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Meaning and context are decisive. Can "reframing" alter our experience and enjoyment of life?

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posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 03:06 AM

The following is a short or relatively short (hopefully, I tend to ramble on sometimes please bear with me) thesis on the potential power of re-framing context and meaning (and significance) and in the process, discovering or making available for consideration, a new domain of possibility capable of altering one's own state of mind and being by fundamentally altering the context or lens through which we see ourselves, others and the world around us, and within us. It is both within and without.

When we really think about it, I think most people would probably agree that our human experience and our psychological and spiritual condition (there being little if no distinction between the two), is defined by information and interpretation and a whole host of impressions and evaluations and emotional states as seen/perceived through our reality filter. In other words, for the human being, meaning and context is decisive (which could be potentially humorous if not ironic if we say had it all wrong to begin with..).

It shapes our reality, the meaning and context and significance that we assign to every little thing; it determines how we feel and our whole outlook and our entire fundamental paradigm and worldview. It's who we are, or were (if at some level we were operating from a faulty context and meaning or were in some way out of alignment with the way things really are and thus in a state of conflict and anxiety even anguish and despair and I've shed more than a few tears in my time let me tell you!).

Some philosophers say that life itself has no intrinsic meaning except that which we assign to it. This leads to the same conclusion but at an even more decisive level (we define our reality), but, once recognized, also retaining a great deal of latitude or flexibility in how we experience and react to our outer and our inner world, if it's nothing but a projection laid upon a meaningless absurdity because we can't help ourselves as meaning making machines. Others, like myself, purport that by the very fact of life's occurrence and our place in it (even if it's true meaning and significance is obscure) is itself, meaningful and significant simply because we are present, even if only to play the role of subjective observer and assign whatever meaning and significance to it that we may choose

In fact, before we consider some possible re-frames of the meaning and context by which we might see ourselves and our place in the world (universe), with new eyes, it's worth stopping and noting here that the very act of stepping back to make any of these type of distinctions and observations, is itself a decisive, contextual reframe that allows a larger field of potential awareness to come into play, now to observe the subjective observer observing the observer observing ad infinitum, including, from this loftier, bird's eye view, his/her own reality filter and apriori biases, judgements, impressions, and evaluations that have made up one's own experience to date including one's own personality and all interactions with people, places, things, and at last, the self.

Were we being too small minded or judgemental, even in our own valuation of ourselves and who we took ourselves to be? That must be the case if we don't really know precisely who and what we REALLY are..

If we can just stop for a minute and try to take an honest inventory about how we're been operating based on some sort of continuous "activity" of mind and emotional experience from moment to moment, then, in the recognition that a re-frame might even be in order, at least for some of us (who may be in conflict with people, places or things, or with one's own self, in some way or another) - in our open-mindedness and willingness and receptivity to another potential way of seeing and of being or a whole new meaning and context (that is decisive) - EPIPHANY!

yet knowingly blind to what it might be or look like, as the domain of an unknown or what was outside of our comfort zone (in the end it's not comfortable, at all), or outside of our "box" of self-imprisoned subjective judgementalism - the light of truth and life shines like new sight to the blind man (you and me). The blind must know he is blind and ask, to see, to see the light of the truth that sets him free. The hungry or thirsty for what's right and true must be hungry or thirsty. One must seek to find that authentic once and for all time, truth, that sets us free.

In the very act of seeking it out, amid the potential joke that we might have had it all wrong, we find it; and when we knock, the door is opened to us (with a welcoming smile).

So that's the first contextual re-frame; of recognizing (re-cognizing) that we were worry warts because we were nothing but a meaning-making machine, unaware of any other possible way of being or seeing, locked up in a box of our own making as a wholly subjective observer who judges and makes too much out of nothing or something out of all the wrong things..

Once that distinction is made, then a new one becomes possible.

There is the truth that sets us free, in the recognition that who and what we took ourselves to be was what might be thought of, in hindsight as our inauthentic self and thus isn't really who and what we really are (even if still an unknown or a mystery), but was little more than subjective "box" who's framing and context decisively self-imprisoned us, but, in the re-cognition of the nature of the predicament, and voila, the box is gone, even if in the trade off, the new field of awareness contains a very high degree of uncertainty in the knowing of not knowing.

Mirth and charm here arises, when we can no longer take ourselves seriously any more.

This is a different type of knowledge, as the knowledge of experience in the humor of true understanding.

