Humans crave linear narratives. We do something. It has an effect. We see an improvement. I don’t know where we got this logic of clear cause and effect and simple logic arcs, because it doesn’t seem like it matches reality. Horizontal thinking has a much longer history. In antiquity no one insisted on a 3 act play. We wandered through the Odyssey.
Maybe this is why we impose routines and rhythms on our daily lives. I personally require a lot of external routines to tame my physical body. Most of my days are dedicated to simple repeatable patterns. It gives me strength. Humans look to seasons and the festivals we have labeled on top of changes. We plan our lives according the angle of the sun.
But I’m skeptical that the pattern recognition my mind lays out for me of linearity is real. Life is fully of squiggly lines. Biology resists straight lines like unpredictability is some kind of dogma. We spent all pandemic resisting exponential growth because it just didn’t make sense to our little minds.
I get lost in cause and effect every day. The insistence of my emotions that because I did “good” responsible things (like workout, meditate and therapy) means I should feel good afterwards is part of my linear bias. But it’s not true that because I was good in my activities that I should feel good afterwards. Sometimes I don’t. I can have a perfect day and feel like shit. Because fuck it cause and effect isn’t that clean. And everything is multi-causal anyways.
Life comes in waves. It builds and pulls back and then crests and crashes. I’m sure we can map some of it but I’m getting much more comfortable simply riding the waves of kids as they come in.