Powerful Mind Part 26
Created September 1, 2023
Welcome to this week’s Bill Harvey Blog.
Read Powerful Mind 25
We have been conditioned to rate how well we have performed for other people. Our parents told us we were “a good boy” or “a good girl” at times, and “bad boy” or “bad girl” at other times. Gradually we became more aware of which things would get us which rating, and played to that scorecard. Now, all these many years later, that same approval-seeking program still has independent existence in our minds.
It is what it is. Good and bad are just labels we paste on real things. This labeling has positive outcomes when it helps guide us toward benefitting living things and away from disadvantaging them. But the way we are constantly labeling ourselves moment to moment is a neurotic pattern that is mostly counterproductive.
We also carry around a certain amount of unforgiven guilt, probably as deeply repressed as we can make it. We regret some things we did in our past and some part of us refuses to ever forgive ourselves for it. Even if we act out such a forgiveness it tends not to take the first few times.
These related behaviors use up a certain amount of cognitive capacity that holds us back from Flow state. Our thinking remains petty because of these old wounds and ongoing concern with how well we are performing moment to moment. These are just more attachments we have, conditions we have counterproductively established that do not permit us to feel good about ourselves, nor enjoy the now, unless we can prove ourselves to ourselves every moment. As if we can never be good enough.
Self-rating is irrelevant. We need to relieve ourselves of the burden of constant self-judgment. This is really the ego, presenting the masks that we think people want to see from us. Just more other-directed conditioning, that is preventing us from exercising free will and being in Flow.
Observer state enables us to clear the slate of all mundanities arising within our robotic false selves, as they arise. Like shooting down a missile while it is just leaving the launching pad. We actually have enough attention to be able to pay close watch on what is going on both inside us and around us at the same time. But not if we are unable to control our own attention. If we are living in fear that fear can cause us to be distracted by sounds or movements in the periphery of our vision.
This is why for thousands of years empiricists in all world cultures have trained themselves and others to be able to concentrate, and to ignore distractions and stay single-pointed. Without the ability to concentrate, metacognition becomes much more difficult if not impossible, and Flow state is likely to never occur.
Among the exercises practiced in some cultures is the burning out of fear, by meditating next to a corpse or in a graveyard. My preferred method is to imagine the feared event happening, and working out what one will do if it happens. Once you see yourself having the guts to ride through the feared situation with your head held high, the fear abates.
Getting rid of fear is part of getting rid of distractions, attachments, and other common habits of people who do not know about the higher states of consciousness they are giving up to hang onto these primitive mental ways.
Instead of keeping score on yourself, just let those impulses float away downstream.
Those scorings will otherwise either pump up your ego, making it more capable of distracting and fooling you, or they will undermine your confidence. Either way they will detract from your future performance. In effect, when you give yourself a bad score at moment #1, you are increasing the odds of giving yourself an even worse score at moment #2.
It is more logical and practical for you to recognize the value of the mistake you just learned from, because it makes you much less likely to make the same kind of mistake again, so in effect you ought to be rewarding yourself for having gotten that mistake out of the way as soon as possible.
But the best path is the one that lets all the scoring disperse as quickly as it tries to grab your attention. With a little practice this is not so difficult. That’s why this is the shortest chapter in this serialized book Powerful Mind.
If something is happening, going with the flow of it is generally the best practice, unless you are certain it is not who you are to go along with that. If something is happening that is against your highest principles you should not go along with it. What you might do is ask a question without seeming to take sides. This gives you the most potential leverage to correct the situation, although others with similar principles might misunderstand your actions. Not being attached to what others might think of you temporarily or permanently frees you to do the most good by your own lights.
You are what you control. Your body and mind may not currently be entirely under your control. Deeply habituated ego conditioning may control your emotional reactions faster than you can stop them. This can feel frustrating and you might be tempted to blame yourself for it. However, if you do not currently control those things, it would be unfair to blame you. Leave aside the blame and simply persevere to take over your own castle knowing that in the end it cannot stop you from taking over.
Balance and moderation are two of the great virtues taught by classical Greek Philosophy, Taoism, and to some extent by all spiritual traditions as well as inner exploration psychologies. The ability to deal with every moment is maximized by not over reacting, taking everything in stride, not throwing people out of your heart based on something said or unsaid, not being so fervent about your high principles that you get sucked into attachment to them and passionate rejection of what seem like opposite principles. Everything is connected. Dichotomies exist in the mind but what is, is one connected whole.
Self-rating is irrelevant.
This is radical new mental strategy #5,
the fifth simple key to the doorway
of the upper mind.
Love to all,