Concepts of preference only make sense when it comes to your choices (i.e. what's in your control).

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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Concepts of preference only make sense when it comes to your choices (i.e. what's in your control).

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

This is a discussion forum topic for the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All.


Let go of the idea that the past or anything out of your control is 'bad' or 'wrong' or 'evil' for being the way it unchangeably is. Such ideas are nonsense that steal your inner peace.

Concepts of preference only make sense when it comes to your choices (i.e. what's in your control).

By concepts of preference, I mean the idea of choosing one thing over another, or, in other words, calling or thinking of one thing as bad, worse, or worst and another as good, better, or best.

Such preferences and judgments only make sense when it comes to our respective choices in our respective presents, meaning our respective conscious here-and-nows in 4D spacetime. In other words, it only makes sense to have preference when we have a choice between multiple options.

That which you know cannot be changed cannot sensibly be subject to concepts of preference.

In the surrender to truth, we unconditionally and fully accept everything that unchangeably is, and we accept it exactly as it is. In other words, we accept everything that is not a matter of choice. Insofar as we each do this, it means we each accept everything and anything that is not a matter of our personal individual respective choice in our personal individual respective present (our unique here-and-now). I find it easiest and clearest to describe this unconditional and full and utter acceptance as simply love.

To follow logic, reason, and truth in this way, to surrender to truth in this way, we love that which we cannot change. We love it exactly as it is. We love it for being the way it is. We love the proverbial cards we are dealt, regardless of what they are. We love them precisely because they are. It's the are-ness or is-ness that makes them lovable.

When there is no choice, meaning we are talking about something we do not control and cannot change (e.g. our respective past or the choices of others including our past selves), then it does not make sense to apply preference-dependent ideas like worse and bad to it. To do so, is--in a certain inherent way--to not fully accept it. You aren't accepting the proverbial cards you have been dealt if, instead of putting all your energy to playing them the best you can, you instead waste time, energy, and resources complaining and whining about the proverbial cards you are dealt, taking time and energy to call them "bad", spending your energy and limited resources wishing they were different or "better".

However, as pointed out and thoroughly explained in my book, In It Together, it is important to note that one of the many things we cannot fully control in our present is the bodily feelings our body happens to have in that present (e.g. hunger, fear, discomfort, pain) and even the verbal thoughts that our human brain generates, which it does much like an unconscious AI chatbot unconsciously generates a stream of text. As stated in the book, it makes no more sense to say "I think my thoughts," than to say, "I beat my heart."

Your brain thinks and your heart beats, but you are not these things, and you are not nearly as connected or identified to them as you are to your choices in your present. Your unique present is of course defined by and relative to your consciousnesses, or in other words the real you.

The body and the brain, and at least most if not all aspects of the mind, are simply mechanical machines.

We are not our feelings and thoughts. We do not directly control our feelings and thoughts. We control our choices.

We generally don't choose our bodily feelings or thoughts or heart-rate, at least not directly in our respective presents.

As explained in the book, the choice to eat or not eat is completely different than the feeling of hunger.

We control our choices, not our feelings or thoughts.

We control whether we choose to eat in our present, not whether we feel hunger in our present.

We can sometimes indirectly partially influence whether a future version of ourselves feels more or less hunger or has a lower or higher heart rate, such as by choosing to run around in the present to speed the heart up, but not only is that indirect and incomplete, it's not in the present. Whether we feel hunger in our present is not determined by us in that present.

Part of accepting what we cannot control and cannot change is accepting unchosen (i.e. uncontrollable) bodily feelings and thoughts.

Thus, letting go of things like rage or jealousy or false ideas doesn't necessarily mean the body doesn't still have those feelings, ideas, or thoughts ever, but rather it is to spiritually let go of our attachment or enslavement to those feelings or to inner-peace-stealing nonsensical ideas. You can notice the body (which includes the human brain) feeling an interesting feeling like fear or having a reflexive untrue verbal thought, and spiritually smile at it as just another unchangable cloud floating by on the sky you get to watch, just another thing rising from and setting over the horizons, the unique horizons defined by your unique present. Each human standing on a different spot on the planet sees a different horizon and a different sky. Of course, the smile is just a metaphor for your loving acceptance, and the beautiful unique sky that you alone get to see is just a metaphor for that which you know you cannot change or control, but can lovingly accept as it is.

The only thing it could make sense to be spiritually attached to is our choices in our unique present (our here-and-now in the otherwise timeless 4D block universe), but even that is arguably an understatement. One can argue that it's not merely that we control our choices; it's not merely that our choices in our present are the only thing we directly and fully control; it is not merely that we can only truly be spiritually attached to our choices in our present; but rather it's that we are our choices in our present, which includes the choice to accept and love the unchosen as if it was chosen. As single different individuals each of a specific ages in a specific here and now, our respective presents are each a unique spatiotemporal present that is part of an infinite sea of other spatiotemporal presents that span across all of objectively timeless 4D spacetime.

Well, more than merely span across it, they make it. They are it.

And, in the sense that you, I, and everyone are one, we are it.

Of course, there is an alternate sense, which is the sense in which we are infinite separate specifically aged individuals, each in a different very specific here-and-now. That is the sense in which we are not one, but rather infinite different individuals scattered across 4D spacetime. In that sense, we are each one of its countless eyes through which it sees itself. And, it's a beautiful thing to see, worth all the love a loving eye could ever see it with. And, to say even more, it's a beautiful grace-inducing thing to be seen with unconditionally accepting love by it.



