Tag Archives: theory

A Different Perspective: You Are Everyone and Everyone Is You

Thanks to StumbleUpon I came across an interesting piece of writing by a man named Andy Weir. It’s a second-person narrative and concept dialogue that gives a different perspective on why we are here on this Earth and what happens to us after we die. And although I personally do not believe in any specific god, in reincarnation or any other concept stated in the story, I found it entertaining and a nice idea to ponder.

It’s called “The Egg”, and what takes place in this piece is a conversation between “God” and a middle-aged man in his afterlife. God tells him that the man is dead, and that he will be reincarnated to a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD. Confused, the man asks why and how can he be reincarnated into someone who has already lived in the past (and even someone of a different gender). God states that time is just a man made concept, and that, to God, things are different.

The man then asks what many of us on Earth would ask if ever in this situation:

“So what’s the point of it all?”

Below is the conversation that takes place afterwards:

“The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”

“Just me? What about everyone else?”

“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

“All you. Different incarnations of you.”

“Wait. I’m everyone!?”

“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

To read the rest of the story, go to Andy Weir’s website here: “The Egg” by Andy Weir.

So what if we, our individual selves, were everyone? What if everyone was simply a different aspect of yourself? I found it really interesting and began to wonder what my life would mean if I were everyone and if everyone were simply different reincarnations of me in different periods of time: past, present, and future.

Maybe we’re all just one universal being, and we live to learn and slowly mature at different times and paces. And everything that I know will not simply disappear after I die, because it lives on within everyone else. And as the universe matures, we will slowly grow from an infantile egg to something much grander.

Confusing, eh? Although this is an old and rather far-out concept, I actually found some peace in wondering if – somehow – every single person on this Earth is at least a reflection or symbol of some part of myself.

There are those people I fear, because they are similar to my own traits in which I fear. There are people I admire, because they reflect the traits in which I like, the traits in which I own or the traits that I want.

It gave me a strange, yet calming peace to think that maybe I have nothing to fear besides those darker parts of my own self. But ah… maybe this also means I hold the power to change me and, in doing so, I have the power to change the world. In keeping my mind open to this, I can face my fears one by one.

So, maybe we are all of the same universal being. Or maybe we aren’t! I felt “The Egg” was a refreshing, thought provoking look at the very meaning of life, and though it may or may not be true, I can genuinely say my mind is open to this exciting possibility.

What do you think, readers?

A Different Perspective: Simulated Reality

Imagine we’re living in someone else’s computer simulation or someone else’s movie. Some kind of simulated reality. Nothing is different. Our feelings are real and really there, but we’re just characters in this simulation made by someone “bigger”. Someone who is observing us or possibly controlling our fates. Characters that feel, do, and think just as our “creator” does. Why not? We are getting closer and closer to creating simulations just like this. Ever play The Sims?

Maybe we’re part of some infinite loop of simulations. Maybe our video games and simulations that mirror our own reality (or even other realities) house people just like us, with feelings just like us, with the ability to think about and question their own reality, just like us. In their own little world. Maybe Sonic the Hedgehog is real in his mind! Maybe the Green Hill Zone is real… in their world.

Or maybe not! Maybe that’s too silly.

I’ve been thinking of doing frequent posts like this that just give you a different perspective on our different aspects of life. Some aspects may be bigger, deeper, and more meaningful (and possibly controversial) like this one talking about our reality, and some may be small like looking through the eyes of someone more impoverished or taking a different view into the mind of someone who maybe does something socially unacceptable. I love changing perspectives and seeing the world from different eyes. It opens up my own eyes and also a whole new world and way of thinking.

(There’s a theory for this entitled the Simulation Theory or the Simulation Argument. I haven’t had time to read up on it, but I feel I will soon. I want to touch up on it more later, it’s really interesting.)

photo credit: rastafabi
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Using Erikson’s Developmental Stage Theory to put your Life into Perspective

The nice thing about Psychology is that we can apply lessons learned to our daily lives, become more aware, and live to our fullest. Being self-aware and creating our own identity is an important, almost necessary concept we should practice every day.

Erikson’s  Developmental Stage theory, is nothing too fancy or complicated. It’s a simple view on eight stages we go through in our lives. According to Erikson, we grow from infancy to late adulthood, and in each stage we must master a new challenge. Once we master a challenge, we gain a certain set of skills. If we do not master a certain challenge, there could be possible psychological consequences. It is not a definitive list, but there are lessons we can learn from his eight stages!

