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Programmer’s Guide to the Mind Part 4



ME and Mercy Identification

Guilt, ME and Identification



Feeling Good about Myself

Guilt and Self-Image

Neurology and Self-Image



A Tale of Two Countries



Redefining Me

Personal Transformation

Head in the Clouds and Feet on the Ground

Changing Both ME’s Simultaneously

Changing one ME at a Time

Suffering versus Patience


Teacher Sequences

Teacher Emotion

A Teacher Theory of Mercy Emotion

Teacher Emotion and Fractals



The Fractal Nature of the Mind

Emotional ‘Lift’

Zen and Nirvana

Learning Lessons ‘Fractally’

The Theory Addict


Copyright © 2010, Lorin Friesen


We have completed our journey through objective and subjective, approval conscience and natural conscience, and the rule of law. Now, finally, let me suggest a definition of me. I hope you are not too disappointed. Me is simply the set of experiences on which Mercy thought can continue to concentrate.[A] My me differs from your me. I suggest that it is our finite physical bodies which are responsible for this distinction: I look out at the world through a different pair of eyes than you do; I manipulate the world with a differing set of hands; my brain and body occupy a different physical location. You and I may know the identical facts, have the same understanding and develop similar skills, but try as we may, we simply cannot be in the same physical space. Whenever we attempt to bring our bodies too close together they bump into each other and refuse to move any closer.

Me is the memories on which Mercy mode can continue to concentrate.

The close relationship between our me and our physical body is illustrated by our behavior. Most of our attempts to change me involve alterations in our physical appearance: We put on disguises in order to pretend that we are someone else, we cover up our body in order to hide who we are, and we go on diets or buy new clothes in order to project a new image of me.

What, fundamentally, is a physical body? It is just an object. In the same way that a ‘car’ is a combination of wheels, doors, motor and other ‘body’ parts arranged in some specific way, so my physical body is a combination of legs, arms, head and other body parts arranged in a particular manner. This similarity is also evident in neurology: The same area of the brain—right parietal cortex—is responsible for both object recognition and body recognition. The same mental processing which tells me that wheels and doors belong together in a car also informs me that legs and arms link together in the human body.

Because our bodies are only objects, we sometimes feel that me is also nothing more than an object. In response, we generally downplay the connection between me and my body: The man likes to feel that he is more than a walking wallet; likewise, the woman does not want to be treated as a sex object. Obviously, the relationship between me and our bodies must be quite strong, or we would not feel so driven to assert that we are more than just our physical bodies.

So, in what way is me more than my body? Let us see if we can piece together an answer from what we know thus far. First of all, object recognition, we learned previously, is carried out by an interaction between automatic Mercy thought and automaticPerceiver strategy. We also discovered that the internal worlds of Mercy and Perceiver thought use the same type of processing as automatic Mercy and Perceiver strategies. If the human body is an object, and if automatic Mercy and Perceiver thought work with objects, then maybe the ‘more than just my body’ part of me involves the internal worlds of Mercy and Perceiver thought.

Now we know that we must be getting warm, for haven’t we said that experiences are pulled into the internal world of Mercy strategy through the step of identification, and this definitely is related to me. But, we have learned that the interaction between the internal world of Mercy strategy and the internal world of Perceiver thought involves all sorts of messy factors such as confidence, emotion, 'facts,' belief, conscience, and guilt. In other words, as soon as me moves beyond my physical body and enters the internal world of Mercy thought, then me encounters all of these weird and wondrous effects. You can see why we find it so easy to equate me with our physical bodies? That way we don’t have to worry about hard questions such as self-image, identity, and the interaction of me with belief and conscience. On the other hand, maybe we can beat the philosophers at their own game and come up with some solid answers. So, if we feel sufficiently brave, let us take our trusty map of the mind and plunge now into the caverns of the ego.

ME and Mercy Identification

We begin with another look at identification. When I identify with some experience or situation, I am acting, I suggest, as if it is me. A child, for instance, will identify with certain toys and clothes. Whatever you do to those objects, the child feels that you are doing to him. As adults, we often identify with our work. If the company suffers, then we feel that we are hurting. Similarly, if the company does well, me also feels good. The sports fan identifies with his favorite team. He agonizes over its defeats; he exults over its victories. He feels as if it is actually him who is down on the field playing in the game. The movie viewer often identifies with the image on the screen. He also feels that it is really him who is going through the agonies and the ecstasies of the plot.

The young child has no control over identification. As I mentioned before, any emotional experience which he encounters overwhelms his internal Mercy world and becomes part of his identity. In contrast, we as adults can usually choose the experiences with which we will identify. When we watch a movie, we may either detach emotionally or else enter in to the feelings of the moment. When we encounter emotional situations in real life, we also generally have the choice of pulling back or identifying.

Many sales techniques attempt to bypass our mental defenses so that we will identify with the product. Their goal is to gain entry into the internal world of Mercy strategy from the doorman guarding the entrance. For example, a relief agency may publish pictures of starving children in Africa, hoping to trigger sufficient emotion within our minds to force the image into our internal Mercy worlds. The movie may jump directly from a scene of domestic peace to a vivid portrayal of some violent crime, hoping to catch us with our emotional guard down.

Another common technique is to appeal to our sense of duty or guilt. Duty means that some important person or institution already living within my internal Mercy world, with whom I have previously identified, gives me approval for doing an action and disapproval for not doing it. When guilt is triggered, then I feel that I must act in order to avoid identification with some awful Mercy result. Duty and guilt both play with identification—it is evident, therefore, that this is a strong mental influence.

Saying it again, identification is the method by which I either choose, or am emotionally forced to choose,what will be me. However, as I mentioned earlier, me is also connected strongly with my physical body. I suggest that many problems with me are caused by a mismatch between these two methods of defining me. That is why I described me not as the experiences with which I identify, but rather as the experiences on which I can continue to concentrate.

It is easy for Mercy strategy to identify with experiences which are not directly connected with my body. Suppose, for instance, that I am watching a football game, or engrossed in a movie. As soon as I turn my eyes away from the scene, shift in my seat, or think of the office or home, my attention is pulled to some other topic. This is because my physical body is actually reclining in an easy chair. It is not participating in the action. The office or home comes to mind because that is where my body spends much of its waking time. I have used Mercy identification to decide that me will be part of the game or the movie, but my body tells me that me is something totally different. As one person put it, if we focus on the physical bodies, then a professional sports event is really twenty people in desperate need of rest watched by twenty thousand others in desperate need of exercise.

