Why “The Secret” Fails

Many have read the book or saw the movie “The Secret”.  It basically outlines the “Law of attraction”.  In essence, this law can pretty much be summed up by saying that we attract either positive or negative experiences in our lives by focusing on either positive or negative thoughts.

It works like this:   if you focus on positive thoughts, the “universe” will bless you with those positive experiences.  If you focus on negative thoughts, it in turn gives you negative things.

While there is truth and insights that can be gleamed from the book /movie, there are a few vital things left out.

If you haven’t read or saw the movie, I highly recommend you read it.  The truths outlined in it are vital in understanding how to master your reality. …  But again, the law of attraction alone isn’t.  Let me explain.

 

 

Many new age/self help/hypnosis books like to divide the mind into two categories.  The conscious and the subconscious.  They like to say that the conscious mind is the thinking mind.  It’s the awareness aspect of the mind.  The subconscious is the part that is non thinking.  It automatically regulates body functions like the heartbeat.  It also stores all of your memories and beliefs.  Some new age books go so far as to liken the subconscious mind to “God” or the “universal mind”.

The “law of attraction” proponents say that thought creates brain waves which, once sent out, causes the universe to act in order to fulfill that thought.  It’s as if the universe is some sort of cosmic genie in a bottle which grants your every thought.    Unfortunately, it can also work against you.

Personally, through a lot of experience and effort, I’ve found moderate success at consciously applying the principle, but not nearly enough to convince me that this is the whole story.

Where it falls short I think is that it oversimplifies the thought process.  The model of dividing the mind into conscious and subconscious doesn’t serve to accurately portray what’s going on here.

It seems to be more accurate to divide it into three categories:  The conscious, the unconscious, and the subconscious.

Let’s define the terms so we can be on the same page and hopefully you can see how this model may be more useful.

1)The Conscious Mind.

Consiouss

The conscious mind is as often described, the part that we are in control of.   It takes up a tiny slither of your entire mind.  It can be more accurately described as your ‘awareness’.  At any given moment, you can instantly move your awareness any area of your experience.

A great experiment to  try and get this is to relax, close your eyes, and imagine that you feel the life in your body.    First imagine you can feel it flowing through your whole body.  Next, narrow it down to your left hand. Next just focus on feeling it in the right ankle.

As you may notice, you can feel it anywhere, at any given time.  But notice that after you focus on a specific area, the other areas are no longer in your awareness.  Although you can instantantly move to any part of the body at any given time, you are only aware of the areas you are focusing on.

What’s of significance is that you can shrink or expand your area of awareness on the fly instantly.  The smaller your area of focus, the larger area moves outside of your area of awareness.

Hopefully this illustration helps you understand how the conscious aspect works.  For cases of this discussion, we can call the conscious, your awareness.

2)The Unconscious Mind. 

For the purposes of this discussion, the unconscious mind the  aspect of the mind that runs on autopilot.  It is the part that regulates breathing, heartbeat, blood pressure, or pretty much the biological machinery called the body.  It also allows you to do things like drive a car, catch a ball, or even walk without consciously thinking about it.  It automatically handles the logistics on how we do things once the conscious mind decides what needs to be done.

A perfect illustration of the unconscious mind in action is driving somewhere.  After you’ve been used to driving a car, you no longer have to think about how much pressure to apply to steering wheel or to the gas pedal.  You don’t have to consciously think about when to apply the brake.  The car becomes an extension of your body.  If you’ve travelled to a destination enough times, you don’t even really have to think about how to get there.

If you’ve ever driven a car somewhere while engaged in a conversation or lost in thought,  you’ve seen an perfect example of the unconscious mind works.  Many times, we don’t remember what we saw on the way, how many red or green lights we made or got stopped at or anything else.

A useful and interesting feature of this is how it interfaces with the conscious mind.  If you’ve ever bought a new car, it’s amazing how many times you see other people driving that car.  Before buying it, you probably never even noticed.    We can talk about how this can be leveraged in creation later.  But i’d imagine that you can already see how powerful this can be.

 3)The Subconscious Mind. 

The final layer is the subconscious mind.  This part of the mind is the sum of all of your beliefs, learning, and experiences.  It is all there is (as far as your individual self goes).  It is the collection of everything you’ve experienced, everything you know and believe, and everything you can imagine.  It is the library of our references.  The unconscious mind interfaces with this when it needs to get things done.

