Choices and Conditioning
It is said that the choices one makes in life result in who we are. If we make decisions whilst in a peak state, as discussed on the Focus page, then we will most likely make better and more empowering decisions for us. We will be more ourselves during the decision making process and be more likely to make a choice that will allow us to continue to be ourselves or express ourselves more truly in various avenues in life. Or avoid making a 'cock up'!
Below we shall briefly examine how some of the above areas of influence, both external and internal, mould our perceptions, and influence our focus and core beliefs and hence our state of mind, choices and actions. These circles of influence are categorised in the following manner. These are broadly based on the definitions in the book 'Fringe Knowledge for Beginners' by Montalk, chapter 16, 'Battle of Opposites' (see the Links page for more information). Some parts of this book may be a little 'New Age', and the concepts have been presented below and applied to some more real world examples.
- Negative External Resistance
These are external influences that 'seek' to interfere with an individual's attempts to make or contemplate positive forms of progress; to attack a person's sense of positive or empowering certainty and attempts to undermine one's confidence. They may be messages (often irrational criticisms of your choices) designed to instill fear and doubt (e.g. a parent, teacher or peer telling you that you will never be good at something or not to consider a certain choice or move as it is pointless or stupid etc., citing examples of those who have failed at that same thing, etc.); nasty or evil glares, disapproving looks; or at other times a distraction or diversion (e.g. being asked 'you want to go to the pub?' whilst you are trying to study), or released bursts of frustration (usually in the form of put downs) from others around us; or even forceful opposition to your actions. At the end of the day, negative external resistance are empty threats and optional obligations, illusions that only have meaning and carry weight if you believe in them and give them signficance or focus on them. Pandering to them eats away at your confidence, stops you making an empowering choice. They appeal to one's ignorance, fear, insecurity, shame and low self-esteem.
- Positive External Resistance
These are external influences that are warnings or warning signs, or even the outright blocking of choices or courses of action that are dangerous or harmful to you. Warning signs are there to expand your understanding of a situation and increase your awareness of the hidden dangers and consequences, to avoid 'reckless' actions that result in getting 'bitten'. Warning signs may of course be just your own observation of your surroundings, e.g. loose surfaces or pot holes in the road whilst driving; signs that suggest possible mechanical failure. Explicit warnings include warning signs like 'warning: wet floor'. Unlike negative external resistance, these signs usually require a clear mind to figure out and usually result in a delay to one's plans. Failure to listen to positive external resistance or trying to force your way through it can result in an increase in mechanical failures, accidents and various health problems. Positive external resistance appeals to reason, discernment and intuition.
- Negative External Encouragement
These are deceptive external influences, opportunities or messages that appeal to your lower levels of consciousness or primal desires, your weakness, ignorance, wishful thinking or greed, i.e. your ego. These are pitfalls, traps and hooks to catch the weak of mind. We sometimes justify these choices because of a coincidence or what was 'meant to happen'. Examples include gambling, someone offering you drugs or a get rich quick scheme (an opportunity too good to be true, and it probably is!) or otherwise talking you into something that is in their interest and not in yours. Some argue that belief systems that offer quick results fall into this category, and whilst there may be a point here, it is a little harsh (as there may well be elements of truth in that belief system).
- Positive External Encouragement
This is a form of positive confirmation when one has made a genuinely wise or empowering choice or decision to follow a course of positive action. It may be a genuine syncronicity or reinforcing of the principles that follow working with that course of positive action, a reaping of the rewards of that action that help to further reinforce it or positively influence other areas of your perception. They bring relief and lift your spirits, providing a feel good factor. Critical events fall into place to work with 'destiny'. Like attracts like and you may feel you are furthering yourself in your goal of self-expression and where you really want to be, and an investment in the long term as well. It is a form of self-perpetuating abundance, being 'in the zone'.
- Negative Internal Resistance
This is in general terms addiction to negative thought patterns, beliefs and patterns of focus, and a habitual resistance to deviate from this pattern. This resistance generally stems from artificially lowered emotional states, layers of protective and defensive negative beliefs, and destructive patterns of focus and posthypnotic suggestions, that can result in futher rationalisation and reinforcement of these triggers and beliefs. They may be small nudges or thoughts that are spontaneously or casually acted upon, to preserve a pattern of behaviour when the brain can smell the possibility that we might try something else/other way of focussing, to preserve that negative addiction (that protective layer is highly insecure!) or strong complusions to resist a change (e.g. resulting in procrastination when a different opportunity is offered, e.g. approaching a girl - which you 'always' bottle out on! Making your next attempt to do this even harder!). Such negative internal resistance can be identified if one thinks about their consequence, as they clearly suppress emotional balance, freedom and clarity of thought. They may take the form of self-criticism (the ego), mental blocks, irrational hostility to an seemingly innocuous idea, fidgeting, anxiety, sweating, panic, thoughts interrupting a positive focus, being frozen to inaction when you need to act, giving in to feelings of fear (as watching the fearful situation pass by will make you feel comfortable again - a fear of leaving your comfort zone - based on disempowering beliefs and low self esteem), or mind fog when trying to contemplate a positive thought. I experienced a severe form of mind fog just at the moment before he became a Christian in 1996, as a house mate was discussing the Holy Spirit. He could hear individual words but not perceive a sentence whatsoever. He had never experienced this before, and it went away after a minute, like a cloud was lifted. Whether such self-criticism or mind fog is of psychological or spiritual origin (or both) is a matter of personal belief and perception.
