Day 54 – Absence Positive Fallacy: An Exercise in Gratitude

The Absence Positive Fallacy is my favorite fallacy, in the sense that it isn’t just a shallow term you use to obfuscate arguments or prove the worth of that philosophy course you took.

The Absence Positive Fallacy suggests that people don’t see the absence of something bad as something good.  It’s a fallacy because it’s illogical that you would not derive benefit from the absence of a malady.

There are a few reasons why this is so prevalent: unconsciousness, forgetfulness, and a tendency to cling to negative imagination of a malady instead of invoking a feeling of gratitude.

Unlike Argumentum Ad Homonym or Ad Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc, the understanding of Absence Positive Fallacy can be a direct path to human happiness.  Here are some exercised to prove what I mean. 


Take a moment to relax and take a few deep breaths.  Gently direct your awareness to your head and attempt to feel deeply, the absence of your headache.  Try to sense your body, behind your eyes, scan your awareness across the scope of your head.  Sharply look from left to right, and feel the total absence of pain that would have occurred during sudden movements.  Stare into a bright light and feel the normality of the absence of pain. 


Close your eyes and sense the physical existence of your throat. Knock your head back and swallow, tightening the muscles of your glottis.  Feel the absence of pain, of swelling.  Open your mouth wide and dilate your throat.  Direct your attention to your perfectly functioning, non-painful, non-swollen throat.


Bring your attention to your stomach, and feel deeply the absence of any nausea.  Think of food, and sense the complete lack of a desire to vomit.  Raise your arms above your head, then touch your toes.  Feel the lack of nausea in your body.  Try to sense exactly where the nausea would occur if were there.

The beauty of this system is that there is no matter what you are suffering from, there is something else you aren’t.  With a bit of practice and some mental fortitude, one is capable of directing the mind into a state of receptive gratitude and joy at their situation.


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