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To illustrate, imagine writing a paper or essay.  While you no longer have to think about how to write, your unconscious mind looks into the subconscious for your lexicon of words.  A person cannot write a paper using words they don’t know.  (we sometimes use them incorrectly), but the point is that we cannot use words we’ve never heard of before.  They are not a part of our experience.

  So what is missing?

The problem with “The Secret” and other law of attraction based books is that it places all the emphasis on the conscious mind.  There is so much running in the background, that the power of positive thinking is subverted by unconscious and subconscious thinking.

Ideally we could create a positive feedback loop which would accelerate the creation process.  Unfortunately, there are often contradictory processes outside of your awareness that than weaken your intention.

For example, imagine repeating the idea “I am rich” over and over again consciously. Society has taught us that you must work hard to be rich or either that money is evil.  So even though your intention is positive, those underlying beliefs could either weaken or even cancel them out…. especially if you don’t think you’re working hard enough.

Mindfulness vs. Mindlessness

 

The automatic nature of our unconscious mind often makes it unnecessary to have to consciously think about things.  It’s easy to get into a routine and once this happens, we can often go long periods of times without having to consciously think about things.  Our awareness becomes more and more limited as these daily routines become ingrained through repetition.

The conscious mind can begin to atrophy (just as a unworked muscle) and we fall into a rut.  It’s even worse if we work long hours at jobs that don’t require much thinking.  The hectic schedule makes it hard for some people to break the pattern.  They in essence become automatons.

Practices such and mindfulness and meditation can help keep our minds sharp.  It is important to remember that manifesting our desires begins with conscious thought.

Mindlessness has its useful application and without it, life would be much harder. In fact, it’s important in the creation process. But it is important to use it correctly or else it will work against you.

In the next article, I’ll discuss how we can use it in conjunction with the “law of attraction” and sigils to manifest your desired reality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Live in the End

 

      “Assume the Result”

 

As we dig into the science of mastering your reality, an important concept to keep in mind is to assume the end.  In other words, confidently assume that your desires will be manifest.

While this simple concept seems almost trivial, it is the most important thing in manifesting your desires.  It’s one thing to hope for or wish or success, but entirely another to assume it.  Remember that the universe doesn’t necessarily grant you what you want.  It gives you what you believe.

This is why it is important to have a clearly defined goal in mind in the creative process.  Many of us have a general idea of what we want.  But too often, those ideas shift and change as we see, learn, and observe our current reality.  The shifting of your desire then causes the universe to take us off course and we end up somewhere else, maybe close, but not quite at our originally desired location.

We often get a mix of the things we fear and desire.  Things often don’t turn out as well as we’d hope, nor as bad as we fear.  It’s usually at some middle ground:  Somewhere
in between your fears and hopes.

  Lacking a specific outcome is sort of like going on a trip without having a destination in mind.  While this can be fun and adventurous at given times, our goal here is to create a specific effect or reach a specific location.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.”  Hebrews 11:1

If you are one of the few people who have a clearly defined goal (congratulations), but be careful not to fall into the trap of believing what “Reality” shows you if it seems that you’re not on course.

( Remember, reality is only our individual take on Actuality…. see”Reality is Plastic”)

In fact, this is the the time to use the cognitive dissonance/ rationalization feature of the mind to reason how you really are on course.  Keep believing that the universe is in the process of creating with you.  The thing is, that you often must give it the room to create.

This is what is meant by evidence of things unseen.  Keep your faith that the universe is creating and you are exactly where you are supposed to be in fulfilling your goal.

The two key points to remember here are 1)have a specific goal  2)confidently expect that outcome.

The universe, in conjunction with your subconscious mind will deliver.  It is then just a matter of trusting your unconscious mind to follow through.

 

 

 

Reality is plastic

 

 

Here is a neat little concept that is helping me tremendously on my spiritual journey.

To sum it all up, one simply has to understand that reality and actuality are two different things.

There is a lot of woo woo out there where charlatan take advantage of people’s misunderstandings of this essential concept.

The purpose of this article is to show how this can apply in a real and practical way.

But before we dig into the nuts and bolts, let’s define the terms.  Or at least my interpretation so that we can be on the same page  .

