Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Maker Of Distinctions

Hence, even in the field of sensation, our minds exert a certain arbitrary choice. By our inclusions and omissions we trace the field’s extent; by our emphasis we mark its foreground and its background; by our order we read it in this direction or in that. We receive in short the block of marble, be we carve the statue ourselves.

This applies to the ‘eternal’ parts of reality as well: we shuffle our perceptions of intrinsic relation and arrange them just as freely. We read them in one serial order or another, class them in this way or that, treat one or the other as more fundamental, until our beliefs about them form those bodies of truth know as logics, geometrics or arithmetics, in each and all of which the form and order in which the whole is cast is flagrantly man-made.

William James in his 1906 essay Pragmatism and Humanism is explaining how we create our own reality. The conscious mind is designed to be a maker of distinctions. It sorts, assembles and organizes unconscious material, and brings it to the surface of our awareness. An infinite amount of unconscious data is sifted and mixed into a present focus and only the desired mixture emerges from this conscious, but unconscious exercise. Our conscious mind is a creative genius. It not only organizes unconscious data it organizes physical data using natural guilt as a catalyst.

The conscious mind has the ability to see it own beliefs and reflect upon them. We evaluate our beliefs and then experience them. We feel the effects of our beliefs and our consciousness expands from the results. That expansion is a product of natural guilt and our innate state of grace, but our belief strucutre may use other names to describe it

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