Principle #8: The Principle of Good and Bad Generalizations
By now, most of you know that I am of the opinion that it is not necessary to live a life that contains suffering, and that there are definite ways to change your life from one containing suffering to one where you are happy and peaceful all the time.
Most of you also know that, in my opinion, the way to do this is to cultivate the ability to let whatever happens be okay and to not resist "what is."
This doesn't mean you're okay with injustice and suffering or don't do anything about them. It means you emotionally accept things the way they are and do not resist what is.
Resisting what is is not the same as deciding you want to change what is, and the difference is one of attachment to the outcome. The person who is attached to the outcome suffers if they do not get the outcome they want, whereas the happy, peaceful person prefers the outcome they want but are not attached to it. If the outcome they get is not what they wanted, they remain just as happy and peaceful as they were to begin with. Their happiness comes from within, and is not dependent on what goes on around them.
Many people are not only unhappy as a result of what goes on around them, but are unhappy because of what goes on inside. At the same time, this inside unhappiness helps create outside conditions that give them something to resist in their outer life. This is one way in which people "create their own universe." Unfortunately, this universe is not a happy one. On the other hand, you can always create a new one, at any time.
Based on our early life interactions with our primary care-givers, we all develop generalizations about who we are and what our relationship is to the rest of the world. These generalizations (part of our "map" of reality) divide different aspects of ourselves, and qualities we may have, into two categories, those that we think are "good", or acceptable, and those we think are "bad" or unacceptable.
We don't choose these beliefs. We soak them up from our primary care-givers, our teachers, and from other influences (friends, relatives, the media, etc.) when we're too small to know any better. These beliefs become core components of the way we see ourselves, other people, and the world.
This is critically important to your happiness, for two reasons. First, the brain is a goal seeking mechanism, and a very powerful one. Your brain can make whatever you put into it come true in your life. And second, because human beings have a powerful need for consistency between what they believe to be true and what really is true. As has been said, people would rather be right than be happy.
This means that regardless of how much what you believe is not representative of how things really are, or how much your beliefs result in misery for you, you will arrange to be right about them by creating the circumstances that seem to confirm that what you believe is true.
This is compounded by the fact that many of these beliefs, since they involve something about you being "bad," "defective," "not okay," "broken," "unacceptable" and so on, are too painful to hold in your conscious awareness and are therefore repressed into your unconscious mind, where they affect you all the time, but are out of sight. This means they are not available for conscious examination and change.
The other thing we do with these parts of ourselves we think are unacceptable is to project them onto others (this results in extreme emotional reactions to others who exhibit the characteristics we believe are "bad" or unacceptable about us).
In many ways, emotional healing involves "unlearning" these old generalizations and making new, healthier ones. In reality, there is nothing about any of us that is innately bad. Since whatever you deeply believe comes true in reality, you could make a conscious choice to believe whatever would create a happy and peaceful life for yourself. Most people, however, never take the reins and do this, instead adopting the victim posture made so popular in the last few decades.
Holosync facilitates this healing by making you more aware, more conscious, of repressed beliefs about yourself, and it does this in a way that, in most cases, takes all or part of the emotional charge off the negative and painful belief. If you'll remember, another of these principles described the fact that you cannot continue to do something harmful to yourself and do it consciously. Only by remaining unconscious can a person continue to do something that is harmful to themselves.
Most people evaluate beliefs by whether or not they are "true" or "false." If it's "true" it's worth believing, if it's "false" it isn't. In my opinion, this true/false distinction is not useful, despite the fact that it seems so obvious. The useful way to evaluate beliefs is by whether they are resourceful or non-resourceful for you - by whether they create happiness and peace, or something else. Since whatever you deeply believe comes true, the only resourceful beliefs are those that contain an outcome you want.
The big secret is that you can CHOOSE what you want to believe - you don't have to believe what seems true based on past experience.
The first step is to find out what these unresourceful beliefs are. One way to begin to do this is to complete the following sentences:
I am _______.
People are _______.
The world is _________.
What we're looking for are the things you say to yourself when you're really down about things, when you're feeling the worst. We are NOT looking for what you learned in self help books - those things you think you SHOULD believe about yourself. We are not looking for "I am one with everything," "The world is filled with abundance," "People are basically good." We're looking for what you really do believe about yourself, and say to yourself, about yourself, when things look darkest - things like "I'm never going to be a success," "No one will ever love me," "There's something wrong with me," "I can't seem to do anything right," "People will take advantage of you if you don't watch them very carefully," "Men always leave me in the end," "No one cares about me," "The world is dangerous and chaotic" and so on. Those things you say when you are really down about everything. These statements are big clues to what these negative core beliefs are.
