Circuits and curtains
This is what I am after. We all want so many things, but at the end of the day, this is what I really want. Because once you have been awakened, everything else just lays out in front of you. I need to know more.
I have been studying and reading and learning so much and I am always looking for more.
I learned of Norman Farb and his studies at the University of Toronto before and up to 2007. His studies are absolutely fascinating.
He and 6 other scientists researched how people experience the present moment and discovered that we have two distinct ways of interacting with the world, utilizing two distinct neurological networks. I am not going to go into all the clinical details here but you can read of them here.
The two networks are named the narrative circuit and the direct experience circuit. They don’t operate at the same time. It is one or the other.
The narrative circuit is essentially your default place and is the mode of planning, daydreaming and heavy thinking. It is important but not important for what I am getting to here. You see, the narrative circuit isn’t good for awareness. The narrative circuit leads to stories and reinforces what other beliefs and aberrations you may already have in your mind. So seeing a red car while walking your dog while in the narrative circuit mind may lead you to remember about the red car that sideswiped you years ago and how you dealt with massive stress trying to get your car fixed which leads you to being stressed just in remembrance of that time of your life. That’s living in the past.
The direct experience is different in that this circuit does not filter. You experience everything through just your senses. This means that everything you see, taste, feel, hear is more ‘raw’ as it is not ‘seasoned’ by something else like it you have experienced in your past. You encounter without judgment meaning you can react better and more efficiently. And you are less apt to react adversely.
The best way to get and stay in your direct experience circuit? Practice mindfulness. This practice is something that takes time to do regularly, but the sooner you start, the better off you will be. Mindfulness is a habit.
So this narrative and direct experience circuit, I liken it to a window with curtains. The narrative circuit is the curtain that you can see through, but it is tainted with whatever the curtains have in it or on it, i.e. your feelings, beliefs and emotions. Those curtains stay pretty much closed and you get a clear glimpse through the window from time to time. Once you learn of mindfulness and meditation and just a better way of life and thinking, you have the ability to pull those curtains back a bit. Said curtains are spring loaded and snap back closed if you are not constantly, consistently and continuously pulling them back open. Plus with practice, the springs on those curtains wear out and stay open a bit and then a bit more…until they stay open.
Then you have been awakened.
It’s simple, really. Look at you and everything around you RIGHT NOW. Sure you can reminisce from time to time of events from the past. You can dream of your future. But mostly you just need to experience. Without judgment, without fear.
The sooner you start, the sooner you will be where you really and truly want to be.