Friday, September 22, 2006

Part II – How the Mind Works

It's an “always on” world and world-view

Your thinking is hard-wired and is always on. Sleeping or waking, on drugs or sober – you are always thinking, always comparing data, always analyzing the results. The bottom line is that your subconscious is always on and functioning, keeping your heart, breathing, and other vital functions continuing regardless.

Below this, all the atoms in the elements which make up your body continue to spin and gyrate regardless of your own life. I've covered this quite summarily in Go Thunk Yourself, Again. We are all linked directly through the quantum field, which continues in operation even where no member of humankind is present.

This is the state of humankind and has apparently always been that way. While you and I live in a very interesting modern world, the view ancients had was of a very primitive world with no modern cushions to fall back on. There was no welfare, no workman's comp, no crop insurance – if the crops failed, if you got hurt, if you lost your job... the world view these people had was of a very cut-and-dried world. If you failed, you died. In rare moments, certain people wound up in very singular instances and were able to logically investigate their world and reflect on it. Up until this century, these rare circumstances usually required someone making their fortune early in life – as Benjamin Franklin did, retiring when only 40 – leaving them free to use the remainder of that life to sort out what they were thinking and how.

In these days, we have more buffers against life's ravages to review our lives. We modernly have the Internet and high-speed connections to download any number of ancient and modern texts, recordings and video, enough to fill several hard drives.

Along with the free time and Internet, we also have intense competition from TV, cable, satellites, video games, DVD's, and videos to keep our spare time filled. Countless hobbies tax our higher disposable income as well.

People might not have time or money to investigate how they think, or to add to the vast stores of philosophy already present. Much less, they have little time to figure out how they got the way they are. Problems, confusions, chronic upsets – all these have no solution or some pat solution which doesn't work perfectly. But, hey, that the way Uncle George handled it.

Which leads us to our problem. We think in odd ways at times. Where did all this come from? Good solutions and bad, how come I had to say that to her then? You'd really like to take that foot out of your mouth, but how did it get there to begin with?

Part of it, not as most psychology students learn it, came from genetics. Some, like our pets, is hard-wired. They can walk and scratch and find their mother's milk in hours. Humans take days to learn all this stuff, if not years. But to say that all comes from genetics is also faulty. Why do humans take days and years to learn survival patterns? The key is in the term learn. Humans learn.

Learning is not just robotically following hard-wired patterns like breathing, blood-circulation, digestion and other autonomic responses. Everything a person says and does isn't autonomic. Animals, particularly pets, learn – and they also teach. They teach each other and also their human handlers. There are volumes written about animal behavior and how they adapt to their environment, as well as evolve. Those are the reasons for learning, to adapt and to evolve.

Learning is based on earlier patterns, both hard-wired and adopted by example, or through trial-and-error. The key part here is to take this word pattern and examine the concept behind it.

Patterns are survival mechanisms. Patterns are based on optimal solutions, not perfect solutions, but more optimal solutions than had gone before. Someone learns a pattern like drinking directly from a stream. When another person teases him by coming up from behind quietly and then quickly pushing his head under, he might change that pattern by cupping his hand to drink from it. In this way, he is able to keep his eyes and ears more alert to pranksters – or real dangers. That same person might have learned this from getting tired of rushing water going up his nose, or falling in to many times when the water level is far below the stream-bank.

While he could also learn this pattern by watching someone else who had figured this out (which is how teaching is done), it still his his ability or willingness to change his pattern when he sees a better way of doing things.

Learning involves comparing a given pattern against another pattern and then taking the best result as your own. Not stated in this is that a person is striving constantly to improve his quality of life and is interested in more optimal solutions. Also not stated here is that we have developed at this point into being “always on” ourselves. We are always learning, always thinking, always comparing our efforts against other possible solutions, or against earlier times we did the same thing. If anything of our makeup is hard-wired it is learning.

