Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Talking to Yourself? Internal dialog controls the emotions - by controlling the emotions you can control your hormones.

The process of Evolving Consciousness can be compared to cutting a multi facetted gem from a rough diamond. Every aspect of your being will have to be cut and polished individually. In practice you will find that each phase of evolution will required that you perfect certain aspects of your nature - You need to find out what is that is ‘holding you back’ at each stage and correct it. 

Before we can ‘evolve’ something we must first know exactly what it is and so we have the first big question. What is Consciousness? Consciousness is what gives you life. It can’t be measured, as far as I know, but we know that it exists for sure, because when it is gone we die. This is because the molecules, (groups of atoms arranged together) that make up sentient (living) beings are larger and more complicated than any molecules in the inorganic (non living) world. It’s not just the molecules that are more complicated, everything about a sentient being is complex and intricate. If you imagine this world without life, there’s just rocks, wind, water and sand, not even earth, because earth is made by plants. In the inorganic world there really isn’t anything very complicated at all. You can only keep these complex organisms together with the power of sentient consciousness. So one thing we can say for certain about consciousness is that it is cohesive, sticky, and it holds things together - consciousness holds the life in your body. Consciousness also monitors and checks everything in your body to see that it doing what it should be doing. This is why we die so quickly if the consciousness is even interrupted for a short time - living flesh becomes dead meat in seconds. That’s what can be said about consciousness in scientific terms. In terms of the Evolution of Consciousness we are looking for the characteristics of consciousness we need to gain insight and assess the progress of your personal evolution. For this purpose we can say that there are four basics categories of consciousness.

The Four Categories of Consciousness 
1.      Awareness
2.      Concentration
3.       Control
4.      Qualities

