Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Object permanence.

Object permanence is a big development for an infant. 

Prior to the development of object permanence when things leave their field of perception they cease to exist.  Hide a toy, who cares- still happy and content.  Mother leaves the room, no worry here. 

Around six months of age children start to understand that things do exist when they leave the room.  Mom is gone, and that is a problem.  Why did you take away my toy, I was happily enjoying chewing on that.

This is a key development because it allows the child to develop an understanding of causality and learn to problem solve.  Object permanence allows for a rational, logical interpretation of reality.

What no one talks about is that object permanence also brings with it a host of emotional baggage. 

Hope and fear, attachment and aversion, gain and loss are all dependent on our expectation that things we want will stick around and things we don't want will go away.  The problems is that things that we want don't stay for long, and situations that bother us tend to stick around longer than we like. 

Our rational mind has little power over these strong emotions.

Object permanence is a big development for an infant, but many adults still struggle with the implications that it brings to their life.

When was the last time you were really well prepared with your plan, had it all worked out in your head, and then it fell apart.  How did you react?  How fixated were you on that object?

What is it that you are really hoping for?  What happens if none of it works out?

Are you going to be able to talk your way through it?  Do you really know how to work with your emotions when the going gets tough?  Or is anger and disappointment going to spill over into your day and your relationships?

Object permanence. 

What's the alternative?

1 comment:

  1. Good post, and timely for me. Emotions and frustrations felt like a permanent object yesterday. It is important to remember impermanence daily. What is the alternative? Be like the baby. Simply be aware of emotions coming and going, but practice resting in that new mind that has a lot of space and freshness to it.