Monday, November 30, 2015

Session 616

Personal Reality, Session 616

I quite realize that many of my statements will contradict the beliefs of those of you who accept the idea that the conscious mind is relatively powerless, and that the answers to problems lie hidden beneath.

Obviously the conscious mind is a phenomenon, not a thing.  It is ever-changing.  It can be concentrated or turned by the ego in literally endless directions.  It can view outward reality or turn inward, observing its own contents.

There are gradations and fluctuations within its activity.  It is far more flexible than you give it credit for.  The ego can use the conscious mind almost entirely as a way of perceiving external or internal realities that coincide with its own beliefs.  It is not that certain answers do not lie openly accessible, therefore, but that often you have set yourself on a course of action in which you believe, and you do not want to open yourself to any material that may contradict your current beliefs.

If you are sick, for example, there is a reason.  To recover thoroughly without taking on new symptoms, you must discover the reason.  You may dislike your illness, but it is a course you have decided upon.  While you are convinced that the course is necessary you will keep the symptoms.

Now these may be the result of one specific belief, or caused by a complex of beliefs held together.

The beliefs of course will be accepted by you not as beliefs, but as reality.  Once you understand that you form your reality, then you must begin to examine these beliefs by letting the conscious mind freely examine its own contents.

We will speak about health and illness more specifically later in the book.  I would like to make one point here, however – that often psychoanalysis is simply a game of hide-and-seek, in which you continue to relinquish responsibility for your actions and reality and assign the basic cause to some area of the psyche, hidden in a dark forest of the past.  Then you give yourself the task of finding this secret.  In so doing you never think of looking for it in the conscious mind, since you are convinced that all deep answers lie far beneath – and, moreover, that your consciousness is not only unable to help you but will often send up camouflages instead.  So you play the game.

When and if you manage to change your beliefs in that self-deceptive framework, then any suitable “forgotten” event from the past will be used as a catalyst.  One would do as well as another.

The basic beliefs however were always in your conscious mind, and the reasons for your behavior.  You simply had not examined its contents with the realization that your beliefs were not necessarily reality, but often your conceptions of it.

At the same time, in psychoanalysis you are often programmed to believe that the “unconscious”, being the source of such dark secrets, cannot be counted upon as any bed of creativity or inspiration, and so you are denied the help that the inner portions of the self could give to your consciousness.

Usually when you do examine your conscious mind you do so looking through, or with, your own structured beliefs.  The knowledge that your beliefs are not necessarily reality will allow you to be aware of all the data that is consciously available to you.  I am not telling you to examine your thoughts so frequently and with such vigor that you get in your own way, but you are not fully conscious unless you are aware of the contents of your conscious mind.  I am also emphasizing the fact that the conscious mind is equipped to receive information from the inner self as well as the exterior universe.

I am not telling you to inhibit thoughts or feelings.  I am asking that you become aware of those you have.  Realize that they form your reality.  Concentrate upon those that give you the results that you want.

If you find all of this difficult, you can also examine your physical reality in all of its aspects.  Realize that your physical experience and environment is the materialization of your beliefs.  If you find great exuberance, health, effective work, abundance, smiles on the faces of those you meet, then take it for granted that your beliefs are beneficial.  If you see a world that is good, people that like you, take it for granted, again, that your beliefs are beneficial.  But if you find poor health, a lack of meaningful work, a lack of abundance, a world of sorrow and evil, then assume that your beliefs are faulty and begin examining them.

We will later discuss the nature of mass reality, but for now we are dwelling upon the personal aspects.  The main point I wanted to make in this chapter was that your conscious beliefs are extremely important, and that you are not at the mercy of events or causes that dwell far beneath your awareness.

Chapter 3: Suggestion, Telepathy, and the Grouping of Beliefs

Ideas have an electromagnetic reality.  Belies are strong ideas about the nature of reality.  Ideas generate emotion.  Like attracts like, so similar ideas group about each other and you accept those that fit in with your particular “system” of ideas.

The ego attempts to maintain a clear point of focus, of stability, so that it can direct the light of the conscious mind with some precision and concentrate its focus in areas of actuality that seem permanent.  As mentioned (in Chapter One), the ego, while a portion of the whole self, can be defined as a psychological “structure”, composed of characteristics belonging to the personality as a whole, organized together to form a surface identity.