Funny, I was going to make this thread all about a certain reframe that I had in mind as a fundamental shift in meaning and context that would be decisive and from which a new possible experience and way of being and relating would follow automatically, and there's still time to do that, and it would be nice to hear about other people's ideas in this regard.

What's more important is that people really get this idea though about the possibility of a fundamental shift in meaning and context that's decisive arising from a new, honest consideration of new paradigms. What are they, do you think?

edit on 29-8-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 03:10 AM
You (and I) will frame all stimuli within our conceptual and perceptual paradigms.

That's sort of the way it all works. What make it interesting is that everyone's conceptual and perceptual paradigms vary from those of others to a greater or lesser degree.

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 03:11 AM
a reply to: AnkhMorpork

Funny, I was going to make this thread all about a certain reframe that I had in mind as a fundamental shift in meaning and context that would be decisive and from which a new possible experience and way of being and relating would follow automatically, and there's still time to do that, and it would be nice to hear about other people's ideas in this regard.

The background in your avatar was a pretty big shift in objective perception for me.

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 03:50 AM

originally posted by: Phage

That's sort of the way it all works. What make it interesting is that everyone's conceptual and perceptual paradigms vary from those of others to a greater or lesser degree.

Yes, and it has also been said "that the substitute for legitimate suffering (of facing the truth as it is) is always neurosis" (Carl Jung) and that "we are all mentally ill to a greater or lessor degree" (Scott Peck, MD).

It's quite the predicament, yes?

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 03:51 AM
a reply to: AnkhMorpork

It's quite the predicament, yes?

Predicament? Not at all. Not unless you feel threatened by those who look at things differently than you.

I consider it an opportunity to learn. Though sometimes it doesn't actually pan out that way it's usually an adventure of some sort or other.

edit on 8/29/2016 by Phage because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 04:14 AM
a reply to: Phage

I guess I meant that everyone's reality filters get in the way of the fuller experience of reality as really is, and to the extent that we might evade such an experience and change in perception, usually by clinging to everything that we think we know within our "box", we are all a little neurotic, and are all of us, to the degree that we are "off target", lacking in perfect mental health and well being, not because we can't come into a fuller and richer knowledge in the knowledge of experience (what other kind is there?), where most good education is a type of re-discovery of something that we may already "know", implicitly, in the deeper strata of our being, but because we refuse to change and grow, which by it's very nature must require a certain willingness to suffer for the cause and sake of what is right and true. A deep and abiding commitment to the truth and reality as it is requires a great willingness to yes, learn and grow, even in the midst of the trials and tribulations and the various vicissitudes and indignities of life including the indignity, of having been wrong in our own bias and prejudice or judgement.

It takes courage, to be real, but since the payoff is reality itself, it's worth every amount of necessary suffering to realize and adhere to, perhaps even as something worth dying for to maintain and uphold or the most valuable and significant and meaningful of causes at the very leading edge of an arrow of authentic leadership who's deepest motivation is love, friendship, family, and everything that makes life a thing of joy and beauty.

But you're right that it's only a predicament to the degree that we're unwilling to learn and grow.

But just how willing ARE we, really?

edit on 29-8-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 08:22 AM
What you are talking about is an actual therapeutic technique called "Narrative Therapy."

The whole point is to encourage the person who is subjectively suffering to look at his own perspective, and to understand where it 'came from' - how it developed due to his social circumstances, upbringing, beliefs (about himself or about others), and to deconstruct how he came to think about it THAT PARTICULAR WAY.

There is always "another angle" -- and it can be supremely empowering to throw away old "taken for granted" attitudes. For example, recently, one of my family members totally thought I was attacking him when I started out with "you know when you're looking for the port for your earbuds...."

And he said "I DON'T LOOK FOR THE PORT!" and got all huffy and defensive. I was shocked by his reaction. I was simply going to point out that the little icon that indicates which port is for the headphones might someday lose its literal meaning....just like when we want a driver to roll down his window we do the "roll down" gesture. Even though most cars have "buttons" to push or pull for window upping or downing.

But we never got that far. He pitched a fit, and the whole afternoon went to hell because he got huffy and nasty and then when I went to correct his misinterpretation, he picked a fight WITH ME!

I pointed that out, but it was too late. He had shut down.
Pathetically inappropriate response to what was just a conversation-starter and meant to be a trivial unimportant thing to point out.

