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Building a Framework for Understanding Ourselves

changing the polarity of a belief, or decharging it altogether is something that we have to learn how to do by learning how to manage mental energy. If people knew of some way of managing their beliefs, memories, and associations, then the kind of painful cycles of forced awareness described earlier would never get started in the first place.

Thus far I have identified three forces in constant operation in our lives. First are all the external environmental forces that have the potential to act as a cause, where we, as individuals, experience an effect. Some of these outside environmental forces we will have some degree of understanding of and others we will not. Our degree of understanding and insight along with the extent to which we can act on what we know is directly proportional to the degree of satisfaction we will experience as we interact with the environment to fulfill our needs and achieve our goals. Implied within all the external forces-whether we understand them or not-are all the forces of change that automatically alter everything made of atoms and molecules consequently making what we do know-in terms of usefulness-obsolete at some point in time. For example, the chair you are sitting in to read this book is deteriorating over time. At some point it will no longer be able to support any weight, making your belief in its stability obsolete.

Second are the deep inner forces of curiosity and attraction that compel us to explore, learn about, and interact with the environment in seemingly predetermined ways. For example, there are things that we are naturally interested in learning about or learning how to do in relationship to all the other things that are available to learn about in the environment, but we have no natural interest- like someone who always wanted to be a musician, fire-fighter, actor, or doctor and pursues these vocations resulting in feelings of deep satisfaction about their lives. However, if the environment forces us into areas where there is no natural interest, we will experience an emptiness that can be very difficult to identify, only that it feels like something is missing in our lives. What each of us as individuals is naturally curious about and attracted to in the environment come from the deepest levels of our existence. They act as very powerful forces of self-expression, compelling us to create in the physical environment the object of our imagination or to pursue in the physical environment the object of our interests, often in direct

The Dynamics of Goal Achievement

conflict with outside environmental forces as well as inner mental forces in the form of what we have been taught to believe.

Third are the mental forces represented by our beliefs, memories, and associations. Even though beliefs, memories, and associations are mental forces, they are not the same as the forces of curiosity and attraction. Beliefs, memories, and associations exist exclusively as a result of the kinds of experiences we have with the physical environment. This is in contrast to the forces of curiosity and attraction that are in us before we are born and would seem to be either predetermined in a spiritual sense or genetically encoded. Some of our beliefs, memories, and associations will act as positive resources for interacting with the physical environment effectively and with some degree of satisfaction. Others, however, will have just the opposite effect. Many of our beliefs, memories, and associations are resources for failure, pain, and dissatisfaction because they lock us into only perceiving what we already know as well as cutting us off from our natural sense of curiosity. In other words, they specifically act as forces to prevent any further mental growth.

Now, since we have to interact with the physical environment to fulfill our needs and achieve our goals, the key to doing it to assure ourselves of experiencing greater levels of satisfaction is to acquire deeper levels of insight and understanding into the nature of these forces. That is, we need to stay in a constant state of learning. The only thing that really stops us from continuing to learn about the nature of these outside forces is the mental forces in the form of beliefs, memories, and associations that build up and as a result block our natural sense of curiosity, sometimes to the point of shutting down the learning process altogether.

There is some element of truth to the saying that you cant teach an old dog new tricks, except that it should really read "An old dog wont learn new tricks." Its not that it is impossible for someone regardless of their age to leam something new; the issue isnt ability. It is more a matter of resistance and refusal. That refusal comes from the sum total of everything we already believe, in essence saying, "Forget it-I already know everything I need to know." Of course, the consequences to such a stance toward the environment can be and often are devastating And it invariably always takes some truly devastating event or a series of them before someone

Building a Framework / Understanding Ourselves

who has this kind of attitude will acknowledge that the reason for their plight is that they just refuse to allow any changes in their mental environment. Of course, this know-it-all attitude is very easy to recognize in someone else; the trick is learning how to recognize it ourselves, because it exists in all of us as a natural function of the ways in which beliefs, memories, and associations manage information.

To stay in a constant state of learning we need to learn how to adapt. To adapt we need to learn some specific mental techniques on how to consciously apply our thoughts to upgrade, modify, replace, or change the polarity (electrical charge) of various components in our mental environment that act as limiting or inhibiting forces on our perception and behavior, preventing us from gaining greater levels of correspondence with the physical environment. By consciously adapting, we are making ourselves available to learn how to fulfill our needs and achieve our goals in increasingly more satisfying ways. Note: Implied within fulfilling our needs and achieving our goals is the need to explore the object of our curiosities and attractions, which also get blocked by our beliefs, associations, and memories.

To adapt, we need to choose not to resist learning and change. This requires a willingness on our part to think outside of the limitations established by our beliefs, associations, and memories and a willingness to learn how to manage mental energy so we can release ourselves from the negative effects of our painful memories When we learn how to change the polarity of a painful memory, it isnt painful any longer. When the memory is decharged or drained of the negatively charged energy, it will no longer have the potential to generate fear. Fear always limits the number of choices we perceive as available from the environment by the way it causes us to focus our attention on the object of our fear. The net effect is we end up creating for ourselves exactly what we are trying to avoid. It is important for you to note that, when we change the polarity of a memory, it doesnt actually change the structure of the memory. In other words, we dont forget the experience, so we can still use it as a part of our repertoire of what we know about the nature of the physical environment. When we change the quality of energy of a memory from negative to positive, we negate the

The Dynamics of Goal Achievement

memorys potential to generate fear, thereby allowing us to perceive all the other choices for experience available from the environment in the same moment.

