Hidden beliefs that shape our life experiences

Joe

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Hi all, been reading a book called "Breaking the habit of being yourself" and there is some good information in there, so far away.

The last part I read talked about habits (not just the mechanical kind) and how they shape our experiences and tend to keep giving us the same experiences. Here are a few excerpts:

Plugging into our past self

What do most of us do each morning after we’ve been plugged into our reality by these sensory reminders of who we are, where we are, and so forth? Well, we remain plugged into this past self by following a highly routine, unconscious set of automatic behaviors.

For example, you probably wake up on the same side of the bed, slip into your robe the same way as always, look into the mirror to remember who you are, and shower following an automatic routine. Then you groom yourself to look like everyone expects you to look, and brush your teeth in your usual memorized fashion. You drink coffee out of your favorite mug and eat your customary breakfast cereal. You put on the jacket you always wear and unconsciously zip it up.

Next, you automatically drive to work along your accustomed, convenient route. At work you do the familiar things that you have memorized how to do so well. You see the same people, who push your same emotional buttons, which causes you to think the same thoughts about those people and your work and your life.

Later, you hurry up and go home, so you can hurry up and eat, so you can hurry up and watch your favorite TV show, so you can hurry up and go to bed, so you can hurry up and do it all over again. Has your brain changed at all that day?

Why are you secretly expecting something different to show up in your life, when you think the same thoughts, perform the same actions, and experience the same emotions every single day? Isn’t that the definition of insanity? All of us have fallen prey to this type of limited life, one time or another.
I suppose most people here can relate to this, but I don't think the problem is really the fact that our days tend to follow the same or similar routines. Routines are actually necessary if we're going to get anything done, after all, certain tasks require the same or similar actions to be performed over and over again. We all HAVE to get dressed each morning and eat breakfast, and ideally our food SHOULD be pretty standard. So changing that aspect of the routine isn't really necessary or advisable. The aspect that we really should be changing or developing is what goes on inside ourselves, our thoughts and emotional reactions to things in our environment that tends to repeat.

Hardwired to hard times

There is another possible consequence that I should mention, if you keep firing the same neural patterns by living your life the same way each day. Every time you respond to your familiar reality by re-creating the same mind (that is, turning on the same nerve cells to make the brain work in the same way), you “hardwire” your brain to match the customary conditions in your personal reality, be they good or bad.

There is a principle in neuroscience called Hebb’s Law. It basically states that “nerve cells that fire together, wire together.” Hebb’s credo demonstrates that if you repeatedly activate the same nerve cells, then each time they turn on, it will be easier for them to fire in unison again. Eventually those neurons will develop a long-term relationship.

So if you keep thinking the same thoughts, doing the same things, and feeling the same emotions, you will begin to hardwire your brain into a finite pattern that is the direct reflection of your finite reality. Consequently, it will become easier and more natural for you to reproduce the same mind on a moment-to-moment basis.
This can be a good thing, in certain circumstances where you want to automatically or instinctively react in a certain way to a certain situation. But in other circumstances, where you are reacting in a way that is not getting you what you want, then it's a bad thing.

This innocent response cycle causes your brain and then your mind to reinforce even further the particular reality that is your external world. The more you fire the same circuits by reacting to your external life, the more you’ll wire your brain to be equal to your personal world. You’ll become neurochemically attached to the conditions in your life. In time, you’ll begin to think “in the box,” because your brain will fire a finite set of circuits that then creates a very specific mental signature. This signature is called your personality.
We see this pretty often in people who seem to refuse to change, despite pretty dire life conditions. At the level of brain 'circuitry', they do this because it seems it's pretty difficult, painful even, to allow old neural pathways or connections to die and rebuild new ones.

How you form the habit of being yourself

As an effect of this neural habituation, the two realities of the inner mind and the outer world seem to become almost inseparable. For instance, if you can never stop thinking about your problems, then your mind and your life will merge together as one. The objective world is now colored by the perceptions of your subjective mind, and thus reality continuously conforms.

In a very real way, you have become an effect of circumstances outside of yourself. You have allowed yourself to give up control of your destiny. Unlike Bill Murray’s character in the movie Groundhog Day, you’re not even fighting against the ceaseless monotony of what you are like and what your life has become. Worse, you aren’t the victim of some mysterious and unseen force that has placed you in this repetitive loop — you are the creator of that loop.

The good news is that since you created this loop, you can choose to end it.

The quantum model of reality tells us that to change our lives, we must fundamentally change the ways we think, act, and feel. We must change our state of being. Because how we think, feel, and behave is, in essence, our personality, it is our personality that creates our personal reality. So to create a new personal reality, a new life, we must create a new personality; we must become someone else.

