Tag Archives: cognitive dissonance

To Think Like a Genius, Link the Levels – IC – 111920

Q. Why the interest in genius at this time of chaos and confusion?

A. America’s divisive state is testimony to the crying need for creative problem-solvers.

We need to educate ourselves and then bring up a next generation able to SEE what’s gone so terribly wrong, and what to do about it.

So what is genius? Is creative brilliance a rare gift granted only to a special few?

Or is genius, as I believe, an inborn, God-given potential equally available to everyone. Every-one, that is, willing to do the work and make the sacrifices needed to fulfill their innate potentials.

Q. Okay. If I’m a potential genius, how do I get from here to there?

A. Yogis have long known the way. Breathing is the simple answer.

Breath is the vehicle of the soul, the psyche. It animates us at birth. It’s the single constant always with us right up to our last minute on earth. We can breathe unconsciously. Automatically. Or we can do it consciously, and in the process link the levels of the Life Wheel — mind, body and spirit. Breath unifies the quantum field.

Yoga in a nutshell.

Einstein’s New Way of Thinking explains:

The secret to thinking like a genius has been known for thousands of years. Yogis call it Raja Yoga . . .

Modern medical researchers correlate ancient teachings with brain science. Breath control balances, harmonizes and stimulates both hemispheres of the brain. It unites artistic with mathematical abilities.

Now Einstein was a “natural.”

On rare occasions, it’s possible to get the same results naturally, without needing to understand the dynamics that explain genius. Both sides of Einstein’s brain . . worked together.

He was an accomplished violinist and philosopher as well as a physicist. Pipe smoking probably gave him some of the benefits of deep breathing, though to the best of our knowledge (at least in this lifetime), he never took yoga classes.

Two recent books explain yoga’s magic in the familiar language of science. One is Patrick McKeown’s The Oxygen Advantage: Simple, Scientifically Proven Breathing Techniques. Even better is James Nestor’s 2020 bestseller, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.

Thinking like a genius, “journalist James Nestor traveled the world to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.” He says:

There is nothing more essential to our health and well-being than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat twenty-five thousand times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences.

Drawing on thousands of years of medical texts and recent cutting-edge studies in pulmonology, psychology, biochemistry, and human physiology, Breath turns the conventional wisdom of what we thought we knew about our most basic biological function on its head.

Disturbed breathing and the image of a fragmented Life Wheel go hand-in-glove. Cognitive dissonance, the narcissist’s signature, is the frequent mark of public figures. Their words and actions don’t match. Not even close.

Here’s a basic test of whom to trust. Who is consistent, word and deed? Who is not? I’ll have more to say about this in future posts. Look for Half-Brained Is Half-Assed.

We’re not trained to look to the Book of Change for answers to our deepest questions. That’s why I’ve chosen to bring the book to you. Through the end of 2020, bi-weekly blogs are intended to serve as an introduction, to make what was once unfamiliar now familiar.

INSPIRATION is the initial answer to today’s question, “What should we be aware of now?” The Common Sense Book of Change version reads:

When minds are moved by INSPIRATION, nothing is impossible. Misunderstandings can be cleared up, problems solved and hardships overcome. Inspired speakers can move others to acts of heroism by well-chosen words. Reminding people of their common goals and deepest desires gives them the courage to continue. Avoid unkindness.

In-spire means to breathe in. When we’re tense and hold the breath, we cut ourselves off from Source. Relaxing and taking a deep breath reconnects us with the Force.

Inspiration is the signature of genius – the crying need — the critically missing piece — in today’s public arena. All sides seem stimulated by conflict. “Game on!”

While engaging in battle for a just cause is vitally important, in equal measure — to keep ourselves and the Union together – we also need to honor the opposite of side of the coin. Take time to pause, reflect and be grateful for the blessings we too often take for granted, which everyone on all sides are risk at risk of losing forever.

***

Constitutional Law Professor Jack Balkin’s version of the I Ching calls Hexagram 58 Joy. These are its key attributes: Giving and receiving / Communication / Integrity/ Inner stability / Inner Peace.

