Time to take stock of our welter of confusion again. This time, I’ve starred the new postulates (*) that still stand in need of some degree of individual examination.
- the mind thinks that it is a body, and uses the actual body as a proxy for processing it’s own internal ‘tensions’.
- the mind is very prone to taking internally generated images of the self as proxies for the self. This has something to do with the mechanism whereby we experience dreams, or, perhaps, the other way around.
- so when images of ourselves experience something, that experience often gets dropped into the body to process.
- we have an innate tendency to extract patterns from the environment in search of levers to manipulate that environment.
- this causes us to constantly convert what might otherwise be inert situations into puzzles that might or might not actually have any real levers hidden in them, but appear to. this has the side effect of increasing the perceived level of ambiguity in the environment.
- but we also have a strong tendency to make puzzles about us, and this results in a rapid proliferation of puzzle generation, in the form of a branching web of incomplete pictures of ourselves.
- this dramatic increase in ambiguity, and the need to resolve it, because it is fundamentally about us, creates a heightened level of ongoing mental tension, which often translated into ongoing physical tension
- *we primarily experience this tension as an increase in urgency, which correlates with an increase in the intensity of our emotional experience.
- much of this is innate to us, and a functional part of the problem-solving apparatus that allows us to survive in the world. simply disabling or curtailing it might not be desirable, or even achievable.
- *for this reason, the aim of enlightenment practice might not be to terminate this process, but, rather, to improve our adaptation to it. There are numerous points where it seems like these functions could be improved or optimised without fundamentally changing them.
- *our process of pattern-extraction seems as if it is truly open-ended, and, therefore, our capacity to generate excess tension seems as if it might be open-ended as well.
- *if the internal and external conditions to which we adapt are constantly evolving and elaborating, then it seems as if the process of adaptation itself (which we are currently calling enlightenment) might itself be radically open-ended as well.