To change, then, is to think and act greater than our present circumstances, greater than our environment.
This all seems pretty close to the core ideas of the work on the self, it's kind of where it starts, with an examination of ones life. Usually that examination has to be 'forced' on us, usually by repeated suffering to the point where were are desperate to figure out what is going on, or wrong. Laura started a topic a few days ago Ask Yourself the Right Questions, Change Your Life that looked at some of the questions that we should ask ourselves as part of such an examination.

One thing that isn't specifically mentioned though is beliefs. I think most people hold beliefs of which they are only vaguely aware, or perhaps more often, not aware at all. Yet such hidden beliefs can be the primary driver of your life experiences. This idea related pretty closely to what Kanemann talks about in 'Thinking Fast and Slow', where we have a system 1 and system 2, an unconscious and conscious mind. The unconscious stores our fundamental or core beliefs, while our conscious mind mainly serves to act on those beliefs, without ever really being aware of what they are. You walk around "deciding" to do things or think things or feel things, in the belief that it is you, your conscious awareness, that is "deciding", but very often you are perplexed at the results you get, and left wondering how or why that happened in that way, since it is not what you expected. This would suggest there is a strong disconnect between what you consciously think you want and what you REALLY "want", i.e. what you BELIEVE 'behind the scenes'.

So figuring out our hidden beliefs about ourselves, about life etc. seems to be a necessary if we are to ever hope to begin to get what we consciously think or claim to want. Once we've uncovered those unconscious beliefs and find them incompatible with what we want to achieve, then we have to begin the process of rewriting them. This is where we start to 'do what it doesn't like' or do things that we are afraid to do, do things that are difficult for us to do, things we habitually don't do, but have consciously decided would be good for us to do in order to change our experiences.

Religions provide a useful example of the difference between conscious and unconscious beliefs. Christians or Muslims or whatever 'believe' in a god and his teachings. This belief is conscious, and they will give you any number of reasons why they believe in their chosen system. But when you strip away all of the narratives, you realize that the real belief (which they don't mention) is unconscious and based on the fear of death and the promise of being saved from it.

Now believing in something because of the threat of punishment isn't really a good idea. Especially when there is a set of 'rules' that you have to follow to be saved from the punishment, and yet you're not really aware that that is the reason you are a believer. It makes for a situation where most adherents won't follow those rules in any dedicated or conscious way, they may even twist the rules to justify doing exactly the opposite of what the rules say. (hello Christianity!)

It seems to me that it is far better to live your life based on a set of values that you have consciously chosen. Values that you have come to know and understand as good for you and the life aim you have set for yourself. This process usually involves a lot of trial and error and suffering down the wrong paths, but once achieved, it does not require and is not dependent on, any external motivation, via threat or promise of reward (or both). In fact, you no longer have a "belief" in the normal sense of believing something outside of yourself, but rather you embody a set of values that you have made a part of your very being. If every life philosophy and religious belief were suddenly proven false, you would remain largely unaffected and could carry on towards your own personal goal regardless.

So this might bring up a question that may, or may not, be relevant for some members of this forum: To what extent do you adhere to the Cs philosophy and teachings because of a somewhat unconscious fear of punishment or promise of reward? After all, some of the core ideas of what the Cs have said could be interpreted as a threat of "punishment" (planetary catastrophe) or promise of reward ("4D") depending on whether or not you do enough 'Work on the self'. Of course, that is not all of (by a long stretch) what the Cs say, and the way in which any of us might interpret those ideas of planetary catastrophe and "4D" would probably be influenced by the nature of other unconscious beliefs about life, the 'universe' et al.

And a follow-on question: to what extent are the fundamental ideas of 'service to others' 'truth' and the 'Work on the self' things that you have viscerally understood as being valuable in and of themselves, and things that you want to consciously strive for in your life, for their own sakes?
 

Divide by Zero

The Living Force
Joe said:
It seems to me that it is far better to live your life based on a set of values that you have consciously chosen. Values that you have come to know and understand as good for you and the life aim you have set for yourself. This process usually involves a lot of trial and error and suffering down the wrong paths, but once achieved, it does not require and is not dependent on, any external motivation, via threat or promise of reward (or both). In fact, you no longer have a "belief" in the normal sense of believing something outside of yourself, but rather you embody a set of values that you have made a part of your very being. If every life philosophy and religious belief were suddenly proven false, you would remain largely unaffected and could carry on towards your own personal goal regardless.

So this might bring up a question that may, or may not, be relevant for some members of this forum: To what extent do you adhere to the Cs philosophy and teachings because of a somewhat unconscious fear of punishment or promise of reward? After all, some of the core ideas of what the Cs have said could be interpreted as a threat of "punishment" (planetary catastrophe) or promise of reward ("4D") depending on whether or not you do enough 'Work on the self'. Of course, that is not all of (by a long stretch) what the Cs say, and the way in which any of us might interpret those ideas of planetary catastrophe and "4D" would probably be influenced by the nature of other unconscious beliefs about life, the 'universe' et al.

