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…

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?

Reincarnation and Conscious Awareness

An interesting phenomenon of limited awareness is that of sleep. During sleep each night, I leave conscious awareness of one reality and experience “reincarnation” into an alternative reality. Although that reality often seems as real as my awake state, it provides clues to its illusory nature. While I’m dreaming a dream, it is reality to me.

It’s all about conscious awareness!

Between conscious awareness of one dream reality and conscious awareness of another, I experience conscious awareness of the nothingness from which consciousness arises. During that time, I experience nothing – an awareness of no sensory perception of any kind. This usually happens in the deep or delta level of sleep.

Perhaps that’s when “I” returns to the pool of all “I’s” from which my “I” differentiated itself as me. As my “I” realizes its self as separate from other selves, I have an experience – conscious awareness of a dream.

Apparition of Separation

When I awake in the morning, I may bring some of those dream awarenesses into my waking awareness. Real as my waking awareness may seem, it is, for all intents and purposes, indistinguishable from any dream I had the night before. Have I simply reincarnated from one reality into another?

What might happen when conscious awareness of “I” becomes aware of the cycle? Or stops its awareness of this cycle of reincarnation?

This raises some questions:

  • What makes me think this reality is any more real than any other reality?
  • How might I tell the difference?
  • Why do I believe this reality is THE reality?
  • Who am I in this reality, that reality, another reality?

My Matrix of Defense

In my limited state of awareness, I perceive only as much as I have to in order to have an experience of reality. That reality is a figment of my imagination – the result of defending an intention to exist.

My body represents a metaphor that explains this phenomenon. My body is made up of interacting, interdependent systems – like circulatory, nervous, and endocrine. Each operates in the realm of the others and yet is independent insofar as classification. Yet, no system operates independently of all the others. It’s a 3D matrix of interdependence that defends my belief in its reality.

Think of the game, chess, in which a 2D game board adds a third dimension with the game pieces. It then adds a 4th dimension in time – how long it takes to play the game. And then more dimensions when we add gameplay, strategy, and etc. Each dimension interacting with the others to produce an experience I enjoy.

I tend to think of my life’s purpose and the investments I place on it in two dimensions – cause and effect. This duality model limits my thinking – like thinking the chess board is the chess game. Until I realize there is a game to play on the board, my perception of the board as the entire game suits me fine.

What if I consider life in terms of concepts in more dimensions than the 2 in cause and effect? What if I consider causes and effects interacting in an interdependent 3D matrix – like my body?

Let’s consider concepts that transcend 2D thinking. By 2D, I mean like words on a page or a chess board. Let’s think in terms of a medium like water that fills a 3D space.

My experience of life is a 3D matrix of defense that appears to me as reality. Laws like gravity and core belief contain my matrix. I pour the liquid that represents my life into the container.

In my basic 2D chessboard defense matrix, I consider concepts of What, How, Why, and Who to define my perceptions. These make up the checkerboard pattern of a 2D chessboard.

In a 3D matrix, I see What, How, Why, and Who in each of my 2D concepts of the same. That is, for each concept of What, I experience What, How, Why, and Who. The same repeats for my concept of How, Why, and Who. 2D thinking considers each What, How, Why, and Who in sequence and in isolation.

3D and beyond thinking considers all aspects in relation to all other aspects in a multi-dimensional matrix. This multiplies by orders of magnitude the number of possible perceptions for each cause-effect relationship. Thus, even in my limited awareness, I experience a massive array of physical, emotional, mental, and beyond.

Imagination multiplies the effect even further – adding phantom dimensions to the matrix of dimensions. To the degree I’m convinced that an imaginary dimension is a true dimension, I add a dimension to the matrix.

All this to invest in defense of an overall purpose to defend and protect core beliefs that are themselves defenses. In this multi-dimensional matrix, I may never realize the “I” behind it all. Why? Because to expose that “I” will reveal “I” as a defense. Why? Because there is no “I”.

Thus, no matter how much I invest in discovery of my life’s purpose, I’ll find only defense.

Investment may be the amount of liquid attention I draw from the pool of purpose in order to experience something – like my life. Thus, purpose acts as my investment in proving my existence.