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Still haven’t found what you are looking for?

What if what we are looking for is everywhere around us, but we just can’t see it?

How can that be? It’s either there or it isn’t, how does looking for something turn into the manifestation of it in your reality?

If you have a dog, you know they need exercise on a daily basis. Many people get an animal for this purpose, pet ownership has many benefits, and regular walks are good for both them and their owners.

Recently while out walking the dog with my daughter, she found a ball left behind, partially hidden in a bush. A white lacrosse ball, solid rubber and slightly larger than a tennis ball.

The next night, we walked around our same park, I had forgotten about the ball we had found the day before, but my daughter had not. As we walked, her eyes scanned the environment with a keen eye for anything that resembled another ball. The weather was pleasant, the dog was sniffing around, and people were out enjoying the park, but we did not find a ball.

The next night, we found two balls.

The night after, another ball had been found.

The next night nothing.

The next night, another ball.

What was going on? I have been walking around the same park close to my house for years, what was the sudden increase in lost balls filling up the park?

The philosopher Aristotle lived from 384 to 322 BC and is considered one of the most influential philosophers in history. Named the Father of Logic, Aristotle formulated the principles that laid the foundations for modern science and the methods that propelled us into the industrial revolution. One of his greatest achievements was the formulation of the Law of Identity.

The Law of Identity put simply is that a thing is what it is. Everything has an identity. To identify something is to name it, measure it, understand its attributes and characteristics, and differentiate it from other things based on these observations. The Law of Identity manifests itself in everything that exists, that it does exist, and that it is what it is.

What does this have to do with the balls found in the park? And more abstractly, everything in our lives.

Once the first ball is found, it has an identity, it is something that exists. Now that it exists, we are aware of it, and if we choose, we can focus our attention on other instances of it in the reality around us. And with the word “ball”, we identify in our minds the concept that represents the actual object. We hold it in our minds long after the perceptual image of the day in the park fades.

Because we have identified it, we now have created a cognitive bias to find it in nature if we come across it again. It’s like sitting through traffic and recognizing a 1978 Plymouth Volare sitting amidst a sea of unrecognizable cars, because you had one, or your friend did, or your cousin did, and you drove to lunch daily during high school.

So, if you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, think about the wisdom of Aristotle and begin in the beginning. Identify it. Then start looking for other instances of it all around you in nature.

And see what you may find!

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