Now generally speaking, through the period of a lifetime, this allows for the easy emergence of many tendencies and abilities.  It permits many more potentials to emerge than would otherwise be possible.  If this were not the case, for example, your interests throughout life would not change.

The ego, while appearing to be permanent, then, forever changes as it adapts to new characteristics from the whole self, and lets others recede.  Otherwise it would not be responsive to the needs and desires of the entire personality.

Because it is intimately connected with other portions of the self it does not basically feel alienated or alone, but proudly acts as the director of the conscious mind’s focus.  It is an adjunct of the conscious mind in that respect.

Basically it understands its source and its nature.  It is the portion of the mind, then, that looks out upon the physical reality and surveys it in relation to those characteristics of which it is composed at any given time.  It makes its judgments according to its own idea of itself.

It is the most physically oriented portion of your inner self; but it is not, however, apart from your inner self.  It sits on the window sill, so to speak, between you and the exterior world.  It can also look in both directions.  It makes judgments about the nature of reality in relationship to its and your needs.  It accepts or does not accept beliefs.  It cannot shut out information from your conscious mind, however – but it can refuse to pay attention to it.

This does not mean that the information becomes unconscious.  It is simply thrown into a corner of your mind, unassimilated, and not organized into the parcel of beliefs upon which you are presently concentrating.  It is there if you look for it.

It is not invisible, nor do you have to know exactly what you are looking for, which of course would make the situation nearly impossible.  All you have to do is decide to examine the contents of your conscious mind, realizing that it contains the treasures that you have overlooked.

Another way to do this is to recognize through examination that the physical effects you meet exist as data in your conscious mind – and the information that formerly seemed unavailable will be obvious.  The seemingly invisible ideas that cause your difficulties have quite obvious visible physical effects, and these will lead you automatically to the conscious area in which the initiating beliefs or ideas reside.

Once more, if you become aware of your own conscious thoughts, these themselves will give you clues for they clearly speak your beliefs.  If, for example, you have scarcely enough money on which to live, and you examine your thoughts, you may find yourself constantly thinking, “I can never pay this bill, I never have any luck, I’ll always be poor.”  Or you will find yourself envying those who have more, degrading the value of money perhaps, and saying that those who have it are unhappy, or at best spiritually poor.

When you find these thoughts in yourself you may say, and rather indignantly: “But those things are all true.  I am poor.  I cannot meet my bills”, and so forth.  In so doing, you see, you accept your belief about reality as a characteristic of reality itself, and so the belief is transparent or invisible to you.  But it causes your physical experience.

You must change the belief.  I will give you methods to allow you to do this.  You may follow your thoughts in another area, and find yourself thinking that you are having difficulty because you are too sensitive.  Finding the thought you may say, “But it is true; I am.  I react with such great emotion to small things.”  But that is a belief, and a limiting one.

If you follow your thoughts further you may find yourself thinking, “I am proud of my sensitivity.  It sets me apart from the mob,” or, “I am too good for this world.”  These are limiting beliefs.  They will distort true reality – your own true reality.

These are but a few samples of the ways in which your own quite conscious ideas may be invisible to you while being available all the time, and limiting your experience.

Now we have been speaking of the conscious mind, for it is the director of your activities physically.  I told you that it was important to realize the ego’s position as the most “exterior” portion of the inner self, not alienated but looking outward to physical reality.  Using this analogy, portions of the self on the other side of the conscious mind constantly receive telepathic data.  Remember, there are no divisions, so the terms used are simply to make the discussion easier.

The ego tries to organize all material coming into the conscious mind, for its purposes – the ego’s – are those that have come to the surface at any given time in the self’s overall encounter with physical reality.  As I said, the ego cannot keep information out of the conscious mind but it can refuse to focus directly upon it.

The telepathic information, using your analogy, comes through deeper portions of the self.  These parts have such an amazing capacity to receive that some organization is necessary to sift the data.  Some is simply not important to you.  It concerns people of whom you have no other knowledge.

You are a sender and a receiver.  Because ideas have an electromagnetic reality, beliefs, because of their intensity, radiate strongly.  Due to the organizing structure of your own psychological nature, similar beliefs congregate, and you will readily accept those with which you already agree.

