Life looks like a path made of doors, until you realize that you don’t even have to enter the prison in the first place.
To connect this back to why we identify as our stories rather than our intentions, well, there are two reasons.
The one being natural tendencies to problem solve. We instinctively register pain and fear as louder or more important than pleasure, and the other being how we are socialized, our culture. We tend to believe we think as individuals, but our semantic memory has as its primary infrastructure the instinctive skeleton that serves as the foundation of our mind, empathy, social recognition patterns. The core drive of all human awareness is seek the human, not even the “other” human, not to start. We are comforted by the human. We put our faith in the supposedly humanizing elements of experience even if it makes us suffer. Humanized suffering is safe, acceptable.
Shared suffering? Not necessarily shared, rational, rationalized suffering, something that supposedly has a reason. We don’t feel as threatened by something that on some level we believe we can understand, but we can’t actually understand it. It sticks and festers both in the individual mind and in communal awareness.
The reason we can’t understand it is the context is broken. The story is inherently incoherent, formulated based on assumptions, things the human brain can be conditioned and trained to do but that it doesn’t do naturally thus education and socialization… Well, can we define what they are independently from each other?
So lottery winners become poor again because poor is a story they relate to? Indeed, that is true.
Perhaps this requires more explanation. Human pattern recognition is extroverted. There is a disconnect between the frontal lobe and the older more experienced parts of the brain. All of our genetic history is based on shared biological traits, living functions, but out mutant frontal lobes began registering more patterns than were absolutely necessary for biological and ecological adaption. Most organisms, when they reestablish harmony with their community and their home environment, they rest, relax until a new stress or unusual stimuli occurs, then they react to that, and then return to their resting peaceful state. The human frontal lobe remains in a constant state of arousal, stress. It isn’t prepared to register the patterns and shifts the older brain does. So when those frontal lobe patterns, also called thoughts, harmonize with the memories or knowledge of the older brain, we “like” them. When they cannot reconcile with that older brain constitution, we dislike them, even hate them.
The obsession is in a sense natural. The root of it comes from our ability to register any experience, and add on “yes, but …” Things go wrong when we try to answer that question with the same part of our mind that is sensitive to it. It’s like the stomach trying to digest itself.
Or eyes seeing themselves or tongue tasting itself… Seeing inside themselves. We are sensitive to our internal state, and it registers most obviously to our oldest sense and the first one we ever develop, that of touch. Our most primal sense of change, our first and faster awareness of change, is in the proprioceptive part of our mind, in our feelings. We feel change before we consciously register it, and we begin twisting that awareness as soon as our feelings begin to merge with our semantic memory.
We actually have a very poor sense of self. We substitute our thinking and imagination for the natural sense of self. That sense of self would naturally emerge from semantic intelligence which we never naturally develop and our society is very far from even beginning to support.
Are we more in touch with it when we meditate? Indeed, we can be more in touch with it if we catch its signals. This takes an unusual degree of vigilance if you don’t consciously know what to look for.
Remember how I spoke of sensory experience first being memorized by the semantic part of the mind? The body/muscle memory? Well, the semantic part of our mind, let’s just call it the semantic mind, registers everything in the same way no matter where it comes from, from the sensation of the body, or the sensory noise of our thinking which is really just an over-learned part of our imagination. There is no difference between your conscious cognition and your day dreaming imagination beyond the rehearsal, the over-learning of restricted patterns.
So, that’s the obsession? Yes.
Loops? Yes, normal thinking is loopy. It’s the only way thinking can ever be normalized, otherwise it would be variegated, cyclical and variable over time.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.