Tag Archives: shepherd

The Mind’s Eye

By Peter Shepherd.

When you get a picture in your mind’s eye, like for example a green camel (there, you pictured it, didn’t you!), it may seem quite ethereal and lacking substance, drowned out by your normal perception. But this inner universe is just as ‘actual’ as the physical world we live in, it is the substance of the mind, and understanding how the imagination works explains a lot about our psychological functioning.

There’s a simple exercise you can do to demonstrate this mechanism of mind. Create an object in your mind, say a red sports car. Move it around, open the doors and sit inside it. Note that the more that you consider it to be in its own time stream, it persists. Think about something else, then go back to the car – it’s still there.

Now go back to the time – just be at the same causative point – when you first created that car in your mind and put it there again, just as before. You’ll find the car disappears – poof! Re-create the same time, space, form and event and things disappear, like they never were. (While you’re at it, disappear the green camel too!).

This alternative universe of your own may seem intangible, but if you were in a flotation tank, with external senses nulled, the mind’s creations would seem far more tangible, indeed as real as the physical universe, just as dreams seem completely real when you are immersed in them. Indeed, our physical reality may be considered a shared dream from which we have not yet awoken, but as inevitably as we awaken from sleep, we will awaken at the end of our life cycle, if not to some extent before – in the same way as we may sometimes become lucid in our dreams.

What is the significance of this? Our thoughts, decisions, intentions and so on are tangible in our mental environment and once created they persist unless viewed again exactly as is their true nature. If they are suppressed, for example because they conflict with other information or decisions that we have a vested interest in holding on to – because of needs and corresponding fears – this conflict continues, and although subconscious it holds some of our available attention.

You can try making an intention and then re-create it so it blows away. Or make a counter-intention – one that goes against the first – and notice that then they both persist. We all have a multitude of these intentions and counter-intentions, that layer and form structures. We may be happy enough, successful in life and healthy, but our true potential for awareness is limited by this smoke-screen of suppressed frustration – our self-knowledge is obscured by attachments to many conflicting views – and we may only vaguely realise this is going on.

The value of biofeedback monitoring is to help uncover these suppressed mental elements, to expose them to view so they may now be seen in truth, as they are, and so blow away and have no further influence. The aim of the Insight Project is to use such tools to go further and ever deeper, to expose the full structure of our mental environment, to strip it away like the layers of an onion, to increasingly expose the nothingness that is our true spiritual being. And this is to truly awaken.

About the author:
Peter Shepherd is a psychologist who lives in France and runs the Tools for Transformation website. He publishes a free monthly newsletter in email format. Each issue offers informative articles about personal growth and life transformation, plus book reviews and recommended web sites. You can subscribe to Peter’s newsletter at http://www.trans4mind.com/news.

Educating the Will

By Peter Shepherd.

When you get a picture in your mind’s eye, like for example a green camel (there, you pictured it, didn’t you!), it may seem quite ethereal and lacking substance, drowned out by your normal perception. But this inner universe is just as ‘actual’ as the physical world we live in, it is the substance of the mind, and understanding how the imagination works explains a lot about our psychological functioning.

There’s a simple exercise you can do to demonstrate this mechanism of mind. Create an object in your mind, say a red sports car. Move it around, open the doors and sit inside it. Note that the more that you consider it to be in its own time stream, it persists. Think about something else, then go back to the car – it’s still there.

Now go back to the time – just be at the same causative point – when you first created that car in your mind and put it there again, just as before. You’ll find the car disappears – poof! Re-create the same time, space, form and event and things disappear, like they never were. (While you’re at it, disappear the green camel too!).

This alternative universe of your own may seem intangible, but if you were in a flotation tank, with external senses nulled, the mind’s creations would seem far more tangible, indeed as real as the physical universe, just as dreams seem completely real when you are immersed in them. Indeed, our physical reality may be considered a shared dream from which we have not yet awoken, but as inevitably as we awaken from sleep, we will awaken at the end of our life cycle, if not to some extent before – in the same way as we may sometimes become lucid in our dreams.

What is the significance of this? Our thoughts, decisions, intentions and so on are tangible in our mental environment and once created they persist unless viewed again exactly as is their true nature. If they are suppressed, for example because they conflict with other information or decisions that we have a vested interest in holding on to – because of needs and corresponding fears – this conflict continues, and although subconscious it holds some of our available attention.

