“Not/Absolutely”

Emotional entanglement creates a false sense that carries over to every thought, where we entwine slow deliberate rational thinking with automatic intuition slathered in emotion. This fallacy is believing in the idea of absolutes in our lives in terms of how our emotions give us feedback. This is the super fucked up aspect of our misunderstanding of how we behave and how our brains function to give us this illusion. We tend to use past experiences to lock down our anticipated response to future experiences that we automatically identify as similar in nature to the ones in the past. Taking the interpretation of any moment out of the experience of that moment denies us the actual experience of that moment. Sounds like a tongue twister, but it represents the underlying issue to much of the present day social issues of our species. By using a past experience as  an absolute in predicting a future experience, we lock down our feedback loop  for growth and maturity as we age, thus narrowing our lives verses expanding them. Imagine stepping off a train at a random stop just because you didn't like the person sitting across from you looking at you. That train continues on to more preferable destinations, but you are stuck at the place you disengaged from the journey because your emotions got the best of you. Now, I realize this is an oversimplification to a very complex story, but the fact is whenever you randomly choose to stop growing with the universe around you, everything changes. 

"...whenever your memories exceed your dreams, your life has stopped"

Physics and chemistry have bonded through their relationship with mathematics to form bundles of absolutes in our existence. Math being the language for communicating the underlying concepts that allow us to repeat and explain the natural phenomenon that occur in the universe around us. That's simply not how emotions work though. Emotions are malleable and can be interpreted to represent a variety of things, whenever we subject them to similar scrutiny we apply to the basic sciences mentioned above. Emotions have a profound binding capacity to the thoughts we create throughout our lives. The more emotionally charged the experience, the more profound the recollection for future usage that thought becomes. Our automatic thought process assumes the circumstances present during the initial experience will always result in the exact same results and sensations. First of all, the surprise value of an initial experience can't be replicated for future occurrences. Secondly, the complexity of any given moment in our existence suggests that a minor shift to one or a group of the factors contributing to that moment can profoundly skew the outcome. That alone is a distinct differentiation from the absolutes we know of other inputs such as physics and chemistry. We love the fuck out of predictability, so we just assume our emotions fall under the same reliable outcomes as the rules and laws we know of the universe around us. 

"...you are not your emotions, your emotions are just a part of you"

Emotional Intelligence is the frontier where this understanding is playing out. Identifying how to manage the application of your emotions is every bit as important as developing your ability to consume and absorb information in developing one's IQ. It's within the overwhelming effects of our emotions that the majority of social conflicts exist. Emotions engage force to resolve conflict, where rational thought embraces reason to resolve conflict. Supporting your emotional state by surrounding yourself with likemined people builds ideological networks that feed off of the lack of reason. Emotions are highly valuable to the human experience, but just not applicable to every aspect of life and experience. Personal interaction and connections are vital to living a fulfilling life, and require the full attention of our emotions. Buying clothes only requires the precise amount of emotional support to give us a dose of confidence in how we will convey our inner self to others. Sharing your inner feelings with someone you hold dear to your heart requires a shit ton of inner self, and very little peripheral acknowledgment. I realize this simplified a very very complex situation, but it’s truly this simplistic in how we navigate management of our thoughts and emotions. That physical response to any situation is just your brain budgeting your body’s resources to respond to the effects of a thought our feeling in anticipation to an expected outcome. Once you intervene with a dose of rational response, you almost immediately diffuse the body’s fight or flight mechanism. Constantly subjecting the body to what’s intended to be an emergency response mechanism is not how life is supposed to be realized. Fight or flight produces stress responses equivalent to smoking cigarettes to your body. Now that we’ve identified how this all works, start to identify within your daily life where you overuse your emotions, where rational thought would be a much better tool. If you’re truly honest with yourself, you should be shocked at your misuse of your emotions. 

  “...fuck you man, who do you think you are telling me how to feel” 

Take a look around and just listen. Every conversation around you tends to blend together for some reason. This is due predominantly to the simultaneous lifting of the human emotional state. Those effects I’ve mentioned in past writings about the correlation between the innovations of technology and the advanced speed of life in general in regards to our biological responses. This ramped up pace has created more anxiety, depression, stress, and adverse consequences in today’s society. For all the good associated with innovation, the unintended consequences are heavy. There is a better path in all of this though, we just have to adjust how we condition the young in order to better prepare them for a different future. In addition to reprograming our early childhood development scenarios, we need to influence every age group to aspire for something distinctly better for everyone. The freedom from a life chained to your emotional responses and able to reason where applicable, and feel where necessary. Can’t imagine that being nearly as conflicted as what we see currently around us. 

