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Mindfulness Approach

Disturbance Theory

A Critique of Scientology Philosophy

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The Mind’s Basic Flaw

roman-statue

Reference: Mindfulness Approach

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The Unassimilated Node

When the incoming perceptions of experiences are not refined into perceptual elements, they are just lodged into the mental matrix as “unassimilated nodes”. The person is not conscious of such experiences because they are not assimilated into the refined mental matrix.

When an “unassimilated node” is activated as part of the thinking process it enforces its own dramatization as it was perceived. That dramatization is discontinuous, disharmonious and inconsistent because it is not assimilated with what surrounds it. As a result the mind appears to react irrationally.

As the mental matrix becomes coarse with unassimilated nodes, its logic suffers.

 

The Shock & Recall

Here is an example of an unassimilated node. A child fell into the pool and almost drowned. He was extremely shaken up with that painful experience. Now he has grown up. That experience has receded into a remote past. He may have a general idea of near drowning once, but the details of that severe shock are unavailable to him. He feels very fearful whenever he is near a pool. He gets nauseated at the smell of chlorine, especially when it comes from water. He hates swimming. No logic can resolve his irrational reactions to water.

In this example the unassimilated node is that shock of near drowning. It exists as a singular incident deeply buried in his mind. It gets activated whenever he sees a pool or gets a whiff of chlorine. His is unconscious of this unassimilated node so he is unable to make logical associations with the data buried in it to resolve his irrational fears and reactions. It appears that the shocking nature of an experience prevents its assimilation in the mental matrix.

The basis of all irrational emotions and reactions are shocks that are lodged in the mental matrix as unassimilated nodes.

Such shocks are of three kinds.

  • A painful incident, as in the example above.
  • A heavy emotional loss, such as, the loss of one’s child.
  • A deeply confusing encounter, such as, being in a nightmarish war zone.

One may have a general idea of a shocking experience, but it cannot be recalled in detail. It is simply not assimilated enough that one may be conscious of it. Recall of a shocking experience means that it is now assimilated. Such a recall then resolves all the irrational emotions and reactions.

Unassimilated nodes may be resolved by accessing them through intimate recall.

 

Accessing Unassimilated Nodes

Freud and Hubbard were simply trying to get a person to recall these unassimilated nodes through various means. Psychoanalysis tries to guess at the content of unassimilated nodes by “decoding” their manifestations. Dianetics tries to bring up that content by repeating phrases that are thought to be part of it. Mesmer got that content through a semi-hypnotic approach. The methods of Mesmerism, Psychoanalysis and Dianetics work sometimes, but their failures also abound. After accessing an unassimilated node, the mind seems to make it harder to access the next one. That has been the key problem.

It has always been very difficult to access the unassimilated nodes directly.

The shock buried in an unassimilated node may be accessed under hypnotism; but that bypasses the awareness of the person. Telling the person later about the content of the unassimilated node is not the same thing as the person having an intimate recall of it. To assimilate those experiences the person must access them with full consciousness.

Besides, anything said to the person, while he is hypnotized, simply adds to the unassimilated data in his mind. Thus hypnotism is not only unworkable but it is also a liability.

Hypnotism is not only unworkable but it is also a liability to any possible cure.

 

Anomalies

As Mesmer, Freud and Hubbard have shown, the unassimilated nodes may be approached indirectly. This means that the unassimilated node must be unburdened of the material it is buried under.

The unassimilated nodes get buried because they contain the shock of pain, loss and confusion. They get buried under the consequences of non-assimilation. These consequences are the anomalies of discontinuities, disharmonies and inconsistencies. These anomalies may be described as follows.

  1. Discontinuity is something that simply does not make sense. For example, Joe has a good friend named Bill. Suddenly Bill starts to distance himself. This is incomprehensible to Joe.
  2. Disharmony is visible in conflicts. For example, Joe and Mary have a relationship that is full of conflicts. This is making both of them feel miserable.
  3. Inconsistency exists between two observations that simply don’t go together. For example, Bill claims to be a successful businessman, but he is often filing for bankruptcies.

