Does anticipating something reduce its probability?

luc

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
This question has been on my mind for quite some time: the Cs have advised us to avoid anticipation, in the sense that we shouldn't close our minds to the open nature of the future - many things can happen that we don't know about, and even if we have an idea about general trends, the details can turn out to be radically different than what we anticipated. In a sense, by anticipating, we "restrict the flow" by fixing an outcome in our minds, which can lead to trouble in many ways. Or so I understand it (and experienced it as well).

Now I wonder whether indeed by anticipating, we actually reduce the probability of an event? If true, that would be very tragic because we humans usually tend to anticipate positive outcomes (that make us feel good). But the universe seems to be rather allergic to such "positive" anticipations, and tends to send the proverbial billboards on our heads to show us it doesn't work that way. From personal experience, I have the impression that the good stuff tends to happen when I didn't anticipate it at all and vice-versa. To an extent, this is part of folk wisdom I think: for example, people say if you anticipate this glorious vacation for months, it will likely turn out not so well, or if you dream about meeting the perfect partner and imagine it in every detail, it won't happen etc. Personally, there are many examples like that in my life I think.

So, if true, can we use this somehow? I think one aspect of the Work is to break free from some thought patterns that most humans engage in habitually, like anticipating positive outcomes. So what I do sometimes is that I anticipate a negative outcome and try to observe how it makes me feel. I then try to embrace it, to "be okay with it", kind of: "If this happens, maybe it would be a good lesson. I could handle it. Bring it on!" Of course, it's important to really mean it with my whole being, I can't just pretend it while secretly anticipating another outcome! Just to give an example: I do this sometimes when I deliver some work, and I imagine a scenario where the other is totally dissatisfied with my work and I have to redo everything. Or when I'm doing manual work, I tell myself "Oh, if this screw falls down, that would be fine. I will just pick it up!" instead of going "this must work now without me losing the screw!" or anticipating the finished work. And sure enough, it seems that it often works!

Well, maybe I imagine all that and my perception is skewed by such thinking, and even if it's true, maybe it has more to do with the kind of mindset I get into when doing things. But then again, if we assume that there are planes where thoughts and reality are more closely related than here in 3D, maybe mindsets and future outcomes are very closely related as well?

Also, I think the devil is in the details - I'm not talking for example about imagining terrible and unlikely scenarios such as the death of loved ones or some imaginary catastrophe. As Gurdjieff said, we can even become addicted to such thoughts and negative daydreaming, to bathing in virtual suffering. This is a huge energy drain and should be avoided. I'm more talking about things that make us feel truly uncomfortable, places in our minds we would like to avoid - and then going there consciously, and eventually "becoming okay" with those places.

So, do you think anticipating a specific outcome reduces the probability that it will actually happen? If so, does that mean that not only should we be very careful with what we anticipate, but that we can use this in the context of the Work by consciously and carefully "going through negative outcomes" with our minds, bodies and feelings, embracing them in a "bring it on" kind of spirit? Does that lead to those events becoming less likely - not because we don't want them, but as a side effect of us being prepared mentally and emotionally for them?

Thanks for reading and I hope I made sense.
 

bjorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hi luc,

I don't have the answers, It's difficult in our STS mode to set out a Nonanticipatory future because we are used to first consider how it serves us.

I think there is nothing wrong with expecting certain outcomes and working towards that based on love and knowledge. But how good do we know ourselves to actually put that into practice? Self-serving anticipation perverts our expections into our own STS desires.

If we intent to be good STO candidates, at some point it shouldn't dominate us anymore. OSIT.

But keep in mind that non-anticipation involves leaving Free-Will intact. STS does not determine the needs of others. Only STO can, while respecting Free-Will.


