Inertia and mind-shift
Inertia is a physical phenomena that can be easily observed. Inertia is a property of matter to stay in an unchanged state unless acted upon by outside forces that overcome gravity, one force that presses down upon it, holding it fast.
Inertia affects people too. If nothing motivates them, inspires them, and they are not acted upon by an outside force that exerts more than gravity, then they will generally sit there like a bump on a log.
A mind can wake. Some event happens, and our senses perceive it. We may at first deny the phenomena, but then experience (past observation) will lead us to make an analysis. “Does the phenomena pose a threat to my banal existence?” If so, we respond. If not, we dismiss it. If somewhere in the middle, we prioritize it.
When multiple events happen, and reinforces a survival mechanism, we act. If our analysis is weak, or lacks previous experience, or we don't have resources to act, then the means of response will be incorrect or not powerful enough to do anything that helps.
The fight or flight response is often poorly executed. Since it reacts, in the greatest speed, and uses lower cognitive patterns to determine a result, faulty response often occurs.
Waking up is the first step. The next is harder, it is to build experiences to determine proper analysis. The next step is even harder, it is to respond and not react.
The difficulty in responding is that it takes greater time than reacting. The military knows this. The only way to make better soldiers respond and not react, is to build muscle memory, teaching them how to respond through command, over and over and over again, until it becomes the conditioned response.
All of this is a gestalt of the process of the mind-shift. Very select samurai who studied Zen tried to do this, and do one more step: Mushin or “no-mind”
Mushin is one more evolutionary step on the mind-shift ladder. Mushin is an intuitive response that becomes almost “supernatural”. I don't like that word, it is inadequate. It implies something magical when it's is something attainable, particularly when a little beyond young, but before getting too old to respond.
It is a state of not thinking about anything else in that instant, and responding to that perceived phenomena in an appropriate response that borders on the supernatural.
The process of responding requires energy. For humans that comes from calories. Low caloric intake results in hunger and slower responses. Being able to secure a steady caloric intake coupled with experience and learning and adaptation and a proper response- these will save you and help you thrive.
Most of us are creatures of routine. We sleep-walk through life, in a state of deep denial and a lack of experience and a lack of response. It hurts our pride, but we are obtuse. Understanding that “our need for comfort has lulled us into becoming obtuse” is a very good start to beginning to prepare. Seeing that flaw in our character is part of the process of waking up. Observing the times that we act in a certain way, don't react, step outside of our selves, and then respond is called maturity.
Ever watch a caterpillar? Brother caterpillar eats and sleeps and moves to more food. Brother caterpillar is the state of being for most humans. Many never go further up the ladder of enlightenment.
Chrysalis is the next step. We cannot change until we consume enough things that nourish us, and dream of who we can become. We are “becoming” always. In that “state of the dream” many people get trapped. We call them “dreamers”: they are frustrated visionaries. Some never emerge from their pupa state, forever trapped and frustrated.
True metamorphosis is difficult. You might not have observed a butterfly emerge. It is a very powerful struggle, and a dark pigment that looks like blood drips from them as they shake, quiver, thrust, and finally break the pupa outer covering to emerge.
That process allows their wings to pump up with blood, the only way that they can fly. If someone tries to guide Brother caterpillar, it will fail. Is someone tries to open a Chrysalis too early, it will fail. If someone tries to help the new creature pump up their wings, they will break.
Mostly people are like that. Since we are the creature that reasons and learns, we can impart teaching, demonstrate it in our lives, and luckily guide other people, but never help them turn into the final creation.
What's more, the Way of mentors, what we think and do, is not necessarily the best way. It is often the worst way for them, and they must choose their own path. It may not, and probably isn't the ideal way for us. I call this the Way. The journey is the way of determining the best outcome and responding to course-correct that path. It is never straight. Outside forces affect its progress.
Humility is the centering force that focuses the straight path of the Way.
A butterfly lives a very short life once it finally matures. Sad, isn't it? By the time we figure something out, we are ready to die, either ready to return to the Source, or weakened by infirmity.
Sometimes a young person is accelerated along a pathway of understanding. We sometimes call them savants or geniuses. Most of the time, the other lack of maturity in their development hinder their progress.
Oh that we could either bottle experience and wisdom, or have the experience of Brother caterpillar at the same time. It's just not usually possible. The process of raising children is an attempt to do this.