i can do anything

ok heres the theory: the possibilities are endless in my view and i personally think that our minds can do whatever we want them to, we just have to believe that we can. so pretty much im saying i could make anything happen and do anything i want if i just try to my fullest extent and believe and have faith i can do it.
—and your views???

Firstly, let me say I admire your optimism. Positive thinking - as we all know from the “will to power” train of thought - is half the battle in trying to acheive anything. If you don’t believe it can be acheived, then chances are it won’t.

However, there’s a difference between positive thought and naivity, and I think that somewhere in the logic you set out above, that line has been crossed.

Firstly I challenge, to some extent, the notion that “our minds can do whatever we want them to”. I’ve been thinking a bit about the limits of human knowledge, and how much of what we hope to understand about ourselves - and the universe in which we find ourselves inextricably placed - may never be fulfilled. There are some things, perhaps, that our brains may never be able to understand, be it because of our inflexible mode of thinking or the sheer incomprehensibility of the subject itself.

For instance, we are conditioned to thinking in terms of three dimensions. Time, as the fourth dimension, is understood, in all but the most accutely trained astrophysisists, as an entirely seperate element to the other three dimensions. That is, we, by default, think spatially (the first three dimensions) and temporally (the time dimension) even though both are, in actuallity, describing the same mechanism. We cannot picture a 4 dimensional universe, let alone the 11 dimensional one proposed by some in the astrophysics community. If we cannot overcome this preconditioned mode of thinking, perhaps other things, too, are susceptible to misinterpretation.

Think of it in terms of other living species. Regardless of its “will to power”, a monkey can never understand the Pythagorus Theorum, simply because its brain is unable to facilitate that mode of thought. It cannot facilitate the cognitive processes necessary to arrive at such a conclusion. Mathematical thought is entirely beyond it. It is not aware that the square of a right-angled triangle’s hypotenuse is equaled to the sum of the square of its remaining sides, but - most importantly - it is not even aware that this gap exists in its knowledge. Thus, in the same way, perhaps there are boundaries to human knowledge - things that can either never be understood, or, perhaps, things that we can never possibly be aware that we don’t know.

I know that there is a big difference between humans and the rest of the primates in the animal kingdom (mainly the facility of communication, which means that once someone discovers something it stays known as he communicates it to his peers, thus adding to the sphere of human knowledge and removing the need for the same thing to be discovered over and over again by each individual) but I think it’s a useful parallel. We may be the kings of our planet, but it does not necessarily make us capable of omniscience. Remember, for all our pretense to intellectual and cognitive brilliance, we still, for all intents and purposes, have stone-age brains.

Then, onto my next point, you raise the notion of “belief” and “faith” being the only two concepts necessary to “make anything happen”. You aren’t a Christian by any chance are you? Belief and faith are only useful if they are grounded heavily in reality, at which point, it would be easy to argue, they begin to constitute knowledge and not faith or belief. Belief doesn’t create reality, reality should create belief. If there is something I want to acheive, I would best be looking at empirical or logical evidence to ascertain that it is indeed possible in the one mode of reality to which I am bound: I am not free to determine, of my own voilition, what can and cannot be acheived. That is already determined for me. That is the notion of reality.

I’m not going to turn this into an ontological discussion of what reality constitutes, but any will to power can only work within its boundaries. I can will myself to fly, but reality will not allow it. I can believe in God, but only so far as he can be abstracted entirely from reality. Belief and faith only have merits if they are grounded in empirical and logical reality, otherwise they amount to nothing of any practical value.

Having said that, I do not wish to discourage your optimism. A great many things are never acheived because we deem them impossible, or, at the very least to difficult. Despite all that I have just said, we can - in some small way - shape our own reality, insofar as we are free to determine what is and isn’t possible, so long is this possibility is deemed at all permissable by the “greater” reality. If there is something that can be acheived, and there is a strong enough will to acheive it, then it will be acheived.

I know my thoughts are getting a bit confused just there, but I hope you get my point. I’ve been up since 5am and I’m not quite firing on all cylinders. :confused:

Humans arise from the world, not the other way around, even though we do create in our minds something far different from what actually exists objectively. You can’t control that you’re a living creature subject to birth and death like all other living creatures. You can’t control that you have certain needs in order to delay that death.

