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Budding a Framework for Understanding Ourselves

we are smelling, tasting, hearing, or seeing along with the quality of energy of the primary experience. For example, a child getting spanked will associate all the other environmental information that his senses are inadvertently picking up with the pain he is feeling from the spanking. What he hears, smells, tastes, and sees will all be connected with the intensity of the force being applied to his body. So if there was some song playing on the radio or a distinctive odor in the air at the same time that he was experiencing pain, he will associate the song or the odor with the pain.

Now, both these environmental distinctions (a certain song and a certain smell) will be connected with negative energy in his mental environment. When the child was getting his spanking he may not have even noticed either the song or the smell because his attention was obviously focused in other directions. However, in the future whenever he hears that song or smells that particular odor, they will automatically cause him to experience the negative energy connected with the spanking. Even if it is years later, and he is enjoying himself with the last thing on his mind being the memory of that spanking, if he hears that particular song or smells that particular odor, it will carry him back to that time as if it were the present moment, changing his experience from happiness to anger, sadness, or guilt.

Of course, this same principle also works for positive experiences. A perfect example is many couples have "a song" that they associate with some intense sexual or loving experience When they hear "their song," it will mentally put them into the feelings of the experience the song is associated with. In fact, the song can eventually come to symbolize the quality of the entire relationship where all the memories and emotions connected to those memories will run though their consciousness upon hearing the song.

Associations are an automatic function of the way in which information gets organized in our mental systems. Most of these associations are inadvertent, meaning we have positively or negatively charged energy connected to various elements of the environment, and we arent consciously aware of it. We can see, hear, taste, or smell certain things that, in turn, cause us to feel emotions and not know why because we dont consciously remember connecting the extraneous sensory information with the primary event.

Memories, Associations, and Beliefs


None of us has access to "all" the environmental information that exists in any given moment. Our senses arent constructed to allow us to pick up (see, hear, touch, taste, or smell) everything at once. If we cant be aware of it all, then we must have some mechanism by which we pick and choose what we do become aware of and give our attention and consideration to. What we learn creates an energy loop between the inner and outer environment. We can call this energy loop perception. "Perception" is recognizing-with our eyes, ears, nose, taste, and touch-in the physical environment what we have already learned about it. Mental energy works in conjunction with our physical senses to separate, categorize, and organize environmental information based on the distinctions we have learned to make. We recognize what we have learned in the environment because it is already inside of us. There has to be a mental framework to accept the information; otherwise, it gets rejected, labeled as meaningless, or not perceived at all, unless of course we are willing to construct a framework for it-being open to learn.


Distinctions make separations in environmental information where no previous separation existed. A child wont make a distinction between a spoon and pencil until someone teaches him the difference. Otherwise, he will instinctively put both in his mouth, until the information stored in his mental environment acts as a force on his perception to distinguish between the two. Environmental objects give off information about themselves, but the information that is perceived already exists inside of each individual, unless it is a first-time experience. The spoon and the information about what it is create an energy loop between the inside and the outside, where before the distinction was learned the spoon and he pencil would fall into the same category as something to put into the mouth. Anything we dont know, but exists in the environment as a possibility, is a distinction that we havent learned to make yet. If we havent learned to make the distinction, we wont perceive the various types of information the environment is giving off about itself.

For example, if I were to open up my computer, what I would perceive would be very different from that of a skilled computer repair technician. All the various parts giving off information about themselves would mean almost nothing to me because there is no meaning inside of me. All the parts my eyes would be seeing would fall into that one large category because 1 havent learned to make any distinctions between the various parts, whereas the technician would perceive the parts in a very different way because he understands the functioning of the parts and the relationship that they have with one another. That understanding is the mental framework that structures the particular way in which he perceives the parts. The parts would be giving off information about themselves that I couldnt perceive because I dont have the mental structure to perceive it.

Learning how to read the markets to recognize an opportunity is another example to illustrate this energy loop between the inside and outside that we call perception. Traders act as a force on the market to move prices. Since most traders dont plan their trades or want to take responsibility for their outcomes they are highly susceptible to acting out of any number of fears. Traders who are motivated to act out of fear generally arent aware that their fear drastically reduces the choices they perceive as available, making their behavior very predictable to an objective observer (someone not caught in the same cycles of fear). So under certain market conditions large groups of traders will all be trying to do the same thing-because of what they fear will or wont happen-upsetting the equilibrium, forcing prices to move in one direction. If you havent yet learned to identify these conditions, you naturally wont perceive them when they exist because there has to be an energy loop between the inner and outer environments for perception to occur.

I am sure everyone has had the experience of reading unfamiliar material a second, third, or fourth time and perceiving something new with each subsequent reading. What is happening here? With each reading you are building a mental framework that enables you to recognize what was available but unperceivable to you when it was read previously. That is, all the new insight that you garner with each reading was available from the book the moment you picked it up the first time. However, you werent able to perceive what it had to offer in the way of insights or understandings until you created an

energy loop that enabled you to perceive it; otherwise, the words get read but the insight goes by completely unnoticed even though you are looking right at it.