This is where “conditioning” comes in. When you have had some 20 years of learning, with those around you doing the teaching – added into by TV, movies, radio and other popular media – you can say you've been “conditioned”.

What you are actually saying is that for better or worse, you've learned by your own practice, your own trial-and-error fumbling, and the mannerisms and practices of those around you. You've adopted the ethnic traits of your family, the socio-economic patterns of your social class (family + neighborhood + job culture), and the larger patterns which outside information sources (books, as well as “news” media, and the Internet) have brought your way.

These larger patterns have to “make sense”. They have to fall in line with each other and support each other. The reason you go to church is partially because your family always went to church, but also because there is a use for spirituality in your life. Going to church regularly aligns with and supports an optimal solution you use to make the progress that you do. Here we have Life Goals. How you are going to accomplish what you have set out to do is very much set up in the patterns you have learned, tested, and adopted as your own. And you constantly test these patterns and refine them against whether they are currently and effectively forwarding you toward your adopted life goals.

Patterns that routinely test out become habits. Patterns that aren't working (or habits which are getting you in trouble, such as addictions) cause stress. Stress is the collision of two patterns, or a pattern you have to refine in order to achieve one or more of your goals. Either way, it is a learning situation, it is a thinking situation. Emotion can be regarded as indicating that two or more of your patterns are in conflict and you simply need time to “get the lesson” of that situation – or just finish thinking through / refining your patterns.

You may be running into a habit. Habits, like IQ, are not fixed and immovable. They both change constantly, depending on the environment around you and your reaction to it (as well as whether you're tired, hungry, or ill). Habits can be changed by practicing a new and/or revised habit in place of the original one for about two to three weeks. (I'll cover a bit more on how to do this later in this book.)

The point is that any “limits” you have only reside within yourself. Nothing in this universe is static and set in stone. Everything is in constant motion and change. Even the chair you are sitting in, or floor you are standing on – at a sub-molecular level, that substance is whirling around in a mad, frenzied dance. And the solidity of that substance is actually in question, since there is more space than particles at that level. What is holding that stuff together are several forces which themselves are not particles, are not solid, and can only be measured by their effect. These forces cannot be sensed with our normal sight, taste, smell, hearing, feeling senses. But we don't have to know that they are there or how they work to sit in a chair or stand on a platform reading a book. Everything is in motion, but for our practical use, we call the book, chair and platform all “solid”. Just as we accept that a plane can fly through the air or a boat can sail while pushed by the pressure of air – a substance we can only feel when it is moving or see when it becomes too heavy with moisture to hold the water up any longer (also known as rain).

Out of this constant change, we adopt certain ideas (also things which cannot be sensed) to align our work toward. These are “goals”. Goals are simply decisions to attain something, to have something, to create a result or product. Your choice in this decision may have been influenced by your culture / environment. As well, you may have had intuitive or spiritual input in that choice. Goals also are constantly modified and/or reinforced, due to this regular thinking process which is ongoing.

The firmness with which one holds a goal (a characteristic of faith) determines how easily it will be attained. Big goals and small, it depends on the individual to hold these truths to be self-evident. No one else is going to dissuade you from your goal without your personal agreement and co-action.

This brings up another interesting point. All your thinking is your own. While others can attempt to persuade you, your Free Will can never be trumped. There is no slavery without the cooperation of the slave. One can kill another, true. And one might decide to go along with certain actions to forestall that finality. Because of the above fact, anything one agrees with can be later disagreed with. Years of someone groveling in a cult can be reversed. Some studies have this at 12 years before one returns to “normal” after leaving a cult. Practically, one is normal at all times, since a person creates their own norm. Cults only give some varying datums which tend to “blinder” the person to other points of view. Once one starts to decide for oneself, he / she can drop any particular set of blinders. Most cults are more sociological than religious. Cults can hide behind a religious facade, but their work is to shelter the individual from receiving or accepting data which is contrary to that of the cult's basic tenets. Those in charge of the cults have their own reason for continuing this facade. Usually, it is economic in basis – keeping people working for you for minimal pay and donating their life earnings to the cult keeps that organization operating. If that cult ran out of money, the cult leader would be out of a very cushy job and probably pursued. When people find out what they have been missing, they can get a bit irritated for a time. And the lawsuits can start flying at that point.

