The Lifeguard Principle: What it is, what is it good for, how to make friends with it.

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(c) AlexMax http://www.fotosearch.com

I am realizing that many of us, me included, have a tendency to readily notice and respond to the things in the world that are blatantly wrong, or problematic, and that this may consequently mean we simultaneously are not giving enough attention to the things that are right. 

I first became aware of this tendency decades ago when I worked a couple summers as a lifeguard.  When I found myself in the lifeguard chair, looking at a large, crowded pool with lots of noise and activity, I had a moment of doubt.  I wondered how in the world am I going to see someone in trouble in this chaos?  I asked an older lifeguard that question and he replied that I just needed to keep my eyes on the pool and if someone got into trouble, I’d see it.  Sounds too simple, right?  It isn’t.  As it turns out our attention is drawn to the things that aren’t right.  Whether it is inconsistencies, differences in movement, sometimes the obvious shout for “help”, or some other more esoteric phenomenon, it is a reliably real thing.  I would always find my attention drawn to someone in trouble.  Sometimes a few seconds before they were actually experiencing the distress.  Of course it is also true that my mindset, my internal desire, was to see such occurrences.  That may be a part of the function at work.  I began calling this tendency to have our attention drawn to what is wrong “the lifeguard principle”.

While paying attention and looking for trouble was an explicit part of that job, I think it is something we all do to a greater or lesser extent.  It definitely is a survival trait in times of threat.  Maybe it’s a carry over from the days when we were walking through forests or jungles and we had to be aware of our surroundings to avoid being eaten.  It definitely is a behavior that is necessary in times of warfare, one person, gang, tribe, nation, attacking another.  I believe it is universal among humankind.   For those interested in looking into such things, there is some correlate in the functioning of our “exciting” and “calming” neurotransmitters.  Our bodies have evolved in a way that we deplete our “calming” neurotransmitters well before we are in danger of running out of “exciters”.  I suppose that would help keep us from just lying down and being eaten when being chased by a tiger.  But now, in the year 2020, for many if not most of us, the dynamics we face in our day to day lives are not quite the same as they have been through much our existence.

It’s not that there still aren’t some acute dangers in the world; in some places much more than others.  However, the dangers most of us face in developed nations are more of a chronic nature.  We don’t get pounced on and quickly killed and eaten by a tiger, we get killed more gradually by being slowly consumed by worries, fears, anxieties, and insecurities.  Just as the nature of the threats has changed over time, our reactions to the threats we’re facing needs to change also.  A sudden, pervasive startle, fight or flight reaction to all the, sometimes subtle, threats an average person may face during their day would certainly result in a person becoming overly stressed, burned out, and significantly more at risk for a plethora of diseases.

Sometimes we need to intervene in what direction our “autopilot” chooses and become more reasoned with our reactions to life’s events.  Having an innate sensitivity to things that are “wrong” in our environment can be part of an important survival system.  Our “lifeguard principle” exists for just that purpose, to help guard our lives.  This brings to my mind a book by Gavin De Becker:  “The Gift of Fear”.  It addresses the important role fear can and does play in our lives.  However, with both the “lifeguard principle” and “The Gift of Fear”, whether or not these innate aspects of our being serve us or sabotage us depends entirely on how we react to the input we receive from them.

In our complex, more populated, human culture primitive responses to what are often sophisticated situations become less and less viable.  As a culture, we need to get way more invested in learning more about what it is to be human and what we inherently, and universally, require to establish and maintain healthy, vital, lives.  When we learn to respond to human, social, problems in a manner based in seeking to solve those problems on by seeing needs met and lives stabilized, it will benefit us greatly.  We are going to find ourselves in a thriving, vibrant world such as we have only had glimpses of, during a few periods of time in the past 150 years.

Within the current available knowledge from the fields of psychology, sociology, physiology, and spirituality, we have all we need to have more than a good start.  It only requires our will and determination to do so.

