In an earlier post I wrote that I realized that we give meaning to events before we form beliefs and that, in fact, the early meanings are the basis for our beliefs.
I also wrote that I made a big mistake when I said in the Who Am I Really? Process that the creator of our beliefs is our Infinite Self/consciousness, when really it is our finite self.
I’ve had a chance to do some more thinking about both these issues and how they relate to each other. You—each of you—really are the creator of your life. Let me explain why that is so.
We give meaning from the very beginning
Here’s how it starts. Things happen to us and around us from the moment we are born. We have a built-in meaning-making function in our brain that has us unconsciously and automatically add meaning to meaningless events. (See my explanation as to why all human beings have this capacity.)
So at the very moment we become aware that mom and dad are yelling at us, or comparing us adversely to others, or not listening to us, etc., we already have assigned a meaning to such events. Meanings like I did something wrong; I didn’t do what mom and dad want; mom and dad aren’t interested in me right now; etc.
It is important to understand that the meaning has been assigned just to that single event. And when the event passes, the meaning passes with it. But the next time a similar event occurs, we unconsciously and automatically give meaning to that new event. That happens repeatedly.
At some point we form an abstract generalization for similar events. The meanings: I did something wrong; I didn’t do what mom and dad want; etc. become: I’m not good enough. The meanings: I made a mistake; I failed at doing what mom and dad want; mom and dad stopped loving me when I failed; etc. become: Mistakes and failure are bad.
Our stage of development is the major determinant
As a child the major determinant of the nature of the meaning we give events is the characteristics of the child’s stage of development. Young children are unable to form abstractions. They can only take one point of view: their own. They don’t yet understand that other people can have different points of view, different motivations, etc. They are very narcissistic.
So if mom and dad are critical, it’s my fault and I’m not good enough. If mom and dad are not there for me when I want them to be, it’s my fault and I’m not important. If mom and dad make all the decisions and I rarely get what I want, it’s my fault and I’m powerless.
After the beliefs are formed and we grow older, the process gets reversed. An event occurs and the meaning making part of the brain unconsciously and automatically assigns meaning to an event that is consistent with our beliefs.
For example, assume you have the belief, men are dangerous. Now you’re walking down a deserted street at night and you see a man walking toward you. You unconsciously and automatically give that event a meaning consistent with your belief—probably something like: I’m in danger. This man will hurt me.
The difference between meanings and beliefs
A belief is a broad generalization that acts as a filter through which you view all events. A meaning is what you think you have learned from a single event (or series of events). The belief stays forever unless you are able to unlearn it. The meaning you attach to any event sort of dissipates when the event is no longer in your awareness.
What you do moment by moment and what you feel moment by moment is determined for the most part by the meaning you give events as they happen. And those meanings are determined primarily by beliefs that had been formed earlier. And where did the beliefs come from? The meaning that you gave events, based largely on your stage of development, your cognitive capacity, your ability to make meaning at that time in your life.
You create the meanings and then the beliefs that determine what you do, think, and feel. So in a very real sense you create your life. When I say you are the creator of your life, that “creator” is the same finite self that lives your life. In this way you are both the creator of your life and the “creation,” in other words, the finite self/ego, that lives your life. Unlearn your beliefs and your life changes. Dramatically. Drastically. Profoundly.
There is a finite self and an Infinite Self
In addition to this finite self that we think we are, we are also an Infinite Self—a consciousness/energy/love/spirit that existed before the big bang, that always was and always will be. It is a Self that is usually experienced only though meditation. It is who each of us really is.
For centuries many of the Eastern spiritual disciplines held that only spirit was real; the finite physical world and the people who inhabit that world are not real; they are only illusions. Many people still hold this view. But some of the Eastern disciplines modified this view to say that what unmanifest spirit did was to manifest the physical universe. So formlessness is at the same time form and form is at the same time formlessness.