He comments:

When people take joy in each other’s company, they are willing to make sacrifices for each other. Difficulties seem to melt away. Troubles seem smaller and less threatening. When people feel supported and encouraged, they are willing to take on even the most difficult tasks. Thus, joy has enormous power. It brings people together, moves them to do great things and bestows success on their efforts.

***

In the CSBOC, advice of the bottom line reads: “Maintain an attitude of joyful self-confidence. This will attract success.” When the advice is heeded, the line changes to Depression:

At times when it seems as if one’s resources are exhausted, care must be taken to soften the harmful effects of DEPRESSION. Whether the cause of depression is mental, emotional or economic, do not despair. The time will pass. Use hardship to develop inner strength and calm. Avoid negative thoughts.

Stress, fear, and anger disrupt natural breathing, making us sick. And basic breathing practices — in-spiration — are known to heal (drug free) countless diseases, including depression. This relief alone makes economic hardships more tolerable and creative solutions easier to find.

***

Balkin’s version calls Hexagram 47 Oppression. Its key attributes include: Exhaustion / Being restricted / Hardship / Adversity / Inner affliction / Dried up / Impasse.

He comments:

Kun is indeed a difficult hexagram, but the law of change is always in operation. Periods of oppression and exhaustion contain the seeds of regeneration and renewal. At the very darkest moment the light is almost ready to shine again. Even so, it is not easy for people who are in the midst of oppression to understand and believe in this enduring truth. Dealing with oppression is a great test of a person’s character.

It’s almost as if presumptive leaders assume us deplorable Hobbits exist to be oppressed and drained, are so stupid that we’re fooled by the lies they spin, and so weak that we’ll cave under intimidation. But we’re neither stupid nor weak. And by Natural Law, they’ll inevitably reap the ugly consequences of their presumptions.

In sum, at end-stage 2020, those who would survive looming oppression must draw upon the inner resources of latent genius. By intentionally linking the levels of the Life Wheel, we’ll prevail by restoring the common sense which is everyone’s birthright.

Collected posts will be published as The Lessons of 2020: Using the Wisdom of CHANGE to Build a Better Future. Look for it on amazon in January of 2021.

If you’d like a copy of the Common Sense Book of Change, or extras to give others, click here.

To order Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change, click here.

Okay, then. That’s all for now. Talk with you again soon. Take care, all.

Keep to the Core to Keep It Together – IC – 111620

My relationship with DANGER, today’s unchanging I Ching reading, goes way back. It’s close and familiar.

Here’s one example. Whenever I asked for advice about a former roommate (cruel “Kas”), the book was strangely consistent. Whatever the immediate situation, the lines changed to produce the same outcome: DANGER.

Yes. However physically attractive, she was, beyond a doubt, damaged, self-serving and deeply dangerous.

In Kas, life gifted me with a powerful teacher. To keep my sanity, I was forced to find words for the unspeakably crazy things she did. I had to admit that her cruelty got to me and find out why. In the process, I discovered how to protect myself, both inside and out.

An early article I found listed ways to recognize a narcissist. It said, If your person demonstrates eight or more of twelve listed behaviors, you’re in deep trouble. Kas demonstrated all twelve. Danger!

Making matters worse, her cohorts were narcissists too. One was overt – the abrasive, vulgar and bold-faced type. The other was covert — the sneaky, snake-in-the-grass, two-faced kind.

In combination, I learned from direct experience how energy vampires operate to paralyze and drain their intended victims.

But I also found out I’m not alone. In fact, a psychiatrist who specializes in this disorder warns that the plague of narcissism has grown to pandemic proportions. (An interesting parallel, don’t you think?)

Here’s what I learned about their communication style. The signature of rampant narcissism is COGNITIVE DISSONANCE. Narcissists present a false front to the world. But their Life Wheels are fractured. They’re frauds, and self-deceived ones at that.

