01.13.2002 8 PM Ordinary versus un-ordinary experience, Stubbing one's toe
just wanted to say a few words about reality while I'm pretty clear about it.
Whatever clarity I sometimes have, there are times when things are very clear
and obvious to me. Then there are times when that clarity dims and what I thought
was so clear and obvious becomes more like a fantasy. I believe that some of
that is the result of conditioning by my fellow physical beings from birth to
now and reinforcement of the physical perspective by well meaning skeptical
people. The experience fades as physical life impresses upon us just how real
it can be. Like a balance scale with pebbles being placed on the left side that
say "I am the real reality" and pebbles on the right side saying "I am real,
you are real, but I include you and you exclude me." The scale begins to balance
as un-ordinary experiences accumulate on the right side. But each ordinary physical
reality pebble, which represents an ordinary physical reality experience, quickly
shifts the balance scale back in favor of the ordinary reality perspective.
Then another un-ordinary experiences begins to shift the scale once again.
There is a plethora of ordinary physical reality experiences to convince us that the ordinary physical reality perspective is the most real. For most of us, it is the most real since it is the most tenacious of perspectives. It just keeps coming back whereas the un-ordinary perspective has less reinforcement experiences to back it up. The accumulated duration of un-ordinary experiences is typically less the accumulated duration of ordinary experiences. So the ordinary perspective has it advantage. It is in essence, on home turf.
As I read this it seems like technical talk that serves little purpose. So let me try to give this technical talk a purpose with an analogy. You are walking along on the sidewalk thinking about meal you once had years ago and you're trying to remember where you were when you first tasted that unique taste that left so memorable an impression. Then you stub your toe on a crack in the sidewalk. It really hurts. You think. Damn! I should have been paying attention to what I was doing. You are now in ordinary reality perspective mode. If you stub your toe enough, you will likely spend less time with thoughts that do not pertain to your walking. The walking is physical reality experience. The thinking, though about physical reality matters, is just not as immediate, real and important as walking without stubbing your toe. Do this scenario repeatedly and you are molding your manner of thinking. You are teaching yourself where to focus because if you don't focus within the immediate experience, you may get immediate feedback in the form of a stubbed toe.
If we accumulate enough physical reality experience, we may just feel that that's what is most real, which is how it feels to me. When I'm in the un-ordinary framework of experience, which for me includes physical reality matters from an un-ordinary perspective, the ordinary reality perspective that is most common for me becomes clearly a small portion of reality. Ordinary reality is real and so is un-ordinary reality. It is all a matter of perspective. Perspective is individual. Your perspective is your sole responsibility. If you choose to give the authority over your perspective over to some source outside of you, then you are obviously free to do so. You may reclaim it as you so choose.
So reinforcement of one's perspective is an important element to maintaining one's perspective. Whether it be religious families, or scientific communities, each is an important element in maintaining one's perspective. But do we want to maintain our current perspective? That is a personal question whose answer is neither right nor wrong because it is each persons life to lead. What we each choose is our choice. As simple as that sounds, it seems to give some people cause for alarm, especially when it comes to fundamental religious beliefs and ideas regarding heaven and hell. It has become important for many to convince others to believe as they do. It was for me for some time. It is usually a well meaning effort and even helps many to find a new perspective.
At first the immersion in a religious system may seem like an un-ordinary pebble to be placed on the scale. But is it really? It is usually an ordinary pebble, though it may be trying to direct one into the un-ordinary perspective. It is an ordinary reality pebble for this reason; The experience is not usually one of personal experience, though it may well be. It is a physical reality perspective, gained without experience, through physical reality means, though it is about un-ordinary reality. There is a sermon, a book, a friend of some other source that we lean upon to assist us to find our own perspective. This is not a bad thing, because it is often what gives a person a sense of family that is lacking. There are also to wonderful attributes of concern for our fellow beings, kindness is taught, and the idea of a much bigger picture is reinforced.
But we are talking about personal perspectives and how they are shaped in the context of physical life experience (ordinary experience) versus non-physical reality based experiences (un-ordinary experience). We are talking about experiences, not information gained through reading or heard from friends. We are talking about experiences that go counter to physical reality conventions that lead us to believe that there is more. We may believe that there is more, but that belief may not be the result of our own direct experience. Ideas gained without personal experience to back it up are beliefs that we are choosing that may not ever be true within our own experience. If they make us happier and healthier, then for now that serve us well. If they are beliefs held that are not true in the larger context of the larger reality from which we all spring, then we will eventually have to let them go. So it's a good idea to have a willingness to allow our ideas to change as our experience changes.
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