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But she notices and, you hope, values the on more than the off. Ons alone and offs alone do not exist. Indeed, he argues that the general conditioning of consciousness is to ignore intervals.


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We register the sound but not the silence that surrounds it. We think of space as nothingness in which certain somethings — objects, planetary bodies, our own bodies — hang. And yet:. Solids and spaces go together as inseparably as insides and outsides. Space is the relationship between bodies, and without it there can be neither energy nor motion. Attention is narrowed perception.

Phenomenology

It is a way of looking at life bit by bit, using memory to string the bits together — as when examining a dark room with a flashlight having a very narrow beam. Perception thus narrowed has the advantage of being sharp and bright, but it has to focus on one area of the world after another, and one feature after another. And where there are no features, only space or uniform surfaces, it somehow gets bored and searches about for more features. Attention is therefore something like a scanning mechanism in radar or television. But a scanning process that observes the world bit by bit soon persuades its user that the world is a great collection of bits, and these he calls separate things or events.

We often say that you can only think of one thing at a time. The truth is that in looking at the world bit by bit we convince ourselves that it consists of separate things, and so give ourselves the problem of how these things are connected and how they cause and effect each other. The problem would never have arisen if we had been aware that it was just our way of looking at the world which had chopped it up into separate bits, things, events, causes, and effects.

The person, from the Latin persona , was originally the megaphone-mouthed mask used by actors in the open-air theaters of ancient Greece and Rome, the mask through per which the sound sonus came.

American exceptionalism

While the oft-cited metaphor of the rider and the elephant might explain the dual processing of the brain, it is also a dangerous dichotomy that only perpetuates our sense of being separate from and within ourselves. The self-conscious feedback mechanism of the cortex allows us the hallucination that we are two souls in one body — a rational soul and an animal soul, a rider and a horse, a good guy with better instincts and finer feelings and a rascal with rapacious lusts and unruly passions.

Hence the marvelously involved hypocrisies of guilt and penitence, and the frightful cruelties of punishment, warfare, and even self-torment in the name of taking the side of the good soul against the evil. The more it sides with itself, the more the good soul reveals its inseparable shadow, and the more it disowns its shadow, the more it becomes it. Thus for thousands of years human history has been a magnificently futile conflict, a wonderfully staged panorama of triumphs and tragedies based on the resolute taboo against admitting that black goes with white.

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Returning to our inability to grasp intervals as the basic fabric of world and integrate foreground with background, content with context, Watts considers how the very language with which we name things and events — our notation system for what our attention notices — reflects this basic bias towards separateness:. Today, scientists are more and more aware that what things are, and what they are doing, depends on where and when they are doing it.

If, then, the definition of a thing or event must include definition of its environment, we realize that any given thing goes with a given environment so intimately and inseparably that it is more difficult to draw a clear boundary between the thing and its surroundings. But we can kill him just as effectively by separating him from his proper environment.

Introduction

For the human individual is not built as a car is built. He does not come into being by assembling parts, by screwing a head onto a neck, by wiring a brain to a set of lungs, or by welding veins to a heart. Head, neck, heart, lungs, brain, veins, muscles, and glands are separate names but not separate events, and these events grow into being simultaneously and interdependently. In precisely the same way, the individual is separate from his universal environment only in name. When this is not recognized, you have been fooled by your name. Confusing names with nature, you come to believe that having a separate name makes you a separate being.

This is — rather literally — to be spellbound. So how are we to wake up from the trance and dissolve the paradox of the ego? It all comes down to the fundamental anxiety of existence, our inability to embrace uncertainty and reconcile death. The hallucination of separateness prevents one from seeing that to cherish the ego is to cherish misery.

2. The Discipline of Phenomenology

We do not realize that our so-called love and concern for the individual is simply the other face of our own fear of death or rejection. In his exaggerated valuation of separate identity, the personal ego is sawing off the branch on which he is sitting, and then getting more and more anxious about the coming crash!

Unless one is able to live fully in the present, the future is a hoax. There is no point whatever in making plans for a future which you will never be able to enjoy. When your plans mature, you will still be living for some other future beyond. Traditionally, humanity has handled this paradox in two ways, either by withdrawing into the depths of consciousness, as monks and hermits do in their attempt to honor the impermanence of the world, or servitude for the sake of some future reward, as many religions encourage.

Both of these, Watts argues, are self-defeating strategies:. Just because it is a hoax from the beginning, the personal ego can make only a phony response to life.

For the world is an ever-elusive and ever-disappointing mirage only from the standpoint of someone standing aside from it — as if it were quite other than himself — and then trying to grasp it. Without birth and death, and without the perpetual transmutation of all the forms of life, the world would be static, rhythm-less, undancing, mummified. But a third response is possible. This realization is already in us in the sense that our bodies know it, our bones and nerves and sense-organs. We do not know it only in the sense that the thin ray of conscious attention has been taught to ignore it, and taught so thoroughly that we are very genuine fakes indeed.

The failure to recognize this harmonious interplay, Watts argues, has triggered a lamentable amount of conflict between nations, individuals, humanity and nature, and with the individual. Again and again, he returns to the notion of figure and ground, of a cohesive whole that masquerades as separate parts under the lens of our conditioned eye for separateness:.

Our practical projects have run into confusion again and again through failure to see that individual people, nations, animals, insects, and plants do not exist in or by themselves. Certainly, this process has distinct features which catch our attention, but we must remember that distinction is not separation.