And a follow-on question: to what extent are the fundamental ideas of 'service to others' 'truth' and the 'Work on the self' things that you have viscerally understood as being valuable in and of themselves, and things that you want to consciously strive for in your life, for their own sakes?
I've read some of this book too but you distilled it much better than he did. Thanks!

Honestly, as much as the C's are spot on, I don't put my faith in them. I used to feel like it was my weakness, but as time went on, we learned that there can and will be corruption in the message. What makes me interested in the sessions are the questions that they provoke. Even if it was based on a false premise, the thought exercise itself is fun. It's the same reason why I don't put much faith into predictions like web bot or psychics. Sometimes I wonder if they become self-fulfilling prophecies!

I think what the Oracle tells Neo in the Matrix is pertitent here:
Neo: But if you already know, how can I make a choice?
The Oracle: Because you didn't come here to make the choice, you've already made it. You're here to try to understand *why* you made it. I thought you'd have figured that out by now.


So, my current malaise is making me rethink why am I here. We know the probabilities of death, suffering, and so on. But, there is something to learn here as was put in the other thread "Hope, Fear, and The Future".

I like to think what if everything was told doesn't happen. What if there is no wave, or cometary disaster... well that's where there is a struggle for me. I think sometimes being told these things caused the "want" of better instead of seeking better naturally. It makes me wonder if the C's sort of violated our free will by telling us about 4d and up. But then, like the Oracle says, we already made the choice on some level, we're trying to understand it- and a part of that is being given this conundrum of "us from the future". Would we be them in the future if they did not contact us? It seems like some sort of predestination might be possible.

What you mention also reminds me of being STS, of course we don't want to suffer, but the irony is that in avoiding suffering or a bleak future, we might end up bringing that upon ourselves! I think the greatest challenge of the work on the self is to separate what is really us and what is this survival self that clings to some avoidance of suffering and seeking of comfort.

In dealing with service to others, this upside down society makes it really hard to do. When we think we are helping someone, we could be propelling them deeper into STS. The few things that I can be truly confident about are actually selfish (but not so if we take into account the nature of this reality):
-Respect those who respect me.
-Help those who are trying and would help me.
-Share with those who would share too.
-Always be open to input, but also keep in mind the source of it.

It sounds like a twist on the golden rule, but after having been used- and as the C's and the book "When the Body Says No" says, we cannot give freely. I know personally that it did drain me.

The hard thing now is that it makes things quite lonely. The addiction of giving freely (and feeling good about it) is replaced with a responsibility that I sometimes am annoyed about. It's frustrating because sometimes it is so hard to see whether someone is real or not and maybe I hate making mistakes in hindsight, or the idea that I hurt someone by giving them what they didn't want in the first place (even when they lied about it, argh!).

Now I see what the sott radio chat meant, this in fact is seeing the unseen, as the politics/war side is historically predictable, people are not.
Systems follow game theory it seems, but people have been shown to not. The only thing that is on our side is time. With a fear of disaster, we lose that power. As the C's said, paraphrasing here, you have all of eternity but you have to do it now.
 

John G

The Living Force
I think the Cs metaphysics and karma-like things falling on your head is largely connected to science too. It's a future effects past kind of science but I was largely into that before I got here. It's interestingly kind of a nice metaphysics in that there are multiple incarnations (and this to me makes sense logically). So when the work on yourself/service to others/truth about self and reality combine to make you see things in yourself you really really don't like; to a large extent it's a little less daunting to know future incarnations can help too.

Kind of just like the metaphysics makes scientific/logical sense; the work on self makes sense in a society building sense. If there is no life after death and no future effects past, that would be kind of a downer but I just don't see that as sensible for reasons that don't even have to include the Cs. The real drive being Paleochristian for me is more a sense of awe over humans doing really really good research. I really think there's too much awe and drive for more research for punishment/reward to make you Paleochristian for the wrong reasons.
 

T.C.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Joe said:
So this might bring up a question that may, or may not, be relevant for some members of this forum: To what extent do you adhere to the Cs philosophy and teachings because of a somewhat unconscious fear of punishment or promise of reward? After all, some of the core ideas of what the Cs have said could be interpreted as a threat of "punishment" (planetary catastrophe) or promise of reward ("4D") depending on whether or not you do enough 'Work on the self'. Of course, that is not all of (by a long stretch) what the Cs say, and the way in which any of us might interpret those ideas of planetary catastrophe and "4D" would probably be influenced by the nature of other unconscious beliefs about life, the 'universe' et al.
I once was more motivated, pressured really, by what the C's have said. Quite honestly, it drove me to the point of giving up on everything. I recently revisited some songs I wrote a few years ago after I gave up, and one of them contained the line, "I won't be pushed or blackmailed into caring for a careless world." Self-pity based on the fact that my Predator's Mind couldn't have what it wanted in life: ease.

Around the same time, I was rereading The Wave and from that period there are some pretty outraged comments in the margins from me that were based on all this: Do The Work or you'll have your soul smashed! No thanks - shove your Work into your STS black hole.