An easy way to give a quick, superficial idea of what this means is with a practical example. If you drive your car you need to be ‘Aware’ of  general road conditions, the state of your car, rear view mirrors, and a lot of other things so that you are ready for anything that happens. Your ‘Concentration’ though must be set firmly on the road directly ahead, checking for any obstruction and watching your speed to make sure that it is OK for the road conditions.  ‘Control’ comes in when you want to change speed, change direction and so on. ‘Quality’, is whether you got to your destination and how much you enjoyed the ride. To go into this a little more deeply lets take Awareness. Awareness is measured in two ways, broadness the field, or how much are you aware of. The other quality is how well you react to things you are aware of, because there is really no point in having Awareness if don’t react to it. For instance if a kid suddenly runs into the road, how quick is your reaction time and how well do you reflexes cope with the situation? So, Awareness is about being aware of everything and be able to deal with any surprises. Awareness is vital in every aspect of daily life, without body Awareness you will be bumping into things all time. Awareness of ‘lists’ of necessary items is important as well - when you go out of the house do you have all the things you need with you? You can’t ‘Concentrate’ on the all details of life and Awareness has to take care of all the things that you can’t directly focus on. So, we can say that Awareness relates to things you do automatically, or semi automatically
Awareness is ‘opportunistic’, as well. Sometimes you can be just walking down the road thinking about your bills or whatever and ‘out of the corner of your eye’ you catch a glimpse of a someone you wanted to see walking on the other side of road. Increasing your awareness is really important as it keeps you out of trouble and helps find things that you want.
That’s all on a practical level. but in spiritual practice Awareness is really important too. You need to be aware of the forces around you and ‘tune in’ into good ‘vibes’ and filter out bad ‘vibes’. Awareness is how you find your ‘path’ because you can’t ‘Concentrate’ on things that you can’t define, but you can be aware of them. Your Awareness needs to be in constant interaction with the planes of energy that surrounds us all. Awareness is also how find your link to the Sublime, the Universal being.
Lastly, Awareness, like all characteristics of consciousness is not a ‘one way street’; it is something that you, ‘send’ and ‘receive’ like sonar, or radar. You project your Awareness into the ‘ether’ and see what it ‘bounces back off’. This means that you subtly influence everything within the field of your Awareness, without even knowing that you are doing so. This is very important spiritually as projecting a ‘positive’ awareness makes the world around you a more positive place and this is something you need to learn.
Moving on, ‘Concentration’ or focus, is similar to Awareness but has a smaller field and much greater detail, like difference between eye glasses and a magnifier. Concentration cannot function without Awareness running in the background, and so these two functions just about always work in tandem. What changes is the percentages, when you Concentrate really hard your Awareness gets weaker and visa versa, so getting the balance right between Concentration and Awareness is vital.
We all know that Concentration can hold on to objects or ideas and keep them in focus so that we can do detailed work. More than this though, Concentration is what gives your life ‘direction’ and with direction comes purpose. Which brings us back to what this book is all about, Concentrating on the Meaning of Life, which is Evolving Consciousness. This is how you find your ‘true path’ which is your personal ‘stairway to heaven’, unique and individual to you. This is the true birthright of all men and women, but it can only found if your have a clear idea of the Meaning of Life is and keep focused on that whatever else happens.
Like Awareness, Concentration also ‘projects’ itself, and because it is a powerful beam rather than a broad field, it has much more affect on that which it touches. You really should try to be ‘responsible’ about the things you concentrate on, because you can to a lot of good or a lot harm to yourself and to other people according to what you focus on. Your Concentration should be like a shaft of sunlight bringing light and warmth into even cold and dark places.
Control. When you want to climb a mountain you can’t usually just walk straight to the top, you have to go round the foothills; follow rivers make all kind of detours before you can reach the summit. This is the difference between concentration and control, concentration fixes on the goal, and control makes all the twists and turns necessary to get there. Unlike Awareness and Concentration which are simple in nature Control is complex. Control requires lots of different skills, techniques, specialist knowledge combined with the ability to improvise when knowledge is not available. Control is not any one thing at all, as it is the ability to use what is available - ‘whatever it takes to get the job the done’; that’s Control. Sometimes Control is subtle and refined, other times ‘rough and ready’, but that doesn’t matter - Control is only measured by what it achieves. Having a good try and failing is OK, provided you use the knowledge and go straight back and find another way to finished what you started. Control is about intelligence in sense of being ‘smart’. You don’t just ‘bang your head against a brick wall’, you look for a door, or a way climb over it, or even some gunpowder. There’s always a weakness that can be exploited and Control has to find it and make it work. Control is one of things that separates us from the other animals; animals work from instinct and emotion with at best rudimentary ‘Control’ and that is why we can always manage to catch them if we want to.
‘Quality’, is firstly a measure of the other three Characteristics of Consciousness, how well they work together and the overall result. The other Characteristics are practical in nature, but ‘Quality’ is speculative, a matter of opinion – your opinion, the ‘U’ perspective. The ultimate goal is not a place, but a ‘state of mind’ a ‘high’, an ‘elevated perspective’ a ‘quality’; a ‘quality’ of life. This is subtle and complex stuff, that needs to be pondered carefully, when you not too busy trying to survive. Are you really in harmony with the Meaning of Life, on your true path, linked to divine?  If you are, then you should feel something special, right? When you’ve contemplated this and feel satisfied with your efforts that put ‘the seal’ on your achievements, that it was all worthwhile by your standards. Then it doesn’t matter a dam what anyone else thinks. Quality can be defined as: if you really evolving and by how much.
So where do we begin the ‘personal alchemy’ of Evolving Consciousness? Changing your internal dialog is most the powerful way to change the way you see yourself and the world, yet few people ever stop to consider this. Instead they just prattle away to themselves ‘any old how’ like it didn’t matter a bit -chumps like you probably. There are two parts to training your internal dialog, training your ‘regular internal dialog’, the way you talk to yourself all day and learning ‘Emotional Keywords’ and Mantras. Emotional Keywords are words that define emotions, like, happy, sad, ecstatic, or angry. A Mantra is a set of words you repeat to yourself over and over again to get your emotions ‘hooked’ on the meaning of spiritual concepts. I will be showing how you to use Emotional Keywords and Mantras later.  
All the time we are awake we talk to ourselves constantly, this is completely natural and ‘how it’s supposed to be’. The mind works over every aspect of your life and comes with all manner of ideas and suggestions - this is the ‘checker’ function. When you wake up first thing, the checker kicks in and gives you a run down of who you are, where you are and what you should be doing that day. If you wake and this does not happen it is not a good sign; you are either emotionally exhausted, sick, mad or have severely overindulged. The checker can be a pain when it tells you things you do not want to hear, but this is mostly because your life is not properly focused and you don’t have a strong sense of purpose and direction. If this is the case, the checker will ‘nag’ you about it all day until you are sick of listening. The reason the checker ‘nags’ is because it believes that you are ‘off course’, or don’t even have a course at all, and it is trying to ‘do its job’ and make sure you correct this. The trouble it that the ‘checker’ is often is aware that something is ‘wrong’ but does not have any useful solution and instead comes up with all manner of irritating and useless suggestions.