In essence,  actuality is the way that things actually are.  Realty is how we perceive actuality.  It’s easy to confuse the terms on the basis that we often use the two interchangeably in modern English.

There is a lot of overlap between the two so it’s understandable.  But understanding the subtle nuances of the two is where we can begin to see how this thing works.

Actuality

When dealing with actuality, it’s important to understand that we cannot grasp it.   As soon as you behold it, you corrupt it.  Let me explain.

We all see actuality through the lens of our perceptions.  These perceptions are made up of our learning, experiences, beliefs, prejudices, and understanding.  No two people see the world in exactly the same way due to our perceptions.  And this fact causes us to view actuality slightly (sometimes radically differently) from one another.  Now there is a lot of overlap.

Maybe more accurately, we experience actuality differently.  Now matter how it’s experienced though….it is only what it is.  Nothing more, nothing less.

I think this is what the Tao te Ching means when it says that “The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao The name that can be named is not the eternal Name.”

Reality

Reality is the lens from which we perceive actuality.  It’s distorted as we can never truly see the whole picture.  We lack omniscience.  Some are more studied and learned on certain phenomena, but all observers of said phenomena interpret it based on what they do or do not know.

I call it reality because it’s real to them.  (unless they are lying to themselves).  Actuality is like a mirror that reflects the mind of the observer.  The reflection is called reality.

 

A perfect example of this in action is religion.  There are hundreds, if not thousands of christian denominations.  They all purport to worship the same God, read the same bible, and very often claim to have a personal relationship with their God.  Even though there are a lot of overlap and similarities in their beliefs, most disagree on many aspects of what true Christianity is.

All claim to have the one truth despite major disagreements on the proper meaning and understanding of the bible.   Most sincerely believe they know the truth.  Their entire world view is shaped by their beliefs and many interpret reality from that lens which somehow reinforces their beliefs.

Politics work the same way.  It’s a wonder how people can view the same events and interpret it so differently.  Typically, these views converge on which ever side of the political party line you tow.  It’s amazing.

Some people absolutely hate president Obama, while to others, he’s the best thing since pre-plastic surgery Michael Jackson.

The negative views of the racist, while rediculous to some, are very real to them.  They interpret the world based on these sincerely held beliefs and actuality seems to show them things that reinforce their beliefs.

Some may dismiss this as cognitive dissonance, but nonetheless, their reality makes it seem true.  Perception after all, is reality.

Practical Uses

One last thing to note about Actuality…. there are some aspects that we have no power to control.  A lot of new age beliefs kind of leave this part out which does the seeker a disservice.  There are certain universal truths that cut through the veil of our perception and (as far as I know) cannot be changed.

These things can be generally discovered by consensus.  These are facts that cannot easily be denied and easily proven over and over again.  Even still, one must be sure that the interpretation of said facts isn’t just cognitive dissonance rearing it’s deceptive head.  It’s easy to fall into group thought sometimes, so general consensus  and accepted facts cannot always be seen as the most reliable test.

You have to be careful not to fall into those traps as they are the building blocks of reality.

Now that this understanding is established, the larger question is….How can we use the plastic nature of reality to our advantage.  This is where the matrix ish comes in and things might get a little spooky.

Watch out for Traps

As hinted earlier, parts of Actuality is interpreted through our personal perspective lenses.  While we cannot change certain aspects, there are certain aspects that we can change.  In fact as we learn, our perspective changes.  Along with these changes comes changes to our reality.
  Once you realize that there is really no way we can interpret actuality accurately, the next step is to realize that we are free to interpret it any any way we desire.  Now it gets a little tricky here.

Books like “The Secret” or theologies like the “name it claim it” gospel essentially boil  down to the concept of “Change your beliefs, change your reality.”  while the object of faith may differ, depending on what flavor of teachings being taught, they all pretty much ask the believer to faith that they either will receive or have received something.

Unfortunately, It’s not just as simple as repeating something over and over again or visualizing that you have the object of your desires.  This is a part of it, but a few essentials are missing.

It’s almost impossible to consciously change some beliefs.  No matter how many prayers, mantras, positive thoughts, hours spent in mindfulness, or any other methods, your mind knows when you’re lying to yourself.  This comes from reference experience. We tend to believe what we see and actuality shows you what you believe, not what you want to believe.  Keep this in mind because it’s important to getting this.

