HOPE– is it just a condiment of life or is it hard wiring of the brain?

Have you ever wondered which worldview is more appealing to you? Is the view that world is predetermined and it will unfold as it meant to and we play no active role in creating the world? Or the view, that we actively construct our own world as we go along? Such that what ever we imagine, that’s what we will manifest in the world.

In these two worlds there is no room for hope. In the first, the world is already predetermined and we cannot hope to change it. In the second view, the hope doesn’t mean anything because we can construct the world to our hearts content.

Third option maybe one where the predetermined world unfold as it should; but for our personal reality to unfold we have to actively participate in this predetermined world. To use an example from ancient Greece, Oedipus brought about his own tragic catastrophe by actively participating in his own tragic fate.

From our everyday experience we see things changing every minute, every second. So our perception of any given situation changes from minute to minute too. Such that we have to constantly reevaluate the meaning of that situation as time passes, because we change, others changes, the world changes. The same situation that was present minute ago no longer exists, new situation has arisen in its place and as a result our meaning of the situation will change too. Depending on how the new situation affects us we will judge it either favorable or not. But we have to constantly and actively participate with the universe to see the situation unfold and thus see our own future unfold.

For hope to have any meaning requires that the anticipated future would be favourable  even though we do not have complete control over it. Where did the concept of hope come from and how do we make any meaningful sense of it? Is it the case that we just sit back, think positively and hope the future would be more favorable than the present? or Is hope just a wishful or magical thinking that makes us feel better for a while? or to put it another way, is hope a condiment for making the life more palatable? I myself refuse to believe hope is just a wishful thinking. I think hope is evolutionary hard wiring in our brain that provides positive benefits for good health and longevity. I think hope come from a wish for the future to be favourable. It is this wish that gives hope its positive benefits as we actively unfold our own future by active hopeful participation with the universe. The benefits of hope are well documented. Here is an example:

“ In the face of uncertainty, there’s nothing wrong with hope,” says Dr. Bernie Siegel, a surgeon who works with cancer patients who are trying to heal themselves. Hope is an attitude of positive expectancy; it enhances the will to live, as well as the immune system, making even the most unbearable situation bearable. A hopeful attitude is also contagious – it inspires others and therefore amplifies positive expectations. One method Dr. Siegel uses for inspiring hope in his patients is finding case histories of other people with similar conditions who have recovered, in some cases against all odds.

Resources:

The Meaning Of Life

By Terry Eagleton

Chop Wood Carry Water

By Rick Fields, with Peggy Taylor, Rex Weyler, and Rick Ingrasci.

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5 Comments

  1. Lisa

     /  February 7, 2012

    I have always viewed hope as “window shopping for the mind”. In essence, it is a tool, with which, I may manipulate my dreams and desires to my benefit……..but yet it gets me no further in my pursuit of the goal, it only allows me to temporarily alleviate any stress or pressure caused by said pursuit.
    Hope, in itself, is a great thing. It’s free, renewable and environmentally responsible. It is a sidecar to a blossoming imagination. It is the luxury that we all can indulge in, no matter what socioeconomic sector we fit in to.
    Without hope, we wouldn’t have the positive “what-ifs”, and without that inquisitiveness we certainly wouldn’t have benefited from the probability of possibility,and, the occasional certainty that follows.
    I love hope. It’s a great accessory!

    Reply
  2. Joan Ivany

     /  February 8, 2012

    I Loved this message – thank you –
    We’re down in Arizzona and we have sunets like this every night.
    Temerature is about 20C day after day.

    Reply
  1. Finding Hope in a Time of Uncertainty | Social Behavioral Patterns–How to Understand Culture and Behaviors

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