The Evolution of Goal Conflict Structures
by Peter Shepherd
- it describes how Goal Conflict Structures evolve and how
they impact on our everyday lives.
The way you see the world and your position in it may be called your "case". This is a term borrowed from psychotherapy and is relevant here because the way you see things is not always clear and objective - it is frequently clouded by the unfinished business of your past and conditioning acquired from all that you have learnt or been taught, in all your upbringing and from the experience of previous existences too.
The structure of case is a natural phenomena, as natural as a tree. Goal Conflict Structures are the major unresolved conflicts of our past existence, that each form a structure based on the goals we set out with, the problems we encounter achieving them and the changes of identity we undergo to try and see them through. These structures are the "trunk" of the tree that is the human being's case.
The "branches" are the upsets and disagreements, bad actions, withheld communications, problems and solutions of everyday human relationships, and the "leaves" are the frustrations that ensnare all of our attempts to simply "be there and communicate". These frustrations build up - as the emotional "charge" of a situation is suppressed (bypassed) and we get on with our lives.
The "roots" are the agreements and compromises the spiritual Being made in order to accommodate himself to life on earth as a human-animal composite identity - we call this the "Imprint" phenomena because the agreements act like imposed limitations to the awareness and capability of the Being (although in truth they are self-imposed by agreement) and because the charge attached to these compromises is overwhelming; it has to be very gradually stripped off.
The "seeds" from which the tree grew are the fundamental postulates and counter-postulates that lie behind the Being ever getting in such a position as to find such agreements expedient.
A Goal Conflict Structure is simply the problems a Being has in getting to grips with the material Game - where postulates (simple causative intentions) no longer seem to work - and his solutions to these problems. He adopts what seems to be an adequate identity to achieve a Goal, because the postulate didn't happen and so now he has to work by effort and force, and the counter-effort and counter-force is perceived as opposition - a problem.
The Being considers any strong opposition to his goal to be an other-determinism and now he has moved down from pan-determinism (taking full responsibility) to other-determinism. He has already bought the first lie, because the other determinism is simply seeking an alternative goal, and he has considered the other to be opposing him, whereas in truth he has elected the other as "opposition" and he is opposing the other. He is no longer taking responsibility for the other side of the game that he created by making an opposition, an opposed person or group for which he no longer has empathy (understanding).
The Being's solution to this perceived opposition, if it cannot be overcome, is self-determinism - to strengthen an identity that he considers right (adequate) to achieve his goal. If this identity (role, way of being) meets continued and unresolveable opposition, his responsibility, awareness and confront reduce further and he descends into adopting, as a safe solution to his problem, a lowered version of the goal.
This cycle continues - lower and lower, more and more fixed identities that at the bottom of the structure are just mechanical identities - no responsibility for self or for the other side of the game.
This is life as lived by humans in the present time, just look around! The case phenomena of upsets, bad actions, withheld communication, problems and safe solutions, which all link-up together, is based simply on the compulsion to be right and this compulsion derives directly from the Goal Conflict Structures of "right" identities - identities that provide adequate solutions to the problems encountered.
When a Goal Conflict Structure is in reactivation (and normally several are at any one time) the identities that were previously adopted as safe solutions are again re-enacted. This is a Subconscious process; the Goal Conflict Structure case is normally heavily suppressed (because of all the bypassed charge attached to it) and the "Goals" of Goal Conflict Structures are not the everyday goals to do with careers, possessions and so on.
In this way the Goal Conflict Structures empower the many identities that a Being adopts to get by in this world. It is a reactive mechanism and directly restricts the Being's freedom and flexibility of viewpoint, to be whatever way he considers appropriate, consciously and at will. It also restricts the Being from viewing the real case - that of the Higher Self's postulates, considerations, evaluations and opinions - and the Being's Own Goals. That case is only accessible from the Being's true viewpoint, not that of a Substitute Beingness, which is how most human beings are operating.
The bad action-Justification Sequence
The Being has a postulate and when this doesn't work out, he makes a second postulate. As always with second postulates, it does not cancel the first one, it only alters it in another direction, giving up on what was intended to be (the first postulate) by suppressing, invalidating or not acknowledging it. It is at this point that the Being violates his integrity. He has not been true to his own first postulate, he has compromised.
Any goal is a second postulate, a compromise, after the first postulate was deemed inadequate. For example, you might have postulated scoring the winning goal in a World Cup Final, but in this world that doesn't just come about, it has to be made to happen, so you create the goal: "To be a successful professional footballer".
An Own Goal is either made independently or it is agreed with and made your own. In the case of an Imprinted Goal, however, the second postulate is enforced upon you by some form of conditioning, an acceptance of an other-determinism due to overwhelm; this may be the result of a traumatic incident or it may be more subtle such as parental or cultural conditioning. The goal might be: "To be a rich chartered accountant".
