There is another difficulty that seems beyond your direct control, and this is within the realm of your "mind". We want more than the temporary relief we mentioned earlier. We donít want activated past memories that interfere with our reality.

Becoming Mind-clear

The concept called "mind-clear" is useful for you to know and understand. First you need to know what the "mind" is and how it works. This is no easy task, because the mind acts like a lens between you and the outside world. The mind is a solution to real experience. Therefore to Ďunderstandí the mind requires a Gestalt experience. The mind is everywhere, and to understand it everything will seem to change.

The structure of the mind is built upon a dualism of thought structures. Up defines down, hot helps you understand cold, big has its nature due to small. It is not that everything isnít logical, it is that everything is just logical and nothing more. Experience is missing or diminished. Understanding then becomes relative, and with it meaning becomes relative. Everything gets stuck together. Living becomes a dull adult process, without the fun of childhood. In an abstract sense, the mind is a type of computer subroutine that runs automatically without you even consciously knowing that it took place. Because the mind is automated, it is very hard to recognize. The nature of the "Mind" is even such that people cannot make progress against the mind by themselves. You will just find yourself swimming around in a sea of dualism, and being unable to transcend it.

To regain real experience rather than just a hollow system of "understanding," one must start on the long process of clearing the mind. Even though it is Ďyourí mind, the mind is a problem between you and others and you cannot do anything with it in the way of self-help. This limitation on self-help may dismay you since up to now I have gone on and on about self-construction and the value of being an original thinker. There is a limit to self-help and the mind is one of these limits. When you are clear of the mind, it is called being mind-clear.

Unfortunately, you cannot get help to clear you of a mind from just anybody. You either need a person who is already clear of the mind, or you need a person who is willing to withhold judgment and run a process to allow you to clear your own mind. If you, like me, find yourself stranded in a primitive non-feeling society (i.e. Electrical Engineers not being known for their emotional sensitivities), there is a third way to clear your mind and that is the one I use.

What I do is learn to speak to a person's strength. Each person, no matter how isolated, maintains an area of strength, a bit of genius, hidden and not easy to find. Once you find it, by allowing him or her to guide the conversation to his or her likes, you have an opportunity to clear a small part of your mind that operates on the area that this person is a genius with. They become the teacher and you become the student. To make this process work, you will need as many brilliant oddballs as you can get. Further, you need to understand the mechanisms of the mind, so you can work with loose fragments, and not lose sight of the whole mind.

In order to make progress you will need to create a real working language with the people you contact. You will need to increase the level and nature of understanding between you and them. This is best done by carefully paying attention to only what is real and also unique to that other person. Build your own two person language. This will tend to help you from becoming trapped within the dualistic nature of the mind by keeping you far away from "automatic mode". Automatic thinking lets the mind take over and leaves decisions to it. Most people spend most of their time in some form of light mental fog talking to themselves. This is mind chatter. It can also be thought of as a form of self hypnosis. These people are caught deep in the mind. It is a fog or "understanding" that separates them from reality. You will have to break down this wall if you are to establish enough contact with them to help you clear your mind. You will also need to develop some "Interpersonal operational currency" so that people will not "re-program" you when the inner workings of your mind are exposed.

What I have described here is about as close to "self-help" as you can get, and the whole process is kind of "iffy," and difficult to count on. But sometimes you find yourself with no other choice, so you take your best shot. Of course, the more you know about the mind and how it works, the more you can do to help yourself with whatever help you do get from others. So lets look at some general things we can say about the mind and how it works.

