Feeling Safe Enough to Change
By Bill Harris, Centerpointe Research Institute
As I do my best to communicate the different principles and ideas I think are important to those who want to find out who they really are and learn to create just what they want in the world, I learn a lot myself.
One of the reasons why many people look to me as a teacher is because I seem to be able to communicate ideas and principles so that people understand them in a practical way. Most of the things I teach are not new (though sometimes the way I present them is new). Some of what I discuss you have heard many, many times. I find that most people agree—theoretically—with these principles (principles such as "let whatever happens be okay," "resistance creates suffering," "you are the creator of your life and your reality," and so on), but don't (or can't) apply them to life in moment-by-moment situations. They often can see when and how other people should apply them, but in their own life they go unconscious at key moments and don't see how the principles apply to them.
These moments of truth (or, if you don't follow the principles, lack-of-truth) are often the most mundane situations. Sometimes people are waiting for some sort of earth-shattering "significant" time to apply life principles, when the real application comes in the smallest, most mundane situations.
I, too, was once of these people. As a result, I repeatedly created suffering for myself, and created outcomes and responses I did not want, over and over and over—which is precisely what happens if you fail to follow the principles I've been sharing with you in my recent articles [see Holosync articles].
My one redeeming quality was that I was so persistent, so tenacious, so absolutely set on figuring out how to be happy instead of being angry and depressed, that I just kept trying to find an answer, no matter what happened, no matter how many times I failed. I screwed up, fell on my face, and created what I didn't want, over and over, but I kept searching.
As a result of making nearly every possible mistake, becoming confused in every possible way, misinterpreting things in every possible way, and resisting change in every possible way—and then, finally, figuring out how I was doing all of this, and, as a result, getting out of my suffering—I gained the ability to look at other people's struggles, understand what they are going through, and have a pretty good idea of what they need to do or how they need to shift their thinking, to create a change.
One of the key insights for me was realizing that people fail to change, even when they do things that seem to work for other people, because they don't feel safe changing. This was a key realization for me. It led to the model I have shared with you many times of the internal map of reality, the idea that each person has an internal conceptualization of who they are and how they relate to the rest of the world—and the key point that this map generates your entire experience of life, both internally and externally! This map includes your beliefs, values, strategies, ways you filter, store, sort, and retrieve what comes at you from the world, and a number of other things.
Finally, it's important to realize that the main criteria we have in creating this map of reality is to be safe in our family while growing up. This means we strongly associate our map of reality with safety, which means that changing it doesn't feel safe. This association is so strong that we will cling to our internal map of reality even when it is creating results that make us miserable. I know my map of reality was certainly creating results that made me miserable, yet I resisted everything that might have changed it, for decades. The only thing that was really able to budge me from clinging to what I thought kept me safe was meditating with Holosync.
Part of the irony here is that we only think we will be safe if we keep our map of reality the way it was when we were growing up. It worked well to get us through our family while growing up, but since we are not powerless children anymore, many of the strategies, beliefs, values, and other aspects of that map don't work well in adult life. But an unconscious part of us, what some people call "the inner child" thinks this map is needed, just the way it is, in order for us to be safe, and this unconscious part of us is often strong enough to override what we want on a conscious level.
Why does Holosync work to create change when other things may not? Because it solves the safety problem. It does this a several different ways. One way is to raises your threshold for what you can handle coming at you from the world. When your threshold is low (a result of trauma or wounding experienced while growing up), much of what you experience triggers unsafe feelings. As this threshold is pushed higher, which is exactly what Holosync does, you begin to feel more and more safe, and the people, things, and situations of the world that used to trigger you don't bother you in the same way anymore.
Another things Holosync does is calm the mind, which allows you to identify and be caught in the creations of the mind (all the thoughts, worries, fears, emotions, confusions, attachments, shoulds, and so on) to a lesser degree. When this happens, a part of you which I call the witness, or the watcher, becomes more prominent, or, you might way, becomes less obscured by all the frantic jumping around of your mind.
