Open or Closed

Open or Closed

The last blog post was about cognitive bias – a systematic error in thinking. Not all biases are negative; but all biases are limiting and care should be taken in creating biases. We need biases; which are merely shortcut folders in the subconscious that the logical mind needs to implement choice; but we need to be very careful in what we choose to limit our action and thinking about. Our thinking and memory are innately limited; but why compound this limitation with ignorance?

Psychology Today –

What Is Bias?

A bias is a tendency, inclination, or prejudice toward or against something or someone. Some biases are positive and helpful—like choosing to only eat foods that are considered healthy or staying away from someone who has knowingly caused harm. But biases are often based on stereotypes, rather than actual knowledge of an individual or circumstance. Whether positive or negative, such cognitive shortcuts can result in prejudgments that lead to rash decisions or discriminatory practices.

Bias is often characterized as stereotypes about people based on the group to which they belong and/or based on an immutable physical characteristic they possess, such as their sexuality. This type of bias can have harmful real-world outcomes, and can also increase susceptibility to “stereotype threat,” the phenomenon in which people behave in certain ways to avoid confirming a common stereotype about their own particular group.People may or may not be aware that they hold these biases.

The phenomenon of implicit bias refers to societal input that escape conscious detection. Paying attention to helpful biases—while keeping negative, prejudicial, or accidental biases in check—requires a delicate balance between self-protection and empathy for others.

– Psychology Today

Bias is disproportionate weight in favor of or against an idea or thing, usually in a way that is closed-minded, prejudicial, or unfair. Biases can be innate or learned. People may develop biases for or against an individual, a group, or a belief. In science and engineering, a bias is a systematic error.

A question opens the mind; it is a declaration to self that I do not know everything about the object of the question. It is the intention to continue the search of the object of the question.
An announcement of assumed fact or truth closes the mind; it is a declaration to self that I know everything about the object of the announcement. It is the intention to close the search of the object of the announcement.

If your everyday practice is open to all your emotions, to all the people you meet, to all the situations you encounter, without closing down, trusting that you can do that – then that will take you are far as you can go. And then you’ll understand all the teachings that anyone has ever taught. – Pema Chodron

Let’s take a look at some of the words used to describe bias: closed-minded, disproportionate weight, prejudicial, stereotypical, or unfair.

The phenomenon of implicit bias refers to societal input that escape conscious detection. Paying attention to helpful biases—while keeping negative, prejudicial, or accidental biases in check—requires a delicate balance between self-protection and empathy for others. – Psychology Today

Societal input in creating biases that escape conscious detection.

Whoa, come again…

Societal input in creating biases that escape conscious detection.

So some of our biases are created without our conscious mind knowing about them?

Pema Chodron says “If your everyday practice is OPEN to all your emotions, to all the people you meet, to all the situations you encounter, without closing down, trusting that you can do that…”

Being OPEN is paying attention to awareness of what is happening inside of you moment by moment; simple but not easy. This is how to discover or not create biases that escape conscious detection.

Another way of looking at biases is that they are file folders set up in the subconscious mind that are short cuts for the conscious mind. The conscious mind only has to open the file folder to get the subconscious mind to execute the complex bias. Another part of this file system is that the file folders reside in a folder in the root directory of the mind, this file folder is labeled paradigm.

Your paradigm is your set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that have been imprinted on your subconscious mind – your way of perceiving reality. Your subconscious mind merely obeys the commands it receives from your conscious mind. Your subconscious mind is an unquestioning servant that works day and night to make your behavior fit a pattern consistent with your emotionalized thoughts, hopes, and desires (belief system). Being OPEN should be a high level practice in your paradigm folder in the root directory of the mind.

Your subconscious mind does not question anything; implementing that function is up to your conscious mind. Being OPEN allows you to review the file folder in your subconscious mind before the conscious mind executes it.

So I ask Open or Closed?