Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The time of cool nights has come. For the last week or so I’ve been able to sleep bundled up as for winter. I’ve done that—opened the windows, let the cool air of night in and snuggled down in a pile of blankets to enjoy a toasty nap. It’s such a relief from hot weather and hot nights.

A few months from now I will no doubt find these same night time temperatures uncomfortable. It will be too cold for me and I will nudge the thermostat up a bit and with satisfaction hear the furnace kick in during the wee hours of the morning. I have a mindset that is somehow regulated by seasonal temperatures. In the winter I want to be warmer. In the summer I want to be cooler. Sometimes that has little to do with the actual temperature.

I wonder about that. I am very subject to mindset—the perception I have of reality. I suppose I am typical in that, probably more normal than not. In a sense we create our individual reality by what we think. That is an interesting concept and one that has even more interesting ramifications. How real are our lives? How easily can we misinterpret actual conditions, a situation, an occurrence, another’s motive or feelings? After having done so, how far do we go in acting on those unreal assumptions? From another aspect, how sensitive are we to suggestion? With the proper stimulus can we be programmed to change our very existence?

There are many examples in history in which a group of people, even a nation, has fallen under the control of a leader or an ideology that has not been for their benefit. We like to think of such things happening “some place else.” But does it only occur that far afield? The technique has been made use of in many ways in our society, ways that are considered good for the economy. We are taught to want certain things, fear others. That practice sells a variety of merchandise and services from automobiles to insurance. It is also present in many places—industry, advertising, leisure, politics—even religion.

We are manipulated for profit. Somebody’s. That is a fact. What each of us has to do is figure out, for each case, who is doing the manipulating and why.

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