Category: books

Chasing Unicorns: Chapter 4, Uniqueness (It’s One-of-a-Kind), Part 4

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 we learned that pain is caused by a sudden decline in your experience of uniqueness. This can occur when a fat person steps on your toe, sending powerful signals to your brain, forcing it to focus on a narrow array of stimuli.

Uniqueness (It’s One-of-a-Kind), Part 4

Pain and Your Relatives

Really, pain is just a relative experience. When your mind knows that it can experience more life than it is currently experiencing, then it will be dissatisfied. For instance, would you want to lie on a bed of pebbles if an empty hammock connected to two shade trees was swinging in the breeze right next to you? If you’re like normal folks, your mind would gravitate toward the hammock, because it promises more life than the pebbles. Therefore, it would be dissatisfied with lying on rocky ground.

A small amount of dissatisfaction is felt as discomfort. But a large amount of dissatisfaction is felt as pain.

When you think about the relative nature of pain, you can understand why pain throbs. Pain cannot be felt constantly. Pay attention the next time something bad happens to you. Or if you’re impatient to learn quickly, go ahead and cause yourself some pain right now. Be like one of the Three Stooges. Maybe hit yourself on the ear with a rubber hammer. Not too hard. Just hard enough to regret following this suggestion.

Now watch the pain. See how it throbs. It always throbs. It throbs by weakening and strengthening over and over again. For a moment you will feel no pain. Then you will feel great pain. Then you will feel no pain again. Then the great pain returns. On and on.

It throbs because your mind needs continual reminders of how much enjoyment is available, in order to comprehend how little enjoyment it is getting from the pain-causing stimulus. When it comprehends how little enjoyment it is getting, its level of dissatisfaction will rise to the point of feeling pain. In other words, the amount of pain you feel is relative to the amount of enjoyment you know you can feel. And you need to throb to those levels of enjoyment in order to remember them.

You are never dissatisfied in a vacuum. You are only dissatisfied when you know there is something better out there that you can have, if only your situation were different.

Let’s get all technical for a moment. When pain throbs, the mechanical dynamic goes something like this:

First most of your awareness focuses on a small range of stimuli, due to strong signals coming from the nerve endings that have been affected by the stimuli. Since there is very little uniqueness coming from such a small range, your level of enjoyment declines precipitously. Then your awareness is released from the focus. For a moment it shifts freely and evenly amongst all the stimuli in your environment. This causes a momentary feeling of enjoyment, due to an increased perception of uniqueness. Then the strong signals capture your awareness again, and send it back to the narrow range of stimuli, causing enjoyment to decline again. And over and over the pattern repeats itself until the stimulus triggering the pain goes away, or maybe until your mommy kisses your boo-boo.

[I promise that tomorrow won’t be as painful as today. Unless you’re a virgin. Tomorrow we will learn more about pain and pleasure, while sacrificing a virgin. It’s gonna be fun, I guarantee it, or may the gods strike me dead.]

###

Chasing Unicorns: Chapter 4, Uniqueness (It’s One-of-a-Kind), Part 3

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 took you out to Chinese food, and introduced you to Chinese Food Theory. I showed that even when you can’t figure out what’s in your dinner, you can still enjoy it. Chinese Food Theory states: An individual sensation arising in your body has a low level of uniqueness. But there are so many sensations arising at any given time, that in quantity they have a high level of uniqueness. This makes the sensations enjoyable, even when they form no discernible unique patterns.

Uniqueness (It’s One-of-a-Kind), Part 3

Fat Torture Theory

Chinese Food Theory is a stepping-stone that leads into my next theory, which I call Fat Torture Theory. I’ve tried to be like Confucius, and said something like “One who does nothing enters the bliss of being One with nothing.” Well, that’s not exactly what I’ve said, but something like it.

But that is not always true. We know from experience that even in our laziest moments we can feel pain. Enter Fat Torture Theory.

Suppose you are just sitting around doing nothing, enjoying the automatic bliss from natural uniqueness, when along comes some clumsy oaf who walks past you and steps on your toe. Odds are it will be a fat person. With so many obese people in this world, a fat person is more likely than any other body type to step on your toe. And sooner or later it’s bound to happen. This is why I call it Fat Torture Theory.

