Overcoming the Amygdala Part 86
You might remember from earlier in this study of the amygdala the Seven Zones:
7. The Panic Zone
This is the zone of panic attacks, with the body in full ‘fight/flight’ mode, preparing for a physical battle or for fleeing the scene. A person is normally physically and mentally unable to go about their normal routines in this zone.
6. The Anxiety Zone
On the edge of panic, a person can still function somewhat and get basic things done, but with mind and body electrified by worry. Here, with great effort, people can sometimes manage to appear ‘normal’ in company even when they are on the edge of panic.
5. The Rhythmic Zone
A pattern and frequency sets in here: ‘mood swings’ may be visible to others, and can often be attributed to physiological changes in the body.
4. The Calmer (Karma) Zone
Here, anxiety attacks have faded in frequency and intensity. It may be possible to spot a correlation between actions and anxiety (like ‘karma’).
3. The Manifestation Zone
Rationality comes to the fore in this zone — instead of reacting to the environment, a person can begin to respond analytically and creatively, moulding the environment rather than the other way round.
2. The Child Zone
Life begins to be a playground.
1. The Zen Zone
This is the state achieved by the great mystics and saints, individuals for whom the universe appears very differently.
It’s possible also to interpret these zones in terms of departures and ideals and so on.
When we are in the Panic Zone, we are unable to evaluate anything correctly. It looks as though our whole environment consists of departures — there isn’t a shred of anything ideal remaining. Everywhere we look, there is either something missing that should be there, or something present that shouldn’t be there, or things are out of sequence or too rushed, or inflated in importance or full of lies — in other words, we are in the middle of an insane scenario. Our amygdala is ringing at full volume as a reaction to being surrounded by departures.
That’s why it helps sometimes if we can grasp just one thing which we could consider stable — one item, point, place, moment or mood, one person or thing which isn’t inappropriately present or absent or a lie or exaggerated or any of the other categories of departure. If we can hold onto something, we can emerge from panic and slide over into the Anxiety Zone — still not pleasant, but better than being in the centre of the maelstrom. When we are in anxiety, we are still surrounded by departures, but in the small gaps between them we can maybe catch brief glimpses of a more ideal set of circumstances. Anxiety presents us with departures which are threateningly large and overwhelming, but we’re not yet quite overwhelmed by them.
As we move into the Rhythmic Zone, we can see more of the ideal projection behind the departures. Many people spend most of their lives in this zone, with scenarios which they would wish for alternating, fading in and out, depending on what seems to be a random flow of departures. They feel powerless; they haven’t recognised either departures or the ideals which are being projected to reveal them — they just call it ‘life’ and wait for the next ‘crash’.
We can get to the Calmer Zone by causatively establishing some ideals for ourselves.
Rather than allowing or waiting for or depending upon fate or biology or our ‘inner selves’ to determine what we project onto our environments, we can grasp things rationally and decide: what is ideal here? What would be the best thing for all concerned there? What is the purpose of such-and-such an activity? Taking back control from the reactive and unconscious parts of ourselves, we can project known and clear desires onto aspects of our lives and situations we are in, and flush out the departures.
If we do this properly, we can rise to the Manifestation Zone, where those things which are apparently spoiling our lives or preventing our happiness can be isolated and dealt with in an orderly fashion.
This is all possible.
It’s all an extension of learning how to think and then applying that thinking to real life situations so that the biggest departures, the large obstacles which apparently stand between us and lasting happiness, are systematically addressed and reduced.