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The Tinkered Mind
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August 25th, 2018
While shopping for a pair of binoculars, or a pair of eyeglasses, we take a look at all of them, on the shelf or on the rack.
Then we pick up a pair.
We look through it, assess how everything looks through that set of lenses, and then put them down. We pick up a different pair, and look at the world through that set.
If we so desire, we may try them all.
After we have made a tour of them, we may see them all again, aligned next to one another and weigh the pros and cons of each. This one has more zoom. That one has a finicky focusing mechanism. This one is a good general all-purpose.
Often space and finances limits us to purchasing just one, maybe two pairs of binoculars or eyeglasses.
The different perspectives through which we can decide to look at the world, however, are not limited by finances nor space.
Unfortunately we do not have the visceral experience of having all possible perspectives nicely laid out on a shelf or a shop display.
We cannot pop off our emoji eyes like some kind of potato head and look at them to realize: Oh, wow, I’m really angry! Or, oh, I look so sad!
It might not be as visceral as opening up a trunk of different eyes and selecting which one we would like, but this is precisely within our ability.
The myriad sets of binoculars, or eyeglasses, or microscopes or telescopes, or emoji-potato-head eyes exist within our brains as mental dispositions.
It is possible to disregard the experience of a feeling of intense anger and decide to look at a situation with more patience.
It requires a particular mental tool: the thoughtful PAUSE.
This is not something many people automatically do.
It is a skill that can be learned, developed and honed.
The ability to momentarily distance our self from a current perspective in order to consider whether a different perspective would be more useful requires this thoughtful PAUSE.
It is not easy, especially when emotions are involved, but it is possible. Like a muscle it can become very strong with training.
With enough time and practice, we can become our own optometrist, with the ability to fit ourselves with new glasses on the fly to fit any and every circumstance when things fall out of focus.
Every time things become hazy in the heat of anger…
Every time things become heavy under the weight of sadness…
Every time things become claustrophobic inside the vice of aggravation and frustration…
If we can PAUSE.
We can ask: is this perspective the most useful one I can muster right now? Or should I shift and switch perspectives, opt for one that will allow me to calmly…
This episode references Episode 23: Pause. If you'd like to fully explore the reference, please check out that episode next.