"An imaginary roadblock can be as effective as a real one." | From page 120 of the book In It Together

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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"An imaginary roadblock can be as effective as a real one." | From page 120 of the book In It Together

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

The following quote is from page 120 of my book, "In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All":

imaginary-roadblock.png



Be very careful with phrases like "cannot", "not able to", "must", "have to", "need to", or, even more dangerous, words like "should" or "ought".
You are not the voice in your head. You are just that which happens to hear it. You are not the thinker of thought, but the listener. You are like a quiet loving heavenly parent listening to a beloved but foolishly childish blabbering child blabber on and on about this and that with all the silly innocence of a child, sometimes whining, sometimes angry. You can happily love it despite it's selfish shortsightedness, or even because of it, while still never forgetting how selfish, childish, short-sighted, and foolish it can be and very often is. In fact, perhaps that's what makes a human child or adult human's ego so fun and lovable, and so infinitely worthy of unconditional love and forgiveness.

Spirit without flesh would be infinitely boring, so much so that it would be impossible and meaningless. The spirit doesn't really compete with the flesh, just like the light doesn't really compete with the dark. They are dancing partners, and, without both, there would be no dance; there could be no dance.

The human mind will lie to you.

As so many wise sages have taught, "The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: "An imaginary roadblock can be as effective as a real one." | From page 120 of the book In It Together

Post by Samantha Green Tolson »

I agree with what you are saying. We are not the voice inside our head, that voice is our "physical" thoughts. We are the spirit listening to those thoughts.

However, I can't get behind the "blabbering child" analogy. Something about it rubs the wrong way. I don't view children as selfish or foolish. I view them as spirits that are learning what it's all about. They're just like us, just with less wisdom and experience.

Maybe if you didn't portray innocence so harshly. If you had stated that "you're the heavenly parent listening to the innocent unknowing child as they babble on the way young children do. Unknowingly selfish and shortslighted..." Or something more akin to it.

Do you understand the difference in the terms there? Children are not "selfish" and "shortslighted" on purpose. We forget that children are people too, they're just new people. They act from a point of innocence. Not malicious or foolish. You can't act foolish if you don't know any better.

And they don't 'blabber" about anything. That emotion they're feeling is the greatest one they've even felt. We view it as "blabbering" or "childish" because we try to hold them to higher than adult standards. Children aren't allowed to have meltdowns or bad days. They are supposed to mind and behave. Which is BS.

Especially after reading your book, I realize just how horribly we treat our children. They don't have the knowledge yet that your book is trying to teach. Yet, we expect them to resist temptations all on their own. And we punish them when they're not able.

Besides, most of our children understand how to be truly happy better than we do. They see past the material things and take true joy in just existing. The wind blowing on their face, jumping in puddles, the warmth of a hug. The simple things give them joy that our egos have forgotten.

My daughter told me yesterday: "it ok mommy. Just take deep breffs. It no big deal. Do a little by little" She's 6 and autistic and she was talking to me about the mess in my living room that was overwhelming me (my ego had decided it was the end of the world and I should murder everyone involved). She may have been partially responsible for said mess, but she was right.

Again, before you come at me, it's the wording I don't agree with here. Not the concept. I totally agree with what you're saying about it's our egos doing the thinking, not our real selves! It's the wording of the analogy that I don't agree with, I can't get behind hating on our children like that...
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Re: "An imaginary roadblock can be as effective as a real one." | From page 120 of the book In It Together

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Hi, Samantha Green Tolson,

Thank you for your reply! :)

The main gist of your post appears to be that you agree with me, which is great, but no fun, so excuse me for focusing instead on the possible disagreement/misunderstandings which is much for fun and interesting to discuss. :)

Samantha Green Tolson wrote: September 11th, 2023, 8:05 pm I agree with what you are saying. We are not the voice inside our head, that voice is our "physical" thoughts. We are the spirit listening to those thoughts.

However, I can't get behind the "blabbering child" analogy.
I'm not sure what you mean by the concept of "getting behind an analogy". Can you define what it means to 'get behind an analogy'?

