We have survived as long as we have not for our normal humans. They tend to function sort of like deer caught in headlights. They just stand confused or just keep doing what they are doing. We have survived because some of our kind had natural traits so strong they couldn’t conform to our unnatural ideas and prejudices.
We all assemble a picture of our world by the sweep of our centre of attention across our environment.
We’re all socialized (programmed) in much the same way. Well, your organs actually program your brain. The eyes stake out a part of your brain for all their activity, the ears do the same, as does every other part of the body. Now here is where things get strange though. Your personal take on what would otherwise be a naturally and automatically mapped picture is not dictated by the structures in the brain. Your pattern of attention can build a picture of your face that to you seems hideous, where to others it can seem normal and even attractive. Science is just now researching all this, but it will be interesting to see their take on it, as much the late comers as they may be.
How do we learn to focus our attention? Do we all just somehow know from the start?
Practice Buddhist mindfulness techniques? That is one possible way, and very effective. How about your personal pattern of attention?
Parents repeatedly direct our attention as children.
We learn to focus our attention by allowing peripheral stimuli to fade into the background. In my case, the peripheral stimuli can’t effectively fade. For newcomers, I have a diagnosis of autism, and I incorporate this sometimes into the discussions. But yes, our attention works by a process of sampling and construction. Even without parental conditioning, our physical and neurological limits still leave us to sample and assemble a picture of reality. The original pattern is based on a naturalistic tendency that we inherit biologically.
There is a physiological baseline? Yes. Facial recognition, sensitivity to motion and structured sound, loud sudden noises, and the bio-chemical processes that give us our various sensory cravings. At first, nature dictates the reality we build, but this changes.
This sounds quite mechanical. Well, in fact it’s more musical than mechanical. This is how children are able to intuit so much about nature and people.
What is “nature”? Ah, nature is the collective phenomenon that we consider both the life on our planet and the exchanges of energy that we would describe as physical events. Much of our thought is indeed shaped by the fact that we can perceive light.
What is the cause? Why does it exist? Cause is a perception arising from the tendency of the human mind to assemble their picture of reality in a linear fashion. Otherwise, all you have is a grand process of synthesis.
We see an apple falling from a tree, but why does it happen? We talk about chemicals as in our feelings depending on chemicals, hormones, as if all of that is random. The apple falls from the tree for the same reason our spiral galaxy seems to rotate around its central body. None of it is random.
What is the reason? The reason is that we live, otherwise reason is an artifact of a process that transcends reason. Being is its own excuse for doing.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.