Deconstructing Mindsets Revisited

By George A. Boyd © 2019

Q: In the New Age community, they talk a lot about how the mind creates reality. In what ways does the mind create reality? How does this happen?

A: There are a variety of ways that we create mindsets, perceptual frames through which we view reality. Here are some of the views on how this works:

  1. Neurological gating – In this theory, some neurological mechanism is conceived to hold certain sensations out of the conscious awareness of the cerebral cortex. Beliefs are purported to construct this filter. An example is that if you are looking for a hairbrush, your nervous system will exclude other sensations that are not a hairbrush. Similarly, if you believe you are impoverished, you will perceive those cues that tell you that you don’t have enough money.
  2. Cognitive bias – In this view, you tend to label some perceptions as more true of your identity than others. You might exclude any negative beliefs about your identity, which will raise your self-esteem and give you an inflated sense of self. Alternately, you might exclude positive beliefs and view your self as flawed, unworthy, inferior, or unlovable.
  3. Developmental influences – This standpoint holds that you learn information about yourself through the significant people in your life—parents, relatives, friends, teachers, and mentors—and this is what you unconsciously believe about yourself. These liminal patterns keep arising in your life and confirm these deeply held beliefs about yourself, until you uncover them and re-create more realistic beliefs.
  4. Physiological armoring – In this perspective, you wall off issues in your body-mind as islands of pain, muscular tension, swelling, and inflammation. These split-off aspects of your body-mind contain painful emotional issues that condition the way you see reality. So while you might hold you are successful and doing well in the part of your organism that is free from these symptoms, these armored aspects of yourself contain a completely different belief, which you unconsciously enact.
  5. Subpersonalities – In this point of view, you contain elements of your personality that are integrated into the Self, and those that are relegated to your unconscious. These non-integrated issues personify as subpersonalities or voices. While much of the time you may act voluntarily through the agency of the Self, there are times in which you act out the issues that your subpersonalities embody.
  6. Plateaus of growth – This stance holds that as you develop personally and spiritually, you transition to new plateaus of growth. Each plateau appears to have inherent strengths and weaknesses, possibilities and limitations. These mindsets allow you to do, be, and have what is possible within that perceptual frame; as you expand this perceptual frame to encompass the next plateau, new possibilities open up for you—you can do things that were not possible on your former plateau.
  7. The Mandala of the Mind – This vision conceives that you are unfolding your spiritual potentials and uncovering layer after layer of what is stored in your unconscious. As you dissolve, transmute, and integrate this material, your unconscious mind progressively plays less of a role in conditioning your behavior, belief, and perceptions of reality. Through this crucible of transformation, you uproot these liminal mindsets and have a greater say in what you will create in your life and in the world around you.

So what you believe conditions what you will pull out of the lens of perception. Conversely, how you perceive something shapes what you believe about it.

So mindsets are deconstructed through either (a) changing your beliefs that limit or distort what you perceive is true or possible; or (b) shifting your perception so that you transcend the limitations of a particular perceptual frame.

An example of (a) is you change your beliefs, so that you are no longer believe you are a victim of what happened to you in the past; you now believe that you can create a new future, regardless of what happened to you in the past.

Perceptual shift, or reframing (b) is demonstrated by moving from the standpoint of the ego in which you feel limited and inadequate to the perspective of your Higher Self, where you are free to create whatever you envision.

Q: So what is the actual process of deconstructing a mindset?

A: You uncover successive layers of the issue until you reach the core. This deconstruction strategy resembles a technique we call the Mandala Method. In this deconstruction process, you take each belief, examine its outcome, and then segue to the next position on the ladder of belief.

Here’s an example, from one of my clients, who was working on an emotional pattern of overwhelm, based on the belief that certain actions are too hard:

INITIAL BELIEF POSITION: I can’t do this; it’s too hard.

