Ideas Rule The World
From the moment you came out of the womb, you began experiencing life in full, and you began trying to understand what was going on around you. As a baby you aren't just a hunk of squirming flesh. You are much more aware and responsive to your environment than most people think. I read an article saying that newborn infants only sixty seconds old were able to make imitations and responses to the facial gestures of an adult. Along with responding you are making your first attempts to interpret your experience, too. As you grow you have to try and make some sense out of this new world, and so you make choices or decisions about what your experience means. Once you have made a tentative decision, you automatically look around for confirmation that your decision makes sense, that it is "correct."
Your parents are very helpful in this regard. You watch their responses to various events, hear their words, listen to their telepathy, and use that data for making and confirming your decisions. Some of what they do, say and think you accept, and some of it you reject.
A psychological project had to do with the study of children who are called "invulnerables." These are simply children who grow up in households with chaotic, schizophrenic, neurotic and/or psychopathic parents and siblings, and who don't seem to be affected by the ideas and behavior of the rest of the family. They aren't genetically or otherwise superior to children who do succumb. They have just made different decisions about life and about themselves. You see, you aren't a helpless, blank slate on which all your parents' opinions are written. You choose all along the way. When you get a little older, you observe and listen to relatives, playmates and authoritative adults, and continue to make decisions. The simple fact that children from the same family can grow up with such different personalities shows that their decisions were individually made.
Once you have decided that a particular choice of how to interpret an experience is correct, you have given birth to an opinion. From them on you will tend to channel all similar experiences through the same opinion, paying attention only to those parts of the experience that confirm your choice and ignoring the rest. Most of the big decisions you make about life occur in childhood, and they act as guidelines right through adulthood unless you change them.
Let's look at two young children who have brought a bucket of water and some dirt into the house and are making mud pies on the dining room table. Their mother comes in and is aghast. She shouts and screams, tells them how bad they are, and gives them a sound spanking. That is the raw experience. But one of them chooses to focus on the idea that he is bad, that he has hurt mother somehow, and that he must be very dumb not to have figured out what he was doing was wrong. This confirms earlier tentative decisions that the world is unpredictable and he is pretty incapable of dealing with it. "I have to be careful not to make Mommy mad," he thinks. The second child chooses to focus on the idea that parents don't like dirt on the dining room table, that she is likely to get a spanking if she does things they don't like, and that there are plenty of other places to make mud pies. This confirms earlier tentative decisions that the world is unpredictable and that she is capable of dealing with it. "I''ll make mud pies on the kitchen table," she thinks. The same raw experience processed through two different sets of filters produces two completely individual sets of guidelines.
You are the source of your experience because your decisions about life color your thoughts, your imagination, your emotions, and your actions. And all these serve like a magnet for associated events, circumstances, and people, attracting you to them and them to you. There's an awful lot of life out there in the world. The part of it that you experience is a result of your opinions about it.