Let us suppose that I have decided to buy a new pair of pants, and that I have recently seen a nice pair worn by a man in the street, and the same ones in only one particular shop window. Though it is sensible to assume that they are therefore available, I nevertheless cannot will them into existence in my size, in the shop I have seen, on the day that I enter the shop. Obviously I have refined and qualified my hoping to be relevant to me – my size – but what do I actually mean when I say, “I hope that that shop has those pants in my size?” Am I attempting to positively affect the course of particular events in my immediate future and ensure the success of my undertaking, or am I just entertaining myself with something pleasant to think about and hope for until I know for certain?
The mistake, of course, is in me even considering that the action of hoping would make the pants be there, or magically appear if they weren’t. The fact already exists as a physical reality before I even begin to hope for a specific outcome. That shop either has the pants in my size or they don’t. It is not influenced by the act of hoping; the circumstance already exists. The last pair in my size might have been sold yesterday, or last week, and the new batch they ordered won’t arrive till sometime next month. Or maybe they’re not going to order any at all because it’s the end of the season. Or maybe those pants are completely out of stock, everywhere, and not produced any more.
Oh god, what shall I do now? Why did i get my hopes up?