The unassimilated nodes get buried under the anomalies of discontinuities, disharmonies and inconsistencies.

 

Non-confront & Justification

Such anomalies are still uncomfortable and do not get fully assimilated. They get buried under justifications. Justifications come about when a person cannot really see the cause of a situation, so he explains it away.

A person may explain his fear of water and dislike of swimming by saying that he never had opportunities to learn to swim as a child, and now it is too late. Instead of swimming he should rather be doing other things. Such justifications result in the person running after distractions.

A person who is justifying is, obviously, avoiding, resisting, suppressing or, otherwise, denying something. These are the elements of non-confront.

The anomalies get buried under justifications due to non-confront.

 

Path to Solution

Justifications can easily be recognized. They give us a window into a person’s non-confront, which is to say, what the person is avoiding, resisting, suppressing or denying. This gives us a path to help the person discover anomalies that he has been trying to dodge all his life. Focusing on anomalies may then help the person discover the root cause of it all—the unassimilated node.

Evidently, introverting the attention by trickery, as in psychoanalysis; or forcefully, as in Dianetics, only makes the situation worse by stirring up the mind. We must let the mind unwind itself naturally. This makes us look at the ability of the mind to freely associate in a new light.

We shall take up the subject of free association in the next chapter.

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The Mind as a Matrix

universe-brane-dendritic-matrix

Reference: Mindfulness Approach

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Perceptions

A matrix is a mathematical concept which is applicable to the universe. A matrix is made up of nodes where each node is in some relationship with every other node. The universe maybe represented as a matrix of galaxies. A galaxy may be represented as a matrix of stars and planets. Thus the environment is best represented as a matrix of objects, where each object is related to every other object by distance, gravity, etc.

The environment is a matrix of objects.

The mind is made up of the perceptions of the environment. It is a matrix of perception of objects. These perceptual nodes are related to each other by the properties perceived for these objects. For example, in an animal mind, these perceptual nodes may be related by their property of being safe and edible.

The mind is a matrix of perception of objects in environment.

The mind is not something physical but it exists within the physical environment. It stores the perceptions coming from the environment continually. The perceptions affected by time are managed by breaking them down into refined perceptual nodes. The patterns of perceptual nodes when activated provide the perception of time. This is similar to storing a movie using patterns of pixels.

Perceptions are refined into perceptual nodes to store time.

In the human mind the perceptual nodes become still more refined as they store all possible properties of objects. A property, such as color, may be expressed through an infinite-valued scale. The properties may also range from concrete to abstract. Thus these perceptual nodes become numerous as they allow the mind to become increasingly discriminative and abstract. We may call them “perceptual elements”. Errors creep in only when perceptions do not get refined into perceptual elements and assimilated into the mental matrix.

The mind becomes increasingly discriminative with refinement of perceptions into “perceptual elements”.

 

The Animal Mind

The basic animal mind can be observed to operate entirely on automatic assimilation of perceptions from the environment into its coarse mind. This assimilation takes place on a continual basis. We may call this assimilation “free association”. Please note that this free association is not the same thing as the “technique of free association” in psychoanalysis.

Free association is the natural mechanism of evolution, which makes up the entire thinking of the animal mind.

The free association operates in an unbounded, universal context where nothing is suppressed. This allows animals to become part of a natural ecosystem with other life organisms.

Free association is objective in nature because of its universal context.

 

The Human Mind

In the much more complex human mind, the natural function of “free association” is further supported by “creative associations” of thought. This becomes possible because of the extreme refinement of the perceptual nodes. Thus there is imagination and the faculty to make projections. There is also a deeper faculty of intuition, which comes straight from the fundamental principle of “chaos to order”.

Thought becomes possible in the human mind because of the extreme refinement of the perceptual nodes.

The human thought is objective when it is in sync with the free association of universal nature. However, when it goes out of sync thinking becomes limited to narrow, bounded contexts.

Thought is objective when it is in sync with free association. But when it goes out of sync it reduces in context and, therefore, becomes subjective.