Fat Torture Theory states that pain is inevitable, just as assuredly as a fat person will one day step on your toe.

Now as soon as your toe is stepped on, your bliss disappears and is replaced with painful agony. How can this happen? After all, your billions of nerve endings are still sending billions of little unique messages to your brain every moment. So why won’t you continue to experience a large amount of natural uniqueness and enjoyment?

The reason has to do with the sensations now coming from your toe. These are very powerful sensations. Whenever your toe is stepped on, or any other traumatic insult occurs to any part of your body, the nerve endings there will stop sending little meek mild impulses to your brain. Instead they will send strong, powerful signals, that have the effect of instantly capturing your mind’s attention. When they capture your mind’s attention, they capture your awareness and force it to focus on them.

It’s like when your wife hollers in your face, “Hey asshole! You forgot to empty the trash!” You can’t ignore a message like that. It instantly captures your attention and forces you to focus on it. In fact, lots of things will do this. Hitting your thumb with a hammer, poking your eye with a screwdriver, stepping barefoot on your daughter’s jacks game, crapping a jalapeno pepper, and so forth. Any of these things will send strong nerve impulses to your brain that instantly capture and focus the attention of your awareness.

Remember from the last chapter where we discussed how focus can spend 99% of its time dwelling on just 1% of the stimuli in your environment, and only 1% of its time dwelling on the 99% of remaining stimuli in your environment? This is what happens when you experience pain.

When nerve impulses from one area of your body send powerful signals that capture your focus, 99% of your awareness will then focus on the stimuli arising from that area.

This is often painful because it diverts most of your awareness away from all the billions of other sensations coming from your body, and forces it to spend most of its time on just a small range of stimuli coming from one spot on your body. Such as your toe. This small range of stimuli produces a very small quantity of uniqueness. Because the amount of nerve endings involved is so small, the low quality of uniqueness coming from each nerve ending cannot be made up for by quantity.

This drastically reduces the amount of uniqueness you are able to experience. Because a low amount of uniqueness means a low amount of change, and because change is life, and because life is automatically enjoyed, your enjoyment level will instantly decline at a precipitous rate when someone steps on your toe. Especially when it’s a big fat person.

This sudden precipitous decline in enjoyment is experienced in your mind as pain. Your mind automatically seeks change, life and uniqueness. It wants no part of pain. It wants no part of sudden declines in uniqueness and enjoyment. Your mind is a fun-lover. It’s a life-lover. And pain forces your mind to experience less life than it knows is possible to experience.

[More pain is coming your way tomorrow, when you visit your damned relatives, and then hit yourself in the ear with a rubber hammer. Yeah, it’s going to be rough, but this is what it takes to learn about pain. Be brave.]

###

Chasing Unicorns: Chapter 4, Uniqueness (It’s One-of-a-Kind), Part 2

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 we learned that uniqueness is a way of gauging the amount of change you experience. The more unique the change, the more enjoyable it tends to be.

Uniqueness (It’s One-of-a-Kind), Part 2

Chinese Food Theory

No there’s not much uniqueness to be found in breathing. But there’s a lot of uniqueness in such things as sex, delicious food, and fast cars. When you have these things, you’re really living! That’s why we humans tend to gravitate toward these types of things, and why we tend to just take breathing for granted and not pay attention to it most of the time (except when we’re being suffocated by a pillow, or something).

Uniqueness is found in every sensation detected by the nervous system of your body that is transmitted to your brain. When you consider the many billions of nerve endings found throughout your physique, you’ll have to admit something: You’ve got a lot of nerve! And every moment of every day, you have billions of sensations being transmitted from those nerve endings on up to your brain. It’s like telephone-central up there between your ears, with phones constantly ringing off the hook all over the place.

Each nerve ending sends a message. The message is not much at all. Usually it’s just a tiny little impulse. Not even enough to pass for a Western Union telegram. But all of those billions of little impulses form patterns that your mind perceives. Patterns such as visual images, the sound of music (no, not necessarily the movie with Julie Andrews), intellectual concepts, and so forth. And some of those patterns can be very unique. The more unique a pattern is, the more change and life you will experience. And therefore the more you will enjoy it.