[quote author= luc]So, do you think anticipating a specific outcome reduces the probability that it will actually happen?[/quote]

I don't know, but it certainly will restrict the flow of creative energy? Can we divide anticipation up into: I desire this for myself, and.. This is the best outcome based on love and knowledge? (STO)


Thanks for bringing this subject up. The C's already told us about envisioning a better world. For that you need to have pure intent, (open to all possibilities) be Non-anticipatory, so that we open all channels of Creativity. Envision a better world because it is right, based on knowledge and conscience. Not because it feels good, not because it serves you. While leaving Free Will intact. OSIT.
 

Mikey

The Living Force
The example you gave in your professional work context seems to me to be rather expectation in the sense of preparation rather than anticipation. The C's said that "always expect attack" is a good thing -- one is prepared.

'Anticipation' seems to have a submeaning of 'restriction'. It happens when one believes something can only happen in one way, whereas in reality there is an infinite number of ways something can happen, causing the person in question to overlook and ignore a great number of possible paths that lead to the goal.
 

axj

Dagobah Resident
In addition to what Data said, anticipation becomes a problem when we become attached to a particular outcome instead of staying open. This attachment is sort of like a clinging or grasping at an outcome energetically. This energetic "grasping" or "pulling" actually causes the outcome to become less likely.
 

Phill4

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I think the no anticipating advice, was in reference to closing the possibilities while at the same time ignoring the rest. and constricting our perception about an outcome and its variables, which is intentionally closing our "eyes" to one only thing.

As far as the influence of out attitude in events in general, can be positive thinking, i do not think is a bad thing , the problem becomes when our tendency to assume an outcome (because of insecurity of the future) kicks in.

Being positive with an open mind seems to me that's more like the idea of faith. That doing things the right way to the best of our ability while having an open and attentive attitude to the possibilities is intact the best way to have a bigger scope of a situation. That not everything that doesn't come out our way is necessarily a bad thing or a good thing, and instead an open attitude to learning. not living pre-calculating an outcome and so forth.

Being negative or positive attracts energy , and sometimes like it was discussed on the recent sessions positive thinking can bring negative energy in.

But that all falls in a different factor instead of positive or negative thinking or attitude, is our tendency to narrow our view of the future (thus constricting the in-flow of information) and our inability to remain in the present and be in the present. AKA living daydreaming, etc.

Just to add to the discussion the answer the C's gave about a "curse" their answer was along the lines of "if there is sufficient negative energy there can be a curse"



An really good example is a soccer game, in a soccer game you have people on one side of the stadium and probably a whole country. and on the other side another country , cheering, praying , chanting, begging for their team to win, i do believe that energy is put into the situation itself the event is not only dependent on the energy put in. it is just energy thrown into an outcome.
 

Woodsman

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
What we fundamentally believe we deserve to experience, down on a subconscious level, seems to be inextricably linked to what we end up really experiencing. Moreover, that subconscious part of ourselves seems to be able to navigate reality towards a given experiential goal without anticipatory baggage or ego. It doesn't put limitations on how a given outcome is reached or what it will look like, and thus doesn't cut off probabilities.

This is one good reason why it is important to "Clean your machine" and work out all those kinks and self-limiting beliefs about one's self.

With kung-fu and energy work, back when I was studying that stuff, I found often when playing around or practicing, I and others would experience Big Cool Things. "Wow! Look what I did! I had no idea I could do that!" -But thereafter, deliberately trying to repeat those experiences always posed a huge challenge. The first one is free, almost as if to show you what is possible and what to work towards.
 

naorma

Jedi Master
luc said:
So, do you think anticipating a specific outcome reduces the probability that it will actually happen?
From my own experience: When I am anticipating something - and here I refer to the German "erwarten" (to expect) - in most cases it did not happen. Whilst in the sense of "voraussehen" (to foresee) I very often am right and things turn out in that way.
 

Woodsman

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
naorma said:
luc said:
So, do you think anticipating a specific outcome reduces the probability that it will actually happen?
From my own experience: When I am anticipating something - and here I refer to the German "erwarten" (to expect) - in most cases it did not happen. Whilst in the sense of "voraussehen" (to foresee) I very often am right and things turn out in that way.
That's very interesting. -I find the same thing.

