The Power of Emotion in a New Paradigm

Instinct is an IF THIS, DO THAT reactionary program that largely eliminates the need to problem-solve. Instinct provides a quick, default, problem-solving program intended to be an energy conservation system that works in most situations.

As problem-solvers, humans interpret their reality through sensory feedback from the body. In the old program of instinct, the mind dealt directly with the body and the environment. The senses communicated messages about benefits and threats from the body directly to the mind. The mind used that information to engage automatic responses to improve its chances of survival.

The Old Paradigm

In instinct, situation determined action: threat = flight, or threat = fight. No other options.

The instinctive program is fast and mostly effective. No need to take time to think, feel, or ask a question. Emotions provide stimulus in the form of inquiry that engages the mind in problem-solving. This new program works with feedback in a new way.

“The world that we have made as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far creates problems that we cannot solve at the same level as the level we created them at. That is, the only way we can solve them is by creating a new level of thinking about them. In other words, we’ve got to break the [mind]set.” (Ram Das, “The Only Dance There Is” pg 38)

Beyond instinct, this movement of emotion challenges mind to bridge to the body through new intention and that from new information. That intention, raised in self awareness, is able to understand and direct the body at new levels of experience.

The New Paradigm

The new program became IF THIS, THINK ABOUT IT, DO THAT. This new paradigm uses the same emotions used in a new way – as counselor rather than director.

This new awareness is the result of an amplification of feedback from the body to the mind via the emotions. The mind becomes aware of the emotions’ influence and engages with responses consciously to problem solve. Acting as counsel to mind, the body experiences change as a sense of increased attention to its experiences.

By utilizing emotions to enhance survival, mind can put its imagination to work enhancing its experience of survival. This new mind takes account of its feelings, serving itself and its environment in a new, more powerful way.

When the mind interprets an experience, the emotions present a powerful change feedback mirror to it. This mirroring effect reflects a message of possible changes to consider while conserving energy. This while allowing itself to make changes to upgrade its program.

Today, I no longer have to live by an instinctive reactive program. I can take a moment to consider a, “What if…” or “What else…” question. Perhaps this is the process of evolution that will change homosapiens into neo-sapiens. And then knock on the door to the Aha Zone – and beyond…

Tools that Serve My Intention

With intention come the tools to achieve it. Without awareness of a means to achieve fulfillment, intention would be an endless unfulfillable experience.

Intention Tools

I use tools to serve my intention to be whole. These are based on body and mind working together to achieve intended outcomes to serve the cause of need and its effect on fulfillment of this intention:

  • Purpose provides motivation to a cause with a specific effect.

    1. What specific form does my tool take? Ex: My body and my mind in its form and thought capabilities provide a means for carrying out the need of my intention.
    2. How do I use this tool? Ex: The actions of my body and the thoughts of my mind work to achieve specific goals for my intention.
    3. Why do I use this tool? Ex: My logic supports my life story.
    4. Who am I as a result of using this tool? Ex: My identity, symbolically represents my cause to serve.
  • Certitude – provides conviction to my purpose. An imagined ability to see, envision cause and effect within a scope of my direction.

    1. What specific form does this tool take? Ex: Generational beliefs and philosophies.
    2. How do I use this tool? Ex: Experience and acceptance from others.
    3. Why do I use this tool? Ex: My reasons based on principles and perceptions
    4. Who am I as a result of using this tool? Ex: relational perspective of self and use of imagination.
  • Predictability – provides an advantage of pattern-recognition in cause-effect relationships. Makes things possible through trust.

    1. What specific form does this tool take? Ex: Comparing and assigning values based on usefulness to me; relating certain types of patterns with success.
    2. How do I use this tool? Ex: Habitual behavior and attitudes depend on the continuous search for patterns I trust.
    3. Why do I use this tool? Ex: Prediction algorithms save me energy and time.
    4. Who am I as a result of using this tool? Ex: My ability to maintain patterned beliefs and ritual behavior symbolizes success through prejudiced predictability – a sense of rightness. Result: I feel successful, therefore, I’m validated.
  • Justification – provides reason and logic to a storyline that defends a perspective.