You can try making an intention and then re-create it so it blows away. Or make a counter-intention – one that goes against the first – and notice that then they both persist. We all have a multitude of these intentions and counter-intentions, that layer and form structures. We may be happy enough, successful in life and healthy, but our true potential for awareness is limited by this smoke-screen of suppressed frustration – our self-knowledge is obscured by attachments to many conflicting views – and we may only vaguely realise this is going on.

The value of biofeedback monitoring is to help uncover these suppressed mental elements, to expose them to view so they may now be seen in truth, as they are, and so blow away and have no further influence. The aim of the Insight Project is to use such tools to go further and ever deeper, to expose the full structure of our mental environment, to strip it away like the layers of an onion, to increasingly expose the nothingness that is our true spiritual being. And this is to truly awaken.

About the author:
Peter Shepherd is a psychologist who lives in France and runs the Tools for Transformation website. He publishes a free monthly newsletter in email format. Each issue offers informative articles about personal growth and life transformation, plus book reviews and recommended web sites. You can subscribe to Peter’s newsletter at http://www.trans4mind.com/news.

Your Heart’s Desire

By Peter Shepherd.

We are each a complex system of ways of being, attachments, habitual behaviors, and decisions we have made. If there is a conflict between what one part of us wants and what another part wants, we pull against ourselves in opposite directions. It is a structural conflict. This is why the long-term use of will power leads to failure. When we stop applying will power to override other parts of us, we naturally go back to the way we were.

Developing the will and concentration are important, and Tools for Transformation has recently introduced a really good course to this end. But you can’t effectively achieve great things through will power alone. If you want one thing and at the same time you equally want another that is in conflict with the first, you will end up at square one.

For example, you may be trying to lose weight, so you determine not to eat the foods you have come to like best. You may feel you need to exercise more and so you force yourself to go to the gym, when you’d rather watch TV. You are using will power so that one desire wins over an opposing desire, to suppress that part of you which wants something different.

If you stop applying force and restraints on yourself, you naturally revert back to your original behavior – your goal to lose weight and get fit unfortunately fails. It’s like an elastic band: it’s stretched by willpower but then pulls back at the first opportunity. The use of will power alone – and positive thinking, affirmations, etc – in the context of structural conflict is why so many people fail to achieve their goals and life carries on the same.

Will power is great and necessary sometimes to push through obstacles. But it isn’t the first priority – it doesn’t change who we are! If we want to achieve something, we need to become the kind of person who has that in their life. We need to recognize and release the conflicting feelings and beliefs and ways of being that drive us in an opposing direction. When we remain with our true desire, we just naturally begin to achieve.

Often times there are many limiting beliefs, internal conflicts, destructive programming, etc. to sift through in order to change the structure of who we are (not just our behavior). However, the final result is always worth the effort. The final result reveals us at our purest and most beautiful level.

We adopt identities aligned with the goals we make for our life, the things we want to create and achieve. Some of these goals are original and personal, e.g. to help people through healing or to be a performer or inventor. Others we inherit from our cultural upbringing, e.g. the judgment of success as riches, the fashions of what beauty consists of. Some we bring from the unfinished business of childhood, e.g. to avoid the repetition of what was painful as a child, or to get vengeance. Some are basic human needs, for safety and survival, belonging and acceptance, self-expression, freedom and control of our lives, knowledge and self-realization. Goals may carry over from past lives, and we may have brought special purposes and talents with us into this life. Still more are part of the genetic, archetypal, mythological and informational collective consciousness of humankind, in which we are affected by each other’s thoughts and drives and the collective memories of the past. And then there are astrological and numerological influences. Much of this is blindly followed if we do not live with full consciousness. These goals and influences may be mutually reinforcing or conflicting.

A goal may start as one thing but as unresolvable barriers occur, the goal shifts to a compromised form, what seems to be a safer and more workable solution. For example, we may originate the goal to be an inventor but not being able to obtain the funding we may accept a more run of the mill career as a scientist. This cycle continues, perhaps over lifetimes, and passes through a reversal, so that one ends up with an identity, with respect to a particular original goal, which opposes that which originated the cycle. We may end up defending our interests by opposing innovators in our field of work. The original goal still remains active deep inside however. This causes confusion, indecision, stress and unease, and a sense of not knowing who one is, what one really wants.

These kind of goal conflict structures are at the root of our being, though they are normally largely unconscious, only part of the structure being apparent at any one time. The rest is suppressed but still active behind the scenes, affecting our feelings and behavior profoundly. Normally this sort of structure only becomes unstuck if there is a surprising major success or failure that serves to end the cycle. For most of us, we’re stuck with them for life.