Always, never, sometimes, all, none, some.

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(c) mrdoggs http://www.fotosearch.com

I’ve been writing letters to our local paper and articles for my blog for some time.  However, all that pales in comparison to countless conversations with many people over many years.  When you converse with and/or get written feedback from intelligent people on the ideas that you’re expressing, it can lead one to have to refine one’s communications.  That’s a good thing.

One thing which over the years I have had to face repeatedly in my communications, and which I often see in the communications of others, are the instances in which, by design or default, a person makes an all encompassing statement which, in it’s breadth, renders the statement inaccurate, untrue.  One often sees this in cases in which someone is angry about something, or purposely trying to sway the opinion of an already biased audience.  The thing about the heat of emotion is that it often abates in the presence of objective (coolheaded) thought.  This can be good if the goal is to find rational resolution to problematic issues, or, possibly not considered a good thing if the goal is to incite thoughtless anger.

One clue that what is being communicated is not based in reality, often is the use of the words “all”, “no”, “always” or “never”.  Or statements which clearly imply the use of those words, even if the words themselves are not present.  This is particularly true when the topic has to do with human traits, characteristics, and/or behaviors.  For example, and I am going to jump right in with a loaded example, if I write that all men are emotionally shallow, cruel people, I, unfortunately, may be accurate about some men, but because I include the word “all”, my statement is untrue.  The same is true if I omit the world “all” and simply say that men are emotionally shallow, cruel people.  The implication is clear that I am referring to all men.  But if I state that some men are emotionally shallow, cruel people, that is a statement which is defendable, true and accurate.  This same principle is at work if I make the statement that no men are shallow, cruel people.  At this point some reading this are probably going, yeah, been there, done that.  Some are possibly considering this information for the first time.

The difference this adjustment in our communication, and our thinking, can make in the world is tremendous.  We human beings are complex beings and, in our complexity, sweeping statements trying to characterize genders or races, referring to deficits or strengths in any particular area of our thinking and/or behavior, are seldom, if ever, accurate.  This is the case no matter the gender or skin color of the people being referred to.

So the next time you’re arguing with a friend, or your spouse, or getting ready to deliver a characterization of a particular person or group of people, please give some thought as to whether or not what you’re about to say, or write, is actually, literally accurate/true.  Sometimes doing this can lead us to realize that we are not correct in our initial thinking/perception.  Sometimes that can be a very good, comforting thing.  And it is always going to put us a step closer to resolving issues, reaching agreements.  It is a positive thing if we aren’t inciting defensiveness and hurting feelings by mischaracterizing those we’ve found ourselves in a problematic situation with.

Electromagnetic Radiation: The New Pollution

OscilloscopeI have practiced neurofeedback therapy for a few decades. I have seen the power that altering brainwave activity can have upon individuals. Depending upon the dominant frequency active in our brains we are asleep, relaxed, content, busy, anxious, angry, panicked.  I have also seen how susceptible our brainwave production is to “suggestion”. Our brainwaves can be pushed toward one frequency or another via external stimulation. I’ve used this technique, successfully, in therapeutic situations. However, the outcome being sought by those utilizing such methods is not always benevolent.

In general, the lower the dominant frequency our brain is operating at the closer we are to the sleep state. Delta brainwaves, around .5 to 4 hz, are the lowest and are most often associated with sleep. Conversely, the higher the frequency of the dominant operating brainwaves we are operating at the more “high strung” we often become. We tend much more to anxiety at a higher (say, 20 to 30 hz) level of brainwave activity than we are at the lower frequencies.

The higher frequencies we’re being subjected to via 5G are not pushing us toward relaxed contentment. It is pushing, with however much subtlety, toward anxiety, tension. 5G, with it’s high frequency, power and dense mast and satellite distribution can easily affect the electromagnetic workings within people within the broadcast areas.  This does not necessarily mean those employing the technology are intending whatever effect the technology is having upon people.  But it does mean that the technology has the potential to be deliberately used to affect people in whatever way those manipulating the technology have in mind.

