Have you ever experienced “all that glitters is not gold?”
Far more times than I could recount in a day.
Being conned by James Power was one such.
Having quite consciously and intentionally spent over 40 years trying out as many different things as I deemed prudent in as many different domains as I deemed prudent (which to many occurred as extremely imprudent), I am very clear that our senses and our brains are quite easily fooled by a large number of different phenomenon (most of which most people seem unaware of).
Thus the majority of people can be quite easily influenced in particular directions of thought and behaviour by the metaphorical equivalent of “glitter” to our neural networks. The science behind advertising and politics is quite amazing in this respect (and a big part of why the last newspaper I bought was in July 1984).
Training all aspects of mind to be alert for the glitter can involve immersion is aspects of glitter.
And yes – expectations can be a major issue, at every level. Maintaining the discipline of questioning our expectations, even our most tried and tested expectations, at all levels, is difficult, and not something attempted by very many. It seems that most people prefer to live in the certainty of a world of shared illusion rather than face the fundamental uncertainty that seems to actually underlie this existence we find ourselves in.
The fundamental attraction of certainty (at all levels of brain) is powerful. The logic and mechanics of why this is so are clear enough, yet the experiential reality of living it is something quite different from the intellectual understanding. Discipline, at any level, holds its own dangers – no easy way out of the “glitter trap”.
It seems clear to me that the “glitter” of certainty is the most dangerous thing facing humanity at this stage in our evolution; and quite possibly for some considerable time to come.
Years of experience in boats on the surface of the ocean can help to prepare the mind for uncertainty at a particular level, and it sets up its own expectation functions promising certainty at another level – an infinite nest of certainty glitter, all illusion.
Every distinction we make holds the possibility of a “glitter trap” in this sense, as the probability that reality is in fact as we distinguish it is actually rather low in many cases. Cultivating skepticism at this level can be very hard on relationships with people firmly attached to certainty – it leaves very little in the realm of interpretation that is shared.
So yes – a powerful analogy to contemplate and act upon at all levels of thought and awareness and being.