Let's review at this point:
  • People are always thinking.
  • Their patterns are the result of lessons learned.
  • No one can persuade you to change your mind except with your permission.

This leads to some very interesting results. The world around you is determined a great deal – in fact, completely – by your attitude toward it. Your attitude is built on your patterns. Your reactions are influenced heavily through your pre-built patterns, learned from your environment and education.

And what of the person who lives at effect of this “always on” environment we live in? He / she is “sold” constantly through the massive barrage of advertising. The personal will is submerged with various “jingles” and slogans which give that person the patterns to operate with in life. On top of this, cultural norms are put in place which continue to require the person not do any thinking. If you get sick, go see a professional and pay for this with insurance. The government is supposed to pay for your education and everything else. Taxes to pay for the government are taken out so you don't have to worry about covering it at the end of the year. You are supposed to simply work at a factory job or in a cubicle as a faceless number, 40 hours a week. Your house is being paid for your entire life, and your car is always traded in on the latest new model, meaning you are paying for this your entire life as well. Since you are always in debt, having to have a “steady job” is a constant requirement of life.

And those who try to break out of this mold – you are probably labeled crazy (aren't all artists “crazy”) and constantly pressured into this other mold. After all, this is all you see on TV, so it must be “right”. This is modern Western conditioning.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, those who are actually running things and forwarding our culture economically have already kicked over these traces. Three of the top five wealthiest individuals are college dropouts. These each run corporations who are multi-national in scope and each generate more income than most of the “sovereign nations” on this planet. Their companies were created from scratch – all within this generation. And take both McDonald's and Wal-Mart – each truly revolutionary in operation and scope, having international impact. Neither of their founders graduated from some “Ivy League” university. There are many more examples. Google is one. Amazon is another. Totally revolutionary in scope and effect. Not your typical sitcom scenario. Crazy? They are probably laughing all the way to the bank.

The Western culture is typically zero-sum. Meaning no one really wins. How can you, when your highest goal is to pay off your house by the time you retire and hope that the government keeps paying for your medical and those increasingly more expensive prescriptions. Your retirement is now based, usually, on the stock market and not a retirement fund – if the latter is the case, you are probably dependent on the government supporting this through some interesting financial arrangements. But you have to pay taxes to support this your entire life and make sure your kids do to. One of the biggest arguments behind making all these illegal immigrants legal is so they will start paying to support our government so they can support our retired and retiring Baby-boom generations.

You aren't supposed to get upset. You are supposed to drink beer and watch sports on the weekend, when you're not at the lake in your new SUV. You are supposed to have several marriages and several jobs. You are supposed to live in suburbia in an over-priced home. You are supposed to have the biggest TV you can't afford and your kids having all the latest video games. Women are supposed to be shopping all the time. You are supposed to be constantly keeping your doctor pestered with these requests for various drugs, regardless of whether you have the illness. And if anything goes wrong, call the 1-800 number on the screen and an over-friendly lawyer will sue their pants off, take over half the settlement and let you ruin your life with the rest. Oh, yes – you are also supposed to be eating out, particularly at fast food joints all the time – and then of course, sue these restaurants for making you fat.

Zero-sum. No one really wins.

What is missing is responsibility for your own actions and results. If you don't like your life, you can change it. But then, you know this, since you are reading this book.

