We made contact with three key concepts in our blog post entitled “A Bobble in the Bubble: Stasis”: 1) our physicality dwells in the present, but our internal faculties aren’t really bound by time, 2) the stories that we tell ourselves about the past, present and future are always being rewritten and 3) what matters is how we FEEL about the stories of our lives. These stories are like successive bubbles on a timeline that we indwell.
A bubble is singular. Specifically, it’s a singular confluence of events operating within time. Once it pops, it’s gone. Its impacts live on in memory. How we DID feel, DO feel and WILL feel about any particular time in our lives changes. New information comes in, new edits are added to the storyline and a new version of the story is posted to the webpage of our lives.
Bubbles in our timelines form successively, one after the other. They last as long as things continue to remain the same. Whatever is going on has a tendency to perpetuate itself. A bubble has elements that operate together: these are the circumstances that make up a particular point on the timeline.
These elements are the moments that make up every day: the system lasts until there’s a disruption of some sort. I get laid off. My partner leaves me or divorces me. I win the lottery. Or invent machinery for Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Change occurs that’s real and that’s impactful enough to disrupt things.
The consciousness is engaged in a new way due to the change. The scene has played out and is about to shift. For bigger disruptions, the scenes of the current act close and a new scene begins. That’s the transition from one bubble to another.
Soap bubbles have a surface tension that keeps them intact. They do fine as long as they are floating and free. When one lands on a hard surface, it dents itself. It’s surface tension is disrupted and it will eventually pop. Our personal bubbles are like that. They arise because of a system of elements that work together to create a norm. It’s a balance of conditions that work for some time.
These elements operate or remain in motion as a system so long as there is available energy to expend that exceeds the force of a disruption. When something “pushes” on the bubble’s surface, it might get added into the mix. More sizable shifts usually herald real change and there’s a “pop” followed by movement.
The waters of our lives foment until a new bubble forms. It has its own system of ideas, norms and its own story to tell. The new interval has a size, a perspective on the world and a working synergy of being and doing that are unique. Think of this bubble as the eye of your conscious mind. It’s experiencing life as an embodied being.
You’re floating on the whole of self, connected to all of who you were, who you are and who you may become. But your consciousness can only contain awareness of a portion of that. It’s the story of creation. A sacred tale that the self speaks out over and over again.
The bubble is bounded. Really, the self is too, right? The question is not one of scale, but of distinction. None of us would say that the self is all of mankind or all of the living beings. In the same way that a drop of water contains all of the properties of the ocean, each of us contains all of the properties of every human. But you wouldn’t mix up the drop and the ocean.
The surface tension of water where it meets the air is formed because water droplets like sticking together more with other water molecules than they do air molecules. Soap molecules sandwich a thin layer of water between themselves and a film is formed. The thin film surrounds a bit of air and voila! A bubble!
Without soap, bubbles form gas molecules and leave water due to more favorable conditions such as falling atmospheric pressure. They are basically globules of one substance inside of another one, such as air in water or a soap film.
Three things determine how long a bubble lasts: surface tension of the soap or water barrier, and pressure both inside and outside of the bubble. In the same way, there are conditions that determine how long any of our personal bubbles last.
The self, through its focus, engagement and energy, pushes OUT on the environment. The ambient environment pushes IN on the self. The distinction in conditions operating inside and outside of a personal bubble is the metaphysical pressure differential.
What about the barrier between the self and its surroundings? The boundary, or the surface of the bubble, is double walled. In many plant cells, there is a secondary cell wall that provides additional protection, rigidity and strength. While bubbles and cells are physically diverse in their properties, it’s true that imposing order on the world by means of a particular system of beliefs gives us personal strength (like the plant cell) and that we have a separation of being from our surroundings (like the bubble).
The outer barrier, where the outer world is touching the inner world, is the immediate context of the self. The inner barrier, where belief orders the world, is the construct. Stuff is coming at us from all over, but it gets bent a bit, like a light ray, as it passes through the place where consciousness separates us from the whole. It gets bent again, like a light ray, where consciousness applies an organizing dynamic.
The self takes these raw materials and spins them into a coherent narrative, adding ray to ray of illumination as it builds a story letter by letter and line by line. The self then files these written pieces and their supporting artifacts away, much as a librarian files books, periodicals and other resources.
The particular luminescence of each conscious being changes with every addition, small or large, to the whole narrative to date. The story of our lives is the story of felt experience. It’s ongoing whether we are consciously aware and engaged or wholly reactive.
From inside the bubble, the force of energy that is pressing outward on the surrounding area is variable. Some energy is consumed in maintaining the self and even more is consumed in maintaining the status quo or the present equilibrium.
Physical, psychic or spiritual damage, injury and trauma mandate that greater energy is required in order for the self to accomplish the same basic work of its ordinary being, believing and doing. Repairs, rest and other restorative efforts are needed in order to increase the amount of energy that can be directed to learning, making new connections and managing change.
The outward flow of energy passes back through the first wall of the self’s body of beliefs to date. This energy has an alignment that vibrates sympathetically with the existing construct. Alignment is an interesting term that comes from the French “a ligne” or in a line.
Think about physical or electromagnetic waves having a normal line that is discernible. It’s a line describing the motion and agreement of the energy that is being propagated through water, air or another medium. This disturbance of the medium in the form of waves is the transfer of energy.
Waves can even pass through a vacuum, which is not a medium in the strictest sense of the word. Space, however, is not synonymous with vacuum. Outer space, for example, contains radiation, a low density of particles, magnetic waves and other items.
