“Breaking Up is Hard to Do” Part 3 (The Empire Strikes Back)
(This is part 3 of a 3 part series, so if you haven’t read or listened to parts 1 & 2, please do that before you read or listen to this one–unless you really don’t care whether any of this makes sense to you.)
When we left our story of chaos and reorganization a few days ago, I’d just revealed the exciting answer to this question:
Why, in a universe that is irrevocably falling apart, do some things (including you) become more complex, more ordered? How, in such a universe, could something as complex as life develop?
Then I told you all about dissipative structures–open systems that grow and evolve in response to their environement. This was so fascinating to everyone in the blogosphere that thousands of blogs instantly linked to this one. (And then I woke up.)
At any rate, let’s continue our story because I want to explain something closer to home: How all of this affects your life, at the most practical level.
Here, then, is the second Big Question: Why do we fight this process of chaos and reorganization (you do, you know)? Why is this fight unnecessary–and, does it really cause most of your suffering ? (Yes, it does.)
Finally, is there a solution? What can you do instead of resisting this process?
Here’s why I became interested in dissipative structures in the first place. I noticed that Holosync users often experienced periods of chaos, followed by significant shifts of perspective where everything seemed new and different. After these shifts people can handle what previously had triggered or overwhelmed them. In other words, Holosync increases one’s mental and emotional threshold.
Prigogine’s theory of dissipative structures was a revelation to me. It described exactly what happened with Holosync. First, things generally make sense. Then, they feel chaotic–they don’t make sense anymore. Finally, a shift in perspective takes place where you see yourself, other people, and your life, in a new way. Your perspective about life reorganizes at a higher level. Things make sense again, but in a whole new way that you never would have imagined before.
Since chaos ultimately leads to positive change, you’d think we’d welcome it. Instead, we usually freak out. We resist chaos. We fight to save the old system from breaking down, despite the fact that it’s very limitations are the source of our problems. I noticed that we do this in three ways.
Imagine that you’re in a boat and it starts to fill up with water. What would you do? Some people would grab a bucket and bail. When chaos starts to build, bailers frantically try to push energy out of the system. They get angry. They cry. They yell. They exercise. They have sex. They do something, anything, to get rid of the entropy.
Others say, “Find the hole and plug it.” These people try to block more input to the system. They isolate themselves. They shut down. They get depressed. (In depression, we isolate ourselves, we breathe less, we constrict our pupils so as to take in less light, and we often lose our appetite.) Hole-pluggers do whatever it takes to reduce the amount of energy coming in.
Either method can work, after a fashion. Especially if input slows, the system’s exporting of entropy to the environment catches up. The pressure diminishes, and you feel better–until next time.
A third method is to distract yourself, by getting high, by zoning out in front of the TV, by getting absorbed in something that takes your mind off the fact that you’re overwhelmed with too much input, that you’re over your threshold. This obviously does nothing about the real problem.
Here’s the problem with all of these methods. Once the system returns to equilibrium, it’s still the same system, with the same threshold. The next time it’s stimulated in the same way, it becomes overwhelmed all over again. Most people repeat the same cycle over and over: overwhelm, relieve the pressure by decreasing input or increasing output, and eventually feel better–until the next time.
If, however, you let the system reach a bifurcation point and reorganize at a higher level, the problem is solved. A new system is born, with a greater ability to dissipate entropy and handle what previously overwhelmed you.
Instead, though, we fight to hang on to the very thing that causes our problem.
Why, I wondered, do we do this? Here’s what I think: When the system goes into chaos, we think we’re going into chaos. We think we’re falling apart. But that’s not true. What’s really happening is that our Map of Reality—our concept of who we are and what the world is—is falling apart. What’s more, this is a good thing. Isn’t it? We feel chaos because our way of figuring out who we are and how to navigate life can’t handling our situation.
When our Map of Reality starts to break down, we should be shouting “Hallelujah! A new perspective is coming, one that will work better!” If you think your idea of who you are IS who you are, and that idea starts to fall apart, you’ll frantically try to save it. But if you know it’s just a map, a navigational tool–and, in this case, one that isn’t working all that well–you just stand aside and watch the process.
As I’ve suppested many times, the solution is awareness–the ability to watch yourself create your life. Awareness is the solution to all human problems that have a solution. How do you become more aware? The fastest way I know of is to use Holosync, though traditional meditation works, too (though it takes longer). Next, you need to do something with your increased awareness. You need to practice watching so you can see what YOU DO to create your life.
In terms of the chaos and reorganization process itself, it would be good to notice when when you’re approaching your threshold. You might say to yourself, “Ah, I’m moving toward my threshold, I can feel the internal chaos.”
Next, what do you do when you approach your threshold? Do you push energy out? Do you block more from coming in? Do you distract yourself? Watch. Find out. Then, instead of automatically doing whatever you’ve been doing, pay attention. Watch with curiosity. If you’re going to use one of these three methods of dealing with overwhelm, at least do it with awareness.
When you feel the overwhelm building, step back and say to yourself, “Ah ha. My current perspective can’t handle what’s happening. If I watch instead of trying to save the old system, it will probably reorganize in a new way, and many of the problems of the old system will be solved.” Then, watch the process with curiosity.
Let’s face facts. We don’t have control over many aspects of life. We don’t have control over the fact that everything is impermanent and eventually falls apart (this is the underlying message of the Second Law of Thermodynamics). And, we don’t have control over most of the physical forces in the universe–gravity, weather, cosmic rays, the sun, etc.–or the actions of other people, many of whom have agendas which contradict ours.
You have choice about four things: 1) how you feel, 2) how you behave, 3) which people and situations you attract or become attracted to, and 4) what meanings you assign to what happens.
You only have these choices, however, if you have enough awareness to see–as you do it–how you create them. So, please, use Holosync faithfully every day to increase your awareness. Then, practice watching until you can see how you create the four things I listed above.
If you find that difficult, take my three Life Principles Integration Process online courses where I teach you how to do it, step by step. You can listen to a free preview lesson at www.centerpointe.com/life/preview. (Right now those courses are half-price. I strongly suggest that you take these courses if at all possible.)
The process of change–of chaos, breakdown, and reorganization at a higher level–is the most natural thing in the universe. It’s the heartbeat of life, the dance of the universe, the way God unfolds the whole show.
Of course, some people would contend that the whole show is YOU.
(click the player above to listen to this post)
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