What do you think the critical difference is between foreseeing and anticipating?
 

marek760

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Woodsman said:
naorma said:
luc said:
So, do you think anticipating a specific outcome reduces the probability that it will actually happen?
From my own experience: When I am anticipating something - and here I refer to the German "erwarten" (to expect) - in most cases it did not happen. Whilst in the sense of "voraussehen" (to foresee) I very often am right and things turn out in that way.
That's very interesting. -I find the same thing.

What do you think the critical difference is between foreseeing and anticipating?
It seems to me that the foreseeing is based on the objectiv facts that we know and and anticipation is simply wishful thinking, where we expect a successful outcome for us, or act in our interest.
 

naorma

Jedi Master
marek760 said:
Woodsman said:
naorma said:
luc said:
So, do you think anticipating a specific outcome reduces the probability that it will actually happen?
From my own experience: When I am anticipating something - and here I refer to the German "erwarten" (to expect) - in most cases it did not happen. Whilst in the sense of "voraussehen" (to foresee) I very often am right and things turn out in that way.
That's very interesting. -I find the same thing.

What do you think the critical difference is between foreseeing and anticipating?
It seems to me that the foreseeing is based on the objectiv facts that we know and and anticipation is simply wishful thinking, where we expect a successful outcome for us, or act in our interest.
I agree to mareks statement. The energy in anticipation very often feels like being greedy, while foreseeing is mostly with the status of "wait and see".
 

bjorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
[quote author= naorma]I agree to mareks statement. The energy in anticipation very often feels like being greedy, while foreseeing is mostly with the status of "wait and see".[/quote]

Yes, it feels very demanding.

I think the right ''wait and see'' attitude ties in with understanding that creation is a school. Everything that might happen are just lessons, because every situation in it's essence is just that. An opportunity to learn. In the ultimate sense, there is no right or wrong. So don't enforce your will on creation what should happen or not. Just ''Wait and See'' and take everything as a lesson.

To just accept what is at the moment, appreciate it as it is at the moment, and have Faith that the universe and things will happen the way they are supposed to happen, without placing any anticipations on how that will be.


[quote author= luc]So, do you think anticipating a specific outcome reduces the probability that it will actually happen?[/quote]

I think it does by going through the sessions. But it depends on what you try to create. For Creativity or Entropy. Listen me out.


Anticipation means that you do not have pure Faith in the universe which blocks Creativity. With anticipation you try to enforce your own will on creation.

If you have Pure faith in the Universe. Everything should go like intented because it will allow the energies of Creativity to breath and flourish through you.

So whetever you try to create with anticipation, it's not part of Creativity. It's part of Mechanical men / even Entropy.


Q: (L) Is there any qualification that needs to be established for us to get the lottery numbers? Is there some thing we have to do, or be, or think, or say?
A: Completely pure intent, i.e. open.
Q: (L) Completely open?
A: Nonanticipatory.

Q: (L) Our anticipation constricts the channel when we ask for that kind of information?
A: Yes.
Q: (L) We have to be completely uncaring whether we get it or not, so to speak?
A: Happy-go-lucky attitude helps. As you were before.
Q: (L) So, as long as we are worried, tense, anticipatory, and attached to the idea, we constrict the flow?
A: Yes.
Q: (L) Now, you said in an earlier session that you were making financial arrangements for us. Well, I am not putting any weight or pressure on that, but, does that have anything to do with M__ T__ and referrals for hypnosis?
A: Maybe. Don't be anticipatory. Faith, dear.
Q: (L) Thank you and good night.
A: Good night.
A: Happy-go-lucky attitude helps. As you were before.

If you are in peace with the intentions of creation. You're kind of happy-go-lucky? But to understand the intentions of creation. Sufficient self-knowledge and outer knowledge is required.


