Our comfort zone, where we spend a major part of our time, lies at the core of our inner world, totally isolated from the outer world. It has been fashioned out of a comprehensive package of thoughts, beliefs and fears that we downloaded from our parents, elders and caregivers quite early in our lives. We then used our experiences, especially adverse ones, in our adolescence to add additional bespoke safeguards and perfected it for our regular use. As it is an imaginary zone, we have not rigorously scrutinized or tested it for reliability or accuracy. Hence, it is filled with half-truths and outright lies. But so long as it provides a consistent illusion of predictability and comfort, we faithfully adopt it. Here we surround ourselves with creature comforts and friendly persons who always defer to our whims.
Craving for Comfort
Our comfort zone has a one-point agenda – a life of maximum safety and comfort for us. Hidden here, we try never to venture out into the real world for fear of opposition and adversities. Many of us cannot tolerate even moments outside our comfort zone. We need the comfortable couch, climate control, familiar folks and favorite food wherever we are. If we need to go to a new place alone, we quickly return to our home or workplace. We try to keep strangers and dissenters out of our lives. We try to have familiar and fixed daily routines and try to keep them intact as far as possible every day of our lives. Thus, the hallmarks of our lives in our comfort zones are incessant thinking, numbness, familiarity, and predictability.
Viruses and Malicious Apps
The comfort zone package we download from our parents and others comes infected with viruses and pre-installed with malicious apps. The pleasure-chasing and waiting-to-be-happy viruses occupy our mental bandwidth and resources and prevent us from responding properly to whatever is really happening at this moment. The victim and victor apps are used to interact with people. We carefully assess the current power balance between us and choose the app for the specific interaction. These apps, when used faithfully in our interactions, subvert our objectives and lead us into misery.
When we are in our comfort zone, we are oblivious to the existence of the outer world. Our incoming stream of sensory perceptions is mostly lost or ignored. We need our thoughts to help us make sense of the world around us through incessant self-talk. When our thoughts conflict with our sense organ inputs, it is the thoughts that prevail. Thus, when a kind stranger offers help voluntarily, he has a hidden agenda. Consequently, we have a distorted vision of the world from our comfort zone. We appear to be all alone and need to compete with all others to survive. Almost everyone is pitted against us and if we do not grab what is coming to us, someone else does immediately. We must take what we need forcibly from others or we will starve to death. Whatever wealth or mass support we possess is insufficient and we are always greedy for more. Every human here is a potential competitor or tormentor and we need to keep all of them away to protect our lives and interests. We misinterpret outer world happenings and react disproportionately to them. The rat race appears very real.
“Living as if in separation is like attempting to push a river back to its source. It takes a lot of machinery, resources, and labor – and it’s impossible to sustain indefinitely. If we have accomplished anything under the misconception that we live in separation, we have only done so with great effort. What’s more, whatever we have accomplished from this point of view has no longevity. Meanwhile, it seeds endless expressions of discomfort.” Ch Week 10 in “The Presence Process” by Michael Brown
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