  1. The mind glues thoughts together into groups. Many of these connections are hard to recognize, but the easy connections are those made from smells and feelings. For me, the smell of hot apple cider reminds me of December, snow on the ground, and the feeling of being freezing cold. Many classifications for smells are on automatic and at the same time there is not much of a charge to glue them together. It is therefore possible for a person operating in a "self-help" mode to be able to identify these loosely connected parts of the mind. These loosely connected parts of the mind, unfortunately, are not the ones that cause us trouble. Real distortion of reality is caused by those thoughts bound together with deep unexperienced pain, and we are not about to face that alone.
  2. The mind works in an automatic mode. To be on automatic is to be somewhat in denial and disconnected from reality. This is, in fact, the reason we dearly like the mind because it is very useful to avoid those things we wish to avoid. There is a wall of pain separating the conscious thoughts from the unconscious thoughts, and the mind is the idea to make the pain go away, and that process places the mind in automatic mode. There is no mumbo jumbo here, these are your choices, since your thoughts are not arbitrary, but carry some residual charge left over from some relationship you were involved in. Now you just make the decision to avoid them, and place all the connections as equivalent without inspection.
  3. The mind can be loosely connected and flexible or tightly "keyed-in" and in control. This is easiest to see in others and almost impossible to discover in ourselves. Have you ever been casually talking to people, both you and they are involved in give and take, and communication is taking place, and all is well. Now you are continuing and you say some word, and you watch the face of your listeners distort, and they become intense. We say their mind just keyed-in, so to say, and now they become inflexible and dogmatic. Now it is much harder to get your ideas across; they may start to pound the table with their fists, or in some other way hint at violence, and that violence may be directed at you.
  4. Believe it or not, but those people are trying to avoid some past experience! Unfortunately, the experience is undigested, and it's stuck and trying to get out. You, on the other hand, are now caught off guard, as if the people you were just talking to had been killed and taken over by these fanatics. You are trying to be more in the here and now, and the people who become keyed-in are talking more and more out of the past. You have an intense situation on your hands!

    So what should you do? If you get up and walk away, you will leave the people to stew in their own juices. They cannot break the hold of the mind by themselves. It is not within the realm of self-help, so there is no real benefit in letting them cool off. There is, of course, your immediate physical survival to consider. You will not become a survivor into the next century, if you are first murdered. Having pointed out that obscure logic, let us consider the alternatives; what can you do?

    First of all, you do not want to react! You do not want to encourage the illusion that this is just the same as in the past. You want to stay calm, and you do not want to lose the connection to those people whom you were just talking to, before the key-in took place. This is not to say that you want to ignore the current temper tantrum, you want to stay in reality, stay coherent, and stay in real time. You might also have a little faith that the "crazy" has a calm person behind him or her, who is glad you have not run away, and who holds out hope that you will be different, and that your knowledge will be enough to heal this or her wounds. You see, the other person would also like to be clear of the mind, but he or she needs your help, and wants it. Now!

    So, second of all, do not try to change the subject. Stay with the horse that got you here. Try to remember the word that keyed them in. This may not be so easy, since you may have already started to sweat. If you can remember the word, ask them why this word upsets them. If you cannot remember the trigger word, just keep them talking and bleed off the energy that is driving them.

    Trigger: This is an activation process that starts up the sleeping mind. In effect, the persons triggered are trying to program you to never do that again. The effort to program you comes directly from the experience of how they were themselves programmed in the past.

    Let them run down a bit. If you have any listening skills, here is where you need to use them. Stop them only if you don't understand what they are saying at that moment. Do not stop them if you don't understand their motivation; that will come later. Just listen and listen well! (You probably don't want to stand too close, although if you are caught up close, you probably do not want to back off, or show any reaction to what the other person is doing.) Above all, do not let your mind key you in! Someone may get killed..

    Put yourself into the "helper" mode; remember, you are not really part of this pain the person is experiencing. Don't flatter yourself into thinking that all this is to do with you, you just supplied the "trigger-event" that unleashed all that pent-up energy. The person who is keyed-in is mostly talking to himself or herself, and you have been allowed to monitor the process. If you care to, you can usually clear up a part of the personís mind. That would allow the person to be more able to live in the present, and therefore get more out of life.

  5. The mind is a solution to some interpersonal dilemma. The mind only has an existence because it could not be allowed to be dropped. This might sound rather trite, and obvious, but it is not. There is no magic higher power. It is you doing all this stuff. So why do you do this? Why would you go into a rage over something that happened years ago, with someone who wasn't even there? It is not easy to see at first, but it is because you want to be loved. You don't want to let go, because you do not want to be alone. You loved and wanted to be loved, but it did not happen, and you feel it has yet to take place. Further, you want others to know that you are still trying and you have not given up. Further, you will never give up. Ever. (Sounds like the mind talking, doesn't it?)

Think about it. Doesn't it seem right that the only way we could get so screwed up is that we were trying something so noble, so right, that when we succeed, the person will forgive all our actions? As you have heard elsewhere, more harm has been done in the name of good than could ever be done by bad guys.