Preferably this willingness to change will come from somewhere other than out of desperation. The idea is to learn how to recognize what we need to know long before the conditions deteriorate to the levels of desperation. To do this requires that we incorporate into our mental system three very fundamental assumptions that will help us to maintain a healthy relationship with the environment and generate the energy behind the willingness that we will need to start such a process, after which experiencing the benefits will act as the driving force behind our willingness.

The first assumption is that we havent learned everything there is to know. And, as a result, there are always going to be unknown forces acting upon us until our understanding of everything outside of us evolves to the point where we have simultaneous awareness of everything going on in the environment. The implications here are that we need to be in a constant state of learning from the moment we are born to the moment we die because our intellect has not yet evolved to the point of simultaneous perception of all information that is available in any given moment. Until then, we are forced to pick and choose the information we experience based on what we have learned to believe.

The second assumption is that what we have learned to believe either by force-unwillingly thrust upon us, as an expression of the outside environment-or by choice-as an expression of inner forces that operate within us like our curiosity and attractions-may not be very useful with respect to fulfilling ourselves in some satisfying manner.

The third assumption is that what we have learned that is useful and works to our satisfaction is still subject to change because of the changing environmental conditions. In other words, what we may need to know to experience more satisfaction and happiness in our lives will often have to replace partially or invalidate completely what we have already learned. Refusing to change what we have already learned is virtually the same as saying that we already know everything there is to know and dont need to learn anything further. Of course, we could easily know if we didnt need to adapt

because we would be in a perpetual state of satisfaction. Anything less than a feeling of satisfaction from our interaction with the environment is an indication that we need to learn something.


If you operate out of the foregoing assumptions, you will begin to recognize how every moment becomes a perfect indication of your state of development and what you need to do to improve yourself. For example, lets look at a hypothetical trader whose goal is to make money from his trading. He perceives what he believes to be an opportunity to do so and puts on a t de. However, he is operating out of a fear of being wrong. As a result, his fear will act on his perception of information to block from his awareness any evidence that would indicate that he is wrong. Remember that fear is a natural mechanism to warn us of threatening conditions so that we can avoid them. Now what is threatening about being wrong? In this case, as in most all cases, it is all the accumulated pain and humiliation inside of him from his past experiences. If the market-or anyone else for that matter-presents him with any information that conflicts with what he wants, his fear will cause him to distort it perceptually or he will angrily scream at the person who offered such information "Dont tell me that" so that he can avoid feeling the pain already inside of him from his past. In effect, his fears will create for him the very experience that he is trying to avoid because he is avoiding information that would indicate what the markets have to offer in relationship to what he wants or expects. If the market does move against him, he probably wont confront the evidence until the pain of doing so is less than the pain of not confronting it, meaning that his losses accumulate to the point where it is easier to admit he is wrong than to suffer any more losses.

The results of our efforts will be reflected in the environment as the sum total of who we are in any given moment, as it was for our trader in the foregoing example. A goal is an intent that we have projected out into the environment. It is a need to be fulfilled in some future moment. The need arises out of a recognition of some lack. Recognizing the need automatically focuses our attention to scan the environment for ways (paths) to fulfill that need. The

environmental information we perceive (quality and depth of insight) will be a function of the number of distinctions we can make minus any information that gets blocked by any fears we are operating out of. How we express ourselves to fulfill the need will be function of (1) our perceptions, (2) the steps that we choose as a result of those perceptions, and (3) the skills we have developed minus any conflicting beliefs, memories, and associations, making each moment that we interact with the environment a perfect indication of what we know and how well we can act on what we know.

When we refuse to acknowledge or accept the perfection of each moment in our lives, we deny ourselves access to the information that we need to expand ourselves. Any skill that we need to leam to express ourselves more effectively has a true starting point. To find that true starting point requires our acceptance of each outcome as a reflection of the sum total of who we are so that we can first identify what skill needs to be learned and how we might go about the task of learning it. Without this tme starting point, we will operate from a base of illusion.

Illusions result from beliefs that we know more than we do and can do more than we can. We erroneously assume the environment shares our perception of it or of ourselves and then we actively block any information to the contrary. Illusions are the difference between accepting each moment as a perfect indication of who we are so that we can identify what we need to learn to move forward and believing we are already perfect the way we are, in which case we need leam nothing. Certainly if any of us were in a perfect state of knowledge and abilities, then we would never need to complain about anything or make excuses, rationalizations, or justifications for why things didnt turn out as we planned.

Every "should have," "could have," "would have," or "if only" is an indication of the degree of illusion in which we are indulging ourselves. If we could have, we would have, meaning that at each moment we are doing the best we can when taking into account all the components-both conscious and subconscious-that affect what we perceive and do. Acknowledging and accepting this perfection will always give us our true starting point to indicate what we need to leam so that we can perceive the conditions differently or what resources we need to develop to respond differently.

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