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jcampbell3What a beautiful man Joseph Campbell was.  This simple sentiment is one of the most potent statements I have ever encountered in my life, largely because authenticity has been a fundamental aspect of well-being for as long as I can remember.  I’d like to propose that the root and origin of just about every perceived problem in the world today (to do with humans) is the fragmented state of internal conflict experienced by nearly every human being who is alive.  The process by which one “thing” interacts with another “thing” – person or otherwise – is known as relationship:

noun

  • 1 The way in which two or more people or things are connected, or the state of being connected

No thing in the universe, from atom to galaxy, exists independently of any other thing.  So many identified “things” – temperature, pressure, color, sex, altitude, velocity, atmospheric composition, water content, breed, electrical charge – the list of variables influencing any given thing at any given moment is beyond comprehension.  Even without being able to identify all of these variables ourselves, it’s clear that the dynamics of the world and universe have been mostly worked out and that these relationships are taking place in highly organized and sustainable ways.  Humans seem to be in a steep learning curve when it comes to relationships, and I am suggesting that it all begins within this domain.  The simple notion that an individual is separate from the events of his or her life is the first division.

Internal conflict or cognitive dissonance as it is known in the mind sciences is what I define as a lack of integrity.  In this case, a lack of integrity is not intended as an accusatory description, but a functional one, where integrity means “the state of being whole and undivided”.  When a person makes a statement that includes the clause, “A part of me thinks/feels/wants…”, that person is internally conflicted, fragmented in regards to the subject under consideration at that moment, else why not simply say, “I think/feel/want…” ?  There is an epidemic of cognitive dissonance within the human species.  So many people are participating in activities they do not believe in or feel personally connected to.  This internally conflicted state consumes energy, the kind of vital energy that is used for the healthy functioning of bodily systems, creative expressions, and choices that are in integrity with the whole person.  It creates “drag” in one’s life, manifesting as resistance to obligatory employment, the breakdown of communication in relationships, and any of the multitude of forms of dis-ease that comes from a lack of inner peace (ease).

Have you ever noticed that how you are perceived by others is often not how you perceive yourself?  As children, we are punished for our honesty, and thus become students of deception and learn to lie under “appropriate” circumstances.  We learn to create an appearance of things that But the long term effects of lying to one another are fragmentation and the loss of integrity of oneself, and the building of invisible walls between each other, where every lie becomes an invisible brick in a barrier separating the individual from the world.  It is a tragic state of affairs to teach children that honesty, sharing, and conflict resolution through peaceful means is the best way to do things, and then lie to them, slap ownership and property rights on everything in the physical and intellectual world, and use guns and larger weapons to enforce policies and laws.  Talk about cognitive dissonance.

Can you imagine how good it would feel to be able to say no and not have your motives be suspect?  Or that the other individual doesn’t take your refusal personally?  Can you imagine if the pressure were off to be someone else and you could simply be yourself without worrying about the approval or disapproval of others?  The call of the inner being is for authenticity and integrity.  The ache we feel when we deny who we really are at any given moment is at the root of the discomfort that it is to be a human being today.  I used to wish for the ability to turn myself inside out – figuratively speaking – so that instead of trying to use words to explain myself, I could simply show others the true essence of what I meant.  When I speak honestly about something, it isn’t to judge others who aren’t honest about the same thing.  I want the level of connectivity that comes when the illusions and appearances fall and we are left with the living essence of each other, the essence that becomes distorted, whose utter nature changes states under pressure, just as gases become liquids.  Human beings are something more than these fragmented, scripted lives, and my greatest desire in this life is to know and experience what that is.  I want the peace of saying yes with the wholeness of my being, when my whole being is available to say yes, and to give my best when I engage in whatever I am doing.  There would is nothing “wrong” with me if there are no arbitrary comparative standards being used to measure perceived value.