 

Consciousness

The section above proposes a “matrix” model for the mind. The earlier models of the mind have been quite general as they were based on simple duality of functions observed. For example, In 1890s, Freud proposed the model of conscious and unconscious mind.

We now see from the matrix model that the greater is the refinement of perceptions into perceptual elements the higher is the consciousness. This explains the greater consciousness in humans compared to the consciousness in animals.

Consciousness increases with refinement of perceptual nodes.

When the incoming perceptions of experiences are not refined into perceptual elements, they are just lodged into the mental matrix as “unassimilated nodes”. Thus the person is not conscious of such experiences because they could not be assimilated into the refined mental matrix. This describes the concept of “unconscious mind” proposed by Freud.

Freud’s “unconscious mind” is made up of unassimilated experiences.

 

Rationality

In 1950s, Hubbard proposed the model of analytical and reactive mind, while stating that the mind is always conscious.

The analytical mind is rational as it recognizes differences, similarities and identities, and comes up with sound judgment. In the matrix model, the natural associations are guided by the fundamental characteristics of order, which are continuity, harmony and consistency. The animal mind operates on free association. The human mind adds creative thinking that functions in sync with free association. Therefore, the mind is naturally analytical.

The mind is naturally rational as its associations are continually guided by the fundamental characteristics of order (continuity, harmony and consistency).

When an “unassimilated node” is activated as part of the thinking process it enforces its singular dramatization as perceived. That dramatization is discontinuous, disharmonious and inconsistent because it is not assimilated with what surrounds it. The mind appears to be reacting irrationally. This describes the concept of “reactive mind” proposed by Hubbard.

Hubbard’s “reactive mind” is made up of unassimilated experiences too.

 

Memory

The models of Freud and Hubbard, which are based on simple duality, imply that perceptions are stored “as-is” in the mind. However, the matrix model describes the storage of perceptions as patterns of perceptual elements well assimilated within the mental matrix. Since same perceptual elements may be utilized many times in different patterns, the matrix model provides a more efficient way of storing perceptions in the mind.

A “memory” is a pattern of perceptual elements that is activated by attention. Memory is clear and precise when its pattern is made up of refined and well assimilated elements. Memory shall consist of “holes” when the pattern contains “unassimilated nodes”.

A “memory” is a pattern of perceptual elements that is activated by attention.

 

Intelligence

With the matrix model it is easy to see the difference between the animal mind and the human mind in terms of how finely the perceptions are broken down into discriminative perceptual elements. This property defines the intelligence of the mind.

Intelligence of the mind depends on the refinement of the perceptual elements.

 

Power

The perceptual elements are related within the mental matrix by means of infinite-valued scales of properties. Thus all perceptions are continuous, harmonious and consistent when they are well assimilated throughout the mental matrix. The better assimilated the perceptions are, the greater is the resolution of the mind.

Power of the mind depends on the degree of assimilation of perceptions in the mental matrix.

 

Purpose

As the chaos in the environment impresses itself upon the mind through perceptions, the mind converts the chaos into order by assimilating them in its matrix of refined perceptual elements. The assimilated state of the mind is felt as emotions, which then generates sensations in the body. The emotions and sensations motivate the body to act. The body acts internally to maintain its health, and externally to bring order to the environment.

Thus we have a cycle, which operates from the environment through the mind-body system back on the environment, converting chaos into order. This explains the role of living organisms in the universe.

The purpose of the living mind-body organism is to bring order to its immediate environment, so as to speed up the evolution of the universe.

 

Emotions & Sensations

The mind is hard-wired to the body through the brain and the nervous system. As perceptions are received from the environment, they are continually assimilated into the mental matrix. This generates impulses in the body to bring appropriate responses from the endocrine, respiratory, muscular and other systems.

These impulses are generated by the mind as emotions and are sensed by the body as sensations.

This determines the health of the body internally and actions of the organism externally. The external actions then bring changes to the environment.

 

The Flaw

Errors enters into the highly complex human mind, when it is unable to fully assimilate an experience. The lack of proper assimilation then erodes thought from being creative to becoming discontinuous, disharmonious and inconsistent. This is then reflected through sickness in the body and aberrations in the conduct of the organism.

