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Causes and Effects. Monday February 6, 2017

Yes, I know it should be 'cause and effect' - and that is going to be my point.

I'm not a greedy guitarist - I don't want to be able to play in all styles, like all my heroes. I am, however, an ambitious guitarist. I would like to sound like The Edge. The Edge's signature sound revolves around the innovative use of delays mixed with his unique picking style and the tone of his guitars and amps.

Here is why I have played on words today for the blog.

You cannot get The Edge's Signature Sound with one effect pedal.

It is not cause and effect. It is causes and effects. The Edge's sound is broad and rich because it is not in mono. He uses a stereophonic set up with multiple amplifiers and multiple delays.

Your life is as complicated and as sophisticated as The Edge's Sound - and more so. The 'effects' in your life - your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours have not one cause but many.

"All behaviour is caused and the causes are multiple."

This is one reason why I don't believe there is a simple or quick fix for anything.

The spiritual and self-development industries depend largely on the illusion that there is one solution. "If you do this one thing..." Those of us who are disillusioned with this approach know this to be a deception.

I think the worst vice is 'Advice' - advice from those who think in terms of a single cause leading to a single effect.

So what am I saying today? I'd begin with a plea. My plea is that you and I stop trying to 'fix' the complex problems in our friends' lives by applying single 'cause and effect' thinking. The key may well be to keep going - keep digging.

My life is 'interesting' in part because of my family's break-up just before my 'A' Levels. Without this, I would have become a botanist. Instead I became a Theologian. I can point to a very distinct cause - but pinpointing that cause would not be accurate. 'A' did not lead to 'B'. 'A' plus 'C' plus 'X' and 'Y' and 'Z' led to 'B'. There is no 'root cause' - there's a whole root system!

Understanding this means that you can never blame an individual person or event for the way your life is turning out.

That's a liberating thought, isn't it? No single person or event is to 'blame' (or due the 'credit') for your current woes or wonders. It's complicated.

Moving forward then, our 'freedom' or our 'success' or our 'happiness' will depend upon multiple causes and effects. It'll be complicated but it's doable!

Have I found The Edge Sound? Not yet, but I'm a lot closer. The key was understanding multiple causes and multiple effects - probably not the insight The Edge was intending when he created his Signature Sound, but I am profoundly grateful for his complexity.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Maria Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 3:14am

Hello Lex! Causes and effects indeed! Your vision of gnarled and twisted roots is very effective with me.... I do however think there is one single person, just one, that is responsible for my current state of mind, and that person is me. My husband purchasing yet another guitar pedal, seeking just the right effect(s), can cause me to go bonkers but I think a better effect is to smile and beat on my drums :)

Lex Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 8:38am

I'm smiling with you, Maria... and an empowering point. Ultimately, it does come down to the one: ourselves. I have to say, though, that I don't know who the real me is! There seem to be multiple desires/issues/thoughts/feelings/hopes/dreams in this one person - and they are not in alignment with one another! Keep beating those drums!

Orangeblossom Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 6:42am

Thanks for the blog Lex. Provides a huge amount of food for thought. I appreciate this immensely. I know that the only person's life I can fix is my own. But I can help someone else to find their own inner resources and build up their own tool box.

Lex Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 8:41am

Indeed you can, dear Orangeblossom. I think we can have our cake and eat it. There will be times when there is an obvious contributing cause that we can help our friends with. What I'm hoping is that, next time I perceive this, I don't stop with the obvious cause, and continue digging - knowing that life is so complex.

Mary Wednesday Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 6:49am

A worthy guitar hero indeed. I love Queen's Brian May: but his distinctive sound is at least in part owed to his self made mahogany guitar! For myself - I would love to sound like Moura Stewart! As for causes and effects:I would not be in my happy marriage with my two girls if my first husband had not sought a divorce; I would still be unhappy with him and childless - not even knowing I was unhappy. Each of us has a complex route to arrive at our current point of our journey.

Mary Wednesday Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 6:49am

Moura Stewart. Sorry!

Lex Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 8:42am

...and I can see joy in complexity... and hope... and even a bit of faith. Life is SO complex, perhaps we can relax into the 'not knowing' the whole picture, the whys, and the wherefores???

