Have you ever believed in something so effortlessly, that the world stopped making sense to you because your logical brain could not process what was happening?
I started writing this book because of an experience that was so real, yet so ridiculous at the same time. (Hindsight is a beautiful thing, right?)
It was nearly 6 o’clock and the loud noise of a fast car accelerating through the street in front of my apartment woke me up. I glanced at the clock as the light of dawn came peering through my window blinds. I felt awake, refreshed and well rested. Counted back in my head how many hours of sleep I had, and grabbed my iPhone to check up on the happenings of the word while I had been asleep.
Some time later, about 20 minutes into reading the news, I noticed that the light in my room from the outside had started to dim a little and I assumed that there were clouds blocking the sun.
Another 10 minutes and it was getting really dark outside now. As I got up to have a look at the street below, I noticed the coffeeshop across the road was still closed. They always open at 6:30 every single morning and I started wondering if it was a public holiday, or if all the people who worked there had gotten sick on the exact same day, or if the place had gone bankrupt perhaps.
The darkness started to unsettle me and in my mind I automatically started going through all the logical reasons why it was so dark. Bad weather. Solar eclipse. Aliens. The Apocalypse?
By now, you might have guessed what was going on, but if you haven’t yet – just like it took me nearly an hour to realise it wasn’t the end of the world – let me tell you.
I woke up at 6PM but assumed that it was 6AM already. You see, I had jumped onto my bed about two hours prior and clearly had fallen asleep while reading a book.
Because I felt well rested, the dials on my analogue clock said 5:57 and it seemed like the sun was just about to rise, judging from the amount of light that was getting into my bedroom – not even the thought of it being 6PM instead of 6AM was there.
My brain had tried to make sense out of it all, based on the perceived data that it had processed. Logically, at the perceived time of day, events like the darkness and the coffeeshop being closed made absolutely no sense. And instead of reevaluating the crucial information here – the actual time of day – my brain went ahead and started looking for more extreme explanations to the situation.
It was running on auto-pilot and wouldn’t stop until it was convinced that everything was alright in the world, no matter how crazy it had to make everything sound first.
It’s like the morning rush to get dressed, eat breakfast and run out the door to get to the office, only then realising that it’s Sunday, and that you’re a day too early. We’ve all been there at least once – right?
The moral of this story? Believing in things around us matters. Belief creates matter in fact. And if we start assuming things without verifying the data input, things can go from normal to crazy faster than a Tesla.
The things we tell ourselves aren’t necessary real – but we assume them to be real, and everything else around us needs to fall into place, according to the reality we’ve created in our head.