Powerful Mind Part 38
Created December 1, 2023
Key #10 is about how to ride the bucking bronco that is your mind. Your mind, which is constantly throwing up inner words, feelings and impulses that – if allowed – can enslave your mood.
When my late partner Len Matthews, a wonderful human being, read my book Mind Magic, he initially disagreed with the idea that he should “dis-identify with the thought senate” (paraphrasing the title of Chapter 9). He said, “I’m proud of my ideas, I want to call them my own.”
I pointed out the subtitle of that chapter “Not Throwing Your Authority Behind Untested Head Spewings”. This, I explained, allowed for cases in which a person can take pride and ownership of ideas after having tested those ideas thoroughly enough, with which he agreed.
Therefore Key #10 is about how to test one’s inner drafts before adopting them as one’s own official policy.
Not viewing the situation that way, the vast majority of the human race throughout history, and perhaps more so today due to the Distraction Culture produced by Acceleritis, tend to assume that the inner soundtrack is one’s very own self expressing positions that have been fully ratified by all sides of oneself.
In Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP), the pandemic coping condition for information overload, most of the time the mind is operating in what neuroscientists call the Default Network. This is an idle stream of consciousness that keeps switching tracks based on associations, and includes daydreaming as well as commentary on what one is doing in the external world of consensual reality sometimes involving other people.
In the Observer state, neuroscientists say that the brain is operating from the Executive Control Network, and the mind is in a state of metacognition, able to observe with a degree of detachment what the inner wordstream is saying. It is that degree of detachment which Mind Magic Chapter 9 aimed to achieve in readers. By having that degree of detachment, one can inspect what one’s mind just said, to see if it is consistent with one’s general viewpoint, or if it appears to be an outlier, perhaps a remnant of who you used to be. Or just a first reflexive reaction of anger at someone in language you might have used as a child or as a teenager but would not normally use aloud today.
By helping children to learn these ways, they shall more quickly become able to be in control of their own impulses.
When I was a child, like all other children, I had a very hard time guessing which of my impulses to act upon and which ones to just let drift away. Perhaps I had more trouble with it than most children. Because on stage and in other rare moments I had experienced the Flow state, in which simply letting myself flow with all of my impulses seemed to work fantastically well. At the time this is what I muddily thought. It was only much later on that I realized that in Flow one does not always act on every impulse, in fact, in making that assumption I had caused myself to be taken out of Flow after very short periods of it. This took years to discover. In the meantime, I had absurd experiences of following impulses which turned out to be ridiculously wrong and impossible to defend afterward.
In that chapter of Mind Magic, one of the metaphors used is to consider the mind to be a vast senate of viewpoints, installed based on people you have met who may have impressed you in one way or another, which set up a robot simulating that person within one’s own mind, presumably mediated by a specific pattern of electrochemical flow among specific neurons. In a lifetime one may meet, or hear, speak, or read the words of, tens of thousands of people, including in media. Thousands of them may leave permanent impressions as biological “AI” outposts within one’s mind. This, then, is the senate.
The Executive Control Network may be viewed as the inner True Self, trying to sort through what may be conflicting impulses arising simultaneously like virtual particles in the quantum foam, within one’s own microcosm. The great physicist John Archibald Wheeler postulated that in nothingness before the Big Bang, there had always existed quantum foam, with virtual particles arising and disappearing. In my book A Theory of Everything Including Consciousness and “God” I posited that the quantum foam itself is consciousness, the original substrate of the universe. Whether or not this is true we might not as a species know for millennia, although as individuals some of us may decide to adopt it as a working hypothesis for life, as I do.
By installing Key #10 in one’s own mind, one gives oneself the psychic distance to edit one’s own headstream.
More than that, one can take the time to teach errant senators how to behave properly. For example, one day recently, I heard myself think something mean about a person I love. With Key #10, it’s not enough to just correct oneself and move on: you are advised to carry on an inner dialog with the senator who said that, and to find out how that part of you thinks and feels. Does the part of you who just said that mean thing not love this other person? Or was that just an old reflex from your childhood when you first started to use mean words like that? If the latter turns out to be the case, as it did, that senator (or neuron grouping) can learn that it’s no longer appropriate to use such language even to oneself, it’s no longer fitting within the person you have become. In this way the mind is eventually cleansed and impurities have been removed from it.
One of the inner signals that one learns to pay attention to is any trace of negativity. By now, using the other Keys 1-9, we have already changed our mental habits enough to realize that we prefer to be happy and to know how to quickly tune out of anything that makes us unhappy. Negativity is what makes us unhappy, therefore we have already started to learn how to tune away from negativity to positivity, to find one’s creativity interested and challenged by the “dare” of negativity to find creative solutions to remove all causes of negativity from one’s life as quickly as possible in each case.
More methods for riding one’s psychic froth in the next installment.
My best to all,