Memory, love, perception, judgmentalism
Look from object to object within your view-people included. Try to find the two objects that are at the ends of your like/dislike spectrum; one object is, well, objectionable, and the other is highly desirable. Judge these two by the same standard such as “cash value” or “physical beauty.”
Now scan recent memory and try to come up with two experiences you’ve had that are, again, at the opposite ends of your like/dislike spectrum.
Now imagine two experiences that have NOT happened to you, but very well could happen to you within the near future that are at the opposite ends of the spectrum.
Continuing, see if you can easily pick out from your entire life two experiences that are at the top and the bottom the list of your life’s spectrum-your highest point and your lowest point so to speak. Don’t strain, just get a couple of experiences that are “up there” and “down there” or “close to it.”
Finally, imagine two events that you think are almost certainly impossible and extremely unlikely to happen to you, but by a remote chance, (if you got lucky or unlucky) COULD happen, and if they did indeed happen would be at the opposite ends of your dislike/like spectrum. These experiences should be normal human everyday experiences. Don’t go for the “wild stuff.” Keep it fairly probable-don’t think about winning the lottery or getting attacked by genetically engineered pit-bunnies.
Ask yourself,How does my question “What is the worst experience that has happened to me in the last few days?” result in the fairly immediate reply “I had a small tickle in my nose and almost had to sneeze?” Where does “tickle” get understood by my brain as “worst?”
How does my mind understand what I am saying to it? How does it pull something out of memory for me almost instantly when I have had so many experiences?
How does my nervous system create a list of “everything that’s happened to me,” order it into a like/dislike list, and then report back to me one of the ends of the list-all within a flash of time?
Is memory a miracle constantly happening inside my head?
When I have considered such a wide spectrum of real and imaginable events, why was my mind so “accepting” of the “bad” thoughts about the negative ends of those lists? Why don’t I have automatic processes that turn my attention away from most bad “things” or, at least, create a strongly noticeable feeling of discomfort? Why do I feel so invulnerable and safe from any consequences from having negative thoughts?
Is perception a form of love? When I perceive anything, do I in fact love it-in that I allow it within my mind-as if it were an invited guest in my home?
How is it that I can entertain so many different kinds of thoughts within my mind so graciously? Am I the “perfect host” at a “great big thought-party?” Do I stroll among my “guests” amicably accepting them in a supremely nonjudgmental way? Am I a “thought saint?”
When my real life loved ones do something that angers me, why am I unwilling to “amicably accept” what they have done? What happens to my “thought-party” then that I’m suddenly tossing a guest out of the house or wishing he/she would leave? Why can’t I have those thoughts and be gracious still?
Why can I think about incredible negativity, and yet desperately want to get out of my mind the rather tame thought, “My thighs are fat?”
If I can read the following sentence without much flinching or squirming in discomfort, why is it so hard to have other thoughts about my loved one’s behaviors? “Thousands of children die every day.”
How do I decide when a thought is not “just a thought?”
Am I prejudiced against my loved ones? Do I have a double standard for thoughts?
What kind of parties do I throw? Are they more like tea parties or keggers? How often do I invite “God thoughts” to my parties?
If I were going to throw the best thought party I can imagine, whom would I invite?
Would they come?