New Forms of Solidarity
New Economic Models
Media and INFLUENCE
The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgement, character, and will. Having power is knowing what to ignore in this age of data abundance. Mindfulness: paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, nonjudgementally. To meditate is to remove obstacles to your awareness. Frankl: Between stimulus and response is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
Theory of emotions. Stimulus - snake. Physical response - heart rate rises. Then assign meaning to that physical response - fear. Emotion is meaning assigned to physical response - not the other way round. You can resolve an issue, feel okay, then later feel anger again - physiology is still there. Experiential blindness. You make meaning of sensory input - fabric, sneeze, etc - because you formed concepts for these things in the past. Emotions are not things that are triggered, but concepts that need to be made.
Imagine every emotional “trigger” I interpreted it as an exciting opportunity to learn in the battlefield, and thought “challenge accepted!”.
“Emotions are not reactions to the world. You are not a passive receiver of sensory input, but an active constructor of your emotions. If you didn’t have concepts that represent your past experience, all your sensory input would just be noise. With concepts, your brain makes meaning of a sensation, and sometimes that meaning is an emotion.
Example given of Hans putting himself into a rage - yelling curse - somehow gave him strength - unlocked him. Furious shouting gets him to his feet, then continues the fit by kicking pillows around. As anger faded, so did his cramps, then he could suddenly move freely. Bred resentment. Started using deep breathing and taking cold showers and ice baths. Cold shocks body enough to break through Parkinson’s symptoms without having to work up fit of rage. Bath up to shoulders 14 degreesC experience 530% increase in norepinephrine, dropped cortisol, and 250% increase in dopamine. Norepinephrine helps focus, attention, vigilance, and improves mood.
Emotions are negotiable. Cold exposure and heat exposure - dynorphin - uncomfortable. When dynorphin is released, more of the receptors endorphins bind to (mu opioid receptors) are created, and it sensitizes them to endorphins. Make endorphins from exercise, laughter, giving someone a hug - positive endorphin effect will be stronger. Inflammation causes chronic issues from arthritis to depression/anxiety. Reduce inflammation: sleep, exercise, stable healthy weight, no sugar spikes, cut out refined carbs/sugar/processed veg oils/transfats/artificial sweetners.
When you experience affect without knowing the cause, you’re more likely to treat affect as info about the world, rather than your experience of the world. Prone to accept emotions as accurate evaluations of what’s happening in the world unless we know the causes. Thinking that something sucks could just be because you’re inflamed. More exercise, less alcohol, cold and heat exposure.
The only way to surrender to reality is to not care. And that’s what’s going to free you up to be most effective in your caring. The person who’s most effective is the one who gives up needing to be effective. That’s how you free up energy. If you’re trying to control things all the time, you’re going to be limited in what you can actually do. If you let go and let things be as they are, you’re conserving a deep well of energy. Then when you do need to make a move because it does matter, you have the energy to act, and you’ll act in a way that’ll likely be more effective because it’s less distorted. Skillful use of energy. Choosing your battles. Let go and relax so you have the energy and clarity to do what you need to do when it really matters.
You’re an observer and a passenger as much as you’re the driver of the experience. Feel your breath going in and out. Notice when you’re distracted in a nonjudgemental way. Go back the breath. Repeat. Building up concentration - capacity to pay attention to what you want to pay attention to. Commitment - mind wanders, you bring it back. Building up clarity - ability to discern what’s happening inside you - what you’re really feeling vs how you’re acting - dialing up the resolution. Building equanimity - have centeredness in the middle of what’s going on - experience without fighting it. Being explicit and deliberate about what qualities of being you want to train in your life - then apply it everywhere.