The First Key

I suggest that there are 2 fundamental rules one should live by.

1. Seek to understand the nature of the reality we find ourselves in.

2. Act with compassion.

As free beings in an effectively Infinite Universe, all actions are permissible. There are, of course, consequences. As we delve into the layers of knowledge and meaning, we find more and more that much of what we think and do are programmed into us by our society. Much of this is used to control and manipulate us for the benefit of others. We, as social animals, go along willingly with the bulk of this. To be accepted as part of the troupe has a certain comfort, whilst bucking the cultural restrictions can lead to ostracization, and in the extreme, a violent and unpleasant death.

Thus we are somewhat discouraged to seek the "truth". It at times is analogous, and the image is often used, to the summiting of alpine peaks. The view is stunning and beautiful, but there is danger from the cold and the rarefied atmosphere. However, as with the mountaineer, we are able to ascend safely to the heights if we choose appropriate techniques.

Choosing Happiness.

I suggest that the pursuit of happiness is just this technique. This may at first sounds glib and trite.

But with all things there are layers of meaning. As we contemplate Happiness and the conditions that bring it about for us as Individuals, we come to realise that the secret of happiness is to Choose to be happy. As "free beings in an effectively Infinite Universe" happiness is not a right. We live in a storm of consequences and seemingly random events that impact us in ways that cause us to experience realities ranging from the bliss of love to the horrors of war and disease and the darkness of despair. This does not have to be the case.

We have within us the ability, when developed, to apprehend Happiness despite the circumstances of life.

First; one needs to See that Happiness can be chosen and is independent of circumstance. Here we come to the reasons why the pursuit of Happiness is so effective in the understanding of Reality. To achieve this independence from circumstance, one needs to cultivate the abstract mind that is able to stand back from action and analyse the given situation. Often called the Higher Mind. To apprehend and develop this facility we come back to rules 1 and 2 from above. These 2 rules, when applied to a given line of development, have a tendency to create a feedback loop. Pushing the Mind into progressive Realisation.

We seek understanding, and apply it with compassion. Thus we are raised to the Summit and can see Forever

Second; one needs to do that which is required to achieve and maintain Happiness. Here we not only need the clarity of thought of the Summit, but also the abandonment of fear and the attachment to those things that stand in the way of our Happiness. We need to be able to let go of the Toxic. The abusive relationship, the addiction to food or drugs, the Need for wealth and status, whatever it is that holds one back. Again we use rules 1 and 2.

We seek understanding, and apply it with compassion. Thus we are freed of Gravity and cannot Fall.

Third; one needs to remember to practice the choice of Happiness. To maintain Happiness at all times, one must choose Happiness at all times. This brings about the apprehension of time and the role of time in our lives and the nature of Reality. Life is not a series of snapshots but a Sea. Our consciousness is a wavefront propelled by the past into an unformed future. One needs to achieve Perspective. To hold the pastand possible future in mind whilst being in the present.

So it's all process, there is no destination, there is only the Journey. This contemplation of time and its role is the real challenge. The first two steps are relatively mechanistic in operation. Cause and effect. Not easy, but if followed, will lead to Happiness. These are operations of the Individual in the mundane circumstances of our lives. But to expand into the contemplation of time in this way pushes our consciousness away from our Individual circumstances and begins to show us our true position in the Universe. Even at our present primitive abilities, we can see that the Universe is incomprehensibly large. This is just spatially. What about the time line, what about the more subtle energy manifestations of this Universe, some of which we are starting to study, others yet to be discovered. What about the Small. The Cell, The Atom etc etc etc.

As Free Beings in an effectively Infinite Universe, one can see that we are effectively nothing. Our lives, even the most dynamic and influential, for "good or ill", disappear into time on this planet, and are totally unknown elsewhere. This can be scary, it can also be freeing. This brings us back to the assertion that all things are permissible, because in the totality of the Universe, all our actions are meaningless. Yet, to the Individual Mind, I am all there is. I am that which experiences the Universe. What was there before I became aware of it? What will there be when I am no longer? Thus I am the Universe experiencing itself. All things are permissible.There are consequences to all action, and all inaction, for of course there is no such thing as inaction.