    1. What specific form does this tool take? Ex: If this/then that thinking creates equations from a closed perspective -> you hurt my feelings = you don’t care about me.
    2. How do I use this tool? Ex: I’ve created an imaginary world of reasonings designed to escape pain and convince me and others I’m right. I justify my perceptions in order to prove my intention and purpose.
    3. Why do I use this tool? Ex: Convincing is more important to me than the truth.
    4. Who am I as a result of using this tool? Ex: I take on a persona tailored to justify blocking interdependence and connection, “I’m right and you’re wrong!”

As I become aware of my intention to be whole, I apply different tools that work to fulfill the implied needs. In the process of fulfillment, I have an experience I call my life.

Lack and the Intention to Be Whole

The first cause within my bubble of limited awareness is my intention to be whole. This intention presupposes that I’m not whole – lacking. Lack dictates that my thoughts and actions have a debt to pay to achieve wholeness.

I must defend lack to support my intention to be whole. Defense of lack limits my awareness to something short of whole. Therefore, I can never achieve wholeness. Instead, I’m forever in pursuit of it.

ANY intention is an acknowledgement and so defense of lack. Perhaps I might investigate lack for the purpose of celebrating it. After all, my defense of lack supports my cause to experience limitation. Because lack supports my intention, exploring it may help me appreciate it.

Fighting against lack is a fool’s errand. Embracing and investigating my lack helps me understand the intention that drives it. This empowers me to better apply compassion, where the Aha Zone expands awareness to possibilities that promote adaptation and evolution.

Exploring Lack

What is the purpose for perception of lack? In a world of limited awareness, everything would appear limited – lacking. This would create motivation in the form of pursuit of fulfillment. For example: Thirst must be quenched, hunger must be satisfied, death must be followed by life, and etc. Psychologically, thoughts and emotions seek resolution.

I live by reactive programs based in lack that I obey without question. There is no allowance for questioning. no need for understanding, only following the program. I obey my intention to create wholeness in a world of lack.

I use these programmed defenses of lack to perceive myself whole:

  • What form I take validates lack. I perceive my form validates the limits I place on what I can be.
  • How I think, feel, and act to validate lack. How my form functions validates the limits I place on what I do.
  • Why I must validate lack. Why I perceive my form and function validates my need to defend lack.
  • Who I am in terms of lack. Who I believe I am as a limited being validates my lack of wholeness.

In the bubble, my existence depends on the attention I pay to my program.

Questioning Lack

The old belief was that one must overcome lack through the use of force and defense. This required a sufficient sense of need to generate sufficient effort to achieve a worthy goal. One must earn their way through life. This makes life a reactive experience based on values I assign.

To change, I might seek to understand the process I used to acquire the old belief. Maybe a start might include appreciation of lack as it has served me. This change may take some redirection of my natural persistence and focus. Sweet – an evolutionary rather than revolutionary change.

Questions might help me break into secrets my needs hide from me. I’ve accepted my defense of my needs as who I am without question. Probably because when I did, I was unaware I could ask questions. In effect, my only question as an infant was (maybe), “how do I feel?”

Further, as an infant, I was unskilled in communicating my ideas. Those I might ask were of that same acceptance and defense – and so unable to assist me in that way. Thus, we continued the pattern of old beliefs about lack without question.

Today, I’m capable of asking questions that challenge my acceptance and defense by acknowledging them. For example, I might consider a goal and ask:

  • What do I need to fill this sense of lack?
  • How can that need be fulfilled?
  • Why does that need fulfillment bring me a sense of wholeness?
  • Who do I believe I am when I feel fulfilled?

