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- 7 Authentic Qualities (7)
- Abundance (3)
- Acceptance (10)
- Action (11)
- Adaptability (6)
- Adaptive Freedom Concepts (2)
- Alignment (6)
- Animation (4)
- Appreciation (4)
- Authenticity (15)
- Awareness (12)
- Behavior (2)
- Change (1)
- Compassion (1)
- Competence (1)
- Connection (3)
- Emotions (1)
- Excellence (1)
- Freedom (4)
- Holism (2)
- Holistic Nature (1)
- Human Condition (3)
- Meaning (1)
- Mind (3)
- Natural You (6)
- Nonconscious (3)
- Purpose (1)
- Reality (1)
- Relationships (2)
- Spirituality (2)
- Success (1)
- Values (3)
- Vision (2)
The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard described the human person as “a synthesis of the infinite and the finite, of the temporal and the eternal, of freedom and necessity.” You find expression of this in your need to seek experience and awareness beyond the normal or physical level. This is the need for transcendence, to explore the realms of self that lead you to excel or extend yourself to wider, deeper or higher limits.
The roots of the word ‘spirit’ come from the Latin word for breathing—the very essence of life. Many aspects of breathing are intangible, impalpable, non-physical, apparently lacking substance or reality. So it is with spirituality: you cannot see it, cannot touch it, cannot understand it; and despite this you may still acknowledge that it exists.
Spirituality is intimately connected to every aspect of your life though you may not know it or accept it. It is a deeper more profound nature behind the veil of materialism. Your values, thoughts, emotions and behavior stem from and contribute to your sense of ultimate meaning and purpose and to your connection to what believers call God or Yahweh or Allah or any number of other names.
Non-believers may identify with this deeper source as a Higher Self, Inner Self, Reality, the Ground of Being or similar terms. Whatever the belief or whatever name you use living from this perspective is at the heart of a free and authentic life. In Adaptive Freedom we use the term spirit (with a small “s”) as a simple, descriptive, all-encompassing but also relatively neutral term to which most can subscribe.
It is important to understand that you can have a spiritual life without having a religious life. The spirit is to be found in nature, art, ritual, creativity, truth and the generosity you find in fellow human beings. Your spirituality arises out of a sense of incompleteness and is manifested by an urge toward wholeness.
The spiritual journey is often described as the inner journey. The source of spirit is often found in the insight that arises from deep personal reflection, meditation or contemplation, and in the flowering of intuition.
All these are realms of the mind. Some believe that their most profound flashes of insight and intuition emerge from the mind because it is the seat of the soul and as such is divinely inspired. Others acknowledge a purely secular mind that is nonetheless capable of great feats of inspiration and wisdom. In either case the experience is the same—an exclusively mental perception.
Emotions are a complex interplay of thoughts, feelings, and bodily movements. Most emotions are conscious feelings which arise from the perception of environmental triggers. The mind is stimulated by a trigger. It then checks in memory to establish our usual interpretation of that trigger. This generates a perception which creates the emotion and may result in a behavior or action.
Emotions carry huge power to affect the chemistry and electricity of every cell in your body. Candace Pert author of Molecules Of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine
tells us that the body's electrical state is modulated by emotions, changing the world within the body.
There are three key points to remember about emotions:
1. Emotions are only thoughts that result from perceptions. They are mental evaluations or interpretations of a trigger. If you can recognize the emotion for what it is and try to see the trigger coming then you can respond appropriately to it. (In a few cases emotions may arise directly from physiological changes).
2. Essentially emotions are formed and controlled by the nonconscious mind. They only emerge into your conscious awareness after the automatic reactions to perceptions and memories have already been processed in the nonconscious. You experience the emotion (physically and mentally) up to half a second after the nonconscious has generated it. Indeed you may have nonconscious emotions all the time that never even enter your conscious awareness.
Examples of this are when you have an automatic response to a person or event such as liking or disliking something and not knowing why. These are simple and very quick reactions made by the nonconscious in milliseconds and can disappear equally rapidly. More than 95% of all your mental activity is nonconscious. Despite its enormous processing power the nonconscious is highly susceptible to social and environmental conditioning.
3. Emotions are heavily influenced by environmental conditioning. The mind stores a vast array of data about your previous experiences in your long-term memory. As soon as you think a thought or encounter a situation it instantly goes to that database to discover how you reacted to similar situations in the past, and this will significantly determine the choices it presents for how you should react now.
The data stored in memory could have come from anywhere: other people, what you read, what you see on TV, and even stuff that you may have never focused on but heard or saw in passing. This comparative information allows you to respond to situations quickly and effectively.
The problem is that the nonconscious part of the mind is literal, it has no capacity for analysis or reasoning (that’s what the conscious mind does). What it hears and sees it records regardless of how accurate, true or representative it is of your values and beliefs. That’s why you may find it a challenge to control your emotions—they seem to arise from “nowhere” and don’t always seem to represent the person you wish to personify.
Tools and techniques for effective emotional management are an important part of the
The unfolding nature of our reality occurs because of this ceaseless exchange of information. The universe emerges from the rippling effects of immense numbers of criss-crossing invisible waves of energy and information. Our brains construct reality by downloading, processing and interpreting that information from the universal information field and making it available to us through the process of perception.
When you link this neuroscientific fact to the central role which physics gives to the “observer” in the natural world you come to an obvious and very significant conclusion: that reality is essentially a product of human imagination.
In Quantum mechanics an observer (a scientist conducting an experiment) influences the outcome of the quantum interactions they are observing. And Albert Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity tells us that motion is relative to a “frame of reference”—the world you perceive depends on your location—what you see depends on where you view it from.
The observer is therefore essential to transfer potential into reality—only when the observer looks does reality appear. You, as the observer of your own world, determine what that world is for you. You create your own reality. Your world is relative to your interaction with it and your perception of it—and that happens exclusively in your mind.
Scientists have found that your brain operates in such a way that you cannot comprehend "reality" directly. All the brain can do is to make informed guesses about what is going on. These guesses are based on how the brain itself is designed and how it processes information, and on your past experience. The crucial point is that since no two people have exactly the same neuro-anatomy or experience, no two people ever interpret anything in exactly the same way.
In your role as observer/interpreter of the world there are no limits to the extent to which you can alter the fabric of your reality. Your only limitation is the breath of your imagination and your willingness to allow it free rein. What you perceive as reality is only a canvas waiting for you to paint a picture on it. Anything is possible. To attain the free and authentic life you desire requires only that you have a clear image of what it is you want to be.
This is not to deny the existence of a ‘real world.’ The world exists as a measureable objective reality. But your reality of the world depends on your experience of the world, and that experience occurs exclusively in your mind. Therefore there are two dimensions to reality—the objective external world, and the subjective internal perceptual world of your conscious experience. This does not mean that there are two different realities—just two aspects to the same reality.