After closely observing different states of my mind even during a single day, I found that it was really hard to compare 2 states. What we usually do is that, if something is not engaging or pleasurable we stop giving it concentration or attention. So only a narrow band of experiences receive this attention and this habit reinforces itself. After a while we spend all our time/effort trying to recreate those experiences and we ignore or get averse to everything else. In other words we are only awake when we recreate some pleasurable experience, else we are half asleep. The more I try to remain awake to everything including neutral experiences, the more I gain knowledge about all the aspects of an experience(endo and exo reality) and this makes me wonder “If I am fully awake to all experiences, would the experience itself even matter much?”
Analogy: Its kind of like, on the ground you think a 80 floor skyscrapers is so tall it almost touches the sky and you look at a 3 floor building beside it and think about how short it is. When you actually get to the sky, you realize that all the skyscrapers including the 3 floor building are not that different, all are pretty small in the larger picture. Infact the 3 floor building might have an underground foundation of another 80 floors which would be invisible to you. So in reality the 3 floor building is taller than the 80 floor one.
Reality is much much more than our perception of it. You can see so many paradoxes of this fact in your everyday life too. That’s why its important to be broad minded and keep exploring.
2 experiences cannot be really compared and rated since in each mental state, you carry different wants, likes, dislikes, cravings etc. So whats the point if I get something which I do not even want?
Its like a fractal, continuously morphing and changing with the inherent patterns being maintained somehow.
All these images are from the Mandelbrot set. They look so different to our eyes but the algorithm is the same. I am guessing even our deep self works in a similar manner.
Example: Want becoming irrelevant: A child may crave for a toy that is purposely kept on the top shelf. It might think to itself “Wait till I become 6ft tall, I’ll snatch away the toy and no one can do this to me again”. Do you think the toy would even be relevant one the child is really 6ft tall?. We use our memory to maintain this want state.
Example: Dislike becoming irrelevant: A child may hate cabbage. But slowly it acquires a taste for it and after growing up it may become neutral to it or even start liking it.
Example: Dislike become a like and like can turn to dislike: Sometimes you dont like a person, but once you get to know them, you find out all the similarities and then wonder “Why did I judge this person so harshly?”. On the other side of it, sometimes think a person is cool and later the more you get to know them, the more irritating they get.
We recreate wants by using our imagination and fantasy many times even during the course of a single day. For all these activities ‘memory’ plays a crucial role. That’s why in breath meditation if you concentrate on the smell, its a good exercise because you have no memory of smell, you are forced to be in the moment.
That’s why it is important to pay attention to every moment of your life cause each experience is unique and if you see things fully awake, as they are, you;ll realize that nature is pretty impartial.
All meaning as we know of is created by duality. Once this is known, everything can be understood more deeply.
We distort reality in so many ways: Cultural conditioning, habits, beliefs, mime’s from other people etc.
Rating of experiences:
- We usually rate an experience as higher if it creates meaning. A deep want is created and satisfied quickly. (Trench theory: Creates a deep trench and fulfills it quickly, so you can perceive deep meaning) OR the deep want lingers for long and then suddenly gets satisfied. If the want fulfillment is too gradual, you would be unable to perceive meaning since your memory would fade and according to me 95% (5% benefit of doubt) of meaning is created by comparison alone.
- We obviously also have a preset set of pleasurable experiences (high dopamine, high serotonin, dream hormones, DMT etc.)
- We also rate experiences as higher if they create meaning in any sense.
- When we are dis-inhibited, that freedom experience is also rated highly.
Synonyms for experience: perception, mood, state of mind, master metaphor