I gave a talk yesterday at a local group called Chrysalis, and it occurred to me that the topic of my talk might be of interest to more people than were in the audience. So here it is.
Reprogramming Your Robots – a précis
By Frank DeMarco
One thing about psychic stuff is that it doesn’t really fit into categories. You think you’re working on communicating with guidance, and you realize you’re developing the ability to heal. You think to yourself, aha, I’ve learned something about healing, and you find out that what you thought was physical is actually mental, and what you thought was mental is spiritual, and what you thought was spiritual is physical. Everything interacts. Everything interconnects. In fact, you can say that everything interconnects, or you can say that there’s only one everything, which looks different from different viewpoints.
That probably sounds pretty abstract, but it has important consequences.
It gives us the key to correcting problems that are intractable when dealt with as if they were only physical, or only emotional, or only spiritual. And if you can overcome physical, mental and emotional problems, you can overcome something that often seems more difficult than any of these, and that is relationship problems.
Think what this means. If this technique works, you can continually reshape your life to make it more what you want it to be. You find a problem, you fix the problem. That changes you. It doesn’t bring you to the end of problems. Death does that. But it does bring you nearer to what you want to be.
It’s simple, and it’s powerful.
Now, these techniques I’m going to talk about, these forces we’ll be dealing with – are these things that were never before discovered in the history of the world? Of course not. But every new age requires that the truth come in language it is able to hear and understand. So I talk about robots. If I were making a computer analogy, I could call the same forces exe files, and I sometimes do. Other times, I might use other analogies. What’s important isn’t the analogies, but the understanding they may bring. So I’m going to put this in terms of robots.
I do have one request, for your own sake. Just for the time we’re here, try on the new way of seeing life. Don’t waste your time rephrasing what I say into terms that are more familiar to you. That very familiarity will interfere with your getting the full impact, the full benefit, of anything different in my point of view. While we’re here together, participate. Try it on, as if you fully believe what I’m saying. To learn anything new, you have to give it at least tentative acceptance until you’re sure you know what’s being taught. Then, if it doesn’t fit, you can discard it, and you’ve had an interesting experiment and haven’t lost anything but a little time.
Everything I’m going to say leads to two bits of good news. First, taking full responsibility leads to full empowerment. Second, miracles are very possible — but they may look pretty ordinary until you see them with different eyes.
Life mirrors the psyche
If it weren’t for the world around us, we’d never know who we really are. It is only when we interact with the world that we become aware of the unconscious parts of ourselves in action.
And why is that important? Because the only things in our life that we control are those we have made conscious. The things that are within us, of which we are unconscious, control us. Psychologist Carl Jung defined the shadow as that part of ourselves of which we are not aware. We do and think and say things and think, “that wasn’t really me.” That’s our shadow side. The shadow isn’t necessarily worse than our conscious self, and it certainly isn’t necessarily better. But it is hidden, and it does control us. As Jung put it, “until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.”
The path toward freedom, toward self-development, toward health and sanity, lies in making what was unconscious conscious. And how in the world would we ever do that, if it weren’t for the world around us? The world takes who we are and reflects it back to us, and sometimes we don’t enjoy what we see. Somebody once said, “increased self-awareness is always bad news.” But that bad news is a tremendous opportunity, if we use it the right way.
The easiest way to describe the right way is to first describe the wrong ways. Here are three things we must not do, if we want to use the world to show us our shadow side. Naturally, all three are things we do constantly.
First, blame others. That puts us into helpless victimhood, but at least it isn’t our fault, and doesn’t call for any corrective action on our part.
Second, make excuses. This amounts to blaming our circumstances. It shores up our story, and again, it keeps us stuck where we are.
Third, deny any meaningful connection between what happened to us and what we are. This uses the concept of bad luck as a way of maintaining a distance between who we are and what we experience.
All three strategies — blaming others, blaming excuses, and blaming luck – all accomplish the same vital task. They prevent us from actually understanding what’s going on, lest we realize that we need to change.
