Tuesday, April 25, 2006

How Belief Differs from Reality: The Jell-O Example

Don't get me wrong. Belief is a vital step. But only the first one.

Belief alone is not reality, anymore than Jell-O in the box is the same thing as Jell-O in a mold with marshmallows. It’s both Jell-O. But it’s Jell-O in different states. Jell-O in the box is potential Jell-O, just one of many essential elements of the actual Jell-O.

We are often told that if you want something enough, this will make it so. Which is true, but only if you go about it in the right way. If it were that simple, there would be no such things as gridlocked traffic, painful diseases, and stalkers.

Belief is a potential reality. But do not confuse the two.

This state often comes about because we want something very much. To bring it into reality we have to open the box. To either make the Jell-O; or realize the box is empty.

Oh, the horror, if the box is empty. So we avoid opening the box. And we don’t ever make Jell-O.

We have also damaged our ability to tell a box that contains Jell-O from one that does not. We could have a hundred boxes in the cupboard, and the hope that if we need Jell-O, we have it. We believe we have Jell-O.

But all of those boxes could be empty.

This is not something we discover until the moment we need Jell-O most; the morning of a dinner party where we have promised our famous, special Jell-O. This is not the time to find out we have nothing but empty boxes. But because of our reluctance and our inability, this is when we will find out.

That is the true horror.

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