A really effective imprint gives you a goal as well as one or more opposing goals, so there is a good chance that it will be reactivated without your being able to escape that reactivation. For example, in the area of relationships one might have imprinted goals:, "To find the perfect partner" from between lives, "To avoid attachment" as a result of a traumatic incident, "To never trust a man" from a past life, "To get married, settle down and be normal" from cultural conditioning, and further conflicting with an Own Goal: "To have fun with relationships".
The wider the area of game it effects, the "better" the imprint works - you can't withdraw, except inwards, so you introvert and reduce your causation. It is not possible to recognize the spiritual Being's actual Own Goals and handle their conflict structures until the obscuring Imprint structures are erased; until that time, what may appear to be one's self-determined goals in life are inevitably influenced by the suppressed Imprint case.
Whether the Goal is your own or implanted, it is a violation of your integrity and you look for a justification - someone or something to blame, to oppose. This justifies the rightness of your new identity, the opposed identity being made wrong. As a dramatization of the succumb and victim attitudes inherent in any second postulate, the opposed identity becomes an opposing identity, and one becomes more at effect, less happy.
If one is not able to win out over the opposed identity or to control and dominate the situation, a new (well-motivated) safe solution becomes necessary, a new violation of your integrity, and this solution is to adopt a new identity, computed to be adequate to achieve a lowered version of the Goal. One moves one notch down on the Goal Conflict Structure; and in this manner the bad action-justification sequence continues on down to the bottom of the structure, where one's purposes have become directly opposed to one's original Goal.
The safe solution to justify this conundrum is a survival computation re-enacted continuously in everyday life. One or more of these may have been handled previously, through counseling or through peak experiences temporarily releasing the Goal Conflict Structure case, but eventually life will switch this back in. Any amount of analysis does not fully resolve things until the underlying Goal Conflict Structure case is fully handled.
I have found that since completing Part II, I no longer have problems, upsets, withholds or any desire to make others wrong. I simply adopt an appropriate identity - rightness is not an issue and being there and communicating is not a problem. I'm no longer at effect of Imprint phenomena. Above all, I don't perceive others as enemies. The techniques have worked for me, just as intended, just as they have for many students on the Project.
A charged item (such as a Goal Conflict Structure identity) has attached to it various charged considerations. Each consideration seems valid enough to the mind but the Being knows there to be lies, suppression and misattribution in the appearance of what is. This is revealed by special The Insight Project procedures, assisted by the use of Biofeedback Monitoring. Only when the final consideration does not read on the Monitor, having been checked with the questions, has the mind duplicated the knowingness of the Being. The result of Indicator Technique properly done is always increased awareness, responsibility and confront.
At first, the charged consideration is most often at effect, complaining, justifying or blaming, with prejudices or dogma; further stages of the Indicator Technique reveal viewpoints that are not true enough for the charge to erase; and finally there is a clear realization of one's causative responsibility in the area, an insight of Truth. This differentiation separates the Being from an untruth that previously put him at effect by his identifying with it, and it clearly reveals the Being, the Higher Self, that knows all along but who is not-knowing for purposes of game or involvement.
The truth as it is revealed can be painful and sharply contradict the brainwashing of one's conditioning. The answer is of course to set aside prejudice and continue the process to the endpoint. Funnily enough, when arrived at, the revealed truth is something one always knew anyway, but hadn't admitted to oneself!!
There's no liability in playing games knowingly - games that can be fully experienced - but there's plenty of liability in continuing to play stuck games unknowingly. Indicator Technique sorts this out.
It is interesting that Psychosynthesis, Shamanic Healing and contemporary Humanistic techniques also recognize that normally the human personality is not an integrated Being but is rather a mass of misattributed and split off fragments. As Gurdjieff pointed out, one covers this up with defenses. One reactively moves from identity fragment to identity fragment (each at one time perceived as "right" for its purpose and so retained). Each identity or "sub-personality" appears to belong to the same "I" because one is identified with all of them, they are all the same "rightness".
Following the Charge
The frustrated intention (charge) of the first postulate at the beginning of any incident relates to an identity, which is then suppressed or broken off because "it must never happen again" - but because it is resisted it persists and is still identified with (re-enacted) reactively in present time, albeit subconsciously.
The The Insight Project approach to case handling is, unlike most others, not to dig up suppressed charge if it is not readily accessible, but rather to recognize the most accessible charge that is being re-enacted in the present time, and to handle it from a present time viewpoint - how it is being re-enacted right now, in terms of the identity adopted and its perceived opposition, and to integrate that identity in order to recover a causative, responsible and truthful viewpoint - to realize that the way in which one is opposing is senior to the way in which one is opposed.
