Let's face it, looking at the complexities of life can leave one really scratching one's head! But, there are things we can do to make it all more mentally digestible
Life can often seem dry and meaningless in a modern / postmodern society. Obviously, any map of reality is a map and not the territory, but if you are going to have a story about life, it might as well be one that is empowering, inspiring, and designed to benefit everyone and everything!
One such map that I draw much inspiration from is the AQAL map created by Ken Wilber, one of the most comprehensive and robust philosophical models I've come across, and a great way to create a balanced life.
AQAL stands for all quadrants, all levels, all lines, all states, all types.
Quadrants - I, It, We, It's: How to make sure we are working on ourselves (I and IT), with others (WE) as part of society and nature (IT's). This way keeps us from becoming self-obsessed or other-obsessed.
Levels - learn about the psychological stages of development that all people grow through from a baby upwards. Learning this can prevent you from getting stuck in arrested development and acting like a child in an adult's body. Ever met anyone like that? ????
Lines - learn about the multiple lines of intelligence (eg. cogntive, physical, emotional, spiritual etc.) IQ is an important psychological measurement, but modern culture has become obsessed with it to the exclusion of other very important intelligences. By working on a variety of types of intelligence you can deepen and widen your capacities and development. Have you ever met someone with a high IQ but no emotional intelligence? or someone with great physical ability but the mind of 2 year old?
States - There are several states of consciousness other than the waking state or normal daily life. The dream state - how in touch are you with your dreams? do you remember them? have you ever had a lucid dream and would you like to learn how to have them? The deep sleep state - did you know that due to a sustained meditation practice you can remain aware in the the deep sleep state? Did you know that you can produce Delta brain waves (those produced in deep sleep) by listening to binaural beats music? There are 2 other states that are loosely defined as states: The Witness state (called Turiya in Sanskrit) that in you that is aware of waking, dreaming and sleeping, and The Non-Dual state (called Turiya Tita in Sanskrit) where all states, including the witness, are sewn into a seamless whole.
Types - There are many types: the Enneagram, Masculine / Femine, Introvert / Extrovert etc. What type are you? Can you learn to balance yourself by getting in touch with and understanding other types? How do you interact with someone who is a very different type than you are, and still have a productive conversation?
I am also very interested in learning about the various cognitive biases that lock us into unhealthy cicles of thought. As an example take the negativity bias: we are hard-wired to pay more attention to the negative and dangerous as that served us well in our past as primitive humans and kept us wary of tigers in the bushes. But now we are living in a much safer modern world we are still fixated on danger, where often none exists, forcing us into a chronic state of fear.
For more information on my workshops relating to these theories please click here