The watcher is who you really are. The watcher is content and peaceful, and is unattached to things happening in a certain way. It just watches whatever happens with curiosity, including watching the mental/emotional ego-based "you" doing things, wanting things, creating things, feeling things, and so on. When looked at from this perspective, all the typical things of life still go on, but you aren't so caught up in how they turn out because you have this underlying realization that these things are not what you are. Instead, you realize that you are the one who serenely and objectively watches them happen. Ironically, the doing part of you, when you watch it, rather than identify with it, does a much better job of doing, and the results it creates are almost always better. And, ironically, you are no longer attached to whether or not the results turn out in a certain way. It's as if the doer is a character in a play, and the watcher is the actor who plays the character. As the actor, you know it's just a play, so no matter what the script says, you can just enjoy being in the play, watch it all with wonder and awe and enjoyment as you act it out, and enjoy the challenge of being the best possible actor.
So because Holosync calms the safety part of you, it allows change to happen, and allows you to begin to watch from a new perspective. Again, ironically, the more you identify with the watcher, the less you care about the change, and the easier it becomes. This, to me, is one of the most interesting mysteries of existence.
The other thing that happens when you calm the mind and allow to the witness to become more prominent is that you notice how everything is connected to everything else. When the mind is more prominent, it appears that everything is divided, and that one thing is often in opposition to another. This colors everything with a background feeling, just under the surface (though, at times, more prominent) that the world is a dangerous place, and that you are separate from everything else. Once you begin to experience the fact that everything is connected in an infinitely complex matrix, and infinitely complex dance of creation, and that you are that dance, something shifts. Since you see that you are everything, there is nothing outside of you to fear and nothing outside of you to get. At this point, the search for what to be or do, where to go, what to avoid or get, or what to change in order to be happy and peaceful, ceases.
This is the place I want to help you find. It's there already, all around you, but like a fish not noticing the water, you miss it. You're looking for it in the mind and the creations of your mind, and that's not where it is. It is only found when you set aside the mind and the things of the mind. Once you do that, you can't miss it.
Ultimately, the mind really is the problem, because it constantly thinks and analyzes, and obscures who you are with strong emotions, endless analysis, blaming, resisting, and all kinds of other mental gymnastics. It typically darts all over the place instead of calming focusing on one thing. But when you can calm it down, it's like wiping dust off a mirror: things become clear, and you can suddenly see yourself. Most people think it is by following the mind as it jumps around that they will figure things out, but it's really by setting the mind aside that you begin to see clearly the way things really are. Then, the mind becomes a tool you can use, but you realize it isn't who you are, and you don't have to follow (or identify) with every thought that flits across it, and you don't have to believe every emotion you have.
Also remember that the mind, the ego, the internal map of reality is not the enemy. A mind is a great thing to have. Identifying the mind and all it creates as being who you are, though, is a trap. This is why one of the principles I teach is that "the map is not the territory"—the conceptualization you have of who you are is not who you are. So remember that the mind is a great tool. It's job is to generate thoughts and feelings and internal pictures and strategies and longings and desires, and so on. If you identify with them, and think that's who you are, you suffer. If you watch the show, without getting caught in it, you are peaceful and happy.
So I'm really trying to get across two things to you:
- You are not your mind, your body, and your emotions. You are the watcher of these things, which remains largely hidden as long as the mind is wildly zooming around all the time. Calm the mind and you can see beyond it to who you really are. When this happens, you become very peaceful and very happy, and you know just what to do in each moment (and, ironically, it doesn't matter).
- Your mind is a tool that creates all the experiences and outcomes that the watcher watches (and that most of you are caught in most of the time). Though this stuff is not who you are, it can be very fun to play with it, and create whatever you want with it. If you just let your mind do whatever it wants to do (which is just fine, especially if you are firmly established in the watcher perspective), based on the way it has been programmed, it will create things you want some of the time, and create things you don't want some of the time. You know, right now, how much of each you are creating. If you look closely at the mind, in all its complexity, you begin to see how you can use your mind to play with life and create whatever outcomes, feelings, thoughts, states, etc., you want.
So, if at this point the thought of actually living this way seems remote, don't despair. When it's dark, you cannot see, and it can seem as if you will never see. But when the sun comes up, seeing happens without effort. Your sun will come up, but there is a price to pay to get it to come up. You can pay that price in a variety of ways, but an easy way to pay it is to meditate each day with Holosync, and look deeply into your mind, your internal map of reality—which I am helping you do through the various courses, books, retreats, articles, and other ways I communicate with you.
Bill Harris, Director
Centerpointe Research Institute
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