Associations

Illness prevention is a notable aim of many but being ill can make you appreciate your life at times. These periods can make you somewhat thankful when you feel good. It can also give you a time to reflect. To be a little ill, enough to take the day off work but not so bad that you wish you were dead, is quite sanctifying.

Irrespective of any concrete truth, drinking fresh juice might ward off colds, and is gleefully consumed when the rest of the family are groaning with exaggerated expressions. You hear them throw up in the toilet. Sometime later you follow suit, re tasting the orange juice drank shortly beforehand. From then on, the sight of orange juice brings back memories of that time. You drank it happily, readily before but now you declare that you would prefer something else to drink instead. These associations are powerful. They can linger for a long time. In some cases, you might avoid oranges and orange juice for years. However, after several hundred revolutions of the earth you try it again. Maybe with a little trepidation and some attention seeking displays, fanfares, then the announcement that you like orange juice again. You have returned to the former state with the original list of drinks that you like, ranked in the same order.

The intensity of the associations can result in it bordering on a phobia. A total rejection of something that you inherently like but avoid because of bad experiences associated with it. In such instances significant effort is required to dismantle the connections in your mind derailing your preferences. Associations of course need not be bad for they help us stay safe sometimes.

We can be seduced by positive images through advertising and peer influence. Our friends may like something, and we concur, not because we have found it for ourselves but because we respect their opinions. Image, presentation and fitting-in play a role but deviate us from the original precept of being at one with ourselves. Saying you like something can be polite and diplomatic, but not honest. We can be hoodwinked into thinking so.

Nurture will play a big role, big indeed, but never can one really change underlying aspects of our personal design given to us by our parents. Fixed but mired in complexity. It is a cornerstone of who we are as individuals. We have some preferences that we actively seek out are. These are our affinities and we go to great lengths to enjoy them.


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