Self Actualization: Living Consciously. How we form our experience.
In "Self Actualization: Living Consciously.Understanding Denial and Projection." we talked about becoming consciously aware of denial and projection, which removes it from the unconscious. We do this by watching our reactions and reflecting on our motivations. We are greatly assisted in this process by using our experience as a kind of mirror.
Much of our personal experience is a reflection of our focus of attention. A hundred people can walk down the same street and there will be a hundred different experiences because the attention will be drawn to different sensory perceptions, placing an importance on some and not even consciously noticing others. What we attend to will depend upon our particular past experience, forming from our fears, likes, interests and the like, and resulting in an absolutely unique sensory experience that will ultimately determine our happiness.
The sensory experience, what we actually attend to with our senses, is further enhanced by what we personally think and feel about what we attend to, and what and how we recall that experience is dependent upon the importance we place on parts of our experience, which is then also re-interpreted in the reacalling of the experience. This is why eye-witness accounts of the same scene can vary so radically. Everyone recalls their own interpretation of their selected and personally distorted memories of what they personally chose to attend to.
In other words, our experience is not of an objective world, but rather that world as seen through the thick filter of our own internal dynamics. As such, it says as much about what is in those dynamics as it does about what is in the objective world, and in this way the world becomes a mirror for those internal dynamics, showing us our fears, attachments, judgments and resistance. Living consciously involves being consciously aware of how we filter our perception to create our own unique subjective experience of the objective world.
So we can say that what the world shows us is not what is true, but rather a reflection of what we believe is true. If we believe that a particular ethnic group is a problem, for example, we tend to make choices that result in experiencing what we believe. We read articles, watch TV programs, attend events, get involved in discussions, that are aligned with our focus of interest on this ethnic group. We further selectively see and hear what will feed our own perspective on that group and dismiss the rest as not meaningful, and then conjure thoughts and feelings that modify and solidify our conclusions, and this is what we store in memory, which we selectively distort in the process of recalling according to our moods and intention.
What it all means is that, if there is such a thing as an objective world, nobody ever experiences it, nor does anyone really care about it. What is of concern is the subjective thought/feeling experience that we have created for ourselves, and we are forced to live entirely inside that self created reality. Believing that this self created reality is a true representation of the world everyone experiences is not living consciously.
Ultimately, nearly everyone lives almost exclusively in that thought/feeling reality inside our heads, and as a result, nearly everyone is living unconsciously to a greater or lesser degree. Therefore, all belief systems are actually mental contructs only, and what we think and feel about anything is our particular opinion only, which by default we take to be the correct one.
Living consciously means not only being aware of our motivations, but also noticing that they are based only on our personal opinions, which are themselves based only on our subjective past experience.
To Happiness Home
Return from 'Living Consciously' to Self Actualization
More Self Actualization Articles:
Living Consciously. Understanding Denial and Projection.
The Split Mind
When does feeling become suffering?
Breaking Habits by Healing the Split Mind
Is Struggle the Effect or Cause of Suffering?
Happiness is an Idea
Serial Problem Solver
The Delusion of Burt the Bunny
Realization Vs Thinking
Realization is Self Evident
Seeing Through illusions
The Habit Game
Visitor discussion of 'Living Consciously. How we form our experience.'.
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...