Or, suppose that the Queen of England is on a royal visit and that she happens to stop where I am standing, shake my hand, and chat with me. Very likely, I will identify strongly in Mercy strategy with this incident. For weeks I will probably tell everyone that “I talked with the Queen,” and I will cut out all the articles in the paper about the event and place them in my scrapbook. By identifying with this isolated experience I have made it part of me; I have pulled it into my internal world of Mercy thought. However, what will my physical body say about this definition of me? Five minutes after the event, it will be going one way while the physical body of the Queen will be traveling another. In fact, it is likely that our paths will never cross again. Therefore, as far as my body is concerned, this incident really has very little to do with me.

Let me see if I can illustrate the conflict between these two ways of defining me with the help of an analogy. We could compare the Mercy internal world to a room with furniture in it. Suppose that I am in my living room, and I decide to identify with the illusion that I am really in my bedroom. What will happen? I will continually bump into the furniture and hurt myself as the external world tries to convince me that I am actually in the living room and not in the bedroom.

There are two ways of defining me:

·       Mercy thought may identify with emotional experiences.

·       My physical body and environment can bring experiences to mind.

·       These two forms of identity generally conflict with one another.

I suggest that this illustrates clearly the two conflicting concepts of me. All the experiences associated with my physical body build up a set of ‘furniture’ within my internal Mercy world. This ‘furniture’ is fairly solid. It became that way as I learned to cope with the limitations and the feelings of my physical body. On the other hand, with Mercy identification I can take any experience at random and stick it into the ‘room.’ I can pretend that the sofa is a bed, that the empty space in the middle of the room is occupied by a table, or that the ugly chair in the corner does not exist. However, if I try to move around, then I find that I keep bashing my shins against the furniture. In other words, if I attempt to identify with experiences which do not match up to my physical abilities, then I will keep coming up against the limitations of my physical body—either I do not have the requisite knowledge and skills, or I look wrong, or I am in the wrong place, or I live at the wrong time.

Maybe this is why we do most of our identifying while sitting quietly in a chair: We go to a concert and sit; we attend a church and sit; we turn on the television and sit; we watch the baseball game seated in a chair; and we play a computer game—sitting. Any movement we do is limited to polite applause, pressing of buttons, waving of arms, and occasional standing up and sitting down again. Only our voices are permitted free expression—sometimes. By keeping our physical bodies passive, we stop the me of our body, for a time, from disturbing the me of Mercy identification. It is as if we set aside our physical containers for a while and become disembodied emotional sponges—couch potatoes with feelings.

So why do we insist on banging our mental shins against the furniture? Why do we find identification so tempting? I suggest it is because we are lazy. We want to get immediately to some destination without making the journey; we want to eat our cake without baking it first; above all, we want to have fun, immediately, without effort, and without end. Dragging our bodies along is literally a drag. It takes time to move the physical container from here to there, to teach it skills, and to whip it into shape. It is much easier simply to jump directly to the goal with Mercy identification, or to escape immediately from the problem by suppressing unpleasant memories.

Guilt, ME and Identification

We begin to see now why guilt is such a problem. Let me explain it more clearly. Remember that conscience is programmed when Perceiver thought knows that some good Mercy experience will lead to a painful Mercy result; guilt in contrast occurs when the first Mercy experience becomes part of me: If thefirst Mercy experience is part of me, then Perceiver strategy predicts that the unpleasant result will also become part of me.

The problem with guilt is that it usually involves my physical body: Either a certain action was done by my body, or my physical body occupied a certain location, or someone else saw my physical body at a certain place or with a specific person. In all these various ways, the me that is associated with my physical body declares that I am guilty, that me really did commit the crime.

But why is guilt intensified by the presence of a physical body? Because the body acts like mental glue. First, it ‘sticks’ to my mind. The human mind lives within the body; it requires the body as a container. Second, the body ‘sticks’ to the situation. Whenever I do an action, many parts of my body are involved, such as hands, feet, bones, and muscles. All of these body parts have direct connections to my brain and feed my mind with information. It takes a lot of mental effort to suppress all of these memories. Third, my body ‘sticks’ together. My mind may fall apart, but as long as I am physically alive, my body stays in one piece. Therefore, the many memories associated with my body also tend to remain connected.

So how do I escape feelings of guilt? I suggest that, as usual, I often take the easy way out. If Mercy identification can be used to make me feel better, why not use it, all the more, when me feels bad? By identifying with something good, I can pull my attention away from what is bad. As the marketing experts might say: “Is your life boring? Are you getting nowhere fast? Are you plagued with guilt and uncertainty? Add zzzzzip to your life with Mercy identification!”

Suppose, for example, that I am stuck in the futility of a useless job. I can escape my sense of failure by identifying with a professional game of sports in which the rules are clear, the progress is certain, the results are final, and the athletes are talented and skilled. Or, suppose that my image of God is that of a Supreme Being sitting in heaven, glaring at me, and plaguing me with thunderbolts of destruction. As an antidote, I can go to a church and identify with Mercy experiences of singing about a God who loves me and cares for me, and join my me to mental Mercy images of goodwill and acceptance conjured up by the words of some charismatic and caring preacher.

If me could be compared to a room, then guilt is like a stain on the carpet or a tear in the sofa, and Mercy identification is like the magic wand which waves it away. If the sofa is wrecked, I point the wand, invoke the spell of identification, and the sofa is gone. If the carpet offends me, another wave of the wand suffices to remove it from view. If reality unkindly bumps me up against some of the ‘disappeared’ furniture, then I pull out the wand and—zap, it is gone again.

For some of us, identification is the main way in which we remove feelings of guilt, and our mental wands of magical disappearing are well worn. However, Mercy thought is associative, and teleported mental ‘furniture’ has a way of returning at inopportune moments—just when we don’t want to stumble across it. Some of us have such problems with reappearing mental furnishings that we hardly dare to feel for fear of bumping our mental shins on the protruding edges of some undesirable inner Mercy experience which has decided to come back for a visit.