The flaw of the mind is taken up in the next chapter.

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From Chaos to Order

chaos1

Reference: Mindfulness Approach

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God versus Science

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, which were yet unformed, void and enveloped in darkness. From this then came the following at the pleasure of God.

  • Day 1 – Formation of light from darkness
  • Day 2 – Formation of firmament from waters
  • Day 3 – Formation of earth and plant life from the seas
  • Day 4 – Formation of regularity in terms of day, night, year and seasons
  • Day 5 – Formation of sea life in water and fowl on land
  • Day 6 – Formation of higher animal life and humans.

The formation ends here because “God rested on the seventh day”. The world then runs as formed.

To look at the above scientifically, we just have to make the following change.

God is the fundamental principle of “order precipitating from chaos”. The chaos is, of course, the yet unformed, void and dark “heaven and earth”.

And then the following stages follow:

  1. From electromagnetic energy to matter
  2. From matter to animation
  3. From animation to life
  4. From life to thought

These stages are studied as follows:

  • Stage 1 is the subject of PHYSICS &.COSMOLOGY
  • Stage 2 is the subject of CHEMISTRY & BIOCHEMISTRY
  • Stage 3 is the subject of BIOLOGY & PROGRAMMING
  • Stage 4 is the subject of AWARENESS & MINDFULNESS

There are more details here compared to the descriptions in the Bible. This is not surprising because civilization has made considerable progress since the Bible was written. But the big realization comes as follows.

The fundamental principle of order precipitating from chaos never rests. In other words, from the view of science God never rests.

 

The Principle of God

The fundamental principle is that order precipitates naturally from chaos. In fact, this universe is the manifestation of the cumulative order that has precipitated. Without this principle, there wouldn’t be a universe.

God is the principle that order precipitates naturally from chaos.

Some may argue that order could just as well be converting back to chaos. That may be so. But, evidently, there is a net increase in order at any point in time. In fact, time itself may be the very manifestation of this irreversibility.

Time is the irreversibility of the precipitation of this order.

The Bible represents chaos as the “yet unformed, void and dark heaven and earth”. Science may call it “potential order”. Here we may have hidden stages of earlier creation. In fact, ancient texts hint at the universe forming and dispersing cyclically. But these are fuzzy grounds.

Chaos may, at best, be defined as “potential order”.

Evidently, evolution proceeded with trial and error in the beginning. That is why the earlier stages took so long. Evolution is occurring much faster only at the current stage of “from life to thought”. Intelligence and imagination are phenomena that have emerged only at the current stage.

Considering God to be a supernatural being with intelligence is a big leap of imagination. 

We are on a firm ground when we look at God to be the principle of order precipitating naturally from chaos. This fundamental principle continues to drive the formation of this universe even at this very moment.

Creativity at any place, and in any form, is a manifestation of the principle of God.

 

The Creative Evolution

The “days” from the Bible, and the “stages” from science, simply describe the sequence of evolution. Each cycle in this evolution is “start, change, and stop”. For life organisms, this cycle  becomes “birth, survival, and death.”

Evolution is a sequence of creative cycles.

The evolution takes place in the ‘death to birth’ phase, based on learning that takes place during the ‘survival’ phase. Death clears away the older, used up forms; and birth brings about the newer, updated forms. Over each cycle the evolution may be infinitesimal, but over trillions of cycles there is a net evolution, and that evolution is creative.

Cycles are clearing away of older forms and generation of new ones.

The popular belief that “God rested on the seventh day,” may lead one to believe that there is no more creation, and life is all about surviving. This brings about the human desire to survive forever. But the reality of death and birth is natural. It serves a creative function. The desire to live forever is subjective and unnatural. God is more concerned with evolving than with surviving.

The fundamental directive of this universe is EVOLVE and not SURVIVE!