Jane Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 7:02am

Thanks Lex this has made me think. I think this will help me to stop with the blame game which can be challenging at times. Have a lovely day x

Lex Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 8:43am

Thanks, Jane. Yes, the Blame Game is one I keep needing to remind myself about! Have a lovely day too x

Hopeful One Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 7:56am

Hi Lex- a complex blog which will need to be re read to absorb its contents.I agree though that in dealing with any mental dysfunction it is too simplistic to think in terms of 'the spiritual and self-development industries depend largely on the illusion that there is one solution. "If you do this one thing..." Those of us who are disillusioned with this approach know this to be a deception.the spiritual and self improvement industries'

I am learning to play the guitar and reading your blog i realised it will be a long long time before I play like my hero Hank Marvin.

Meanwhile here is our LCBT dose for today. Warning : this joke has adult content which some readers may find offensive.

4 lady friends meet 30 years after school at a reunion.....
One goes to take food and drink orders while the other 3 start to chat when the conversation turns to their successful sons.
The first lady says her son studied economics, became a banker and is so rich; he gave his best friend a Ferrari.
The second lady says her son became a pilot, started his own airline became so rich; he gave his best friend a jet.
The third lady says her son became an engineer, started his own development company became so rich, he build his best friend a castle.
The fourth lady comes back and what the buzz is about.
They tell her they were talking about their successful sons.
The fourth lady comes back and the others ask how her son is doing.She says her son is gay and he works in a Gay Bar.
The other 3 say she must be very disappointed with her son for not becoming successful.
" Oh no !! " says the Lady, he is doing good.Last week on his birthday he got a Ferrari, a jet plane and a castle from 3 of his boyfriends..."

Lex Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 8:46am

Ha ha, that's a brilliant joke! As for Hank Marvin, I won't teach you to suck eggs but I will say my breakthrough in understanding more about The Edge's Sound came through trawling through YouTube (U2ube?!) On my journey, I found a great one on Hank too!

Lacey Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 11:36am

Hopeful One Love todays joke ha ha !! where do you find them I wonder?? Lex, thank you for your thoughts today.I found them immensely profound and very true. As you have stated,we are made up of ALL our experiences; no one thing has made us who we are. And thats what makes us different and unique. And that's why they make different biscuits...ta ta for now

Hopeful One Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 5:15pm

Hi Lacey- seek and thou shall find.

Lex Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 6:14pm

There's a blog there, Lacey... what kind of biscuit are you? Thanks for your encouragement. I'm a Choc Chip Chunk...

LP Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 7:59am

Hi Lex,
I totally agree with your blog.
Both times I've had councelling, I'd talk through what were issues for me at the time, always relating it to early attachment and anxiety issues. My mothers own chilhood and her mothers etc are involved just for starters. Hormones have played a huge part, work and marriage have been stressful and feel like the "chicken or egg" in terms of my anxiety and depression, as does my physical and mental health.
A tree doesnt have one root, but it comes from one seed.
I think I have accepted my lot. I am also grateful for what I have been blessed with.
There are indeed multiple factors that have made me who I am. I love the analogy of a beautiful combination coming together to create a harmonius and unique sound.
A coulple of weeks ago all the different factors must have come together for me, I was there, for a whole week. Life isnt blissfull though and that's fine.
With practice though, we can fine tune our lives a little at a time, so thank you Lex.
Blue skies overhead, smiles and good wishes to all. LPxx

Lex Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 8:50am

Morning LP! Thank you for your wise words. "A tree doesn't have one root, but it comes from one seed." In those words, perhaps there is an accord with Maria's words above too. I do like that, one seed, many roots... leading all sorts of shoots and fruits (or in the case of my family tree: a bunch of nuts! - referring to me, of course, the rest of the family are 'normal' lol... not!!) Fine tuning, continuing. Btw, I'll enjoy your blue skies and add the best stars I've seen for years this morning. They were truly awesome!

Sally Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 8:46am

Thanks, Lex. You always give me food for thought ( and I'd just been looking at a recipe for avocado with mango, too! Your words were just as delicious, to the soul, that is!)
I shall try to remember your words as I tend to attribute too much blame to one person in my life...
I too like your analogies. And the quote about causes:
"All behaviour is caused and the causes are multiple"
I must remember that.
I see life as a dot- to-dot picture. The whole picture is only evident much later, in my case, towards the end of my life!!