I believe it is possible to design and create the circumstances and environments that would enable access to the largely untapped field of human potential, that other 90% of Being promised in our brains, our DNA, and the furthest reaches of our imagination, that field of conscious, non-physical exploration.  I believe it is possible to reach a level of inner peace that enables an individual to stand before any other being in the world or universe and declare, “Yes, I did that”, without any shred of guilt, shame or regret.  I believe this because others have found the way there, and through time, have left us clues, keys, tools and tricks along with a few different maps to get there.

Understanding Stress

stressfreezone

Happy Monday everyone!  Seems like a great day to bring up the subject of stress, since most humans prepare themselves for a significant amount of it the morning of this day, week after week.  Stress has become a culturally accepted norm throughout the (ahem) “civilized” world.  Like an achievement sticker or badge of some kind, being under stress is suspect only when there doesn’t seem to be enough of it.  This is unfortunate, because being under sustained stress is contrary to the nature of living beings.  It turns out a lot of the things human beings do are contrary to the nature of all living beings, leading to collateral stress for other forms of life that share this planet with us.

In the practice of massage therapy, I’ve heard quite a lot about people’s stress – where they carry it, why they carry, for how long they’ve carried it.  When I ask if that’s voluntary, most laugh it off without realizing I’m entirely serious.  After all, the muscles that they’re referring to are voluntary muscles and the people’s descriptions corroborate the evidence in their bodies. This is a critical point in the work of expanding the definition of what a human being is because while we make a distinction between body and mind, these two things are parts of a larger whole, interconnected in the same way that the heart and liver are interconnected parts of a larger body.  What happens in one is happening in the other.

The origins of the word stress give an indication of its nature in the (cough) “civilized” world:

Middle English (denoting hardship or force exerted on a person for the purpose of compulsion): shortening of distress, or partly from Old French estresse ‘narrowness, oppression’, based on Latin strictus ‘drawn tight’.

The functional nature of the stress-response in the biological form is the same for all beings with a body – to divert energy usage from bodily systems that are responsible for digestion, immune function, and general homeostasis (or balance) over to the musculature and reflexes in order to best fight or flee whatever is threatening the life of the being under stress.  Humans have aggressively addressed most of the physical threats to their species with homes, fences, guns, and toxic chemicals, but the challenge really comes from the psychological stresses of living in a “civilized” society.  You see, the body does not distinguish any difference between the data that comes in by way of the physical eyes and through thinking/imagination.  The same physical responses to the perception of threatening situations – physical or social, presently occurring or imagined out of context – happen within the body.

What I’m saying is that when the body is in the stress-response state, the energy that would normally be used for digestion, immune function, and the multitude of other things that a self-correcting, regenerative body would normally do is no longer available for those things.  The healing factor is turned off.  This is usually not a concern unless stress is sustained for periods longer than the original moment of perceived threat, a distinctly human challenge.  The stress-response is a very short-term, situational adaptation not designed to be prolonged.  The body cannot be at ease when the mind is not at ease.  Hence the word, dis-ease.  The failure of the “health care systems” of “civilized societies” comes from failing to recognize that the preconditions of disease are taking place long before the physical symptoms arise in the body, because the human being is not at ease.

I’m not sure how a bunch of Harvard and Oxford-educated doctors have not been able to figure this out, nor why they are not jumping up and down trying to bring attention to the fact that it is the current systems and processes that are being used that are leading to so many forms of mental and physical dis-ease.  Forget the mind, it should be obvious enough that the biological design of our bodies does not include sitting at desks or performing repetitive tasks for 8+ hours a day, 40+ hours a week.  When you add the mind to that and the survival pressure of the social environment, it’s no wonder that almost everyone is suffering from some sort of ongoing physical discomfort or imbalance.  (Ok, maybe I am fairly sure how – or why – it hasn’t been figured out…symptom treatment is a billions-of-dollars-a-year, for-profit industry, and there’s an economy to support, right?)

