The Paradox Of Illusion

                The prophecy of the event leads to the event of the prophecy. Paul Watzlawick

When sick people believethey are taking medicine, they often get well, even though what they are taking is only a placebo. The placebo effect arises from the patient’s beliefsabout the treatment’s effect on the future, rather than form the treatment itself.

The decisions you make today partly determine your future, but they also partly reflect what you believeyour future to be. Your beliefsabout your future may be the most important factor in determining what your future will be. That’s what this blog is about.

You wouldn’t ask someone if they would like to take a placebo in order to get well. And you wouldn’t ask someone if they would like to take a placebo in order to have a positive future; although one might exist because the placebo effect is the result of positive thinking. Positive thinking/believing about the future might lead to a positive future prophecy. This takes us to the paradox of illusion: It is an erroneous perception or a positive self-deception. Therefore there are negative and positive illusions.

 The key to the paradox of illusion is in its definition: A false idea or belief;having been altered subjectively in some way in the mind of the perceiver. So an illusion is in the mind of the perceiver, having been altered subjectively. The subjective mind of the perceiver can make the illusion negative or positive. The subjective mind is where all subjective beliefs occur. Before the future arrives it exists in our minds, our dreams, our hopes, our visions or in our dreads and fears — in our positive or negative illusions.

If you want to have a positive future, you should get good at dreaming, not dreading. Most people seem to dream vaguely and dread precisely — especially about the future. If you think you can, you might. If you think you can’t, you’re right, Unknown. Thinking you can’t is a subjective belief, a negative illusion. Thinking you can is a positive illusion.

Shelley Taylor, in her 1989 book Positive Illusions, identified three positive illusions that create self-fulfilling prophecies: 1) Unrealistically positive views of oneself. 2) Illusions of control. 3) Unrealistic optimism for the future. Her book subtitle: Creative Self-Deception and the Healthy Mind.

If beliefs become prophecy, you will want to believe positively, to dream precisely. Positive dreams don’t always come true. And they won’t if you don’t dream them. Create your own built-in placebo for your positive future. How do you do that? Make your future your present responsibility.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.                              Eleanor Roosevelt



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  1. EUGENE UNGER says:

    Too bad aging is not an intellectual process and progression. Sometimes there is no time for reflection. Rose is not having a good morning today. I’ll text you later about breakfast.



  2. Marianne Fontana says:

    I’m going to have to ponder this one for a bit. I’m not sure positive illusions might be tricking oneself into believing something is true that isn’t.

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