Novelty: The New Purpose of Life
Our five senses combine and create our understanding of what's real and what is not. They tell us what to pay attention to, and what to shun.
The physical environment today is complex and there are more 'senses' that we are discovering in our body, beyond the ones known for thousands of years.
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The experience of Affect is the 'sense data' we automatically collect from our surroundings.
The emotions we feel, like sadness, joy or anger, are all experiences of Affect.
Before our modern life, before supermarkets, cities and our predictable routines, we just were. We weren't aware of our feelings but were just reacting/responding to our immediate environment and the situations.
Life was uncertain and immediate in the old times, but now it is more towards the future.
In Buddhism, it is believed that humans have six senses, with the mind being the sixth one.
We humans can use this sixth sense to watch all the other senses and gain mastery over any affliction that troubles us.
It is widely believed that pain and boredom are negative states of the mind, but according to the Buddha, and many other meditators, boredom can be a state of deeper inquiry and an opportunity for us to go beyond pain and misery.
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“Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems.”
Misery can be influenced by your circumstances, but it is largely indifferent to them because it grows from within. Most of us have everything that we need to avoid it, but our untrained brains are prone to create it through anxiety.
This concept is easy to understand but it requires consistent effort and application. Keeping your brain in check demands that you understand and internalize it into day to day conduct.
We only have so much time and energy, so it’s good to eliminate the meaningless things we do. And then spread your remaining time and energy across multiple sources.
Balance work with other hobbies or personal projects, increase the number of people you can rely on, etc. Over a long enough time, something will go wrong, and having multiple sources of fulfillment to rely on will save you from complete collapse.
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