---
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My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Surabhi Rani
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Re: Concepts of preference only make sense when it comes to your choices (i.e. what's in your control).

Post by Surabhi Rani »

This is another dimension of thought. Viewing the truth of life from a new and refreshing angle! The element of science introduced in the above words about accepting the unchangeable past is appreciable to me!
Hazel Mae Bagarinao
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Re: Concepts of preference only make sense when it comes to your choices (i.e. what's in your control).

Post by Hazel Mae Bagarinao »

Scott wrote:We are not our feelings and thoughts. We do not directly control our feelings and thoughts. We control our choices.
Thoughts come but it's not always true. For example, I thought when other people stared at me that they think I am weak, but it was the other thing. I am just making assumptions. And having this thought, I have a choice to believe it or not. I can say, "thank you for these thoughts" but it is negative and untrue, therefore I will choose not to dwell on them.
Okoth David
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Re: Concepts of preference only make sense when it comes to your choices (i.e. what's in your control).

Post by Okoth David »

Preferences indeed find their significance within the realm of personal choices, where one's control is exercised. When it comes to external circumstances beyond our influence, the concept of preference may become less relevant, as it hinges on the ability to make conscious decisions.
Zanne Crystle
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Re: Concepts of preference only make sense when it comes to your choices (i.e. what's in your control).

Post by Zanne Crystle »

I wholeheartedly agree with accepting the unchangeable, like the cards we're dealt in life. Instead of wasting energy on wishing things were different, we can choose to play the hand we have to the best of our ability. This doesn't mean ignoring injustices or failing to strive for a better future, but rather approaching challenges with a sense of acceptance and grace. But I believe that acceptance and love, while they're interconnected, are distinct concepts. Acceptance involves acknowledging and embracing the reality of a situation, acknowledging what is beyond personal control. On the other hand, love often carries a deeper emotional aspect. So acceptance is more rationally acknowledging or tolerating circumstances without necessarily involving the emotional depth and connection associated with love.
Hasani Piyumika Perera
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Re: Concepts of preference only make sense when it comes to your choices (i.e. what's in your control).

Post by Hasani Piyumika Perera »

Seeing life differently, using science for the unchangeable past. Choosing beliefs and knowing preferences matter less outside. Accept what can't change and focus on handling challenges gracefully. Acceptance acknowledges that love involves deeper emotions.
Celestine Adhiambo
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Re: Concepts of preference only make sense when it comes to your choices (i.e. what's in your control).

Post by Celestine Adhiambo »

Indeed, preferences are most relevant to choices within your control, allowing you to prioritize and make decisions based on personal inclinations.
Erikpume Victory
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Re: Concepts of preference only make sense when it comes to your choices (i.e. what's in your control).

Post by Erikpume Victory »

Hazel Mae Bagarinao wrote: March 4th, 2023, 5:18 am
Scott wrote:We are not our feelings and thoughts. We do not directly control our feelings and thoughts. We control our choices.
Thoughts come but it's not always true. For example, I thought when other people stared at me that they think I am weak, but it was the other thing. I am just making assumptions. And having this thought, I have a choice to believe it or not. I can say, "thank you for these thoughts" but it is negative and untrue, therefore I will choose not to dwell on them.
I totally agree with you because our thoughts can be just assumptions and can be untrue.
Erikpume Victory
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Re: Concepts of preference only make sense when it comes to your choices (i.e. what's in your control).

Post by Erikpume Victory »

Okoth David wrote: January 5th, 2024, 3:08 am Preferences indeed find their significance within the realm of personal choices, where one's control is exercised. When it comes to external circumstances beyond our influence, the concept of preference may become less relevant, as it hinges on the ability to make conscious decisions.
Yea I totally agree with you because when it comes to external circumstances beyond control, the concept of preference may become less relevant.
Okocha Victor
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Re: Concepts of preference only make sense when it comes to your choices (i.e. what's in your control).

Post by Okocha Victor »

"We are not our feelings and thoughts. We do not directly control our feelings and thoughts. We control our choices." I agree with you but our choices are mostly influenced by our thoughts and feelings. That doesn't sound like much control over our choices.
Okocha Victor
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Re: Concepts of preference only make sense when it comes to your choices (i.e. what's in your control).

Post by Okocha Victor »

"We control whether we choose to eat in our present, not whether we feel hunger in our present." But when the hunger pang is more than the will to choose, we yield to our feeling of hunger.
Okocha Victor
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Re: Concepts of preference only make sense when it comes to your choices (i.e. what's in your control).

Post by Okocha Victor »

Hazel Mae Bagarinao wrote: March 4th, 2023, 5:18 am
Scott wrote:We are not our feelings and thoughts. We do not directly control our feelings and thoughts. We control our choices.
Thoughts come but it's not always true. For example, I thought when other people stared at me that they think I am weak, but it was the other thing. I am just making assumptions. And having this thought, I have a choice to believe it or not. I can say, "thank you for these thoughts" but it is negative and untrue, therefore I will choose not to dwell on them.
I agree with you. We can choose whether or not to believe our thoughts. Tho they may linger in our minds, our will power can determine how long they surface in our minds.
Victoria Maangi
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Re: Concepts of preference only make sense when it comes to your choices (i.e. what's in your control).

Post by Victoria Maangi »

Balancing the acknowledgment of personal preferences with an acceptance of external constraints fosters a holistic approach to decision-making. It encourages individuals to focus on optimizing their responses to situations, whether by adjusting preferences or finding alternative paths. Ultimately, this dynamic interaction between personal agency and external factors shapes our journey and contributes to the richness of human experience.
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