  • Frame 1: If I believe I cannot do something, I won’t want to try. It seems too hard.
  • Frame 2: If I believe that something is too hard, I will feel overwhelmed if I try to do it.
  • Frame 3: If I believe something is overwhelming, I will give up making any effort.
  • Frame 4: If I give up on the effort, the task will never get done.
  • Frame 5: If the task never gets done, I will feel like a failure.
  • Frame 6: If I feel like a failure, I will feel terrible shame.
  • Frame 7: If I feel terrible shame, I will hate myself and feel like ending my life.
  • Frame 8: If I feel like ending my life, I want to die to escape the pain and the shame of being a failure.
  • Frame 9: If I die to try to escape the pain and the shame, I won’t complete my life’s work, and I truly will become a failure.
  • Frame 10: If I truly am a failure, I will have to come back again [reincarnate] and face the misery in a new birth, which might be under even worse conditions
  • Frame 11: If I have to face the misery again, it will motivate me to discover how I can stop making myself miserable. I would resolve to genuinely face my misery and learn how I create it.
  • Frame 12: If I learn how I create my misery, I’ll stop creating it. I’ll be at peace. I won’t be miserable.
  • Frame 13: If I’m at peace, I’ll want to help others find peace and joy, and escape their misery.
  • Frame 14: Peace and joy is my true nature.

In this sequence, this client uncovered a key insight at frame 12: “If I learn how I create my misery, I’ll stop creating it.” If the client focuses here and tries to uncover the origins of his misery now—and he is successful in doing this—this entire emotional pattern is dissolved, and he will abide in frame 14, “peace and joy is my true nature.”

The takeaway from this deconstruction process is that if mindsets are constructed, they can be deconstructed. There is a place on this chain of emotionalized beliefs, where change is possible. If the client embraces and operates from this place where change can emerge, the pattern can be uprooted and the mindset can be shifted from a negative and helpless stance to a positive and empowered one.

Uncovering Conscious Experience

Uncovering Conscious Experience beneath Ideas, Beliefs, Opinions, and Values

By George A. Boyd © 2017

One of the challenges of the modern seeker is discovering what is their actual conscious experience apart from the ideas, attitudes, beliefs, opinions, and values that create a secondary conceptual and perceptual filter over their inner witness. The first thing the seeker must do is to differentiate the content that is arising in the mind and to recognize it. The thought things of ideas, beliefs, opinions, and values need to be identified for what they are—as you withdraw your attention from these cognitive layers of the mind, you are able to awaken as the conscious witness of mental content, and achieve mindfulness and conscious presence.

This article came out of a dialog I had with my Higher Self in two separate sittings. The first question and answer session drilled down on defining what are ideas, beliefs, attitudes, opinions, and values. The second session focused on the difference between facts, opinions, and conscious experience.

Here’s the dialog:

Q: What’s the difference between on idea and a belief?

A: An idea is an image that encapsulates meaning. It combines visual models, verbal statements, and a written explication that describes and supports the idea.

A belief is an internalized verbal statement that:

  1. Makes a judgment about truth or falsity of an idea
  2. Give arguments why something is true or false
  3. Stores information related to the belief that reifies the contention why the statement is true or false

Q: How is an opinion different than a belief?

A: An opinion is a belief you express verbally—you state your belief aloud or communicate it through writing.

Q: How is belief different than attitude?

A: Attitude is the physical and emotional expression of a belief. What you believe often becomes charged with emotions, and shows up as certain facial expressions or postures that communicate the belief non-verbally. For example, people who are self-righteous—who believe they know the final and absolute truth, based of their reading of a scripture or other authoritative book—will hold their body in a certain way; and they’ll express their beliefs arrogantly and condescendingly.

Q: How is a belief different than a value?

A: Values assign rules or standards for making judgments. Values commonly condition beliefs. For example, if you hold a value that sex outside of marriage is wrong—if you believe in that value, you will affirm it, and you will attempt to act in consonance with that value. When your behavior matches your values, you will experience integrity; if you act counter to that value, you will experience inner conflict.

Q: What is a fact?

A: A fact is something that our senses and reason determine are objective reality—something that exists whether we believe it exists or not. Facts are objects you can detect through your senses or instrumentation: for example, you can extend your physical senses to view extremely tiny objects through a microscope.

