Springingtiger's Blog


All In The Mind

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One of the things that has lived with me since I did the est Training is that two things cannot occupy the same space. It reminds me of the story of the intellectual who went to a Zen Master for teaching. The master called for tea and began to fill the man’s cup. Soon the cup was full and running over. The man protested that no more tea could go in the cup, to which the master pointed out that neither could teaching be put into a mind that was already full of preconceptions. I have been fascinated of late to read transcriptions of conversations between Nisargadatta Maharaj and questioners. It is so very difficult for people to let go of what they think they know and so they are unable to even consider a new possibility. In NLP it is postulated that the purpose of the unconscious mind is the survival of the body whereas in est the primary purpose of the identity is the survival of the body or whatever the mind considers it to be. Thus one person may flee a burning house while another rushes back in to grab a child or perhaps the manuscript of their novel, whatever they associate with their identity.

However I digress. What excites me is the idea of creating out of nothing. As long as there is a pre-existing concept or idea in our mind the best we can do is to change it, and that may be a good thing. What est taught me was that if that space is empty then rather than mere change anything is possible. And that is another thing I learned from est, creation happens in that empty space that comes into being when we put aside what we know, what we have been conditioned to believe is possible. I recently went to an introduction to ‘The Forum‘ a course that grew from est and the other work of Werner Erhard. The guests had all the usual reasons for not doing the course that I had over thirty years ago for not doing est: haven’t got the money, haven’t got the time, haven’t got a babysitter and so on. It was obviously impossible for either my wife or I to have done est, we had so many reasons not to. However we put aside our ‘better judgement’ and we did it, we did the impossible. Since then whenever something has called to us strongly enough that we knew we really wanted to do it, we have done it. Neelam has crossed continents, but somehow distance and money have ceased to be the barriers they once were. We still have all the old doubts and considerations come up and if our love is strong we do it anyway. It’s not just courses, but travel and other things. We don’t know how, I suppose Darren Eden would say we are harnessing our will to the service of what we love.

In est terms you could say we create an opening for possibility. It is very like buying a lottery ticket. It is only by buying a ticket that you have any possibility of winning the lottery. I know the odds are very heavily against winning, but people do. The point is not necessarily to win the money, but to create an opening for possibility. In est we were told to stay in the room and take what we got. The trick when creating an opening for possibility is to take what you get. You may not win the cash, however in that period between paying your pound or dollar and the numbers being drawn your creativity can be unleashed. That is the time when you see what you would love to do had you the money to do it. The dreams you create before your hopes of a win are gone are the real prize. It is these dreams that tell you what you would love to do. When you can see clearly what you really would love then you can set about achieving it.

Robert Fritz in ‘The Power of Least Resistance’ talks about the process of creation beginning with the end result. Darren Eden would describe it as the vision of what your heart would love, which may be flowery, but it works. Werner Erhard said something similar of leadership, “It’s called a ‘project’ because you throw it out in front of you.” In NLP we will walk someone forward along their time line to the place where their objective is reached then turn them round so they can see what whey did to get there. In Time Line Therapy® the process is similar, but done entirely in the imagination. The point is to harness the will to accomplishing what you would really love and not what you think you should.

People tend to use the dismissive term, “It’s all in your mind!” However in a properly trained mind, that is where the magic happens. Some years ago the ‘Inner Game’ books were all the rage. Today it is commonplace for athletes and artists to spend as much time in mental rehearsal as in actual physical rehearsal because of the improvement it makes to their performance. Does it work? I was on a NLP World Master Practitioner Course in a very short time Jeremy Lazarus of the Lazarus Consultancy coached me into breaking boards with my bare hands. Darren Eden had me driving drinking straws through potatoes on one of his courses, again with nothing more than my hands and the focus of my will. We each of us have an amazingly powerful mind if we just put aside all our nonsense and use it. The next trick, of course, is to put aside the mind and enter possibilities which the human mind can never hope to imagine.

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