Now, it's different. What motivates me isn't a fear of death, but the reality of death itself. This comes from the visceral understanding and experience of what you've quoted above - the monotony and routine of everyday life, the speed at which every day just flies by, every week just flies by. I mean, it's already June for God's sake :shock:

So we're just endlessly marching towards oblivion, like lemmings marching towards the edge of a cliff. Here you have two options.

You can become an epicure and decide that while you're here, you're just going to indulge in all things dissociative and stimulating because "to hell with it". Fair enough, valid choice. But what an awful waste of time.

So you can choose to do what you've written above: Live by your values. Ultimately, it doesn't slow down the approaching day of death, and it may make for an even unfulfilling life; at least, that's a realisation I've come to more recently: "This life of living by my values is tedious and monotonous and boring and unfulfilling, and GADS! that's the best life can image?!" :huh:

But hey, when the hour comes and death comes a'knocking, if I've lived by my values there's no way I can complain, and whether my soul gets smashed or I graduate to 4D, or I reincarnate under a glowing sky and a perpetual wind or snuff out into nothingness, that's out of my hands.

And a follow-on question: to what extent are the fundamental ideas of 'service to others' 'truth' and the 'Work on the self' things that you have viscerally understood as being valuable in and of themselves, and things that you want to consciously strive for in your life, for their own sakes?
I viscerally appreciate the concept of service to others because I have suffered and learned from that suffering either cold hard facts or ways to ameliorate and avoid it. And if I can help someone to not suffer because of my experience, then that makes reality a slightly less evil place for just a small amount of time.

(Added: Or, does it make the whole Universe a better place for an infinite amount of time???)

Truth, then, is the means to that end. The more information you can put into a system, the less chaotic it is. All I really want to do is earn a living so that I can keep on learning.

Work on the self is the means of being able to execute right action. It doesn't matter how much you learn consciously if your subconscious looks like Dagobah on a bad day. So if you value STO and truth, then The Work necessarily becomes indispensable.
 

petite femme

Padawan Learner
I have, since I was a little girl, had the drive to be conscious. In other words, to think. Make conscious decisions, day by day, to be the best person I could be. It, to me in my young little mind, seemed to be the right thing to do.
Now over the course of my life, my concept of what it means to "be the best person I could be" of course has changed and evolved. However, truth, service to others and work on the self have been guiding principles for me since I can remember.
I have never really looked at the what the C's say as any kind of threat, per say. Nor have I considered 4D, as a reward. I know that if all these "earth changes" and possible cyclical catastrophes come to pass that it will effect everyone on the planet, how can any one person be held accountable for that? Additionally I realize that to graduate to 4d would require A LOT of hard work and I may or may not be up to the task. I cannot waste any time or energy thinking about or stressing about receiving some reward, honestly I don't have the time for that! I have my hands full with truth, service to others and work on the self!
I guess, I just resonate with the message that the C's seem to be relaying, it gives context to concepts that I have long been contemplating. Helping me to put order to my ideas, like a second witnessing. I do feel an occasional anxiety about the task at hand, there is so much to learn! But, I just try to remember that I am a little ocd! As long as I continue to strive to do my best, this is all I can do.
I totally relate to T.C. on this one! The reality of death hit me at a very young age due to illness, and of course becomes more of a reality everyday as I get older! Time does fly!! Sometimes I think that does also contribute to my occasional anxiety, but once again, don't have any time to waste on that! I do forget sometimes though, work in progress!!
Thanks joe for the extremely thought provoking thread, and thanks to everyone who contributed!
 

petite femme

Padawan Learner
BTW, totally gonna check out that thread Ask yourself the right questions, change your life that Laura started! I missed it somehow, thanks for the link!
 

lainey

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Joe said:
So this might bring up a question that may, or may not, be relevant for some members of this forum: To what extent do you adhere to the Cs philosophy and teachings because of a somewhat unconscious fear of punishment or promise of reward?
I think for me at least, it started off as a fear of being left behind which fueled what I did until it became habit. Now I do it because I can't imagine a life doing it any other way. I love the process even though it's hard and I really love to see other people grow and I really really love to know that I've helped in whatever small way. So I guess I do it for that "reward".
 

Joe

Administrator
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Moderator
FOTCM Member
T.C. said:
Around the same time, I was rereading The Wave and from that period there are some pretty outraged comments in the margins from me that were based on all this: Do The Work or you'll have your soul smashed! No thanks - shove your Work into your STS black hole.
LOL! I can relate! It's interesting to see how some people react that way to some of the things that Cs have said.

T.C. said:
But hey, when the hour comes and death comes a'knocking, if I've lived by my values there's no way I can complain, and whether my soul gets smashed or I graduate to 4D, or I reincarnate under a glowing sky and a perpetual wind or snuff out into nothingness, that's out of my hands.[...]
I reckon that's the bottom line. When you strip away all of the theories and philosophizing, what you're left with, and what may, as you say, be foremost in our minds on the day of our deaths, is have I developed honest and as real as possible convictions in my life and have I done by best to live my life by them.