And now I will get the cold shoulder for three days. Ridiculous.

Point being - a person can learn to look at their own 'narrative' - their own worldview, and dissect it -- figure out its origin, figure out how they came to 'believe' that narrative, and how they can reframe, retell it to develop another narrative.

One young woman was trying to understand what I was saying - and I used "islands" as an example. Canoeing from one island to another -- where on other islands, the story is different because it was looked at differently.

Anyway - cool thread.

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 03:48 PM
a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Thanks for your feedback, that was interesting. I'm sorry to hear about the misunderstanding with your family member, which if it wasn't so challenging, might have been amusing.

So often, things are never as they seem or appear, and the meaning and significance we assign to various events, which shape our experience, are often out of alignment with "what really happened". We made it mean something that it didn't really mean, although that said, they could be some painful things that did happen that form the basis of some deep wound, but again, it's just something that happened and well, we survived it, and thus it needn't continue to operate as the basis for an ongoing concern as we move forward. In fact, the more painful things of the past might not deserve or warrant the degree of power we give them to shape the quality of the life experience that we're living into.

I call them the absurdities of the injustices of the vicissitudes of life, whose resolution cannot be had via the investigation and prosecution of them to their root and source, but only through a radical, transformative forgiveness, however difficult or challenging that might be to reach as part of a necessary suffering. The problem that can arise however, when there isn't apparent justice for the sins of the past committed against us, or by us, is a loss of our good-natured, good-willed humor, mirth and charm where we might allow the mental illness and/or ugliness of others, or our own, to cause us to lose our own joy and beauty and also become ugly in our heart ie: to seek to get even or to cause hurt in others. It's no easy thing to love and forgive in the face of ignorance, but to cave in to anything less would be a grave mistake that could diminish us and rob us of an opportunity for a much greater and deeper level of joy where it could be said that the more that sorrow and suffering has carved into our being, the more joy we can contain, and isn't there always some contrast or another by which joy and happiness is even more present and more pronounced?

What I was thinking of though, for the purpose of this thread, are decisive contextual reframes, or paradigm shifts that the mere open-minded consideration of, to try them on for size, might result in a fundamental re-frame in our entire reality filter in order to break open for ourselves and others, a new possibility, and a new way of being and of experiencing our life, which if it wasn't considered, might have remained in our blind spot to leave us as we were, or less ALIVE than might be possible. Perhaps the fundamental way that we've been perceiving the world and our own place in it isn't entirely congruent with life and reality as it really is, and to the degree that we may be out of alignment with it, we are bound by a certain limitation or constraint in our experience of life as it was meant to be lived, enjoyed and experienced or that might have otherwise been possible.

Can you or anyone think of a new paradigm to replace an old, outmoded one that might alter the entire framing and context by which we experience the world and how we relate to it and to our fellow man and back to ourselves?

I am convinced that we've all been very poorly trained by bad paradigms and faulty worldviews and that a great deal of human angst and unnecessary suffering and "deadness" of heart, mind and spirit, can be attributed to these misconceptions that also destroyed the magic of childhood when we did possess an appropriate degree of excitement and enthusiasm towards the experience of being alive.

edit on 29-8-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 03:59 PM
a reply to: AnkhMorpork

Can you or anyone think of a new paradigm to replace an old, outmoded one that might alter the entire framing and context by which we experience the world and how we relate to it and to our fellow man and back to ourselves?

Yes. I can. It requires introspection, and it is exactly what I'm talking about.....

I was a therapist. For whatever that's worth.

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 04:45 PM
a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Excellent! Good good. And your experience and knowledge base will be helpful for this exercise.

I also think that these "re-frames" of meaning and context, because they are decisive (given their nature) and have the potential to really move people to a whole new place of seeing and of being, that when they move the world for one person, do so for others, and have the potential to "change the world" for the better.

There is a certain malaise that I intuit that has set in for modern man/woman because deep down, they know that things are not as they really are and ought to be, due to some deep and fundamental misconception about the "way things are".

I look forward to your insights and that of others.

I think that when things reach a certain stage of "incongruity" that something has to break, because we can't just keep on going on as we were, and if our training was faulty, then the very basis of our worldview and paradigm is itself the problem and the reason we're not happy and fulfilled.

I also suspect that there are certain times in the course of human history, when an epiphany of some kind is very much needed to reclaim our place in the grand scheme of things and come to better know ourselves as we truly are.