Inside, they’re sniveling. insecure cowards driven by demon-spawned negative emotions: fear, anger, hatred, greed, and lust. The Bible-quoting jerks who made my life miserable operated absent any hint of connection with conscience.

From first-hand experience, I can tell you this:

And here are the survival lessons they taught me. At root, these decisions are simply common sense.

Now, why is it important for me to share this with you?

Because the dynamic of DANGER isn’t just about me.

It’s about you, as well as the rest of us.

As a Law of Nature, what I learned up close and personal, the painfully hard way, translates true to form on every increasingly larger scale of magnitude. Because I recognize the dynamics of danger operating on the micro level, I easily recognize them writ large on today’s political canvas.

The reason for detailing the dangers of narcissism is that the same remedies and protections that worked for me at the personal level will work, not only for anyone else in similar trouble, but also for business organizations, government agencies and even whole nations plagued by the worldwide pandemic of narcissism.

Put plain and simple, the solution is this. Let each one of us hold fast to the unifying central core of the Life Wheel, whether you choose to call it God, Source, Conscience, the Creator, Allah, or Nothing at all. It keeps all levels of the Unified Field together – the Light of intuition, Energy of action, and Mass of tangible, measurable results.

The slang advice, “Keep it together” sums the solution up perfectly. When things seem to be falling apart, it’s exactly the time when we most urgently need to keep it together.

  • When dark, painful emotions tear us apart, it’s the time to take a deep breath, stand back, and keep calm distance.
  • When friendships, families and organizations seem to be unraveling, it’s time to demonstrate the wisdom to keep them together.
  • When liars, cheaters and thugs seem to be tearing nations apart, let those with cool heads keep their states together by focusing on the core values humanity share in common, the ones which which transcend time, space. . . and even politics.

NB: For the record, narcissists of every stripe have tried to diminish President Trump by projecting onto him all their own faults. Again, the MAGA-millions who sense and return his love aren’t fooled. The rest of us shouldn’t be either. Though some find his style abrasive, he keeps his promises. His words and actions match. He’s consistent across the board. He’s not the one with a problem. It’s the feeble-minded, fork-tongued, zombie-like pretender along with his handlers and those they’ve fooled who are in deep dark trouble.

We’re not trained to look to the Book of Change for answers to our deepest questions. That’s why I’ve chosen to bring the book to you in this series of blogs. Through the end of 2020, they serve as an introduction, to make what was once unfamiliar now familiar.

DANGER is the single answer to today’s question, “What should we be aware of now?” The Common Sense Book of Change version reads:

DANGER is the true test of character. Be as careful of negative emotions which cloud inner clarity as you are of external dangers. Face all challenges with fearless grace. Hold fast to the goals and ideas which guide you. Act according to what you know to be right. Avoid cowardice.

It took me a while to recognize that the greatest danger is the risk of giving in to negative emotions. In the end, it doesn’t matter if other people’s negativity is infectious. Or if economic losses and/or political events are upsetting. Of if. . . you name it.

Ultimately, as Viktor Frankl demonstrated, even in a halocaust world, the option to respond wisely and responsibly remains open. Holding fast to core values — love of life and faith in God — is the enduring anchor which keeps us as individuals and as nations together.

Because the U.S. is in the constitutional crisis of its lifetime, I look to the version of the I Ching published by a Yale Professor of Constitutional Law. Jack Balkin lists these descriptors of DANGER.

He observes:

When faced with danger from without, one can escape unharmed if one maintains an attitude of devotion. To survive through a period of danger, one must preserve faith in one’s self and in the possibility that one will get through.

The Book of Change teaches that even in the times of greatest distress one must never lose hope the one can still turn circumstances to one’s advantage. One must have faith of ultimate success. It is only through having such faith the one can have a chance at ultimate success.

To despair is to fall into the abyss. . . . one must follow one’s heart to ride out a time of danger. To lose heart during such a time means that one does not hold one’s self together. This leads to danger.

In sum, Balkin’s advice confirms mine: Right now we must keep to core to keep it together.