You can in theory think anything, which would give you control over your own subjective world. That would not prevent something in the outside world from killing you, but it would make you think for a while that you’re all-powerful.

However, even here it doesn’t work so well in practice. Most of our beliefs and desires are compelled by experience. Even though it is perhaps in theory possible for me to convince myself that this computer is actually an elephant, that’s certainly not what I’m being compelled to believe. The world compels me to believe this is a computer, it’s not actually a choice of mine. The world also compels me to have life-oriented desires which prevent me from attempting to convince myself that the computer is an elephant. (Note that this doesn’t mean there can’t be a few people compelled by drugs life has given them to want to believe it’s an elephant. They’re just equally compelled by their circumstances in that direction.) Problems of free will crop up here, obviously.

absolutely not. if i decide i want to grow 5 arms and fly to the moon on a skateboard, i really dont think that i would be able to.

however - i do believe that we are capable of -far- more than most of us realise… with enough dedication, hard work and focus it is certainly possible to acheive far greater things. you just have to want to badly enough.

It is possible to do anything. It’s just that the vast majority of people don’t know how to yet. The brain can be modelled as if it has eight circuits. The first four are concerned with nourishment/survival, territory/emotion, semantics/logic, and socio-sexual behaviour (morality)

These are the circuits that everyone, (except feral children) use to a greater or lesser extent.

The next four are concerned with mind/body interface (mental healing), neuro/genetic interface, neuroprogramming, and quantum non-locality. Breaking into this eighth circuit is the key to attaing almost super-human abilities. It is achieved through highly advanced and intense yogas, near-death experience (for a short time) or extensive use of bio-chemical transmitters in conjunction with advanced meditation.

For more info, check the work of Timothy Leary, esp. The Game Of LIfe and Neuropolitique; as well as Prometheous Rising by Robert Anton Wilson.

thanks for the replys everybody!! :smiley:

alrighty, JP i understand your naivity comment but maybe its naive to assume that we arent capable of anything we want anyway? i think that one reason we cant picture the 4 or 11 or 52 dimensional universe though is becasue it hasnt come up in anykind of school activity or anywhere for that reason, true its hard to imagine something weve never seen, but that doesnt mean we couldnt create or understand something like that, becasue if in fact there was an 11 dimensions somewhere we would very well have to accept it and comprehend. so pretty much even though you cant comprehend it doesnt mean that no one could, it also goes back to that invisible saftey net: belielf. i hate using that as a point but its true in my eyes. also, in a way we somewhat put ourself in the dimension of time. i could run on a 85 our cycle if i wanted, i would just have to comform my brain into the time and my body would follow. im not sure on the sleep part though ebcause i know that we can die without sleep but im not sure if its ever been studied if we could wedge ourself off of as much sleep as were used to or going for longer periods without it but still getting the right amount.

on the animal comment i also see your point, BUT the way i see about math its also man made, and maybe monkeys would understand the pythagorean theorm but just in a different way we obviously dont know the language of other animals and if we do its only guessing, maybe the animals (and im obviously going on a whim to say this) have a easier way of seeing those kinds of things.

and now on belief and faith section, no im not a x-ian, im actually not sure what i am to tell you the truth but tats another topic so i wont get into that. i can say that to me my perception is my reality, its just like someone on acid that thinks he can fly. maybe before he died to us he made the flight in his own eyes and his soul (assuming on the soul theory) flew away and left his medium to rest. i think that people with sczophrenia see things and of course to them thats real and they believe its really happening to them. so its no good for mental hospitals to tell them that the voices are fake jsut because they didnt witness the voices for themselves. it makes me wonder because a lot of people that are labeled “mentally ill” claim they are profits from god or angels. in addition, even if we are being controlled by some other force and we have no say so in waht we do, that actually gives more reason to belive that we are capable of more, becasue we obviously dont know whats controling us so maybe they have some more in store for us? but right now i will admit im very wrong about all of this if there is an almighty fate involved. the same with people with belif in god though maybe when we die we go wherever we believed we were going to go. i wont say anymore about that though becasue this will turn longer that i really meant it to. so sorry.

