Avoiding a story, not the object of the story

 

We went to an inquiry group earlier tonight (The Work), and one of the participants worked on reactivity coming up around noise (not me, although I am familiar with that one). At some point in the process, it became very clear how an avoidance of noisy situations is really an avoidance of the beliefs triggered by noisy situations.

I believe people should be quiet (which may be fleshed out with stories of how noise is a lack of respect etc.), so when people around me are noisy, I get uncomfortable, feel a sense of separation and alienation, want them to go away, want to be somewhere else, get caught up in stories of how they are noisy/disrespectful/barbarians, notice muscles tensing up and the breath becoming more shallow, and on and on.

So more precisely, any attraction or aversion is a seeking or avoidance of the consequences of a triggered belief, which is a seeking or avoidance of triggering the belief, which is a seeking or avoidance of any triggers of the belief in the world.

Going back to noise, this is especially clear to me through shifting among experiencing the same type of noise as (a) neutral, (b) enjoyable, and (c) intolerable… all dependent on which stories are triggered, if any.

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