From Ideation to Revelation
The claims of mystics are neurologically quite astute. No human has ever experienced an objective world. You are, at this moment, having a visionary experience. The world that you see and hear is nothing more than a modification of your consciousness, the physical status of which remains a mystery. Your nervous system sections the undifferentiated buzz of the universe into separate channels of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. The sights and sounds and pulsing that you experience at this moment are like different spectra of light thrown forth by the prism of the brain. We really are such stuff as dreams are made of. While this gives rise to a few philosophical questions concerning the foundations of our knowledge, it also offers us a remarkable opportunity to deliberately transform the character of our experience.
There are three pure types of dreams, namely, subjective, physical, and future, and are influenced by past or subjective, physical and spiritual causes. The latter is always prophetic, especially when it leaves a vivid impression on the conscious mind. The former, too, posses an element of warning and prophecy, though the true meaning is hidden in symbols of allegory. To the ancients, dreams were regarded as messages from the gods or as oracles to predict the future. It was widely believed that dreams had the power to solve problems, heal sickness and bring spiritual revelation. In more recent times, dreams became the subject of psychological and scientific investigation. Widely recognized as the product of the unconscious mind, dream activity is now measured in sleep laboratories. Dreams will often depict a surreal landscape that does not obey natural laws. Additionally an estimated 40 percent of reported psychic experiences concern knowing the future in some way, with dreams being the most common way for premonitions (precognitions) to appear. Archetypes have included but are not limited to, “The Persona”, “The Shadow”, “The Anima & Animus”, “The Trickster”, as well as “The Divine Child”, “The Great Mother”, “The Great Father”, etc.
Dreams can be baffling and mysterious. Throughout history dreams have been associated with sacred revelation and prophecy. And so, just as we can wonder what a particular dream means to the dreamer, we can argue about what causes dreams in the first place. Sigmund Freud once called dreams the “royal road to the unconscious.” Freud’s classic text, The Interpretation of Dreams, is an examination of how this unconscious operates. Freud believed that every dream was a wish fulfillment, and he kept this theory till the end, even though he gave up his initial idea that all dreams have sexual content. For Freud, the concept of wish fulfillment didn’t necessarily imply that a pleasure was sought, because a person could just as well have wished to be punished. Nevertheless, this idea of a “secret” wish being masked by a dream remains central to classical Freudian psychoanalysis.
A contemporary understanding of dream interpretation is often associated with the work of Carl Jung. The founder of Analytical Psychology, Jung made the study of dreams and the unconscious his lifework. Jung was a pupil of Freud, and was in agreement about the importance of unconscious processes in the production of dreams. He referred to the process of individuation as the most important task any person can undertake in life – the attainment of harmony between all the aspects of the psyche. Jung saw life in terms of a spiritual journey and, far from being a dangerous melting pot of repressed and forbidden wishes he saw the unconscious as a friend and guide to help us on our way. Applying these principles to his own life he used dreams to help him make decisions, resolve uncertainties and move along his path to self-realization.
The ability of the individual to think is his ability to act on the Universal and bring it into manifestation. Human consciousness consists only in the ability of man to think. Mind itself is believed to be a subtle form of static energy, from which arises the activities called “thought”, which is the dynamic phase of mind. Mind is static energy & thought is dynamic energy – the two phases of the same thing. Thought is therefore the vibratory force formed by converting static mind into dynamic mind.
The keener the sensibilities, the more acute the judgment, the more delicate the taste, the more refined the moral feelings, the more subtle the intelligence, the loftier the aspiration – the purer and more intense are the gratifications which existence yields. The powers, uses, and possibilities of the mind under the new interpretations are incomparably more wonderful than the most extravagant accomplishment, or even dreams of material progress. Thought is energy. Active thought is active energy; concentrated thought is concentrated energy. Thought concentrated on definite purpose becomes power.
The subconscious soul works and makes provision for our benefit, producing only the mature fruit; thus ultimate analysis of thought process shows that the subconscious is the theatre of the most important mental phenomena. It is through the subconscious that Shakespeare must have perceived the great truths which are hidden from the conscious mind of the student; that Phidias fashioned marble and bronze; that Raphael painted Madonnas; and that Beethoven composed symphonies.
Circumstances and environment follow the trend of mental and spiritual progress. As growth follows knowledge, actions follow inspiration, opportunity follows perception – always the spiritual first, then the transformation into the infinite unlimited possibilities of achievement. Create ideals only. Give no thought to external conditions. Make the world within beautiful and opulent and the world without will express and manifest the condition which you have made within. You will come into a realization of your power to create ideals and these ideals will be projected into the world of effect. Thoughts are causes and conditions are effects. Thought is creative and will automatically correlate with its object. This is the Cosmological Law, the Law of Attraction, the Law of Cause & Effect; the recognition and application of this law will determine the beginning and the end.
Induction reasoning is the process of the objective mind by which we compare a number of separate instances with one another until we see the common factor that gives rise to them all. Induction proceeds by comparison of facts. It is this method of studying nature which has resulted in the discovery of a reign of law which has marked an epoch in human progress.
So far as the individual is concerned, the objective, the physical, the visible, is the personal – that which can be cognized by the senses. It consists of body, brain, and nerves. The subjective is the spiritual, the invisible, the impersonal. The impersonal, or spiritual, being a part or one with the source and origin of all power, can necessarily exercise no such choice, but, on the contrary, it has infinite resources at its command. It can and does bring about results by methods concerning which the human or individual mind can have no possible conception.
