Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Controlling the Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect is an abstraction that is characterized by the observation that a butterfly flapping its wings in Costa Rica can be the critical factor in producing a typhoon off the coast of India. This idea relates to chaotic systems, such as the global weather system, that are incredibly sensitive to miniscule changes in their initial conditions. As conscious entities we are uniquely qualified to utilize the Butterfly Effect to control and direct momentous changes in the chaotic system that our world. Our capacity to control the chaos underlying the Butterfly Effect is based on our ability to direct our inner focus and simply be patient.

A causal system is essentially characterized by how it converts inputs to outputs. The key to controlling such a system is knowing how to generate the inputs required to produce specific outputs. It is generally assumed that chaotic systems are too complex for such knowledge to be available. But this belief does not take into account the premise that what we see around us is ultimately shaped by what we are. In other words, our uniqueness shapes the causal systems that shape our essences. A detailed exposition on why this is true will not fit into this essay (though this concept underlies a viable interpretation of quantum mechanics) and so if you cannot accept this premise you can stop reading this particular essay and you should probably skip the next two as well.

If you are still with me note that individuals sometimes become responsible for momentous occurrences through a convergence of events over which they have no control. The primary difference between people who can control such convergences and those who cannot is that the former are disposed to do so while the latter are not. This means that in order to control chaos to orchestrate significant events you need merely shape your disposition accordingly. This is important because your disposition is the inner manifestation of your uniqueness. As such, by shaping your disposition you shape the world around you to reflect it.

The fact that we are not all controlling this dynamic indicates that it is much easier to describe than to execute. To appreciate this, imagine what it would take to live up to a commitment to maintain a happy disposition for every second of the next 24 hours. If you manage to get through your next meal before you lose it you are much better than most of us.

For us mere mortals, shaping our dispositions is not an act of will so much as appropriately directed inner focus. The technique that has been most effective for me involves concentrating not on the present but on the future. My approach is best characterized as “Remembering the Future”. I will describe what this technique is and how to apply it in my next couple of essays.

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