Q: (L) OK, we've been talking earlier this evening about intent, and of course, our own experiences with intent have really been pretty phenomenal. We've come to some kind of an idea that intent, when confirmed repeatedly, actually builds force. Is this a correct concept, and is there anything that you can add to it?
A: Only until anticipation muddies the picture... tricky one, huh?
Q: (L) Is anticipation the act of assuming you know how something is going to happen?
A: Follows realization, generally, and unfortunately for you, on 3rd density.
Q: (L) Is this a correct assessment of this process?
A: Both examples given are correct. You see, once anticipation enters the picture, the intent can no longer be STO.
Q: (L) Anticipation is desire for something for self. Is that it?
A: Yes.

Q: (L) OK, so it's OK to intend something, or to think in an intentional way, or to hope in an intentional way, for something that is to serve another, but anticipation defines it as a more personal thing.
A: And that brings realization.
Q: (L) So, desire to serve others, and to do something because it will help others, brings realization...
A: But, realization creates anticipation.
Q: (L) Well, how do we navigate this razor? I mean, this is like walking on a razor's edge. To control your mind to not anticipate, and yet, deal with realization, and yet, still maintain hope... (J) They said it was tricky... (L) This is, this is, um...
A: Mental exercises of denial, balanced with pure faith of a nonprejudicial kind.
Q: (L) OK, so, in other words, to just accept what is at the moment, appreciate it as it is at the moment, and have faith that the universe and things will happen the way they are supposed to happen, without placing any expectation on how that will be?
A: Yes.

Q: (L) This is, and I'm not asking about Ark, this is something that he has talked about in terms of shaping the future. He talks about shaping the future as an intentional act of shaping something good, but without defining the moment of measurement. In other words, adding energy to it by intent, but not deciding where, when or how the moment of measurement occurs. When the quantum jump occurs, it occurs on it's own, and in it's own way. Is this the concept he's dealing with here?
A: Anticipation.
Q: (L) In other words, is what he's talking about anticipation?
A: No.
Q: (L) Well, what do you mean, anticipation in response to what I said?
A: That is the key to shaping the future... Avoiding it.
Q: (T) OK, because we’re not anticipating in what we're doing...
A: Yes.
Q: (T) What we're doing is not anticipatory, it's just happening. We were talking about it on the way up, that with interactions with others, we are facilitating, we are creating reality. This is what they all say about reality.
A: When it hits you, it stops.

Q: (L) When what hits you? (J) The realization. (T) The fact that it's happening.
A: Yes unless you cancel out all anticipation.
Q: (L) Well, this is very tricky. (J) Well, hang on a second, I have a kind of a corollary question. The way I perceive what has happened with us in the campaign against the microwave towers; the article in the Times, and the editorial, and speaking to the people... The way I view it is that when things like that happen, I look at them, and the synchronicities tell me that I am on the right path. Is that a true statement, that they are an indication that I'm going in the right direction?
A: Semi.
Q: (T) It's a road sign, an indicator. (J) OK, thank you! That's good, it's an indicator. (L) OK, shaping the future... (J) In what way is it not? The answer was semi; part of it is true...
A: We have told you.

Q: So, it is not altogether as he is saying. Ark wants to use the psychomantium. Are there any suggestions for him to follow that would be different from instructions for me? But, then I am not an example to follow because I haven't been having a whole heck of a lot of success!
A: Keep experimenting with an open mind... do not anticipate.
Q: So, individuals COULD remote view higher densities to see what the higher densities are up to?
A: No. Expectations... ? Anticipation... ? Prejudice... ? What have we told you?

Q: Well, but you have also said that anticipation messes things up, and so I don't want to have any anticipation.
A: Anticipation is not creating one's own reality.
Q: Just give me one word of something in this direction because I don't want to take up any more time. I mean, for ten bucks I can file, and if it happens, it happens. It's no more than buying a few tickets to the lottery. I suppose I have about as much chance of that happening as I have of winning the lottery. I am not going to anticipate that or anything.
A: Good.

