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August 22nd, 2019
When someone tells you to get a grip, what’s going on?
Are you about to fall? Or perhaps we are about to float off and lose touch with reality.
Indeed, how can you grip something that you can’t even touch?
The word ‘humility’ has etymological roots that reference the ground, as in ‘being grounded’. (Those etymological roots are about as literal as it can get, figuratively speaking of course)
The opposite of humility is marked by a kind of conceit, the core of which pays heed to its own idea of reality as opposed to what’s really going on out there in the world. It’s the opposite of being grounded – sometimes quite literally.
So what do we need to touch, grasp and grip when we’ve lost it?
The short answer is reality.
The long answer entails a troubling question: what exactly is reality if not the thing we currently think is going on?
In this light, it makes it sound as though reality is something that other people see. We are left in the dark of our own ideas.
How can you have access to any other conscious experience than the one you currently have?
The answer is you can’t, of course.
The subtle shift required here, is how we pay attention to what is going on.
Often, our experience of the present is tiled over with thoughts. These mostly fall into a category of a habit of interpretation. We assume we’ve seen or experienced what is going on before and our prior convictions, impressions and conclusions are referenced and repeated,
letting all that go and opening up our attention to the present moment.
It’s all those prior convictions, opinions and thoughts that deactivate gravity, allowing our being to float off into a land of pretend.
We are so susceptible to this because of the tendency to save cognitive effort and simply reference some foregone conclusion, combined with the fact that those foregone conclusions probably weren’t all that accurate in the first place. Not to mention that such conclusions may not apply to the current moment at all, despite some superficial similarities.
In order to get a grip, it’s almost always necessary to let go of prior ideas, notions, feelings and beliefs.
To get a grip of reality as it exists in the current moment, it requires our full attention, and how can anyone do that while some part of the screen is obscured by all these thoughts from the past?
In it’s simplest form, in order to get a grip on the present, we must let go of the past.
This episode references Episode 492: Letting (yourself) Go
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