Samantha Green Tolson wrote: September 11th, 2023, 8:05 pm I don't view children as selfish or foolish.
To be clear, I lovingly view all humans including both adults and children as selfish and foolish, including the one I see in the mirror.

Nonetheless, my belief and reasoning to support the claim that statistically people become less selfish/short-sighted as they grow up and get older is explained in my book very early in the book, such as on Page 53 where I give the example involving a child eating Halloween Candy. Thus, if you disagree with something that early in the book, or even earlier, I strongly encourage you to instead post for now in my other topic:

Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagree?

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: September 11th, 2023, 4:57 pm You are like a quiet loving heavenly parent listening to a beloved but foolishly childish blabbering child blabber on and on about this and that with all the silly innocence of a child, sometimes whining, sometimes angry. You can happily love it despite it's selfish shortsightedness, or even because of it, while still never forgetting how selfish, childish, short-sighted, and foolish it can be and very often is. In fact, perhaps that's what makes a human child or adult human's ego so fun and lovable, and so infinitely worthy of unconditional love and forgiveness.

[Emphasis added.]
Samantha Green Tolson wrote: September 11th, 2023, 8:05 pmIf you had stated that "you're the heavenly parent listening to the innocent unknowing child as they babble on the way young children do. Unknowingly selfish and shortslighted..." Or something more akin to it.

Do you understand the difference in the terms there?
No, I'm sorry; I don't. I don't see the difference in meaning between the words 'blabber' vs 'babble'. I don't see the difference in meaning between 'silly innocence' vs 'unknowing innocence'. I don't see how adding 'unknowingly' to 'selfish shortsightedness' makes a difference either.

Samantha Green Tolson wrote: September 11th, 2023, 8:05 pm Children are not "selfish" and "shortslighted" on purpose.
I didn't say that they are selfish on purpose, whatever that means.

Depending on what you mean, it's doubtful that anyone is selfish on purpose, whatever that means.


Samantha Green Tolson wrote: September 11th, 2023, 8:05 pm We forget that children are people too,
I'm not sure what you mean by 'we' there, but I don't forget that.

Samantha Green Tolson wrote: September 11th, 2023, 8:05 pm
You can't act foolish if you don't know any better.
I disagree. In fact, I would generally be inclined to believe the exact opposite is true: You can't be foolish if you already know better.

For more on that, I suggest reading and replying to the other following topic of mine:

If they knew better, they would do better. For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Samantha Green Tolson wrote: September 11th, 2023, 8:05 pm And they don't 'blabber" about anything.
It seems this is a misunderstanding. Whatever you mean by 'babble' is presumably what I mean by 'blabber'. I'm not sure what the difference is in how you would define those two words, since to me they are synonymous. Thus, I'm not sure what you have thought I said, but presumably I didn't say that. To avoid similar misunderstandings in the future, I do suggest using the Philosophical Principle of Charity when reading my posts.

That is especially important over the internet where people can from very different regions with very different vernaculars.

For instance, I've been told the word 'quite' means the exact opposite in British English of what it means in American English.

Samantha Green Tolson wrote: September 11th, 2023, 8:05 pm we try to hold them to higher than adult standards.
Again, I'm not sure what you mean by 'we', but I don't do that.

Moreover, my experience with other humans is that they, on average, treat children with much more forgiveness, love, and understanding than they treat adults.

If you think I'm at all encouraging other people to treat adults as unforgivingly and unlovingly as they treat children, then that would be a terrible extreme misunderstanding.

The total opposite is the case: I'm suggesting we treat human adults, including the egoic babbler/blabberer in our own head, as lovingly and forgivingly as they treat children, or pets.

It's similar to the reason that I wrote in my book, “Even a rabid dog deserves unconditional love and forgiveness.” (Page 159)

Samantha Green Tolson wrote: September 11th, 2023, 8:05 pm I realize just how horribly we treat our children.
Again, I'm not sure what you mean by 'we', but I don't do that.

Samantha Green Tolson wrote: September 11th, 2023, 8:05 pm They don't have the knowledge yet that your book is trying to teach.
Sure, they typically don't, but neither do human adults.