Now, part of this conditioning is not according to the Golden Rule. You know, the one which says something about treating people the way you would like to be treated – the one which is in every major religion and philosophy in the world? What isn't stated, but Wayne Dyer mentions, is that how you treat people is your way of training people how to treat you. If you are constantly demanding, you'll get this back at you. Lose your temper consistently and you'll be surrounded by people who lose their temper – you'll think they are completely justified. Of course this is contrary to these major philosophies and religions above – which say that tolerance and internal peace are the routes to personal evolution. Not to mention ending familial strife and workplace stress.

But applying the Golden Rule means confronting your environment and taking responsibility for your own actions. Sorry, not in our current culture. Take two aspirin and get an appointment for another exam with overpriced tests – hey, we have to pay for this exorbitant lawsuit insurance someway...

I'm going to cover this later, but let's take up habits briefly. Your smoking, your drug habits, your under and over eating – all of these are due to habits. All habits are learned through a series of personal choices. On top of this, the body conforms to your dietary commands. If you routinely take a certain substance, the body will adjust so that its metabolism expects this substance constantly. So trying to quit one of your habits then has immediate backlash and personal consequences.

But that habit was something you created. Now you have to sleep in the bed you made. Tough love. But anything you create, you can un-create – or better: re-create.

We'll see more of how to handle this scene below. It's not all that impossible to fix. But it's still tough love.

Three parts of the mind

While I've covered this in earlier books, it bears repeating here, particularly in light of what we have already reviewed.

There is a recurring system which finds its way through self-help, psychology, and also the ancient socio-religious Huna belief-system, which predates (and may have influenced or even founded) Eastern religions. These share the idea (though not synchronous definitions) of a super-conscious mind (God, or Universal Mind, or Amakua in Huna), a conscious mind (Lana in Huna), and a subconscious mind (Ku in Huna). Haanel covers this, as well as Wayne Dyer, King, Tolle, Talbot, and many others who didn't make this Bibliography. Such commonalities are made possible through the use of this engine so far. Below is a summation of what has been derived from many different sources I've examined to date.

People build their belief-system patterns on a genetic level, a subconscious level, and a conscious level, with spiritual or superconscious influence(s). The DNA gives some patterns on a genetic level (while some evidence exists that this is being re-written constantly and isn't just what your parent's gave you). The subconscious is a continually operating, rational part of the mind which is constantly recording and learning from all inputs. As the subconscious is responsible for all autonomic responses as well as recording all memories, this particular part of the mind is both shock-proof and eidetic in all senses and emotions. The subconscious is constantly learning and protecting the conscious from all the overloading and overwhelming content the physical universe is constantly generating. The conscious is the higher-reasoning part of the mind. The conscious gets its data via the subconscious, which controls the senses and filters data from them. While the subconscious can only do “straight-ahead” reasoning, the conscious is capable of true rational thought, being able to compare and contrast and imagine. Where the conscious depends on the emotive content of the subconscious, the results can be erratic and even insane. Where the conscious shuts down the input from the subconscious, that individual can appear stupid or insensible, dull. The superconscious, or Higher Intelligence/Amakua, gives inspiration, intuition and the occasional visionary glimpse. These powers are pretty far above the average (and most better-than-average) abilities. There is a very good discussion of the four pattern sources from the above paragraph in King's Mastering Your Hidden Self.

People are constantly reviewing and evolving their personal thought patterns. Just as the cells in the body are being constantly replaced with slightly different versions, so are both the subconscious and conscious working to update their patterns and so evolve with their ever-changing world. The subconscious is constantly recording the environment around it. The conscious is always evaluating data and working to make sense of it. The conscious is knowingly or unknowingly assisted by the subconscious as the latter brings up suitable patterns for the conscious to use as a solution. (Ever wonder why certain actions consistently “tick you off”?) These patterns have emotional content and are deemed survival by the subconscious as they are always acted on and used to ensure survival. The conscious can review these patterns and adjust them to make them more accurate or eliminate them entirely. Prayer and/or Meditation can bring further insights into these patterns from the Universal Mind/Allah/God. Such insights enable the person to change these patterns or reinforce them.