You see, this concerns me a great deal because one of the functional roles I was born with is to care for Life.  There is a significant difference between “health care” and “symptom treatment”.  When a person is under stress, especially prolonged stress, it is not a natural or balanced state, and when this person makes decisions, his or her perspective is suffering from the distortion that the stress creates on his or her perception of many details that may or may not be “true”.  As more and more decisions are made by more and more people suffering from the distortions that stress creates in perception, the world suffers from actions taken out of balance and clarity.  With so much momentum, with so many people participating under these conditions – against their own feelings, no less – it has created a momentum that is drawing the world into it.  Taking away the symptoms while continuing to carry out the processes that led to the problem in the first place is a failure of intelligence on an epic scale.

As far as I can tell, the solution has a great deal to do with some ideas that challenge the very structure of what humankind has been doing up to this point – integrity and personal accountability.

Cooperation

cooperation

I really love getting to the heart of things.  It can have a powerful influence on perception that usually feels better than the often conflicted views that are part of the historical perspectives shaping the descriptions we still use today.  Where early scientists saw chaos within nature and sought to impose order through mechanical processes and relationships with “nature as material resources”, the observations that have been made since those times indicates that we are actually witness to a magnitude of order that is clearly beyond our immediate comprehension.  Nature in all of its diversity is also vastly interconnected.

I would like to propose that cooperation is the fundamental process that has enabled this level of complexity to be reached by self-aware life forms.  Early scientists theorized that the first living organisms on the planet – single celled prokaryotes – were consumed by the next stage of single-celled organisms called eukaryotes, through a process they called phagocytosis.  The main difference between these two types of beings was the state of their genetic material: prokaryotes didn’t have a membrane bound nucleus, whereas the eukaryotes did.  Now in this “eating” process they describe, the more eukaryote did not digest the prokaryote, but instead, provided a protected environment for it to continue producing energy that the eukaryote was able to utilize.  This relationship eventually led to the specialization of the prokaryote as it became the mitochondria, a cellular structure that has remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of millions of years.

Doesn’t sound like eating without digesting to me.  Sounds like cooperation.  And it gets better.

Better, because those cells that were now all functioning with their own independent power sources began to form colonies, which in turn became multicellular organisms, which in turn became the very complex forms we inhabit today.  At every stage that complexity increased, those cells that had specialized functions formed relationships with other cells that carried out different yet complementary functions, putting all of them at risk should any one of the groupings fail.  For at this point, it would have been specialized groupings of cells, groups that became organs and then formed organ systems.  And then, as a body was formed, it would become host to a consciousness that would inhabit it – the form – as a united whole.  A body.

There is no other process that could enable such levels of complexity to be realized than cooperation.  Given that each and every cell is a self-aware individual that forms its own relationships with the cells around it, there is some underlying agreement about why they are all there that makes cooperation the most obvious and beneficial choice for all involved.  It’s as though differences aren’t a threat to each other, because there’s something much more incredible to be had within the similarities than what is threatened by the differences.

So here we are, aware of ourselves at this stage of Life as it achieves another level of complexity, and tickles the human being enough that it begins to consider life beyond this planet.  Life is spreading, and it is reaching from planet to planet now.  I would like to suggest that until we learn cooperation, we are going to be unable to join that fabric that is spreading outward from many places.  We are going to encounter other forms whose differences are going to complement ours, if we can form cooperative relationships with them.  It will not be possible to do this with the current approach, and since it is inevitable, I think we’d best get on with understanding and practicing cooperation.  I’d sure like to anyhow.

 

(graphic source: eyerysh at Clipart)

This little comic is a funny example of all those unknown stories throughout time that were not committed to volumes and books.  Everyone sees something!

starwarsfunny

(graphic source: See Mike Draw)

FoodShelter-and-Clothing1-e1328663729290

There are very few things that all human beings share equally.  We all have a body and we all have a mind.  For the body, everyone requires food, clothing, shelter, and access to medical care.  For the mind, everyone requires some form of relevant education and/or access to information.  I call these ‘universals’.  Beyond these, humans become very different, very quickly.  This is very significant, because the advancement of society upon principles that art not universal to all people is a poor design strategy.  The foundation has to be inclusive if it is to support everyone.