By gradually differentiating the Being from his various adopted beingnesses and his various identifications, step by step awareness, responsibility and confront are improved. It is a safe and gradient approach, never pushing into overwhelm. With this increasing stability the past becomes more and more confrontable, so that without directly examining past incidents, one can be fully realized in the present moment, and therefore not subject to the reactivation of past times in the present. This is because the Goal Conflict Structure identities at back of the various incidents are no longer compulsively re-enacted or suppressed or resisted but have been integrated into a more powerful Being.
Opening your eyes
The compulsion to be right is because of an unresolved need for self-esteem: a need to acquire the "right" identity. An identity can be proven right through the acquisition of workable knowledge and demonstrated competence; or it can be proven right by making others wrong, by manipulation and domination. When perception is not based on a fixed idea, or tied to a way of being that seems to be required in order to safely resolve an unfaced problem, one can then view objectively, without the filter of such conditioning, and live by reason, not by survival computations (safe solutions). This gives the freedom to create, based on one's own goals and purposes, not dictated by imprinted goals or influenced by conditioned ideas.
The differentiated Being thus acquires true competence and a natural rightness that does not need to be asserted. Instead of perceiving the world as a minefield, full of suppressive people that are opposing you (that represent items on your subconscious Goal Conflict Structures), the world seems a better place, containing people to whom you are happy to grant beingness, though for purposes of game you may choose to either oppose or support their activities. This completely different viewpoint on life releases unbounded understanding and unhappiness is a thing of the past.
The postulated results of The Insight Project have certainly been realistic for myself, and I know, a large group of successful students. Where the project has not worked for people this has always been because they have not actually done it. Either the techniques have not been fully understood or the individual has not applied them honestly and with an open mind. Total honesty and openness is required for Indicator Technique to flow properly and reach the deeply held truth. The only thing that can foil Indicator Technique is a refusal to let go of the analytical, verbal mind and to let the non-verbal mind of the Being speak through. This occurs when pet theories and dogma are clung to, despite their demonstrated falsity, and then the session effectively comes to a halt through protest. The truth as it is revealed can be painful and sharply contradict the brainwashing of one's conditioning. The answer is of course to set aside prejudice and continue. As mentioned before, when arrived at, the truth is something one always knew anyway, but hadn't admitted to oneself.
So a pre-requisite to advanced work on The Insight Project is a willingness to be wrong, to learn from mistakes and to look anew. The materials of The Insight Project address this pre-requisite.
A Crazy World But A Great Game Too!
The practicalities of survival must have put you face to face with the realities of this somewhat crazy world in which we live, and that of course puts you equally face to face with your case: the reactivation of aspects of your life that you'd rather ignore.
Perhaps I can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel by describing what I think are the issues that concern a spiritual Being attempting to operate in a material world.
The downward spiral.
- Natively, the Being makes postulates, ie he creatively causes an effect. If he is in control of the space or universe that he viewing, the postulates happen, they cause an effect. This is a lonely life however. This is also somewhat hypothetical, since it is not the world in which we live, but it is familiar to us in the world of our dreams, especially in the more conscious world of lucid dreaming.
- To make life more interesting, the Being becomes involved with other Beings in a game scenario, and there are agreements about the scope of acceptable postulates. This is to maintain the game scenario, which is the universe in which he is operating. Postulates that affect other Beings, such as through communicating desire or intention, or initiating actions towards individual or shared goals, are relatively free, limited by agreed-upon rules. They are much less limited than those that affect the matter, energy, space and time of the game scenario, because these are generally the barriers of the game, like a playing field. The Being adopts a game involving various challenges because to do so is fun (perhaps more fun than things just happening). It's not serious or solid because it's a knowing game with freely accepted freedoms, obstacles and purposes.
- Then things may go wrong. In this world, the agreements about matter, energy, space and time are very solid. The agreements are forgotten, we just find ourselves here in material bodies, and we are given very strong indications that the body is our identity - who we are. Postulates that contradict the material agreements simply don't happen. So to make anything happen in this world one has to use effort and cycles of action: start - continue - complete. At least, that's how it seems; in fact there are freedoms and ways in which one may be directly causative, eg telepathically communicating with others, but the tendency is to be overwhelmed by the solidity of things and the necessity for survival of the body in this context.
