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So it would probably be a good practice to somehow be more rooted in the present moment and therefore less prone to go on tension-inducing mental tangents with incomplete images of ourselves as springboard. That’s a huge topic unto itself, but for now, noted. What else?

Well, it seems clear that certain causal junctures in space-time give rise to pictures that, while still incomplete in much the same way as many other moments, seem less likely to promote the proliferation of tangents.

That is, it seems like there are big chunks of our ‘routine’, for lack of a better word, that are certainly ambiguous in their exact configuration, just not ambiguous enough, or in quite the right way, to provoke a large proliferation of mental tangents, and therefore the accompanying spike in mental tension. Evidently, a certain amount of familiarity with the likely range of variation significantly raises the threshold of where we tend to get sucked into mental tangents, branching off the incomplete picture of our present. That would seem to fit with our earlier observations regarding information: when we collect enough info about our ‘world’, we can easily collapse branching causal trees into a range of variation that doesn’t induce tension at all. Our routine is still an ambiguous cloud requiring the extraction of patterns, but one we can simply sit with, for the most part. If, through practice, we could learn to simply sit with a greater range of ambiguity, this seems like it would be beneficial.

But there’s still a hanging question there, about ‘routine’: After all, weird and unpredictable things happen all the time, everyone knows that. We’re never really ‘safe’ or ‘calm’ or ‘stable’, to an absolutely certainty, but, for whatever reason, most people are willing to just assume that they are, at least in some section of life.

Or, maybe, it would be more accurate to say that it never occurs to most people to consider that they might not be. It seems as if, even though we can logically allow for the existence of the truly unpredictable, it doesn’t give our minds the kind of grip they need to go on mental tangents, except perhaps in the cases of the truly creative paranoid.  In the Zizekian sense, it appears we are more uncomfortable with the existence of the known unknowns, the things we know we don’t know, than we are with the unknown unknowns, the things we don’t or can’t imagine we might not know enough about. The things that fall outside our horizon of habitual imagination don’t bother us nearly as much as the things we understand better. But isn’t that always the way of it? Maybe ignorance is bliss, after all.

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