Volume 3, Issue 42
Gaining the yogic power to control what are now self-propelled functions within your being is an end in itself. The point of this little story is not aimed at reopening your mind for the purpose of flooding it with my ideas. When you gain mastery over any previously involuntary aspect of yourself, your ability to stay in Flow state increases.
Here on Earth at this time there is a pandemic cognitive bias toward closure in the face of the very number of things our minds have to deal with every day, 99% of them distractive.
Acceleritis is my neologism to denote the condition of being cognitively and emotionally overwhelmed by the accelerating information stimuli our brains contend with every moment of every day. My theory is that written language 6000 years ago was the trigger, leading to tools, weapons, and media — the three historic shocks that created the modern trance characterized by Acceleritis. The metric by which this can now be tracked going forward would be the number of P300 waves detected in the average human brain per day, which I hypothesize is continuing to increase. These waves occur when experience deviates from expectations, causing surprise and attention. I dub the stimuli causing P300 waves as “question-producing” stimuli relative to that individual at that time.
Because of Acceleritis we yearn for closure. We can easily become irritated or even angry when we are feeling mentally overloaded and someone asks us a question or begins to speak about something in a way we sense will require us to give attention to something else on top of what we are already dealing with. All the little details between us and our priorities madden us and so closure becomes a subconscious goal energized by more and more invested neuronal motivation weight.
This makes reopening our mind on any subject something that we generally refuse to do in earnest. If someone asks us to reopen our minds we might pretend to do so, humoring the person as politely as possible.
You can test this for yourself within your own mind and emotional body. Pick a subject you feel strongly about, perhaps some religious or political issue that means a lot to you and into which your idealism has been channeled. Or perhaps pick your visceral distaste for some political figure, or a strong negative feeling you have about some person you know. By act of will, just to prove to yourself that you can do it, reopen your mind to the possibility that you are wrong about that subject. Actually feel the internal resistance morph into willingness to reconsider.
Evidence that you have achieved this would include hearing yourself think of a few persuasive arguments as to the view opposing the one you have held. The proof that you have actually reopened your mind is a feeling, however. It is a feeling of lightness, calm, freedom, being more present than usual, an ability to let your mind go anywhere, objectivity, clarity, a sense of being superior to your normal self. You may be more conscious of your breath, and of having choices, creativity and control over your future. You yourself are now in perspective as being far more important than the relative trivia to which you have been bound. You will know it when you feel it. You will know that your mind is really reopened, at least on that issue. This is a useful exercise. It can be used often, particularly when you are out of sorts about something. At those times, locate the source of the irritation and see whether a belief you have is making you vulnerable to something you could be invulnerable to, by reopening your mind about that belief.
To demonstrate, let’s try it on me. One of my strongest intuitions/hypotheses is that One Consciousness is all that exists and, by biocomputer partitioning, that One Self is able to live through all things in the universe that it created out of Itself.
This picture of the universe supports my intuition that each individual deserves respect, that there ought to be equality of opportunity. The cosmology of One Self, even considered open-mindedly as a real possibility, pragmatically encourages the individual to be alert to possible beneficial yet subtle messages in surrounding occurrences, and to be alert to one’s own subtle guidance system of hunches. This model balances Individualism and Collectivism in making logical that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, and at the same time making logical that in the long run certain individuals could do more good for the many. This map of reality tends to open the heart to other people, and leads to optimism.
Despite my ardor for this theory, however, I can reopen my mind to the possibility that Accidental Materialism is true, that consciousness is an emergent self-referential characteristic dependent upon the number of neuronal connections a brain can make, and that everything came about by random collisions of subatomic particles.
As unlikely as I feel the latter to be, I can open my mind to the fact that it is absolutely possible. As a scientist I can defer final closure on the subject until there is adequate evidence to lock in one view. Yet even then I can leave open the chance that better science in the future could change that too. Despite being as flooded as everyone else with too many things to think about, I can attest that relaxing the need for closure entirely is a useful state
Interestingly, however, from a Game Theory point of view, I still feel it is more practical to act as if my model of the universe is true, and thus Accidental Materialism is false. Whether the One Self view is true or not, living in that viewpoint has already made me a happier person enjoying life more, and apparently tapping into more subtle clues, as evidenced by the number of ideas I’ve had that turned out to be successful in the media business.
If Accidental Materialism is true, then when I die, I will never know I was wrong. If the One Self view is true, then when I die, I will know I was right. In the absence of certainty, Game Theory suggests the One Self model is more pragmatic, and leads to more pleasure when one is cognizant of it. If there is no penalty at the end or along the way, why not live in paradise, even if it could ultimately be a “fool’s paradise”?
Best to all,
Follow my regular blog contribution at Jack Myers Media Network: In Terms of ROI. It is in the free section of the website at Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com.