This impingement upon our biological reality is the reason we need to wake up and start taking all the microwave towers going up around the world very seriously. Technology can be wonderful or technology can be a horror story. It all depends upon the wisdom and the agendas of those utilizing the technology. As we have seen in our other industries, manufacturing, banking, media, those controlling things at any given time may, or may not, have the public’s best interests at heart.

As I read the articles about the experience and expressions of anger that are taking place in the U.S. I find myself wondering how much the public’s predisposition to anger is being heightened by the microwave activity in our environment.  The influence of this technology can be mitigated to some extent with meditation, centering, focusing on positive values, positive thoughts. This isn’t an ultimate answer, but it can genuinely help. It is certain that in the face of such a real and pervasive environmental influence toward anger, we all should be doubling and tripling our efforts to relate and act toward each other with care and civility.

Many scientists with knowledge of the technology being employed, and medical/healthcare practitioners from around the world have called for a moratorium on 5G. In his book “The Invisible Rainbow”, Arthur Firstenberg has given us a researched look at the history of the effects of technology upon humankind since the late 1800’s.  As is the case with the methods of a lot of other industries; the telecommunications industry’s use of microwave transmission brings with it a danger of pollution. In this case, of polluting our environment in a harmful, even potentially deadly manner with microwave radiation. We need to very deliberately examine the potentials of this relatively new industry and see that our communities, ourselves, do not become collateral damage in someone’s rush to riches.

To learn more about humankind’s relationship with electricity and electromagnetic radiation read Arthur Firstenberg’s “The Invisible Rainbow”.  The link is to a 17 page summary of the book.

Added July 4, 2020, quote from Albert Einstein:  “We are slowed down sound and light waves, a walking bundle of frequencies turned into the cosmos. We are souls dressed up in sacred biochemical garments and our bodies are the instruments through which our souls play their music.”   Einstein also said: “Future medicine will be the medicine of frequencies.”

We know, via our increasing understanding of our physical reality, that the first quote is absolutely true. The second is a prediction not yet fully realized, however, the truth of the first definitely implies credence to the second.  If vibrational frequencies can heal (and it is known they can), they also have the potential to harm. This is why we must wake up and demand greater accountability from those who are filling our environment with powerfully broadcast frequencies. To think they are of no consequence is to be in denial of the foundational reality of our existence.

 

Our World of Plenty

Oliver and the fishFor decades we have been being conditioned to believe we live in a world of scarcity. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We live in a world of plenty. However, our resources are only plentiful if managed wisely. Hoarding, polluting, withholding, squandering, all serve to interfere with our relationship with our resources and consequently, the health and well-being of our species.

In keeping with the saying attributed to Hermes Trismegistus: “As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…”, we need to look within to see balance and efficiency in the service of life. Our own bodies present us with a model which, if emulated in our social models, would serve to provide us with much healthier, more stable societies than human kind is currently trying to cope within.

The various organs, the cells, the functions within our bodies all work together for the common good. It is as if they are aware that the good of the individual cell is inextricably joined with the good of the body as a whole.

Psychology, manipulation and the coronavirus.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Why do I use a graphic of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs so often in my articles? Because it informs us of a reality key to a successful life as a person and as a culture.

I began studying psychology in 1969, as a Freshman in college. I had a predisposition to being interested in human behavior. I felt the same about psychology as I imagine a lot of people do about chemistry, engineering, nutrition, or medicine. I felt psychology held keys to understanding and improving the quality of life for everyone. During my Sophomore year I changed my major to psychology (it had been music).

As time went on, I found myself in a wide range of environments, exposed to just about the full gamut of human behaviors. All through this time I have had the good fortune to be exposed to instruction ranging from the cutting edge, the esoteric, the eclectic and the classic trains of thought. My life has pretty much revolved around working to understand why we humans do what we do. I am happy and grateful to report that, on the whole with information coming from a plethora of fields of study, we humans have garnered a very great deal of knowledge about ourselves.

