The perch on your shoulder

11 December 2018

If I were to ask you how you view yourself you would probably respond with a description which is a composite summation of all that you’ve done, how you’ve done it, where you’ve done it, with whom you’ve done it and how you’ve felt doing it. This is the ‘you’ that you’ve come to know and the’ you’ that fills your subjective being. For many, this is the only ‘you’ that they’ll ever know. From womb to tomb this subjective ‘you’ will wax and wane with life’s trials and tribulations until you take your last inspiration and depart with a somewhat prolonged, terminal expiration. Thence shall it be confirmed that you have expired. The you that you came to know is no more. Which leads me to my next question: Are there any other ‘you’s’ that exist and whom you’ve never met?

Well, let’s take a closer look at you and me. Indeed, when we engage we do so with all that we are – our nature-nurture history together with the full subsequent narrative of life which has fashioned our beliefs, values and preferences. And as we prevail we are driven to ensure that our needs are met. This translates into the image of the universe rotating around us – we being the center of our subjective universes. In the drive to ensure that our needs are met, we traverse a path in time and space (for the purists, we traverse space-time). But here comes the rub: In traversing from ‘A’ to ‘B’ and being preoccupied with arriving at ‘B’ we will tend to be distracted. To greater or lesser degrees we are blinded to people, things and events which occur on either side of our paths due to our preoccupation. Additionally, depending on the depths of our preoccupation with appeasing our own needs, we may be oblivious to the feedback originating from others and from the environment regarding all that we do and say. Out of this situation arise the concepts of awareness and self-awareness. Being aware of the environment external to our subjectivity enhances our general awareness. Becoming more aware of the external environment and consequently how that environment reacts to us contributes to self-awareness.

Meanwhile back at the neuro-ranch another dynamic is playing out. At any given moment in time we’re consciously functioning with small manageable bytes of selected, stored information. But that doesn’t mean that the rest of the cerebral cortex is dormant. Far from it. One need only look at an electroencephalogram (EEG) tracing with electrodes placed over both hemispheres to appreciate the exuberant noise of chatting and engaging neural centers. I would propose that much of this noise filters into the screen of potential consciousness and since it is not fully in focus, contributes to that peripheral or subliminal perception. For completeness sake I would add that research has shown that nonlocality stimulation (remote stimuli which are not conveyed via the five senses) may also trigger components of this cortical noise.

To make sense of what is beginning to morph into a chaotic sea of miscellaneous influences I would suggest that the summation of all that we miss due to the distraction in moving from ‘A’ to ‘B’ , together with the subliminal cortical information that reaches the periphery of awareness, contributes to the ’observer’ sitting upon our right shoulders. The ‘observer’ is the pilot fish that has scavenged all the juicy pieces of missed experience and information. Eternally alert, the ‘observer’ produces a running commentary of the pearls of life that we’ve missed due to distraction. And indeed, the ‘observer’ incorporates our potential for awareness and consequently, our self-awareness. Perhaps you’ve been aware of that presence perched on your right shoulder? Perhaps you’ve heard it and maybe even listened to it? If you were aware of it but disregarded it then you’ve done yourself a great disservice. For that is you mentor. It is the greatest life coach that you’ll ever have – for if you hear it, listen to it and better still, integrate it into the ‘you’ that you’re familiar with, then the ‘you’ that will emerge will be far more ‘you’ than you could ever have imagined.

It’s in our interests therefore to learn to become more respectful of the ‘observer’ and receptive to its communication. There is only one way to achieve this end – it is to create quality time at regular intervals along the rush from ‘A’ to ‘B’ where we consciously quieten all distraction. In neutralizing the distractions we will initially become aware of ourselves and our physical states. Thereafter we will become aware of the external environment and its nuances. Somewhere at about this point we will become aware of the peripheral subliminal information. Thence will the ‘observer’ communicate directly with us and the ‘you’ that I and you become will indeed be a ‘you’ that has transcended the nervous, diminished ‘you’ that was scurrying from ‘A’ to ‘B’ as the sole purpose for existence.


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