- The Being may build up bypassed charge (frustrated intention resulting in suppressed emotional energy) when others do not duplicate his communication; when he does actions that others cannot confront or be willing to experience; when he justifies these actions and solidifies a self-rightness by doing the actions again; when others try to impose a change of direction on him or give wrong indications (by evaluation, invalidation or false information) that cause him to introspect; when he considers others are opposing him and forgets it is he who is opposing for purposes of game involvement. These things all cause confusion - his intention is not working - and the charge is built upon lies, basically non-confrontation of the truth of what exists. As the charge builds up he moves down in emotional tone, from enthusiasm through boredom to anger, fear, grief and apathy. His problems solidify. His identity becomes stuck in his ways of being right, and he loses understanding of those he is opposing, who he thinks are opposing him. He can no longer love unconditionally and is no longer just naturally right - he must be right. He has lost integrity.
- In the face of this charge - the ridges he has built up in self-defense - he finds a safe solution. He adopts a lowered goal and a lowered identity to achieve it, with lowered ethics. He finds a suitable Why to justify this change, not based on rational judgment but on fixed viewpoints (the justifications mentioned above).
- And this cycle continues, until eventually he finds himself opposed to his original goals and in conflict with his true self. A normal human being.
The upward spiral
- The normal state of the world around us is as 6. above. We strive towards fulfilling our suppressed spiritual intentions by more mundane means such as sex, food, effort, emotion and thinking. Our stable data are fixed ideas along the lines of imposed conditioning - through traumatic experiences, bypassed charge, identification with the genetic animal and all its instincts, cultural influences, and a case structure as above: stuck problems linked to unachieved goals, in this life and past lives. Life is serious, solid, heavy and lacks spontaneity. Thinking is "them and us", based on compulsive rightness of identity - safe solutions to unresolveable problems. Games are stuck and unknowing. One is unhappy and at effect, at least in the area of one's true goals. One is stuck in fixed identities and failed purposes - one no longer knows who one is.
- The only way that I know of to resolve this impasse is through examining what is with ruthless honesty, which is what individual analysis should be (but isn't necessarily - this process too can be used as a safe solution, hoping to justify ways of being right, but then it never arrives anywhere). Used with integrity, the tools of individual analysis (viz. The Insight Project) can help one to see, bit by bit, the truth. To gain understanding (consisting of empathy; duplication of what is; and good communication) in those areas where one had shut off one's vision.
- By increasing understanding one is increasing awareness of truth, and then in life one needs to actually confront what is (i.e. face it with equanimity) and take responsibility. This is the second place where individual analysis can break down. Without actually confronting and taking responsibility, the session insights may be forgotten and the body-mind programming (the habit patterns of many years) may take over again. Without such integrity of application, even extensive analysis can become a charade. Individual analysis, then, if done honestly, enables a re-education, a new understanding, and the application of this regained awareness through increased confront and responsibility.
- With increased awareness and confront in life of what was previously avoided, and then taking responsibility, it is possible to regain causation in life. One is motivated to complete cycles of action because one has recovered one's true identity and is aware of one's own goals. What were previously heavy and serious problems are now games to enjoy. One is truly happy with renewed purposes in life. Others are not enemies but either teammates or competition, who make the game more interesting and from whom one can learn - from what they do right and what they do wrong. Without fixed ways of being right, one too can learn both from things that go right and from one's mistakes.
- Life, love and truth become one's operating basis.
The way I see it, all experience and involvement is primarily for two purposes: for having fun and for learning. When mistakes have been made in having fun that cause problems, then one needs to learn from those mistakes. When you've learnt the lesson that experience offers then you can move on. Provided you have learnt the lesson, and not got serious/solid/heavy about it and justified your ego - otherwise it haunts you till you have really learnt the lesson (that is karma). A bad action remains to haunt you until you have learnt its lesson. It seems you keep coming back to life on earth (the cycle of rebirth) until you have learnt the lessons that life here offers.
Usually the lesson is that life is a game and if you can see it like that, the problem disappears - you're left with obstacles to overcome, but not with the solidity - at cause rather than at effect.
A friend recently wrote to me about her young daughter, and how great it was to be around her. The little girl, relatively unreactivated and untainted by conditioning, lives in a beautiful world of dreams and play. What life could/can be for all of us, I guess, when reactivation and imposed conditioning has been resolved.
So the gist of my message is that work on The Insight Project, if carried out with integrity, would help any person to recover motivation, rehabilitate their peak experiences and validate the truths that they know. The stupidities of this world don't go away but one can see them in a different light.
I realize how frustrating it sometimes is when you are aware of the discrepancy of what you can be and what you are being (most people of course are not directly aware of that but have an inkling). The answer for me, and the most workable answer that I am aware of, is to take down the Goal Conflict Structures that cause this discrepancy, using the techniques of The Insight Project. It's not easy but it is a game in itself and therefore can be immensely rewarding.