"It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story." ~ Patrick Rothfuss
"We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are. Sane or insane. Saints or sex addicts. Heroes or victims. Letting history tell us how good or bad we are. Letting our past decide our future. Or we can decide for ourselves. And maybe it's our job to invent something better." ~ Chuck Palahniuk
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation." ~ Oscar Wilde
I remind you…the following descriptions that delve into regarding the mind's operation are only suppositions and not facts. But, that noted, I think they will prove to be viable suppositions that can serve us in our expedition as well as excavation of Fort Smith's collective mind. In addition, as we progress, and as mentioned before, see if you can apply the various suppositions to Fort Smith as if the city were a person and not a city. It might make it easier to later apply them to the city.
Wherever you are right now in this very instant, whatever position your body is in…take a moment to survey your surroundings and notice all the different things you perceive. No doubt you will be able to identify what each thing is and, without much hesitation, you will also be able to state the purpose and function of each thing you perceive. Now…here's something to ponder…what about Fort Smith? What is Fort Smith (what's its identity)? What is it's purpose and function? Let's drill deeper (get personal)…what about You. What are You? What is Your purpose, Your function? Most of us can probably identify, for example, almost any piece of furniture as being a specific piece of furniture and quickly explain its particular purpose and function much faster and with greater clarity than we can identify who/what we ourselves are and explain what our own purpose and function is. Like I said…it's something to ponder.
Earlier, as you surveyed your surroundings, everything you perceived and the condition you perceived it to be in, was/is a physical representation of thought i.e., a physical representation of state of mind. What you perceive in your physical experience is the Have (effect, end result, consequence) that followed a Do (an action or inaction) that followed a Be (an identity's idea, decision, choice). For all practical purposes, the Have seems to have started with the physical person i.e., a person had a thought, made a decision and then did something or didn't do something (doing and not doing are both doing) that concluded as an end result. However, as so often is the case, what 'seems' to be is not necessarily so. The physical person (the identity) is not the source of the thought. The identity is itself a physical representation of thought through which thought is extended into action and form thereby creating a reflection of itself as a physical experience.
For us to consider that an identity/personality/person is the source of all the Haves we perceive, would be analogous to our considering that all the water that comes out of a faucet originates from within the faucet itself and all the while not recognize that the faucet is only a delivery device for water that is coming from a reservoir that is located somewhere beyond our view. Of course, in Fort Smith, we all know that when we turn on our faucets and the water runs out, the water is coming from Lake Fort Smith located many miles away and out of our sight. And, even though we might not have ever been to Lake Fort Smith and seen it for ourselves, we've been told it's there and we believe it's there. But, when we look at a person's appearance, at their behavior, at their "stuff"…we often believe the person (the identity) is the source of all they "are." We don't see, or choose not to see, beyond the person, to the "lake" that is the source of the "water" that flows through them.
Okay. We are now in a model of the mind. Excuse me…that statement is too general. I'll see if I can be a bit more specific. What we are now looking upon is a model of a tiny sub-mind (the typical mind of a "person") and this sub-mind is a view of complexity that can only exist in a confused and conflicted mind. There is far too much complexity here for words to be of any use. However, for our purposes, we don't have to try and take it all in or understand it (actually, most of it is beyond our ability to even conceive much less understand). Since we're here, though, let's look at where a Have in the physical experience supposedly begins in the mind.
Think of something you Have in your physical experience. That Have began in your mind as a belief that there was something missing, that there was a condition of lack and it was critical that the lack be satisfied. It needed to be satisfied because…there's a component of this belief that believes by doing so your survival would be more secure. In other words, in filling this perceived need, you're going to be better off, you're going to, in some way, be more and not less. Note: The underlying motivation to satisfying the lack is pleasure (satisfying the lack will bring pleasure and pleasure equals survival). However, there is a motivation that is even more fundamental than pleasure and it is deeply buried in the unconscious realms of the mind. This base motivation is fear. The fear of loss.
Whatever is believed to be the thing that will satisfy the perceived lack is envisioned in the mind as if it already existed in the physical experience. This mental image is the "artist's rendering" that represents what is needed and all manner of possible scenarios can be attached to it. The belief that something is lacking takes thought form in the mind as desire (a want). Then, to support and facilitate this desire, a belief system is compiled. The belief system engineers the identity (the Be) of the person and through this identity dictates all choices and behavior (the Doing) of the person so as to result in the physical manifestation of the envisioned need/want (the Have). Of course, as we all know, the how and the what that becomes manifest in the physical experience very often does not represent the how and what that we envisioned it to be. Nor does it represent the stories we told ourselves about how it would be when we obtained the object of our desire/want. Indeed, so often it happens that when we finally obtain what we wanted to Have, it doesn't satisfy the perceived lack and so we then set our sights on the next thing that we believe will. Hmmm….sounds like it could be the formula for consumerism.
With the above in mind I want to include the following excerpt from part 9: No one desires pain. But, a person can get their "wires crossed" in such a way that they think pain is pleasure. No one would avoid their happiness. But, again…a person can get their "wires crossed" in such a way that they believe joy is painful, threatening, even dangerous. Through experience, we all get reflected back to us what we believe. Yes indeed, people, organizations, cities, nations and perhaps even an entire species, can be confused about the things they believe they [need] want; the state they would attain.
In the next part we'll take a look at the most in your face obvious clue that points to why the city of Fort Smith behaves the way it does and is in the condition it is in. Hint…it began with the belief that something was lacking.