There is a more subtle technique for removing guilt. Mercy identification in this new and improved method is exploited to repair mental furniture. If the carpet has a mark, rather than disappearing the soiled floor covering, I identify rather with the Mercy experience of a clean carpet. If the sofa is torn, I do not attempt to teleport it into oblivion, but identify instead with a repaired sofa. After all, once a memory has made its way into the internal world of Mercy thought, it cannot be made to disappear once and for all. Rather, it can only be suppressed, and we just stated that memories which are repressed tend to come back to haunt us.[B] Therefore, I can get around the problem of reappearing ‘sofas’ by the ‘novel and improved technique’ of making sure that the ‘clean’ experience with which I identify is exactly the same as the offending object in every detail except for the smudge or the flaw. That way I never find myself smashing into rematerializing mental furniture because I am not using Mercy identification to move furniture, only to clean it up.

Rather than give an immediate illustration of this mental repair work, let me quote from the ideas of Aristotle, the great Greek philosopher, in his analysis of the theater form known as tragedy.10 He described this kind of play as a catharsis of the emotions, “transferring them from our own predicament to the sufferings of the tragic hero.” Let us analyze the various steps which he said are required for repairing damaged mental ‘furniture,’ quoting from the words of Aristotle himself when appropriate.

First, according to Aristotle, I must start with a piece of good mental fabric. Since Mercy identification works with experiences and me, I need a set of experiences involving people with which Mercy strategy can identify. Therefore, I will create a situation involving people by acting it out—hence a theaterof tragedy. What better way to identify with Mercy experiences than to sit in a chair and watch a group of people acting out a certain plot. One is safely passive, encased within beautiful clothing, sitting in a pleasant environment, and surrounded by hundreds of other people doing the same thing, thereby giving implicit approval to the entire undertaking.

The two me’s generally fight over feelings of guilt.

·       The me of identification wants to identify with nice memories.

·       The me of the physical body insists upon sticking with the facts.

As the physical me grows, the emotional me loses its ability to identify.

·       This forces me to live with feelings of guilt.

Second, I make sure that the mental fabric is nice and clean. Therefore, the play will center upon a tragic hero who is “a person of eminence and in enjoyment of marked good fortune.” “The stories of the gods and heroes…in accord with opinion. They are suitable material for the artist, and in spite of their ethical inferiority may be idealized and ennobled by artistic treatment.” This combination of pleasant surroundings together with the emotional status of heroes and gods leads naturally to Mercy identification: In the hero portrayed on stage, “we see ourselves, and in his fate our possible doom, and we weep and shudder accordingly.”

Now that the fabric has been constructed and pulled into the internal world of Mercy strategy, it can be used to repair mental furniture. The key here is that the tragic hero is similar to me and that he experiences the same downfall as me, but without the stain of guilt. In other words, the piece of fabric fits but has no dirt: “The hero must be neither too good nor too bad, and his misfortunes must appear ‘brought upon him not by vice or depravity, but by some error in judgment,’ due to inexcusable carelessness, or a fit of passion, or some other weak spot in an otherwise upright character…To produce the best tragic effect, the downfall of the hero must be sudden and unlooked for.” Tragedy is sudden so that Mercy identification receives no warning that might cause it to disengage prematurely.

The result of all this effort is “to turn a normally painful situation into an esthetically pleasurable or, in other words, into a beautiful one.” This means that the furniture has been repaired and that the blot of guilt has been removed.

Now that Aristotle has told us the method, let us see if we can analyze why it is so effective at removing guilt. First, let us remind ourselves of the underlying mental mechanism: Guilt occurs when Mercy strategy has identified with some experience and Perceiver thought believes that this Mercy experience will lead to some future undesirable result. With this in mind, let us walk through the steps described by Aristotle.

First, we have a pleasant Mercy milieu filled with important people. After all, how could Aristotle add more emotional status than by casting gods and other heroes. The result in Mercy strategy is identification. However, what about the Perceiver observer standing next door? Chances are that it will become at least partially mesmerized by the emotional glare of this Mercy identification. The situation being viewed on stage, therefore, becomes a source for 'belief'; the connections of the plot become a basis for absolute 'truth.'

But, what type of 'facts' are being shown on the stage? What type of 'truth' is Perceiver strategy swallowing? On the one hand, no mental ‘furniture’ is being moved: The Greek gods are very human in their desires, ambitions, foibles and shortcomings. They fight when provoked, betray others when it is in their best interest, jump into bed when the opportunity arises, and seem to stumble from one mistake to another. Unlike the royalty of today, they are not placed upon any pedestal of virtue. Therefore, the person watching the play will have personally encountered real life experiences much like the ones which he is viewing on stage.

On the other hand, mental ‘furniture’ is being cleaned. Specifically, any Perceiver connection between cause and effect is being denied. The hero is not responsible for his failures, rather he falls into tragedy. There is no connection between the actions of the hero and his fate. Instead, his downfall occurs suddenly and without warning. In other words, the purpose of this exercise is to mesmerize Perceiver strategy into losing its confidence that ‘bait’ and ‘hook’ are related. That way, Mercy strategy can identify with the pleasantness of the ‘bait’ without having this good feeling marred by also being reminded of the agony of the ‘hook.’

However, has the sofa really been fixed? Is the carpet truly clean? I suggest that the problems with both the sofa and the carpet remain unaltered. What has changed is the Mercy perception of the situation. The Perceiver ‘mirror’ has been warped and Mercy strategy now sees a different image. Rather than feeling bad about the dirt and the tear, Mercy thought now feels that the gods themselves approve of his mental mess. The Mercy problem has not been solved. Instead, Mercy thought feels good about the situation. Mercy identification has managed “to turn a normally painful situation into [something] esthetically pleasurable.”

Of course, we know that we are much more sophisticated than the ancient Greeks. We have science and technology. That way we can pipe our soap operas directly into the homes of each individual and allow every person to practice this emotional catharsis in the privacy of his own living room, coddled in the cozy comfort of his reclining easy chair.[C]

However, I suggest that our methods of catharsis suffer from the same fatal flaw as the tragedies of the Greeks—our feelings are changed, but the problem remains. If we could compare conscience to a warning light on a car, then catharsis is like responding to the brake warning light by reaching under the dash with a pliers and clipping the wires that lead to the bulb. We feel better because the light is no longer on—guilt no longer makes us feel bad. However, the problem with the brakes has not been solved.

How can we know that the problem is not solved? Simple. A tragedy has a bad ending. If the problem was cured, then the play could have a good ending. However, the fact that the play, or movie, or book, has a tragic conclusion indicates that we know that the problem is still there and that the warning light really was trying to warn us of some awful event.