 

The Characteristics of Order

Evolution is bringing about order that is becoming increasingly complex. To understand where we are headed at this stage, it is necessary to understand the earlier stages

When we look at Stage 1 – “From electromagnetic energy to matter,” we find that the electromagnetic spectrum is flanked by space on one side and matter on the other. As the frequency goes to zero, the electromagnetic energy reduces to space. As the frequency goes very high the electromagnetic energy collapses into matter. We see this in the structure of the atom, in which the field of electromagnetic energy extends from space to the material nucleus. This tells us that there is continuity from space to matter through a field of electromagnetic energy. The purpose of this stage is to arrive at some form of stability.

The universe is fundamentally continuous.

When we look at Stage 2 – “From matter to animation,” we find that inanimate molecules evolve into self-animated RNA and DNA molecules. These complex molecules have enough electrons in their external orbits to form programmable circuits like that in a computer. There is a harmonious internal motion in all molecules, but it then starts to evolve into a series of external motions that are repetitive and in harmony with the internal motions. The purpose of this stage is to arrive at some form of harmonious external motion.

The universe is fundamentally harmonious.

When we look at Stage 3 – “From animation to life,” we find that self-animated molecules evolve into self-reproducing life organisms.  The repetitive external motions, in harmony with similar motions from other molecules, are able to build complex motions of a cell that are able to reproduce the whole cell. This ability to reproduce itself repetitively defines life. The cells than combine with other cells and grow into infinite and complex varieties of life organisms that can also reproduce themselves. There is consistency throughout this complex growth in the ability to reproduce oneself repetitively. The purpose of this stage is to arrive at the capability of reproducing itself.

The universe is fundamentally consistent.

The characteristics of order in this universe are continuity, harmony and consistency.

 

Life and Organisms

The first action of evolution was to establish something stable to build a structure with. It then built a structure that could be programmed. The structure was then programmed to reproduce itself. Here we have the emergence of life. Life manifests itself by mobilizing the elements from the environment into a body and then making that body reproduce itself repetitively. And so we have life organisms.

The basic characteristic of life is to bring order to the environment by developing organisms and enabling the organisms to reproduce.

 

Mind and Free Association

The seat of life is generally referred to as the mind. The fundamental activity of the mind is to support complex evolution by ensuring continuity, harmony and consistency. The mind operates on the fundamental principle of “chaos to order”. It associates perceptions from the environment freely to determine the order needed. It then mobilizes the organism to implement that order in the environment.

The mind uses the fundamental logic of continuity, harmony and consistency to freely associate the perceptions from the environment to organize it better.

 

The Emergence of Thought

The most advanced form of life organisms is the human form. Evolution introduces something new at this level—thought. Thought has the capability to generate new and creative associations above and beyond the free associations of the mind. The purpose of thought is to speed up evolution through the complexity of life. It does that by resolving discontinuities, disharmonies and inconsistencies at all stages of evolution.

Thought is on a mission to resolve discontinuities, disharmonies and inconsistencies at all stages of evolution.

 

Summary

The above is an outline of the evolution up to the current stage of “from life to thought”. In the next chapter we look more closely at the human mind, which is the seat of thought and free association.

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Focusing Attention

seriously

Reference: Mindfulness Approach

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In the exercises of previous two chapters we have looked closely at the mind and its natural function of free association to bring assimilation. Free association takes place under the discipline of mindfulness, which is to not avoid, resist, suppress, deny or otherwise interfere with the activity of the mind.

When freely associating the data in the mind one places attention on the area to be sorted out. For example, the last two exercises focused attention on memory and mental conditioning respectively. Those who cannot focus their attention on such abstract concepts need something more concrete to focus their attention on.

It is always easier to focus attention on something concrete than abstract.

The gradient from concrete to increasingly abstract concepts and ideas represents increasing focus required of attention. Therefore, the simplest gradient of focus is attention on physical perceptions.

This chapter provides exercises for those who had difficulty focusing their attention as required by the earlier exercises. Here we focus attention on physical perceptions while learning the discipline required for free association. Hopefully, a person, after doing these exercises for some time, shall be able to build up the focus required for the exercises of the last two chapters.

In these exercises it is assumed that the student who is learning to focus attention is assisted by another person acting as a guide.

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EXERCISE # 1

PURPOSE: To learn to focus attention using the perception of touch.