Adjusting the ‘checker’ is a vital and ongoing task, yet hardly anyone is even aware that they need to do this. As with all consciousness issues this begins with coming to a decision about exactly what it is you are trying to do with your life; your purpose for being. Let’s assume that you decide to try out the idea of this book and set your Meaning of Life to be the Evolving Consciousness. The next thing is to set the ‘checker’ so that it helps you to do this. This takes time and patience; in this case it involves carefully reading this book and contemplating what you have read. Then you can ‘insert’ the ‘rules’ of Evolving Consciousness into the ‘checker’, then the ‘checker’ will warn you when you are losing track and come up with useful suggestions. This process is semi automatic and the ‘checker’ links itself to any idea that you persistently hold. At first it will question a new idea, but after a while it accepts it. The mind likes logic and if you have a logical strategy the ‘checker’ will prefer that and hold to it. That is why peoples ‘checkers’ are often in a state of distress, because their fundamental thinking is confused and illogical. All the ideas in this book, right or wrong are least logical and consistent and so you should have not too much trouble getting your ‘checker’ to accept them; providing of course that is what you want. Once the ‘checker’ believes that you are following a sensible and consistent path it will become a lot less frenzied and you and your ‘checker’ should begin to live in peace together.
Internal dialog is also very important when it comes controlling the emotions. The most powerful words in internal dialog are the ‘possessive words’, I, me and mine. The possessive words ‘summon’ your emotions like a sorcerer summoning a spirit. If repeated over time the emotions become ‘hooked’ on whatever the possessive words are linked to.
Once your emotions are fully attached to an idea that idea will appear to be ‘real’ to you and so everything about you and your world can be altered, for the better, by positive changes in your internal dialog. To evolve your consciousness what you say to yourself and the exact way you say it is something you need to be: aware of, concentrate on, to control to improve the quality of and elevation of your total being.
In practice this means learning to ‘accentuate’ the positive and ‘understate’ the negative. Try to use the possessive terms, I, me, mine, only in connection with positive ideas. This will trick your emotions into believing that your life is better than it really is. Linking possessive words to negative concepts will do the opposite. It not does really matter whether the emotions have accurate idea of what your life is like as they illogical and not equipped to make decisions. Following your emotions is almost always a recipe for confusion, and maybe even disaster. There are some exceptions to this rule, but then exceptions prove rules, don’t they.  What you want your emotions to provide you with is plenty of positive energy, love for all things, joy of being, and inner peace so that can heartily and soulfully participate in the dance of life. You want to adjust your internal dialog so that it encourages the emotions to perform this vital function.
Emotions control hormones, to a large degree, and so your physical body is also heavily influenced by internal dialog. By controlling internal dialog we can control the emotions - by controlling the emotions we can control the emotions. This has massive implications for your quality of life, especially as you get older.
Aging is a cruel and terrible process and one that is governed by our own bodies; our hormones. Aging has little to do with entropy, the law of physical that controls decay and erosion. A cliff gets eroded by the sea, ice melts in glass, because of entropy, but just like a some crappy mass produced automobile, we have ‘built in obsolesce’ – we don’t just get old, we are genetically programmed to get old. I say this is cruel, because we don’t remain in good shape till we die, like a crocodile or shark does, no we die the death of a ten thousand cuts - programmed aging. It no accident that the skin of your face goes first, or that you grow hair out of ears as you lose it from head. No, all these meticulously orchestrated, each phase on time according to a genetic master plan. Why this is so I have no answer for, some quirk of evolution I guess, but in practice it means that we lose our looks, then our faculties, long before we lose our lives - which is not good at all. On the surface people accept this pretty well, we have to, but inside we are not happy about it at all and it twists out our thinking and causes all kinds or personal and social problems.
However, that’s not strictly relevant to this study; what is relevant is that aging is controlled by hormones. At certain ‘genetically controlled moment’ the production of each of your vital hormones will begin to slow down. This causes all manner of unpleasant symptoms, of aging itself and of age related deceases. The point here is that intelligent use of internal dialog will stimulate your body to produce hormones for far longer than it otherwise would and so keep you young. Conversely negative internal dialog will cause you age more quickly that you need to. The aging program is incredibly strong, and physically you will never overcome it, but you can slow it down a lot. In terms of consciousness however you can eradicate aging. By controlling your thoughts and emotions you ensure that you never feel old and remain ever young and vital of spirit, unless maybe you really ‘crumply’ and too weak to concentrate.
OK lets work on a few practical examples: “This party is not too bad” should be upgraded to “I’m having a great time, I love this party”. I used to go to parties a lot and one thing I learnt was that parties are 90% what you make them, so I know this works. For reverse take: “I am so angry with that guy” that needs downgrading, try “that guy didn’t behave very well really”. There is no point getting ‘worked up’ about other peoples behavior, you just give yourself an ulcer. Never forget: emotions control hormones; get angry and you release ‘angry type adrenalin’, which is not the same ‘enthusiastic’ adrenalin, the different being the other hormones in that get also get released – in other words there are positive and negative kinds of adrenalin. Some of the toughest people in the world are the ‘slow to anger’ types, this is because they downplay minor insults and annoyances in their minds and only get angry if someone is actually a danger to them. They have almost certainly learnt to control their internal dialog to do this.
Swearing, strong language and emotive terms should not be applied to negative situations, “I thought that was bloody wonderful” is OK”, “I can’t fucking stand all this shit” is not. Another vital point is never, never allow negatives to be ‘ongoing’, as in expressions like, “My life’s really fucked up”. Here we have not only strong language and possessive terms, but the idea that this is an ‘ongoing’ state of affairs. Let’s downgrade that just a little ‘That was one fucking awful day’. Sometimes few expletives, swear words, are required, just watch out how you use them.
Another thing, be careful of asking yourself the question ‘why’. “Oh why does the shit always have to hit my fan?” Asking ‘why’ can mess up your mind as well as your emotions. Your mind likes to think it can find an answer to any question, but some questions cannot be answered. This causes a negative mental and emotional feedback loop that can fry your brain cells if you let it. (Note: the last question has possessive words, strong language, is ‘ongoing’ and the has the ‘why’ word - this is about as negative as you can get!) In practice you can’t regulate everything you say to yourself, but can set the ‘checker’ to check that you don’t go ‘over the top’ and upset yourself for nothing.
It must be stressed that this is not ‘self deception’, lying to yourself. You should not change the facts as you know them, simply adjust the emotional ‘flavor’ that goes with them and make things a little ‘sweeter’ and less bitter. It’s all a just matter of Awareness, Concentration, Control and Quality really.
If you are discussing actual events with yourself you must reasonably accurate, but a lot of the time your thoughts are not linked to reality at all. You can set a general ‘background’ chatter to constantly reassure yourself – don’t be shy keep saying, “I Feel Good”, “I Love Life”, whatever you like and keep that going all day. Do it long and hard enough and your whole hormone balance will change for the better. You can try this little song:

