Sunday, May 16, 2010

Raising Our Spiritual ‘Just Noticeable Differences’ (JND)

In psychology terms, the Just Noticeable Difference (JND) is the human measure of sensory perception that is just able to detect stimuli in its environment. In layperson terms it’s what we detect when something captures the attention of our senses. This has an important application to spirituality.

We miss so much of life and love and hope and faith when we’re spiritually unaware of things.

At great odds to a true spirituality is spiritual blindness which is not that far removed from sighted blindness; it just affects us at a more fundamental life level where hopelessness, pessimism and materialism will be terms more or less we’ll epitomise.

The Spiritual JND

Raising our awareness so that the Spiritual Presence of God is a reality for us is a practiced thing as much as anything else.

Of course, we’re gifted by the Spirit to know him. He makes himself known to us, not the other way around. But, the truth is, once we do know this indwelt Presence of the living God it is our task to seek it more and more and grow our faith, a.k.a. spirituality, for the times when we’ll need it most—during the struggles ahead; indeed, if it applies, during the present struggles too.

The spiritually-sensitive JND is what this is about.

During our days and even moment to moment, the spiritual realities of the world, which are seen by far too few, are to be made known to us—our prevailing mindset imbued in the spiritual, which enhances and re-focuses our actual experiences of life.

Indicators of Fervent Spiritual JND

The following are good examples of a living and active spiritually-sensitive JND:

è Waking from our slumber and the first thought is about life, wonder, grace and God.

è Seeing everyday miracles in the contexts of relationships and the ordering of situations and circumstances.

è When good things happen being in the habit of instinctively thanking God for them.

è When not-so-good things happen being able to see what God has for us in these events and circumstances i.e. what we can learn about ourselves and life from them.

è Seeing the broader world circumstances from a ‘detached-from-the-world’ perspective—able to see beyond the ‘obvious,’ which much of the time is a lie.

è The gentle inner nudge to reserve judgment and instead respond in compassion.

è Noticing the gentle whisper of the Spirit beyond the level of our senses. In this we hear God speak to us via an inaudible ‘still’ voice; on this, we respond.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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