When we build a house, we put it on a foundation to provide support and stability.  If the materials used to create the foundation go through too much expansion or contraction, or combination of both, it weakens the integrity of the structure upon which the foundation is built, and eventually that structure will fall apart because of the faulty design parameters.  As a foundation for all people, economy is a poor choice.  The indicators of this are numerous – poverty, malnutrition, war, disease, homelessness, starvation.  Add to that the fact that there are no upper or lower limits upon economy that unify all people within a bandwidth of fiscal equality, it all indicates economy is a poor foundation to build upon.  At least, if you want to build something for everyone, and have it last for a long time, it is.

Since we exist upon a moving, changing world with its own cycles (that have defined, shaped, and destroyed human habitats), the context is not unlike an ocean, though the waves come every few to few thousand years.  Within the metaphor of a ship sailing upon the ocean, there is a maximum and a minimum in the amount of flexibility the hull of the ship can tolerate before the whole becomes compromised.  It’s the integrity of the thing that determines its longevity and durability through changes over time.  Tight bonds among the individual cells assure the strength of the oak, just as tight bonds among individual people can assure strength and ease in their own collective activities.

There are very large flows of energy engaged in patterns of relationship with each other that precede humankind’s presence on this planet by hundreds of millions of years.  The dynamics of these relationships create the conditions that have given rise to the bioregional ecosystems of the planet, and spawned countless forms of life for similar amounts of time, all of them cresting and falling like waves on an ocean over time.  As a species currently cresting, it seems to me that we might stand to benefit by learning how to ride these flows of energy so that they carry us along, like surfers riding waves, like a great ship sailing the oceans wide.  By hooking ourselves to these flows and letting them carry us – they’re flowing anyway – we would no longer need to expend so much energy going against those same flows the way that we do now.  A friend once mentioned to me that he had read some philosophy of the Greeks, and that they considered any civilization that didn’t make use of passive solar energy gain in its design to be primitive.  Yet here we are, building houses willy-nilly with absolutely no consideration for the vast amounts of energy available, instead burning fossil fuels to heat and power our homes.  It matters less that we have been doing it, and much more that it continues.  It is an indicator of deeper pathologies in the foundation that the momentum of human activity cannot change direction in response to new information when it encounters it.

A foundation based on universals of food, clothing, shelter, access to medical care, education, and information can create conditions that ensure a feeling of security within the population, so long as the amount of distance that the foundation expands and contracts does not put the structure upon it at risk.  Birthing new people into communities that know they can house and feed those who are coming and those who are already present simply requires a shift in priorities and processes.  By aligning human activity with the larger planetary flows of energy and their cycles, we should be able to know when the foundation is going to be stable and when it’s going to be under strain, and we can adjust our own activities deliberately and accordingly.

For those of you who are thinking “COMMUNISM!!!” right now, please take a deep breath and relax.  I’m not talking about communism, because within that system, the foundation still has too much contraction and expansion, too much gap between rich and poor, an effect of economy upon a system that was supposed to provide a better foundation for its people.  I will delve further into the subject of economy sometime soon, but not right just yet.  I’d simply like to be clear that I’m talking about something very different than what has already been done, something we haven’t done and aren’t doing.

Like consciousness inhabiting a new body, we are still learning to walk.  If we are going to surf, there’s a ways to go yet.

(graphic source: an postcard someone edited from Zazzle came up on a google image search for food, clothing, shelter)

The Conscious Field

grandscheme

I always liked the quote by Albert Einstein that goes, “If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well enough”.  There are so many professionals, experts, and specialists nowadays making fantastic profits by keeping the people they serve in a state of dependence, unable to understand or comprehend what is happening in their bodies, minds, or lives.  I’ve heard admissions from health care professionals that their education programs encourage this kind of superior position in order to maintain their own relevancy.  After all, what kind of work would there be for all these people if everyone was healthy and well-balanced?

