Join Date: May 2010
Location: England, UK
| | Feeling Good: Tying it all together
Note: I have had to split this post into two due to the 10,000 characters limit.
Feeling Good: Tying it all together (Part I)
I have a phrase I've been saying for a while now:
"The kinaesthetic is the final arbiter of your personal experience".
What this means is that however you feel in your mind-body at the time is going to determine your judgment of whether an experience is "good" or "bad". So you may have the logical idea of equanimity and non-judgment, and you may be studying that concept diligently and trying to implement it in your everyday life. But the bottom line is that if an experience is making you feel bad, you will consider that a bad experience. Read that again. It means even though logically you know it's not important, the bottom line is, if you feel bad about it, you are feeling bad about it!
So what happens is people come up with all these zany ideas to stop things making you feel bad. E.g. the concept of equanimity. With many months of practice, you can stop caring about certain things. Also, life experience will make you stop caring about many things, and so will facing your fears. Then there is presence, NLP, timeline regression, "tapping", and all these other zany ways of trying to get you to stop feeling bad in response to events. The problem is that all of these methods rely on the idea that by not feeling bad, you will automatically feel good. In fact Eckhart Tolle rams home the point many times that feeling good is the default state of humans. But is this really true?
I am going to contend that, in fact, this is not true at all. The default state of the human is one of anxious threat-assessment, restless survival impulses to search for food, and raging hormonal pressures to mate.
Re-read that. I believe that is our natural state. And it accounts for every bad thing we see around us.
I don't believe we are stuck like that however, which brings me to my main point in this post. We can choose to feel good. Feeling good is a choice. And, more importantly, when you feel good, EVERYTHING FEELS GOOD. Because the kinaesthetic is the final arbiter of personal experience.
We can prove this with mind-bending drugs like MDMA, or opiates. As long as these drugs are making you feel chemically fabulous, everything in your personal experience will also be deemed as good.
WHEN YOU FEEL GOOD, EVERYTHING FEELS GOOD.
Stop a moment now and reflect over times in your life this has been true.
Now the most important aspect of this realization is that all the timeline regression, psychotherapy-style methods -- anything that has you visiting memories, or changing reactions -- really become redundant as far as feeling good is concerned. I am not saying that knowledge of your reality model and default reactions isn't important for self-knowledge and knowledge of the human template. But it won't intrinsically make us feel good, or even necessarily stop bad reactions. Knowing you are going to be anxious going into a situation for example won't make you not feel anxious. It may give you acceptance enough to go and do it anyway, and plough through anxiety, and therefore give you some good experience and what not, and even less anxiety next time, but this self-knowledge won't actually make you feel GOOD. And since what most of us really want is to feel good as much of the time as possible, let's instead focus on THAT.
Now when you feel good, everything about your experience feels good. If you have the "GOOD" switch stuck to "ON", then everything is going to feel good, and stuff that would ordinarily bother you either won't even be noticed, or simply won't affect your state if it is noticed.
Drug addicts are all too aware of this mask that can be applied to reality.
Let's list some known ways to stick the GOOD switch to ON for long periods of time:
- Drugs, particularly the first trip on a particular drug when you are not accustomed to the neurochemical effects. For example, MDMA, when tons of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine are flooding into your brain. You have no past experience of this, so you cannot distinguish between the reward effects of the environment and the reward effects of the drug. So everything is deemed to be coming from the environment, and consequently everything seems AMAZING. After a few trips however, your brain learns to take the drug into account and "minuses" some of the reward feelings from the experience to offset the effects of the drug. Clever brain. Not good for your future trips, however.
- Exercise. Do enough exercise, and you firstly have the adrenaline which feels pretty good and blocks you from thinking bad things, and then you have the opioids afterwards which feel GREAT. So you can feel pumped up after a workout or run and this GOOD switch can be stuck on "ON" for some time afterwards.
- Anything mega-rewarding which your brain interprets as a large boost to your survival/reproduction capabilities: winning money, completing some project, getting into "state" by socializing and winning some dominance battles, or by doing some successful mating behaviours with a high-value mate.
- Specific meditations, chakra exercises, or other mind-body link (Circuit V) exercises that get some good neurotransmitter releases going.
- Simply working hard all day and "feeling like you've earned it".
This last point is important, and leads to my next important realization.
Last edited by Illuminatus; 03-07-2011 at 09:19 PM.