Attractions & Aversions

 

Evolution

Attractions and aversions are natural processes of the human organism and personality. They have helped our ancestors – including those who lived long before they emerged as humans – to survive.

We experience an attraction towards that which supports our life (warmth, companionship, friendliness, support, resources, health, etc) and an aversion towards that which does not support life (hostility, isolation, impoverishment, illness etc).

This is both natural and healthy in a biological and evolutionary perspective.

Transcend

But it is possible to move to an experience of the world that transcends attractions and aversions – that moves beyond while including these.

When we bring focus to awareness, it becomes more spacious – it is that in which our experiences unfold. This means that we have an overview and perspective on the processes of the organism and personality, and we can choose how to respond to different inner and outer situations.

A simple tool for doing this is asking ourselves Can I be with what I am experiencing right now? It brings focus to awareness, and gives space for us to relate more consciously to our experiences.

Positive & Negative

Our terminology always reflects a particular worldview. When we say “positive” and “negative” emotions, it reflects what we see as “us” and how we relate to the world.

We relatively blindly identify with the phenomena in our awareness – sensations, emotions and thoughts. We experience the world in a fragmented way – we see the poles but not the larger polarities. And we relate to one end of the polarity with attraction, and the other with aversion.

We call experiences we relate to with attraction “positive”, and those we relate to with aversion “negative”.

Moving into resting in awareness, we experience sensations, emotions and thoughts as unfolding within awareness. Value judgments fall away. They unfold as any other natural phenomena – as clouds, waves in the ocean, the wind. All inner and outer phenomena becomes as fluid and seamless whole. Although there is still differentiation, there is no need for absolute separations.

From this sense of overview – allowing a sense of absolute separation and need for value judgments to fall away – we have a more conscious choice in how we relate to inner and outer situations.

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