Samantha Green Tolson wrote: September 11th, 2023, 8:05 pm Yet, we expect them to resist temptations all on their own. And we punish them when they're not able.
You and whoever else you are included with that 'we' might. But I don't. In fact, I don't expect anything from anyone at all, let alone children. For more on that, I suggest reading the following other topic of mine:

Letting go of expectation | How clinging to the superstitions of expectation and blame disrupts your inner peace


Samantha Green Tolson wrote: September 11th, 2023, 8:05 pm Again, before you come at me, it's the wording I don't agree with here. Not the concept. I totally agree with what you're saying [...] It's the wording of the analogy that I don't agree with,
I'm sorry; I don't understand. I don't know what means to "disagree with wording", particularly in the context of agreeing with what I am saying but disagreeing with the wording.

Samantha Green Tolson wrote: September 11th, 2023, 8:05 pm I can't get behind hating on our children like that...
I would never 'hate on children'.

As I explain very clearly, explicitly, and repetitively in my book. I believe in unconditional love and unconditional forgiveness for all people (and animals and things), including both adults and children. In fact, to say I believe in unconditional forgiveness is an understatement since as I explain explicitly in the book, taken to its full logical conclusion, my philosophy entails realizing there is absolutely "nothing to forgive" (page 156).

I'm not sure what "hating on our children" you are talking about that you could get behind or not. Are you sure you are not reading between the lines?

Regardless, I always suggest everyone and anyone avoiding any reading between the lines when reading my book or posts or other writing.

For more on that, please see my topic:

Posts on Projection, Reading Between the Lines, and Toxic


Is it possible that you have some kind of hate, resentment, or other negative judgement or hang up about selfish adults or short-sighted adults or foolish adults (which I absolutely do not have for adults or children or animals), such that when I mention "selfish children" or "selfish lions" or "selfish antelope" that you incorrectly project your hate, resentment, or other negative judgements towards selfish adults as being something I have towards children or lions or antelope or whatever I happen to be descriptively describing as selfish or short-sighted with no judgement or hate at all?

For instance, if you hate short-sighted adults, and then you hear me calling children short-sighted, it would be easily to accidentally read between the lines and project into that I hate children and/or that am saying I hate children. But that would be your feeling or attitude towards short-sighted things, not mine.

I'm not saying that what I describe in the above two paragraphs is the case. It's just a question. It's just a wild best guess by me that is most likely wrong.

As I say often, none of us, including Eckhart, are good mind-readers. That is why reading between the lines is so incredibly foolish even though generally all humans do it, including both children and adults.

In any case, I leave you with a link to this tweet about my love for both selfish lions and selfish antelope, as one chases the other to kill and eat and this tweet honoring silly things like moonlight and romance.


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Samantha Green Tolson
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Reply to Scott Part One

Post by Samantha Green Tolson »

I am glad that you decided to go for the fun! :D
I'm not sure what you mean by the concept of "getting behind an analogy". Can you define what it means to 'get behind an analogy'?
It means that while I agree with the point that you are making, I do not agree with the analogy/example that you are using to explain the point. I apologize for using slang instead of more precise language.
To be clear, I lovingly view all humans including both adults and children as selfish and foolish, including the one I see in the mirror.

Nonetheless, my belief and reasoning to support the claim that statistically people become less selfish/short-sighted as they grow up and get older is explained in my book very early in the book, such as on Page 53 where I give the example involving a child eating Halloween Candy. Thus, if you disagree with something that early in the book, or even earlier, I strongly encourage you to instead post for now in my other topic:

Do you agree with everything in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what is the first sentence with which you disagree?
Alright, I can agree with you there. Everyone is selfish and foolish to different degrees.

But people do not become less selfish, though they may become less short-sighted, as they grow up. If anything they become more so. Eating Halloween Candy is a small act of selfish/shortsightedness. Grown-ups buy $900 phones. They start wars over resources. They charge people to live. And adults are more likely to procrastinate because they understand the concept of timelines better than children. You can't procrastinate on something if you do not understand or care about deadlines.

