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…

The Messages of My Biases

In my bubble of limited awareness, I defend what I value. I value most what makes me right. My being right equates to survival. Thus, I must invest in confirming my rightness to confirm my ability to survive. Confirmation of rightness gives me a sense of satisfaction.

My need to be right is a bit of an addiction that affirms my sense of having value. With every confirmation of rightness, my sense of personal value increases, bringing me closer to my goal of wholeness.

I feel I must win or at least not lose. Bias lives by this gain/loss formula. I have a sense that I was born with bias because I need to feel success rather than failure. I set up a system for myself to “guarantee” success. This is like the guy who has a “fail-safe system” for beating the odds at the casino. That system is bias, a program that helps me cope with separateness.

My bias regulates my thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. When I have a rebellious thought, bias regulates me back into the safety of compliance with what is right. This is how bias serves a system of defense that favors the status quo. Thus, keeping me safe in my bubble of limited awareness.

A Conflict of Bias

For every argument, there are opposing biases. Because a bias is a bi-directional defense, there is that which it defends and that which it defends against. Therefore, a conflict exists between for and against. Bias illustrates a more fundamental perception in my limited awareness – that of me vs not me. This extends beyond my perception of me – in my social constructs.

For example, I want to support my society by contributing to its general benefit. My investment would include surrendering independence to the service of society and its relative safety. In this I feel a conflict. Why can’t I have independence AND safety?

This raises a question about my value system of loss/gain. Why do I have to give up something to get something? This haunts my relationship as an investor – because I must attend to the conflict of me vs not me.

Questioning Bias to Discover Its Message

I might question myself to discover my self-limiting biases and what messages they may have for me:

  • What society do I serve?
  • How do I serve?
  • Why do I serve?
  • Who do I serve?

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?

How Bias Achieves My Intention and Keeps Me from It

There are some beliefs that I feel more passionate about than others. I feel I must defend those things to a greater degree. That’s when my biases come into play.

Bias frees me from the desperation of indecision when my beliefs are challenged. And from a sense of overwhelm when my peace of mind feels bombarded by too many options. This helps me achieve and/or question my intentions.

Yet, that freeing feeling can disappear because biases limit my perspective. Because my biases limit the range of options from which I may select, they limit my experience. The controlling nature of bias might feel like I’m being pulled to and fro by a determined dog on a leash. This keeps me from achieving my intentions.

When might I instigate an investigation of my biases? How narrow does my comfort zone have to get before I challenge it? How much discomfort am I willing to endure before I do something about it? How can I tell when my bias crosses the line between supporting my conscious intention and resisting it?

Rather than continuing in this reactive path, how about a proactive approach to my biases?

Because biases tend to work in the realm of subconscious awareness, I must become aware of a bias before I can consciously challenge it. Thus the value of education leading to pertinent questions –

  • What biases do I exhibit? (see a list at Wikipedia)
  • How do they affect my life?
  • Why do I use them? (see this Aha Zone post)
  • Who am I as a result of these biases?

Recognizing How My Biases Serve to Defend My Beliefs

I can question my bias to ascertain which ones challenge choice by defending old truths or encourage choice by questioning my truths. I might start by questioning my needs now:

  • What do I need that would make my life complete?
  • How do I satisfy that need?
  • Why do I need that?
  • Who am I as a result of my need?

Perhaps I ask and answer these questions every instant of every day – automatically through bias. Consciously asking these questions might just open a portal into a totally uncharted adventure of awareness.

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?