Lex Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 8:56am

Hi Sally, I really believe we are all with you on the dot-to-dot picture. I recently ticked off yet another birthday after a year of lots of dots! I'm even more unclear (great English, eh?) at this late stage but growing more accepting of where I'm at, as well as continuously refining what is really important to me. I deeply appreciate your words about being delicious for the soul - that would be a life well-spent... and in fact, the lovely fellow who wrote, "all behaviour is caused and the causes are multiple," did just that - dedicated his life to writing daily food for the soul. His name is Selwyn Hughes. He's no longer with us, but his penetrating insights live on in his writings. I'd love to spend my life as he did. Enjoy the avocado with mango - I'm sure my mouth is not the only one that is watering.

Sally Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 4:49pm

Belated birthday wishes, Lex! For me, too, a life well spent would be one where the soul is fed daily! In my small way, it's what I try to do each day. I love being the age I am for the fact that I have experience to draw on. We are the sum of our parts, are we not? And more and more, the people I veer towards have the same aspirations and outlooks. Smiley face.

Jane Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 5:17pm

Sally, I love your description of Lex's words being delious to the soul -hear hear!

Jane Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 5:17pm

Delicious even!!!!!!

Lex Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 6:15pm

Thank you Jane and Sally. Are we not all magnets? Glad to have attracted you into those I am proud to know.

Norman Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 8:54am

Lex hi!
I'm reminded of the research into brain injury in sportspeople. No one punch, blow or collision "caused" the injury, it was an accumulation of damage over years. Conversely Dave Brailsford, the cycling coach, postulated the "accumulation of incremental gains" i.e. 1/100th of a second gain over ten factors is 1/10th of a second and enough to change the colour of a medal.

Lex Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 8:57am

Hi Norman, that's an outstanding insight - thank you - "...enough to change the colour of a medal." Great language too!

Julie Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 9:45am

I don't agree that one or two people can't be blamed for the way life turns out. Parental abuse, cruelty and neglect for example are the root cause that changed the course of my sister's and my life, and many others have suffered the same fate at the hands of their parent or parents. So your wrong on your understanding that blame can't be apportioned Lex.

Lex Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 12:16pm

I'm not sure we actually disagree, Julie. You said, "apportioned" - as in a portion of blame. Some events and some people really are majorly to blame. My point is that there is often more causes and that there is value in taking a broader approach. Also, it would be great to free ourselves up from blaming a single cause. (And I'm happy to disagree too - I am in no way trivialising the devastating impact one person or event can have on our lives.)

Lex Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 12:19pm

Excuse the poor grammar!

The Gardener Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 9:52am

Hello Lex, great on self analysis - and the 'blame game'. Unless subjected to brain-washing your life is what YOU made it. My parents split up before I took any exams. I've met too many people (unfortunately mostly female) whose messy lives they blame totally on their childhood. The only long-lasting effect, I've found, is if that you survive and succeed you have acquired a carapace, especially against hurt. 'Me against the world' had its harmful side, very difficult to accept help. Now, I look with my 16 year old character at how, now, I can accept help of every kind - and, that as I became a very 'social' animal I did loads of entertaining, now, as people crowd my kitchen, it seems that I made myself a sort of insurance policy, an investment in friendship. I also know, that my parents break-up did not rob me of an education - I would not have wanted it at 16 years old. But my father instilled in me the idea that nothing was impossible.

Lex Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 12:18pm

Hi Dear Gardener - loving the thoughts here, and specifically, "insurance policy, an investment in friendship." I must invest more!

Jul Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 1:21pm

Hi Lex. I've never gone down the professional psychoanalysis path and think if I did, I wouldn't know where to start when thinking what caused my tendency to low moods. In a way it's a blur and although I have tried to pin point why and when it all started, I am never quite sure. So for me personally, it's easier to believe that the causes are many. I suppose it might be seen as a way of not dealing with issues and thinking "it's such a jumble, I give up". I think I have a lazy mind where my issues are concerned and if I or someone else starts digging too far, I can't cope. So I agree causes are not simple for most of us and when helping friends, one more often than not, does not know the complete picture so a simple explanation is not the right one. Julxx

Lex Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 6:18pm

Thanks Jules... interestingly, this afternoon (and this weekend) I have been facing the 'impossible jumble' - a physical one, I've created over the years. Today, I realised that I was the one that created that jumble, bit by tiny bit, and I can (and all!) tidy it up, bit by bit. I'm sure that's psychologically relevant too! xx

Freya Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 6:37pm

Lex, I think that is very relevant, and also very empowering. It is so easy to get caught in our 'impossible jumble' and believe there is no route to escape or change. But we built it incrementally, and can dismantle or evolve from it incrementally x

Lex Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 8:10pm

Thanks, Freya... incremental it shall be! x

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