thank you for the complement of my optomism though, but one more thing and i in no way mean to offend you or anyone byt the statement, but maybe and just maybe the thing in the back of your mid that tells you there is a limit is limiting you in the most ways possible. of course if you tell yourself your stupid you will eventually start beliveing that you yourself are stupid anyway (jsut an example though).

in regards to pauls response: yes reality and society tells us a lot of things we can and cant do, they also tell us what is and isnt, but im sure that youve found times when they are wrong. all i can say to that is that maybe you listen to society too much and even if you are listening to society im sure that you could talk yoruself out of what their saying anyway. and yes drugs could compell you to belive the computer is an elephant but youve said it right there. the computer can be an elephant while on drugs. it sounds like your writing drugs off as soemthing that couldnt be used as s tool for somehting like that. hmm i dont think came out exactly how i wanted but im trying to say that jsut because a drug was the catalyst for the belief doesnt mean it wasnt real to that person. everyone has their own reality even the skinny girl that looks in the mirror and still sees that overwieight monster.

kjeeva, to tell you the truth i actually think that your fantasy could happen. i thin the world that other peoles ideas have made got us used to automatic reward. were used to just saying i want a hotdog and we pop one into the microwave and ina couple of minutes we have it rather than roasting it over a fire for however long it takes. you more than likely arent jsut going to be able to say i want 5 arms and a flying skateboard. it could happen, but the way i picture it is like someone planting a plant and it grows. if we plant the psychological seed of wanted to grow extra arms and told yourself everyday and eventually started believing you were going to grow arms (the watering and nurture) you could very well recive your wish and your arms would pop out (the result of the plant). yes i admit a corny analogy but its the best i will do for the moment.
thanks for your view!!

HVD, thank you very much for the feedback thats very interesting also thank you for telling me where i could find out more.

ahh alright then sorry i made this so long thanks for all of the good feedback! if i missed anything that i didnt reply to that you wanted just tell me. and of course more feedback on what i replyed with if youd like :smiley:

It’s perfectly real for you, but that doesn’t mean you’re in control of it. Anything can be subjectively real, but it’s almost always still compelled by something, be it normal sense perception or drugs.
This is the simple proof that there are limits to your control: jump off Mount Everest while imagining you’re able to fly. I don’t debate that the flying experience can in theory (although not for most people in practice) be subjectively real to you, but your subjectively real experience will be terminated rather abruptly. The universe will define your death according to the condition of your body no matter how you choose to imagine it, and death will prevent you from imagining any further. This is a very strong measure of control the world exerts. If you don’t agree, you’ll have to provide evidence of your power by demonstrating that you can live through imagining food instead of eating real food, etc…

im not sure if your a drug user or not, but if you are you obviously know that at times the drug can take a stronger hold than you would like and you freak out or something, and maybe you dont freak out but your doing nothing to stop the things that are happening. im not saying im the master of the effects of drugs at all and im sure if you use them your more experienced than me, although i have read about people that do drugs in a controlled environment with people there to help them control the trip. but anyway jsut becasue it a drug it doesnt mean you cant control whats happening, yes most people take drugs for recreation and they dont plan on controlling anything and in their mind they stay with the thought of whatever happens happens. im sure that if you really wanted to conntrol a trip or a high then you could. its jsut like if you come home stoned andor your parents walk in while your stoned you can sober up pretty quickly. but the drugs are beside the point of my original post. i wasnt saying we could make what we wanted to happen through drugs. drugs is a shortcut to what you could be doing in a regualr consciousness, and if you achieved the state of mind that im describing drugs wouldnt even need to be involved.

now about the everest comment. i dont think your following what i mean on my theory. im not saying that you just go jump off things and imagine you can fly. i would actualy picture the process of becoming the state of mind that id like to have taking some time. but i will give it to you, your body would be nothing more than likely if you were to imagine you could fly and jump off of a cliff. also, i dont like thinking in terms of just this life always, becasue you would assume that when you see the body hit the ground from the jump he is dead, well from science you know that the body no longer works and the things inside it, but that doesnt mean that there nothing left of whatever it is that “you” are. im not sure what you believe in when it comes to death and afterlife though. its said that people are living longer and we will actually run our bodies down before were dead mentally. so on that note i would think its safe to say that even though a body is no longer of use, that doesnt mean that there isnt some kind of consciousness present. i honestly can say that i have never had an out of body experience or near death experience so i couldnt tell you anything about what happens after death, but unless you have the experience that i lack we could agree to disagree on the after death consciousness. and yes i do plan on trying to put this theory to the tes, i havent decided what id want to experiment with, but id be glad to tell you if it works or not for evidence of course. thanks!