For example, one such bad paradigm attempts to reduce everything to a certain "thingness" based on the Newtonian worldview or paradigm, including the human being and the human experience of what it means and signifies to be alive, the result of which is a certain dispassionate "deadness" that conforms to the expectations of "the world" and by "the world" I'm referring to more of a collectively held misconception that the social matrix within which we find ourselves, promulgates and even celebrates, but that kills the spirit, as opposed to the real world as it is, or a view/paradigm that's in better alignment with it and as such, would produce an almost infinitely greater degree of satisfaction and enjoyment.

I'm not going to go on a "religious" tangent here, but it would seem that these dynamics do repeat themselves in time and history and that when Jesus referred to the "kingdom of heaven" he was also introducing a stark point of contrast and differentiation relative to the kingdoms of the earth or of man, which were oppressing the spiritual and the physical domain of every day, average people, by telling them what to think, what to do and how to act, when all the while treating them as less than fully human and robbing them of their energies and efforts as part of a power grab in service to empire and all manner of corruption. It just would not do, so I believe that Jesus and John the Baptist colluded together to generate a type of counter-conspiracy to hit them where it counts and in so doing also change the framing and context of "the game" by turning everything on its head in service to the little man, the outcast, the downtrodden and optimise them even in the face of terrible oppression by the state and the prevailing paradigms of their day, and look at what came out of that, as an empire was brought down in the process.

We know that these tools of framing and context are misused and abused by various groups and organizations and institutions to win and to hold power, but from what I can see, they too are ignorant since they cannot serve as a point of leverage by which to control or enslave or subjugate and thus, the frames they are wielding are, just like in Jesus' day, the wrong ones.

edit on 29-8-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 04:50 PM
a reply to: AnkhMorpork

Wow. That is a very rich post ---- ATS gold. I have read it, but find myself disarmed at the moment.

Dealing with behavior that is sometimes called BPD.
Thanks for engaging.

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 05:16 PM
a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Faulty paradigms can make the most sensitive among us, sick, as we struggle to come up with some sort of authentic mythos by which to enter the fray with our entire being but that, as a reaction/response to what's wrong with the world, more often than not results in an implosion of some kind as we crack under the pressure.

The world cross is a very heavy one to bear! This is in many ways why I've opted to recognize the authenticity of the Christian mythos and ideal, if only because it provides me with a strong elder brother who's already fought this battle and triumphed in relation to it, because if it was all on me, I would surely have blown the assignment and might have ended up imprisoned in a locked mental ward projecting at those four walls.

Absent true and authentic Justice, in Love - good-willed, good-natured humor dies.

Thus, the purpose of the cross of Jesus Christ is, imho, so that we can laugh again, and live life to the full even to overflowing, but alas all the doctrine got in the way of that epiphany. Plus it would appear that the empire that it felled, to retain it's grip on power was forced to hijack the authority by which the demonstration was made and make of Senators, Cardinals.

Point being, there is no greater power than a reframe capable of setting a table for people within the context of brotherly love that restores us to our true place at that table, and if it's to the chagrin of the PTB, or "a table set for us in the presence of our enemies", and thought enemies, well, given the state of world affairs and human nature, then, and now, how could it be otherwise and so what if we get the last laugh at the brunt of human ignorance and of various powers and principalities who falsely presume to have a lock in on what's "relevant". We have to have something to talk about and have a good laugh over during table fellowship..

So there's one re-frame - that we are all part of one human family framed by love, of which many simply refuse to participate if only because they're operating from the wrong paradigm that holds to things like jealousy and insecurity and whatnot.

edit on 29-8-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 05:22 PM
a reply to: AnkhMorpork



Thanks for reaching out, but:

the only thing required to come to grips with oneself is the ability to step out of one's box for a few breaths. There should not be a "Jesus" requisite belief. You were born with the ability to discern......the way you were reared very early on has a lot to do with how you are as an adult.

A baby who is spiritually alive and sensitive.....who never hears about "Jesus"..... is spiritually alive and sensitive.

If other spirits need that sort of 'anchor' that the Bible represents (or the wall-hanging crucifix) to refrain from doing harm unto others.....then fine.

But make no mistake - there are spirits incarnate right now, today, even participating on ATS, who are not in need of these so-called "revealed" religions.

