What do you see?

Is it possible that being attention deficit is synonymous with a monkey brain on overload? My friends insist it's actually an apt description of modern life. With all the bits of flotsam and jetsam competing for my attention, is there any wonder each day seems like the aftermath of a tornado?

It remains a miracle that anything gets done, much less in a straight line. Seems that when I try to pay attention, I'm flung around by my thoughts, my ego, my senses, my environment, my duties, my values, my past, my future.... my, my, my!

You get the idea.  Then, somehow, I remember the point.

"The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated", William_James.

And this makes me think about how we're living in a universe where, really, what you see is what you get.

Another way to think about this is the idea of a "holodeck".   Click here for more.

Basically this is a science fiction version of a magic mirror. And in the normal progression of things, science fiction becomes science fact, then common knowledge, and then no one is amazed anymore.

Try reading anything from the 16th century on humans flying to the moon.

So, the holodeck works around the principle of projection and delivers on the idea that what we see is exactly what we expect to see. 

This means that what we pay attention to is our reality. 

I'm thinking that this is a true statement. (Check out this link and follow the instructions if you'd like a startling demonstration from our friends in the psych lab.  What do you see? )

Eventually science squares up with common knowledge, and so cliches are also probably true.

This makes me think about appreciation and "what goes around, comes around." A popular expression that could point to a deeper meaning?

Holding the two ideas together, we see what we expect to see and what goes around comes around, might mean that our lessons are, in large measure, self created.

Of course the ability to consider creative responsibility for our lives is qualified by a baseline presence of a healthy mind. If a human is incapable of self reflection, emotional regulation or empathic response, they suffer from such instability as to be permanent creators of a living hell.

Most likely they will not be interested in appreciating others.

If you are related to one of these folks, you'll know what I'm talking about!

Otherwise, assuming you possess a somewhat intact mind, imagine for a second standing in front of a mirror and giving that person a righteous lecture on common courtesy.

What do you see? As your face contorts with indignation and hurt, what happens to the person in the mirror? Do they repeat your words of condemnation? Does their face begin to harden with defensive pain? Do they begin to take a poke or two at you?

Now, notice the effect of this harsh lecture and that in fact it is bouncing right back off the mirror into your own face.

Imagine now that you are smiling and appreciating the person in the mirror. What do you see? Try thanking that person for their gifts of gentleness and calm demeanor. Tell them a joke and see if they get your sense of humor and laugh. Do they enjoying spending time with you?

Chances are this experience could be easily applied to the world at large.

What you see is what you get.

When you are angry and defensive, guaranteed you'll experience mostly hostility and attacks. And every ensuing interaction justifies being fearful and aggressive. If you believe that "you're screwed", in fact, that is what you'll be creating!

The reverse is also true. When you are open and appreciative, what you'll experience is an infinitely loving creation.

What goes around comes around.

Consider spreading some appreciation around today. Start in the little mirror and move on to the bigger one when you're feeling ready. If you have a chance, appreciate someone who isn't expecting it. Feeling bold? Try genuinely appreciating someone who's being grumpy.

Silently appreciate someone who isn't ready to hear it.
Be amazed at how the universe reflects back exactly what you expect.

What do you see?

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