The problem with ten-thousand hours and the two-second blink is over-confidence. According to Gladwell, it’s the disease of the expert. The problem of the novice, who lacks the ten-thousand hours but still blinks, is incompetence. Competence and confidence are linked.
I have an image for the tipping-point transformation. When the drop of water comes to the ocean, the drop doesn’t just enter, the ocean enters the drop. It’s a miracle. The word makes adults wince.
Why don’t children have trouble with miracles? They’ll watch Star Wars and believe in the Force every time. They still feel the pattern that connects. Adults call it fantasy and wish-fulfilling fiction.
Yet children can be more blunt and truthful than most adults. “Why do you smile when you’re mad and say that you aren’t? Who are you trying to fool” It’s the voice and the face adults put on when the phone or doorbell rings. The emperor has no clothes. It took a child.
Miracles make sense and it takes ten-thousand hours of training for kids to learn not to see them. Fake news. Now we laugh at those who share. It’s why people won’t talk about near-death experiences.
When Alan Watts learned Chinese calligraphy, his teacher told him, “If you try too hard to improve and correct your faults, the best you might achieve will be relatively fault-free but not very interesting.” That’s a shift from school.
I can imagine the calligraphy, I’m sure it was Taoist. “Let down your hair, stick out your belly, laugh.” Or maybe, “When you’re wrong, don’t make it worse and hide. Embrace, celebrate, display. Spiritual courage.” Or this one, “Don’t clutch.”
The western image of a thinker, the one Rodin made famous, is a clutcher: bent-over, head on chin, heavy, ponderous, straining. And then the eastern image of Buddha under a tree or the Taoist sage dipping his toes in the stream. Easy to embrace.
If I ever teach again, I’ll call it “The Journal and Sansaku”. I’ll advertise: “How to build a space-ship and time-machine. Miracles will happen.” I won’t try to popularize or persuade, it’s empirical.
The law of large numbers depends on statistical measures. The design is simple: make an accurate entry every day and do this over time. Within a few years you’ll notice, synchronicities occur. No doubts about it. Jung was wise not to call them miracles, too much religious baggage. He used a pseudo-scientific term. He could have said, “Don’t throw the miraculous baby out with the normative bathwater.”
Imagine you won the lottery. You’d had a dream the night before. Your recently deceased husband had come to you and said, “Let’s have a beer on Sunday morning.” When you woke you remembered the dream and drove to the store.
The stores won’t sell liquor early, so you wait outside and think about that dream. It reminded you of being in Vegas. He saw you at the slots and said, “Put five quarters in, then pull.” You did and hit a jackpot.
Now you remember, he also said, “Buy a ticket for me.” Mary, my step-mom, did just that and won. The Arizona lottery didn’t pay as much back then, but she retired. Corder came through in the end.
Dreams are called magic mirrors. It’s all about reflection. What has been, what could have been. What is and what can happen. Jung said the secret was the mirror-image reversal.
The objective world is experienced subjectively and the subjective experience is real. It takes practice to counter-condition.