The second way to determine what these beliefs are is to look at what is happening in your life. Since what you believe manifests in reality, you can tell what a person's beliefs are just by looking at the results they get in their life. If you are having trouble sustaining a close relationship with the opposite sex, somewhere there is a core belief about yourself and about the opposite sex that is manifesting this result in your life. If you are having trouble with prosperity, or health, or any other issue, you must have a belief about that subject that is manifesting in what actually happens to you.
When you look at other people who are getting better results, you can be sure the difference is that they have different, and more empowering, core beliefs on that subject.
Once you know what the various core beliefs you have are (and we're concerned with the negative beliefs here - the positive ones, those that are giving you the results you want, don't need attention), the next step is to decide what would a more empowering, resourceful belief be?
Once you know this, you can begin to install the new way of thinking about yourself.
To do this, you have to start telling yourself this new belief over and over, and wiping the old one out of your mind whenever it pops up. The only reason the old one seems true is that you have focused on it so much, which makes it play out in reality, which of course makes you focus on it more, which makes it play out...
Focus on this new belief. Do it while meditating, do it while driving, while showering, etc., etc. It will bring up old and uncomfortable feelings as you focus on it, so be prepared for that - the old belief will fight for its life. Don't let that bother you. Just keep focusing on what you want. Create a technicolor movie of you getting just what you want, and feeling happy and satisfied by it - the more vivid, the better. In addition to playing the movie during meditation, play it right before you go to sleep and right after waking up.
Most people who have had a significant (negative) emotional experience focus on what they don't want (i.e. a repetition of the significant emotional experience, such as abandonment). They have a rule: "avoid that experience at all costs!" When you notice yourself focusing on what you do not want, change the focus to what you do want. Since your mind doesn't know when you focus on something that you do not want it, it always takes whatever you focus on as an instruction to go get something and bring it to you. To change your focus, which has been on automatic for a long time, takes practice, since the old way is on automatic. Allow yourself to go through the learning curve, which may take a while.
As I said earlier, beliefs come true because we need consistency between what we believe and reality, and we will do anything to create this consistency. We create this consistency in 3 ways:
- We get attracted to people and situations that confirm that the belief is true, i.e. if you believe no one will ever really love you, you somehow feel this magical attraction to men/women who will leave, even though consciously you have no information about this aspect of who they are.
- We hallucinate that the belief is true even if it isn't, i.e. you interpret behaviors potential partners may have as meaning they will leave, are leaving, have left, etc., even if that is not what it really means. In other words, we put a meaning on whatever happens that causes it to confirm, in our mind, that the belief is true.
- We act in such a way that people finally comply and act in the way we feared they would act, i.e. you fear they will leave, and the ways you act because of that fear, finally cause the person to leave.
With all three, you get to be right about what you believe. But as they say, it's better to be happy than right.
This process of changing core beliefs can take several years to complete. Just identifying your core beliefs can take some time. Let it be okay that it takes time. Take it one step and one day at a time. Meditation with Holosync greatly speeds up this process, because it helps you become more conscious and aware of what you are creating, and it takes the emotional charge off things in your life and allows you to look at things from a more dispassionate perspective (this is the watcher I often talk about).
However long this process takes, it is worth undertaking. What we're talking about here is the difference between being an unconscious automatic response mechanism, living out beliefs that create suffering, and a conscious being who chooses what to believe based on the kind of world they want to live in and therefore creates a life that is happy, peaceful, full of stimulating creativity, and well worth living.
You are already REALLY GOOD at creating what you believe and focus on. You may have not yet quite come to terms with the fact that ANYTHING you focus on and believe can happen for you. Most of what we focus on we did not choose. It was chosen for us when we were small and it runs on automatic. This is why I often refer to most people as being, for the greatest part, automatic response mechanisms. Now all you have to do is consciously change that focus to what you want and (since you're already good at getting what you focus on) you'll get it.
Once these unconscious generalizations about yourself have become conscious and have been changed to what you choose for yourself, you are free.
Bill Harris, Director
Centerpointe Research Institute