Collected posts will be published as The Lessons of 2020: Using the Wisdom of CHANGE to Build a Better Future. Look for it on amazon in January of 2021.

If you’d like a copy of the Common Sense Book of Change, or extras to give others, click here.

To order Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change, click here.

Okay, then. That’s all for now. Talk with you again soon. Take care, all.

How To Create a New Future

A new manner of thinking creates the new way of feeling and acting you need to build a better tomorrow. Einstein gave us the way to begin.

The practical applications of his intuited Unified Field Theory transform it into a powerful self-awareness tool for picturing the present, setting intentional goals and then creating a deeply desired future.

Einstein home page

How’s that for a big idea?

be aware

Please stay with me. I’ll unfold the implications one step at a time.

For starters, we need to decide whether self-awareness a desirable goal. For those programmed into the old paradigm of empirical science – a limited and limiting view of reality – it isn’t.

The modified Life Wheel shown below represents the hollow shell of this obsolete world view. Only the outermost level of the Wheel, the things which can be measured and quantified (mass), are accepted. The middle level of emotional intelligence (energy) and inner level of intuitive knowing (light) are both ruled out, functionally relegated to the “unconscious”.

MaterialistAthest

In fact, according to research from the University of Virginia, most people would rather do something external — even hurt themselves — than sit alone with their thoughts. Why?

Because social sanctions impelling self-avoidance are incredibly powerful. If you believe there is nothing more to life than the material surface and to expect that taboos on inner experience will be enforced with ridicule and rejection, then the blessing of quiet time becomes a threat.

This makes life especially painful and difficult for empaths. As Dr. Judith Orloff explains, emotional and intuitive awareness experienced at the inner levels of the Wheel are their functional reality.

For sensitives, restoring a complete and correct paradigm of reality can be a matter of life or death. . . suicide is the logical outcome of a narrow world view which enforces the belief that anyone whose experience draws primarily on the inner levels of the Life Wheel doesn’t – and shouldn’t – exist. (Just ask me. I’ve been there.)

Even for the rest of us, shifting to the more expansive paradigm – one that corresponds with Einstein’s quantum reality – offers multiple benefits across the board. . . improved physical, emotional and mental health, better relationships, and increased abundance, to name a few.

How exactly does all this work?

It looks like this:

Create a New Personal Reality

Open your heart to infinite possibility. Replace fear with fearlessness, resentment with gratitude, and self-doubt with infinite Self-trust. Integrate positive feelings with a clear intention for the future firmly in mind. Embed this vision into the “unconscious” mind with consistent repetition until it becomes a memory strong enough to erase and replace the past. To accomplish this, be patient, persistent, determined, and consistent in your practice of meditation.

That’s the short version.

CHAPEL PERILOUS

Chapel Perilous

Now, I’m not saying the shift is easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it.

But the process of increasing self-awareness isn’t for the faint of heart. Social taboos aren’t the only obstacle. For most, the middle level of the Life Wheel is congested – a frightful mine-field of buried traumas, painful associations and toxic emotions. It effectively clouds the inner level of intuition and blocks enlightenment.

So, if increasing self-awareness and reaping the countless blessing which follow is your goal, the work of releasing stuck, negative energy can’t be avoided. The dangers of Chapel Perilous (dark night of the soul) have to be faced and heroically overcome. The only way out is through.

That’s the bad news.

The good news, however, is that the intelligent, full-hearted practice of meditation as Dr. Joe Dispenza has associated it with quantum physics offers a safe way out of this madness. It isn’t necessary (or even advisable) to reopen wounds or relive partially-remembered old injuries to clear out the swamp.

In the same way that it is possible to delete obsolete computer software files without opening them and replace them with new information, meditative practices can reorganize the energy field without having to agonize over the past.

Phoenix - sized

Moving along, now. Activating a personalized Life Wheel is another, complimentary method for setting and actualizing a positive intention, visualizing how to move from a difficult past into a better future. It starts with creating a “Where I Am Now?” Wheel.

