My Justified Life Story

“It’s my story and I’m sticking to it!” My life story is a history of justified emotions I’ve attached to my thoughts and actions through time. I defend any story that adds to the importance of my story.

My story presents a linear timeline that directs my imagination to access a string of memories. Those memories I choose to access validate and support my present emotional experience.

My beliefs hold my perceptions of time and emotions as universal truths, giving authority to my story. There’s a paradox. Although my emotions feel tied to time, they don’t exist there. For example, time flies when you’re having fun and seems to drag when you’re feeling sad. Emotion affects the perception of time.

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Struck by the Arrow of Time

A line from one of my favorite folk songs – sung by Harry Belefonte and made even more famous in the hilarious movie, Beetlejuice – speaks to my belief in the arrow of time. “Jump in the line, rock your body in time. OK, I believe you!”

I jumped into my reality at conception – at which time the arrow of time started for me. Rocking my body through sensation, I became a believer. I believe in reality as I perceive it. And yet, there are problems. Time, for one.

When one looks closely at time, it just sort of vaporizes into nothingness. This behavior causes me to question my understanding of reality.

What does time have to do with my beliefs? How does its weird behavior affect me?

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I See It Because I Believe It

The old Missourians used to say, “Show me!” – a variation on the theme of, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

My First Degree of Illumination “old Missourian” persona loves that saying, trusts authority, trusts my ego, and distrusts my Third Degree of Illumination questioning self.

Adhering to faith in my senses as though they were authorities that somehow know better… when they don’t (know better)… has on occasion caused me to believe in the impossible!

Allow me to explain –

My senses are part of my Second Degree justification system that seeks to make sense of senselessness. My eyes, for example, don’t see what is there. Rather, they reflect to me what I believe is there. Breaking that down further, I come to realize that I see only what I believe – there is no “there” to be seen – because…

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Suffering and the Arrow of Time

I sometimes ask myself, “Why do I do what I do when I know what I know?”

I’ve used this question to elicit a feeling of guilt for not meeting some standard I’ve set for myself or accepted from someone else.

Let’s investigate that question, check it for validity, “Is it true?” And learn something useful about “IT” in the process.

To start with, time rolls along in one direction – from past to present to future – called the arrow of time. I can imagine going into the past, yet I cannot actually do so. I must obey the arrow of time.

Investigations that follow the arrow of time tend to result in successful outcomes. Those that fail to take the arrow into account tend to result in suffering. Read more Suffering and the Arrow of Time

A Morning Quandary

I woke up this morning with a couple burning questions on my mind along with some disturbing answers:
Q – “Do I exist?”
A – “It sure seems like I do.”

Q – “How can I know for sure?”
A – “Damn good question!!!”

Q – “Why do I need to know?”
A – “Seems self-evident – so I’ll feel alive (you know, the opposite of dead)…”

I acknowledge that I find it more than a little important to know if I’m still alive. Moment-to-moment mechanisms within me monitor to make sure I continue to exist. When my heart beats, for example, my nervous system notices and sets up the sequence of events necessary to make it beat again – nothing quite like success to motivate repeat behavior. If it doesn’t beat or an element of the sequence fails, a cascade of body functions jumps into action to bring about another beat. Repeating this pattern seems important to me!

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