It’s been said that “a lie repeated enough times becomes the truth.”  This quote is often used when describing how Hitler convince the Germans to comply with the extermination of the Jews during the Halocaust.  While somewhat factual, it leaves out two essential ingredients to account for the effectiveness of the tactic i.e. Ignorance and Fear.

While both emotions are ingrained into our minds and are often used nefariously, we can actually leverage these emotions to help change our beliefs.

Knowing and using the correct tools to actually change your beliefs are absolutely essential.    I’ll go over these tools in subsequent articles, but for now, here’s a quick summary of the concepts needed.  They are all quite natural and don’t require memorization.  Keep in mind, this is a personal journey to being the best you, so take what works for you, and leave the rest.  But here is the list:

1)Breaking the cycle of reference experience

2)The power of placebo

3)Leveraging Cognitive Dissonance

4)Reprogramming the subconscious mind through learning/unlearning

5)Leveraging the power of Emotion

Many of these techniques I’ll show are used in different religions, magic systems, therapy sessions, and hypnotic techniques.  Unfortunately, these systems are commonly dogmatic in their respective approaches.  I’ve taken what I’ve learned from each of these approaches and combined the most effective techniques to allow for maximum efficiency while reducing the time wasted going though all of the “filler” material.

It’s sort of like taking the mixed martial arts approach to fighting.  I strip down the traditional styles to the most effective techniques they have to offer while discarding the unusable forms, patterns, and fancy super secret b.s. that require 20 years to master.

While this might not work for everyone, it works for me.  It’s a Jeet Kune Do / Chaos Magician approach to the self help/ new age stuff out there.  I will attempt to explain the practical application of psychology and different”magic” systems without all the woo woo stuff.  There is a lot of literature on each subject out there, so if you want to dig deeper, just google or read about it on it on Reddit.

Even if you find that my method doesn’t work for you, hopefully, you can find something that will assist you in your journey.

Good luck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is College Worth It Anymore?

 

The narrative sold to Gen X’rs over the course of our young lives is that going to college and getting that graduate degree would pretty much guarantee our success in life.

I graduated from high school way back in 1997 and 18 years later (damn i’m getting old) the same story is still being told by parents, teachers, ICDC tech commercials, and pretty much everyone else indoctrinated into the college is key to success ideology.

Given the strong indoctrination, subconscious memes, and general collective conscious of the time, few people, with the opportunity pass up on it.  I mean seriously, I’ve heard of people arguing that high school NBA or NFL potentials should forego 4 years of possibly making millions of dollars in order to go to college first.  (Now some might argue it would help with their game, but this isn’t the argument of “intellectuals”).  I was told by my parents to get a degree right out of high school so that I wouldn’t get caught up with being an adult and not have the ability to go back.  I do understand where they were coming from, but thinking back, I wonder how sound that advice was.

Now I’m not saying that noone should go to college, but let me explain why college probably isn’t for most people. If you are thinking about taking the plunge,  here are ten things to consider before jumping off that cliff.

1. It costs….A Lot

 

        Uncle Sam aint playin about his money.  College costs continue to skyrocket each and every year.  Most students opt to use student loans to make up the costs they can’t afford.  The average debt for a college grad is around $30,000.   This doesn’t include credit card or other loans they have taken out.  Keep in mind that this is the average amount.  You are on the hook to pay this back, with interest regardless of whether you succeed or not.  There are many people with much much higher debt.  How much harder is it to start your adult life that deep in the hole?

 

2) College vs. Education

Most people never really stop to think about the distinction.  At the end of the day, all a college diploma is is a piece of paper saying that you completed the coursework and passed the exams.  It really speaks nothing to your grasping or understanding the material.  Most people go in with the mindset of doing whatever it takes to pass the classes to graduate.  They then forget most of what was learned by next semester.  Because the focus is on passing and not passion, most grads learn to be great “worker bees”.  Unless you’re going in order to learn something that will help develop your passion, then it might not be for you.

3)All Majors aren’t created Equal

A lot of people didn’t (and still apparently don’t) know this, but a Sociology degree isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.  That goes for psychology (in most cases), criminal justice, English, African American studies, history,  computer information systems, business, and hospitality (is that a real degree).  These jobs are either too low paying, too competitive, too general or just irrelevant in today’s workforce.