Intergalactic Medium has also been proposed to exist. Expected amounts and locations of normal matter have not been found in space. Using computer models, Warm-hot-intergalactic-medium has been evaluated and is believed by cosmologists to exist as plasma between galaxies.
Energy can transfer or flow in the physical world in every kind of environment. Existential energy also flows in the self, as well as between it and the surrounding context. Examining physical contexts, properties and systems can give us real insight into the metaphysical as a whole and as it pertains to the self.
Existential energy is the ability of the self to do work: our being, believing and acting all consume a portion of this commodity. For the self and its outward flow of existential energy, lack of alignment with one’s own beliefs means that more “push” is needed to get some energy out into the world. A backlash into the bubble or an energetic dousing of shame and anxiety accompany efforts to act in ways that violate the conscience.
For example, if I believe that lying is wrong, but cheat on my income taxes, I’ve created a crisis situation. I’m not aligned with a key belief. I can change my action or my belief in order to resolve the discord. If I fail to deal with the matter effectively, there’s a pool of trapped energy that feels uncomfortable. In psychic and spiritual terms, I’ve got a gut ache. There’s a disruption to the outward flow of my energy.
Physically, I may feel anxious, angry or seek to distance myself from the situation through diminishing its significance, denial of its having occurred, or distraction from the circumstance. It takes energy to engage in and sustain these negative dynamics, which is why we still feel the impacts of some of our past decisions to the current day.
Either the beliefs or the actions must change in order to return to alignment. The work of continuing to impact, influence and order the outer world consistently depends on this energetic agreement. A process of recovery, restitution or restoration is needed. Otherwise, the dissonance will continue to drain energy reserves.
Sometimes, it’s our beliefs that need to change. Maybe I struggle with perfectionism. Or I just don’t believe that things will work out on my current job, even though I’ve had good evaluations so far. Or I can still hear some voice from the past, telling me things that I KNOW aren’t true. But they still FEEL as if they’re true. Consciously regulating the content of our beliefs is crucial to having a workable system (or bubble) at any given moment.
Orientation is another feature of this transference between the self and the larger world: it consists of the attitude or posture of the self with respect to the whole system of its beliefs, a metaphysical point of reference or horizon.
Planes also have attitude or a position with respect to the physical horizon. Pitch attitude is the angle formed between the plane’s longitudinal axis and the line of the horizon. Bank attitude is the line formed by the plane’s lateral axis and the line of the horizon. These are changeable, but impact how conditions play out and how decisions are made by the pilot.
The following five emotional orientations or attitudes, if held by pilots, interfere with sound decision making: antiauthority, impulsivity, invulnerability, macho and resignation. These traits tend to compromise decision making and may result in a number of behavior traps that are accident inducing: peer pressure, continuance of visual flight rules into instrument conditions, loss of situational or positional awareness etc.
Pilots manage five “P” factors in flight: the plan, the plane, the passengers, the pilot and the programming. With so much more than just flying the plane to consider, how they approach the work on a given day is a crucial factor to everyone’s safety. Attitude affects outcome in every circumstance!
Within the bubble, the orientation of energy or the attitude, determines how much useful work any of us can accomplish. When conditions are ideal; when the self is rested, open and free of existential energy that has pooled and become trapped due to an inability to be expressed, released or resolved, we are in an optimal state. Some describe this as “flow”.
Energetic hot spots, when they occur, are like bruises or puddles under the surface that have become cut off from the main flow. They require energy to address and resolve and may feel intensely painful, weighty and imbued with negatively charged psychic energy. Headaches, gut distress, skin breakouts and other indicators of the presence of negative stress are sometimes experienced through these negative felt impacts.
Absent such blockages, one’s felt competence, energy and enthusiasm are almost boundless. Health markers are generally better and there is an enhanced felt quality of life. Ideally, none of us want to have these areas as part of our story. The fact is that the presence of some energy blocks is a universal part of the human story, deeply integrated with our own dual nature and our concept of perfection. Wrestling with these is part of the work of maturity, of vision and revision and of the sacred act of writing out our own tale.
Resonance is the third dynamic within the meta-mechanics of the bubble. Besides orientation or attitude and alignment, resonance factors into how the self experiences its own energy and on how directly, effectively and intensely the self is able to act on itself or its surroundings. In terms of sound, resonance is defined as being qualitatively deep and full. Sound waves are reflecting back from a surface and therefore the sound is prolonged or reinforced. Neighboring objects can also vibrate in sympathy to the wave that is creating the sound.
There’s an element of applied force to resonance. In the case of sound waves, they’re bouncing back off of a surface and creating a longer sound. When kids are swinging, there’s a rhythm or a frequency to the arc of the swing as it moves. If someone pushes the child in the swing, the arc of the swing goes higher. The key is the push, which is a force, applied at the right time- cooperating with the movement of the swing without disrupting it. The right time to apply this force is at the highest point of the arc, when the swing it JUST about to go the other way and the force is added onto the forward motion.
Resonance is like that in the bubble system too. We can consciously leverage our circumstances and beliefs in order to catalyze our energy and have a bigger desired impact on the world. In positive terms, it’s choosing to be mindful of or grateful for the moments we’re living in, the love that we experience and feel and the connections that we enjoy with our bodies, our psyches, our spirits and our surroundings. In negative terms, it’s choosing to dwell on or be reactive to these same elements. There’s a “push factor” within all of us- we can add to the positive or negative elements of the stories of our lives at will.
If you need a little help gaining conscious mastery in your mindfulness skills and increasing your impact on the world around you, call us! One of our caring, compassionate coaches will support you on the next steps in your journey.