STEPS:

  1. Find an environment where different textures exist to exercise the sense of touch.

  2. The guide gently asks the student to touch different objects and surfaces with the instruction, “Touch that _____”.

  3. The guide encourages the student to describe the sense of touch.

  4. The guide instructs the student at a comfortable pace giving the student enough time to focus on the feeling of the touch.

  5. When the student is too distracted by his chaotic mind to comply with the instruction, the guide gently directs the student’s hand physically, to make contact with the object or surface.

  6. This exercise is done for the 20 minute duration of a session. Several sessions may be given over the course of days until progress is observed.

  7. This exercise is completed when the student is doing this exercise happily with interest.

  8. When this exercise is completed the student may proceed to the next exercise.

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EXERCISE # 2

PURPOSE: To learn to focus attention using the perception of sight.

STEPS:

  1. Find an environment where different colors and shapes exist to exercise the sense of sight.

  2. The guide gently asks the student to look at different objects with the instruction, “Look at that _____”.

  3. The guide encourages the student to recognize the object and describe its shape and color.

  4. The guide instructs the student at a comfortable pace giving the student enough time to focus on the object.

  5. When the student is too distracted by his chaotic mind to comply with the instruction, the guide directs the student’s attention by pointing to the object and gently repeating the instruction.

  6. This exercise is done for the 20 minute duration of a session. Several sessions may be given over the course of days until progress is observed.

  7. This exercise is completed when the student is doing this exercise happily with interest..

  8. When this exercise is completed the student may proceed to the next exercise.

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EXERCISE # 3

PURPOSE: To learn to focus attention using the perceptions of hearing, taste and smell.

STEPS:

  1. The guide takes the student to a busy and friendly coffee shop and orders some drinks and snacks.

  2. The guide encourages the student to focus on the sounds in the environment and describe them as best as he can.

  3. The guide may point to different sources and ask the student to describe the sound coming from there as pleasant, unpleasant, shrill, low pitched, conversational, etc.

  4. The guide then encourages the student to focus on different aroma wafting in the environment and describe them as best as he can.

  5. The guide may point to different sources and ask the student to describe the aroma coming from there as pleasant, unpleasant, pungent, light, etc.

  6. The guide then encourages the student to focus on the taste of different drinks and snacks.

  7. He asks the student to describe each taste as best as he can as sweet, salty, very tasty, not so tasty, etc.

  8. This exercise is done for at least 20 minute duration of a session. Several sessions may be given over the course of days until progress is observed.

  9. This exercise is completed when the student is doing this exercise happily with interest.

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Hopefully these three exercises of experiencing different physical perceptions will build the focus of attention enough for the student to do the earlier exercises with memory and mental conditioning.

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Calming of the Chaotic Mind

chaotic-mind

Reference: Mindfulness Approach

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It becomes evident from the exercise in Chapter 7, Free Association in Mindfulness, that some memories take much longer to come up. This happens when the memory is part of an area of the mind that contains chaos. The chaos exists because the mind is unable to assimilate certain experiences in that area. Those experiences did not get assimilated because they contained pain, loss and deep confusion when received.

The chaotic condition in the mind exists due to unassimilated experiences.

To some degree this chaotic condition is being stimulated by “reminders” in the environment. Attending meditation classes or going on vacations serves to calm the mind because the disturbing environment is put in abeyance. But that is a temporary fix only. When a person returns to his usual environment these experiences get activated again. Permanent solution to the chaotic condition requires accessing the unassimilated experiences and assimilating them into rest of the mind.

The calming of the mind requires accessing and assimilating such experiences.

This is what Freud and Hubbard were trying to do. Psychoanalysis tries to guess at the content of unassimilated experiences by analyzing coded manifestations. Dianetics tries to bring up that content by repeating phrases that are thought to be part of it. Mesmer got that content somehow when he accidently affected cures. The methods of Psychoanalysis and Dianetics also work sometimes, but then the mind shuts itself off still harder. That has been the key problem.

It has always been very difficult to access the unassimilated experiences directly.