We know much about what we need to have healthy, full, wholesome, complete lives. However, as a race, there has possibly been no other time in recorded history, in which we, as a species, have ignored so much available information. I would add: not only are we widely ignoring so much available knowledge, some individuals and groups which are working to advantage their own wealth and power, are perverting and abusing much of the knowledge that we do have. I don’t think there’s any field of study more widely abused right now than psychology.

The “powers that be” within industry and government very early on recognized the potential the information coming from the field of psychology offered for manipulating people. Not for informing and leading people to understand ourselves, make wise decisions, and have healthy, full lives. But for manipulating people to do the things “they” want to see people doing. Buying things “they” want people to buy. Believing things “they” want people to believe. Behaviors that enrich their lives, not ours.

The contemporary, industrial use of psychology as a tool for manipulation of the public began manifesting as: advertising, which evolved into public relations, which has evolved into engineering consent. Engineering consent is currently the art of controlling what people perceive so that their/our reactions will pave the way for the fulfillment of the controllers’ agenda(s). We used to simply call it “lying”, and that definition still applies. But the current manipulative efforts are happening in such a sophisticated and technological manner, being done in service of people whose agendas are so totally based in egoism, so devoid of consideration for those who are the targets of the manipulation, that merely calling it “lying” doesn’t do justice to the depths of depravity these manipulative efforts emanate from.

Back in the early twentieth century, one of the seminal people in this dark trend was Edward Bernays. A nephew of Sigmund Freud, His efforts contributed heavily to women getting into smoking tobacco and fluoridation of public water. He has been referred to as “the father of spin”. I would say his title should more appropriately have to do with mastering the art of betrayal of trust.

What began as, and still is, a science with so much promise for improving the quality of life for humanity (which is how most sciences get started) is going through a time of profound perversion.  Mental health services are, I think, the most common interface between the general public and psychological expertise.  However mental health in many cases has become just another sales outlet for the pharmaceutical companies.

The reality of the evolution of the science of psychology is that what we have learned can show us much of what is needed to establish personal and sociologic well-being.  One example is Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” which provides a basic template for personal and collective well-being.  But these aspects of the science of psychology, the aspects relating to the general population becoming healthy and whole, seem to be truly frightening to those who have been using psychology for manipulation and exploitation.

Restating the situation, the science of human behavior contains great deal of understanding of what we need to be whole, as individuals and as a culture.  What we know about what we need to be whole and healthy, as individuals and as a culture, is often directly contradictory to what many in positions of industrial and political power, around the world, want us to believe.  What we need for health and wholeness often informs us to behave in ways those currently holding the reins of industrial and political power do not want to see us behaving in. Ways that do not primarily serve them and their egoistic agendas.

Very often today the field of mental health is viewed with skepticism.  The results frequently experienced by those accessing mental health services, and seen by those around them, tends to cast mental health services as a marginally effective service at best. To a very significant extent, this is a result of what I call the unidirectional nature of how mental health knowledge and services are most often applied.  Every challenge to our mental health is occurring within a context. To try to resolve the issues by only addressing the dynamics within the person experiencing the challenges (mental-emotional distress, maladjustment, mental illness) without simultaneously addressing any pathological dynamics within the context, the society, the person lives within, is to simply ask a person to be healthy within an unhealthy culture. It is a unidirectional approach to mental health.

(There is a similar unidirectional phenomenon happening with laws and law enforcement in the U.S.  But that is another story for another time.)

There is a saying: “Culture is to people as water is to fish.”  The fact is, a human being cannot be whole and healthy within an unhealthful culture any more than a fish can be whole and healthy within a polluted lake.