Bringing a mental image into manifestation requires mental labor. The first step is ideation. It is likewise the most important step, because it is the plan on which you are going to build. It must be solid; it must be permanent. The architect, when he plans a 30 story building, has every line and detail pictured in advance. He can see the end before a single step is taken; so you are to picture in your mind what you want. It will gradually unfold - first the general plan will take shape, as the outline takes form, and then the details. Then is the process of visualization. You must see the picture more and more complete. As the details begin to unfold the ways and means for bringing it into manifestation will develop. Thought will lead to action, action will develop methods, methods will develop circumstances, and finally the third step which is Materialization.
Down through the ages the power and wonder of practitioners of magic have been recorded in song and story. The presence of wizards, witches, sorcerers, shaman, and gurus has always been intriguing and awe inspiring to the average person. These people of power, wrapped in a cloak of secrecy, presented a striking contradiction to the common ways of dealing with the world. The spells and incantations they wove were feared beyond belief and, at the same time, sought constantly for the help they could provide. Whenever these people of power publicly performed their wonders they would both shatter the concepts of reality of that time and place, and present themselves as having something that was beyond learning. In modern time the mantle of the wizard is most often placed upon the dynamic practitioners who exceed in skill, and whose work is so amazing to watch that it moves us with powerful emotions, disbelief, & confusion – Just as with all wizards of ages of the earth whose knowledge was treasured and passed down from sage to sage – so too, does the magic of these wizards also have structure.
The number of verbal descriptions of human experiences is limitless. At the same time, the number of forms (syntax) in which this infinite set of meanings is represented is highly restricted - has structure –and therefore, may be described by a set of rules. To deny a magical quality or to simply label it as talent, intuition, or genius is to limit one’s own potential. This does not question the magical quality of our experience, but rather shows that this magic which is performed – like other complex human activities such as painting, composing music, or advancing science – has structure and is, therefore, learnable, given the appropriate resources. Everyone has the ability to claim these dynamic qualities.
Consider the human receptor systems: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. There are physical phenomena which lie outside the limits of these five accepted sensory channels. For example, sound waves either below 20 cycles per second or above 20,000 cycles per second cannot be detected by human beings. Yet these physical phenomena are structurally the same as the physical waves which fall between these limiting figures: the physical waves which we call sound. In the human visual system, we are able to detect wave forms only between 380 and 680 mille-microns. Wave forms above or below these figures are not detectable by the human eye. Again, we perceive only a portion of a continuous physical phenomenon as determined by our genetically given neurological limitations. Thus, one way in which our models of the world will necessarily differ from the world itself is that our nervous system systematically manages whole portions of the real world. This reduces the range of possible human experiences as well as introducing differences between what is actually going on in the world and our experience of it. Our nervous system, then, initially determined genetically, constitutes the first set of filters which distinguish the world - the territory-from our representations of the world-the map.
In addition to the above mentioned neurological constraints, a second way in which our experience of the world differs from the world itself is through a set of social constraints. We refer to these as social genetic factors. These social genetics are the categories to which we are subject as members of a social system: our language, accepted ways of perceiving, and all the socially agreed upon fictions. A third way that we experience the world can differ through individual constraints. These are representations we create based upon our unique personal history. The uncommon ways each of us represents the world will constitute a set of interests, habits, likes, dislikes, and rules for behavior which are distinctly our own.
The most pervasive paradox of the human condition which we see is that the processes which allow us to survive, grow, change, and experience joy are the same processes which allow us to maintain a model of the world – our ability to manipulate symbols, that is, to create models. So the processes which allow us to accomplish the most extraordinary and unique human activities are the same processes which block our further growth if we commit the error of mistaking the model for the reality. We can identify three general mechanisms by which we do this: Generalization, Deletion, and Distortion.
Generalization is the process by which elements or pieces of a person’s model become detached from their original experience and come to represent the entire category of which the experience is an example. Deletion is a process by which we selectively pay attention to certain dimensions of our experience and exclude others. Distortion is the process which allows us to make shifts in our experience of sensory data. Fantasy for example, allows us to prepare for experiences which we may have before they occur. People will distort present reality when rehearsing a speech which they will later present. It is this process which has made possible all the artistic creations which we as humans have produced. A sky as represented in a painting by Van Gogh is possible only as Van Gogh was able to distort his perception of the time place in which he was located at the moment of his creation.
The Meta-model presented is inspired by the formal model developed in transformational linguistics. As people communicate their models of the world they do it in Surface Structures. The way a person uses language to communicate the model/representation is subject to the universal processes of human modeling such as deletion. The Surface Structure itself is a representation of the full linguistic representation from which it is derived – the Deep Structure. The guide to inducing change is a result of the effect of systematically applying two techniques:
1) Recovery of pieces removed by the deletion transformations from the Deep Structure.
2) Transformation of nominalizations back into process words they were derived from – the Deep Structure.
The intuitions which are represented in the transformational model of language are special cases of these three principles; for example, sentences are Surface Structures which have no expressed subject are the examples of the process of deletion. To develop an image of the model of another person’s communication, the missing piece has to be restored; the expression has to be reconnected with its source – its fullest representation. In the case of Surface Structure, its source and fullest representation is the Deep Structure. In the case to the Deep Structure, the individual’s experiences are the source for the representation. While Deep Structure is the fullest linguistic representation, it is derived from a fuller, richer source – the sum total of one’s experiences.