Q: That's all you are going to say about it?
A: Yup.
Q: (BRH) On a cosmic level, I feel that there is some sort of purpose in what I have done up to this time. I have built this structure, what do I do with it now? I have this feeling that it has not happened for no reason.
A: Let it unfold without anticipation.
Q: (BRH) What is my purpose?
A: To BE!
In short, you can only create Creativity if you are able to BE.

Q: (L) No he's not! He's serious! But then, I didn't get on the internet because I was interested in anything but my research. It was part of my mission. So, I guess that was the focus that opened the right doors for me. I had no idea, no expectation, no anticipation - NOTHING. Maybe if you are even looking, you will BLOCK what you need to have in your life? Maybe forever.
A: Yup!
Q: Will the investment club work out; will it be a binder of the group or a source of contention?
A: If everyone understands the mechanics, there is no contention. by the way, you must be an impatient investor! Good things happen to those who have patience and avoid anticipation.
If you have Pure Faith in the universe everything will go like intented.

Because than you will approach creation with the Pure intent to learn. Every situation is just an opportunity to learn, nothing more.

But you have to reach a certain threshold to understand this fully. You have to reach a certain threshold to be in peace with this absolute truth. Only than can you have Pure Faith and say no to anticipation.

OSIT.
 

Woodsman

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
naorma said:
marek760 said:
Woodsman said:
naorma said:
luc said:
So, do you think anticipating a specific outcome reduces the probability that it will actually happen?
From my own experience: When I am anticipating something - and here I refer to the German "erwarten" (to expect) - in most cases it did not happen. Whilst in the sense of "voraussehen" (to foresee) I very often am right and things turn out in that way.
That's very interesting. -I find the same thing.

What do you think the critical difference is between foreseeing and anticipating?
It seems to me that the foreseeing is based on the objectiv facts that we know and and anticipation is simply wishful thinking, where we expect a successful outcome for us, or act in our interest.
I agree to mareks statement. The energy in anticipation very often feels like being greedy, while foreseeing is mostly with the status of "wait and see".
I've been thinking about this over the morning a bit.

Foreseeing seems to be most accurate when watching other people deal with challenges in life but where we have no personal investment in the outcome. Logical progressions are unhindered by our own energy and 'navigational skills'. An example would be observing a person adopt a sugar soda and carb heavy diet and eventually developing the ailments of body and mind which are known to frequently result.

Accurately foreseeing the results of more complicated systems is much less likely. (Take politics, for example.) -Though we can see general trends without specific details with reasonable accuracy. It's more about rational pattern recognition than it is about projecting desires.

Anticipation is tied up with personal motion through time/space rather than observing how others are moving.

If we decide to seek a general outcome of some kind, and let the hyper-dimensional elements of our minds handle the course mapping in conjunction with the Universal Will, then we can often count on arriving at the objective (if we are willing to pedal hard enough through the required course and not make counter-productive decisions along the way).

By negative contrast, Anticipation is associated with materialist, linear behavior. -It is like aiming a laser at an imagined (and often non-existent) target and then running directly toward where we think it should be, only to collide with all the trees and cliff sides in the landscape of reality. (And then wondering why life is so unfair. )
 

Phill4

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
naorma said:
marek760 said:
Woodsman said:
naorma said:
luc said:
So, do you think anticipating a specific outcome reduces the probability that it will actually happen?
From my own experience: When I am anticipating something - and here I refer to the German "erwarten" (to expect) - in most cases it did not happen. Whilst in the sense of "voraussehen" (to foresee) I very often am right and things turn out in that way.
That's very interesting. -I find the same thing.

What do you think the critical difference is between foreseeing and anticipating?
It seems to me that the foreseeing is based on the objectiv facts that we know and and anticipation is simply wishful thinking, where we expect a successful outcome for us, or act in our interest.
I agree to mareks statement. The energy in anticipation very often feels like being greedy, while foreseeing is mostly with the status of "wait and see".
I think foreseeing is more linked to assumptions and assumptions are determined by experience as the C's said. Not necesarily objective thinking per see. Sure the more objective we become, our assumptions are more likely to be correct, which improves our ability to determine the most possible outcome. Anticipation as described in the session above has an intent by necesity.

