05 December 2012

The Psychic Proximity Principle

UPDATE! The Psychic Proximity Principle is all grown up now, rendered as a Kindle booklet, and even fools around on the altar of Steve Jobs! Check out Feeding the Soul of Steve Jobs today!

From Fiddler on the Roof:Tevye[to Chava] As the good book says 'Each shall seek his own kind'. In other words a bird may love a fish but where would they build a home together? 

The Psychic Proximity Principle:
You will gravitate toward a place and circumstance that actually fit you and your nature.

So, if you are unhappy:
  • You might be in the wrong place.
  • You might be in the wrong circumstance.
  • You might be ignoring your true nature.
  • You might like fighting gravity or inertia a little too much.

Hey, I believe in God and I believe that God wants us to reach our potential and find happiness. I also believe that God knows how to accomplish these goals better than we do. Therefore, we have a really secular-sounding thing called "The Psychic Proximity Principle" that tries to explain how it works.


I really worked for a long time to explain this thing that I felt was happening to me. That weird name came first and then, during one of my early morning walks, it hit me. You would be surprised at what strikes me in the wee hours and I am frankly surprised that a big vehicle piloted by some bleary-eyed dude has not also struck me as well.  So far, only epiphanies, no SUVs.

The Psychic Proximity Principle works on the principle of very weak magnetism.

You know about magnetism.  It is really fun to bring two magnets into the neighborhood of each other and figure out that, depending on their orientation, they either smack together pretty hard or get as far from each other as they can. This is an example of strong magnetism, that can actually move stuff and create electricity and might keep you on the ground rather than flying off into space.

Weak magnetism is attractive like the strong sort, but it just isn't irresistible. If you played with two little magnets as a kid, you could keep them apart pretty easily with what muscle power you could muster.  That was what made magnets fun - how much fun could it be if they got stuck together so firmly that you couldn't get them apart? The weak magnetism involved in The Psychic Proximity Principle is great fun (sometimes) but seems especially so for someone like God. It wouldn't be as interesting if you and your perfect circumstance slammed hard into each other very early in life!

You are attracted to your potential and your happiness, but you can resist it if you want. Sometimes the attraction is so weak that you have to "feel it out" to "find your way".

If you have noticed that a lot of people are unhappy and never seem to "come into focus", my theory is that they are ignoring or not feeling out the weak magnetic pull toward happiness and their potential. I have some big problems with finding happiness myself, but I am starting to figure things out. I don't know if that magnetic pull has different strength for different people, but I have learned one thing: Successful and happy people often describe their "journey" in terms that sound suspiciously like The Psychic Proximity Principle. Sometimes they even say that these things seemed to find them or that their success and themselves crossed paths one day. This sounds a lot like magnets attracting each other and people trying to figure out which magnet attracted the other - the answer is that both you and your "happy potential" (for lack of a better term) attract each other. The great part is that God set things up that way - what a great guy!

There is an analogue to this idea in religion, at least among Mormons. We call it "following the Spirit". Most Christians struggle with this because they fear "spiritualism" as some sort of parlor trick. It is just another way of describing what we can see operating around us all the time, whether some preacher says that God spoke to her in a dream about something she should do, or Dr. Emmett Brown from the movie "Back to the Future" saw the Flux Capacitor after hitting his head on a toilet. While atheists would contend that I am "deifying" the creative process, I can just as easily say that "inspiration" is God tickling your brain toward your potential. My contention is that if you simply chalk up The Psychic Proximity Principle to some atheistic coincidence or "luck", you will find it difficult to recognize that this happens all the time and that there is a weak magnetic pull between you and some large vats of happiness and finding your best potential that often leads to such nice by-products as financial success. In order for it to work, you have to trust that it works, which as a one-word term to describe it:  FAITH. These things don't often happen to atheists because, along with not believing in God, many also don't believe in anything as wonky as weak magnetism.

I call it the Psychic Proximity Principle because it is a fun name and it describes something that I have noticed again and again. I also think it helps Mormons understand "the workings of the Spirit" better. If people poo-poo the "religious" flavor of spiritual things, it can jokingly be called "psychic" and the principle still works until you are ready to acknowledge "a higher power" or just smile and admit that there must be a God up there that does fiddle with knobs.

My final point is that God is working to bring together you and your best potential, fraught with happiness and often with "success". You can call it "inspiration from the Spirit" or "weak magnetism" or "psychic proximity", but it is reliable and it lets me know (and perhaps you know as well) that God is there and that He loves you! Someday, we might figure out that we can take those promises to the bank and beyond!