When your imagination and your thought are in conflict, your imagination will inevitably win.
The pattern of perception, the basis by which we engage in the experience we call perception or life… We go from one sensation to another, one intention to another, and we become so entrained in this pattern that we lose the sense of it as a process. We lose the sense of motion and even inertia as it has built up over time. It’s like when we first learned to walk we just started walking and haven’t ever stopped. We pick up one sensation, for example an emotion, and then we naturally move from that emotion to all the possible causes of the emotion.
So a simple state, perhaps brought on by a drop in blood sugar level comes to itself develop a whole sensory model of our reality in that small subset of moments. We have a chain of these states that our body goes through on pretty much a daily basis, and thus we develop a small slide show or reality as colored by our changes in physical state.
I have thought that to perceive like a cat or dog for five minutes would radically alter my world view. And we can, actually do for brief periods of time, but our attention training screens out this information. The bodying process leads us naturally to take on the physical states of those we develop a rapport with. Mother smiles at baby and when they baby is ready it smiles at mother, but it isn’t confined to our own species.
We can extrapolate the same response to anything even vaguely like us physically. This probably primarily served the purpose of allowing us to recognize aggression in other species, but it also lets us recognize the opportunity to domesticate and live peacefully with some species as well.
A tree? A flower? A galaxy? Ourselves? Indeed. The mind projects the same map of our body out onto the world, so a tree’s branches become metaphorical arms. A rock’s crevices appear to be a face or some other part of human anatomy. We don’t do this by cognitive error. It happens automatically. It’s the skeleton of everything that happens or can happen in the human brain.
Metaphors everywhere? Yes, even with humanity coming to prefer some metaphors over others, like the perception of adopting animalistic traits which is heavy in many languages spoken across our world. But things do often seem fixed, stable, even mechanical at times. Humanity has a drive to maintain a perceptual equilibrium. The body doesn’t distinguish between perceptual imbalance and physical distress or disease to the point we even call perceptual imbalances diseases. “Mental illness.” We exert a great deal of effort to hold our attention still, to keep it running on track, just scanning over the same sets of attentional objects so we “stay in touch with reality.”
Perhaps “mental illness” is deferring from the consensus, the “agreement” or stay in touch with the “agreement.” Good point. The only basis I use to understand another’s supposed mental illness is the degree to which they feel distressed or confined by their own body of perceptions.
So, pain becomes the measure? Or suffering? Or dysfunction? Pressure is the measure, entropy, the tendency of their attention pattern to break down and lose even its original form. A mind in perpetual decay, lacking resilience, an ongoing living death, to the point that even their own sense of identity cease to be available. One woman in the grips of her own psychosis could say nothing more than “I’m an abomination.” It’s all she could construct from her state of attentional focus.
That’s a pattern of behaviour? Attention is a behaviour. A behaviour arising from the nature of the being that can exercise attention.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.