The fact is, very little is what it appears to be.  One of the hardest things for a human being to believe is that s/he is connected to everything.  Perhaps a better way to put it would be that every thing that is in form shares its origin with every other thing.  I hinted at this in my previous post when I suggested that consciousness is not unlike electricity.  It is everywhere, and human beings have found ways to channel it into forms that activate with the presence of electricity in them.  The same electricity will turn on a toaster and a computer, yet these two objects carry out very different processes and functions once “enlivened”.  This is because the form itself has been designed to receive the flow of formless energy and carry out particular functions with it.  The forms have indicators present that inform the user about things like temperature and time, and as they carry out their functions, the interplay of all these things is what we call “making toast” or “computing”.

I propose that the underlying process for all forms is the same, and that conscious-awareness is the field that brings all forms to life.  Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy, biodynamic farming, and Waldorf education, suggested in his book, How to Know Higher Worlds, that biological life forms are consciousness with desire, and mineral forms are consciousness without desire.  As forms are created, conscious-awareness inhabits them and imbues them with purpose.  Within each form is the code that indicates what the functional processes and abilities are – DNA.  So as the being we call “dog” is born, that universally present conscious-awareness is informed, by way of the dog’s active coding, about the things that are relevant to all dogs, and then more specifically, what is relevant to that particular individual.  Human beings are born in much the same way, gaining access to everything generally relevant to the living human form, and more specifically, to the unique particulars of the individual.  The same goes for stones and crystals.  It is in this unified field of conscious-awareness that the expression “we are all one” finds its roots.

The simplicity of this description comes about by making a bigger picture that includes the viewpoints of all the different mystical and scientific descriptions.  Instead of anyone being right or wrong, I propose that everyone sees something, that what they see is relevant, that subjects have depth and dimension, magnitude and proportion, and that when you put them all together in a conflict-free way, it creates a bigger picture that anyone can see.

(graphic source: Abstruse Goose)

Just to remind everyone, I’m interested in exploring functional descriptions of what a human being is, in order that we might better design a society that functions in the best interests of the description, in order to facilitate well-being of the individual, the community, and the planet.  When I explore the current psychological “breakdown” of what ego defines out as, I have to wonder how these descriptions were ever accepted as functional.  The jargon of specialization once again leaves understanding to those who have invested in an agreement to the jargon and what it refers to, but does little for those people without the jargon who are trying to understand themselves as conscious beings.  The dictionary, in its simplicity, still leaves one hanging:

noun (plural egos)

  • 1 A person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance
  • 1.1 Psychoanalysis The part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity. Compare with id and superego.
  • 1.2 Philosophy (In metaphysics) a conscious thinking subject

There’s this sense of a wild goose chase, or looking for a needle in a haystack with so many of the definitions pertaining to human beings.  One definitions leads to another, and another, never quite answering the question.  As a dangling carrot, the lure of self-understanding through these definitions has dried up.  So let’s see if I can do something about that.

Ego is a point of reference.  It is an egress, a bi-directional portal between non-physical and physical.  It is the doorway to our inner world, and the channel through which our inner world finds its way into form in the physical – through ideas and actions.  Just as a computer becomes aware of itself with the presence of electricity flowing through it, so too do bodies of all sorts become aware of themselves with the presence of consciousness flowing through them.  A unified field that wants to create forms out of itself needs to create these reference points in order to achieve higher levels of organization within form, like finger puppets on someone’s hand.  I’d like to suggest that we are not that different, functionally speaking, from these finger puppets.

fingerpuppets

The functional nature of a doorway is as an access point between two areas, often an “inner” and an “outer”, coincidentally.  It is the point of reference for accessing what is inside, and for returning to the commons, the shared space in the outer.  It enables agreements to be made amongst similar points of reference that then enable higher levels of organization to be formed.  These are the elements of the functional design of what has come to be known as ‘ego’.