Here’s an example:

How My Life Looks Right Now

This personalized Life Wheel represents an introvert’s immediate experience. She has limited material resources. The outer rim of the Wheel reflects this state, being narrow and undefined. In contrast, the e=energy level of her emotional life is wide — full and rich. She has sectioned her Wheel to show how and where she currently invests her time and attention.

There’s a question mark at the center of the Wheel. She’s chosen this symbol rather than an atheist’s emphatic X, because as an agnostic, she’s open to new possibilities, though also has doubts.

When she’s ready, she can take the next step, creating another Personal Wheel to image her thoughts about what a better future looks like along with the action steps she’s willing to take to alter the old snap-shot in time. She can repeat the process as often as necessary, mapping measurable changes as she progresses.

FRAGMENTATION

The levels of our personal Life Wheels expand and contract over a lifetime. Their relationships and interactions are different for each of us. But often the levels aren’t in synch. Here, the Life Wheel is distorted to represent a fractured, incoherent state of being. When we (and our families, business organizations, government institutions and even the world) get bent out of shape, the fractured, fragmented result looks something like this:

Where is LoveThis modification of the Life Wheel shows levels out of alignment. They intersect only in part, manifesting in negative, destructive ways. Love is eternal. But remains a remote possibility, hovering outside of but detached from direct experience.

The first responsibility of the self-aware self-healer is to bring personal levels back into synch, reestablishing balance and harmonious alignment. Restoring Love to the center of one’s life is always a powerfully effective place to start.

Then, without effort, synchronous “opportunities” to extend healing on increasingly larger scales of magnitude are likely appear.

book header bird

A comment posted to an earlier blog on the Life Wheel concluded, The diagram can be applied in so many ways . . . unfortunately it probably isn’t available on mobile phones!

Any takers?

Self-Awareness Tools for Empaths

Dr. Judith Orloff has taken the lead in bringing the needs of empaths to our attention. In The Empath’s Survival Guide, she explains the important difference between having empathy and being an empath.

Having empathy means our heart goes out to another person in joy or pain. . . but for empaths it goes much further. We actually feel others’ emotions, energy, and physical symptoms in our own bodies, without the usual defenses that most people have.

In case you’re wondering why you should care, let me add. You’re probably an empath too, even if a latent or undercover one. To the point, in his praise of The Empath’s Survival Guide, the venerable Dr. Joe Dispenza concludes: “Dr. Orloff does a brilliant job of helping us discover the empath in all of us.”

So, let’s get practical.

The Empath’s Survival Guide offers an array of tools to help sensitive people develop healthy coping mechanisms in a high-stress, high-stimulus world, while at the same time optimizing their unique gifts: intuition, compassion, creativity, and spiritual connection. (In the context of the multi-dimensional Life Wheel, this translates as honing the ability to honor and protect awareness of the middle and innermost levels, while simultaneously strengthening the protective, physical layer.)

Meditation is a strategy Dr. Orloff highly recommends. She calls it “Opening to a Higher Power.” (Dr. Joe’s meditations likewise serve this purpose.)

But there’s one powerful tool they do not mention. It’s related to meditation, but in a unique, extraordinary way — namely, the Chinese I Ching, especially in a version free of unnecessary hocus pocus, sexist assumptions and flowery talk, The Common Sense Book of Change.

The text has a long history. In the last century, psychologist Dr. Carl Jung picked up on it. In his introduction to the first genuinely useful English translation, Jung coined the term “synchronicity” to explain its power – precipitating seemingly magical and awesome non-local connections of understanding, insight, and awareness. This affect may be due to the similarity between the opening and closing lines of the 64 hexagrams and the geometric patterns seen by meditators in deep trance. (Dr. Joe is a fan of synchronisities. He tells students, as they grow in their meditative practice, to look for confirming synchronisities to appear in their lives.)