But why must there be a tragic ending? I suggest that this is where Perceiver common sense enters the picture. For a while, it is generally possible to pretend that everything ends well, that the hero and the heroine ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. However, eventually the connection between cause and effect occurs so often that Perceiver strategy is forced to conclude that they really are related. Once this stage is reached, then good endings are no longer possible because they are no longer believable. If a good ending occurs, then the Perceiver observer stands up and asserts that this is not plausible, because he has learned by now that ‘the behavior of the hero’ and ‘good endings’ do not belong together. In other words, when it comes to knowing what is ‘false,’ the Perceiver observer can no longer be mesmerized. The Perceiver observer can only be fooled now into 'believing' what is ‘true.’

Therefore, the only remaining option for successful catharsis is to accept the Perceiver assertion of what is ‘wrong’ and present a play with bad results. Since the Perceiver observer knows that the connection between ‘normal behavior’ and ‘lasting good results’ is ‘false,’ the ‘facts’ about the bad ending will make it past the doorman standing guard at the entrance to the Perceiver internal world—the plot will be ‘believable.’ Within the framework of this pre-determined tragedy, the play then tries to deal with the guilt of the hero: He was a nice guy; he did not deserve his fate; he was influenced by his environment; he was not responsible; he had lousy luck, and so on.

Earlier on I suggested that we are more advanced than the semi-barbaric Greeks. This is definitely true. Not only do we use technology to introduce universal catharsis on demand, but we have also discovered medical advances which now give us a totally new method of catharsis called the syndrome.

None of us likes to become sick, especially when our physical problems—notice the annoying influence of that physical body again—are accompanied by the nagging feeling that we might be responsible for our unpleasant situation. I suggest that a great way of removing this feeling of guilt is with a syndrome. The Greek plays told stories of gods. Our syndromes are propagated by medical doctors—individuals who often appear godlike both in their eyes and in the eyes of others. Like the theater of tragedy, the syndrome does not move mental furniture. Rather, it accepts facts with great precision and accuracy. The only twist occurs with the Perceiver link between cause and effect. If our medical condition can be blamed upon a chemical imbalance, a genetic predisposition, an environmental factor, or any other objective cause sufficiently removed from me and Mercy identification, then we can suddenly feel much better about our problem.[D]

Our method of the syndrome is much more effective than the tragedy plays of the Greeks. Their ‘repair’ jobs were often limited to the more obvious flaws: Aristotle suggested murder within the family as the best material for his plays—not what I would call the most subtle subject. On the other hand, with our knowledge of neurochemicals and our ability to form images of thinking itself with brain scanners, we can find syndromes everywhere. Because the brain operates chemically, all of our failings can be attributed to an imbalance of some brain compound.

In fact, I suggest that if the model of the mind presented in this book is accurate, then all major personality defects can be traced to some physical syndrome: If the mind really can be divided into seven different rooms with each room corresponding to a different region of the brain, then when mental modes are inadequately programmed, we will see on a scanner that the corresponding parts of a person’s brain are not operating properly. Therefore, the habitual criminal no longer has a damaged conscience, instead, his frontal lobes are under-activated. He is not responsible for his behavior—he has a syndrome.

We have now seen that the same method of Mercy identification can be used both to pretend that we have reached a goal and to make us feel better about a mistake. If the same mental mechanism is involved in both of these situations, then I suggest that our behavior in one area will have a major bearing upon our capabilities in the other. Suppose that we use Mercy identification to avoid feeling bad. The result is that we will find it difficult to reach our goals. Rather, we will find it much easier to avoid difficult situations and to pretend that we have already arrived. On the other hand, if we accept our shortcomings, then we also gain the ability to achieve our goals.[E]


When we looked at the internal Perceiver world, we saw that there was a major collision between the emotional 'facts' provided by culture and the beliefs of common sense. Now we are finding a similar conflict in defining me: On the one hand we have the me of Mercy identification, whereas on the other hand we have the me which results from our physical bodies.

I suggest that the me provided by our physical bodies is in fact related to common sense. In the same way that the continual repetition of cause and effect in the external world teaches Perceiver strategy principles of common sense, so the repetitiveness of continually being stuck within the same body, with its consistent form, appearance, abilities and powers teaches Perceiver strategy facts about me. This is simply another aspect of object recognition. If the Perceiver observer sees the same collection of Mercy experiences together enough times, Perceiver strategy will decide that these experiences belong together and will believe that this set of connections is a fact. Therefore, if I look at my body and always see the image of a male Caucasian, then Perceiver strategy will decide that me and ‘male Caucasian’ belong together. Similarly, if I notice that my body can hold on to a violin and make a succession of tuneful sounds, Perceiver thought will believe that me and ‘violinist’ are connected. In contrast, if actions of my body are associated with experiences of balls crashing into volleyball nets or in other ways going the wrong direction, Perceiver thought will conclude that me and ‘athlete’ are not connected.

The result is self-image. Notice the difference between me and ‘self-image’: Me is a set of experiences located within the Mercy internal world, whereas self-image is the set of beliefs within the internal Perceiver world which Perceiver strategy forms about the Mercy experiences of me.

Me involves Mercy thought and Mercy memories.

·       Mercy mode continues to concentrate on these experiences.

Self-image involves Perceiver thought and Perceiver memories.

·       Perceiver mode watches me and builds a set of facts about me.

The contrast between me and ‘self-image’ can be seen in the behavior of Mercy and Perceiver persons. The Mercy person identifies with his experiences. He is me. He always addresses himself to the person, and not just to some abstract situation or problem. The Perceiver person, on the other hand, feels that me is next door. He does not identify with his facts. Rather, when he looks at the issues, he generally avoids personal attack, and tries to stick with the principles that define his person and the person of others, unlike the Mercy individual who naturally empathizes with the feelings of the other.

I have suggested that the Perceiver person feels that me is next door, but next door to what? Next door to me? Does the Perceiver person have two me’s, one here and one next door? In a sense, yes. First, there is the me in the Mercy internal world which is programmed by the presence of his physical body. This type of me is possessed by every human with a body. Then there is the me of conscious thought, which for the Perceiver person is the me of living within the room of Perceiver strategy. Put these two me’s together and you see why the Perceiver person feels that me is an observer looking through a window into the room which contains me. If this does not make sense, ask a Perceiver person to explain it to you.[F] To avoid confusion, whenever we use the word me, we will continue to refer, as we have thus far, to the network of personal experiences within Mercy strategy.

