“… for voters of all stripes, Tuesday’s primaries should illuminate the growling face of a new fringe in American politics — and provide the incentive for level-headed voters to become enthusiastic about the midterm election.” [Link]
We always said that the Internet would bring more voices into the political conversation, that we would be “more democratic,” as though that was a good thing. But what if it’s not? What if more voices means more noise? What if it means more opportunities to give volume to lizard-brain thinking, and appeal to emotional rather than practical/intellectual levels of thinking?
Hopefully in November we’ll be voting from the cerebrum, making rational rather than emotional choices… turn out the “level-headed voters” mentioned above.
What we think of as reality is just shadows of shadows, internal reconstructions of sense data fed imperfectly into electrochemical processors within the brain and imperfectly rendered – “imperfectly” depending on your sense of perfection, of course. The point is more that it’s a rendering, and the rendering is no the thing rendered. And all the renderings and things rendered are impermanent – as the Buddhists say, “form is emptiness, emptiness is form.” Emptiness is another word for impermanent, and unreal in the vernacular sense of reality. I was thinking about this earlier today, and thinking how computer networks are more of the same – imperfect data imperfectly rendered, but feeling substantial and real despite its (their?) illusory nature. I can’t help you see any of this if you don’t already see it, but it’s rather exploded in my own thinking.
Notes I made a couple of weeks ago while listening to Rick Hanson, author of Buddha’s Brain:, talking about samadhi (concentration). This advice resonates well with my own practice, wanted to make note of it here for reference (mine and yours).
Set an intention – which sets the mind to a particular direction.
Relax, settle down.
Help yourself feel safer.
Activate positive emotion. Think about things that gladden the heart (activating dopamine and norepinephrine).
Keep the critters out. The voices in your head aren’t necessarily friendly or helpful.
Build a wholesome neural structure.
Intend and sense/evaluate benefits – “How’s that going for you?”