Well its seems, then, that your entire theory rests on a metaphysical assumption. As with most other metaphysical theories, there is a problem in that it can neither be proved nor disproved - that is, the antithesis is as logically correct (or at least as plausible) as the thesis. If your metaphysical theory is that we have some infinite, trancendent part to our beings, that can neither be seen nor detected in any other way, then your theory, by definition, cannot be disproven. However, the rational person will see that by inventing a concept and designating it the quality of being undefinable, ambiguous and/or undetectable by empirical and rational tests, we can postulate the exsitence of anything simply by assigning it one of these qualities.

Thus, your transcendant personality theory is exactly as plausible as the antithesis, but that doesn’t really mean a thing. Why? Because they amount to exactly the same thing - a muddied definition and an indectable concept. You can’t disprove something so vague, but it certainly can’t be proven either.

Thus, if you suggest that we are capable of acheiving anything simply because there is a transcendent part to our being, then the onus of proof is on you - the one proposing the theory - to offer some evidence that supports it. You say that you will search for proof of “after death consciousness” but until you give a less ambiguous definition or choose more detectable concept, you will probably find nothing in the least bit conclusive.

So I guess all I’m saying is that human beings are restricted by the physical world (or what I clumsily called the “greater reality” in the above post) and that regardless of presence of mind, we are inextricably bound to it. We do have a certain will to power, but that only extends to what is physically possible. We can usually will ourselves to run faster, but not fast enough to beat a drug-addled Ben Johnson for instance.

I’m all ears if you think there’s something I should know about this ADC thang, but for the time being, I think you’re going to have a hard time defending your stance if you’re relying on evidence in favour of ADC to support your theory.

And, just to lighten this otherwise bland post up a bit, here’s a yellow face:

:smiley:

surely if you believed you could fly you’d test it out by trying to take off from the ground? i think it takes more than just belief to accomplish anything, just because life isn’t fair like that.

JP, thanks again. yes i agree with you on the fact that its hard to believe unless you yourself were able to experience something like that, or there were some kind of evidence, and im not saying there isnt evidence but i cant say that ive looked for any so i dont knwo if theres any out there or not, it was jsut a theory i was stating. but i definately will research deeper into this subject this summer. and if i find anything of value i will post it.

and not to sound like a broken record, but yes if you beleive that you are restricted by a greater reality then you will more than likely see yourself being affected by that, but one that doesnt believe in that would have a better chance of not being affected by it. and for ADC im not so much saying that thats my whole basis of my theory, although i believe that there is a consiousness after death i dont expect anyone to take sides with me on that. that being even harder to prove than my first theory.

yes i understand if i didnt make the theory so vague it would be easier to work with, and if experiemtn with trying to prove this i wouldnt be trying to do everything at once anyway. although this may not be plausible to you, but some kind of proof can be everyday things. for example: i was once told a story about some indians, and when they would come to a tree that was in their way they would spend days yelling at it and telling to to die and move. (note: this is a story of a story so forgive me if you knwo what im talking about and i get the prcedure wrong, or the whole story for that matter) and after days of that the tree would fall over and they would be able to get through. now of course i want to belive this story becasue it supports my side of things, but i can understand if you see it as unorganized rubbish. another example that applies to everyday life would be trying to quit a habit like tapping on a desk. if you told yourself everyday to stop tapping on a desk and you stopped yourself evertime you would start then you would eventually stop tapping and there would be know problem. the same with making a habit. if you tryed to make a habit of tapping on the desk and you constantly made yourself tap and wrote on sheets of paper to tap on desk you would eventually start doing it without realizing it. so if we can do things like that, then shoudlnt we be able to accomplish greater things. its only an invisible force holding us down, why not break through it and float. of course im not sitting here doing it but i do belive i could do it with work and faith, and thats me so criticize me at will.