In case it’s necessary to demonstrate that we tend to experience the world as a problem rather than as a barometer, let’s consider relationships. If there was ever a poster child for the outside world as mirror of our own shadows, it’s relationships. And if you doubt it’s true for you, just think about anybody else you know, and how clearly you can see the connection between what they experience as happening to them, and who they are, unconsciously. Probably they can’t, but probably you, as observer, can.
I sometimes say, suppose there’s a guy who has a real problem with women and doesn’t know it. Suppose he spends his entire life in a locked room or on a desert island, and never sees a woman. The problem will never manifest, and if he doesn’t already know it exists, how will he find out? But even though it never manifests, it exists. But we only know it if the world reflects it for us.
Here’s another analogy. Suppose you’re only interested in trucks; you’re not interested in cars, and you and I spend all day driving somewhere and at the end of the day, I say, “Wow, did you see that flame-red Camaro?” Chances are you say, “no, I didn’t notice.” Because it didn’t snag your attention. You weren’t looking at cars, you were looking at trucks. I would say that car didn’t have any Velco to snag your attention.
Problems are sometimes the world’s Velcro. The world provides challenges, and challenges provide benefits – if we know how to use them.
And that brings us to robots.
The enemy within
I suppose it won’t be news to anybody here that life can be very frustrating. As St. Paul pointed out long ago, we do what we don’t want to do, and we don’t do what we want to do, and we don’t even know why. We continually defeat our own purposes. We react uncontrollably to certain situations. We find ourselves in situations where it seems that our problems seem to have no solution, and everything seems to be stacked against us.
Maybe we are accident prone or disease-ridden. Maybe our physical injuries won’t heal, or, even worse, our emotional injuries won’t heal. Maybe we cannot get past the results of childhood traumas. Maybe our closest relationships turn out to be disasters.
Maybe we are spiritually devastated. Maybe we feel dead. Maybe we sometimes wish we were.
Maybe we have to force ourselves to go on, because life seems so painful, so meaningless.
And maybe sometimes we are so angry, because we know life shouldn’t be like this, and it seems like it’s not our fault.
The good news is, there is hope.
If we are subject to what looks like bad luck, there are reasons for it, and they can be found and corrected. If we work against our own interests and intentions, again, the reasons can be found. If our life looks like it’s off track, maybe it is – but the track is always there, waiting.
Everybody has heard the cliché that says that problems are opportunities. So they are, and there’s a simple technique to help you find out what’s really going on, and correct it.
The nature of robots
Let’s be clear. At first I thought of robots as dysfunctional, if not malign, but I have come to realize that they are how we live our lives. We use them to drive our cars and tie our shoes and do any of the countless things we do more or less automatically. Remember how hard it was to learn how to drive a car? Remember learning to touch-type, or square dance, or speak a foreign language? Anything we’ve ever learned to do fluently, we’ve learned to do automatically. We’ve handed it over to a robot, which does it for us better than we could do it consciously.
So, there’s nothing wrong with having robots, and in fact they are absolutely necessary. They free us to do other things. They are mechanisms, or, if you prefer, they are parts of our total psyche, designed to do what we tell them to do. They can do a lot of damage; they can prevent our inner growth; they can make it harder, or impossible, to respond to challenges in the way we would want to. But it’s like I used to tell my children, any tool that couldn’t hurt you couldn’t do you any good either. In other words, it’s up to you to be careful how you use them. It’s a matter of programming, for they always function exactly as designed. They do what we program them to do, until we consciously contact them and update their files.
But, there’s one thing to remember about robots: An unconscious tool can’t reprogram itself. That’s up to you. And after I give you the background for understanding what I mean, I propose to set you to work trying it. You will be doing it in private, with no public disclosure or discussion unless you want to, so relax about that. Be thinking about some problem you would like to overcome.
The whole world illuminates the inner world we can’t see.
All problems, being chosen beforehand, are opportunities.
Pain holds the place, to make us deal with something.
Stubborn problems offer great growth
No victims, no villains, no innocent bystanders.
No accidents or tragedies.
Nothing impossible, nothing guaranteed.
