A Lesson In Repetition

The Mindshifters group watched the first half of the lecture by Dr. Michael Ryce, “Empowered to Heal”. This lecture discusses observations about how we are energetic systems and not “physical bodies”. This week my learning is about the value of repetition for the material I find most valuable. Dr. Ryce talks a great deal about the value of “building new brain cells” to be able to understand new material. The only way for this to occur is to provide numerous repetitions of the material, combined with the ability to question everything that one thinks one “knows”. Both of these factors are needed in order to “build new brain cells”.

Even if I am able to question the validity of everything I think I know while reading a good book about a new subject, or listening to a lecture about a new approach to an old topic, I will only get a small amount from that material. I will need to read that book, or listen to that lecture, time and time again in order to fully understand what is being offered. The first few repetitions merely lay the foundation for new levels of understanding which will occur in future repetitions of that work. Likewise, if I listen to a lecture 37 different times, and my entire focus is on denying and refuting what is being said, by comparing it to what I already “know”, I will not gain anything from the experience.

Recent research reveals that a person’s ability to “learn” new material, or “accept” new findings is directly related to whether those findings are similar to what that person already believes. If a person reads a scientific paper which presents findings that are in alignment with what that person believes to be true, they are much more likely to “believe” the new findings. If a person reads a scientific paper which presents findings that are not in alignment with what that person believes to be true, that person is much more likely to reject the findings. This is a prime example of the need to “build new brain cells” before one can comprehend and accept new information. The point has been made that historically we, as humans, build our cultures and our belief systems on many things which eventually are proven to be wrong. Recent examples include, “The world is flat.”, “The earth is the center of the solar system.”, “The atom is the smallest particle of matter.”, “We are determined by our DNA – The Primacy of DNA”, and “The laws of physics as presented by Newton”.

If in our history each of these things has been called into question and proven to be at least partially wrong, what might we find out in the future about some of our current beliefs? Which beliefs will prove misguided or even totally wrong, and how will that affect our daily lives? The point is, that if one is not able to question the validity of everything one knows, and open themselves up to direct observation with a “less” biased mind, then the process of “building new brain cells” cannot even begin.

And so, I strongly recommend the frequent repetition of whatever material challenges your thinking, opens you to new possibilities, and leaves you with a good feeling in your mind/body energy system. You will probably be amazed at “how the material has changed”, since the last time you read or listened to it, (Just so you know, the change will have been in you, not in the material). The material may be even better than you remembered. There may be whole chunks or key points which you do not even remember from the first reading/hearing. There may be points that you remember, but upon reading/hearing it again it has an entirely different meaning for you. There is also the possibility that with the changes in you and your experiences, since the last time you read/heard the material, you decide that you don’t like the material or the conclusions nearly as much as you did the first time.

What if it is soon possible to “prove” that we are “energy systems” and not simply “physical bodies”? How would that change the way you live your daily life? Would it have as much impact on you as the realization that the earth is round did to those who believed it was flat? Would it have more impact on you than the realization that Newton’s laws of physics don’t seem to apply below the level of the molecule?

What if the way I end each blog entry is Truth and not just a nice thought? How would that change the way you live your daily life?

We come from Love, we are made of Love, we are Love. Everything else is false.

A Lesson In Repetition

One of the most prominent phrases in Dr. Michael Ryce’s lectures is, “building the brain cells”. This means to be exposed to new material and new perspectives until one begins to understand things in a completely new way. The fact of the matter is that most of us live in the past. Not by conscious choice, but simply because of the way the brain works. Our brains might be said to store information in file systems and whenever a stimulus triggers a file, everything in that file comes into our conscious mind. Another way to think about it is that whenever we are presented with something, we go searching through our memories to find a way to make sense of what is happening.

Introduction To A Course In Miracles with Advanced Understanding

Last Tuesday evening the Mindshifters group watched the second half of the lecture by Dr. Michael Ryce titled, “Introduction to A Course In Miracles with Advanced Understanding”. While we have watched this lecture several times already, there is always something different which catches my attention. This week I was struck by the observation that, “Limited perception causes us to experience things which never happened.” The point here is that each of us as individuals choose to focus our attention on different things and use those things to create our realities. Each of us as individuals have basically the same ability to perceive things as every other human being, and yet we still choose to focus on different parts of what there is to be perceived and use those parts to construct our realities.

Beyond the set of limitations which we impose upon ourselves, by choosing only certain things to be aware of, there is the limitation of what our senses are able to perceive. For example we cannot hear a dog whistle, yet we know that it creates a sound because of the effect it has on dogs. Just because we cannot perceive it, does not mean that it does not exist. In truth, there are many things that are having an effect on our world, which we cannot perceive directly, such as ultraviolet light and infra red light. Well, if there are sounds we cannot hear, and light we cannot see, how many other things exist in our world which we are unable to perceive? The point here is that the only way for us to learn something new, is to be open to the possibility that everything we “know” is wrong, or at least incomplete. If one is not able to admit that they don’t know something, one can never learn anything new.

Another quote from the lecture is, “By perception we have lost sight of the real world.” This sounds ridiculous unless you start putting the pieces together of all the “things”, energies, sounds, effects which we can only become aware of through indirect observation, or with the help of technology, or the observation of our animal friends. When we look through our eyes and hear through our ears, and begin to assemble a “picture” of our world, we are “blind” to ultra high and low pitch frequencies, light energy above and below the “visible” spectrum, (I put visible in quotes because other animals and insects can clearly see those light energies), and probably countless other energies and experiences that we have not yet become aware of. But in truth, just because we cannot hear the vibration of a dog whistle does not mean it does not exist.

