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Absolute truths: Where did they come from? Are they still useful?
A newlywed couple had just finished a particularly delicious meal when the husband asked his new bride about the ham. “That was a great dinner but why did you cut the end of the ham off before you cooked it” he asked? “Because that’s the way you cook a ham,” she replied.
“But why” he asked again?
“Because that’s the way you cook a ham,” she repeated. And with an increasingly loud voice stated, “That’s the way I’ve always cooked a ham, that’s the way my mother has always cooked a ham and that’s the way my grandmother has always cooked a ham. That’s just the way you cook a ham. If you don’t like my cooking…”
“No, no,” he explained as he hurriedly grabbed the dinner plates, “I love your cooking so much I’m going to do the dishes. You just go sit down and I’ll take care of everything”.
As it happened the young couple went to her mother’s house just a few weeks later for dinner and after a wonderful meal the new groom asked his mother-in-law a question. “That was a wonderful meal,” he said. “I’m just wondering why you cut the end of the ham off before you cooked it,” he asked?
“Because that’s the way you cook a ham, dear,” she replied.
“Well it sure tasted good but just why do you cut the end off I’m just curious,” he asked again.
“Well that’s just the way you cook a ham,” she answered with an annoyed tone. “That’s the way I’ve always cooked it and that’s the way my mother always cooked it that’s just the way…” she said sternly.
“Oh here let me clear the table for you,” he interrupted. “It was a wonderful meal, let me clean up for you.” While he clearly saw the pattern, he did not yet have an answer to his question. Shortly thereafter the family gathered for a Thanksgiving celebration. Finding himself in the kitchen with his wife’s grandmother he boastfully stated, “Both my wife and her mother are great cooks. You sure did teach them well. I especially love the way they cook ham. I’ve always wondered why one would cut the end of the ham off before cooking it.” And then he asked, “Why do you cut the end of the ham off before you cook it?”
“Oh honey,” she said lovingly. “I have to cut the end of the ham off because my pan is too small.”
The point of the story is that we may very well be doing things that had their origins in common sense but have long since lost their connection to it. For the protection of our children we would teach them to not take money from strangers. But for an adult this makes no sense. I suggest that if someone you don’t know is handing out $100 bills you should take one or more. If fact almost every time you go shopping or eat out you give money to a stranger. What you learned as a child about money may not serve you well as an adult. In fact your early money memories may have devastating consequences on your life.
How Powerful are Our Memories?
They are Powerful Enough to Determine Life and Death.
One of the first experiments published in the field of psycho-neurological immunology was in the early seventies by a scientist by the name of Herbert Specter. He took some mice and he gave them injections of a chemical called poly-IC. Poly-IC is a chemical that stimulates the immune system in mice. He had them smell camphor at the same time and after a while the mice just had to smell camphor to stimulate the immune system. He took another group of mice and had them smell camphor but this time he gave them psychlophosphomate, which is a chemical that destroys the immune system. After a while this group of mice only needed to smell camphor and their immune system was destroyed.
So you have an interesting situation. One group of mice smell camphor and stimulate their immune system and one group of mice smell camphor and destroy it. So how important is their early memory? If you infect one group of mice by exposing them to neumocoxcyde they get pneumonia and die of it in a few days, if you feed them carcinogens they get cancer and die of it in a few weeks, you do the same thing with the other group of mice and nothing happens.
The crucial difference in the interpretation of the memory of smelling camphor is the difference between life and death. It’s a conditioned response. That’s all it is.
How is this relevant to us? A human being is said to have 60,000 thoughts a day and 95% of these thoughts are the same thoughts they had yesterday. We become bundles of conditioned reflexes and nerves constantly being triggered into the same predictable outcomes. This is, for most people, the prison of conditioning.
In order for us to change our conditioning we must first visit our memories and look at them from a new perspective.
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