In any given moment there is a vast difference between what each of us perceives and what is actually available in the way of possible distinctions from the environments perspective. Take, for example, a salesperson who has learned to recognize the exact, most appropriate moment to ask for the order and close a sale. Or an auto mechanic who knows exactly what is wrong with a car by the kind of sounds that it makes. To the inexperienced salesperson or auto mechanic, these abilities will seem like magic because they will assume that they are hearing or seeing the same things as their experienced counterparts. However, that is not the case. They are not hearing or seeing the same information even though they are in the same sales interview or listening to the same car at the exact same moment. They are actually perceiving different environmental information because of the differences in the structure of their respective mental environments. The information that indicates the exact moment to ask for the order to close the sale is indistinguishable from everything else to the inexperienced salesperson. The same is true for the inexperienced auto mechanic. Consequently, neither one will perceive the existence of this information until they learn to make the appropriate distinctions. If someone wasnt there to teach them how to make these more refined distinctions that indicate the most appropriate moment to ask, they may never know about the existence of such information. By learning to make more distinctions, we increase the depth of our level of understanding of the cause-and-effect relationship between everything that exists.

How Our Perceptions Shape Our Experiences

We experience the environment through our senses. At the most fundamental level the world gets transformed into electrical impulses of energy, energy that carries information, as well as feelings and emotions ranging from extreme happiness to rage, elation to despair, love to hate, and all the degrees of feelings and emotions in between. Each first-time encounter with the environment creates a memory, distinction, or association that didnt exist previously. A first-time encounter is any experience that is completely unique,

like learning the meaning of a word that we have never heard before, and there is nothing in our mental environment to relate it to. These new memories, distinctions, and associations build into a mental framework that constitute what we have learned about the nature of the outside environment.

Once we learn something, mental energy will then act as a force on our senses to recognize in the environment what we have learned about it. So there is a two-way flow of energy; first, we learn something through some unique experience; then, we perceive what we have learned in the environment. Fear is a perfect example for illustrating this concept. We feel fear when we recognize in the environment anything that we have learned can cause us pain. We will feel this fear and consequently have a fearful experience because the negatively charged energy in our memories, distinctions, and associations will act as a force on our eyes, ears, nose, and sense of touch to tecognize in the environment anything that is similar to what we have already learned can cause pain.

So when we perceive something (recognizing what we have already learned) in the environment, mental energy is acting as a force on our senses, instead of the environment acting as a force on our senses. In other words, the conditions are similar or identical to what we already know, and we can therefore attach some meaning to the information. The environment isnt creating the meaning as in a first-time encounter; the meaning is already inside of us, and in essence we create the experience by the way in which we perceive it, through our memories, distinctions, and associations.

This is why a group of people can all be in the same location, be exposed to the same environmental information, and then afterward describe the event in a different way. The event was different for each individual because everyone experienced it differently. Their experience was a function of the structure of their mental environment. Each individual will make different associations with the same information and then experience the varying degrees of positive or negative energy connected with those associations. Each individual will make different distinctions with the same information, in effect placing a different meaning on it. Each meaning will be composed of varying degrees of positive or negative energy, thereby creating a different experience relative to everyone elses. Each person will experience the amount of time the event took

differently, depending on whether they are perceiving the experience with predominately positively charged energy {time speeds up) or negatively charged energy (time slows down). Without taking all these mental variables into consideration, it is little wonder why people get so frustrated with one another when they cant agree on what happened. Everybodys version of what happened was unique, because the way each of us experience the outside environment is determined by how we perceive it, and how we perceive it is a function of what is already inside of us unless we are in the process learning something new.

The implications are that much of what we experience of the outside environment is shaped from the inside, not from the outside as most people would assume. In other words, our first-time experiences shape the meaning, as well as determine the quality of energy connected with that meaning, and then once the meaning exists inside of us, it shapes our experience of the outside by the way we pick and choose information and how we feel about that information.

This is a very important concept, so I will give you another example to illustrate how our perceptions shape the way we experience the environment. Lets say that I am approaching a statue of a man. At first, I look at the statue face to face, and I experience indifference; that is, what I am seeing does not evoke any particular emotion. Then, I walk around the statue, and change my viewing angle until I look at it in profile. As I look at the profile, the face reminds me of a someone (an association) whom I like very much and whom I havent seen for years. From this new perspective the statue would take on a new meaning changing my experience from emotionally neutral to some strong feelings of nostalgia as I think about how much I miss this person.

The energy for how I experienced that statue and that particular moment in the environment was inside of me before I even looked at it. The energy that changed the feelings I was experiencing did not come from the statue or really have anything to do with that statue. My unique mental structure caused me to experience that statue the way in which I did. It took on a new meaning as I changed my perspective because of the way the energy that was already inside of me acted on my perception. If I hadnt had the positive experiences with the person the statue reminded me of, then I would have continued to experience indifference as I looked at it.

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