KHTK 4B: VIEWPOINT: THE FILTER

August 26, 2014
This issue is now obsolete. For latest references please see: KHTK Mindfulness. The specific reference that updates this issue is Filter in KHTK.
This was part of a basic series of essays, which started this blog. These essays were later revised and the original versions were deleted. However, these essays were then added back to maintain a complete record.
The basic idea introduced in this essay was that a person’s viewpoint acts as a FILTER.

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The primary components of the filter are as follows:

(a) Experience: This is what we get from direct interaction with the environment. Our bodies and personalities have desires, likes and dislikes. We get elated when our desires are fulfilled. We get hurt when we lose our loved ones, or our favorite possessions. We develop relationships with others. Some of these relationships turn into deep friendships. We try to improve our survival. Some of these experiences may get embedded in us and influence what we perceive later.

Many of our basic experiences are hard to access. They usually get buried with the passage of time under layers of later experiences, education and thinking; but they continue to exert a strong influence on us. When these experiences are accessed and brought to full view, many problems get resolved, and conditions in life start to improve.

(b) Education: This is what we get from our family, schools, religious affiliations, TV, etc. We get educated in language, mathematics, sciences, social studies, etc. We also get indoctrinated on God and religion. We pick up cultural biases from the surroundings we grow up in. We copy the behavior of our parents unconsciously. A lot of education is simply absorbed without much attention given to it.

Education generally consists of taking in other people’s experiences and ideas. From these we derive rules to follow, and principles to think with. These have the most restrictive influence on our creative imagination. When this education is brought to full view, we experience an incredible renaissance.

(c) Thinking: This is what we are immersed in at any moment of our life. Each one of us encounters situations in day-to-day living. Most of the time we are busy evaluating these situations, deciding upon courses of action, and then engaging in efforts to resolve them. These situation could be self-created, for example, a person who has just gotten married, may be thinking about working to change their partner to make marriage more “harmonious” in the future.

Normally, one goes about one’s life unaware of such thinking. A lot of thinking may become automatic and may express itself in habitual patterns. Almost all of this thinking derives from our education, experience, and basic considerations. As we become aware of it we can start to chip away at its automatic nature. This can rejuvenate us in a short order.

(d) Basic considerations: These considerations are so fundamental that we never think about them.  We take them for granted, yet they determine our very perception of the world, our experiences and the way we use our education. These considerations are often the result of sudden decisions made when we are feeling on top of the world; or when we are faced with some difficult circumstances. We often compare ourselves to others, but there could be a moment when we unconsciously decide to be like another person. These are strong postulations to which one gets glued to.

These considerations are very basic. They are what they are. They are arbitrary. They do not follow any logic. As we explore these considerations, we gradually become aware that we have the choice of either continue holding to them, or detach ourselves from them. And with that power of choice we get a glimpse of a tremendous freedom.

Exercise 4-2

On the subject area that you picked up in Exercise 4-1, consider exclusively

(a) YOUR EXPERIENCE        

(b) YOUR EDUCATION          

(c) YOUR THINKING

(d) YOUR CONSIDERATIONS

Look at what is there and experience it fully until attention returns to optimum on each component.

You may cycle through these components at random until you find that your attention is consistently at optimum.

DO NOT COMPUTE UPON WHAT COMES UP. DO NOT RESIST ANY RESPONSE. END OFF WHEN THE ATTENTION IS OPTIMUM.

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