For years, doing healing work, I worked from certain ideas. I assumed that:
- I was dealing with a bodily intelligence
- I could personify different parts or systems of the body
- I was working with a consciousness not very present, stuck
- I could propose new arrangements with it
- Unresolved feelings have no time
But sometimes I couldn’t help, or the healing didn’t hold
Then on January 8, 2008, my friend Nancy Ford came to me with one problem, which we fixed fairly easily but then I noticed a worse problem, which she had been putting up with for more than a year. Having injured her wrist, she had three droopy fingers. I tried what I knew, working both with the muscles and energy work, without result. After a while I realized we were meeting active resistance. The body felt that its needs were ignored. It wasn’t going to play along.
In a while, we realized that the physical problem was actually holding the space for emotional problems that hadn’t been dealt with. Dealing with the emotional problems proved to be the key to dealing with the physical problems
But this posed certain perplexing questions.
Why would emotional problems manifest as seemingly unrelated physical problems? And how do we learn to deal with it? The answer, like everything else I have learned about dealing with various aspects of the psyche, is easier done than said, and easier said than believed
Simply, we, living here, are in the present, and conscious. We have intent, we can choose.
But we have other parts of ourselves, whose consciousness could be described more like that of a trance, or a dream, with no awareness of a changing present, and no consciousness of choice, only obedience and continuity. I call them robots, because they have a function that they perform automatically. Actually, what I call a robot is, I think, a snapshot of a time in our life when some problem became embodied. Nothing has changed since the last time it shared consciousness, and it can’t change on its own.
Robots are not the villains of the piece. They are not hostile and not willful. They are faithful. Faithful to their mission, which is to maintain the condition or reaction or whatever they were programmed to do, whenever a certain condition arises. They act for the good of the whole being.
The problems arise when their interpretation of conditions is wrong — and it’s up to us to correct them. Robots get their assignments because something happens, and our consciousness of the moment programs them: if this, do that. That’s what they do, until the captain alters his instructions.
But what if he forgets about them? What if he forgets how to contact them? What if conditions change and he doesn’t think to contact them?
They still continue to execute as they were programmed to.
Reprogramming is a matter of contacting the robots, telling them what we want, and sometimes convincing them that we know what we’re doing.
When it’s time to do the exercise, I will go into the procedure in some detail, but what we are doing is three steps
1, get into the feeling behind the robot’s actions
2, do the analysis to find out what caused the programming
3, reprogram the robot to meet your current needs
Conceptually, it’s that simple. So let’s look at those three steps
You must be in the feeling to contact the robot. Otherwise everything else is just words and can have no effect. This I think is why psycho-analysis so often fails. Start with the situation. Feel the injury or the emotion or the condition that you want to heal. You must be in the feeling, or nothing can happen.
When you are in the feeling ask what is the origin of this? Wait for an answer. It could be a memory, a thought, a visual, words, pictures. Wait for an answer. When something surfaces, go with it. Don’t demand impossible certainty. If you know the origin of the feeling, ask how the origin led to the condition. How did being yelled at unexpectedly as a small child lead to an inability to deal with people’s anger? This is analysis. Some will find analysis easier than getting into the feelings, others will find it harder. But both steps are necessary. When you know the connection, you can move to reprogram it.
First, thank the robot for years of diligently doing what it had been told to do
Next, explain why the old patterning is not needed or wanted now, and spell out what you do want. If the robot argues, listen, weighty arguments, perhaps propose some compromise, but in the end remember that it is your choice, not the robot’s.
Repeat what the robot is to do, and if you have not already done so extend acceptance and love — it is part of yourself. Thank it again
Dealing with robots is much like contacting guidance. It can be hard to find. it may argue with you. it may be hard to interpret what it says. robots may fear consequences to themselves or you. they may fear being unwanted or unneeded. they may fear that you are unreliable or inexperienced. Often they will come in the voice and even the words of some past authority figure like a parent.
As I’ve looked into this business of robots, I’ve concluded that robots usually become a problem when they continue to follow their original programming after the external situation has changed or we have decided that we want to change. In such case, it’s up to us – it’s up to the consciousness that is living in the present – to change the programming. And that requires a combination of introspection, analysis, and intent.