Let us go further. I have stated that self-image is the set of Perceiver facts about the Mercy experiences which are me. However, we know that me and emotions are strongly related, and that Perceiver strategy has difficulty holding on to facts whenever feelings arrive on the scene. Therefore, we should find that people have major problems trying to integrate self-image, feelings, confidence, and beliefs about themselves. Hmmm. Is there any book on popular psychology today which doesnot deal with this topic? Just put together some combination of the previous words and you come up with a plausible title for a self-help book: “How to Feel Good about Yourself,” “Gaining Confidence in your Feelings,” “Forming a Healthy Self-image,” “Believing in Yourself,” “Self-Confidence through Positive Thinking,” and so on.

So what is the relationship between these different words? I suggest that we already know the answer. We only need to put together the various pieces which we have developed thus far. Let us look at what we know and see how it relates to me, belief, confidence and self-image.

First, notice that self-image and me both involve the internal world of thought, with me residing within the inner world of Mercy experiences and self-image in the internal world of Perceiver beliefs. Second, since Mercy experiences with the strongest emotions force their way into the internal world of identification, we would expect me and feelings to be strongly related.

Third, we know that facts enter the Perceiver internal world through the step of belief. Therefore, the relationship between the internal worlds of Perceiver and Mercy thought will express itself as an interaction between belief and me. Perceiver beliefs which are formed about me will form the basis of my self-image. Fourth, we have learned that Perceiver beliefs can only survive if they have sufficient confidence to handle emotional pressure without falling apart. Logically speaking, the level of Perceiver confidence which Perceiver strategy has about the facts which describe me will determine my self-confidence. If the level of emotions associated with me rises too high, then Perceiver strategy will begin to experience doubts about me.[G]

Feeling Good about Myself

How do I gain self-confidence? Simple. I gain self-confidence in exactly the same way that I learn Perceiver confidence in any other area: I enter an emotionally charged situation and I hold on to the facts. If the facts about me survive, then self-confidence grows. If the facts about me crumble, then self-confidence weakens. Now let us use this information about self-confidence to look further at self-image.

There are two aspects to self image:

·       Perceiver mode knows facts about me—these are right or wrong.

·       These facts relate to Mercy experiences—which are good or bad.

The problem is that there are two aspects to self-image, which we tend to confuse. The first is how we feel about ourselves—whether we have a good or a bad self-image. This is the Mercy emotion associated with the Mercy memories which form me. The second is what we know about ourselves. This is the set of Perceiver facts which describes me. I suggest that it is these facts which are associated with self-confidence. We label how we feel about ourselves in Mercy terms of good and bad, while what we know about ourselves is related to Perceiver judgments of right and wrong.

As I mentioned earlier, it is easy to confuse these two sets of labeling. If we equate right with good and wrong with bad, then I suggest that we will think that self-confidence goes together with a good self-image, and that a lack of self-confidence means a bad self-image.[H] We may then deal with problems of identity by tackling the wrong issue.

The reason for this confusion is that there are two ways of defining self-image. We have seen how self-image can be based in Perceiver facts and common sense. However, we know that emotional experiences can also be used to program Perceiver 'facts,' and me certainly is associated with strong Mercy emotions. Therefore, let us look at the type of self-image which develops when Perceiver 'facts' about me are rooted in Mercy feelings.

Perceiver facts about me can be learned in two ways:

·       Mercy feelings can impose 'facts' upon Perceiver thought.

·       Perceiver mode can look for experiences which are repeated.

These two methods of defining self-image are incompatible.

First, we should remind ourselves how emotional 'facts' are programmed: Some dramatic experience comes along with strong feelings. Mercy strategy identifies with this event. Perceiver thought, observing through the window into the Mercy room, becomes mesmerized by the strength of the emotion. Being hypnotized, Perceiver thought 'believes' that the connections which exist within this single emotional experience are 'facts' which describe how all similar experiences are held together.

Now let us analyze what happens when I encounter some extraordinary experience such as chatting with the Queen of England. First, the dramatic situation comes along, in this case in the person of the Queen. Second, my internal Mercy world identifies with this experience.

If my Perceiver observer has sufficient confidence, then it will look at this emotional Mercy situation, agree that it truly is something special, but decide that, while it was a nice experience, it isn’t really me. Why isn’t it me? Because it does not repeat, and Perceiver strategy wants to put faith in connections which are repeated. On the other hand, if I happen to be a secretary to the Queen, then Perceiver logic will decide that visits with the Queen are part of me. The result of this kind of Perceiver confidence is an accurate self-image, though not necessarily a pleasant one. My self-image will be right, but not always good.

On the other hand, suppose that Perceiver thought becomes mesmerized by my encounter with the Queen. This single incident will then become accepted as a universal 'fact.' Based upon the connections of this single event, Perceiver strategy will 'believe' that me and ‘the Queen’ always go together. Reinforced now by Perceiver 'truth,' Mercy strategy will feel good about me: Whenever Mercy thought thinks about me it will also be reminded, by the curves of the warped Perceiver ‘mirror,’ of pleasant memories associated with the Queen and her prestige, position, and wealth. The good feelings will produce a good self-image, and the Perceiver 'knowing' will lead to self-confidence, but it will be a false 'confidence,' rooted in emotional 'knowing.'

While this kind of Mercy identification can lead to a pleasant self-image full of apparent self-confidence, it does not necessarily create an accurate picture, and the lack of personal honesty will lead to a conflict between Mercy identification and body image. As long as Perceiver strategy remains mesmerized, I will feel really good about my ‘self’ because Perceiver thought 'believes' that ‘the Queen of England’ is actually connected with me. However, eventually common sense based upon my physical body will prevail: Continued exposure to experiences in which my physical body and the person of the Queen are not in close proximity will slowly convince Perceiver thought that me and ‘the Queen’ are not connected. In addition, once the emotion of meeting the Queen has dissipated, then Perceiver thought will find it much easier to reconsider facts about me. Eventually Perceiver strategy will gain sufficient confidence to assert that me and the Queen are not connected. It will know that this link is false. This Perceiver separation will lead to an emotional letdown in Mercy strategy, because now when Mercy thought thinks about me it is no longer reminded, by the warped Perceiver ‘mirror,’ of the emotional memories associated with the Queen. The result will be a true self-confidence: Perceiver thought will have the confidence to know which experiences are not me. But, what is true is not necessarily good.

