Overcoming the Amygdala Part 94

One of the things that might help us to begin thinking properly is our experience of the world around us, which largely operates insanely.

You can pick just about any news story at random to illustrate this.

Any front page media story usually contains an incorrect or unanalysed objective to attempt or attack. Take a look at your local newsfeed now, either a newspaper headline of major news website. You’ll find at least one story there in which the thing being attacked or attempted is clearly the wrong thing.

You’ll find ‘world leaders’ making what appear to be incorrect or inadequate decisions; you’ll find disproportionate responses to civil disorder or widespread instances of injustice. You’ll find all manner of nonsense.

We don’t even usually have to look in the news: our own lives normally contain several instances of injustice, ranging from inappropriate treatments at school to being wrongly targeted at home or at work.

Correction of things which are not wrong or neglecting things which are not right leads to rapid decline and injustice. Unfortunately, these things are so common that they come to be regarded as ‘normal’. Looking around our own lives and those of others in the society, we find that the usual pattern is one of illogic, irrationality and injustice. These are exacerbated often when the processes designed to bring about justice are themselves misused. It’s common to see ‘justice’ used as an excuse to install a fixed idea or take revenge for the attacks on another fixed idea. None of that is based on reason or survival.

Under these circumstances, it is to be expected that most people’s amygdalas are ringing alarm bells most of the time to one degree or another, even if only in the background, creating a vague sense of unease almost all the time. If we were living calm, orderly lives in which justice always prevailed, our mental and emotional lives would be much quieter — but very few of us are.

Only proper, sane and orderly investigatory procedures based on statistics and correct ideals can establish the correct causes of things; only by establishing causes can one cease to be the effect of chaos and disaster.

A person needs to be able to observe; they also need to be able to use those observations to get to the bottom of situations. That usage depends on doing things in a certain order, step by step — another thing which is quite foreign to many people.

It’s all part of not reacting. To watch a series of departures pass by and not simply react is sometimes not easy, especially when one has been used to doing it one’s whole life: but stepping back and seeing departures for what they are — departures, gaps, missing things, altered sequences, changed importances, lies, and so on — is the only way one can turn the tables on chaos and start to install order. It’s that ‘stepping back and watching’ which is the first part of any sane investigation. To do that properly, one has to learn to disentangle oneself from the data and see it as just data.