Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Chunk Bit

When Rev. Dr. Dick McHugh SJ first emphasized for me the essence of chunking down I did not realise how meditated that assertion from him was. Chunking down is the breaking down of communication into small units. That experience was over two years ago. Bit, by bit as they say. The mind-body-emotion balance is what the brain helps us with when we are focused. Our mind can pay attention to no more than three to four units of information at a time. Well at least the normal population will agree. Traditions like the ashtavadhani or the mind that can pay attention to eight units of information processing continue. Those are rarer feats. Else, this note from me is for ordinary mortals. It could trigger the sub-conscious by what your mindful self will guide you to.

I begin to wonder how the perceptual processes we engage in begins to tear down our world in infinite detail. While at the root of many of our ills and highs are perceptual processes, we form biases in our mind to arrive at relatively irrational decisions. Behavior is affected by our choice of focus. Rapt attention is focus - total focus and attention. "My experience is what I agree to attend to" - watch this video by Gallagher to catch what William James meant by this statement. Therefore processes of generalisation, deletion and distortion continue to be part of the human experience. Like me reading what I write to agree to what I see in script. I would be deleting from my mind alternate experiences that this script will not hold for me.

When I saw Rosabeth Moss Kanter speaking about zooming in and Zooming out - she also cautioned against getting involved in somebody else's details while ignoring the big picture. She talks about focus as focus of strategic thinking for leaders. Watch that via the link here.

Suppleness in thinking is about the conscious flexibility - the balance between self and others.

Fr. McHugh has cured himself of sixth stage cancer by focusing on the triune - mind-body-emotion. Although well over 80 years of age, he has resolved or willed to be thinking and functioning as at the age of 40. 'Life begins at 40', a friend told me last year. Perhaps that is when our life's purpose becomes clearer to help us focus involuntarily. The integration of our senses, consciousness and meaningfulness perhaps occurs best at this zone of human living. Here's where the awareness that comes from conscious mindfulness can heal the self. Here's where the choices one makes in acting from that consciousness make our lives worth living. How we wish to express ourselves. Love is a decision, because one can choose to engage in a relationship. Base emotions like joy, grief, anger and sex are the more instinctual parts of human experience.

While skimming through, do we deny information for our well-being without being conscious of the needs that others around us have? What do you want to focus on? Gather yourself, back to your chair, eyes closed and hands on your laps. Then breathe comfortably till you can hear your breath....

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