So why have I called the mind a solution? The fact is, you have a problem with someone in your past. That is well and fine. Relationships can carry some real juice. That is OK, maybe not what we want, but we take the bad with the good. The old relationship has tension in it. The "solution" is to dump that old relationship on someone who was not originally involved. Unfortunately, it is not the same. People are not interchangeable. Believe it or not, they are all different!

The mind does not work as intended, it is based on a flaw that the future is like the past, and that people are all alike. If you use and invest in the mind, you will find yourself resisting change, and being unable to grow local talent. You will have to hire outsiders to bring in new talent. Only outsiders will be capable of being outside of your existing stereotypes. Essentially, people who have a large investment in the development and maintenance of a "Mind" have a low communication bandwidth, and are therefore slow learners. This is not to say they are not intelligent; they may have lots of data, but the data is all old stuff, with very little new stuff being added.

Now that we have an introduction to the concept of the mind and how it works, or to put it better, does not work, what can we say about our own mind? Most of what we have covered is related to seeing the mind in others. We can see other people get critical, and overly sensitive, and then blow up in rage. We now can say their minds have been keyed-in and they are on automatic. All of this is well and good, but blame is not our most effective process, and it will not be our chosen path. How do we find the mind in ourselves? We will cover that shortly, but for now we can use logic to predict where we are most tempted to create a mind, and then we can work on reducing the temptation, by doing something more effective. Remember, your mind is created by you to solve a problem, so letís look at some of the adult problems that might drive us to create a mind.

Working through a broken relationship

Unfortunately, love does not always work out. The pain of losing someone close can be intense and complicated. Give yourself some time to heal. You may be tempted to cut through the pain and simplify everything with a new set of stereotypes, to make it simple, black and white. You can then choose to become innocent (or even guilty), and thereby avoid receiving all the information and ideas that are going on between you and the other person. If you can resist the easy stereotypes, thereby keeping the situation gray, you can learn a lot and keep yourself from building a mind, becoming jaded, and emotionally sick.

Often, you are disappointed in how things went in the relationship. The pain of that disappointment has worn away at you and rather than go back and spend time thinking through what happened you want to move on. Unfortunately, you cannot run away from yourself, and unless you become honest with yourself, you will be hurt. The process of leaving feelings to be sorted out later creates the mind. Now you put those feelings on automatic, thereby creating some new stereotypes and you have lost some of your ability to listen to others. The mind is a very curious creation. It makes the "pain" go away and it clicks in and clicks into control upon your hearing "trigger" words. You are less able to hear what others are saying because the trigger words will keep pulling you back to these undigested experiences in your broken relationship. You will not know whom you are really talking to - - the new person or the old relationship.

To prevent yourself from becoming jaded, you will need to allow yourself to really feel the hurt. You can start by allowing yourself to consider the other as your friend, although the latest situation may preclude that possibility. Next, be willing to keep the situation complicated and resist the easy stereotypes that are so tempting. Recognize that you are not entirely innocent and use this "down-time" to work on your problems. You will thereby start to make some personal progress and start the healing process. Recognize all the things you have learned from the relationship. There are things you would never know, which you now know, because of this past relationship.

We are not looking for illusion here. So, also realize, starting now, that the ongoing relationship is probably over. Be open to the change, and realize that they will need to do whatever they can to grow through their pain and depression. That may include excluding you from their life. The resulting relationship will depend on their decisions and their thoughts. Here is a new tool that will help you. Itís a tool with an easy-to-find handle, that works in two directions.

Tool #5: You can't hurt an honest person.

This is a very useful tool, but it will take you some time to build and trust in how it operates. It is not an easy "tool" to slip into your toolbox. You have to work to see this one. It is best built long before a relationship breaks up, because then the pain can encourage you to run and hide. The reason this tool is so hard to build is that "The ground-state," the one containing truth, is so hard to reach. In physics, the ground-state is the state not containing any energy. In a relationship, the ground-state is the recognition that other people do not really "need" you, and that they in fact choose to be with you. That puts them into the relationship, and it makes you vulnerable. You do not really control them.

