Thanks to MB’s generous gift, I’ll be away on a five-day, mostly-silent retreat. Back on the 20th; back online on the 21st.
I’ll be sitting with the choan: “Be still and know that I am God.” (1)I’ve prescheduled articles for your enjoyment, so
don’t be surprised if you see my handle.
Could folks please hold back email for that time so I might come back to a clean slate? That would be such a blessing. Thank you.
I’m watching myself at a very minute level because I want to solve this probably-insoluble question I have of: What motivates human behavior? (2) I think I’m already “in retreat” though I haven’t left Vancouver yet.
I thought for ages that there was one motivator only – a prime motivator – and I had to discover it. I did discover it, but let me return to that later.
Nowadays I think a lot of things motivate human behavior.
Thoughts and feelings are prime candidates. And they do a dance with each other. Sometimes thoughts motivate and sometimes feelings.
Here’s one example from my everyday life.
I discovered that I did not have my favorite breakfast drink on hand. And immediately my perception of my kitchen as being amply stocked changed to a perception of it being poorly stocked. Instead of seeing what was in the fridge, I saw what was not.
Gaps in the fridge that I’d been ignoring, planning to shop later today, now became evidence of poverty. I resolved to go shopping as soon as I could. Here my thoughts are the motivator of behavior.
And my feeling state changed from happy to sad. Bang. It happened so fast I couldn’t say when. It was like a change of channel. That’s how fast our reactions to our own vasanas (or core issues) are. We may as well be chameleons.
And it was out of repugnance to the feeling of dismay that I then resolved to take action. Both dismay and repugnance were my motivators in this instance.
So both the thought that my kitchen was in a wretched state and the feelings of dismay and repugnance motivated me.
All the time I am the “me” that’s being motivated: The Actor, the Self, the Christ, the Atman, the pearl of great price, the individuated God. I am the one who wills and the body acts. (3) (For a metaphor, think Ironman.)
I’d expect that sensations in the external world would motivate me as well, such as accidentally putting my finger on an element, jumping into the cold ocean, or being caught in a sudden downpour.
All of these are stimuli. All of them are motivators. So it isn’t just one and not the others. The Actor takes in stimuli from all receptors, internal and external, from all sources really, and reflects, and decides. (4)
And what we choose to focus on influences the outcome as well, as do what we bring to bear when we focus on it, the further thoughts it gives rise to, any explosion of vasanas, etc. All of these stimuli are released or responded to by our various faculties and we react by making a decision to act (or not).
That clears it up for me. We’re motivated by many different stimuli. As you’d expect, standing here on the other side of that quandary and looking backwards, it seems like an obvious answer.
But it wasn’t obvious to one hellbent to find a “prime motivator.”
Now let me return to that quest. Did I find a prime motivator? Oh yes.
Looking for a prime motivator led me to a heart opening and the finding of the prime motivator of higher-dimensional love.
And it led me also to see human behavior through a realistic lens. In a freewill universe, it has to be that we respond to an infinite variety of stimuli.
These considerations are all associated with the Third/Fourth Dimension. In the Fifth and higher, the love and bliss we’ll experience will wipe considerations away.
It won’t be that they’ll all have been answered, although I suppose they will in retrospect. It’s that they’ll simply disappear, drowned in an ocean of love. They will be no more.
Their vibrational level will not permit them to exist on the higher-vibrational level, as Matthew Ward explains here:
“It can be no other way – simply, [because] this is the physics that governs life in this universe.
“As Earth continues apace into successively higher planes, nothing with low vibrations in any form – physical bodies, subversive plans, theft, dishonesty, unjust laws and imprisonment, bigotry, cruel customs and deeds – can survive.” (5)
I’ve certainly experienced the wiping away of all concerns in the inner tsunami of love so I can vouch for that outcome.
But … we are apparently in the upper Fourth at the moment, where there are still degrees, conditions, different stimuli, a raft of concerns, etc., all vying for our attention.
I now see that I am motivated by a slew of different stimuli, internal and external, all competing for my eye and ear. In the next five days, I’m going to slow that whole process down and see what survives.
“Be still and know that I am God.”
(1) Psalm 46:10.
(2) I’ve only been here eight times so I’m a relative newcomer.
(3) In 1977 in an out-of-body experience, I experienced the spirit who operates this body/machine so I know I pull the levers.
(4) I’m led right back to papers I was writing in the mid-Seventies on this statement being definitive of human behavior: I perceive stimuli; I conceive it; I reflect upon it; and I decide my course of action.
(5) Matthew’s Message, Mar. 1, 2012.
Gratitude to artists for their beautiful art – credit is given where this is known.