Targeted self-inquiry brings insights that can lead to deeper understandings and appreciations of lack. Rather than fighting and avoiding lack, we might instead look at it as the medium for change that it is.

Transition to Awareness

What if the Aha Zone is a transition point from one level of awareness to another? For example, one of my ancestors questioned their instinctive behavior and realized an aha moment that started a new trend – the use of fire. By questioning their instinctive fear of fire, they learned to control their fear. This realization that fear could be controlled led to a leap in awareness.

Instinctual Me

Instinctive me defends itself against environmental threats and asks, “What threatens me now?” It’s also concerned with needs. “Are my needs being met?” results in two simple questions:

  1. What need is not being satisfied? (What’s wrong?)
  2. How do I get what I need now? (What must I do?)

Cognizant Me

Cognizance adds relational awareness and asks, “What happened?” This results in an awareness of what, where, when, why my environment appears to relate to me as it does. Recognition of cause and effect.

I have one such relationship with time, for example. In instinct, I serve the demands time imposes upon me – like circadian rhythms. Once I recognized that there was a way to measure time, I could change my behaviors within it. At some point, someone came to an “Aha” moment in which they realized that one could measure time. There is a significant difference between the acknowledgment of time and the cognitive use of it.

This relational awareness offers me much more insight into my world. Because of the power of instinct, I tend to put relationships into service of defense, like blame and war. Cognitive questions tend to connect me with others in a meaningful way. Such questions as, “How do I get what I want?” tend to result in behaviors that take my community into account. Cognizance adds opportunity for more questioning:

  1. Why do I feel as I do? (What does this experience mean?)
  2. Who am I in relation to my environment?

Visionary Me

Visionary me asks questions like:

  1. What’s next?
    1. What am I not perceiving yet?
    2. What could this experience mean beyond what I think it does?
  2. How might we evolve?
    1. How might what I do now affect the future?
    2. What might a future appear like than how I imagine it now?
  3. Why do I matter?
    1. What is my purpose in the grand scheme?
    2. Why does my contribution matter to the whole?
  4. Who am I?
    1. Who am I beyond the context of my world?
    2. What is beyond my perception of my personhood?
    3. Who is the who that I am?
    4. Who else might I/you be than who I think I am/you are?

Beyond Me?

What may lie beyond these limited-awareness aspects of me?

The Doubt-Certitude Paradox

In my bubble of limited awareness, life’s ambiguities raise doubts about the certainty of my choices. Those doubts tend to increase as my awareness of ambiguity grows. Doubt can be a benefit and a threat – depending on the context.

Choosing based on fear validates fear as a certainty. In order to feel safe I must believe I’ve made the right choice. This, in turn, solidifies my devotion to my certainty.

Fear resolves a paradox by feeling certitude in doubt, rather than doubt in my certitude. The paradox arises when I must be certain and yet I must have doubt. For example, in life, certitude convinces me the experience is real. Meanwhile, doubt makes life appear to change in unexpected ways. I doubt and I’m certain.

Doubt and Certitude

Doubt offers me the kind of options that challenge my comfort zone choices intended to result in safe outcomes. My instinctive choices would probably have caused me to seek escape from threat, which could’ve been disastrous! Instinct isn’t always reliable for safety.

Where life most threatens my comfort zone, paradox is there to confront my safety defense. However, the slower and straighter the ride, the more boring it feels in contrast. I need enough contrast between doubt and certitude to perceive change.

The greater the contrast, the greater the opportunity for awareness of the paradox. In my perceptual world, I’m more likely to choose from well-established options, those I rely on. That certitude creates a comfort zone of trusted options I don’t doubt.

Thus, I deliberately limit options to those that validate my comfort zone. And resist those that might throw doubt on my comfort zone.

The paradox remains until a choice appears to resolve it. Once I settle on the results of a choice, I resolve the paradox by defending it. Thus, by making a choice, I confirm the paradox by defending it.

That is a paradox!