Fail-safe Protections to Mental Access

Mind's protection

We were created (or evolved) with certain protections against screwing ourselves up beyond repair. Not that suicide is impossible. But for the average Joe without such tendencies, we can rule this out of the equation. I mentioned destruction vs. creation above, that those who are creating improved lives for themselves cannot effectively harm themselves. It's like trying to suffocate yourself by holding your breath – the body takes over at the last minute and pulls you out of it. Yes, you might lose consciousness, but practically you are still alive and the same person as you started out.

Essentially, this traces back to the subconscious, which is running all your autonomic systems and making sure everything works. Only a multitude of compound failures can result in death as long as the subconscious is around. And since you can't get rid of your subconscious in any simple manner while alive, you're stuck with your little buddy.

As far as affecting others, it is similarly impossible. One of the key fail-safes is discussed by Silva and King is that one cannot directly or indirectly influence the life or decisions of someone else. You can offer your choice to them, make your sales pitch, and that's it. The person can accept your offer or not. Free Will, meaning the freedom of personal choice and decision, can't be altered.

Cults may be able to have influence on their devotees as they have walked them up a narrow gradient path of choices. They are called cults because they limit the information flow to their clients/devotees. Once a person is able to reason with additional data, the whole facade cracks and the person departs the cult and gets a new life. While some say that it can take as long as twelve years for a person to recover from such as cult involvement, application of simple analysis in conjunction with any therapy may give that person additional tools to sort out his/her beliefs more quickly. The reason is that now the person has a set of comparatives which is independent of the earlier accepted, emotionally-limiting cult data as well as those of society. (Certain cultures, by definition, are sociological cults both historically and modernly.) One can see that our Information Age, with its access to the Internet, has the inherent means of weakening cult influences and power – as well as those dictocrats who operate them.

“Cosmic habitforce”

The cosmic habitforce is the universe's law of equilibrium, the one natural law into which all other natural laws resolve themselves.

Hill added the principle of the Cosmic Habitforce much later than Think and Grow Rich. As a principle, it simply builds on the above laws, as well as his Law of Success.

When we create a habit, we consign it to the Quantum Hologram / Higher Intelligence as well. All the data of our lives is recorded there. As well, we draw energy from this source for those habits. Hill names this the Law of Cosmic Habitforce. Essentially, this is covered in part in Go Thunk Yourself, Again. Reading Braden's and Bohm's books will give you a broader base. But the principles they now explain get substantial support in other texts, both ancient and modern. Dyer covers this, but also Wattles, Haanel, Troward, quite in addition to Hill in his books.

When you create a pattern, it's recorded and strengthened through your connection to the universe. According to one interpretation of Hill, compared to other reverences above, all our patterns and habits are stored there. Hill says they are reinforced through this. As well, in theory, any habit stored there could be accessed by anyone. This would make revising your personal habits even easier – given a strong personal connection to that field.

I'll cover this a bit more below, in the section on Prayer / Meditation.

Ability formula

As I covered in Go Thunk Yourself Again (and I repeat somewhat below), Ability can be simply broken down to a four-way relationship between Responsibility, Confront, Understanding, and Purpose. The relationship works integrally – increasing any one of the four increases the other three. It is related to Be-Do-Have, which has some mentions in very ancient literature. (Confront as Be, Understanding as Do, and Responsibility as Have.)

Be-Do-Have doesn't just have a current use of requiring the individual to sort out his attitudes (beingness) and adjusting his actions (doingness) in order to achieve the desired results (havingness). I saw that when you aligned this to personal ability, it didn’t necessarily require this sequence of manifestation. For a person manifested ability through all these three points at once. One only needed a purpose to show any ability, since any individual could have any amount of ability; his only limits were his own internal ones. Even in the case of personal physical handicap, there are no real limits to being, doing, or having anything you want in life.

