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March 30, 2022


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“Laurel places much more of an emphasis on realism in movies and television than I do.“

And she likes Bridgerton? 😂

Very wise words, indeed. And this sums up much of the Buddha's teachings.

My only issue with this kind of teaching --- that I myself try to inculcate and live by, by the way, as best I can --- is ...well, perhaps I can best explain what I mean by comparing it to volatility and risk. Risk is generally defined in terms of volatility. So that limiting risk is an exercising in limiting volatility (or the effects of volatility). No matter what means you employ, be it vanilla diversification or else more complex hedging strategies, limiting risk (or trying to) ends up basically tamping volatility (or the effects of volatility). What that limits is not just the downside, which is what you were basically trying to do, but in the process it limits the upside as well.

Likewise here. In as much your temperament, and/or your reflections, and/or your meditation practice, ends up tamping down your "secondary darts", you end up limiting not just the "suffering" that these secondary darts bring in their wake, but the 'happy aftertaste', if I may call it that, that these secondary darts sometimes/often bring in, as well. So that one is less susceptible not just to suffering, but to happiness as well. (Unless one defines happiness as merely unruffled contentment --- that is, indeed, facilitated and enhanced, and that's a great thing too.)

In theory I guess you could choose to let in some darts, while not letting through others; but I don't think it works that way. At least that hasn't been my experience. Effectively what this sort of practice and understanding does is to guide you towards becoming a more balanced person, someone that is less volatile, and someone that is less susceptible to volatility in external stimuli. Which on the one hand leads to lesser "suffering"; but on the other hand it also leads to less of unbridled joy. But sedate-ish somewhat-contemplative contentment, which is what you arrive at (or strive to), well it isn't that bad I guess. At least it's better than the more volatile alternative.

It is surprising the authors have missed, apparently, a good deal of actual neuroscience.

The brain attenuates what you actually see, and after re-creating a version of it, then reports that version to you. Even the first dart, or your perception of it, is already filtered, classified and re-drawn before you see it, and that is affected by your conditioning, current disposition and locus of attention.

To imply some objective first dart actually exists, is a misunderstanding.

We are always reacting to our reaction, and consciouly aware of only a portion of that.

Our wiggle space is to remain calm and observe our own minds at work.

That is a process of separating our consciousness from our own train of thinking. Hence the utility of meditation, which is that very practice.

When we do this, when we think less we experience more.

And seeing more, from a larger view, we are less reactive.

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