This view leads to the conclusion that consciousness/spirit is the creator of the universe. In other words, the infinite consciousness that you really are is the creator of the entire manifest universe. But each manifest, finite self creates his own beliefs and meanings, thereby creating his own life.
The old WAIR? Process
For many years I thought that the meaning maker, the creator of your beliefs, was spirit. I now realize that although spirit/Infinite Self does creates the entire universe, each finite self creates its own beliefs. And thereby creates its own life.
So although I still think you and I are the creators of our respective lives, that creator is our finite self, not our Infinite Self.
The old WAIR? Process contained what I now consider to be an inaccurate distinction, namely, that the creator of our beliefs and our lives is our Infinite Self. So the Process needs to be revised, even though it was successful in helping tens of thousands of people to get into an altered state of consciousness.
I have been thinking about a new WAIR? Process that does not have this inaccuracy and that will enable us to get into an altered state of consciousness in which we experience (not merely understand or think) that “anything is possible, I have no limitations, and there is nothing missing.”
I haven’t tried the new Process with enough people to see if it works as well as the old one (in other words, does it facilitate people to get into the altered state of consciousness?), but I think it will go something like this:
A possible new WAIR? Process
1. Is it real that you used to be convinced that (name some belief you’ve eliminated) was the truth about you and that your behavior and feelings were for the most part consistent with that belief? (Yes)
2. Is it real that you created the belief? (yes)
3. If you created this belief and all the other beliefs that determine your life, is it real that ultimately you create your life? (yes)
4. So you are both your beliefs and how they manifest in behavior and feelings, and also the creator of those beliefs. Right? (yes)
5. As the creator of your life, what’s possible, right now? (anything) What limitations do you have, right now? (none) What’s missing, right now? (nothing)
The way to know that you’ve entered this altered state of consciousness is if you answer the three questions in step #5 as I’ve indicated.
Try this simple process and see if it facilitates you getting into the altered state of consciousness I describe. Then let me know. If it works for most people, then this is it. If it doesn’t I’ll modify it until it does.
A PERSONAL NOTE TO MY READERS:
In my last update I told you that my CEA (a blood measurement that indicates the extent of colon cancer in the body) had dropped from a high of 79 to 3.4 (normal is under 5.) I took another test last week and it had dropped even further, to 2.2.
My oncologist Jennifer Lucus ordered a CT scan to see if the tumors on my colon and liver were still there. There was too much stool in the colon to get a reading on the colon tumors. But there still was a “mass” on my liver of about 4 cm, a significant reduction from over 10 cm, but still a significant mass.
So I was confused. My intuitive voice had told me that I no longer had any live cancer cells in my body. And a 4 cm mass seemed to indicate there was still a lot of cancer. It seemed as if my intuitive voice was wrong.
Then I sat down with Dr. Lucus, who explained that after the cancer cells that make up a tumor die, you are still left with scar tissue that can look like a lesion on a CT scan. She suggested that we do another CT scan in three months. If the size of the mass was the same, we would know it’s scar tissue. If the size grew or shrunk, we would know it’s probably live cancer cells.
So again, my intuitive voice was probably right—as it has been consistently, even when it’s looked as if it couldn’t possibly be right.
I intend to continue my healthy diet, the supplements my Chinese medicine expert (Michael Broffman of the Pine Street Clinic) is recommending, exercise, cannabis, and my almost total lack of stress. All of this in a mental context where I am certain that I will be okay.
I cannot thank you enough for the hundreds of messages of love and support. And I know that many of you who haven’t written have been sending me love and support also.
Thanks for loving me. I love you too.
Thanks for reading my blog. Please post your questions or comments on how our meanings and beliefs come into being, and the new WAIR? Process. Let me know if the new WAIR? Process helps you enter an altered state of consciousness. Disagreement is as welcome as agreement. Your comments add value for thousands of readers. I love to read them all and I will respond to as many as I can.
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Copyright © 2014 Morty Lefkoe