Choice and change in 3D

Saturday, April 30, 2011

7:45 AM. Ready when you are.

You can take a day off now and again, remember.

Yes, I remember. Maybe Sunday morning, or Monday. We’ll see. So, where are we?

We are discussing choice, and change, and making what you believe into what you know, and what you know into what you live. Those are three ways to say the same things. Your definitions express and enforce your limitations.

[After distracting myself.] Go ahead. Looking back, I see that I began this, on the 26th, asking about discrepancies in your function as I’ve conceived it.

Shall we rephrase that?

Getting back a little of your own, are you? Go ahead.

OT1H you have seen us as relatively responsive; OTOH you see that we do have preferences and nudge you toward them if only in the choices we present – that is, by the relative charge we put on preferred options. We can’t force you to choose, but we do have our druthers.

Therefore you are more manipulative than I have sometimes thought.

Not manipulative, perhaps, but opinionated. Put it that way.

I think I’ll stick with manipulative.

That’s nearer to hurt feelings than to analysis. When you steer, you steer away from obstacles and dangers, as well as toward your preferred goal, don’t you.

Well, we’re getting into something my friends – my physical friends – discuss from time to time. Whose goal? Set when and by whom?

Our goal, and you are part of the “our.” Set continuously as we go along, in the short term sense. Set by what you are, by what came into physical being when, in the longer-term sense. Set beyond us, by the larger being of which we are a part, in the even larger sense. And in a way by the various strands you hold together, which is a different way of expressing “what you are.”

All right, I can accept that. Our goal, which expresses who we are and is modified continuously – mostly below the level of person-group consciousness, I take it.

Well, yes and no. Yes, in that an awful lot of coordinating and readjusting goes on “beneath” your conscious level of awareness. No, in that this coordinating and readjusting is in reaction to the choices you make as you go along.

And yes and no even there, because you make choices in both the conscious and unconscious manner. You are influenced by your thoughts and will – but what are they influenced by? We are not talking here of someone’s deliberate mind-control program. We refer to the influence of a springtime breeze that reminds your body of England.

As you say that, I get the sense of a continuous matching going on at all levels.

That’s right. That’s a good way of looking at it. But it will need some spelling-out. Go to it.

The body feels a breeze, and its memory-bank compares that breeze to other similar sensations it has on record. Maybe it matches “England March 14, 2007 (or whatever) 3:15 PM, standing on a hill on Iona.” The conscious mind can’t pinpoint that date and place, unless for some reason it was made memorable. May not even remember England, let alone March let alone 2007 – but a recognition has been recorded, and “for some reason” that open window and the breeze that lightly blew in brings England vaguely to mind. And “England,” again, may not even surface. The connection with the window may not surface. Even the vague recognition may not surface. In fact, odds are that it won’t (other things being equal), because we are continually bombarded by body-recognition. Similarly, thoughts and emotions.

Now perhaps you can see why it is useful, if not strictly accurate except in a sense, to speak of mental and emotional bodies as if they were separate layers of your physical body. And you may dimly intuit the link between recognitions – particularly on an on-going pre-conscious basis – and the fact that traumas seem to get “stored” in specific places in the body.

Care to spell that out a little?

You slipped on the stairs a couple of months ago, and severely injured your ankle. Every tissue that got injured in that moment may be said to have been extremely aware, extremely conscious, and therefore stored the moment in detail. That doesn’t mean that you remember in your mind, and it doesn’t mean that you can press on a tissue and relive it, and – important – it doesn’t mean that what it records is what you as a person-mind would record. Just as ankles don’t read Dickens – don’t read – so you don’t live in that body-mentality, call it, and therefore you may not be able to recognize its thoughts, traumas, and feelings. A funny way to talk about an ankle, we recognize, but you do have experience with what we mean.

Yes I do. I speak to people’s body parts to find out what is wrong and what they are holding.

Some people will get new clues from these few paragraphs.

Now, what we have together said about body-memory may be equally said of emotions. Your emotional body (call it that) continually compares present stimulus with its record of past stimuli. The emotional equivalent of a breeze through a window provides the same spur to emotional comparisons as it does physical. (And of course, remember that as usual, for the purpose of analysis, we are dissecting into separate strands things that actually function in a more interconnected manner. The body is not really made up of separate parts any more than life is – but we must proceed this way or not at all.)

So, you’re doing a crossword puzzle and the answer is “nerd” or “dweeb” or another of those made-up words that were invented specifically to derogate. The reminder of the cruelty, remembrances of feeling excluded, resentment at the existence of cliques, sadness for those who are excluded that way, contempt for the sheep pretending to be wolves – all of that may swirl through your mind at less or greater intensity and therefore at lesser or greater degree of awareness. And yet you’re just doing a crossword puzzle! And so on and so forth, all day every day. Some stimuli are pleasant, some are not, some are strong enough to produce a daydream level of consciousness about them, some are not. Some are connected to other things, so suddenly your shoulder hurts! It doesn’t occur to you – why should it? – to associate a sudden uncaused pain in the shoulder to an emotionally disturbing memory caused by a crossword answer. But don’t people say that this or that thing is a pain in the neck, or thereabouts?

Yes, very interesting. I am more aware of how one thought may send my mind skittering to a thousand seemingly only tenuously connected other thoughts.

Derogating that as “monkey mind” misses its true function.

Well, interesting. Let’s wrap up.

We’re done for the moment. This is a good place.

All right, till next time. Thanks as ever.


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