I Feel Good, I Feel Happy, I Feel Strong
I Feel Good, I Feel Happy all Day Long
I Feel Good, I Feel Happy,
My Life is so, Zipperdy Zappy
I Feel Good, I Feel Happy, I Feel Strong

In terms of your spiritual development internal dialog has a vital role to play. You need to set up a special internal dialogue just for this purpose. This will be your inner sanctum, your palace of wisdom, or in this case, Temple of Evolving Consciousness, only entered at times and places that you consider appropriate. To get the most from this book you need to construct such a mental temple. Here you store the ideas I provide and your personal insights, so it will be unique to you. This book is carefully structured to help you do this with the ideas in the correct order, working Monad fashion from the center out. You may well already have your own such a temple, but I would ask you, if you want to get most from this course, to keep your Temple of Evolving Consciousness separate from your other spiritual studies, at least until you have finished the course, then you can do what you like with it.

Right! For those of you who want to get into some practical work here is your first Evolution of Consciousness Workshop. We going to begin working on some ‘Emotional Keywords’

I am HAPPY                I am ANGRY
I feel GOOD                         I am DEPPRESSED
 I am STRONG                        I am PATHETIC         
I am CONFIDENT                  I am ANXIOUS
I am BRAVE                I am SCARED
I am ESTATIC             I am MISERABLE
I can see CLEARLY    I am LOST

Here is set of easy emotional keywords to practice with. The idea is to see how well you can link your emotions to each word. You might not think it is a good idea to practice hooking your emotions to negative keywords, but as an exercise it is actually therapeutic, good for you. This is because you will start to become aware of just how dumb the emotions really are, as they will ‘rise’ to about any ‘bait’ you throw them. This is first stage of being able to control your emotions which is one of the principle tasks in the Evolution of Consciousness.
You can practice this anyway way you wish, you can do it internally, out loud on your own or with friends. Fix your attention on each word in turn and read it over and until the feel the appropriate emotion. You can throw in some gestures if you like, that can be helpful. The point of this is firstly to make an assessment of how positive or negative you are at the present time. This is can be ascertained, discovered, by noting whether it is easier to link to the negative keywords or the positive ones. You should note of any particular keyword that is especially ‘vivid’ for you. Make some of your own up if you like as well. This exercise is the sort thing they do in acting classes to learn to link emotions to words. The difference here is that you not trying to ‘portray’ an emotion for the benefit of an audience and it doesn’t matter if you look any good or not. Here you are trying to trick your emotions rather than fool other peoples; it’s a similar but a distinctly different perspective.