 

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  “...I want a gyro” 

 

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  “...there’s a food truck around the corner” 

 

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  “...that’s it, show me your stuff” 

 

 

  #absolutes 

"Punch/Drunk"

Second time's a charm! I started this post a while ago, only to lose its content from a safari glitch and having to force quit. My thoughts this morning surround the outrage from the recent commentary from the real estate tycoon/reality television personality pretending to be the Commander in Chief. Liberals are incensed by his racist words, while Conservatives look like a cat covering up shit in a litter box trying to make up excuses or flat out deny the existence of what he said. What I see are people siding with whatever ideological values they've aligned with in order to feel a sense of belonging. They personalize words according to their belief's, thus feeling personal offense or defense as though the words were directed specifically at or in defense of them. Emotional prisoners from both sides face off in this ideological standoff, where no one actually wins, and progress is secondary to the claim of being right. Unshackling the chains of emotional enslavement requires a better understanding of what emotions are and what they aren't, as well as how they actually function within the human body. Take a look at this TedTalk on that subject from of the world's leading experts on the study of emotions and how they actually work within the human brain, including yours.

https://pc.tedcdn.com/talk/podcast/2017S/None/LisaFeldmanBarrett_2017S-480p.mp4

Earlier, while scribing the original version of this post I was casually listening to Face the Nation. Surprisingly, today's topic was the aforementioned subject with interviews with Tom Cotton (R: AR, who Ive met yet never voted for) and Joe Manchin (D: WV). Cotton sounded like he would eat a mile of presidential shit just to be recognized as part of whatever that bunch is trying to accomplish, while Manchin loosely condemned those words, but suggested immigration should be better organized. Who the fuck is working on actual solutions to the actual problems that exist in the world today? 

"What is a better solution to this partisan dilemma...?"

Let's think about the Democratic process and how it requires our individual participation. If you don't vote every time the polls are open, then you're letting the system down. It's not only your right to cast your vote, but your responsibility to show the fuck up on election day. That being said, understanding the issues and how the candidates can bring solutions is the key to your participation. If you don't perform your due diligence on whats at stake and how all the candidates address the solutions to the current problems, what the fuck are you voting for. We don't need more useless babysitters of the Constitution, that only posture against the other party. Take some time to familiarize yourself with how Federal, State, and Local governments function. This is vital to assessing the promises/lies of the candidates. Once you arm yourself with the proper tools to cast an educated voice, assess each incumbent on their past performance. If you can't identify any evidence that supports the campaign promises made by them, vote for someone else immediately, not for anyone simply because they belong to a particular party, that you used to emotional align with. Don't we owe it to the promise of change?

Summary:

Identify within yourself a better understanding of your emotional biases. Unshackling the chains of emotional enslavement requires educating yourself to the reality about how this impulsive component of your behavior affects the rest of your world. Next, apply that new perspective to everything around you, especially your participation in your community, state, and country. The only hope of realizing a better future lies in the hearts and minds of the individuals that make of our world, and not the few who on confuse the issues, and deliver only broken promises.

 

#politics 

 

“Pieced/Together”

Last night I watched the new David Letterman show on Netflix featuring Barack Obama as the quest. Having never voted for him, I’m not a supporter of his political views or tactics, yet I do respect the values and understanding he conveys beneath all that policy rhetoric. He sees the injustice of humanity, and wishes there was a more beneficial outcome for a broader number of people. I see him as a good person that found politics as an opportunity to push for beneficial change. Unfortunately, that path is littered with greed and corruption, that tears away much of the fabric of intent for doing good. He expressed what I believed to be genuine gratitude for the circumstances beyond his control, that led to the opportunities, that offered him this path. His interview struck in me some of the views I’ve expressed here about how to tilt the social construct to favor everyone, and what those present barriers exist of.  

 

The ability to to see beyond the perception that we form at first glance is a key element to changing the story. “Us/Them” politics utilizes very restrictive ideology to separate individuals into polarized opposing groups, that posture against each other stagnating progress. Casual social conversations deteriorate under the weight of this paradigm, and present a giant barrier to supporting change. That partisanship represented in Washington DC filters all the way down to the tiniest of local communities when it comes to the lunacy of ideology. What doesn’t happen are open honest conversation rooted in sympathy, empathy, and compassion for making the entire system better for everyone.  

 

Let’s think about a real solution format for how to start these progressive conversations. Most issues arise whenever someone states their views derived from their ideological values, and the other person represents that polar opposite perspective. More often than not, these are people who’s positions aren’t predisposed to one another, because people aware of the others halo of ideology either avoid each other, the conversation, over pretend it doesn’t exist. Once that cat comes out of the bag, the posturing around the opposition rears it’s ugly head, and the emotional defense is all that’s on the table. Shift this outline to any conversation, and imagine the outcome. The problem lies in the identity of the individual based upon belonging to an ideology. There can be no progress without changing that personal dynamic within a majority of people. So, there is the foundation for building a platform to create real lasting beneficial change, that satisfies the hope existing within nearly everyone today.  

 

So, instead of building upon this false sense of comfort we derive from ideology, let’s build a better understanding of ourselves and the mechanics of who we truly are. introspection is not just a hippy culture escape mechanism, but a very powerful cognitive behavioral therapy. Asking the questions of yourself, that you would ask of others is an accountable approach to changing the rationalization process we substitute with today. Rather than searching for the reason to support your behavior, examine the intent before you allow yourself to engage in it. 

 

Rotary 4 Way Test:
1st Is it the truth?
2nd Is it fair to all concerned?
3rd Will it build good will and better friendships?
4th Is it beneficial to all concerned?

 

 

Evaluation of how we affect others and the world around us before giving ourselves the entire benefit of our actions. The ego hates this approach, but it's your consciousness, and yours to shape and form into what you choose to affect. This introspective approach takes some effort and refining to get your attention directed away from just you and outward to your life. Attaining compassion takes a certain discipline drawn from beneath the superficial surface most people navigate within. It takes some practice. Give it a try the next time you catch yourself judging the world and others whenever you feel the discomfort of being alone in your presence of who you think you are...