The same mental process can occur when we ‘worship God.’ The emotional intensity of the religious experience mesmerizes Perceiver thought into 'believing' that me and ‘God’ are connected. This will lead to a pleasant self-image, almost like having a personal audience with the Queen of England. However, once I leave the religious service, common sense associated with my physical body will slowly convince Perceiver thought that me and ‘God’ are not related. By the end of the week, I will feel quite distant from ‘God’ and be ready for another ‘worship’ session.

We can see now why the feelings of self-image are often confused with the facts aboutself-image. If 'facts' are programmed by using Mercy emotions to mesmerize Perceiver thought, then the same emotional experience which creates a good Mercy feeling for me will also convince Perceiver strategy of the 'fact' that this experience belongs to me.

Let us summarize this process with the help of the diagram below: 1) Me is the group of Mercy memories which continually comes to mind. 2) The Perceiver part sees these repeated Mercy memories and decides that there is an object called me. Notice how the facts about mewithin Perceiver thought tie together the individual experiences within Mercy strategy which are me. 3) Attention focuses on some fantastic Mercy experience. 4) The strong emotion associated with this experience overwhelms Perceiver confidence in self-image. The result is that Perceiver information about me contains a mixture of logical facts and emotional 'facts' which tie together the various fragments of me. Perceiver thought is fooled into accepting the 'fact' that the fantastic experience actually belongs to me. The original emotional experience becomes a defining experience, because it defines 'truth' within Perceiver strategy. This 'truth' attaches the defining experience to me. 5) Finally, Mercy thought notices that me feels better. The strong positive emotion of the defining experience colors the feelings of the other aspects of me.

This method of defining me with the help of emotional experiences could be compared to the charging and the discharging of a battery. Each ecstasy which I encounter adds energy to the battery of my self-image, as I 'believe' that this isolated emotional experience is part of me. Perhaps someone important gives me an affirming statement, or I get totally involved in some exciting or moving situation. On the other hand, living within my physical body discharges the battery power of my self-image. This is because my life is not just a series of adventures, awards, ecstasies and weekends. Rather, my body also experiences work, boredom, pain and the mundane. The endless repetition of dreary existence imposed upon me by my physical body slowly convinces Perceiver thought that me is really connected to everyday life, and not to the defining experience.

The result is that each award or adventure charges me up and makes me feel good about myself. Everyday life, in contrast, drains this charge as reality slowly sinks in and forces me to face who I really am. I then alternate between charging and discharging, either living off my last charge, waiting for the next jolt, or existing in the drained state of the in-between.

Obviously, this does not lead to a very stable self-image. I am regularly trashing the ‘furniture’ in my mental ‘house’ only to find it reappearing as the dust begins to settle. Whenever my mental furnishings become too solid I then brighten up the decor by going through another session of sofa-bashing.

So how does one handle the conflict between these two ways of defining me? How can a person identify only with experiences which are connected with his own physical body? And, how does one deal with all of the experiences which already reside within the Mercy internal world, since there appears to be no way of ‘kicking them out’ once they enter. I suggest that we already know the answer to these questions. When we discussed the process of using Perceiver beliefs as building blocks for the Mercy internal world, we found that Perceiver facts could support ‘life’ if they followed two general principles. I suggest that these same two principles will solve the collision between the me of Mercy identification and the me which comes from my physical body.

First, we noticed that Perceiver beliefs should include a sense of time. I suggest that a healthy self-image will also include a feeling for time. For instance, the visit with the Queen was me at a certain point in time, but now it is no longer me. The result of including time is that me acquires a history and a goal. Certain experiences were me—I identified with them in the past, other situations are me—I can identify with them now, and hopefully the me of the future will be different as well—I will be able to identify with better experiences.

Second, Perceiver beliefs about me, which determine self-image, should be as general as possible. Suppose that Perceiver strategy only evaluates every experience in the internal Mercy world as either me or not me. The result is that situations which are not directly related to my physical body become suppressed. Since me is the set of Mercy experiences on which Mercy strategy can continue to concentrate, making a memory not me means that Mercy thought at some point loses the ability to concentrate on this experience. And, whenever Mercy thought cannot access a certain memory, it becomes suppressed and acts like a Mercy multiple.

However, suppose that I define me in more general terms. Then, when Mercy strategy identifies with experiences not associated with my physical body, Perceiver thought can decide that, while these experiences are not me, they are similar to me—there are Perceiver connections which relate the experiences of others to the experiences of me.[I] For instance, since I am a male Caucasian engineer from Canada, the experiences of an Asian female secretary in Hong Kong obviously are not me. However, if I look for similarities between us, then I can identify in Mercy strategy with the situation of the Asian lady while at the same time preserving Perceiver facts about myself. I am not female, but I also have a body which feels and which needs to eat and sleep. I am not Asian, but I do have experiences with Asian people and I also live within a culture. I am not a secretary, but I do work with computers and I know what it is like to sit in front of a desk and type.

Guilt and Self-Image

We have seen how Mercy identification can lead to problems with self-image. I suggest that guilt can also affect self-image—this is related again to the difference between emotional 'facts' based in Mercy identification and Perceiver beliefs rooted in facts about my physical body. When there is guilt, Perceiver belief in cause and effect focuses Mercy strategy on some unpleasant memory—the projected bad result of what I did. Mercy thought would dearly love to be rid of this emotional pain. It does this by using emotion as a weapon against truth. If Mercy thought can identify with some Mercy experience with sufficient emotional status, then the strong feelings will mesmerize the Perceiver observer and stop it from putting me and the painful memory together.[J]

I suggest that this mental mechanism is exploited, for example, in religious confession. Suppose I feel that I have committed some ‘sin,’ and that I suffer from guilt. Now suppose that I confess my sin to my local priest. His emotional status—after all, he claims to speak for God Himself—will mesmerize my Perceiver observer and allow him to program my Perceiver internal world with new 'beliefs.' If he tells me, “Go in peace, God has forgiven your sin,” then his emotional significance will convince Perceiver strategy to 'believe' that the connection between cause and effect has been negated. The result is that my sensation of guilt will be removed and I will actually feel that my sins are forgiven—as long as my emotional respect for the priest remains intact. However, if the emotional status which I give to him and to his church system ever begins to drop, then his 'facts' will fall within the threshold of uncertainty, I will begin to doubt that my ‘sins are forgiven,’ and the feelings of guilt will return. Therefore, by accepting forgiveness from the priest, I make him my emotional master. I now have a vested interest in maintaining the authority of his person, his organization and his leaders.

