Note: This blog entry is somewhat related to my last entry: Bear Trap.
We stream of our reality. Enough to fill a personal universe. And not everyone’s universe is the same size. Consider the metaphor: “Furthering your horizons.”
Some aspects of the universe we stream are more or less fixed. We’re given a material structure in which to navigate with our bodies. We’re given personal endowments that contribute to our potential and external circumstances that influence that potential. There’s a backdrop of existence into which we are born. Culture, family systems, economics, and the historic time into which we are born are a few of those external circumstances. Personal endowments and external trends of circumstance are the backdrop through which our personalized universe is streamed.
While some of this may seem self-evident to some, the idea of streaming reality is complex. That’s because we have an influence on our personal view. We have influence on our personal view through the focus of our attention and personal alignments.
Remember the phrase made popular by Jane Roberts, channeling Seth: We create our own reality. The phrase, in my opinion, was overgeneralized. For example, it’s a harsh judgment to lay blame on someone for contracting a terminal illness such as cancer because they created their own reality. Bad things happen to good people. The Biblical Job would back me up on that one. But there is a degree of truth to the statement. We definitely contribute to the perception of our reality through the choices we make, through choosing which external perceptual opportunities that we will share through our participation. On which aspects of our given reality do we choose to place our attention? That’s how we filter, modify, and elevate the streams of our realty. Some people contribute more to the perception of their reality than others do (metaphoric zombies contribute nothing to the perception of their reality).
Becoming mindful how we stream the inputs of our perception is the first step toward taking a degree of control and responsibility for the nature of our reality. It’s a big step – an ongoing awareness. For example, whom do we choose to imitate through behavior or thought? What sort of heroes do we emulate? What do we ingest from the media, popular culture, and with those with whom we associate? In short, what are the connections that build our universe?
During my childhood, whenever I’d seem to acquire a new word, such as bullshi*, or was behaving in a less than angelic manner, my mother would query me in an effort to determine the source: who have you been playing with in the neighborhood? She understood, intuitively, that we learn by imitation and that our behavior is influenced by the groups with which we associate. What seemed odd to me was my mother’s blind spot for language. My Uncle Paul said bullshi* all the time. I saw Uncle Paul as a powerful man. But my mother was on to something in her inquiry into my “neighborhood.” It’s important to trace our influences so that we can choose whether or not to stay in connection with them.
All of us, to a greater or lesser extent, have role models and heroes. A dark historic example can be found with the late President Nixon. It is well known by historians that Nixon held General Patton, of WWII fame, in high esteem. The actor George C. Scott won an Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of General Patton. In the biography RICHARD M. NIXON, author Elizabeth Drew states that Nixon viewed the film PATTON “again and again”. She also states that on the eve of the invasion of Cambodia, “Nixon invited his aides to yet another viewing of Patton.” The film transmitted to Nixon a message of American superiority and the notion that “Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser.” It’s easy to speculate that without his participation in the movie PATTON, Nixon would not have invaded Cambodia.
I’ve understood this notion of screening and reinforcing reality through placement of personal attention, on some level, for a long time. In the 1980s and 1990s I would often read books on subjects that I already understood intellectually. I read the books because I felt my worldview required reinforcement on that path toward integrating the ideas offered by the book. I was also looking for connection with the author, and the resonance of community that also read that same author. We sometimes consciously choose author quotes for inspiration as a means of extending resonance. If we become familiar with a specific author, have explored the context of that author and his or her work, then we’re seeking to thread a personal connection to the heart of the author’s ideas. Repetition, like practice, can deepen connection.
I think it’s important to feel that you are participating in a like-minded, elevated, or philosophically/spiritually evolving community. It’s not always easy to accomplish in person. But communities also exist, more or less, in the ether (call them cloud communities). Even if we don’t personally know the members of a community by name, it is important to add your personal perception to the nurturance of that community, or the ideas that might form a community. It’s a way to help keep ideas alive. It’s a way to select or filter the reality we stream through personal association. It’s a way to have an ongoing influence over the stream of our reality.