Category Archives: Subject Clearing

SUBJECT CLEARING STEP 4—The Discipline of Meditation

Reference: Course on Subject Clearing

In meditating over a key word (STEP 3), it is very important that you DO NOT try to remember something by guessing again and again. You simply let the mind present things to you. If the meaning of a word does not come up, you do not keep guessing at it. You right away look it up in a dictionary. You should not be putting undue pressure on the mind in meditation.

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Visualization

When you are having difficulty visualizing a definition, then look up that definition again. Maybe there is a word in that definition that you do not understand; or, maybe you need a better explanation. So, you consult another dictionary or reference, until you have the details and examples you need.

Once you have proper data you should be able to visualize the definition easily. Letting the visualization come up without much effort is very important. There is an exercise for it that you can do. See Visualization Exercise.

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Non-interference

When meditating on the word from different angles, let the questions and anomalies come up by themselves. You do not avoid, resist, suppress or deny any thoughts, emotions, and even sensations. You simply be a witness and let the mind associate and unwind on its own.

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Integrity of Perception

You maintain the integrity of perception by following the 12 rules given below. These rules are linked to exercises that help you practice that rule.

  1. Observe without Desires
  2. Observe without Assuming
  3. Observe what is Missing
  4. Observe the Incomprehensible
  5. Observe all Senses
  6. Let the Mind Un-stack
  7. Experience Fully
  8. Do not suppress
  9. Associate Data freely
  10. Observe beyond Name and Form
  11. Contemplate thoughtfully
  12. Let it be effortless

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Attention

Whenever you find your attention getting fixated or stuck there is some anomaly underlying that phenomenon. Simply meditate on that point of fixation applying the rules above. Wait for the anomaly to come up. Broaden the context in which you are viewing, as much as possible, and fully discern any association without influencing it.

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Discipline

Once this discipline in meditation is established discernment occurs in leaps and bounds.

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Also see:

  1. The Law of Mindfulness
  2. Self-Learning and Assimilation

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SUBJECT CLEARING STEP 3—Meditating on a Key Word

Reference: Course on Subject Clearing

As mentioned on STEP 2, when you take up a key word, the first action is to meditate upon it. 

The whole purpose of meditating on a key word is to bring up dormant questions and anomalies, and resolve whatever does not make sense.

Full resolution will depend on how far you are able to assimilate data in your mental matrix.

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Conceptual Understanding

The first step is to make sure you have a conceptual understanding of the key word. So, you look up the origin of that word in a dictionary, or type on Google, “Origin of the word _____” to get the concept underlying that word. For example, the concept underlying the word STUDY is ‘zeal, painstaking application’.

You then look up the definitions of the word in a dictionary, or type on Google, “Meaning of the word _____” to get those definitions. You visualize those definitions one at a time as you read them. Visualize some examples of each definition until you get full conceptual understanding of the key word. Continue meditating on the key word until you have examined its concept from all different angles.

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Word Chain

If you are having difficulty in visualizing a definition, then there may be a word in that definition that you need to look up. As you continue, you may end up with a word chain.

A word chain could be a phenomenon of not having a good understanding of the language. You may simply work your way through the word chain. This will improve your vocabulary in that language. To speed up you may need some understanding of the grammar of that language. Therefore, LANGUAGE and GRAMMAR may themselves become important subjects for you to clear later.

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Key Words

After forming a conceptual understanding continue meditating on the key word from different angles. As you do so you may come up with a question, or an anomaly (a discontinuity, inconsistency or disharmony). You now focus on answering that question, or resolving that anomaly. Your attention may simply move to other key words in that subject. For example, while meditating on the word “education” your attention may shift to the word “discipline”. 

Add these additional key words to your Key Word List in the sequence they come to your attention. Make sure you have a working understanding of these key words, and then continue meditating on the original key word you are on.

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Subject List

The broader is the subject that you are clearing, the more likely it is to come up with key words that should be treated as separate subjects on their own. For example, when you are clearing the subject “human condition” your attention may shift to words like BODY and MIND that could be treated as subjects in themselves. You may then clear these words broadly as to their purpose, and then add them on your list of subjects to clear.

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Line of Inquiry

In meditating over a key word, and its underlying concept, it is important to keep close to your main line of inquiry. Therefore, you may clear other words only to the degree that you are able to continue with your main line of inquiry. But set those words aside for detailed consideration later.

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Questions and Anomalies

As questions and anomalies come up during your meditation, you may find that you need to study some textual material from Wikipedia or a text book. Just make sure that, when studying these materials, you do not go by a word that you do not understand. Just apply your judgment on how far you need to clear up words that are not on your main line of inquiry. But always set aside words you need to follow up later by adding them to your Key Word List, or to the Subject List.

