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July 18, 2012 / Ronald Chapman

An Illusion of Control

“Well, you know Bill W. said that never in all the years of his recovery had he understood what was going on until after the fact. And I just read some interesting psychology that might explain that. Researchers have determined that the conscious mind is like a monkey perched on the shoulders of the tiger of the unconscious that is hurtling through the jungle of reality at breakneck speed. The monkey creates an unending series of stories to explain things in a desperate attempt to feel in control.”

The line grew quiet, but Pitcairn could hear himself breathe. “Martin, what the hell does that mean?”

Martin responded light heartedly and with obvious pleasure, “Let me repeat it first. I think I need to hear it again too!” He stated it once more.

“So, whatever is happening is not just beyond our control, but beyond our ability to know. The best we can do is hang on, try to anticipate the tiger’s moves, and when the ride is over, look back to see what it all meant, if anything.”


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