Limiting ideas therefore predispose you to accept others of a similar nature.  Exuberant ideas of freedom, spontaneity and joy automatically collect others of their kind also.  There is a constant interplay between yourself and others in the exchange of ideas, both telepathically and on a conscious level.

This interchange follows, again, your conscious beliefs.  It is fashionable in some circles to believe that you react physically to telepathically received messages despite your conscious beliefs or ideas.  This is not the case.  You react only to those telepathic messages that fit in with your conscious ideas about yourself and your reality.

Let me add that the conscious mind is itself spontaneous.  It enjoys playing with its own contents, so I am not here recommending a type of stern mental discipline in which you examine yourself at every moment.  I am telling you about countering measures that you can take in areas in which you are not pleased with your experience.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Session 615

Nature of Physical Reality, Session 615

Your conscious beliefs direct the functioning of your body.  It is not the other way around.

Your inner self adopts the physically conscious, physically focused mind as a method of allowing it to manipulate in the world that you know.  The conscious mind is particularly equipped to direct outward activity, to handle waking experience and oversee physical work.

Its beliefs about the nature of reality are then given to inner portions of the self.  These rely mainly upon the conscious mind’s interpretation of temporal reality.  The conscious mind sets the goals and the inner self brings them about, using all its facilities and inexhaustible energy.

The great value of the conscious mind lies precisely in its ability to make decisions and set directions.  Its role is dual, however:  It is meant to assess conditions both inside and outside, to handle data that comes from the physical world and from the inner portions of the self.  It is not a closed system, then.

To be human necessitates fine discrimination in the use of such consciousness.  Many people are afraid of their own thoughts.  They do not examine them.  They accept the beliefs of others.  Such actions distort data from both within and without.

There is no battle between the intuitive self and the conscious mind.  There only seems to be when the individual refuses to face all the information that is available in his conscious mind.  Sometimes it seems easier to avoid the frequent readjustments in behavior that self-examination requires.  In such cases an individual collects many secondhand beliefs.  Some contradict each other; the signals given to the body and to the inner self are not smoothly flowing or clear-cut, but a muddied jumble of counter-directions.

These will immediately set off alarms of various natures.  The body will not function properly, or the overall emotional environment will suffer.  Such reactions are actually excellent precautions, meant to be taken as a sign that change is needed.

At the same time, the inner self will transmit to the conscious mind insights and intuitions meant to clear its sight.  But if you believe that the inner self is dangerous and not to be trusted, if you are afraid of dreams or any intrusive psychic material, then you deny this help and turn aside from it.

If you believe, moreover, that you must accept your difficulties, then this belief alone can deter you from solving them.

I repeat: Your ideas and beliefs form the structure of your experience.  Your beliefs and the reasons for them can be found in your conscious mind.  If you accept the idea that the reasons for your behavior are forever buried in the past of this life, or any other, then you will not be able to alter your experience until you change that belief.  I am speaking now of more or less normal experience.  Later we will discuss more particular areas, such as circumstances in which illnesses date from birth.

The realization that you form your own reality should be a liberating one.  You are responsible for your successes and your joys.  You can change those areas of your life with which you are less than pleased, but you must take the responsibility for your being.

Your spirit joined itself with flesh, and in flesh, to experience a world of incredible richness, to help create a dimension of reality of colors and of form.  Your spirit was born in flesh to enrich a marvelous area of sense awareness, to feel energy made into corporeal form.  You are here to use, enjoy, and express yourself through the body.  You are here to aid in the great expansion of consciousness.  You are not here to cry about the miseries of the human condition, but to change them when you find them not to your liking through the joy, strength and vitality that is within you; to create the spirit as faithfully and beautifully as you can in flesh.

The conscious mind allows you to look outward into the physical universe, and see the reflection of your spiritual activity, to perceive and assess your individual and joint creations.

In a manner of speaking, the conscious mind is a window through which you look outward – and looking outward, perceive the fruits of your inner mind.  Often you let false beliefs blur that great vision.  Your joy, vitality and accomplishment do not come from the outside to you as the result of events that “happen to you”.  They spring from inner events that are the result of your beliefs.

