[This post is a long response to John Wolf’s post “How the mind decides.” Easier to make it a new post than to add it as a comment. -FD]
“What if it were true?”
by Jim Austin
John’s post on “how the mind decides” has pushed me to write the thoughts below. I’ve been getting those ‘nudges’ for some time, but laziness and the pace of life have made me resist. Two things pushed me though that resistance:
– for me this material fits perfectly with what John wrote. I use the word ‘belief’ instead of ‘habit’, but feel the two words are interchangeable at my level of awareness.
– his line “start typing out my thoughts … and this process “primes the pump” for my greater mind to kick in and flow.” reminded me of how much I get from that typing out process; perhaps this is the ‘Journaling’ part of my practice …
Some ‘habits’ (‘beliefs’ from now on) are (relatively) easy to develop. Although it takes years of growth and learning to get food when you’re hungry (how to get money, how to drive, how to find the store, how to purchase, etc.), we build those beliefs in an environment with many examples and role-models (daily life).
Belief in the more subtle things that TGU and Rita suggest are (often) not so easy to come by. [Anyone (else) have trouble with “All is well, all is very well.”?] So as building, changing, and removing beliefs has become a more conscious process (a welcome change from the ‘2X4 over the head’ days!), I’ve struggled with how do I come to believe something I don’t?! How can I build (new) beliefs useful in daily life?
Years ago I was taught (and have since used and taught others) a technique called “What if it were true?” You pick something you’d like to believe, a concept you resonate with, or maybe an idea you’re just curious about (perhaps because TGU/Rita suggested it?), then explore what it would mean in your life if you did believe it.
Everyone may have their own ways of exploring what it might mean if they believed (or stopped believing) something; here are three methods I know:
– logical deduction: what logically would change if you believed or didn’t believe something?
– emotional feeling: how would you feel if you believed or didn’t believe something?
– storytelling: build a story line around your change in belief; this naturally uses both logic and emotion. (I used to call this ‘scenario building’, but guidance seems to prefer storytelling).
These are listed in good-better-best order, with storytelling BY FAR the best. We’re ‘telling a story’ when we live out a belief-changing process in 3D life; this technique is just easier and maybe can reduce the inevitable ‘bumps’. Or (in John’s words) ‘For the sake of this “learning” or “mind reinforcement”’, the non-3D storytelling might sometime work as well as living the story in 3D.
As an example, what if it’s true that all is well, all is very well? For me, asking this brings up the need to ‘trim’; ALL is a pretty big word! I’ve been working with what if it’s true that all is well with getting older, growing toward old age and eventually death? I’ll use the easier logical process here, while recognizing that storytelling in one’s personal life is much better.
So, if it’s true that all is well with getting older and the natural aging process, what would it mean? Here are a couple things that come through for me:
– old age must be important, just as important as any other facet of life. A consequent of this is to feel that ‘dealing with’ old age deserves as much of my focus, intent, and energy as previous life stages; they had meaning and purpose, old age must too.
– the various (apparently undesirable) conditions of old age must have value and usefulness; that ‘focus, intent, and energy’ guide me to better understandings of that value, and perhaps learn how to enhance daily life.
As with any line of discovery, such initial results spawn more questions, and these lead on to further useful understanding. My only caveat: be gentle, patient, and non-obsessive; like Rome, beliefs are not built (or dismantled) in a day!