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Monday, October 10, 2005


How would a person recognize for their own benefit a larger important change or fulfilment that may be taking place moment-by-moment? This skill seems to be related to the ability to select important points that is most commonly used in today's culture as the ability to tell an interesting story. For instance, a movie will be made up of important scenes that drive the storytelling forward.

How would a person gain the skill of correcting for time of arrival for the important pieces of the puzzle that could be creating personal meanings? It's curious how some people feel they must tell each detail of their experience blow-by-blow., while others seem to possess the ability to select for important points that stand out and make personal meaning universal, artistic and fascinating.

I'm interested in how and why this can happen. It's probably in the brain, the way we're wired. Certainly the ability could be practiced and/or learned, as I have come to learn it myself. I used to be a blow-by-blow storyteller, and now I'm not - ah, at least I think I'm not as much as I used to be.

It seems to me that human moment-to-moment ability to recognize change isn't very precise. In some people, their sensory ability only feels differences that are significant - and notable as determined by the person experiencing it. In others, the sequence is paramount, and they can't do it any other way.

Significance that is gradual, (change that happens over time) doesn't seem to register very well on the sensory system. Meaning or specialness seems to be determined by the relative sensitivity of the person experiencing it. Also a factor seems to be how "jaded" a person has become to sensory information.

F.M. Alexander used to call this phenomena of "jadedness" debauchery - which to him described how the usage of a habit encourages a dulling and eventual shut down of sensory discriminatory ability. This was an old word that has fallen out of modern usage that was used to describe someone who has lost all joy of life and has descended into bitterness, sarcasm and possibly, addiction. Modern researchers today term the same principle in the field of behaviorism "sensory adaptation."

Perhaps jadedness and unreliability depends on how many habits someone has trained themselves to deal with that are suffering from a lack of being sensed. Opposing habitual directives seem to flood or shut down the system. Of course, the more habitual and automatic the programs in place that have been trained over time, the less new sensory information is actually available to be sensed. That must be how the dulling process happens; if frogs can die without noticing it's just getting a little bit hotter in the eventually boiling pot - why should humans be that much different?