- Positive Internal Resistance
This is where the lower self (ego) acts contrary to your higher consciousness or wisdom, manifested as feelings of indifference or caution towards an empowering or positive matter. Such a feeling is difficult to rationalise away and may require one to indulge the ego (one's lower impulses or desires) in some capacity to satisfy it so that it does not resist the higher consciousness' desire to move towards that action, decision or outcome. The ego's resistance manifests itself as an inner voice, a post-hypnotically triggered false 'gut' instinct signal (affecting upper body only rather than the belly or gut) or intuitive impression, as calm advice or urgent caution, but rarely spiteful criticism or threatening orders (as in Negative Internal Resistance). Positive internal resistance requires clarity of mind rationalisation to ignore rather than to believe. Believing it requires no mental or engagement. On the whole, it can be seen as the heart and mind resisting simultaneously.
- Negative Internal Encouragement
This compels you towards ego-driven hasty, impulsive, harmful or distractive behaviour, for example, making false assumptions or acting on them, or pursuing materialistic or sexual fantasies. For example, it could be a desire for impulse purchases or a desire to have more of something (what you do have losing all meaning or value in that instant with the desired thing having all meaning in that instant.) These are the lower self's animal instincts and can reinforce certain negative beliefs to produce obsessive thinking, wishful thinking or prejudice. These may the result of habitual patterns of focus or one's hormonal and genetic programming or the ego's desire for preservation or significance. It may manifest itself as a pointless or irrational idea masquerading as a great idea (in that moment) or perhaps a strong desire to punish someone (e.g. to reprimand someone or send a 'snotty' email) or for violent action (e.g. a strong urge to beat someone up because they 'cut up you' on the road, i.e. road rage; or a desire to kill someone in the spur of the moment). Such negative internal encouragement can be easily identified by its impulsive, desperate and irrational nature. It must be fulfilled IMMEDIATELY and CANNOT WAIT. It may be accompanied by an increased heart rate, flushed face, raised blood pressure or tightening of the chest, and a decrease in your ability to rationalise.
- Positive Internal Encouragement
This is what this page is talking about. These are positive beliefs, positive communication with the self or a sudden positive realisation. The heart, mind and soul love it. It makes you feel good. It may be in the form of positive, empowering statements about yourself, a situation or your environment, or it may be in the form of empowering types of questions. Some examples are given on the Dialogue with Self page. A truly good or empowering idea, will resonate on all levels and will deepen the breathing, provide a sense of certainty, a sense of relief and joy, motivation, a sense of purpose and above all patience (knowing that it is good and you will get yours). It sharpens and energises the mind, and engages your sense of curiosity, wonder and satisfaction. It is clearly distinguished from negative internal encouragement which is not positive in nature but often 'knee jerk' and requires immediate and desperate action. Positive internal encouragement is not desperate. It does not require rationalisation to hide an underlying lack of interest. It feels like a good idea.
Clearly distinguishing between the above may take some time, and some of the above you may well be already familiar with. Hard and fast categorisation is perhaps not necessary, but an intuitive understanding of what they are, how they operate, and what you want and don't want is however very useful and comes with time. It is clearly easier to hold ourselves and weigh ourselves down, and to let others drag us down, but it is harder to soar and reach new heights! If we can identify those weights that are holding us down then that is a good start! If we can learn to identify and pursue positive internal and external encouragement, then we can achieve much greater mental heights of joy, bliss, wisdom and self-awareness.
'Losing faith in what is a good idea' can be distinguished from 'Intuition finally emergy that it was a bad idea all along'. Both start with hope and are interrupted by discouragement. But losing faith in what is a good idea started out with excitement about how things are and is later overpowered by discouragement about what could be (i.e. what if - imaging speculative failure scenarios or fear/insecurity); whereas 'intuition emerging that it was a bad idea all along' starts with overconfidence and overenthusiastic fantasizing with regards to what could be (what if) and is eventually defeated by how things actually are (what is) - a rude awakening or a short sharp shock, e.g. drug taking.
'Indifference because of an absence of soul interest' can be distinguished from 'Programming to resist and turn away'. Both involve a lack of complete enthusiasm, but the first involves a lack of inner enthusiasm; whilst 'programming to resist and turn away' involves a considerable amount of enthusiasm but it is drowned out by negative thoughts and beliefs such as distracting failure scenarios and insecurity - and these negative thoughts can be overcome if one pays attention to one's inner enthusiasm and empowering beliefs in this area.
'Good idea that meets obstacles' can be distinguished from 'Obstacles that signify a bad idea'. Both scenarios involve goals that are being hindered. However, with a 'good idea that meets obstacles', the obstacles have no bearing on the validity of the idea (and bypassing the obstacle would be sensible); whereas 'obstacles that signify a bad idea', the obstacles do actually show that the idea is flawed, impractical and should be abandoned or changed/fine tuned.
'Resistance stemming from intuitively perceived danger' can be distinguished from 'Being programmed to resist out of fear'. Both involve the impression of danger and fear. However 'resistance stemming from intuitively perceived danger' involves a sense of urgency that heightens one's awareness and perception, and perception of the objective reality of the scenario precedes the fear. Our fear or perception of danger is based on intuition and gut instinct, and our awareness. 'Being programmed to resist out of fear' originates in fearful negative beliefs which adversely shape our perception by inducing symptoms of fear an panic. In other words fear precedes our perception of the objective reality of the scenario, and prevents heightened perception or indeed any real perception of the truth or reality by locking in our thoughts into irrational fear. The real danger may not even have been spotted indeed if there was any there at all! One should be able to tell if one has thought oneself into fear based on our known neuroses (that we should be honest with ourselves about) or if one has a wide enough calm awareness of the situation to perceive an intuitive potential threat based on gut instinct and wisdom.
© 2006-2014 Fabian Dee