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Key Word List

Make sure that you keep adding and rearranging the key words in your list in the sequence in which the concepts seem to be developing—both forward and backwards. Focus on clearing up those key words first that represent more fundamental concepts. You may find yourself jumping back to more basic key words. This is ok.

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Also see

  1. Mind: The Matrix Model
  2. Word Clearing
  3. Visualization
  4. Self-Learning and Assimilation

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SUBJECT CLEARING STEP 2—Preparing a Key Word List

Reference: Course on Subject Clearing

Once you have selected the subject to work on, the next action is to prepare a key word list. 

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Key Word List

You start the key list with the title of the subject. When your subject is Mathematics, start the key word list with the word MATHEMATICS. When your subject is some personal trauma, start the key word list with the word TRAUMA. When your subject is a personal confusion, start the key word list with the word CONFUSION.

If you are familiar with the subject you may already know some key words, and the sequence in which the underlying concepts developed in the subject. For example, you may arrange the key words of ‘Mathematics’ as follows.

Mathematics, counting, number, digit, place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and so on. 

If you are not familiar enough with the subject, or if the subject is too broad, you may make a list of about ten key words, in the order they come to your mind. For example, you may start with key words for ‘Human Condition’ as follows.

Human, condition, human condition, dukkha, misery, shame, blame, regret, greed, self-absorbed

As a person works with such a list, he would simply know what word he wants to look up next. If that word is not on the list, he adds it in the sequence he is actually looking up the words. This way the Key Word list builds up.

I refer to those working on Subject Clearing as Self Learners (SL). Right now I have three SLs, whose Key Word Lists currently appear as follows:

SL #1:  

HUMAN, CONDITION, HUMAN CONDITION, PARENTHOOD, FATHER, EGO, SELF, DUKKHA, GREED, attachment, misery, shame, blame, regret, longing, self-absorbed, love, forgiveness

As you can see the list has changed from what it was originally. The words highlighted on this list have been looked up. They are arranged in the sequence that they were looked up.

SL#2:

HUMAN, CONDITION, HUMAN CONDITION, BODY, MIND, SPIRIT, DEATH, BELONGING, MINDFULNESS, SUPPRESSION, emotion, aberration, health, sex, money, possessions, entertainment, activity, hobbies, food, drink, friends, neighbors, relationships, nationalities, religions, pets, animals, insects, creatures, life, planets, solar system, universe, big bang, family, group, school, village, town, city, country, team (sport), company, organization, church, religion

Some of these words may qualify as new subjects to be handled separately, but they may be left on the list when it is sufficient to know the overall purpose of the subject represented by that word.

SL#3:

TRAUMA, MINDSET, THINKING, CIRCUIT, THOUGHT, DESIRE, mindfulness, material, spiritual, expectancy, hope, happiness, conditioning, beingness, affinity, suppression, guidance

So, in case of a broad subject like ‘Human Condition’, or for ‘personal trauma’ and ‘personal confusion’, the key word list may develop differently for different people. That is just fine. The whole idea is to address the word or concept where the attention sticks. You may start with about 10 words. More words shall get added or dropped as you continue.

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The Next Word

After you have meditated over about 10 words or so, look them over as a group and see if they can be rearranged in some sequence that makes more sense. Some pattern may emerge and that may guide you to the next word that you should take up. Repeat this action whenever you are not sure what word you want to take up next.

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Discovery

Once in a while after you have meditated over a large number of words, you might want to review the whole list and see which concepts are more basic than others. Then rearrange the words according to the sequence in which these concepts seem to have developed. When you do this, you might become aware of concepts missing in that sequence. This might lead to some discovery.

Keep in mind that the more fundamental are the concepts you are looking up, the more fundamental are the discoveries possible.

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Building up the Key Word List

Part of subject clearing is reading about the subject in the Wikipedia, or studying a book related to that subject, or discussing it with a close friend. The whole idea is to gain proper understanding of what is involved in that subject. This may lead to adding new Key Words to the list.

Ultimately, there is going to be a nice long Key Word List on the subject. You may rearrange it in the sequence that the concepts seem to have evolved. You may then store it for future research. You may also share it with a friend who is clearing that subject.

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Also see Key Word Clearing.

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SUBJECT CLEARING STEP 1—Selecting a Subject

Reference: Course on Subject Clearing

When we think of a subject, we usually think of a subject we studied in school. But a subject in Subject Clearing is much more than that.

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School Subjects

General school subjects are: Language, Grammar, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, etc. These are valid subjects for Subject Clearing, especially for young students.