The personal version of this involved observation (be) as a person had to confront the environment around one for what it was, his on abilities were what he currently was manifesting, but he had to look to see where he was and what he was at that moment. The person also had to understand the world around and within him (do). He has to work out conceptually what the patterns are and how he can best align himself to those patterns or those patterns to him. In this that person has to take responsibility for what he is/has been/will be creating or re-creating (have). He has to be responsible for creating the operating patterns which he had and what effects these might work on others. Were a person to suddenly start exhibiting extreme musical talents – this would affect those around him in different manners. The person has to take responsibility for his creations.

All of this is according to the person's own purpose. Why a person does what he does and manifests any particular ability is dependent on his own reasons for doing or not doing, being or not being, creating or not creating. A person has various purposes in life, and probably an overall purpose for that life. Confronting this, Understanding it fully and taking Responsibility for it would enable that Purpose to manifest.

This acts as an interacting four-way inter-relationship. Increasing one's confront and observation of the scene would enable taking more responsibility, more understanding and enhance the original or underlying purpose. Seeing a broader purpose, would enable a higher confront, increased responsibility due to an enriched understanding, and so on. By enabling be-do-have under the Ability heading, we then break free of that above “necessary” sequence which is used in mechanical manifesting.

One's purpose and ability is very much tied to others. What one decides to become, to do, or to achieve affects more than himself or even his immediate relatives or friends. The decision is a point of ability, since no one else can make these decisions for him. However, one can improve the quality of his decisions through application of the four points to his life.

We see also here, as a subset of the Responsibility element, that a person is very much un-limited by others' concerns and established patterns, except as that person accepts others' limits. A person is free to create, at least in his mind, any amount or magnitude of new patterns to operate from. Really, that person's limits are entirely his concepts of his own confront, understanding, and purpose. The ability to bring his imagined creations to fruition is measured not by the muses or any external source, but only his willingness to manifest. Again, this is a limit of his own concept and internal action of confronting, being responsible for the effects of that creation, understanding all the details and ensuing results, plus aligning with or altering his own basic purpose to encompass that creation.

In various studies, Huna and Silva Ultramind among them, many advanced skills are possible to the individual. Remote Viewing, Distance Healing, and Sleep Therapy – all these things are now the subject of scientific study and proved observation (if not scientific understanding). Further, mystic and shaman abilities can now be acquired by practically any individual, given that person's willingness to suspend disbelief and compares his own belief-system against other core studies for commonalities. Some of these commonalities have been outlined here. If we can achieve a common base, then we can extract the truly workable data in order to cross-compare and condense into an effective system.

Through use of this four-way interrelationship as a formula, one's ability to improve the surrounding environment is completely under one's own control. We can break down any desired ability into four parts in order to see what is holding back the manifestation. We can see that if one wants to become a top-flight musician, artist, construction worker, craftsman or parent – one only has to increase his/her observation and confront, or align his purpose(s), or gain more understanding, or take on more responsibility in the area where improvement is wanted. (And one must practice quite a lot – very, very few advances are instantaneous in this universe, although this might be examined through the subject of “miracles”.)

In this formula, we see that since a person can improve his ability, we also then foray into the fields of the arts. The bulk of an artist's skill is in his/her training and practice, one's perseverance in the physical training to apply the internal spark, much as Thomas Edison said, “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” This formula does, then, build the ladder and road map for the artist, step by step under his/her feet. By continuing to confront/observe and to be responsibly honest about what level of skill has been achieved compared to what is wanted, the artist can improve skill levels and see what is needed to get to the next level in any given art format or genre. Intuition plays a key point in that 1 percent inspiration.

Ability is key to solve in any approach to counseling, metaphysics or simple living. By breaking it down into four elements, we can more easily analyze any individual's ability-level and then program improvement for that skill or talent, even where little ability in a given area is originally present. In theory, this would outline a method for handling dis-ability as well – but that would be another study.

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