THE NATURE OF LIFE

Constructs

Nash Popovic profile image

Written by Dr. Nash Popovic

We can relate to the world directly or indirectly through mental constructs. Direct interaction is difficult to conceptualise but it is not that uncommon. It may be implicated, for example, in greater speed of reaction in emergencies or in sports than the speed at which information can normally be processed[1]. It may also explain implicit awareness and antedating as documented in experimental settings.

Considering that everything is essentially a set of vibrations, there is no reason, in principle, why a direct receptivity to energy fluctuations would not be possible. However, most of the time we relate to reality indirectly, via our mental constructs. In other words, our awareness of and engagement with reality is mediated not only by the filters of the body and brain, but also by the filters of our mental structures. Direct experiences can be organised or harmonised without the help of these structures (which would be analogous, perhaps, to making music from sounds we hear). However, this is hard due to the fluid nature of such experiences. So we need the help of the mind. One of its main functions is to construct reality in a way that (at least to some extent) corresponds to what is ‘out there’. Without this, it would be very difficult to make sense out of our experiences.

We should clarify that indirect interaction is not the same as constructs. The constructs are the result of (direct or indirect) interaction. This process consists of first fragmenting, and then connecting these created elements again, using various principles (e.g. generalisation based on similarities and differences, association, etc.). These mental constructs do not exist independently: our ‘thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviour tend to organize themselves in meaningful and sensible ways’ (Zajonc, 1960, p.261). In other words, they are connected in a network. Processing new information or experience means fitting it into that overall structure.

The mind not only creates constructs but also contributes to maintaining them. Constructs need to be supported all the time, or otherwise they can easily break down, as is evident in situations of sensory deprivation and complete social isolation. They are kept together by repeated exposure to physical sensations and the use of language (dialogue and inner monologue). However, the mind is a process not a thing, so the constructs cannot be stored in the mind. We propose that some of their components are stored in the brain and some in a part of the soul that can be called the rings.

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