When we look at High School and college level subjects we have  a lot more variety, such as, Physics, Chemistry, Calculus, Logic, Computer Programming, Robotics, Linguistics, Philosophy, Biology, Political Science, etc. These are valid subjects for Subject Clearing too.

For technical people we get into more advanced subjects, such as, Engineering, Medical Sciences, Quantum Mechanics and so on. And then for business professionals we have Management, Entrepreneurship, Construction, Accounting, Finance, etc. These are all valid subjects.

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Life Subjects

For Subject Clearing, however, it is very important to clear up the fundamentals of a subject that apply broadly to life. Here we have subjects like Philosophy, Religion, Mindfulness, Human Condition, etc. 

As children grow up to be adults, the subject of Human Condition becomes most important. But it is a subject, which is never taught by others. One must learn this subject by oneself through one’s own experience. Unfortunately, one’s experience is littered with confusions and traumas.

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Trauma as a Subject

Underlying confusions there are misunderstandings caused by traumatic experiences. Therefore, Traumatic Experience becomes the priority subject for most people to address, followed by personal confusions.

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Fundamentals

The idea of Subject Clearing is to clear up the fundamentals first and then the details. In case of a trauma, the fundamental would be the basic shock. In case of a confusion, the fundamental would be a basic concept.

In case of school subjects, the fundamentals of communication are represented by the subjects of LANGUAGE and GRAMMAR; and the fundamentals of thinking are represented by the subject of MATHEMATICS.

In case of life subjects, one may start as broadly as practical to cover as much life as possible. Then one may decide to explore a certain part of that subject in more detail, and then simply broaden the subject further to explore still more basic fundamentals. Here we have very broad subjects of PHILOSOPHY and RELIGION.

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List of Subjects

Here is a list of suggested subjects that one may consider subject clearing:

[Personal Trauma]
[Personal Confusion]
Language
Grammar
Mathematics
Human Condition
Physics

Biology
Philosophy
Religion
Mindfulness
Universe

These subjects will keep one busy for a long time. But as one proceeds with subject clearing one gains the ability to think critically.

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Mental & Physical Health

As the mind starts to clear up its persisting confusions and questions, the mental and physical health also starts to improve—sometimes miraculously.

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Getting Started

You start Subject Clearing by selecting a subject that you really want to understand, and then keep broadening it.

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Also see:

  1. Subjects that do not Make Sense
  2. Studying a Subject

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Studying a Subject

Reference: Course on Subject Clearing

A subject is studied best on a gradient. In other words, you start studying a subject using simple materials that introduce you to the basic ideas in that subject; and then you gradually study more complex details. Trouble arises when you miss understanding the basic ideas in a subject, because they are fundamental to the understanding of all its details.

In subject clearing, when you have made a list of all the subjects that you had trouble with, it gives you an overview of your “mental tumor”. To start resolving that tumor, you start as close to the core of the tumor as possible. So you pick up the earliest subject  that you recall having trouble with. And then you focus on the fundamental ideas in that subject.

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The Earliest Subjects

Anything that influences a person becomes a part of his learning in some way. There is some evidence that a child’s learning starts from the perceptions reaching it in the womb. We are interested in clearing the perceptions that did not get assimilated. Such perceptions may be beyond the awareness of the person for now, but they will, ultimately, get assimilated during the process of subject clearing. 

We, therefore, start with the subject in which the person can recall having his earliest confusions.  These subjects may be identified as,

  1. The subject of expressing oneself (language), and
  2. The subject of thinking coherently (mathematics).

This boils down to learning different sounds and the meaning of different symbols.

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An Example of Clearing

As a math tutor, I get a kick out of asking my students, “What is the difference between a digit and a number?” Sometimes I ask this question to the parents too, in order to demonstrate how I am tutoring their child. There is hardly a more basic question in mathematics. It quickly reveals the depth of understanding a person has of fundamental concepts.

Most people fumble around for a precise answer. They have some inkling of the difference between a digit and a number but they can’t seem to put it exactly in words. Then I ask them, “Okay, can you tell me the difference between a letter and a word?” The response I get here has more certainty. Most people know that there are only 26 letters in English that are used to make the thousands of words that you find in a dictionary.

Then I point out that digits are like “letters” and numbers are like “words”. There are only ten digits in math that are used to write infinity of numbers. All of sudden I see bright smiles and shining faces. Some intractable confusion apparently got cleared, and got replaced by a certainty.

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Study

It is a simple clearing of confusion as above, and new realizations about things, that keep a person motivated about learning. His curiosity is kept alive and he wants to study all kinds of things.

The word ‘study’ comes from Latin studium ‘zeal, painstaking application’. When a person is curious and motivated, he or she studies naturally in the real sense of the word.

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