So just imagine what we are cutting ourselves off from experiencing because we are telling ourselves that we already know what the world is like. We already know this person or that person. We already know what a tree is like, etc.

Imagine how our world might expand if we approached everything with innocent observation and questioning. Imagine walking through life observing and questioning everything. Not with a forced insistence on knowing what is real, but with an open willingness to experience things as new, each time we encounter them. This could be applied to people as well as animals and things. Sounds like a challenging exercise for learning and growing!

We come from Love, we are made of Love, we are Love. Everything else is false!

Why Is This Happening To Me Again?

Last night the Mindshifters group watched the first half of the lecture, “Why Is This Happening To Me Again?” by Dr. Michael Ryce. The points that jumped out at me during this viewing were the following:

1) In the period of time that it takes for my brain to fire 10,000 units of electrical activity, I am only able to be consciously aware of 9 bits of information. It is estimated that in that same period of time, there are over 25 billion bits of information available in my immediate environment. This means that my unconscious chooses only 10,000 bits from the possible 25,000,000,000 bits that are available and that my conscious mind chooses only 9 bits from the 10,000 that my unconscious has chosen. This begins to explain the terribly restricted way that I choose and construct my own reality from the actuality which is occurring in each moment, and how my experience can be so dramatically different from others who witness the very same events.

2) There are only two types of energy relative to my body/mind energy system: integrative energy – that which builds the system up, and dis-integrative energy – that which tears the system down. Whenever I am feeling any form of hostility or fear, I am choosing thoughts that are putting dis-integrative energy into my body/mind energy system, and unless I work to cancel or dismantle that energy it will stay in my system and work to dis-integrate my body/mind system and eventually lead to physical illness and disease.

3) The germ theory is called the germ theory because it is not proven. Some believe it will never be proven because it is not able to account for the lack of the spread of disease. What is meant by this is that if a germ was the cause for an illness, infection, or syndrome, then everyone who was exposed to that germ would automatically get the illness, infection, or syndrome. But that is simply not what happens. Some people who are exposed to the germ become ill, while others who are exposed show no signs or symptoms whatsoever, and never become ill. The discussion point in the lecture was that when tissue breaks down it “triggers” nature’s clean-up crew to dismantle and dispose of the dead tissue. This clean-up crew is made up of the “diseases” and “germs” and “viruses” which have mistakenly been seen as the cause of the decay and death in the tissue. This mistaking of the “trigger” for the cause is the next point to be discussed.

4) Many people in our culture have been taught that other people make them angry, other people hurt their feelings, other people make them sad, and other people make them happy, etc.

This lecture asserts that each of us create our own internal reality by choosing what thoughts we will focus on, and thereby creating the feelings and emotions we experience. It is not possible for someone else to make me angry, happy, or afraid. In fact, if I know that someone is just doing something to “try to make me angry”, that is the time that it is easiest for me to ignore them and refuse to give them the response they want. In truth, when someone does something and I choose to respond with anger, fear or sadness, what is happening is that I already had the energy of anger, fear or sadness within me, and this energy was simply “triggered” by the actions of the other person, the way I interpreted them, and the thoughts I chose in response to those actions. So what has happened here is that I mistake the “trigger”, (the other person’s actions and my thoughts about them), for the cause, (my stored and unacknowledged emotional energy of sadness, fear or anger.)

Let’s look at the example of the person who knows nothing about draw bridges, or mechanics, or motors of any kind. If we take this person and sit them on the bank of a river near a draw bridge and ask her to discover what makes a bridge go up, she will begin to observe that every time a boat approaches the bridge goes up, and that every time the boat moves away, the bridge goes down. She will likely come to the conclusion that boats make the bridge go up. In reality it is not the boat that makes the bridge go up, it is the motor and the pulleys and the chains attached to the bridge which cause the bridge to go up. The appearance of the boats are just the events which “trigger” the person in the bridge tower to start the motor which lifts the bridge and causes it to go up.

Now then, suppose we offer her anything she wants if she prevents the bridge from going up again, she will assume she needs to change the direction of any boat that heads toward the bridge. Potentially she may end up trying to change the direction of hundreds or even thousands of boats, because she believes that the boats cause the bridge to go up. If she knew about the actual mechanism, she could prevent the bridge from going up by simply cutting some wires feeding power to the motor which lifts the bridge.

Have you ever gotten tired of trying to make everyone else change, so that you did not have to experience a negative emotion or reaction?

5) Lastly the observation was made: “Feelings are a gift to alert you to the quality of mind energy you are engaging in.”

Whenever I have a feeling, it is because I have chosen certain thoughts. Thoughts, when invested with enough energy and focus, produce emotions. This is the only cause of emotions. Only my thoughts can cause my emotions. Therefore, when I become aware of feeling an unpleasant feeling it is a wake-up call to alert me that I have chosen unproductive and dis-integrative thoughts.

Fortunately for us, Dr. Ryce teaches a simple tool for dismantling and canceling the negative thoughts and their resultant negative emotions. It is called The Reality Management Worksheet, (available free at www.whyagain.com), and we teach people how to apply this tool to their negative thoughts and emotions, in our Mindshifters Group.

We come from Love, we are made of Love, we are Love. Everything else is false!