Up to this point, we have mainly worked with techniques that kept your attention focused externally. Even when dealing with “subjective” things such as emotions, we have used the trick of projecting them into external objects.
There is also a need to deal with subjective things directly. However, this tends to place one’s attention inward instead of outward. This presents no problem when working with a skilled practitioner. But you need to be aware of some things to do this with benefit on a solo basis.
First and foremost, it does you no good to get into a big figure figure and head scratching. You must emphasize things that you are positive of and state obvious answers because it builds up a forward momentum and a degree of certainty which will carry you over the rough spots.
Let’s use an innocuous process as an example. The process command will be “think of a fruit”. Now you write down the answers so as to get this outside of you rather than becoming too interiorized. You think for a moment and come up with an obvious answer such as “an apple” and write it down. You think a bit more and suddenly you can think of lots of them and it comes easily and you feel good about thinking of fruits and you have mastered the area and you are done.
Of course this is an example without any mental charge on it, so that it is immediately mastered. If there were mental charge, then there would be some difficulty and resistance to doing the command at least for the first few times, and you must learn to persist through this because the charge and mental barriers dissolve as you keep pushing forward.
But you can derail yourself by going off into a long figure figure about something that doesn’t even answer the question. You start wondering if a rhubarb is a fruit or a vegetable. Then you ask yourself if you like rhubarb pie and are unsure of that. Then you start thinking about baking pies in general. And soon you are way off of the question. And if the question does have some mental “charge” on it, there is a tendency to bounce off of it and think about something else rather than pushing through the charge.
When running a process, you must concentrate on saying “It is a …” rather than musing too long on “What is it?”. For convince, we abbreviate these to ITSA (it is a) and WHATSIT. You must always maintain more ITSA than WHATSIT when running a process, otherwise you can get buried under too much uncertainty.
Rather than swimming around in the uncertainty of the things you don’t know, you build up an expanding base of what you can confront and are certain of.
The processing question itself already introduces one uncertainty. You can add a bit more, but not too much. You could wonder briefly whether a rhubarb is a fruit (WHATSIT?). But then you’d better decide one way or the other or simply decide that you don’t know and might look it up later if you feel like it. Simply knowing for certain that you don’t know is enough of a positive statement to keep you moving forward.
Occasionally you find out later that you were wrong (you decided that a rhubarb really was a fruit and its not), but if you build up a great deal of rightness, you can tolerate the occasional mistake. The idea is not to struggle for absolute truth and perfection but simply to build better and better bases to stand on as you climb upwards.
Now simply for practice, take out your notebook and run “think of a fruit” on yourself, writing down the answers. This will probably not produce any great revelation or new awareness, but it will give you a little practice before doing a real process. Continue until you feel good about doing it.
4.1 Remembering and Forgetting
Now let’s try a real process.
4.1a) Think of something you wouldn’t mind remembering.
4.1b) Think of something you wouldn’t mind forgetting.
These commands are alternated. Write them at the top of a page in your notebook along with the numbers (so that you can find where you got them from if you look back later). Then just right A) or B) on the page when you ask yourself the question and put down a brief summary of the answer.
At first the answers might be hard to find and take a long time. Then maybe you have a couple of easy answers as you get the idea of how to do the process. But then it gets hard again as you run out of easy answers and need to look more deeply. You push at it a bit harder and suddenly something gives way and you feel that you have had an improvement in your memory or you realize something about why you tend to forget things. This is the point to stop at.
4.2 Agree and Disagree
You need to be free to choose what you want to agree and disagree with and you need the freedom to change your mind.
4.2a) Find something you disagree with
4.2b) Find something you agree with
Pick an idea such as “The Earth is Flat” and alternately agree and disagree with it until you feel in control. Then pick another one and repeat. The ideas can be true or false or things that you are unsure of. Continue until you have real freedom of thought and can think for yourself.
You need to be able to assign greater or lesser importances to things. This is your free choice and you can change your mind.
4.3a) Decide that something is important
4.3b) Decide that something is unimportant
4.4a) Think of something that you might like
4.4b) Think of something that another or others might like
Just find something to think about each of these things in rotation. It doesn’t have to be right or wrong or important or trivial or anything else. Just have a thought about each thing in turn on a causative basis. The emphasis is simply on affirming that you are in control of what you think about.
4.5a) Think about matter
4.5b) Think about energy
4.5c) Think about space
4.5d) Think about time
0. The coming of the prophet 1. Love 2. Marriage 3. Children 4. Giving 5. Eating and Drinking 6. Work 7. Joy and Sorrow 8. Houses 9. Pets 10. Clothes 11. Buying and Selling 12. Crime and Punishment 13. Laws 14. Freedom 15. Reason and Passion 16. Pain 17. Self-Knowledge 18. Teaching 19. Friendship 20. Talking 21. Time and Space 22. Good and Evil 23. Prayer 24. Pleasure 25. Beauty 26. Religion 27. Death 28. Forms Of Existence 29. Real vs Virtual 30. The Farewell