Much has been written about the nature and importance of suggestion.  One of the current ideas in vogue holds that you are constantly at the mercy of suggestion.  Your own conscious beliefs are the most important suggestions that you receive.  All other ideas are rejected or accepted according to whether or not you believe they are true, in line with the steady conscious chattering that goes on within your mind most of the day – the suggestions given to you by yourself.

You will accept a suggestion given by another only if it fits in with your own ideas about the nature of reality in general, and your concepts about yourself in particular.

If you use your conscious mind properly, then, you examine those beliefs that come to you.  You do not accept them willy-nilly.  If you use your conscious mind properly, you are also aware of intuitive ideas that come to you from within.  You are only half conscious when you do not examine the information that comes to you from without, and when you ignore the data that comes to you from within.

Many false beliefs therefore are indiscriminately accepted because you have not examined them.  You have given the inner self a faulty picture of reality.  Since it is the function of the conscious mind to assess physical experience, it [the inner self] hasn’t been able to do its job properly.  If the inner portions of the self were supposed to have that responsibility, then you would not need a conscious mind.

When the inner self is alerted, it will immediately try to remedy the situation by an influx of self-corrective measures.  On occasion, when the situation gets out of hand, it will bypass those restrictive areas of the conscious mind, and solve the problem by shooting forth energy in other layers of activity.
It will manage to work around the blind spots in the reasoning mind, for example.  Often it will sift out from the barrage of conflicting beliefs the particular set that is the most life-giving, and send these forth in what then appears as a burst of revelation.  Such revelations result in new patterns that change behavior.

You must be aware of the contents of your own reasoning mind.  Find the ambiguities.  Regardless of the nature of your beliefs they are indeed made flesh and material.  The miracle of your being cannot escape itself.  Your thoughts blossom into events.  If you think the world is evil, you will meet with events that seem evil.  There are no accidents in cosmic terms, or in terms of the world as you know it.  Your beliefs grow as surely in time and space as flowers do.  When you realize this you can even feel their growing.

The conscious mind is basically curious, open.  It is also equipped to examine its own contents.  Because of the psychological theories of the last century, many Western people believed that the primary purpose of the conscious mind was to inhibit “unconscious” material.

Instead, as mentioned [in this session], it is also meant to receive and interpret important data that comes to it from the inner self.  Left alone, it does this very well.  It receives and interprets impressions.  What has happened, however, is that man has taught it to accept [only] data coming from the outside world, and to set up barriers against inner knowledge.

Such a situation denies the individual his full strength, and cuts him off – consciously, now – from the important sources of his being.  These conditions inhibit creative expressions in particular, and deny the conscious self the continually emerging insights and intuitions otherwise unavailable.

Thought and feeling then seem separate.  Creativity and intellect do not show themselves as the brothers that they are, but often as strangers.  The conscious mind loses its fine edge.  It cuts out from its experience the vast body of inner knowledge available to it.  Divisions, illusionary ones, appear in the self.

Left alone, the self acts spontaneously as a unit, but as an ever-changing one.  Listening to voices both within and without, the conscious mind is able to form beliefs that are in league with the self’s knowledge as received from material and nonmaterial sources.  Then examination of beliefs takes its place along with other activities – naturally, easily, without effort.  Once the conscious mind has accepted a collection of conflicting beliefs, however, a definite attempt is necessary to sort these out.

Remember, even false beliefs will seem to be justified in terms of physical data, since your experience in the outside world is the materialization of those beliefs.  So you must work with the raw material of your ideas, even while your sense data may tell you that a given belief is obviously a truth.  To change your experience or any portion of it, then, you must change your ideas.  Since you have been forming your own reality all along, the results will follow naturally.

You must be convinced that you can alter your beliefs.  You must be willing to try.  Think of a limiting idea as a muddy color and your life as a multidimensional painting that is marred.  You change the idea as an artist would his palette.

The artist does not identify with the colors he uses.  He knows he chooses them, and applies them with a brush.  So you paint your reality with your ideas in the same manner.  You are not your ideas, nor even your thoughts.  You are the self who experiences them.  If a painter finds his hands stained with pigment at the end of a day, he can wash the stain off easily, knowing its nature.  If you think that limiting thoughts are a portion of you, permanently attached therefore, you will not think of washing them off.  You would behave instead like a mad artist who says, “My paints are a part of me.  They have stained my fingers, and there is nothing I can do about it.”