 

4)You probably won’t end up working in your Major

Now this is a very common occurance.  The reality is that a college degree is often required if you want to even get considered for a decent job.  It  MIGHT get your foot in the door.  Most jobs want some sort of experience in that field and the million dollar question I’ve heard from most all grads I’ve met is:   “How to get experience, if everyone wants you to have experience?”  You take that entry level job that’s not in your major and end up moving up from there if you’re lucky.  But very often, you end up right there in that entry level E-learning development position letting all of that forgotten Criminal Justice knowledge go to waste.

5)Corporate Life Sucks

You pretty much need a bachelor’s to land that perfect corporate or government job.   All those fancy suits, big offices, and nice job titles all seem like fun and games until you realize that post grad degrees are mostly salaried.  This pretty much means that there is no such thing as a 40hr work week.  Yup, think 60+ hours per week working.  That’s a lot of hours.  3 week vacations don’t cut it and higher you go, expect to be answering calls and finishing deadlines on some of those days.  Now some executives have it gravy, but the vast majority work their asses off.

You get married, buy a nice house, a couple of cars, have some kids, and don’t forget those student loans….pretty much kiss your free time goodbye.   You got the dream…now you gotta maintain it.  Smile… Would you like that with or without vaseline?  And maybe you can retire someday.

6)Don’t sleep on the Certs.

Recognition for certifications are becoming more and more common place.  As an IT professional, I can pretty safely assure that a CCNA with with 2 years of networking experience will land you a 60k networking job much sooner than a 4 year degree in Computer Information Systems.  In fact in the I.T fields, getting certified in cisco, microsoft, security, cloud services….etc is more often preferred by employers.  Certs are often much cheaper, take less time, and generally give you a much better idea of what you’re doing on the job.

7)Vocational Trades FTW

Obtaining a good trade (not all trades are equal) can land a pretty decent job with a pretty livable wage.  They are often hourly, but the overtime can earn you some serious pay.  On top of that, these jobs are practical in the real world so you can also earn some side cash if times ever get tight.  Learning a trade at a technical school is relatively cheap (often free) and given the right one, you’ll be guaranteed to find work almost anywhere.  People in the south will THROW money at you to fix their A.C.’s in the summer.

HVAC techs, Electricians, Mechanics, Plumbers, and Welders are pretty much needed everywhere.

8)You can teach yourself pretty much anything online.

This goes back to the c0llege vs education thing.  You can pretty much find books, videos, and audio books on almost much any subject you have interest in.  Self education is the order of the day and with the world of information at your fingertips, instant communication with subject matter experts, and fairly cheap computing….one can teach themselves as much if not more than a traditional professor could.  Now instead of wasting time on  the non related/ pre requisite Trig. and Biology classes, you can now watch, read, and intereact with that coding stuff you were dying to learn… free of charge.

9)Entrepreneurship

There is a pretty good chance that the founder of your company was either a college dropout or never went.  There are so many success stories of people who didn’t go to college and made something out of nothing.  Even though many started from meager means, they followed their passions and applied their time coming up with ways to turn their dreams into reality. Technology has made it that much easier to obtain information and reach out to people who can help make that happen.  However, it’s much harder to focus  when you’re studying 8+ hours a day or working 10+ for someone else.

10)Graduating from college should be a safety net, not the end goal

Unless you plan to major in a degree that actually does require extensive training…i.e.doctors, nurses, dentist, psychiatry, etc, college usually isn’t required to learn a skill.  People rarely use the things they learn in class in the real world anyway.  This being the case, all of that wasted time and money is pretty much so that you can land a job working to make others richer.  You might earn a decent salary, but securing that job will ultimately cost you more than the money you’ll probably earn.    Once you get caught in the rat race of making money to pay for things you don’t need to impress the people you don’t like, it’s pretty much all down hill from there.  Your time is lost…your soul sold.  You wake up some 30 years later.  Your kids are grown and you wonder why you never really accomplished anything important.  Your job/career should be something that you use to support yourself until you can actualize your dream.  Unfortunately, most people get stuck on the j.o.b. (just over broke)  stepping stone.

As far as we know, this is the only life we have.  Instead of spending all of your time crunching numbers for a corporation or overseeing some institutional process, wouldn’t the world be a better place if you realized your talents and developed them for the betterment of mankind?

….but then again, Uncle Sam ain’t playing about his money.