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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.