T.C. said:
Work on the self is the means of being able to execute right action. It doesn't matter how much you learn consciously if your subconscious looks like Dagobah on a bad day. So if you value STO and truth, then The Work necessarily becomes indispensable.
I think that's pretty accurate, and a good summation of why the Work is necessary for those who value truth. Thanks for the input T.C.
 
Joe — Thanks for bringing this subject up and for asking those questions for us to think about.

Referring back to Core Beliefs: "The unconscious stores our fundamental or core beliefs, while our conscious mind mainly serves to act on those beliefs, without ever really being aware of what they are."

I've been wanting to refer to this subject for many moons — because of that saying, "You Create Your Own Reality". As I recall, the first time I became aware of this idea was back in 1974 when I read the Seth Materials. I don't have those books any longer, so I cannot refer to them for verification, and an online search did not produce any results either, but what I seem to recall is that Seth said that it was our CORE BELIEFS that created our reality — not so much that our CONSCIOUS BELIEFS created our reality. It was explained that we needed to get in touch with our CORE BELIEFS if we wanted to address our reality constructions. And that our CORE BELIEFS were stored within our UNCONSCIOUS minds' memories. That we did not have conscious access to those CORE BELIEFS without doing some work in order to access them.

OK. That's pretty much all I have to say about that.

Next up are the 2 questions you asked.

To what extent do you adhere to the Cs philosophy and teachings because of a somewhat unconscious fear of punishment or promise of reward?

I can't actually remember what my first impressions were regarding what the C's said had on me. I think it was more about the impression Laura's writing had on me — maybe because the first material I read was Amazing Grace — and I really liked and admired her straightforward, down-to-earth, open minded writing style. She wrote her story in such a way that I could easily follow and understand what she said. She didn't couch her experiences in jargon or wrap it in airy-fairy nonsense.

To be honest, as far as the C's messages themselves, I had (and still have) difficulty understanding a lot of what they're saying. I think Laura understands them in a way that's far more visceral than my own understanding. To me, their messages are like a foreign language — hard to grasp unless Laura or someone else translates them into more understandable language. For me, it's the networking discussions about what the C's say that helps me better understand what they're talking about.

As far as punishment or reward goes, I'm not sure either of those were such a big motivation for me. And maybe that's because back in the 80's, I had the shocking thought that, "Oh heck. I'm never going to be good enough to get into that white male god's heaven. So phooey on it all!" I imagine that thought came to me because all my life (since I was a young child) I was trying so hard to be a better person — a kinder person. I think I was trying to become more like the role models I read about — i.e., the Catholic Saints, Mother Mary, etc. :halo:

I looked up to and admired those people who were so in touch with the Divine that they could and did live their lives in accordance with high values and ethics and god's will. 
When I realized that I could never become as good a person as I imagined I'd need to be in order to meet my own ridiculous standards nor good enough to meet god's standards, I threw up my hands and decided to just become a brat instead. And I admit, it felt like a huge burden was lifted off my shoulders — and I actually began to have some fun in life instead of always being so darn serious and having my nose pressed to the grindstone. I felt a sense of relief at not always having to watch my p's & q's to the point that I could never feel relaxed or comfortable in my own skin. I was constantly self-monitoring everything I said and did and being concerned about whether I was adhering to the standards I'd adopted.

and the 2nd question —

And a follow-on question: to what extent are the fundamental ideas of 'service to others' 'truth' and the 'Work on the self' things that you have viscerally understood as being valuable in and of themselves, and things that you want to consciously strive for in your life, for their own sakes?

This was an odd progression for me as well. All my life I wanted to help and assist others. I didn't think of it as a good thing to do or that I was a good person for wanting to serve others. It just felt like a natural calling from within me. This was the reason I began studying psychology, astrology, metaphysics, hypnosis — even fiction novels were grist for the mill as far as learning lessons which could help me help others.

My viewpoint shifted somewhere along the line — maybe around 2004? Anyway, I decided that the only way I could really serve others was by serving myself first. I had not really thought about serving myself before. But I decided that I was incapable of serving others unless I focused on getting my own little ducks in a row first. Actually, it was more extreme than that. I threw out the entire idea of serving others at all as a focus or aim or purpose. I didn't care about serving others anymore.

So now I've come full circle. But I've lost something during that series of transitions. I don't feel the inner compelling desire to serve others that felt so natural to me before I switched sides. Possibly because there was a 'reward' factor attached to the original desire to serve others. It felt good and rewarding to serve others. I don't really feel that sense of satisfaction I used to feel from serving others. I used to feel so happy when I could assist others to feel better. I no longer feel that little thrill of joy. So it sounds to me as if I was originally serving others in order to get a reward for myself. It wasn't a pure service to others at all.