The Book of Change is a meditative tool especially suited to empaths’ needs. Its introspective method is safely accessed in the privacy of one’s own room. It gives those unable to bear the stress of travel much less mixing in crowds of thousands to participate in Dr. Joe’s popular events, another means of cultivating heightened awareness. Its benefits are cost-effective. And it is consistently available on a daily basis . . .  most especially in emergencies . . . for immediate use.

The Introduction to The Common Sense Book of Change makes its direct connection with Dr. Joe’s work strikingly apparent. In meditation CDs, he intones, “Become AWARE. Become Aware that you’re Aware.”

When, following Jung’s example, I asked, “What does the CSBOC have to offer its readers?” its answer was AWARENESS.

Hexagram 20

Personally, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to The Book of Change. In The I Ching and Me, I wrote:

For me, the Book of Change is a gateway to magic. On this side, it has been a close companion, good friend and advisor through the years. On the far side, perhaps remembered from lifetimes past, it speaks to me from a place beyond time and space.

With it, I was never alone, even and especially when I was loneliest in crowded rooms. When the world impelled suicide, it brought me back to a deeper, all-pervasive love of life.

Without it, it’s doubtful I would have survived the challenges and dangers of my “interesting” youth. Which is why, in the spirit of paying it forward, I have gone to considerable lengths to make this book in its essence available, most especially to sensitives.

Because, Yes. I was an empath too. I clearly remember an incident from early teen years. Mom came at me in a rage, fists flying. For many years, her exact words stuck – indelibly imprinted — in my mind. “Stop being so damn hyper-sensitive and act normal like everyone else.” (Our family physician gave her the term. She used it as a complaint, like a club.)

By now, the pain has been released, the memory transformed into wisdom. When I told OA about the incident, he simply remarked, “Good advice.” (Easier said than done, I thought.) What I’ve learned is that the functional word in her demand was ACT. Act as if normal. The challenge is to honor inner awareness while, at the same time acting within the bounds of social norms.)

The reason this was so hard for me to do this was that I picked up on and responded to the non-verbal messages people broadcast, which are often quite at odds with their verbal statements.

Denial

It confused me terribly. Not to mention that my unwelcome awareness frustrated and angered the verbal message senders. Whether they were unaware of the disconnect or were simply invested in saving face, exposure was perceived as a threat. Embarrassing. Enraging. (Along similar lines, in the context of energy vampires, Dr. Christine Northrup describes the effect of mixed messages as “cognitive dissonance.”)

Especially at times when I felt obliged to keep others’ dark secrets and had no one in the world to turn to, I depended on The Book of Change to validate what I “knew” and advise on the wisest way to act on this information, one situation at a time. For example, consistent with Dr. Orloff’s emphasis on the necessity of establishing clear boundaries, I often received this advice:

IC 60 Limits

At other times, when life became exceptionally chaotic and it seemed as if there was no way out of an impossible situation, I would read this and be comforted:

IC 52 Stillness

When I worked as an Administrative Assistant at the now-dissolved UW-Madison Eating Disorders Clinic, it broke my heart to observe how sadly the treatments and advice inflicted on suffering young women (often empaths at a loss to survive in abusive families) missed the mark. I dearly wished someone would offer the same self-counseling remedy that worked for me. They might, for example, have found this, as I did again recently:

IC 27 Growth

The Book of Change has been instrumental in maintaining my sanity and weaving safely through the uncertainties of an environment dominated by energy vampires – a concept well defined, in case you’re unfamiliar, by Dr. Christian Northrup in Dodging Energy Vampires: An Empath’s Guide to Evading Relationships That Drain You and Restoring Your Health and Power.

Ultimately, the decision may come to this:

IC 21 Breakthrough

Whether this Breakthrough occurs on inward spiritual and mental levels, or on the material plane of physical location, personal relationships and job situation, depends on immediate circumstance. Or, since the levels are interdependent, each influencing the others, the necessary change might eventually span the whole continuum.

book header bird

Since I’ve already given you plenty to absorb already, I’ll save a second, powerful tool for empaths – Personalizing the Life Wheel – for next time.

In the meantime, all best