Sunday, February 19, 2012

Awareness: Key to Survival

The first thing that strikes an observer looking at the human body is that it is essentially an Antennae array with a life support system at its core. The nerve endings radiating from the spine reach out in every direction. The design is present in all species with a simple nerve ganglion rather than a complex brain. As a species, as any species, our survival relies heavily on our responsiveness to an ever changing environment. Failure to be responsive on an individual level means consumption by a predator, starvation, or demise due to climate or dehydration. Failure to respond on a species level results in extinction. As the cliche' goes, change is the only constant. Our bodies are designed to seemlessly interface with a healthy and ever changing environment because, over miilinea, less efficient interfaces were exterminated, culled out by natural processes.

Our survival is based on a simple two part mechanism. In fact, our nervouse system has formed itself, and has the ability to rewire itself, in direct correlation to how we utilize this mechanism. It is a mechanism utilized by the simplist of organisms, yet, in all of our haughty complexity, we over think the mechanism and fail to act upon it. Often, especially with our desire to control things like climate, food availability, comfort and even the size and standards of the design of our structures, our over-developed logical mind takes center stage. This is done at the expense of developing and learning how to use our entire nervous system, as an interface with the rest of the world, even the universe. Our atrophied senses aren't due so much to the lack of your ability to track by scent, or hear the landscape via echolocation like a bat. These things are all well established and have been accomplished and documented. There are even cases of individuals who lose half of their brain and manage to retrain themselves to speak, walk, and function in society through the deliberate re-wiring of neural pathways.

All of these things can be accomplished by all of us. In fact, we can increase operational intelligence by simply applying an understanding of this simple two part mechanism. Part one is awareness. Awareness is what allows the Tiger Shark to locate it's next meal, and the sea lion to escape safetly to shore. It is what made you understand the word "hot", and allows you to know what it means to be lost. Notice how awareness cannot be learned through reading about it in a text. It involves multisensory input and an emotional investment. Detrimental to this process is the voice that reads to us or expressses our thoughts as words inside our heads. Processing language, wether it is spoken or not, takes time, and removes the person caught up in the practice of such "internal dialogue" from the moment. Sensory input often illicits emotion, and it does so at an alrmingly fast pace. It is much faster than stringing words together inside your head. Because it is unfiltered, the information gathered to create heightened senses of awareness come in faster and in larger quantities than the logical mind can qualify. Thus we get "intuition", or "gut feelings" about something. Learning how to first recognize this form of comunication as valid, than questing to develop it even further is the first step in increasing you awareness.

But this is only half the picture. Actually, I'm lying. There is a third component that needs to be present to manifest this first part of the process and the second. Thes econd half f the two part equation for the survival of life on this planet is action. We have become as a culture dependent to the point of inaction. The "victems" of Hurrican Katrina waited for their government to save them and blamed the governement when they didn't respond. Our predictable and safe environment means we don't have to be aware and that we can assign blame to others for our food being late, our health being poor, our lives being miserable. Missing is first the awareness that our environment is not healthy, and second, the action to do something about it. Do you know how to train fleas for a flea circus? You out them in a glass jar and hold that jar next to a light bulb. The smart fleas move away from the heat source, the dumb ones die. The even dumber ones believe you actually use real fleas in a flea circus. The awareness level is not enough. Folks really did dance and play music as the Titanic sank. People really do deny the impending storm until it's too late. Inaction is a symptom of a broken two part system. Either the being is not aware enough to respond, or the organism in question is simply unresponsive to the situation. Both symptoms are indicators of lack of awareness, but only one is a symptom indicating lack of empowerment, and that is lack of action in the presence of appropriate awareness levels.

This brings us to the third and missing element. Faith. faith in self, the greater good, the idea of life as sacred, god, the magic jelly bean, whatever it is, faith is the one default mechanism that activates awareness and compels one to action, even in the face of the logical minds tenacity to remain in control. When you can step outside of that prison of flesh and logic and view your whole being as who you are beyond just a brain that dangles a meaty utility of limbs beneath it you quickly note there is so much more. We are, beyond even the confines of our mond-body connection, constantly interfacing and dialoguing with the environment we choose to immerse ourselves in and those things we choose to focus on in that environment.

To close, I must assure you that this is a simple process. It is not an easy one. Profound shifts in your reality take effort, and sometimes they take time. Profound simplicity escapes those whose brains have patterened upon complexity. They grow bored, frustrated, even angry that they can't satiate themselves with arguement, equations, or self engrandizing thoughts. Remember that it is your brain, not the other way around. Lose your mind and come to your senses. Become the hero of your own story and not the victem of somebody elses. Expand your awareness and have enough conviction to act based on what your awareness is communicating to you.