Not all people do this because there are exceptions in all statistics, but most adults are higher on the "selfish spectrum" than children.

For some reason, the page numbers you are giving for reference in you book are not lining up with my copy. I am actually working on my second read through at the moment.
No, I'm sorry; I don't. I don't see the difference in meaning between the words 'blabber' vs 'babble'. I don't see the difference in meaning between 'silly innocence' vs 'unknowing innocence'. I don't see how adding 'unknowingly' to 'selfish shortsightedness' makes a difference either.
As to the wording of your example, I realized that this is difference in raising or culture. I was taught (not that it was correct) that "blabbering" is "whining". But I realize that you meant it more as "babbling," or talking nonsense.

After reading it with that in mind, while I still think your example could be better written, I understand the general picture better.
You are like a quiet loving heavenly parent listening to a beloved but foolishly childish blabbering child blabber on and on about this and that with all the silly innocence of a child, sometimes whining, sometimes angry. You can happily love it despite it's selfish shortsightedness, or even because of it, while still never forgetting how selfish, childish, short-sighted, and foolish it can be and very often is. In fact, perhaps that's what makes a human child or adult human's ego so fun and lovable, and so infinitely worthy of unconditional love and forgiveness.
Just a suggestion: the parts I have underlined are very repetitive. That is a lot of "foolish," "child," and "blabber." It rings of a student phrasing and rephrasing in order to make the required word count. While reading your book it is not as noticeable, but as a quote it is blaring. Again, just my "review" of it. :)

I will reply to the rest in a part 2, which will have to wait due to storms in the area. :(
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Re: "An imaginary roadblock can be as effective as a real one." | From page 120 of the book In It Together

Post by Omollo Joseph »

Imaginary roadblocks often stem from fear, self-doubt, or limiting beliefs, hindering progress as effectively as tangible barriers. Overcoming such mental hurdles is crucial for personal and professional growth. Recognizing and addressing these imaginary obstacles can lead to a more empowered mindset, enabling individuals to navigate challenges more effectively.In a broader context, this concept emphasizes the importance of understanding and managing one's thoughts and perceptions. It encourages a proactive approach to mindset and resilience, acknowledging that the way we perceive challenges significantly influences our ability to overcome them.
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Re: "An imaginary roadblock can be as effective as a real one." | From page 120 of the book In It Together

Post by Dana Youngblood »

Imaginary roadblocks can be the hardest to overcome. They are often what is in our minds and not at all real to others. If I feel that I cannot do something because of my own belief system inside me, I will have to break that belief down to be able to move forward. We are all worthy of unconditional love and forgiveness. These are what can help us overcome imaginary roadblocks. Understanding we come from a place of love and forgiving ourselves for causing these roadblocks in the first place can be step number 1 to overcoming them.
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Re: "An imaginary roadblock can be as effective as a real one." | From page 120 of the book In It Together

Post by Gee-Q Mdluli »

I love this, it's a good reminder that we aren't just our thoughts but the listeners of those thoughts. The voice in our heads can be really tricky, they sound like us and because they're inour heads it's easy to assume that that is who we are.
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Re: "An imaginary roadblock can be as effective as a real one." | From page 120 of the book In It Together

Post by Okocha Victor »

"
Spirit without flesh would be infinitely boring, so much so that it would be impossible and meaningless. The spirit doesn't really compete with the flesh, just like the light doesn't really compete with the dark. They are dancing partners, and, without both, there would be no dance; there could be no dance.
"
I find truth in this. We will not really know what light is if darkness does not exist. We only need light when everything goes dark. We only need heat when we feel cold. These dancing partners validate each other.
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Re: "An imaginary roadblock can be as effective as a real one." | From page 120 of the book In It Together

Post by Victoria Maangi »

It underscores the idea that our mental constructs, such as fear or uncertainty, can be just as influential as tangible obstacles in shaping our responses and choices. In various scenarios, the perception of a roadblock, whether real or imagined, may elicit similar reactions, emphasizing the psychological dimension of challenges in our lives.
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