I'm actually feeling sad and disappointed by that realization. It makes me feel as if I've been lying to myself and trying to fit into a group that I don't belong in. That my FRV is out of tune with the people here. That I'm not genuine or sincere. That I want to feel a connection but it's not happening. And I can't force it either.

I don't know. I feel as if I've hit a wall or a dead end while typing this out. I don't have anything to stand on. There's an emptiness — a hollowness. I think I'll take my own advice and go do that exercise outlined in Depression as a Stepping Stone (to Soul Growth) and actually feel this sadness and disappointment and loss and whatever else is there for me to feel.

Thanks so much Joe for triggering this discovery. I confess it's very uncomfortable and actually shocking to see myself this way. Certainly doesn't match with the way I wanted to see myself. What's that saying, the truth hurts before it sets you free. Nevermind. I think I made that up myself.

OK. I'm off to do this Work task I've set myself. If you or anyone else have other suggestions that might steer me down the right path, please feel free -- and thank you. :)
 

Nico

Jedi Council Member
Thank you Joe for bringing that up, it have been a big part of my life for the past 8 months. I remember when I was a child, after a big moving in a far french island, a big fear related to the Big Bang and the end of universe came into my nights. I started asking myself why all "this" (my so far experience as a child) was necessary if all gonna end. After that I've made a short depression and clearly identify a shift in my mind vision : clear to blur. Unfortunately I wasn't connected to my feelings, due to my upbringing, I didn't notice or didn't know what to do, so it influenced nearly my all life.

I think this peculiar fear comes to the surface now, as the past months were full of cataclysmic dreams and fears of being smashed after the wave (or not graduate). And as I read your post my gut start to sing the song of terror, and I suspect a lot of problems (physical emotional and mental) arises from that. So I have engaged myself in this path between the fear of death and the wanting for reward, and it definitively makes me fall several time.

I think it relates to what Gurdjieff said about barriers :

"More difficult tasks, although they are only subjectively difficult, are called 'barriers.' The peculiarity of barriers consists in the fact that, having surmounted a serious barrier, a man can no longer return to ordinary sleep, to ordinary life. And if, having passed the first barrier, he feels afraid of those that follow and does not go on, he stops so to speak between two barriers and is unable to move either backwards or forwards. This is the worst thing that can happen to a man. Therefore the teacher is usually very careful in the choice of tasks and barriers, in other words, he takes the risk of giving definite tasks requiring the conquest of inner barriers only to those people who have already shown themselves sufficiently strong on small barriers.
The stuckness is supportable if we stay in the dream, stagnant, with buffers to prevent yourself from ultimate madness. So I don't have any advice for now but, in your "struggle" to incarnate your Values, to be always aware of an eventual shock that might light yourself more.

I report the post of buddy talking here to Muxel.

Buddy said:
[...]

The secret to real work, IMO, is the shock, but not just any; rather, the kind that fries you (a self-concept, actually) like touching a live wire. To make a real change in self, one has to touch or contact life at a place where they've never touched it before. And without the guidance of an experienced teacher who knows what he is doing, one is forced to wait for random occurrences from life that may or may not come.

[...]
Now I cannot reconcile to Work, and especially conquish your fear, alone, without a teacher that know you personnally. Maybe it's a part of the Work to find this teacher...

I can feel it, and maybe a part of the members here too, this lack of a "true" correspondant, a "personnal" teacher that is only for you to be your help to upgrade. This comes exactly from the need of reward and its opposite fear of death. And it's kind of liberating to actually see this program playing with you, so thank you again to make me see more :).
 

theoria

The Force is Strong With This One
Joe said:
So this might bring up a question that may, or may not, be relevant for some members of this forum: To what extent do you adhere to the Cs philosophy and teachings because of a somewhat unconscious fear of punishment or promise of reward? After all, some of the core ideas of what the Cs have said could be interpreted as a threat of "punishment" (planetary catastrophe) or promise of reward ("4D") depending on whether or not you do enough 'Work on the self'. Of course, that is not all of (by a long stretch) what the Cs say, and the way in which any of us might interpret those ideas of planetary catastrophe and "4D" would probably be influenced by the nature of other unconscious beliefs about life, the 'universe' et al.
Very stimulating post. I have had similar thoughts to Divide By Zero. What if 100 years pass from now and we'll still be here, waiting for a "wave". What is the true motivation here? Fear of death? Fear of getting left behind? Or maybe fear of repetition and recurrence? Is this any different from any other superstitious systems of belief?

I've learned to take all of what the C's say with a grain of salt, however. I've read enough to realize that usually they are only mirroring our assumptions, though in clever ways in order for us to see our own follies. The more I read their words, the more this becomes clear.

But I suppose in a way that we can't help doing things for a reward, just because we're hardwired to think in those terms. Maybe what constitutes a reward for each of us should be examined closely. if a reward is something "in life" e.g. materiality, power, comfort, to increase/amplify our selfness, then the desire is certainly false.