ben johnson ben johnson ol benny… well then theres one point i could say i suppose. becasue the steroids put him in the state of mind to run faster and lift more weight and what not. knowing that the state of mind is there you just need to get in it is a good start to finding it. you dont have to have the drug to feel that way. i belive that with the work of course you could will yourself into that state of mind…??..

lousie, i dont belive i would necesarily jump off of something if i belived i could fly. it was just n example that was being used about the flying. maybe im missing something, but what more would you need than belief to accomplish something. again i think that the term belief is being taken to serious. im not saying that you just tell yourself one day you cna fly and then go do it and succeed. i would picture a lot of mental conditioning, to accomplish the belief. its very hard just to belive that you can fly, but like many things if you pound them into your mind enough you will soon start beliving them. but please exaplain more on your needing more than blief because im not sure im following all the way. unless all your saying is that life is a bitch and it wont let you accomplish everything you want. but again if your in that state of mind then yes life will be holding you back from the things you want.

:stuck_out_tongue: <---- muahah so happy

I just think that belief, or ‘mental conditioning’ can only get you so far, for instance if I decided that I was going to win the Olympics in a sport that required a certain amount of natural talent as well as hard work, then no matter how hard I tried, and whatever extent I pushed myself to, I could still be beaten by someone with a natural aptitude for the sport. I like the idea of being able to accomplish anything if you believe you can, however I just don’t believe that it is realistic, as everyone has limitations that no amount of education, training, or whatever you do to further yourself, can overcome.

I can accept that the mind has more power over the body than we traditionally give credit for, hence the existence of the ‘miracle cure’.

However, assuming the world conforms to some objective constants/ laws of physics (and not the made-up ones like quantum mechanics!), I am extremely skeptical as to how much control we can exert on the world around us without physical interaction.

It seems arrogant to think that the power of the human mind alone is sufficient to achieve absolutely anything, such as common conjectures like ‘reaching out with the mind’ and ‘flying to another place’.
The influence of drugs on consciousness is merely to distort reality and trick our minds into believing in complete illusions.
Whether this is enough to constitute reality in terms of our perception of it is highly debateable, but it is dangerous to simply accept it as such without question- otherwise we would not bother to treat schitzophrenics and psychotics.

I used to learn the trombone with this crazy woman (really lovely though), and she once told me that before her GCSE exams, she really believed the world was going to end before her exams started. She persuaded herself so much so that she didn’t do any work at all. That was a while ago now, and the world is still here (if you hadn’t noticed). Similarly, what about all those cults who really believe that the world is gonna explode/everyone is going to hell next week on specific dates. None of these ever have happened (yet). If it was true that anything your believe can happen, then why hasn’t the world ended yet? Some things cannot be done, however much you as an individual believe that it will.

louise, thats just fine that you belive that you can be limited by certain things. it seems obvious to people that there are limits, but i choose to belive the opposite. i wouldnt judge you on your beliefs jsut as i would hop you wouldnt judge me upon mine, but it doesnt keep me from defending my beliefs. now then, “Natural Aptitude”. it somewhat sadens me to see that people would use something like natural aptitude as an excuse for not being able to do something better than someone. an excuse is what it is in my opinion at least. i think that we all can do whatever we want (aside from phenomena right now). if you want to be an artist and you start out and it doesnt appear that you have this “natural aptitude” do you quit? i would hope not. i used to believe in this theory but i shunned it becasue its rubbish to me. i finally came to a point in my life where i wanted to do what i wanted to do and i stopped letting people telling me what was what, and i profited off of this decision. i grew up playing drums and i had the natural aptitude for it as they would say. but i soon found out that it wasnt that. my dad played drums and so i figured thats where i got it from. and yes that is where i got if from, not from natural talent. i grew up with my dad beating his hands on the dash to the music and soon enough iw as following in the footsteps so as a child everyday in the car with my dad or while he sat at his desk i was having somewhat of a imaginary drum lesson. so now that i open my eyes i wasnt born with the talent i practiced and then when i was old enough to get a drumset and think for myself i realized i didnt jnust pop out of the womb with this talent i had been practicing all my life. and after 5 years of drumming i wanted to do something different so i took up guitar and everyone was baffled but im picked up quickyl on the guitar because i wanted it so bad. and yes you may be thinking well my natural talent is music becasue guitar and drums are both music. well… i also started writing short stories and poems and what not and though no one in my family is much of a good writer that meant nothing, but i figured it out. same with skateboarding and all sports that i went through. sorry for going off into all of that but im just saying i dont believe theres such a thing as natural aptitude. what i believe your mistaking that for is when kids are yougn and their parents do certain things or they see vertain things everyday they eventually catch on and before they even know it they have developed this “natural aptitude” that you speak of. just becasue it runs in the family doesnt mean your destined for those things. honestly if you really want something bad enough you can have it. so if you want to run faster than the people in the olympics then start training because it will be very had work but you have to want it.