Experts can remove feelings of guilt produced by approval conscience:

·       They can state that me no longer links to bad experiences.

·       Their emotional status convinces Perceiver mode that this is 'true.'

Of course, the same feelings of forgiveness can be spread by any person with sufficient emotional status. If some positive thinking guru with great charisma gives a weekend seminar about love and acceptance, this may also lead to feelings of forgiveness. Likewise, if I ‘confess my sins’ to my close friend, that also might work. However, I suggest that the mechanism of ‘forgiveness by confession’ is most effective when strong, lasting emotional pressure can be focused upon specific Perceiver facts. This is what makes the confessional booth so potent. It is backed up by emotional respect for a whole church system, it brings to light the specific Mercy situations which are troubled by the feelings of guilt, and it calls upon the emotional power of God and his living and visible representative upon earth to alter the disturbing Perceiver 'facts.'

The mechanism of Mercy identification, exploited by confession, is opposed, though, by the network of experiences provided by my body: It performed some set of forbidden actions; it entered some restricted place; it was seen in some unsavory location. Wherever my body goes and whatever it does, it fills Mercy and Perceiver strategy with facts and emotional experiences. Therefore, when Mercy identification tries to alter feelings of guilt which result from actions which I have done, or places at which I have been, the Perceiver facts learned from my physical body will protest with vigor—I know that I was there and that I did do that.[K]

One way to minimize this aspect of guilt is to separate Mercy identification from the physical body. This separation can be achieved, for example, through the use of a hired thug. If I kill someone personally, then I will probably have major problems with guilt, since I will remember all the facts, experiences and feelings of carrying out the act and observing the results. In addition, it will probably take confidence to perform the deed in the midst of my emotional doubts and this confidence will add strength to the knowledge that I did the action. On the other hand, suppose that I get someone else to commit the murder for me. Because my physical body did not perform the deed, it is much easier for me to use Mercy identification to avoid feelings of guilt.

The hired assassin, on the other hand, can use blame to remove his feelings of guilt. He was not responsible for the murder; it was his boss who was the ultimate cause of the death. Therefore, if in his mind the crime does not link to me, he will feel that the punishment should not as well. This was the defense of the Nazi criminals in the Nuremberg trials: “We are not responsible, we were just carrying out orders.” As for the leaders, they also did not feel guilty. They were too busy listening to Wagner, and allowing Mercy identification with the ‘Thousand Year Reich’ to fill their minds with ‘good thoughts.’

I suggest that the same type of conflict which arises when there is guilt also comes into play when an individual faces personal loss, and that the only difference between these two is the source of the emotional pain. With guilt, it is Perceiver belief which imposes unpleasant memories on me, whereas with loss it is the external world that forces me to face the hurt.[L] I suggest that the conflict between body sense and Mercy identification plays itself out in the various stages of grief, with each step corresponding to a growth in Perceiver confidence.

Let us suppose that I suffer some major personal tragedy, such as the death of my wife. My initial reaction is usually denial. In other words, Mercy strategy will reject the fact that me and my wife are no longer connected, and Mercy thought will continue to identify with emotional experiences associated with my dead partner in order to reinforce this 'fact' with emotional pressure. Emotionally, I will not yet feel that she is dead, because Mercy strategy—the part of my mind which produces personal feelings, is still operating under the delusion that she is alive and well. Unfortunately, my wife actually is dead, and wherever I go, common sense will impose itself upon my mind: I will open the door, say “Hello, Honey, I’m home,” and get no response. I will roll over in my sleep, reach out my hand, and find that she is not there. The continual repetition of experiences such as these from my physical body will slowly convince Perceiver thought of the fact that she and me are now no longer together.

This will lead to the next step of anger. As Perceiver common sense grows in strength, Mercy strategy will find it difficult to continue pretending that my wife is still around. Therefore, as Perceiver strategy begins to gain confidence in the fact of our separation, Mercy thought will try to use emotional pressure to mesmerize the Perceiver observer into denying this truth. For a while, these emotional outbursts will succeed in delaying the acceptance of the facts. But, attacking Perceiver thought in this way will cause the Perceiver observer to become uncertain in other areas and thus lead to emotional confusion and uncertainty as the warped Perceiver ‘mirror’ links other Mercy experiences incorrectly. This will make it more and more difficult for Mercy strategy to continue this approach.

Eventually, as common sense grows, Mercy thought will find that emotions can no longer be used to avoid the facts. Perceiver strategy now has sufficient confidence to believe that the death really has occurred, and Mercy thought will ‘give up.’ This leads to depression and deep pain as Mercy strategy begins finally to truly experience the separation. For a while, emotions will probably be very unstable as the struggle continues between Mercy identification and Perceiver confidence: At times Mercy strategy will succeed in pretending that meand my wife are still connected, while at other times Perceiver thought will manage to keep us mentally separated.

Finally, Perceiver confidence will grow to the extent that the break becomes final and the connection is internally severed. Mercy strategy will no longer think of me as someone who has lost his wife, but rather as someone who does not have a wife. This is known as closure. I will now find it possible to put the emotional pain behind me and to start living again. It is when these final mental cords are severed that the world begins to open up for me again. No longer will every experience be colored by the feeling of loss. Rather, I will discover that I have regained the ability to enjoy life, with Mercy discernment altered now by a deeper emotional maturity.

Four stages in dealing with guilt, hurt, or failure:

·       Denial. Mercy emotions overwhelm Perceiver confidence in facts.

·       Anger. Mercy feelings fight Perceiver knowledge.

·       Grief. Perceiver facts force Mercy thought to accept feelings.

·       Closure. Perceiver facts reconnect Mercy experiences.

Notice that we are beginning to clarify the distinction between me and Mercy identification. Whenever Mercy strategy identifies with an experience, it pulls it into the internal world of Mercy thought. Earlier on, we discovered that not all situations which enter Mercy internal thought actually are part of me. Rather, some may be like me, or have been me, or hopefully will be me. Now we are discovering that not all memories within internal Mercy thought remain me. Instead, Perceiver belief has the power to separate experiences within the Mercy internal world away from me. Gradually, as Perceiver thought gains in strength, me becomes better defined.