If the reward resides "outside of life", e.g. to increase our being, to see the unseen without ulterior motive, to merge with our Highest Future, or as G worded it, roughly: to develop something within us permanent and independent of the external, then this can be a wholesome reward, in my humble opinion.

Joe said:
And a follow-on question: to what extent are the fundamental ideas of 'service to others' 'truth' and the 'Work on the self' things that you have viscerally understood as being valuable in and of themselves, and things that you want to consciously strive for in your life, for their own sakes?
Honestly I'm not too clear on what service to others really means or looks like in action. I'm always trying to figure that out. It was/is a part of my programming to be too concerned with what others think about me, and me trying to please others and their expectations, so its a little confusing for me. But I do believe that I can only give to others what I have given to myself.

A strange thing about what I'm seeing in my life now however: it seems that now it is in my best interest to at least try to "see the unseen". Whenever I don't, I find myself in bad situations, with unpleasant manifestations. As Joe mentioned, it has to be "forced" on me, externally sometimes. I'm more sensitive to little signs and signals, possibly from my subconscious, possibly from my Future, in the most mundane of events. They seem to lead me to get into positions where I can make the choice to overcome my own barriers. Anyone else feel this way?
 

Joe

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13 Twirling Triskeles said:
So it sounds to me as if I was originally serving others in order to get a reward for myself. It wasn't a pure service to others at all.

I'm actually feeling sad and disappointed by that realization. It makes me feel as if I've been lying to myself and trying to fit into a group that I don't belong in. That my FRV is out of tune with the people here. That I'm not genuine or sincere. That I want to feel a connection but it's not happening. And I can't force it either.

I don't know. I feel as if I've hit a wall or a dead end while typing this out. I don't have anything to stand on. There's an emptiness — a hollowness. I think I'll take my own advice and go do that exercise outlined in Depression as a Stepping Stone (to Soul Growth) and actually feel this sadness and disappointment and loss and whatever else is there for me to feel.
Well, examining our lives and beliefs is a worth-while endeavor I think, the more we know about ourselves, the better, and it's not unusual at all for a certain sadness or depression to set in when we see things we haven't seen before, but I would try and hold off on the judgment. The point is to learn, not necessarily to judge, especially if we're judging based on assumptions. I think you should be happy with yourself for learning a little more, even if it is tinged with sadness. Also, remember that your perspective and perception is very liable to change, so don't think for a moment that this is the whole banana! Also, I'm not sure there is anything wrong with the idea of a reward being used as motivation to change for the better, or to be of more service to others, to be a better person. If you put the Work into changing yourself for the better, improving your relationships, being able to give to others more honestly and openly, and you do this because you have a 'selfish' drive to do these things... is the end result really selfish? To me that sounds not so much like chasing a reward, but pursuing an aim, and whatever gets you closer to your aim is good.

13 Twirling Triskeles said:
Thanks so much Joe for triggering this discovery. I confess it's very uncomfortable and actually shocking to see myself this way. Certainly doesn't match with the way I wanted to see myself. What's that saying, the truth hurts before it sets you free. Nevermind. I think I made that up myself.
Even if you made that up, I still like it! :D
 
OK. I did that little exercise I mentioned above. It was interesting because I've only previously used that exercise for emotions other than sadness or dissappointment — usually anger, irritation, annoyance. So my body sensations were quite different — much more subtle — not as much energy or movement as with higher emotions like anger which have lots more energy involved. Then I hit grief and fear. Grief because I don't want to be aligned with STS and fear that I might be.

Then I realized I was doing some black & white thinking as well. So, all in all, I feel much better now. And I feel even more motivated to do the Work than I felt before. And the more I do, the easier it is. Maybe I'm creating new neuronal pathways by making myself actually DO the exercises rather than just thinking it would be a good idea to do them. DOING them is actually fun. It's just disciplining myself to START. Once I've started the process or exercise, it sort of creates more energy to continue through.

HABITS: Prior to writing my post before this one, I had been noticing a habit one of my neighbors has. Then I remembered another friend of mine who had the same habit. As I was writing about it in my Journal, I noticed that I, too, had the exact same habit. Well, it's interesting when I find out that I'm doing the same thing I notice in someone else and that I don't like being the recipient of at all. It makes me not want to continue doing that same habit myself — because I don't want to have the same effect on others as others have on me.

So I'm noticing just before I start to express that habit & can more easily refrain from doing so. Better for everyone all around. It feels like another way of practicing more external consideration.

At first it's easier to notice other people's offenses than to notice my own. Once I've got that part down, I then notice my own offenses against others. But it seems, for me at least, that the onion layers peel away in a certain order. So I start with the layer that's SEEable. Then move on to the next layer.

