My post today is about “distinctions.” And why should you care about distinctions? Because most of the problems in your life today exist because of distinctions you failed to make earlier in your life. Moreover, the way to permanently eliminate those problems from your life is to make those distinctions now.
I’ve known for a long time that the act of creating something is dependent on making distinctions. But I now also see in a way that I never did before that the effectiveness of The Lefkoe Method results from its ability to help you make distinctions you haven’t made.
Creation is an act of distinction
First let me explain what I mean by creation results from an act of distinction. I first realized this when I heard a presentation by Werner Erhard over 30 years ago. Let’s do a little thought experiment he used to make real that making a distinction is an act of creation. Really do the exercise.
Imagine your hand expanding and expanding until it fills the universe, so that there is nothing in the universe but your hand. What happens to your hand? … If you actually do this exercise you will experience your hand disappearing. Why? … Because any “thing,” in order to exist, must have a not “it.
A hand is a palm and fingers with space around it. If there were nothing but hand, it would crease to exist because it couldn’t be distinguished from everything else. In other words, any “thing” (or everything), without any distinctions, is nothing.
This is not only true for physical objects, it also is true for abstractions. In order for “up” to exist, there has to be a “down.” “Peace” requires “war.” If there were only peace all the time, the idea of peace, as distinct from war, could not exist.
So the existence of any specific thing requires the non-existence of that thing. This is what is meant by a “dualistic universe.”
Is it now clear that we create by distinguishing some “thing” from everything else?
Beliefs are caused by a failure to distinguish
Now let me explain my insight the other day when I realized that all the processes of The Lefkoe Method are based on making distinctions that had not been made earlier and most of our behavioral and emotional problems (which are caused primarily by negative beliefs and destructive conditioning) ultimately are the result of not making crucial distinctions earlier in life. Let me explain
Let’s start with the Lefkoe Belief Process. To begin with, most people have never distinguished their beliefs as the primary cause of their behavior and feelings. Moreover, when you form a belief you are not distinguishing between the events and the meaning you are giving the events; it seems to you as if you have discovered the meaning (the belief) in the world, which leads you to think the meaning is inherent in the events, which leads you to think you can “see” the meaning in the world.
A belief is eliminated for most people when they distinguish between the event and the meaning, which leads them to realize they cannot “see” the belief in the world, at which point they get that the meaning exists only in their mind and not in the world. Emotionally kinesthetic people eliminate the belief when they make a distinction between reality as the source of their feeling/belief and the meaning they gave reality as the source of their feeling/belief.
In other words, the belief got formed because we failed to make a distinction earlier in life and is eliminated today when we make that distinction. If we had made the appropriate distinction earlier between the event and the meaning we attributed to it, the belief never would have been formed.
Conditionings also are caused by a failure to distinguish
What is the role of distinctions in the Lefkoe Stimulus Process (LStimP)? Let’s use my ice cream story to explain how stimuli are conditioned to produce emotions and how the LStimP de-conditions those stimuli so that they no longer trigger those emotions.
Imagine you were being handed an ice cream cone with one hand while the other hand made a fist that looked as if it was going to hit you. What would you probably feel as you observed both the ice cream and the fist? … Probably some degree of anxiety. If this happened repeatedly, at some point the ice cream would get conditioned to produce anxiety even when there was no fist accompanying it.
A common example of this in real life is being criticized as a child by your parents, who usually got angry and yelled at you when they criticized you. The criticism as such did not produce anxiety; the meaning a child gives the yelling produced anxiety because, for children, yelling means parents are angry, which means they don’t love me any more, which means I could be abandoned, which means I could die. That is what causes the anxiety.
The principle is: anything that repeatedly accompanies something else that produces anxiety can itself easily get conditioned to produce anxiety … when we don’t distinguish between the stimulus actually causing the anxiety and the other stimulus that itself does not produce anxiety but that repeatedly accompanies something that does.
The LStimP works by making a distinction that you didn’t make earlier in life when the conditioning took place. You realize that the ice cream was never scary; the fear was caused by the fist and you now make a distinction between the two. Being criticized was never scary; the fear was caused by the meaning you gave your yelling parents and you now make a distinction between the two.
Other Lefkoe Method processes help you made distinctions
There are other Lefkoe Method processes, such as the Lefkoe Occurring Process, which dissolves the meaning we give current events, the Lefkoe De-conditioning Process, which de-conditions emotional eating, the Lefkoe Sense Process, which de-conditions a negative sense of life or sense of self, and the Lefkoe Expectation Process, which de-conditions negative expectations.
These processes work in much the same way as the Lefkoe Belief Process: they enable you to make distinctions today that hadn’t been made earlier in life. When the distinction is made, the belief, the sense, the occurring, the expectation, or the conditioning is eliminated, as are the problems they cause.
Yet more to come
A lot of research has been done in recent years that proves conclusively that the brain is plastic, meaning it can change up until death. And making new distinctions is what enables the brain to create new pathways and learn. I have a strong sense that a better understanding of “distinctions” will enable me to create additional processes to facilitate easy and permanent change.
What do you think about distinctions? Do you have any questions about why they are so important in understanding both why people get stuck and how to get them unstuck? I’d love to read your comments and questions.
If you haven’t yet eliminated at least one of your limiting self-esteem beliefs using the Lefkoe Belief Process, go to http://www.recreateyourlife.com/free where you can eliminate one negative belief free.
For information about eliminating 23 of the most common limiting beliefs and conditionings, which cause eight of the most common problems in our lives, and get a separate video of the WAIR? Process, please check out: http://recreateyourlife.com/naturalconfidence.
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Copyright © 2011 Morty Lefkoe