However we want to cut this. It still comes out that all things are permissible and that there are consequences. We could go off and do all sorts of stuff that advantages us as Individuals, but unless we act with Compassion, we cause unnecessary suffering of others and ultimately ourselves. Thus we cannot achieve Happiness and we fall into delusion. We become a casualty of the climb to the Summit.

We need to not forget, in pursuing Happiness, that we also exercise Compassion on ourselves.

OK, that's what this Blog is all about. I suggest this stuff for contemplation, and as the"spirit moves" I'll add more in the way of clarification.

Choose Happiness Now!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Brain and Time.

In the Judaeo-Christian Mythology, humanity was exiled from the garden and prevented from reentering by an angel wielding a flaming two edged sword.We were exiled for partaking of the fruit of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The garden is the natural state of being. In that natural state, the organism functions through reflex, instinct and in higher animals, rudimentary cognition.It is a state of innocence in that there is no concept of right and wrong. Action is dictated by reaction, needs and instinct.
At one point, the ancestors of modern man reached a point of development where the concept of right and wrong evolved out of the biological pleasure\pain mechanism.
We are kept from the "natural" state of being by the faculties of the mind. The two edge sword represents the discriminatory function of the mind and the flame represents the inspirational receptivity and output of higher abstract thought.
Once our ancestors developed the faculties represented by the two edged sword, we were no longer able to solely operate in the instinctive way. We now saw the opposites, right and wrong , good and bad, we discovered free choice. We now became unpredictable. A great advantage in the survival stakes.

This was an over simplified explanation of the evolution of consciousness for a time when the knowledge of the workings of the world was limited and the education of the people was minimal.

Let's try again with the benefit of our increase in knowledge.

I suggest that the nervous system and the brain in particular is an organ for the capture and processing of time.In its most rudimentary form,the nervous system is purely capture of information, a function of time, and a preprogrammed reflexive response. Example: a fly lands on a sundew. The plant senses the landing and reflex closes the trap. As far as we know that is about the extent of the sundews mental capabilities.There is minimal processing involved.
So we have Information - capture -processing -action.
As the organism becomes more complex, the sense organs become more developed and the range of inputs increase.The length of time capture also increases, we call this memory. Because of the wider range, and greater length of time/information sensed, greater processing power is needed, to both decode, manipulate, and then activate a more and more complex structure.
I suggest the evolutionary advantage was the ability to overcome reflex, and thus lose predictability and gain flexibility. The higher turn was to do the same with instinct.
Modern Human, with his broad range of sense perception, long and detailed memory and recall, Abstract thinking ability and the ability to not only control a flexible and complex body, but also operate fast and complex machinery as if it was an extension of the body, captures a vast amount of time/information.

The brain uses the flow of time in a similar way to electricity. The longer an impulse can be held in the equipment the more processing is possible.The more complex the brain the longer the segment of time can be held for processing.
The human brain is able to remember a large proportion of what has been experienced.This is captured time. We are able to decouple our awareness from the current flow of time,and recall a segment of time for greater processing. In the coupled awareness of the flow of time, we do not have the speed of thought needed to do much more than experience and act reflexively.
Ones normal time perception is similar to the 25 frames /second of movie film.We sample the actual flow, and process. We switch our awareness back and forth, the rate of switching being dependent on the intensity of the information or the needed depth of processing.
Example; riding a motorcycle, requires rapid sampling and reflex, with little need for higher processing, so the impression is of being in the now.With perhaps the opposite, meditation, being almost all attention focused in the processing, sampling frequency is slow,and the time sense becomes heavily distorted.

With this recalled segment, we are able to replay at various speeds and definition, alter perspective, run alternate projections, compare to similar segments etc etc. The greater our ability to concentrate (focus) on the remembered segment,the more we are able to do with the stored time/information.

The evolutionary impulse that powers this trend line is the ability to predict the future.It is a great advantage that is used by many organisms.The learning of a prey's behaviour, so that one may easily capture it, is a prime and simple example.
For humans it becomes more complex. Look around in society and see where predictive behaviour is. Many high paid positions are reliant on this ability. Finance and the stock market, driving and flying, sport, politics etc.,
There is no future as such, it is purely a potential. However the flow of energy in time is able to be manipulated, and predicted. Both of these are dependant on the organisms ability to capture and process time.

So we see that what we call intelligence has as it's prime function, the ability to both attempt to predict the future, and modify it to a required state.As we do with other aspects of our environment.

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