Introspection deepens our understanding of past experience. We can look back and see patterns that weren’t apparent at the time. Once we learn to stop blaming others for our problems, we start to trace out relationship between our internal situation and the external situation it expressed in. That’s where we get out first clues.
Once we identify the problem, we can analyze it, to see the specifics of how one thing leads to another. But analysis is not enough. Lots of people have spent years in analysis, and have come out knowing how they are malfunctioning, but unable to change. That’s because you don’t reprogram the robot by lecturing it, or telling it how it “should” or “shouldn’t” react. You have to communicate to it that you are changing your intent.
Changing your intent means communicating with the robot from the feeling place that programmed it in the first place. It doesn’t do any good to throw logic at it.
Reprogramming – the process
Instead of being stuck, you want to be able to respond appropriately to any given situation. That’s a matter of reprogramming. Fortunately, robots can be reprogrammed, often easily. Once you succeed in reprogramming any given robot or complex of robots, you restore flow, you aren’t frozen.
To restore flow, we need to accomplish two tasks, analysis and communication.
Analysis. Where did this particular robot come from? Why is it doing what it’s doing?
Communication. How do we contact the robot and reprogram it?
Notice, the robots are not the enemy. They are your loyal servants, doing what you told them to do, or at least what they think you told them to do, or at least what they think you meant them to do. Once you bring their programming up to speed, they will remain useful to you, if only to maintain the new course you have just set.
So let’s look at two kinds of examples, body problems and relationship issues.
If I get a cut, or a burn, or a bruise, I can usually deal with it in a pretty offhand fashion. If I have to deal with pain, I can usually handle it. I have become so accustomed to overcoming these things that it has become commonplace. But if I were to break a bone, I know I wouldn’t be able to instantly fix it, because that’s too much for me to believe – even though I know, intellectually, that such things have happened. There’s a big difference between what we can believe in theory, or what we can believe others can do, and what we can believe that we ourselves can do.
All I can tell you is that the idea of helplessness leads nowhere, and it isn’t even accurate. You have more control than you might think, and you can learn to have even more. What your higher-end limit is, I have no idea. What I do know is that what is too much for us to do initially isn’t necessarily the end of the story. Like getting to Carnegie Hall, practice, practice, practice.
In dealing with physical injury, you proceed in the same way you do when you are dealing with any other problem in your life, whether a chronic physical condition or a mental or emotional problem. Three steps:
First, work from the assumption that what you’re dealing with is the result of robots, doing what they think you want and need.
Second, find out why they’re expressing in that way, if you can. Ask, while being in the feeling that arises.
Third, respond appropriately. Make a deal, be aware, and ask for assistance in healing.
And, first and last, beware of falling into an assumption of helplessness. You’re only helpless if you can’t or won’t communicate and deal with the agents shaping your life.
Let’s say you have a disease or a chronic condition. What does that have to do with robots?
Believe me, I know what I’m talking about, here. I have had asthma – or rather, it has had me – since I was two years old. It has taken me most of my life to get a handle on it. At present, I think I have it whipped, but I’ve thought that before.
I am well aware that it could always come back. And yet I’m equally aware that there are things I can do that would make it far more likely to come back.
As always with this work, we start with one premise: Nothing is accidental. Everything means something. What it means for you may not be the same as what it would mean for anyone else on earth, but it means something, and you can find out what.
So the first question to ask is — what internal condition, invisible to you, is this physical condition mirroring?
What does this condition do to me? And, perhaps more important, what does it do for me? There is always a payoff in any given situation, not just a handicap. Try to find out what it’s all about.
So, we start by asking — How are you helping me? You want to find out what the robot thinks it’s accomplishing for you. Ask your internal guidance system, and listen for the answer.
Don’t discard something that pops up just because it doesn’t seem to make sense. In fact, the answers that don’t seem to make sense are the ones that are the most likely to be accurate.
Then ask yourself, are you ready to let the condition go? Do you prefer to live with it or without it? An honest answer may surprise you.