now all more that i can say for the people who think its not possible of my theory is that maybe im right and maybe im wrong. i believe that i can do anything if i really try and practice and everything else that comes along with it. but everyone who believes you cant do it wouldnt be able to in the first place becasue you dont even think its possible. if we were restrained to a room from the time you were born until now with a blindfolded ear plugs, nose plugged, and being strapped down to prevent the learning of walking you would never believe or even fathom the miracles of seeing hearing smelling or walking much less getting into these large masses of metal with rubber circles, they call cars that move by theirselves. if you only knew things of that room you would never believe anything else was possible becasue some kind of force was holding you down to the bed therefore why try to get out of it because youve tried to many times but it never worked. BUT if you could take off the blind fold and see that the ropes were unravelling you would keep trying would you not? all im saying is that jsut because we cant see hard evidence that flying and healing and ADC is possible it doesnt mean it couldnt happen or be true. we should all try to take our blindfolds off one day and imagine that the ropes are so close to unraveling that we break them. someone will do it whether it is me or someone another 2000 years from now it will happen. laws are laws and they will be broken.

schizophrenia and all mental illnesses are frowed upon. of course they are becasue they dont please us in the normal conditions were used to. its not comforting to knwo that someone is hearing voices. well its happeneing to them and its very real to them. maybe we just cant hear the voices that they hear? not that i believe in jesus but lets say he came as son fo god. people gave him a chance and a lot of them didnt and claimed he was a psycho. there are many people nowadays that claim to be profits and the next jesus etc… why are they different that jesus himself? maybe jesus was whacko, but it is said that he healed people. so he isnt god then thats a big feat to overcome. that means that we as mortals can heal. we looks past these people with mental illnesses liek their nothing, but maybe they have the answers that were looking for or that were too scared to find. maybe we treat the “crazies” because if they do tell the truth it will scare people to hear it. it reminds me of a twilight zone i once saw. there was s town and many of the residents were going insane well it ends up that there is a man telling everyone the meaning of life and they tell people and those people tell other people and it turns the whole town “insane” maybe insanity is what we should strive for? because we will know the menaing of life one day. will it be different then? will we not go “crazy” in that environment?

clara…my question to you is how long did she persuade herself that the world was going to end? and for the cults, one thing i can say about them is they just belived the world was going to end they didnt belive that they themselves were going to end it… that could be a reason of theur failure. and if you think about it most of their worlds do end. if you die i would think that this world ends for you unless of course your thrown back into by reincarnation, though another topic no need to go in right now. the other thing i can say is im not saying you just one day belive and a week later it happens. i dont know how long it would take, and maybe these people went about it the wrong way, and actually you only heard them verbally say they believe. i have said i believe many times when in the back of my head i know very well i dont.???

thanks again everyone sorry this is so long once again

i don’t think that natural skills are necessarily a bad thing, they’re part of what distinguish us from each other. i admire your optimism, but i still maintan that some people are always going to be more skilled at certain things then others. however, i don’t think that this should be seen in such a negative light - if everyone had the ability to paint like monet, or create music like mozart (or whoever you admire) or play football like pele, then the skills they have wouldn’t be special. everyone is better at certain things, whether they be music, education, sport, or whatever, and although we can’t do anything just because we set our minds to it, maybe it would be better to concentrate on the things we are naturally talented at, like the people i mentioned earlier did. what if monet had turned around one day and decided ‘well, i’m pretty good at painting, but i really want to be the worlds best sky diver’?