We can assume that based on certain facts something like a big or small storm is likely to happen, in contrast for example , say blindly praying for wolrd peace while ignoring the true evils in one's own country is setting aside facts which are crussial for determining an assumption, let alone a course of action.
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
[quote author=luc]
So, do you think anticipating a specific outcome reduces the probability that it will actually happen?
[/quote]

More specific an event, less is the probability it will come to pass. Eg the probability of drawing the ace of spades from a full deck of shuffled cards is 1/52. The probability of drawing a card belonging to the red suite (diamonds or hearts) from the same full deck of shuffled cards is 26/52 = 0.5, which is 26 times more likely than drawing the ace of spades.

In terms of anticipating, more detailed the specific anticipated scenario, the probability of it coming to pass exactly as anticipated is small to begin with just because all the details need to fit. Whether thinking about such details reduces the probability further or not I do not know.

[quote author=luc]
If so, does that mean that not only should we be very careful with what we anticipate, but that we can use this in the context of the Work by consciously and carefully "going through negative outcomes" with our minds, bodies and feelings, embracing them in a "bring it on" kind of spirit? Does that lead to those events becoming less likely - not because we don't want them, but as a side effect of us being prepared mentally and emotionally for them?
[/quote]

Stoics used negative visualization to train the mind.

[quote author=William Irvine in A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy]
Any thoughtful person will periodically contemplate the bad things that can happen to him. The obvious reason for doing this is to prevent those things from happening. Someone might, for example, spend time thinking about ways people could break into his home so he can prevent them from doing so. Or he might spend time thinking about the diseases that might afflict him so he can take preventive measures.

But no matter how hard we try to prevent bad things from happening to us, some will happen anyway. Seneca therefore points to a second reason for contemplating the bad things that can happen to us. If we think about these things, we will lessen their impact on us when, despite our efforts at prevention, they happen: “He robs present ills of their power who has perceived their coming beforehand.” Misfortune weighs most heavily, he says, on those who “expect nothing but good fortune.”

Epictetus echoes this advice: mind that “all things everywhere are perishable.” If we fail to recognize this and instead go around assuming that we will always be able to enjoy the things we value, we will likely find ourselves subject to considerable distress when the things we value are taken from us.

Besides these reasons for contemplating the bad things that can happen to us, there is a third and arguably much more important reason. We humans are unhappy in large part because we are insatiable; after working hard to get what we want, we routinely lose interest in the object of our desire. Rather than feeling satisfied, we feel a bit bored, and in response to this boredom, we go on to form new, even grander desires.

The psychologists Shane Frederick and George Loewenstein have studied this phenomenon and given it a name: hedonic adaptation. To illustrate the adaptation process, they point to studies of lottery winners. Winning a lottery typically allows someone to live the life of his dreams. It turns out, though, that after an initial period of exhilaration, lottery winners end up about as happy as they previously were. They start taking their new Ferrari and mansion for granted, the way they previously took their rusted-out pickup and cramped apartment for granted.
.............................

As a result of the adaptation process, people find themselves on a satisfaction treadmill. They are unhappy when they detect an unfulfilled desire within them. They work hard to fulfill this desire, in the belief that on fulfilling it, they will gain satisfaction. The problem, though, is that once they fulfill a desire for something, they adapt to its presence in their life and as a result stop desiring it— or at any rate, don’t find it as desirable as they once did. They end up just as dissatisfied as they were before fulfilling the desire.

One key to happiness, then, is to forestall the adaptation process: We need to take steps to prevent ourselves from taking for granted, once we get them, the things we worked so hard to get. And because we have probably failed to take such steps in the past, there are doubtless many things in our life to which we have adapted, things that we once dreamed of having but that we now take for granted, including, perhaps, our spouse, our children, our house, our car, and our job.