There is no contradiction, though there may seem to be, between spontaneously being aware of your thoughts, and examining them.  You do not have to be blind to be spontaneous.  You are not being spontaneous when you indiscriminately accept as your own, for a fact, every bit of data that comes to you.

Many beliefs would automatically fall away quite harmlessly if you were being truly spontaneous.  Instead you often harbor them.

Previous limiting ideas, accepted, figuratively form a restraining bed, gathering other such material so that your mind becomes filled with debris.  When you are spontaneous, you accept the free nature of your mind and it spontaneously makes decisions as to the validity or non-validity of data it receives.  When you refuse to allow it this function it becomes cluttered.

No apple tree tries to grow violets.  Quite automatically it knows what it is, and the framework of its own identity and existence.  You have a conscious mind, but this is only the “topmost” portion of your mind.  Much more of “it” is available to you.  Much more of your knowledge can be conscious, therefore; but a false belief, a limiting one, is as ambiguous to your nature as any apple tree’s idea that it was a violet plant.

It could not produce violets, nor could it be a good apple tree while it tried to.  The mistaken belief is one that does not fit the basic conditions of your inner being.  So if you believe that you are at the mercy of physical events, you entertain a false belief.  If you feel that your present experience was set in circumstances beyond your control, you entertain a false belief.

You had a hand in the development of your childhood environment.  You chose the circumstances.  This does not mean that you are at the mercy of those circumstances.  It means that you set challenges to be overcome, set goals to be reached, set up frameworks of experience through which you could develop, understand and fulfill certain abilities.

The creative power to form your own experience is within you now, as it has been since the time of your birth and before.  You may have chosen a particular theme for this existence, a certain framework of conditions, but within these you have the freedom to experiment, create, and alter conditions and events.

Each person chooses for himself the individual patterns within which he will create this personal reality.  But inside these bounds are infinite varieties of actions and unlimited resources.

The inner self is embarked upon an exciting endeavor, in which it learns how to translate its reality into physical terms.  The conscious mind is brilliantly attuned to physical reality, then, and often so dazzled by what it perceives that it is tempted to think physical phenomena is a cause, rather than a result.  Deeper portions of the self always serve to remind it that this is not the case.  When the conscious mind accepts too many false beliefs, particularly if it sees that inner self as a danger, then it closes out these constant reminders.  When this situation arises the conscious mind feels itself assailed by a reality that seems greater than itself, over which it has no control.  The deep feeling of security in which it should be anchored is lost.

The false beliefs must be weeded out so that the conscious mind can become aware of its source once again, and open to the inner channels of splendor and power available to it.

The ego is an offshoot of the conscious mind, so to speak.  The conscious mind is like a gigantic camera with the ego directing the view and the focus.  Left alone, various portions of the identity rise and form the ego, degroup and reform, all the while maintaining a marvelous spontaneity and yet a sense of oneness.

The ego is your idea of your physical image in relation to the world.  Your self image is not unconscious, then.  You are quite aware of it, though often you reject certain thoughts about it in favor of others.  False beliefs can result in a rigid ego that insists upon using the conscious mind in one direction only, further distorting its perceptions.

Often you quite consciously decide to bury a thought or an idea that might cause you to alter your behavior, because it does not seem to fit in with limiting ideas that you already hold.  Listen to your own train of thought as you go about your days.  What suggestions and ideas are you giving yourself?  Realize that these will be materialized in your personal experience.

Many quite limiting ideas will pass without scrutiny under the guise of goodness.  You may feel quite virtuous, for example, in hating evil, or what seems to you to be evil; but if you find yourself concentrating upon either hatred or evil you are creating it.  If you are poor you may feel quite self-righteous in your financial condition, looking with scorn upon those who are wealthy, telling yourself that money is wrong and so reinforcing the condition of poverty.  If you are ill you may find yourself dwelling upon the misery of your condition, and bitterly envying those who are healthy, bemoaning your state – and therefore perpetuating it through your thoughts.

If you dwell upon limitations, then you will meet them.  You must create a new picture in your mind.  It will differ from the picture your physical senses may show you at any given time, precisely in those areas where changes are required.

Hatred of war will not bring peace – another example.  Only love of peace will bring about those conditions.