louise, i think that you took me the wrong way when i said the word believe. i wasnt saying that i dont like that there is natural talent. i was stating that i dont believe that there is such thing as natural talent. i think that we are born as is and we learn intelligence and all the other abilities and “natural aptitudes”. now on your examples on this last post, of course there are going to be people that are better at things thatn you, but thats not jsut because they had some kind of natural ability. i believe its becasue they worked hard for what they wanted to do. people that are in the olympics train for years getting ready for it. ive never been aware of any gold medalist that woke up one day and decidede to join the olympics and did so the following day. i knwo with that example i took it to somewhat of an extreme, but all im saying is that natural aptitude in my opinion is an excuse for not being as good at something as you would like to. or an excuse to say “oh that person is better at this particular thing than me because they were born with that talent”. we dont recall everything from out childhood, hence we more than liekly wouldnt be able to point out the key points of where a talent occured or the first makings of a talent. maybe monet as a child was shown or taugh, or just observed a different way of looking at things, and those different perceptions turning into what looked like as a natural talent which would be very untrue in this case. becasue monet wouldnt have born with the talent; the makings and beginings of the talent occured in child hood where perception and reasoning and morals were taught. i dont think i would say that im shedding any kind of negative light on your theory of natural talent. in my view it is your view of the basis of talents that is the negative light. and everytime your dont succeed at something or are beat by someone you pull out your negative light and turn it on and comfort yourself in it saying "its alright that i didnt do as well as this person because they have the natural aptitude that i was not equipped with. its obvious these days that men and women are not equal physically and mentally (because of different ways of being raised and what not) so maybe the persont hat beat you in the foot race was brought up running laps everyday with his father. and you on the other hand decided a year ago to start running. of course you wouldnt be as good as that person in taht case. and yes i belive that of monet wanted to sky dive then he could have done it. maybe not as good at it because of the others because the insructions were recited different or something, but yes if monet really wanted to sky dive and become a champion at it then he could. maybe youve had some bad experiences with setting your mind to something and doing it but theres many other people that it works for. i will admit that there are people that are better at things then other people, but i will not admit its becasue of natural talent, its in my opinion because they were taught different and see things different and worked and practiced harder than other people. im not sure if you see what im saying or not, but i apologize if i come off to be rude, becsaue its not my intentions see :laughing: anyways, thank your for the response

I respect your way of seeing things, AMJ, and it would certainly be an incentive for me to get on the basketball court and practise if I knew that a lot of hard work was all it would take for me to get as good as Michael Jordan. But this is clearly not the case. You might say that I did not start early enough, or that I was not coached as he was, but what if I had a son and raised him to be a basketball star in the US? Would hard work and being “taught different” allow him to overcome the barrier of not being 7ft tall? You cannot deny that physical differences give different people different aptitudes for different activities and sports. However much I want to believe that everyone starts from a level playing field, it is simply not true. I think that ability is actually shaped by a combination of natural predispositions along with the factors you mention.

Your argument using the example of runners is a nice one, but I have a friend who is a fantastic runner and won a county race meeting just two months after starting to train and run regularly, despite being up against committed oponents who had been doing it for years. How would you explain that in a world where everyone is naturally the same? How would you explain the fact that some babies are born bigger than others?

I believe that natural talent/predisposition plays an enormous role in physical pursuits, though I wonder whether your argument might hold some weight with regard to intellectual activities. It is quite possible that your early experiences shape your intellect and personal qualities; certainly it cannot be disproved. But I feel an urge to turn to anecdotal evidence again. I know a lazy git (but good bloke!) at an ok grammar school who has always managed to pull off spectacular results in exams. I also know somebody who was raised in a very academic household, sent to the top school in the country, and is a natural hard worker, but his results do not come close to those of my friend at a grammar school. What is the difference between them, if it is not natural talent?

Natural talent is real and awesome, though true greatness is rarely achieved without complementary hard work. We remember Jimi Hendrix’s guitar-playing because he was committed to improving himself, but more because he was an inspired genius. Other people might play from the age of three and have lessons with experts, but will never attain the level of naturally talented people like Hendrix/Page/Lennon.

Though it would be nice to live in a world of optimism where anyone can achieve great things, Louise was exactly right. We do not live in such a world, and there is no use in pretending that we do.

Page- talented?!
I think not.
How much credit should we give drugs in such a situation?

same with jim morrison, that adds a new concept to the debate - people who are only talented when on drugs. just look at the soviet olympic teams of the cold war era, and the doors.