This means that besides finding a way to forestall the adaptation process, we need to find a way to reverse it. In other words, we need a technique for creating in ourselves a desire for the things we already have. Around the world and throughout the millennia, those who have thought carefully about the workings of desire have recognized this—that the easiest way for us to gain happiness is to learn how to want the things we already have. This advice is easy to state and is doubtless true; the trick is in putting it into practice in our life. How, after all, can we convince ourselves to want the things we already have?

The Stoics thought they had an answer to this question. They recommended that we spend time imagining that we have lost the things we value— that our wife has left us, our car was stolen, or we lost our job. Doing this, the Stoics thought, will make us value our wife, our car, and our job more than we otherwise would. This technique— let us refer to it as negative visualization— was employed by the Stoics at least as far back as Chrysippus. It is, I think, the single most valuable technique in the Stoics’ psychological tool kit.

Seneca describes the negative visualization technique in the consolation he wrote to Marcia, a woman who, three years after the death of her son, was as grief-stricken as on the day she buried him. In this consolation, besides telling Marcia how to overcome her current grief, Seneca offers advice on how she can avoid falling victim to such grief in the future: What she needs to do is anticipate the events that can cause her to grieve. In particular, he says, she should remember that all we have is “on loan” from Fortune, which can reclaim it without our permission— indeed, without even advance notice. Thus, “we should love all of our dear ones …, but always with the thought that we have no promise that we may keep them forever— nay, no promise even that we may keep them for long.” While enjoying the companionship of loved ones, then, we should periodically stop to reflect on the possibility that this enjoyment will come to an end. If nothing else, our own death will end it.

Epictetus also advocates negative visualization. He counsels us, for example, when we kiss our child, to remember that she is mortal and not something we own— that she has been given to us “for the present, not inseparably nor for ever.” His advice: In the very act of kissing the child, we should silently reflect on the possibility that she will die tomorrow. In his Meditations, by the way, Marcus Aurelius approvingly quotes this advice.

To see how imagining the death of a child can make us appreciate her, consider two fathers. The first takes Epictetus’s advice to heart and periodically reflects on his child’s mortality. The second refuses to entertain such gloomy thoughts. He instead assumes that his child will outlive him and that she will always be around for him to enjoy. The first father will almost certainly be more attentive and loving than the second. When he sees his daughter first thing in the morning, he will be glad that she is still a part of his life, and during the day he will take full advantage of opportunities to interact with her. The second father, in contrast, will be unlikely to experience a rush of delight on encountering his child in the morning. Indeed, he might not even look up from the newspaper to acknowledge her presence in the room. During the day, he will fail to take advantage of opportunities to interact with her in the belief that such interactions can be postponed until tomorrow. And when he finally does get around to interacting with her, the delight he derives from her company will not be as profound, one supposes, as the delight the first father experiences from such interactions.

Besides contemplating the death of relatives, the Stoics think we should spend time contemplating the loss of friends, to death, perhaps, or to a falling-out. Thus, Epictetus counsels that when we say good-bye to a friend, we should silently remind ourselves that this might be our final parting. If we do this, we will be less likely to take our friends for granted, and as a result, we will probably derive far more pleasure from friendships than we otherwise would.

Among the deaths we should contemplate, says Epictetus, is our own. Along similar lines, Seneca advises his friend Lucilius to live each day as if it were his last. Indeed, Seneca takes things even further than this: We should live as if this very moment were our last.
[/quote]

Death, be it our own or that of our loved ones, is a certainty. So imagining death is not wishful thinking. Similarly loss of friends or fortune has a high probability. So contemplating such situations for exterior preparation and/or internal training can be a good way to use "anticipation".
 
Quote from Obyvatel:
"Death, be it our own or that of our loved ones, is a certainty. So imagining death is not wishful thinking. Similarly loss of friends or fortune has a high probability. So contemplating such situations for exterior preparation and/or internal training can be a good way to use "anticipation"."

l'm floored about this type of understanding, and okay it does point out a lack of knowledge on my part, of the many l confess. Hmmm.
 
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