The Meditation

I am Happy, I am Strong, I am Healthy,
I am Happy, I am Strong. I Feel High.

Once you have learned to link your emotions to keywords you can begin to practice a Mantra. Mantras are special sets of ‘emotional keywords’ designed to help you lift up your conscious to grasp ‘elevate’ concepts and make them your own.
Practice the following Mantra, out loud at first and then internally, sit comfortably, crossed legged in a Yoga meditation position if possible. These are just simple normal words that you know and understand well.  You need this to start with, to make sure that get the right emotional links. Later on you will learn to use Mantras with profound meanings, but you have to learn those meanings properly first. This Mantra should be practiced for fifteen to twenty minutes each time. You must concentrate hard on each word to make sure that you have the appropriate feeling, as without that it is a waste of time. If you lose the ‘feel’ take a break and try again. Hopefully you will find this ‘too easy’, but don’t worry each level gets harder and you will have more and more things to concentrate on.
Note: you may tried ‘positive thinking’ before and been disappointed with the results and indeed there is a fundamental flaw in the ‘positive thinking’ idea. Thinking positively of itself cannot not remove negative emotions, it merely suppresses them, and they can pop up later – like the bi polar (manic depressive) thing, one week ‘high as a kite’ the next in ‘black despair’. I have some profound insights into negative emotions later in this book and some powerful techniques for overcoming them. For now just try and ‘get with program’ and don’t worry about it.
Last thing in this Level concerns how to train for the best effect. The most effecting training method for all around evolution is the ‘ratchet’. The dictionary defines a ratchet as; ‘a mechanical device that only allows movement in one direction’. The ratchet works by allowing something to move and then pause for a rest, while ‘ratchet’ holds the ground gained. Imagine that you on the top floor of a building lifting a heavy sack using a rope. You can lift it for while, but then you get tired and have let go of the rope, and the sack falls back to the ground. If however, you tie the rope around a pillar though you can have a rest while the sack stays in the air. When you are rested you can lift it some more. A ratchet is just a mechanism that does that for you, like a block and tackle, an adjustable wretch, a car jack, fishing real or a mechanical clock. I am explaining this at length to make sure that really understand this principle as without it you never achieve a high level of consciousness evolution.
Bodybuilders use the ratchet system to train; for example, the first day of a training session you make 20 lifts of 50 pounds and then increase that by a 1 pound and 1 lift each day, for a month. By the end of the month you are making 50 lifts of 80 pounds. The next month you start from 25 lifts of 60 kilos and then add 1 pound and 1 lift each day, and so on. Bodybuilders are very good at pumping up their physiques over the years. You may or may not like big bodies but you have got respect the achievement of transforming a regular body into a super hulk. This is what we want to do with our consciousnesses, ratchet them up into something quite extraordinary and much more exciting than the ‘normal Joe’. You can use the ‘ratchet’ on your ‘positive internal dialog’ and boost your hormones like crazy. We have the advantage over bodybuilders too, they restricted by the size of their bones – consciousness has no limits.
Evolving Consciousness requires that you increase the intensity your training over ten days and then drop back (at first this means length and level of concentration, until you reach the maximum length you have time for, after that it is just concentration). The next ten days start with a bit longer and with more intensity than you started the first ten days. I like the words Edge and Shift, train to the ‘Edge’ of your ability each time and over ten days you will make a permanent ‘Shift’ in your body and mind.
We don’t have exact measures like bodybuilders do; we have to assess what we have gained in terms of our evolution. That is why I have explained the basic characteristics of consciousness, (Awareness, Concentration, Control and Quality), carefully so that you can judge for yourself if your progress is up to your standard. It is not that hard really and once you ‘get going’ you will get the ‘feel’ of personal evolution. There are more and more things to be aware of and to remember on each level and so you will need to improve your Awareness and Concentration to keep up. Control and Quality you will have to assess for yourself as they are personal in nature.
Ten days for each level is the product of long experience. In life things always go wrong, on this you can rely. Things will happen that distract you from your training, but you have get over such hurdles as quickly as possible and carry on. In an average ten days you will lose two, or three days of progress, but this still leaves enough time to make the next level OK. If use a week and lose three days you will never make the grade and the week will be ‘lost’. If you use a longer measure of time it gets more difficult to remember what you were like at the start and so you can get confused about whether or not you have made any progress or not. Ten days give the best chance of smooth training and steady evolution.

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