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 05:36 PM
a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Just consider it as an example of a powerful reframe relative to forces of oppression that was willing to endure a meaningful or necessary suffering for the cause of love, where the table is an allegory of a familial frame of reference enveloped by love whereby we all share the same ground of being and becoming.

Whatever works, and if that didn't or doesn't work for you, then we could look at other possibilities.

The problem with the vital baby or child is the world of ignorance that they are growing into which might sap that essential vitality from them and rob them of it as they grow older.

It just seems that there is always a world at enmity with the fullest expression of our self-realization and actualization that seeks to kill and rob us of it, and I think that also has to be acknowledged because it's true.

That said, sometimes all you can do is go forward and leave the dead to bury their dead so to speak.

I'll spend some time reflecting on the type of re-frames I had in mind, since I had no intention of making this a religious thread and I'm well aware of the heavy bias against and towards organized religion.

Remember too that Jesus was simply trying to personify and act out of a context that was very different from and in many ways at odds with the world around him and probably could not have avoided a certain fated wedge relative to it, so he chose a path of legitimate suffering for the sake and cause of love. I just think of him as the greatest therapist of all time, but alas somehow his message and intentionality was lost as people attempted to foist the dogma onto others as a point of power and control.

In a certain context, pointing to that wasn't "out of bounds", if people can set aside their bias towards it. It was but an example of a powerful contextual reframe that also takes the "world" of men as it is.

Moving on...

edit on 29-8-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 05:41 PM
a reply to: AnkhMorpork
Somebody has been studying NLP.

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 05:53 PM
a reply to: Aristotelian1

I've looked at that stuff, yes. But there's more to it than that.

When Helen Keller (deaf and blind) first got language, she said that the world actually came into being for her, but that prior to that point it was just an undifferentiated void within which she did not have any context to know who she was or what was happening.

In other words, it's the very stuff of life itself and the experience and enjoyment of life, not just some NLP tweak to help you break a habit or get a new one.

But that idiom of "meaning and context is decisive" yes, that's a phrase coined by NLP.

edit on 29-8-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 06:02 PM
I have heard it said that “A magician lives in a room of his own choosing.”

I interpret this to mean that ideas can be picked up and set down again at will. You can change your paradigm according to it’s usefulness in the given situation.

Is there one “really real reality?” Facts don’t change, but how you view them, and how you use them, can.

And don’t be afraid of the cognitive dissonance of conflicting ideas. Perhaps they are both useful. I think it was Winston Churchill who was accused of contradicting himself by an indignant woman. He replied, “Madam, I am vast. I contain multitudes.”

I do, however, recommend a set of unchanging core values to provide guidance. Everything else is up for grabs.

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 07:17 PM
a reply to: cimmerius

Nice post. Thanks for your contribution. I like that quote about the magician living in a room of his own choosing.

However, I don't think that "reality" is entirely arbitrary or a blank slate and that everything is as you say "up for grabs". If a person has deluded themselves into thinking that it's a certain way that isn't based in truth, because they fancy themselves a magician, then their form of magical thinking could easily lead them astray where the room or box of their own choosing could end up being a prison (that's locked from the inside) for their own insanity.

I suppose they are free to choose that, but to the degree that they wish to perform magic they will require that others share something of their worldview or paradigm, or worse, they could mislead people into believing things of their choosing that are not based in reality, and as a result become a source of confusion and disharmony in the world. Still worse, if they were to engage in magical pursuits for purely selfish gain, then they could end up playing the role of an abuser who's aim is to weave a false reality for others. Add to that elements of black magic which involves sacrifice by others, or by replacing one reality with another, to help them realize their goals and objectives, and you could end up being one very diabolical and nasty person, or group, or institution which does not have the best mutual interests of everyone at heart and that doesn't come to serve, but to be served.

I think the difficulty of the highest context being none at all, is that there's no such thing as isolate consciousness and no man is an island, so if their worldview and paradigm is out of alignment with the logical precepts that can be derived from a clear-eyed examination of reality, they would then end up contaminating the field of consciousness with lies or a slight of hand that could make victims of the innocent.

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 07:38 PM
I like this particular reframe regarding humor as the basis of creative action, and that our fundamental problem or predicament involves a type of action that we are performing in cognition from moment to moment.

"He is moved. He is already moving. He is a process, not a thing."

edit on 29-8-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 29 2016 @ 07:39 PM
double post, deleted.
edit on 29-8-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)

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