At any rate, thanks once again for bringing this subject up for us to ponder. It's been useful and helpful for me to be shocked at my own behavior and face some not-so-very-nice parts of myself. :)

Oh. I just noticed your reply Joe. I'll respond in a separate post. Thank you for your perspective. God, I LOVE this Forum and the members and the feedback and the Networking!!!!! :)
 
13 Twirling Triskeles on Yesterday at 11:38:29 AM said:
So it sounds to me as if I was originally serving others in order to get a reward for myself. It wasn't a pure service to others at all.

I'm actually feeling sad and disappointed by that realization. It makes me feel as if I've been lying to myself and trying to fit into a group that I don't belong in. That my FRV is out of tune with the people here. That I'm not genuine or sincere. That I want to feel a connection but it's not happening. And I can't force it either.

I don't know. I feel as if I've hit a wall or a dead end while typing this out. I don't have anything to stand on. There's an emptiness — a hollowness. I think I'll take my own advice and go do that exercise outlined in Depression as a Stepping Stone (to Soul Growth) and actually feel this sadness and disappointment and loss and whatever else is there for me to feel.

Quote from Joe:
Well, examining our lives and beliefs is a worth-while endeavor I think, the more we know about ourselves, the better, and it's not unusual at all for a certain sadness or depression to set in when we see things we haven't seen before, but I would try and hold off on the judgment. The point is to learn, not necessarily to judge, especially if we're judging based on assumptions. I think you should be happy with yourself for learning a little more, even if it is tinged with sadness. Also, remember that your perspective and perception is very liable to change, so don't think for a moment that this is the whole banana! Also, I'm not sure there is anything wrong with the idea of a reward being used as motivation to change for the better, or to be of more service to others, to be a better person. If you put the Work into changing yourself for the better, improving your relationships, being able to give to others more honestly and openly, and you do this because you have a 'selfish' drive to do these things... is the end result really selfish? To me that sounds not so much like chasing a reward, but pursuing an aim, and whatever gets you closer to your aim is good.
LOL Joe. Yes, you're right of course. :) It seems that my Sad & Dissapointed Little i's were in charge as I was typing all that. And they came onto the stage as I felt the shock of seeing myself in a different light.

The truth is that I don't actually mind feeling whatever feelings or emotions I feel — even if they're sad, or angry or whatever. I tend to think of them as guides which alert me that I need to take a closer look at what's happening internally. Because whatever is happening internally colors how I perceive and view the external world. My emotions are like having a set of colored lenses through which I see the world. We all know about the rose-tinted glasses, yes? Well, there are many other tints as well — at least in my little symbolic world. But ultimately, they're still all just lenses. And many of them can so easily distort my perceptions of objective reality.

So I agree with your statement that "it's not unusual at all for a certain sadness or depression to set in when we see things we haven't seen before." One thing I know for sure is that these emotions are temporary. It was either Obyvatel or myself who mentioned in a response to me on another thread that feelings-emotions are like clouds passing by in the sky. We feel them as though they're permanent residents, but they really aren't. They're just visiting guests. Which is why E-motions are energy in motion. They can MOVE. They can CHANGE. They can SHIFT. It's only when they get STUCK that we land in the soup. But there are plenty of exercises in the Work (& EE) which we can DO in order to address that stuckness and get them moving again. They don't like being stuck. So, in a way, we're helping them when we can get them moving again — because that's their natural function. OSIT

Thanks Joe for the feedback. This exchange just confirms the fact that Net-Working really does Work. If I hadn't posted that reply, I might not have felt the shock of realizing something new about myself, which led to doing that exercise, which led to feeling more than ever determined to continue doing the Work — regardless of rewards, punishments, or considerations — and re-looking at my purposes, aims, and desire to serve others. :)
 

Divide by Zero

The Living Force
13TT-

I too don't see a problem with being selfish. It was one thing that I had to realize recently, developing in the last year or so after feeling weak for so long.
As theoria said, it depends on our aim- the real purpose for it. So, as a "side effect" who we are actually ends up serving that higher purpose, OSIT.
Anyway, from the stories about Gandhi, Malcolm X, and others who were capable and tried- they had embraced their skills and ego in order to accomplish something. It's not always pretty, especially in civil rights or the labor movement. You feel bad for it, but reality teaches us that if that were our aim, sometimes it is quite dangerous and dark to fight for it!

The emotions as clouds and the importance of clouds not being stuck reminds me of electrical/mechanical controls (like for a fancy motor or pump).
I'll try to make it understandable, in the process I might destroy some of the actual technical logic, forgive me but the idea is pertinent.
These emotions are like sensor data. The programming logic of the control does not do well if there is a constant "out of range" or "alert" signal and it cannot change the pump or motor to get out of that extreme and get to it's range (or "aim").
Some controllers are not just up and down, but can also mathematically accelerate the change to push our of that "funky" situation, or be able to tell that something else is wrong.

So, it seems like with an aim, we can properly calibrate our sensors instead of numbing that sensor input as if it doesn't matter!
 
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