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Chasing Unicorns: Chapter 3, Dominatrix Theory, Part 5

Tap cover, to read.

This is the latest installation of a 27-part series, featuring my book, Chasing Unicorns. To read the previous installation, CLICK THIS LINK. For the next post in this series, CLICK THIS LINK. To start at the beginning, CLICK THIS LINK. To read the entire book at once, tap the book cover. Thanks for reading!

RECAP: Yesterday I pulled a practical joke on you. Or at least, I introduced Practical Joke Theory to you. Practical Joke Theory states: The more focused your awareness is, the less background awareness you have. And therefore the easier it is for some lout you’re barely aware of in your background, to pull a practical joke on you.

But one thing life has taught us about practical jokes is that payback can be a bitch. You may not like it when your victim focuses all his foreground awareness on you, and plots and plans. But today you may feel relieved to learn that no matter how much he wants revenge, he only has a limited supply of awareness . . .

Dominatrix Theory, Part 5

Real Estate Theory

I have some good news and bad news about awareness. The good news is that you will never lose the amount of awareness you currently have. The bad news is, you cannot create any more awareness than what you currently have. Awareness is a limited resource. It’s kind of like real estate. There’s only so much of it and no more, because no one’s making any more. But unlike an underwater mortgage that you’re allowing to go delinquent as you await an eviction notice, you will never lose any of the awareness you have now. You can’t buy or sell it on Ebay. You can’t give or receive it as a Christmas present. You can’t steal it from some drunk laying in the gutter. And he can’t steal it from you. Nor can you decide you have too much awareness and amputate some of it from your psyche. What you have you’re stuck with. And what you don’t have, you’re not going to get.

This is why Practical Joke Theory works the way it works. Awareness is in limited supply. If you focus 99% of your awareness on one narrow part of the environment, that leaves you with only 1% of awareness for everything else. You can’t manufacture additional amounts to fill in the void.

It’s like water in a tub. If a fat person sits in the tub, the water level may go up about a foot. But if a skinny person sits in the tub, the water level may only rise a few inches. But the amount of water in the tub doesn’t change, only the level. (Alright, alright, unless the person is so fat that the water overflows onto the bathroom floor. But let’s don’t get carried away here.) In the same way, the more you focus your awareness, the higher its level will be in the foreground while the lower it will be in the background. But the total amount of awareness within your consciousness will always remain the same.

You can consciously will your awareness to focus on some things, while virtually ignoring other things. For instance you can sit in your easy chair and watch the evening news while your wife sits next to you and gabs on with all the little meaningless chatter about what’s been going on in her life. Now, you can choose to focus on what she’s saying, while ignoring the TV news, or you can do what most thick-headed male schlubs do, and ignore her palaver while focusing on the boob tube.

Oh you’ll still be aware of what she’s saying, but it will be kind of like a buzzing gadfly in the background. And you’ll be responding by saying things like, “Uh-huh, uh-huh.” So when she asks for permission to spend $10,000 on a pair of diamond earrings, you will likely respond, “Uh-huh.” This will result in the checking account being overdrawn, but at least you won’t miss that great story about some jerk in Wisconsin winning a cheese-eating contest.

It’s all about focus. Focus determines what real estate your mind is going to dwell in. But it doesn’t change the total amount of real estate your mind owns.

Like, if you own a 160-acre farm, and you’re currently plowing the South Forty, you won’t notice that the cows have just gotten into the corn you’ve planted on the North Forty. But you still own the North Forty. You’re just not there tending to it at the moment.

I like the analogy with real estate so much, I’m going to name this Real Estate Theory. Real Estate Theory states that you have a limited amount of awareness, which you cannot increase or decrease. Focus can shift your awareness around, but it doesn’t change the amount of awareness you have. And the more awareness you place in the foreground, through focus, the less awareness will be available in the background.

So now you know how awareness and focus work. But I still haven’t answered the question that ended the last chapter. No, I’m not trying to evade the question. I’m just trying to establish some groundwork that I can use, in order to answer it as clearly as possible.

Let’s refresh our memory. The question is: Is it possible to focus on a change, to the exclusion of other changes, and still enjoy yourself?

The answer is yes, as long as you’re not focusing on a vicious Doberman Pincer that is about to attack you.

The key that determines whether or not you’re going to enjoy what you’re focusing on, lies in a concept known as Uniqueness. Uniqueness is the Holy Grail of Happiness. Because it determines whether you’re going to respond to something by saying, “Holy Cow!” or “Holy Shit!”

In fact, Uniqueness is such an important actor on the stage of happiness, that it must be covered in a separate chapter. So now, check out the spotlight, center-stage. It shines upon Uniqueness.

Take a bow, Uniqueness. You have become the main star.

###

16 replies »

  1. but just like real estate, do the wealthy have more awareness? and are some people’s awareness in better neighborhoods than others? I would like my awareness to be a beachfront property…

    Liked by 3 people

    • No, the wealthy do not have any more awareness than poor people. And that’s a good thing, because if they did, we would not be able to tax it away from them. Awareness is very egalitarian. It would even be communistic, except that it actually works, and it thrives on freedom of information, rather than withers.

      In order for your awareness to be a beachfront property, you simply have to move to the beach. But then you’ll lose your awareness of living inland.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “A buzzing gadfly!” Oooh I do marvel at your creative examples. Next time Brad watches the news I will try to remember asking about spending $10,000.

    Uniqueness may be my favorite “star” in this series so far.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Gadflies always make good examples, when referring to talkative women. But poor Brad. He shouldn’t watch the news when his high-maintenance wife is trying to tell him something.

      Uniqueness is my favorite, also. I can’t wait until tomorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. When you’re old and demented I think you can’t help but lose some or your awareness along with your mind.

    My mom, in her dementia, is vaguely aware of me and many of her other living family members and friends. She is also aware of some of her deceased family members and friends. She has even created a double of one of her friends who is sort between here and there.

    So, maybe she has just moved some of her focus and awareness around?

    Like

  4. In my view, awareness just moves around. Think about how we dream when we sleep. In that case, our awareness has turned inward into our own minds. Or maybe there’s some outside influence that can get into our minds while we’re sleeping, and we become aware of that. I suspect that whether we’re of sound mind, or have dementia, or are asleep, or are in a coma, somehow awareness is still at work. I think it never ceases.

    Like

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