29 November 2011

Finding Yourself: Every Day

(A continuation of Finding Yourself: The Journey of Self-Discovery)

Bearing in mind that a life crisis is not about the most recent collection of experiences but about the expanse of small details processed previously, brings a moment of pause: if a life crisis is not resultant of a singular experience but from a myriad of previous experiences then perhaps instead of focusing on avoiding the singular we should focus on maintaining consistency in the myriad of choices we are confronted with every day. If we are able to shift our focus from avoiding the inevitable great tragedy to avoiding the hundreds, if not thousands, of minor choices that make the great tragedy inevitable then we can avoid the tragedy altogether.

This process of maintenance will allow us to gradually expand our perceptions so that they become elastic and thus adaptive to whatever life has to throw at us. While elasticity may not be easy to maintain, modification of our personal mantras to include this adaptable line of thinking will improve our personal flexibility. Further improvement of our personal flexibility can be gained as we shift our living references from a vast collection of tracked items to a smaller, more streamlined collection of what is most important to us. That is, instead of trying to follow and maintain contact with a plethora of objects, emotions or persons, we can focus on tracking highly important overriding goals and purposes.

Please allow a moment of clarification about the difference between “important” and “truly important,” most notably the use of the word “truly”: truly, used here, means: “in general alignment with the highest sense of truth as opposed to things that might seem true but really are not.” The distinction between the highest sense of truth and things that might seem to be, but are not, can be difficult to detect on the small, individual choice scale discussed earlier but when concerted effort is applied to distinguishing between the two an individual can often bring clarity to the choice of what is important and what is truly important. For example, after careful consideration one may determine that while money is important, housing is truly important. Or, that while food is important, closeness to family is truly important.

The process of distinguishing between important and truly important items might seem trivial, but it is critical to reducing the number of life references one has to track. Instead of needing to track every possible venue of generating money, the important task, one can track the single need of housing, the truly important task. When the principle is applied broadly across a whole life, encompassing all life references, the resulting consolidation can lead to extreme simplification.

As the number of life references is reduced so too can the effort used to track the references and the general overall cognitive processing power be reduced. Coupled with the reduction of references and the related liberation of processing power comes a freeing of the self from the mundane; instead of needing to figure out and understand a broad variety of things with exacting detail, one need only to understand a general concept and allow for the inherent flexibility in that concept to guide the decision making process.

This ability to broaden the scope of focus while reducing the number of items and the related details needed to manage an experience is critical to the freeing of cognitive power for the processing and expansion of faculties. Remember that a life crisis is caused by our experiences outstripping and outpacing our current capabilities. The liberation of processing power means that one will have additional power with which to better handle the broad flood of experiences that would otherwise overwhelm and force the maintaining of a crisis management mode.

Letting go of the mundane can be hard. We are trained from our earliest years to track, follow and monitor mundane tasks and they are presented as if they were of great worth. In many cases, indeed, in most cases, this is simply not true. Most things that we are taught to track are of little consequence. Most things we are taught to follow are simply illusions. Most things that we are taught to monitor and manmade rhythms, that while enchanting, offer little in the form of substance, especially substance of significance. Things that can be particularly hard to let go of include things that we worked hard to obtain, usually in the form of monetary reward for effort. The more expensive an item is the more care we usually give to the item. However, if the release of these burdening processes can be successfully accomplished, the mind will have added capacity to handle the new experiences of life and thus live life in a more enjoyable manner.

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