The best that can be hoped for is to compensate as well as possible until the challenges with their accompanying stress finally take their toll. Physical illness, and/or mental illness, and eventually a hastened death are not an uncommon result. One coping option, one which some have been using for centuries, is that an individual or group can try to escape the hellish dynamics too often present in society at large by attempting to live in a self-contained society. Monks and Nuns have sought refuge in such an attempt at controlling a micro-environment for centuries. In the U.S. small communes have experienced varying degrees of success. However, such efforts come at a price. That price is the seclusion itself. While those opting for such a lifestyle may genuinely feel that the benefit is worth the cost, such a system is not a viable answer for everyone.

So where does all this leave us? Exactly where we are right now. We are a species too often turned upon itself. Narrowly defined self interest expressed in predatory financial practices, an absence of consideration for others and even an absence of consideration for our natural environment itself, combined, are genuinely threatening to extinguish us as a species. We are on a spaceship called Earth. You would think that even the most narrowly self-centered among us would have consideration for the natural life-support systems we all rely upon. But, as widespread pollution and destruction of essential habitat and species shows, that isn’t the case. Right now, the fact is, there are some extraordinarily short-sighted, narrowly focused, inconsiderate, egoistic, ignorant (by default or by design) people running too much of what is going on. And we’re letting them.

As I’m writing this, April 1, 2020, much of the U.S. and the world is quarantined due to the coronavirus pandemic. As someone has put it: It’s like mother nature has sent us to our rooms to think about what we’re doing. Will we? Will we, across the globe, use some of this time to consider our own thinking, our own behaviors, and rejoin the world at large better for it?  Will our individual and collective well-being be prioritized higher than corporate profit, corporate well-being?  We’ll see.

Will we, can we, as a species, realize our interconnectedness (as demonstrated graphically by the current pandemic) and apply this awareness to the betterment of our collective well-being? It’s all up to us. Part of what a genuine recovery will entail, is the realization of how pervasively our cultures have been being manipulated by those with narrow, self-serving agendas.

Too often we are being manipulated to hate and fear those who are different in some way from ourselves. We are being manipulated to believe that pursuing narrow self-interest is what we should be doing. We are being manipulated to believe that those who are the most successful at narrowly pursuing their own self-interest are the successes in life. That we should look up to them, emulate them.

As a species, ultimately, we cannot survive, we absolutely cannot ever thrive, with such a mindset.  But if we truly grasp our interconnectedness and act in ways which, in every way, further our personal well-being and our collective well-being, we have the potential to experience a quality of life beyond what many have imagined.

The most important battle going on.

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(c) mrdoggs http://www.fotosearch.com

 

This post is essentially an invitation to watch a documentary which was produced in 2010.  However the subject matter of the film is timeless.

Whether you’re watching FOX, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, etc., you’re being fed bullshit. But it comes in different flavors, because those controlling the news know, everyone doesn’t like vanilla. However there are certain constants no matter what channel you tune in to. Some of them are:

1. Accumulating vast wealth is good.
2. We should all admire those who have accumulated vast wealth.
3. Be afraid, be very afraid.. Depending upon what channel you’re watching, what we’re supposed to be afraid of can vary. But it’s never the extravagantly wealthy, nor war.
4. War is a necessity.
5. We need to spend more on war.

It is important to those busily accumulating wealth and power, regardless of the effects of their actions upon the majority of people in the world, or the planet itself, that we, the masses, believe these things. They are constantly endeavoring to engineer consent for their actions. Our continued belief of these concepts enables them to maintain and advance their agenda.

All we need to win this war is to realize our kinship, our innate interconnectedness. To love one another as we love ourselves. And to love the universal creative spirit that gives us life. To respect the creator, respect the creation.

The most important battle going on is to control our perceptions of what is going on. The battle to control our thoughts.  This documentary provides a clear picture of history and nature of this battle.  Click on the link to be taken to the full video on YouTube:

Psywar

What’s changing the attitude of immigrants?