Similar structures work within cultures, civilizations and humanity as a whole. We have group goals that become compromised to the extent that we end up pointing in the opposite direction – look what we do to the environment or to our babies with vaccines. Great teachings become distorted through myth and eventually our understanding is the opposite of truth – look at how Jesus’ teachings were turned into the Inquisition. Ancient cultures practiced the sacrifice of the ego for achieving enlightenment; this was distorted over time until the Aztecs sacrificed bodies in their millions in their religious quest.

However we can rebuild the structures of our life. It requires the tools of Meta-Programming to fully uncover and resolve our deepest goal conflict structures. Meanwhile, we can make every effort to recognize our feelings and to see where they come from, the roots of our identity. To drop the safe solutions of the past which our ways of being represent, to confront our fears and expand our boundaries.

Using tools for transformation, such as you’ll find at trans4mind.com, conflicting feelings can be released, opposing beliefs can be revised, and we can be the person who is true to our heart’s desire.

About the author:
Peter Shepherd is a psychologist who lives in France and runs the Tools for Transformation website. He publishes a free monthly newsletter in email format. Each issue offers informative articles about personal growth and life transformation, plus book reviews and recommended web sites. You can subscribe to Peter’s newsletter at http://www.trans4mind.com/news.

The Role of the Mind in Healing

By Peter Shepherd.

Tim Rowe sent me the following brief notes he made from a lecture by Eric Hills, a kinesiologist who applied rigorous scientific testing to his theories, back in 1987.

1) Every change of state of mind (every new thought) causes a physical reaction however small.

2) Whatever the mind expects tends to be realised.

3) Imagination (visualisation) is more powerful than reason.

4) When imagination and reason are in equal conflict then imagination will always prevail.

5) Opposing ideas cannot exist in the mind at the same time.

6) The longer an idea remains in the subconscious mind, the more difficult it becomes to replace it with another idea.

7) (a) Long held ideas which condition lifestyle, in a manner not wholly suited to the person in their environment, eventually bring about organic changes – some of which are adaptive, but some may be alien to the organism.
(b) An emotionally induced symptom tends to cause organic change if persisted in long enough.

8) Each suggestion to the subconscious mind – if acted upon, creates less opposition to successive suggestion.

9) When dealing with the subconscious mind, the greater the conscious effort – the less the subconscious response.

10) (a) The subconscious mind is childlike. It accepts readily simple, direct, repetitive instructions without question.
(b) It prefers symbolic, dynamic and colourful imagery as a language instead of factual description, since this appeals greatly to the mind’s ability to fantasize.
(c) It attaches much emotional significance to such properties as colour, size, shape, power, rhythm and primitive fear.

11) The electromagnetic balance (meridians) of the physical / mental body optimizes the healing response.

At the same time I followed a link in the Reality Shifters newsletter to this article: ‘The Mind-Body Connection in Learning’ by Ruth Palombo Weiss. Again, it describes the science of the mind-body interaction. Certainly it is my experience both subjectively and also dealing with many students and clients over the years, that changes of mood and motivation have direct impact on physical well-being, and that altered expectations (according to beliefs) are frequently met in changing real-life circumstances.

We can change our bodies and our lives by the way we think. I write in Tools for Heart Intelligence about the cycles of positive and negative learning. Life is, to a significant degree, for learning – so when things don’t go right, when we do wrong, make mistakes, and when we do things right as well – these are all learning opportunities.

Learning can be positive, when an experience has been properly digested, so new skills, coping and mastery are developed – or learning can be negative, when the experience is perhaps overwhelming and has not been integrated and so future avoidance patterns become imprinted, what could be termed ‘unskills’. So long as you eventually learn from it in a positive way, no experience is wasted.

Similarly there is positive and negative imprinting. If an untruth is imprinted into our unconscious, it becomes a limiting, negative influence. If a truth is imprinted, it will necessarily therefore be based on love and freedom of thought, being in the present moment, recognizing what is without judgement – then it is an empowering, positive influence, especially if it is made fully conscious.

The message of the Thomas Children is something that children understand but adults lose touch of: the magical reality of our inner world. If you pretend something that is actually true, then of course it still is true – but now you realize it! The power of our minds is but a reflection of the source of that power, our spiritual nature, our connection with God – the magical wizard within us.

About the author:
Peter Shepherd is a psychologist who lives in France and runs the Tools for Transformation website. He publishes a free monthly newsletter in email format. Each issue offers informative articles about personal growth and life transformation, plus book reviews and recommended web sites. You can subscribe to Peter’s newsletter at http://www.trans4mind.com/news.