Perception Altering and Stampless Mail
You lost the right to have a say in these things when you refused to join the council.
I now have blue-light blocking glasses, and they’ve helped cement an important lesson on perspective: when you have a real perspective change, it doesn’t feel like your perspective has changed, it just feels like the world is different. That is what your perspective is, after all: one step removed from what the actual world is.
If the sky is blue, then it seems like the sky is blue. If it seems like the sky is blue, then it really seems like it seems like the sky is blue.
This is why you should be careful with perspective changes: if you’re doing it right and their comes a time when you need to revert to your old perspective, you won’t be able to tell because it won’t seem like your perspective is different, to you the world will just be different.
For example: in stoicism, if something is outside of your control, you’re supposed to alter your perspective so that you are indifferent to it. But of course, altering your perspective is to alter the thing itself, in your world.
Say you’re in school, and a teacher is being a bully. If you’ve been reading a lot of stoicism, you may think the right thing to do is to change your perspective. So you do, and eventually it seems like abusive teachers isn’t something that’s very bad at all — you’re at peace.
But say you still want to fight against the existence of abusive teachers when you’re older. If you actually change your perspective when you’re younger, then you won’t be able to fight later, because it just won’t seem to you like abusive teachers are so bad.
You’ve put on your blue-light blocking glasses, all the blue has been filtered away, and you’ve forgotten you’ve put them on. The world doesn’t seem red then, it just is.
How can you expect yourself to fight against something you don’t see as a problem?
Anticipating this problem in your youth, you decide to send an email to your future self, describing the problem of abusive teachers. Anticipating the perspective change, you explain why it’s likely your future self won’t see this as a problem but you detail why it is anyway, and why it’s worth fighting for.
Twenty years later, future you reads the email, chuckles at the naivety of your past self, and pops the email into the archives, never to be acted apon.
Think about it! Do you hold anything 15-year-old you said or thought in high regard! Probably a couple things! But almost everything just seems silly because their thoughts are missing something that is the entire deciding factor at whether future you derisively chuckles at the email or whether they seriously consider the problem:
A message without emotion is like a letter without a stamp. It will be disregarded because future you won’t care. They’ll think the past things you cared about were silly. Remember: it’s entirely possible to fully know and remember how deeply you cared, and still NOT CARE!
If you want your future self to act on something, you either need to:
1) Make future you the type of person to obey past messages regardless of how you feel about them by either
a) infuse them with values of this being a virtue
b) blackmail them
2) make them care by exposing yourself to the emotions
In the abusive-teacher example, you’d have to capture and send the emotions prior to the perspective-altering. Like Death Note.
Really though, what’s far more likely is that you just won’t care.
And if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing’s changed at all
The person who needs a new mental tool and doesn’t have it is already paying for it. This is how we should be thinking about the acquisition of worldly wisdom.