Once you get an answer, once you know what the robot thinks it’s doing, then you have to ask, what do you want to do about it?
If the benefit is great enough, you may be a little bit afraid to change your situation. If so, take a look at whether you could continue to get the benefit without having to pay that particular price. I have known people to realize that the reason they get sick every so often is because that is the only way they can give themselves permission to stop. If they’re well, they have to keep pushing. So when the body goes into overload, they get sick.
Let me tell you, that is sick!
But the good news is, as soon as they realized that this was the trade-off they had countenanced all those years, they were able to get out of it. They made a deal with their body, or they reprogrammed their robot, however you want to look at it. They said, “okay, when I’m in danger of overdoing, let me know by doing X” –a couple of them arranged for the body to start their little finger twitching – “and I’ll stop.” Sounds like nothing, but it worked, because it gave them a less disruptive way to accomplish what the sickness robot had been accomplishing until then.
So, first, what is the cause of the condition. Then, what’s the payoff for me. Then, what kind of tradeoff am I willing to make. Then, working from within the feeling associated with the condition, make the deal. If you are stuck — if you don’t want it but can’t seem to get rid of it — then ask how you can maximize your life with it.
Relationship is the hardest school of experience. There’s no letup, there’s no certainty. Relationships require an open heart, which risks rejection and pain. Vulnerability can be scary.
But a close relationship offers much: an open heart, an aid to reawakening, and aids to clarity, as we withdraw projections.
With time, you realize, you can’t fix anybody. And maybe with more time, you realize, nobody is broken, no matter what you think, including yourself.
Sometimes you get into a battle of robots, and that can be World War III. But if you can stay awake, and if you can make certain agreements ahead of time, you can use your relationship to help each other with your robots. In other words, you can help each other to become more conscious and stay more conscious.
But what if the other person doesn’t cooperate? You can still stay awake. You can still try not to let the other person activate your robots. You can still get into the habit of taking the most charitable view of the other person’s actions, remembering that you can’t ever really know what is driving them.
In relationships, as in everything else in life, you are not helpless unless you decide you are. You can always be true to yourself.
Now, let’s do some work. This exercise has eight steps
1 — identify the problem you wish to address, physical, emotional, mental, or other
2 — get into the feeling that manifests with the problem. If physical imagine the pain. If emotional, how do you feel then? If mental, feel the emotions associated with your reaction to your bad habits, say. You must be in the feeling to change anything
3 — ask, how are you serving me with this situation? Not accusation or rhetoric: expect to be told.
4 — receive, being alert, determined, and non-judgmental
5 — analyze the connection between what started it and how it manifests
6 — interact with that part of your consciousness, that robot, remembering to meet its needs as well as yours
“thank you for serving me.” Send acceptance and love
“but I don’t want this now, and why” listen to arguments and reassure it
reprogram according to what you want
“thank you for serving me now and in the past”
7 — review in your mind what you learned, what you asked for, what you promised
8 — how do you feel? Review
Once you have learned to reprogram, you have learned more than removing problems. You have learned a magic secret of self-transformation. And that is not exaggeration
Now, before we get to work, I’ll conclude by listing a few things that I think it’s helpful to remember.
First, remember, to do this work, you must be present. Whenever you wake up, start again, and don’t beat yourself up for having fallen asleep. You are who you are, as you are, where you are, for a reason. You’re always in the right place at the right time in the right circumstances.
Second, remember that everyone and everything in your life can help you to become more aware of who you really are. That’s why they’re in your life.
Third, do the work, don’t just think about how to think about it. Theory is all well and good, but as E.F. Schumacher once said, it’s amazing how much theory we can dispense with when we set out to do some real work.
Fourth, try to withdraw your projections, so that you can see clearly. Don’t blame others, don’t blame life. Look for the connection between what happens to you and who you really are.
Fifth, remember that convincing others is neither easy nor necessary nor even possible, even though that’s what I’m doing here. As always, example speaks louder than words.
Finally, given that there are no accidents, remember that nothing that happens to you can be without meaning. Live the way we are meant to live, joyously and free.