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(c) NesaCera http://www.fotosearch.com

There have been a number of posts about how someone’s ancestors (like mine) immigrated to the U.S. Were glad to be here, learned the language, and assimilated into the culture. That used to be the norm.

As is all too clear from the news that is not necessarily the case with immigrants today.

However, there is something else that is different that isn’t as widely distributed via the news. When my ancestors, and others, in the past came to the U.S. it wasn’t because U.S. individuals and corporations, and foreign tyrants, often with assistance from the U.S. government, had destroyed living conditions in their countries of origin.

That being the case, why would they want to come here?   Why come to a country whose governmental policies obviously, and increasingly, show moral bankruptcy?  A country which the home to those who have absconded with a great deal of their country’s natural resources? That’s a good question, however, it also provides the answer. They are just, as the phrase states: following the money.  The wealth which, at one time, resided in their home countries, or was the land they lived on and farmed.

Countries are like ships.  While conditions are acceptable on them, whose going to jump overboard and risk the dangerous swim to a ship on the horizon?  Nobody, or very, very few.  Everyone needs a ship to live on.  We all need a home.  We all need hope.

So, unless we want to see this mad scramble continue indefinitely, this mad scramble to find space in one of the ships of state where conditions still offer hope, one of two things has to happen.  1. We either try to revitalize conditions on the other ships in our world, or, 2. We kill a whole lot of people around the world, stop the flow at the source.

At this point a lot of you are offended, shocked by the latter option.  Good for you, you’re still fully human.  But there are some reading this who may not be shocked at all.  Who will think, good idea, let’s take that second option.

There are a number of ways that a human being’s innate sensibilities can be numbed to the point the second option seems attractive.  Ongoing trauma, over years, might do it.  Chronic severe stress, again over years, might do it.  Or belonging to a group, a family or club, which engages in practices designed to numb, to obliviate, those aspects of our humanity; empathy or any other innate connectivity to others, can do it.  And if you aren’t already aware, there are such groups, families, and clubs.   If you occupy a position of authority, it doesn’t seem to be all that difficult to find some who will blindly follow.

Humankind has a sorry history of people being willing to be used by those in positions of authority.  We’ve been doing it for decades, centuries.  Sometimes it doesn’t require a whole lot of effort on the part of those working to manipulate us to serve their agendas.  If starting with a human being early enough, with the right indoctrination, mass murder can just seem normal.  I think that was probably one of the goals within the Hitler Youth movement.  There are many reports of practices among groups claiming to be satanic which feed such a state of being.  And, as noted in the prior paragraph, there are others.  If you doubt this at all, look around, events in the world clearly show there are a good number of  people who do not flinch at the prospect of killing, murdering others to gain some worldly resource or another, or simply because someone in a position of authority told them to.  They can be found in dark alleys, on battlefields, and  they can be found in what has come to be known as “polite society”.

I tend to think it requires even less in the way of indoctrination to get people to perform activities which support rapacious, materialistic behavior when all they know of it are figures on a spreadsheet, abstractions.  White collar crime has, in many places, had many of it’s forms legalized by those who benefit most from it’s practices.

So, what about the rest of us, those of us who are still fully in possession of our innate human faculties?  Do we just follow the example of the three monkeys, hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil?  Following that model will only help pave an unobstructed road for those who seek to prey upon the world at large.

I am in the U.S., the examples I have given refer most directly to things going on the U.S. However, the behaviors, the actions, the dynamics described in this post are most certainly not limited to the U.S. The very same dynamics are going on around the world. Different predators, same activities.

What those of us who still are cognizant of the interconnectedness of life, who are still guided by our innate sense of what is fair and reasonable, must do is speak out, act out.  Speak out the truths we know.  Do not quietly allow those with purely self-serving agendas slant, distort and/or fabricate the information which is being disseminated within our communities.  Act out.  Vote whenever possible to support just causes.  Participate in and support businesses and activities which truly are benefits to our communities.  Refuse to participate in the machinations working to drain the economic life out of our communities.  Refuse to participate in activities which are polluting our air, water, soil, our world, our very bodies.  Discourage our young people from becoming tools for the militaristic destruction of other people, the takeover of other country’s resources.

