Without adaptation life is dominated by one extreme or the other. Hot and cold, extreme weather training, night and day, wake and sleep, exhaustion and relaxation, pleasure and pain. All of these are extremes of perception which shape experience. Yet if experience goes too quickly or too often from one extreme of experience to the other, the mind perceives chaos and instability and this leads to suffering and a poor decision making process.
This relates to the voluntary or involuntary aspects of the personal psyche. When the involuntary and voluntary aspects are not kept in a general alignment the individual experiences a greater difficulty adapting. This is the nature of consciousness. When we fail to adapt to that which we are presented with in an amount of time allotted, then we suffer the consequences and this can’t be avoided no matter how slight. However, when our basic needs are taken care of through an oil-powered economy which delivers food and goods right to the doorstep or with a quick drive away, people forget what it is like to struggle to survive. Thus, when times really get hard, that kind of extreme is that much more extreme.
For those who put themselves through or are put through extreme weather or survival training, they, out of necessity to survive or succeed, learn to adapt their mind to the situation instead of trying to make the situation adapt to their mind. If you are placed in a situation where short-term survival or success is threatened by a variety of difficulties which drive the mind to the brink of dissociation and the body to collapse, then adaptation is the only answer that can be relied on.
However, this is not as extreme as it may sound.
One might see going from an easy lifestyle in a tropical paradise with calm weather to an extreme weather survival situation as something that can induce panic and detrimental effects on the decision making process resulting in an emotional and mental inability to cope with the situation.
If an individual is prepared then this is no different than when a person is relaxing and then goes to a heavy training routine. The body and mind will often feel a release of tension and there will be dopamine and relaxation after the exercise.
In short, one can adapt their mind to recover from the initial onset of shock and panic and this allows for progressive action that would otherwise be drowned out by pain, discomfort, or distraction. The body and the mind has their own set of distractions or detractors from accuracy. Pain and fatigue for the body, fear and lack of focus for the mind.
When one practices this action of placing themselves into difficult situations that mimic the involuntary situations we can project may occur in the future then we can better convert these inopportune possibilities in to voluntarily managed growth through increased physical strength and mental stability.
It is all a mind-game. Note how often people will claim they are happy yet in a matter of time they fall back to the other end of the spectrum. It is about the balance between the ideals we expect and assume and the reality of experience. The ideals themselves are often what give rise to this constant bi-polarity of mind. The ideals are simply where the comfort zone has settled down to which is the most common active ‘denominator’ for a given period of time. If a person watches themselves slip into a continual set of voluntary expressions of their ability, then when they are forced into involuntary action they will quickly find that their abilities are lacking and underdeveloped.
You can also see when the cycles are disrupted, voluntarily so, the same destabilizing effect occurs. When a person chooses to stay up late and throw their natural bio-rhythms into disarray. When a person eats too much of what they want to eat for flavor or convenience, and not enough of what they should be eating for nutrition. When a person takes in knowledge, perhaps from video games or movies, yet fails to take the time to research properly or sharpen their mind in other ways. All these are examples of how voluntary action can cause the same kind of imbalance, yet this relates to the previous notion of how this society is so geared towards ease of use and lack of adaptation that people do not even notice the imbalance until it is too late.
By placing ourselves into what would otherwise be considered involuntary challenges to the mind and body it is no different than an individual working long hours and falling to sleep quickly or waking up and exercising for a period of time before allowing the body to rest. These cycles can be managed and the mind can and will adapt if regularly is achieved. When regularity between involuntary and voluntary activation of the body and mind is lost, that is where the extremes of perception appear and instability arises.
Another way this can be interpreted is how daily life is often a constant up and downs regarding the state of the world, current events, and society at large. People are constantly attributing certain events or aspects of society to ideal expectations about what is going to happen or what they think is happening behind the scenes. This is part of setting the stage for a certain scene where the initial events that do ultimately play out will be accepted by a large enough group of people to play out the rest of the script.
The people giving into the extremes by relying on the media or other aspects of society that is outside themselves will be more vulnerable to panic and instability what large events do actually occur. Similar to what we are seeing now. These will increase and so everyone who has the idea of reducing that perception of extremity by seeking adaptation and mental acuity will get their chance to do so while those who seek panic and extremes will fully get their chance to experience that.
We can help others find their balancing point by reminding them that the extremes are just a set of ideals presented to them and that if they are being experienced automatically it’s because proper sets have to be taken to condition the mind and body and this is the involuntary aspect of the self that must be mastered before gaining the capacity to voluntary enable or mitigate one’s emotional, mental, and physical states across a variety of situations.