  • Facts are measureable.
  • Multiple witnesses can verify them.
  • They exist at a specific location in the physical universe.
  • They can be observed at a specific time.
  • They are documented through written accounts or photographic, audio, or video recording.
  • The person experiencing the fact has intact and normal sensory, perceptual, and cognitive functioning—for example, a person under the influence of a hallucinogenic drug could not be said to demonstrate intact and normal sensory, perceptual, and cognitive functioning.
  • It can be represented as data that can be analyzed, calculated, computed, and communicated to others.

Q: In our modern contentious political environment in the United States, there seems to be a discounting of facts based on beliefs in a certain political ideology. Factual reporting of statements of witnesses is labeled fake news. Facts are ignored or cherry picked to support a particular agenda. Facts are discredited if they do not agree with political or religious orthodoxy. What creates this phenomenon?

A: The facts are what they are—regardless of whether someone chooses to consider them or not. Science attempts to uncover facts and verify they whether their hypotheses about these facts are accurate.

On the other hand, these political actors hold strong beliefs that support their values, which they express as opinions. These values and beliefs are primary; they will cling to their beliefs even if the facts do not support them.

Opinions appear to operate in several ways:

  1. You form opinions about what facts mean, and what they imply.
  2. You decide whether a fact is real, or whether it is an artifact or optical illusion.
  3. If you have political or religious beliefs, you may decide not only if the fact is real, but also if it is right or wrong, or if it is good or evil.
  4. You may decide whether a fact is relevant, or whether it can be ignored. For example, a biochemist detects glucose in a cell, when he is searching for the presence of a specific protein. He may note the glucose is there, but he will ignore it, because it is not relevant the protein he is seeking.
  5. You decide if a fact fits into mental category, schema, or classification, or not. You decide whether a fact should be included in a discussion of a topic or not, or whether or not it is germane to a dialog you are having.
  6. You decide if a fact fits into an ideological, political, or religious belief system’s doctrine or not.
  7. You decide whether a fact is important to you personally or spiritually, and whether or not you need to take action.

Typically, opinion type 6 heavily influences these political actors. Their doctrine is primary, and they reject any facts that do not fit in with it. This system of beliefs filters their perception, and forms a mindset through which they view reality.

These perceptual filters, or mindsets, operate in most people. These mindsets may not be founded upon political or religious beliefs, but they do lock people into a particular perception about what is possible and who they can become in the future.

Q: How is it possible to become conscious? It seems most people are completely entrenched in their mindsets and belief systems, so they cannot see any other viewpoint.

A: To become conscious, to become aware and mindful, you have to transcend the field of mindsets, of the nested array of values, beliefs, opinions, and ideas that form them, and collect your attention.

When you are established in conscious experience, you observe:

  • Your body position and movement in the present time
  • The environment around your body and become aware of what your senses are experiencing in the present time
  • The physiological activity of your body and your experience of your muscles, organs, and other tissues in the present time
  • Your feelings and emotional reactions in the present time
  • Your thoughts arising in the present time
  • The different identity states of the ego and the thoughts, feelings, actions and perspectives each identity state embodies
  • The memories that arise in response to different stimuli

As you go deeper in meditation, following the thread of consciousness to deeper strata of the mind, you eventually encounter the three immortal principles—the attentional principle, the spirit, and the Soul. When you reach these essences and come to identify with them, it shifts you out of the mindsets and belief systems that captured your attention. You wake up within. You experience that you are separate and independent from these gossamer palaces woven from belief and you are the conscious witness of all that occurs in the mind.

We teach the method to isolate your conscious experience and direct it along the thread of consciousness in our beginning class, the Introduction to Meditation program. We teach you how to awaken your conscious essences in our intermediate classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program—and how to use them to transform your spiritual potentials.

We encourage you to reflect deeply on these different elements of the cognitive strata of your mind, and learn to isolate your attention from the ceaseless cascade of thought things that separate you from your naked awareness that exists behind this river of thought. Then you can shift from being locked in the hypnotic absorption of mindsets and belief systems and become a conscious being.