But you also gain enjoyment apart from the patterns. Each little nerve impulse is a tiny little message of uniqueness. It’s not much uniqueness, but it is a little. Just like breathing, it’s a very ordinary form of change, and therefore it is not very unique at all, in and of itself. But consider this: There are billions and billions of these tiny little not-very-unique messages being transmitted to your brain every moment. So what they lack in quality of uniqueness, they can make up for in quantity.

Suppose you worked for the IRS in China. Now I’m not saying there really is an IRS in China, but with over one billion citizens, I’m sure the IRS would just love to set up shop there. Yes, it’s an IRS agent’s dream: tax the poor Chinese. Now let’s say your job at the Chinese IRS is to handle all the tax deposits coming in from the citizens. And let’s say you figured out a way to embezzle one penny from every tax return filed by a Chinese citizen. With a billion taxpayers in that country, you could get quite rich from this copped copper misappropriation scheme. Yeah, it’s only a penny, but one billion pennies amounts to ten million dollars. That’s quite a windfall. And who’s going to notice one measly penny missing from a transaction? It’s ingenious. I think I’m going to travel to China to see if I can get a job as a tax collector.

Just like the one-penny-per-transaction scheme, your mind is receiving one small impulse per nerve ending from the billions of nerve endings in your body. Individually, each impulse amounts to a very small amount of uniqueness. But taken together, the cumulative effect is a very large amount of uniqueness.

Therefore the natural effect that comes from just living your life passively, without anything special going on, is for you to experience a large amount of uniqueness coming from all the nerve endings in your body. And since a large amount of uniqueness means a large amount of change, and since change is life, and since life is automatically enjoyed, you experience a large amount of enjoyment from doing nothing in particular.

I call this Chinese Food Theory. I call it this because, just as there are a lot of Chinese people, there are also a lot of nerve impulses constantly arising from the nerve endings in your body. These nerve impulses do not have to form discernible patterns for you to enjoy them. Just like Chinese food. Even when you can’t figure out what it is, you can still enjoy it.

Chinese Food Theory states the following: An individual sensation arising in your body has a low level of uniqueness. But there are so many sensations arising at any given time, that in quantity they have a high level of uniqueness. This makes the sensations enjoyable, even when they form no discernible unique patterns.

This is why you can sit in meditation like some Buddha, and chant “Om Mani Padme Hum,” and experience the bliss of Nirvana. When your mind reaches the point of letting go of all mental thoughts and desires, it stops focusing on patterns that form from all the incoming nerve impulses. When your mind stops perceiving patterns, it is left with just the nerve impulses and the bulk uniqueness and enjoyment derived from them. It is a pleasant, blissful feeling.

[Tomorrow the pleasant, blissful feeling will disappear when a fat person steps on your toe. But at least this will give us an excuse to explore pain, and its relationship to uniqueness.]

###

suyts space

Just another WordPress.com site

barsetshirediaries

A site for the Barsetshire Diaries Books and others

Chasing Unicorns

Where smartasses chase unicorns

The Trefoil Muse

Words are art on paper, and for me they are the seeds of my soul.

Marta Frant

Humor and Lifestyle

Life is a rusty rollercoaster

A bit of this...A bit of that...bit of everything...come on in...

Jessica reads&write

I read to live, I write to share their life

Jessica E. Larsen

Writer. Reader. A mom and a romantic dreamer 🥰 💕

Z107.7 FM

Community Radio for the California Hi Desert

Borden's Blather

A 60-something guy trying to figure out the world, and his place in it.

...i choose this...

joy, happiness, travel, adventure, gratitude

A Pierman Sister

Paris, Travel and Family

Luminous Aether

Light is a state-of-mind.

Nuggets of Gold

Helping you to find the gold nuggets amidst the dirt, sand and pebbles of life!

THE WIDOW BADASS BLOG

"This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." - F.G.

Kieran's Humor

Not suitable for children, the sensitive or those hoping to get into heaven.

History Present

History Understood In Its Present

Jason Frels

Mostly the photography of Jason Frels

A Dog's Life ... and mine ... and yours!

Life with Ray ... and the world in general!

AngelineM's Blog

A little BIT OF THE EVERY DAY............A good writer is basically a story teller, not a scholar or a redeemer of mankind. - Isaac Bashevis Singer