Personal identity, something that has often been considered within the domain of the definition of ego, is not a functional design aspect.  Personal experience is personal, which is relevant to the individual but not the world.  As much as people have tried to make their personal identity and experience relevant for others – sometimes more relevant than others, as in the case of pretty much anyone who identifies him or herself with a title of some type – it has not proven to be an effective way to form relationships, share information, or carry out life-affirming and mutually beneficial processes.  This identity obsession is something better referred to as “self-importance”, and has a great deal more to do with the appearance of a person in the eyes of others than any genuine or authentic expression of self.  It is, in other words, a pathology in consciousness.

The particulars of what someone is good at, the preferences that he or she may have for flavor, color, smell, kinds of music, and so forth are indeed part of the identity of that individual, but using them to divide and separate people and introduce conflict into human interactions is further misuse of this information.  Current societal dynamics do not enable the natural “agglutination” or coming together of similar individuals into colonies and higher levels organization, as it is instead being organized by economics.  Indicators suggest that economics is unable to facilitate the organization of humankind into something that is more complex and orderly due to the numerous flaws in its design and implementation.

Whatever shall we do?

(picture source: Abby Hambright’s Flickr stream)

emotions1

Let’s talk about emotions.  Big subject, lots of research, and it seems also accompanied by a great deal of misunderstanding.  The functional presence of emotions in the updated definition of a human being are as navigation and balance indicators for non-physical orientation.  I suspect that the misunderstanding and misuse of emotions arose around the same time that people started to take things personally in communication, stopping the awareness at the words, and failing to behold the bigger picture being addressed.  Once again, English definitions are severely limited in their scope:

noun

  • 1A strong feeling deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others
  • 1.1 [mass noun] Instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge

When we look to the definition of feeling, we are bounced back to emotions:

noun

  • 1 An emotional state or reaction
  • 1.1 (feelings) The emotional side of someone’s character; emotional responses or tendencies to respond
  • 1.2 [mass noun] Strong emotion
  • 2 An idea or belief, especially a vague or irrational one
  • 2.1 An attitude or opinion
  • 3 [mass noun] The capacity to experience the sense of touch
  • 3.1 The sensation of touching or being touched by a particular thing
  • 4 (feeling for) A sensitivity to or intuitive understanding of

In other words, these people aren’t really sure what feelings or emotions are.

It seems like a good time to clarify what I mean by “non-physicality”.  Experiences that fall under the category of “out of body experiences” are not what I’m referring to, though I suspect that there is some overlap.  I’m talking about that supposedly secret place we call “mind”, where our thoughts and feelings are supposedly private and safe, that is taking place at the same time as our physical awareness.  In this domain, subjects make up the features of the landscape, and we are able to travel and move our point of perspective in regards to these subjects – just as we might walk down the street to the grocery store or fly to another continent and explore.  Our emotions indicate the relative state or conditions of our movement in this domain, signalling balance, pressure, motion or lack thereof, altitude, proximity, and many other parameters distinct to the field in which they are operating.  When we relate to them from this perspective, anger is nothing more than excess pressure being released through the improper channel; stress is an indicator of imbalance; joy is an indicator of ease, expansion, balance, and connectivity; grief is unexpressed love that chokes up the channel of expression.  By using these as indicators, anger never needs to hurt anyone if the energy under pressure can move through the channel it should have gone – saying ‘no’ when you really mean it, instead of saying ‘yes’ because you feel obligated is a great example.

