am considering a bad thing that might happen in the future. It seems like it's purpose is to explain how I survived - this does seem kind of magical since my bad luck has been so ridiculous. I think I will mindhack this now. meditates
Note: I do use the phrasing "thank goodness!" sometimes but it is as an expression of relief. I will probably try to avoid using that phrasing from now on.