The unassimilated experiences may be accessed under hypnotism. But the person cannot be made aware of them in that condition. To assimilate those experiences the person must access them with full consciousness. Under hypnotism, anything said to the person just adds to the unassimilated data. Thus hypnotism is not only unworkable but it is also a liability.

Hypnotism is not only unworkable but it is also a liability for the mind.

The unassimilated experiences get buried because they contain pain, loss and deep confusion. They bury themselves under the anomalies (discontinuities, disharmonies and inconsistencies), which may be described as follows.

  • Discontinuity is something that simply does not make sense. For example, Joe has a good friend named Bill. Suddenly Bill starts to distance himself. This is incomprehensible to Joe.
  • Disharmony is visible in conflicts. For example, Joe and Mary have a relationship that is full of conflicts and making both of them miserable.
  • Inconsistency exists between two observations that simply don’t go together. For example, Bill claims to be a successful businessman, but he is often filing for bankruptcies.

Such anomalies are still very uncomfortable. They bury themselves under justifications. And so comes about “running after distractions” and mental conditioning.

The unassimilated experiences get buried under anomalies, which then get buried under mental conditioning.

Evidently, introverting the attention forcefully, or by trickery, only makes the situation worse by stirring up the mind. We must let the mind unwind itself naturally.

As the person sits down and looks at the mind he becomes aware of the things he has been avoiding, resisting, denying and suppressing, and this is keeping his mental conditioning in place.

The discipline of mindfulness requires that one does not avoid, resist, deny or suppress the activity of the mind, but looks at things as they are. As the person applies this discipline, free associations take place. He starts to become aware of the conditioning and the anomalies he has been justifying. As he focuses on the anomalies with free association, they start to resolve one by one.

It is only at this point that the unassimilated experiences start to show up and get assimilated in the refined and complex matrix of the mind.

It is only under the discipline of mindfulness that free association occurs to resolve mental conditioning, anomalies and unassimilated experiences on a gradient.

The first step is to become aware of the mental conditioning. Our thinking, in large part, is conditioned by our childhood environment and the schooling we receive. Our social behavior, in general, is conditioned by the society we live in. Conditioning takes place when proper assimilation is prevented in the mind.

This gradient approach to assimilation starts from observing the mental conditioning. This can be done by most people themselves. The following exercise gets this process started.

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EXERCISE

PURPOSE: To address social conditioning with free association.

PREREQUISITE: The exercise at “Free Association in Mindfulness”.

STEPS:

  1. This exercise requires two people. Invite another student of mindfulness to do this exercise with you.

  2. Place two chairs facing each other about five feet apart. This distance may be decreased in subsequent sessions depending on the comfort level. The minimum knee to knee distance should be one inch.

  3. Sit and look at each other and say and do nothing for at least 20 minutes. Just BE there and not do anything else but BE there

  4. As you observe each other, maintain free association under the discipline of mindfulness.

  5. Observe the social conditioning that shows up and observe each element of it, such as,

    • Need to make conversation

    • Need to be interesting

    • Desire to speak

    • Feeling of embarrassment

    • Feeling of discomfort

    • Reactions like fidgeting, giggling, twitches, blinks, facial expressions, etc.

    • Need to suppress the feelings and reactions

    • Sleepiness

  1. Focus on the elements of social conditioning in the order they appear.

  2. Continue this focus with free association until an element is no longer bothering you.

  3. If anomalies shows up address them as above in the order they appear.

  4. Focus is important. Your eyes may be open, half-open or closed.

  5. If you feel sleepy do not interfere; let the free association continue through sleep.

  6. You will complete this exercise when you can comfortably sit in front of another person fully alert with no more reaction and suppression, for straight 20 minutes.

  7. You should be able to do this at the closest distant allowed on this exercise. This may take several sessions of doing this exercise at different distances.

  8. The hardest part of this exercise is to overcome the conditioning that makes one suppress feelings and reactions. One must overcome this conditiong and recover the freedom to hide, or not hide, one’s natural feelings depending on the situation.

Further exercises to address mental conditioning shall be published in subsequent chapters.

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