When a vehicle is able to withstand the pressures and rigors of driving in many different conditions, we say that it has ‘integrity’, which is the essential requirement for an effective relationship with emotions.  Integrity defines out very nicely in English:

noun

[mass noun]

  • 1 The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles
  • 2 The state of being whole and undivided
  • 2.1 The condition of being unified or sound in construction
  • 2.2 Internal consistency or lack of corruption in electronic data

I find definition 2 the most universally suitable when it comes to human beings.  The individual is often very conflicted.  Have you ever heard yourself say, “A part of me wants (something), but another part of me thinks (something else).”?  A perfect indicator of internal conflict, or fragmentation of the self into opposing or contradictory “parts”.  How do you suppose a person who is internally conflicted about a subject is going to relate to that subject?  Their attention will be divided between those contradictions – he or she will be conflicted about the subject, and bring conflict to it.  The integration of parts into the whole has an individual making statements that are inclusive: I want to (do something).  The first person pronoun ‘I’ is unconflicted, there is a full commitment of the whole person in a statement like that.

It is of great significance that the human body is directly linked to the affairs going on in the mind.  A person cannot think a thought without some response arising in the body.  Conversely, the cessation of thinking – by meditation, for example – tends to calm all and balance all bodily processes, while death – the absence of that link to the mind – leads to a dissolution of the body entirely.  That link is the next part of the discussion about mind – I believe it is what we currently refer to as ego.

Graphic from Clipart

iamtheworld

I realize there is a lot of historical momentum behind the current ideas of mind, psyche, consciousness, and words with similar meaning that are going to be put on the spot by what I am about to suggest.  I’m interested in more clarity than those descriptions offer, something more functional and accessible for every person, since the root of pretty much every crisis facing people right now is a desperate need for more extensive and deeper self-awareness.  This is beyond personal identity and how we are perceived by others – it’s functionality by design, and we have put our minds to work in ways that are largely in conflict with the functional design of our physical and non-physical being.  Again, it is the presence of indicators that illustrate when a person is functioning from a clear, balanced place or from an out of balance place.  Indicators are easy for everyone to see, like when a person is under stress or happy, preoccupied or present, conflicted or aligned with the subject.  So here is what I’ve learned by observing the indicators related to human functioning regarding mind:

Mind is a place.  At the same time that our bodies are traveling in physicality, our awareness is simultaneously traversing a non-physical geography where the features of the landscape are made up of subjects.  We map this domain by considering the perspectives of everyone directly relating to the given subject, since everyone sees something, but not everything.  It is possible for an individual to see more of a subject by moving his or her perspective, much as one would travel in the physical world.  This is how the gap is bridged during misunderstandings – some distance is traveled sufficient for the parties involved in the misunderstanding to see the same part of the landscape.  Understanding is not agreement, simply that seeing we do in relation to subjects.  I only speak a few languages, so I can’t claim to know this in every language, but in English, we often use expressions that parallel geographical movement and orientation to indicate our understanding or lack thereof – I’m not following you; I see; You lost me; I’m not there yet; I’m with you.

Any subject that affects the lives of most or all people – food, sexuality, money, climate – is going to be a mountainous subject.  Like a mountain range, there are going to be a diversity of regional variables influencing the nature of the subject at that particular point of perspective.  Where one stands in relation to a subject is our point of perspective.  By moving our perspective in regards to a subject, we alter our relationship with it.  The underlying process is the same in both physical and non-physical.  Misunderstanding in this context then is simply two points of perspective that have no overlapping geography in their respective vistas, and consequently, in their description, except for the subject itself.

The north side of a physical mountain corresponds to the non-physical geography of a subject where scarcity, shadows, and limitation manifest in relationship to it.  The south side, facing the warming sun, is where abundance, diversity, and fertility arise.  And every nook and cranny in between is another person’s perspective on the subject.  This is how we map non-physical geography.  Navigation within the conscious realm falls to another set of indicators that are part of our advanced design and are very poorly understood by most people – emotions.

I’m going to turn this post into a multi-part discussion to give some breathing space between each aspect of the description.

