Saturday, November 24, 2012

Conscious Projections

The autonomous alternative is to move beyond pressure by recognizing that any sense of insistent pressure is one’s own projection drive. The man who recognizes that what he feels is his own drive will neither resent nor resist the pressure, he will act.

Snell and Gail Putney in their 1966 book, The Adjusted American: Normal Neuroses in the Individual and Society explain how our projections impact our now. The brain does not hold just current beliefs; the brain contains passive beliefs as well. Beliefs lie in a fertile pool of mental enzymes, and they wait for a thought to stimulate them.

Our reasoning abilities are meant to grow and evolve as we use them. We become more conscious in consciousness as we reason, and we are able to make minute-by-minute judgments as we need them. Imagination grows along with reasoning in the conscious mind. As we acquire knowledge our imagination expands. A mature conscious mind accepts impulses from objective projections as well as from inner wisdom. We tend to accept the impulses we receive from our objective projections, but discount the wisdom from our subjective consciousness.

The result of this choice is perception separation. We call one part of us awake and another part of us unconscious. But there is nothing unconscious about the inner wisdom we receive from another area of the psyche. That wisdom helps us manifest all conscious projections.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

An Element of Consciousness

Zen is what makes the religious feeling run through its legitimate channel and what gives life to the intellect. Zen does this by giving one a new point of view of looking at things, a new way of appreciating the truth and beauty of life and the world, by discovering a new source of energy in the inmost recesses of consciousness and by bestowing on one a feeling of completeness and sufficiency.

That is to say, Zen works miracles by overhauling the whole system of one’s inner life and opening up a world hitherto entirely undreamt of. This may be called a resurrection. And Zen tends to emphasize the speculative element, though confessedly it opposes this more than anything else in the whole process of spiritual revolution, and in this respect Zen makes use of phraseology belonging to the sciences of speculative philosophy.

D.T. Suzuki in his work, Practical Methods of Zen Instruction is explaining the effects of Zen. He doesn’t define Zen; he is explaining what we believe are the effects of Zen. We describe our beliefs using words and language, but they do a poor job describing what Zen actually is. We can substitute the phrase “an element of consciousness” to actually describe the energy of Zen because Zen is consciousness, and consciousness is within Zen. Zen is like the wind. We see its effects not its image. In a sense, the conscious mind takes a back in seat in the vehicle of consciousness when we experience Zen.

We are not only what we think; we are also much more than we think. The brain controls the functions of the conscious mind, and those functions are elements of our belief structure. The brain keeps the conscious mind in a three dimensional focus. That’s why we experience linear time. Zen and other elements within consciousness are not restricted by the brain. They are free to interact with our belief structure, and that mixture takes place more than we realize. Zen has the ability to alter our beliefs in any given moment. When we become aware of this alteration, we are unable to describe the transition in words so past knowledge or religious doctrine is used to define this change in the self. Buddhists call this change of energy, Zen; Christians call it miraculous intervention, and other religions describe it using words that are deeply rooted in individual religious mythology.

Whatever the name, we all alter our belief structure as we move through linear time using other elements of our consciousness. Our beliefs generate emotions as well as our imagination. Experiencing the energy of Zen consciousness stimulates an emotional response, and that response takes us to another area of our imaginative mind.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Transpersonal Consciousness

What we consider “normality” is actually a form of arrested development. That idea is not new. Rather it is a more precise formulation of Abraham Maslow’s comment, “What we call normality in psychology is really a psychopathology of the average so undramatic and so widely spread that we don’t even notice it.” But if normality is a form of arrested development, then what arrests it? Retarding forces seem to operate within both the individual and society.

Growth involves movement into the unknown and often requires surrendering familiar ways of being. Consequently we tend to fear growth. The tragic result is we deny and defend against our greatness and potential. These meta-defenses, as we might call them, have been described in many ways. Erich Fromm viewed them as “mechanisms of escape,” while Maslow called their net effort “the Jonah complex,” after the biblical prophet Jonah, who tried to escape his divine mission. Kierkegaard described how we seek “tranquilization by the trivial,” while others speak of the “repression of the sublime.” The crucial point is that our transpersonal potentials do not remain undeveloped merely by accident; rather we actively defend against them.

Defenses against transpersonal development also operate in society. Cultures seem to function not only to educate, but also as collective conspiracies to constrict consciousness. As such they mirror and magnify individual ambivalence towards transcendence.

Roger Walsh and Frances Vaughan make those points in their book, Paths Beyond Ego. There observations do hit an exposed nerve of truth. Society does little to cultivate transpersonal experiences that sit below the surface of our consciousness. Religion is a core belief that handles this aspect of human education. But, religion has been more restrictive than open in its approach to understanding different aspects of consciousness, especially individual consciousness. Religions encourage development up to a certain point and beyond that point a fear sign is posted and society conforms to the sign and leaves the territory beyond it shrouded in mystery. Religions try to make the individual whole using fragmented information. So society is conditioned to believe that our consciousness is fragmented.

Our core beliefs are just a sliver of our conscious mind. Once we identify the power of our individual mind we can rearrange, renew, change or completely disregard our beliefs. Beliefs do not exist on their own; there are strings of consciousness that originate, perceive and understand them before we do. Beliefs automatically move toward the consciousness that is already connected to them. That’s why religion is so important to us. Religions give us a way to describe what we don’t believe we know. But when the smoke of religious control starts to choke our consciousness, we realize that what we know is greater than the fragments of truth we have been spoon fed by objective rhetoric.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Conscious Within Consciousness

Much material that is our own, that is part of ourselves, has been dissociated, alienated, disowned, and thrown out. The rest of potential is not available to us. But I believe most of it is available, but as projections. I suggest we start with the impossible assumption that whatever we believe we see in another person or in the world is nothing but a projection. . . We can reassimilate; we can take back our projections, by projecting ourselves completely into that other thing or person. . . We have to do the opposite of alienation. We must identify our consciousness within the energy of all consciousness

Fritz Perls, the 20th century psychiatrist and psychotherapist, wrote those thoughts in his 1969 book, Gestalt Therapy Verbatim. The thought that everything we see in our reality is a projection goes against everything we have been taught to believe. According to Perls, our waking and dreaming reality are filled with self-created messages about the nature of being conscious as well as the nature of the consciousness that exists in all things.

We create projections using our core belief structure. Our core beliefs tend to be invisible. We are not aware of the entire contents of our conscious mind. When we analyze different experiences we put them in a catalogue of sameness based on our beliefs about them. We consider our beliefs facts of life, but they are actually beliefs about life. The belief in guilt for example is the cementing structure that holds similar core beliefs together and strengthens them. Beliefs are psychic matter and in that sense they are alive. They group together like cells and protect their validity as well as their identity. Our beliefs project themselves outward and we experience what we believe about the nature of our reality.

Beliefs are like magnets that attract as well as produce the projections that we experience. Those projections have been experienced in different ways in other environments by other aspects of our consciousness so in one sense no projection is new. They are just dressed differently by the focused consciousness creating them in this linear time reality.