Love one another as we love ourselves.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The only devils in the world are those in our own hearts.”

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(c) mrdoggs http://www.fotosearch.com

Mohandas K. Gandhi is quoted as saying:  “The only devils in the world are those running around in our own hearts. And that is where all our battles ought to be fought.”

Is this true?  Or are there spiritual forces originating from outside us which bedevil us?  Sometimes I perceive that there are spiritual forces present around us which do try to exert influence upon us.  To push us this way or that.  However, in order for them to succeed, we have to be providing them with the opening, the thought/feeling processes, which they can then add impetus to within our minds, our hearts.  In other words they can energetically “nudge” us the direction they desire us to take.  Sometimes possibly more strongly than others.

Even if this is true, it in no way lessens import of Gandhi’s statement.  Because if we are paying enough attention to our own mind, our own thoughts, our own feelings, we can own our own direction.  Truly be the Captains of our own ship.  If, on the other hand, we do not pay enough attention to our own thoughts, feelings, we can be exposing ourselves to being manipulated via “handles” we didn’t fully realize we were subject to.

By engaging in a process of paying attention to our own thoughts and feelings, we can provide ourselves with true autonomy.  True freedom.  We can decide if we really want to be kind, considerate, empathetic, or rude, inconsiderate and heartless.

On our path to such a state of autonomy there are challenges we face.  Most, if not all, of us have been through traumas, times when we have been hurt bodily, or emotionally.  We can have gone through times of chronic stress, anxiety.   Or times during which we have had certain thoughts, feelings, values imposed upon us by others.  Those times leave an imprint on our psyche.  Those imprints can influence our lives, our behavior for years, decades, after the condition or event which resulted in the imprint has past.  These types of imprints can be some of the hardest challenges we face.

Often, to us subjectively, these imprints can be so deeply imbedded, and/or so old, have been with us so long, we may not recognize them for what they are.  We may consider the thoughts and feelings stemming from such imprints as “normal”.  We may believe that everyone carries a similar orientation as a part of their innate being.  But nothing could be farther from the truth.

If we have, somehow, had fear, hate, a judgmental orientation toward something, maybe a people or a place, or a behavior, deeply ingrained within us, we can truly believe that the thoughts and feelings we experience when we are exposed to those people, places or behaviors are entirely normal.  That they are truly an innate part of our being.  And being such, they are from the source of our life.  From God, divinely ordained.

How much suffering, how many wars have stemmed from exactly that illusion being mistaken for reality? 

And it isn’t just that carrying around such imprinting may cause us to harm others.  Carrying around such imprinting can also result in our regarding ourselves in an unrealistic, negative, derogatory manner.

Engaging in an ongoing practice of examining our own thoughts and feelings can be difficult.  We may not like what we find.  Sometimes these revelations can be emotionally, even physically, painful.  Yet, even when that is the case, there is cause for gratitude:  because we have found it.  When we have found it, we can enter into the process of changing it.

One thing we should all know about such processes of change is that they usually (always?) take time and repetition.  Deeply ingrained feelings/thoughts tend to occupy networks inside our mind, our spirit.  We will find ourselves facing the same, old, thoughts and feelings over and over.  They gradually emerge out of the nooks and crannies of our mind.   We need to endeavor to be aware, as often as we can, of what is happening and to consciously intervene in our own lives at those times.  We need to edit, replace the old thoughts with those we want to replace them.  By doing this, over and over, gradually we will retake ownership of our own lives.  We will have “cleaned house”, so to speak.  Sometimes it takes less time, sometimes more.  But it is inevitable once we make the firm decision to mindfully take back the control of our own life.