The Human Metaphor

hole2

I’ve spent some 30,000+ hours in direct physical contact with human beings over the last 23 years in my practice of massage therapy, and in that time, I’ve noticed some things that seem worth mentioning. First off, bodies are not simply things that work or don’t; nor are they mechanical apparatuses of random design through natural selection.  They are communities.  I’d go so far as to say that they’re equivalent to planets, though on a microcosmic scale.  They sure do seem like it when you start to look closely.  Trillions of forms of life – plant and animal – inhabit the earth, that mineral matrix with a bunch of water and air.  Each of them is self-aware and aware of its environment, and carries out relationships with many different forms of plant and animal during their living duration.  Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells – plant and animal – on a mineral matrix, in a bunch of water and air, in very similar proportions to that of the planet, even down to the amount of gold in our bones.  Interesting?

How about this: when these trillions of cells get together and form higher levels of organization like organs and organ systems, then wrap the whole thing up and call it a ‘body’ – which has no “leader” cells, by the way – it becomes host to a higher consciousness, that phenomenon I call “me”.  If this is happening on the microcosmic scale of the body, it sure does follow that it is happening on the macrocosmic scale of the planet, given its influence upon the physical development of this form.  For the sake of clarity, yes, I am suggesting that this is a conscious planet.

The picture I chose for this post shows a hole at the polar end of the earth.  This is pretty much never shown in any “official” footage or pictures, and even Google doesn’t show it on GoogleEarth.  Apparently there’s one at each pole, and they are entrances to an inner earth ecology.  I don’t know if there are or aren’t – I have enough space in my worldview for holes to exist or not to exist – but if there are, it gives a whole new meaning to “made in the image of the Creator”, especially if the body is a microcosmic and fractal extension of the planet’s own fundamental and functional processes.

I know that the guiding perspectives in the so-called “health care industry” are off the mark because treating symptoms is an ineffective practice.  Taking the symptoms away from the body doesn’t stop the process(es) that led to the symptoms in the first place, and if the symptoms aren’t there, a dangerous accumulation can occur, leading to additional symptoms far removed from the original “problem”.  If you’re reading this, then you’ve got enough grasp of language to recognize that disease is dis- and ease, combined to make one word.  BiologyOnline defines disease as follows:

Definition

noun, plural: diseases

An abnormal condition of an organism which interrupts the normal bodily functions that often leads to feeling of pain and weakness, and usually associated with symptoms and signs.

A pathologic condition in which the normal functioning of an organism or body is impaired or disrupted resulting in extreme pain, dysfunction, distress, or death.

The Oxford Dictionary defines ease as follows:

noun

[mass noun]

  • 1 Absence of difficulty or effort
  • 1.1 Absence of rigidity or discomfort; poise
  • 1.2 Freedom from worries or problems

Is there a picture beginning to form for you yet?

What abnormal or pathologic condition could lead to difficulty, discomfort, or worry?  I’ll give you a hint…it happens in the mind, which we’ll explore in the next post.  All the different forms of disease are, at the end of the day, simply indicators that most of the activity that an individual is engaged in is out of balance with the functional integrity of that individual in the same way a car’s fuel gauge turns on when the fuel is low or the oil gauge light turns on when the oil pressure drops.  You don’t replace the light because it turns on, do you?  You don’t get mad at the car for indicating that fuel is low, do you?  Why then this dissociative relationship with the body?  Why so much misunderstanding?  Why is ease not part of the discussion about health and well-being?

When I say that the body is “like a planet”, what I mean is that millions of voices are crying out for your attention when your body is expressing some kind of symptom.  It’s a concerted effort.  Symptoms are indicators with so much information that it has to come as visceral feeling, because the detailed data would take years to decode (see this list of distinct cell types in the human body to get an idea of how much information a body can deliver).  These signals are not primitive biology, nagging at us and keeping us from work; they are part of an exceptionally advanced design that gives us constant, up-to-date, in the moment, unfiltered, relevant information that cannot be corrupted or interpreted by any other party except the individual having the visceral experience.  This information gives us a sense of balance and positioning not only in the physical world of our bodies, but also in the non-physical world of our minds.

Let that sink in, please ask any questions if you have them, and let’s carry on in the next post.

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