Using this as a guide, identify what you’ve accomplished, what you need to work on, and what you should remember for your future stages.

Stage 1

Infancy (birth to 18 mos.)

  • The challenge: Trust vs. Mistrust
  • What it means: We must learn to trust parents’ care and affection or else develop the beginning of a deep distrust and view world as unsafe.
  • What to take from it: Don’t just take care of your children, let them feel comfortable and safe when you’re around. Let them know, even if they are still too young, that they can trust you.
  • Do you trust the world around you? Do you have hope?

Stage 2

Toddler (18 mos. to 3 yrs.)

  • The challenge: autonomy vs. shame and doubt
  • What it means: We learn to be competent by learning to feed ourselves, use the toilet, and play alone or else we will feel ashamed and doubt our abilities.
  • What to take from it: Encourage toddlers to be autonomous individuals who can begin to take care of themselves.
  • Do you have strong willpower?

Stage 3

Preschool (3 to 5 yrs.)

  • The challenge: initiative vs. guilt
  • What it means: We use our own initiative in planning or carrying out plans or if we cannot live within parents’ limitations, we develop a sense of guilt over misbehavior
  • What to take from it: A child should be encouraged to start projects for their own purpose. Having the ability to take initiative without feeling guilty will allow one to plan and judge accordingly giving one a sense of roles.
  • Have you found your purpose and role in life and are you satisfied with it?

Stage 4

School age (5-11 yrs.)

  • The challenge: industry vs. inferiority
  • What it means: We learn to meet the demands imposed by school or home or else we come to believe we are inferior to others
  • What to take from it: Our responsibilities are what we use to prove to others that we are capable and on equal grounds to others. If we take on no responsibilities, we may begin to feel inferior. Work hard at being productive and responsible.
  • Do you feel competent?

Stage 5

Adolescence (11-18 yrs.)

  • The challenge: identity vs. role confusion
  • What it means: In this stage, we acquire a sense of our own identity or else become confused about our role in life
  • What to take from it: Settle on an identity that you are comfortable with. Ask questions about yourself. Show through your actions, appearance, and achievements what you want your role to be in life.
  • Who exactly are you? Are you happy with it?

Stage 6

Young Adulthood (18-40 yrs.)

  • The challenge: intimacy vs. isolation
  • What it means: We develop a couple relationship and joint identity with a partner or else become isolated from meaningful relationships with others
  • What to take from it: Here, we still want to have an identity with the world around us. If you fear rejection, forming intimate relationships will be difficult.
  • Are you open to new, close relationships? Do you fear rejection and being vulnerable? Erikson argues that:

“Intimacy has a counterpart: Distantiation: the readiness to isolate and if necessary, to destroy those forces and people whose essence seems dangerous to our own, and whose territory seems to encroach on the extent of one’s intimate relations” (1950)

Stage 7

Middle adulthood (40-65 yrs.)

  • The challenge: generativity vs. stagnation
  • What it means: We make use of our remaining time developing a concern with helping others and guiding the next generation or else we become self-centered, un-accepting of not being to see the far future, and stagnant
  • What to take from it: Help growing and grown children to be responsible adults, relinquish central role in lives of grown children, accept children’s mates and friends, be proud of accomplishments of your self and your mate. In this stage, we may have much leisure time.
  • Will you use that time to benefit the next generation and yourself or become stagnant?

Stage 8

Late adulthood (60+)

  • The challenge: integrity vs. despair
  • What it means: We reap the benefits of our early stages and understand and sccept the meaning of a temprary life or else we despair over regrets, not having enough time, and not finding meaning in life
  • What to take from it: In this stage, we tend to evaluate whether we’ve reached our goals and whether we are satisfied. From here, we can choose to accept the kind of life we lived and are living now or we can mourn over the past, our loss of time, and our fate.
  • What kind of life have you lived? Did you do what you wanted? Do you have regrets? Would you have done things differently?

By looking at what is to come, we are able to ensure – through every stage – that we are happy with the life that we live. Take each stage into consideration when making choices in your life. Go down the road you feel you will be happy with in the end.

We have long, long lives to live so make sure you enrich it and give it its full potential. If you couldn’t face a certain crises before, it’s all right. We’ve been given the ability to question our lives and behaviors and the ability to change them whenever we can. Use it!

photo credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

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trust vs mistrust