Many people find the ground-state too painful, so they create a "reason" that drives other people to act the way they do. They are so handsome the others just can't resist. Once they leave the ground-state, the quality of the relationship deteriorates, because they do not see the other persons as equivalent to them. This either means they are better than the other persons or the reverse. This puts a spin on the relationship. (Spin was mentioned earlier in this guide.) The spin then blocks the full impact of the relationship, and makes it hollow and unsatisfying to some extent.

"You can't hurt an honest person," but you can create disappointment. Know that others have an absolute right to judge you, and accept their judgment as their best knowledge of reality. If you do not do that, you will have failed to listen to them and that would be falling into denial.

Recognize that the scars from past relationships have hurt you, but you can work through these feelings when you can tell others what you have not yet been able to tell yourself - - the truth. Blame is just the tip of the iceberg; it is not yet the truth. You need the real truth. Of course, there is still some hurt from my past relationships that I am still working on. I do not want myself to become vulnerable again until I have cleaned up my feelings. For me, that takes some time to heal.

The tool, "You can't hurt an honest person," does not come without a price. As long as I still hurt, I do not think I am honest with myself. I try to admit and take ownership for my feelings, since I do not want to create a mind. I do not want to avoid anything that happened in the relationship. I do not want to live in fear of the others in any way. They were a gift, and I want to continue to celebrate them and their essence. Taking responsibility for my relationships with others means receiving all the real ideas that were sent to me, and not ducking them. Only with honesty can I keep myself from becoming jaded, and emotionally sick. Our relationships are deep and have the potential to be lasting. Again, for me it takes some time to heal.

If you do take the time to carefully think about the tool, "You can't hurt an honest person," you can see that it first works to keep you unafraid of new relationships, and second it helps you to free yourself from the harmful effects of a broken relationship. It serves to keep you pointed in the right direction, the direction of self-discovery and personal growth. Otherwise you just store up all these feelings, and go around with "exposed triggers.

Exposed triggers: This is another way of saying that a person has a chip on his shoulder, or he has an ax to grind. In other words he is emotionally covered by a thin emotional shell that is easy to break. A person who is in this "exposed triggers" state spends much of his time living in the past, and unable to listen to what is being said around him.

The process of clearing the mind

What can we do to clear ourselves of the mind, and eliminate these "exposed triggers?" Well, as we said earlier, we can find a person who is mind-clear, and just talk in a give-and-take manner with him. Unfortunately, since our mind is filtering everything we hear, we will still need all our knowledge to come to grips with what the mind-clear person is telling us. That means it will take us some time to work it all out. There is also the danger that we will compartmentalize, and only appear clear when we are in the presence of the mind-clear person, but when left to our own, we are still stuck in the mind. This is the basic con job that we are all good at. You know the experience, we all like being around the person, since they make us feel so good. Now we are addicted, and we need them.

A more dependable way is to obtain "mind-clearing" from a person who is trained in some process that usually works. Work has been carried out for at least the last 37 years, although they may not be using the same words that I use here. Essentially you want to comb the field of thoughts and look for charges that are unconscious, or "reactive", and you want to dig them up and get to know them. Reactive: When a person feels he has no choice, he is in a reactive state. This results in a bleeding off of the charge carried in the mind and unlocks the associations made with other thoughts. Unfortunately, if the person getting mind-clearing does not have a good conceptual foundation, the effects of clearing are quickly lost, and you must go back for a booster shot.

The person directing the clearing process does not have to be clear, but it helps. What he does certainly need is the skill to be a good listener, and the skill to keep this opinions to himself. He is not here to get clearing, so he needs to keep his personal life and feelings out of the process. It is best if the person wanting to be clear, and taking the role of being helped, directs the general activity. I know that sounds strange, that you would ask the patient to direct the surgery, but if we want the clearing to last, there is a certain sequence that makes sense. Only the patient knows this sequence. The helper must test the patientís resolve to know the truth, and after resolving this, trust the patient.

The intention of the person wanting to be mind-clear is all important to the process, but it alone is not sufficient. The intention of the helper is also important, and the communication skills of both are tested to the limits. Unfortunately, the discovery process is non-linear. It does not go by any regular pattern. You cannot say that a breakthrough will occur after five hours of work; often breakthroughs occur just as the process is to end, so desperation is an important ingredient. The discoveries can be described as a process of vision. You do not usually get a bit here and a bit there. You get a whole new vision of reality, essentially a mind blowing experience.

Continue: Understanding Sin and Evil.

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