A still more cogent example of existence as relationship is the production of a rainbow. For a rainbow appears only when there is a certain triangular relationship between three components: the sun, moisture in the atmosphere, and an observer. It can be verified by any number of observers, though each will see it in a slightly different position. Like the rainbow, all phenomena are interactions of elements of the whole, and the relationship between them always implies and reinforces that wholeness:. Just as science overcame its purely atomistic and mechanical view of the world through more science, the ego-trick must be overcome through intensified self-consciousness.

In considering how an organism might realize this sense of implying the universe and how we might shake the ego-illusion in favor of a deeper sense of belonging, Watts expresses a certain skepticism for practices like yoga and meditation when driven by striving rather than total acceptance — a skepticism all the more poignant amidst our age of ubiquitous yoga studios and meditation retreats, brimming with competitive yogis and meditators:.

Take it, so long as it lasts, as a feature or play of the total process — like a cloud or wave, or like feeling warm or cold, or anything else that happens of itself. It simply confirms and strengthens the reality of the feeling. But when this feeling of separateness is approached and accepted like any other sensation, it evaporates like the mirage that it is. There is no fate unless there is someone or something to be fated. There is no trap without someone to be caught. There is, indeed, no compulsion unless there is also freedom of choice, for the sensation of behaving involuntarily is known only by contrast with that of behaving voluntarily.

Thus when the line between myself and what happens to me is dissolved and there is no stronghold left for an ego even as a passive witness, I find myself not in a world but as a world which is neither compulsive nor capricious. What happens is neither automatic nor arbitrary: it just happens, and all happenings are mutually interdependent in a way that seems unbelievably harmonious. Every this goes with every that. Without others there is no self, and without somewhere else there is no here, so that — in this sense — self is other and here is there.

In immediate contrast to the old feeling, there is indeed a certain passivity to the sensation, as if you were a leaf blown along by the wind, until you realize that you are both the leaf and the wind. The world outside your skin is just as much you as the world inside: they move together inseparably, and at first you feel a little out of control because the world outside is so much vaster than the world inside. Yet you soon discover that you are able to go ahead with ordinary activities—to work and make decisions as ever, though somehow this is less of a drag.

Your body is no longer a corpse which the ego has to animate and lug around. There is a feeling of the ground holding you up, and of hills lifting you when you climb them. A witty, wise, straight-talking career guide for women, 'I Shouldn't Be Telling You This' is the perfect book for the current economic climate, whether you're just starting out, re-entering the workforce after maternity leave, or simply looking for a career change; essential tips and bold strategies from a gutsy innovator who helped increase Cosmo's circulation by half a million copies per month.

Five personality dimensions and their influence on information behaviour

Problems are either stressing about something that already happened, or worrying about something in the future that hasn't happened. If you stop that and simply focus on what's going on right now, at this very moment, you instantly become a more peaceful, happier version of yourself. Amazon synopsis: "To make the journey into the Now we will need to leave our analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind.

From the very first page of Eckhart Tolle's extraordinary book, we move rapidly into a significantly higher altitude where we breathe a lighter air. We become connected to the indestructible essence of our Being, 'The eternal, ever present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death. This book is the holy grail for somethings. Amazon synopsis: "Our 'thirty-is-the-new-twenty' culture tells us the twenty-something years don't matter.

Some say they are a second adolescence. Others call them an emerging adulthood. Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist, argues that twenty-somethings have been caught in a swirl of hype and misinformation, much of which has trivialized what is actually the most defining decade of adulthood.


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    Doctor, Harvard professor, renowned infectious-disease specialist, anthropologist, the recipient of a MacArthur 'genius' grant, world-class Robin Hood, Farmer was brought up in a bus and on a boat, and in medical school found his life's calling: to diagnose and cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. This magnificent book shows how radical change can be fostered in situations that seem insurmountable, and it also shows how a meaningful life can be created, as Farmer -- brilliant, charismatic, charming, both a leader in international health and a doctor who finds time to make house calls in Boston and the mountains of Haiti -- blasts through convention to get results.

    At the heart of this book is the example of a life based on hope, and on an understanding of the truth of the Haitian proverb 'Beyond mountains there are mountains': as you solve one problem, another problem presents itself, and so you go on and try to solve that one too. It's this constant struggle against feeling alone and different. Even when writing about tragedy and hopelessness, Sinha narrates the protagonist's inner experience with incredible grace. Amazon synopsis: "Ever since he can remember, Animal has gone on all fours, his back twisted beyond repair by the catastrophic events of 'that night' when a burning fog of poison smoke from the local factory blazed out over the town of Khaufpur, and the Apocalypse visited his slums.

    Now just turned seventeen and well schooled in street work, he lives by his wits, spending his days jamisponding spying on town officials and looking after the elderly nun who raised him, Ma Franci. His nights are spent fantasizing about Nisha, the girlfriend of the local resistance leader, and wondering what it must be like to get laid.

    A stunning tale of an unforgettable character, it is an unflinching look at what it means to be human: the wounds that never heal and a spirit that will not be quenched. My understanding of the book's message has grown as I have.

    ewegodoxujic.gq Its theme and outlook are often cited as exemplars of Camus's philosophy of the absurd and existentialism, though Camus personally rejected the latter label. The titular character is Meursault, an indifferent French Algerian 'a citizen of France domiciled in North Africa, a man of the Mediterranean, an homme du midi yet one who hardly partakes of the traditional Mediterranean culture' , who, after attending his mother's funeral, apathetically kills an Arab man whom he recognizes in French Algiers.