Optimism, Pessimism…And Reality

"When you throw a stone into the water, it finds the quickest way to the bottom of the water. It is the same when Siddhartha has an aim, a goal. He is drawn by his goal, for he does not allow anything to enter his mind which opposes his goal. It is what fools call magic and what they think is caused by demons. There are no demons. Everyone can perform magic." - Siddhartha

I love this quote. It speaks on behalf of so many perspectives. Let’s break it up into three parts: we've got the optimists, the pessimists, and the realists... Or do we? Is that all there is to it?

Buddhist art: Siddhartha BuddhaImage courtesy of "aimforawesome"


Years ago, I had a friend who called himself a "realist."     He proceeded to tell me that I was a "blind optimist," to which I replied, "I'm not a blind optimist; I'm an optimistic realist."... He then   replied, "No. I'm a realist. You're a blind optimist." and so on. Our little debate ended in my telling him that he is a pessimist who calls himself a realist and then we left it at that. All in good humor, we agreed to disagree.

We so often hear that our thoughts have the power to change our lives, that "thoughts become things." These teachings became extremely prominent a few years ago when the film and book, The Secret were released and became widely known. This book is sometimes said to be the simplistic approach to understanding the teachings of Abraham and that these lessons have been known throughout history - that all of the greatest and most successful people have had an understanding of this "secret," this law of attraction. We have been told that we can have, do and be anything we set our minds to.



Optimism/Pessimism: Half Full Or Half Empty ?!

Image courtesy of Ahmad Hammoud

I think the quote above from Siddhartha is an interesting one to look at for this entry. Is Siddhartha separating optimists from pessimists? Is there a reality that occurs right in the middle, between the optimist and the realist? As a self-proclaimed optimistic realist, who has been called "blindly optimistic," my interpretation of this quote, is that Siddhartha is referring to those who call themselves "realists," but might actually be pessimists when he talks about the people who call achieving your goals through consistent focus “magic” and think that it is “Caused by demons.”

Maybe it is magic. Maybe magic is overcoming the thought of the "reality" of a situation and instead constantly focusing on the bottom of the water.

It is our job to create the magic.


Devyn Rush


Twitter: @DevynRush