As a child, I remain engrossed in my own world, entirely egocentric and totally locked into the present. Nothing exists except me and my own feelings. As I grow up inside, Perceiver thought separates my Mercy internal world into memories of ‘you,’ ‘him,’ and ‘her’ as well as me. I begin to realize, as this happens, that the universe does not revolve around me. Other people and other times exist, and self-worship in consequence is displaced by friendship.

 We started this section by looking at Aristotle and his description of emotional catharsis. I suggest that the level of Perceiver confidence also plays a role in that process: If Perceiver confidence is low, then simple escapism will suffice to make me feel better. All I need is a party and my troubles will be forgotten.[M] However, as Perceiver facts grow in power, I will find that my problems come to the party along with me. Now it is necessary to use more sophisticated methods such as the catharsis of Aristotle, or the confession booth of the Catholic Church. I have no choice but to accept the overall facts, and I can, at most, alter specific Perceiver connections between cause and effect in order to remove my feelings of guilt.

When this mental stage is reached, then penance also becomes necessary. Those who give me 'forgiveness' must dispense a discipline along with the blessing. They will tell me that I am forgiven if I perform some action or suffer some form of punishment. This physical discomfort is essential to gain mental peace, for unless some consequence accompanies the cause, Perceiver thought will not accept the 'fact' of forgiveness, and it is Perceiver strategy which must be convinced.

But why go to the ‘confession booth’ for forgiveness if it does not free me from punishment? Because, while a priestly figure cannot use his emotional significance to remove my mental need for punishment, he still has the emotional power to change the nature of the discipline. For instance, he might give me a lighter sentence. And, accepting his punishment will also bring mental closure. Once cause has led to effect, then Perceiver strategy can know that the event is finished, and that nothing more will happen. Of course, this may be wishful thinking and the dreaded consequence which the mind predicted may yet arrive right on schedule. However, until then, there will be mental peace and the feeling of guilt will be removed.

As Perceiver confidence continues to grow, I will discover that even these methods no longer work. Try as I may, I find that I cannot deny the connection between cause and effect. When I see portrayals of situations which deny these relationships, I find that I cannot believe them; I no longer find them plausible. Perceiver strategy knows exactly what the consequence of each action is, and it refuses to be fooled.

This leads to the last step before complete acceptance of guilt—that of remorse. Remorse accepts the facts, and accepts the cause of the facts, but it denies that a solution is possible. It says, “Isn’t it too bad that we are like this. I wish things could be different, but I guess change is not possible.” This is when theater and film become dark and hopeless. They portray evil with searing accuracy and clearly outline each step on the way to disaster and then stop there with the finality of eternal hopelessness. And yet, despite the darkness, the viewer feels better after watching because he knows that, black though his soul may be, it was fate that led him there and no one can fight against his fate.[N]

We have seen how the physical body conflicts with the me of Mercy identification. It is also possible to create an environment in which my physical body can assist Mercy identification in holding on to good experiences and avoiding bad ones.

Suppose that I build a world in which good experiences occur in certain physical locations at certain specific times and bad experiences are restricted to other specific locations and times. Then, by moving my physical body to the good places at the good times and not moving my physical body to the bad places at the bad times, I can use the self-image provided by my physical body to reinforce the escapism and denial of Mercy identification.

For example, I may decide that all Mercy identification with ‘God’ occurs on Sunday morning in buildings called churches. By dragging my body to church on Sunday morning, dressed in special clothing, in order to ‘worship God,’ I can use my physical body to help convince Perceiver strategy that me and ‘God’ really are connected.[O] In the same way, I can construct special locations for professional sports events, or entertainment complexes for family fun, and so on.

Similarly, if I quarantine all ‘bad’ people to buildings called prisons, and relegate all ‘bad’ actions to red-light districts and inner city cores, I can help Mercy strategy to avoid thinking about ‘bad’ memories by keeping my physical body away from these ‘bad’ locations.

This may sound like a good solution to the conflict between me and my physical body, and looking at today’s society, it does appear to be a fairly common one. However, I suggest that it is actually a form of apartheid which divides the world and its inhabitants into fixed moral classes. Like apartheid, its biggest deficiency is that it lacks the element of time. The person who finds himself in jail ends up being labeled permanently as a second-class citizen, just like the black under apartheid. Likewise, quarantining good to special days in special places with special clothes means, by definition, that good is permanently disabled from affecting those in need of it.

These ‘solutions’ have another problem. They produce a morality which is very dependent upon times and places. This is because the label of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ hinges mainly upon when and where an experience or action occurs and not so much upon any inherent qualities in the experience or action itself. In other words, the concept of generality is also lost. For instance, a good ‘upright’ family man may find his sexual standards changing completely when he visits the brothels in Bangkok, or Mr. Joe Average may turn super-spiritual and speak in sanctimonious tones whenever he ‘worships God’ at church.

Neurology and Self-Image

We have looked at me and self-image from the viewpoint of personality. I emphasized that my sense of me is originally based in the physical object of my body. If we look at the brain, we find that the same portion which handles object recognition is also responsible for providing the basis for self-image.

Evidence from neurology indicates that the interaction between the automatic parts of Perceiver and Mercy strategy, in the back of the right hemisphere, provides the mental pieces out of which both me and the image of my world are constructed. If this area of the brain is damaged, then the mind can lose the ability to access and integrate these various fragments of identity. For instance, cases have occurred in which patients with right parietal-temporal damage believed that they could literally be in two places at the same time, and saw no contradiction in this.2 In other words, they had lost the mental ability to form a unified self-image.

Damage of the right parietal lobe can also cause another condition known as hemispatial neglect,in which a person ignores the left half of his world. Why the left half? Because, according to neurology, the right half of the environment is still being monitored by the backupsystem of the left parietal lobe.[P] Being analytic, it is not as good at spatial analysis as its counterpart in the right hemisphere, but it does the best that it can.

“For example, a patient with a right parietal lesion may neglect food on the inattended left side of a plate and fail to copy the parts of a drawing that are on its left side. When asked to describe and interpret a picture, he may fail to report the details present on the left side. Similarly, the left half of a sentence or word may also be neglected, making him unable to read for comprehension. Moreover, when asked to bisect a visually perceived line, he may place his mark far to the right because he has not attended to the left side…Spatial inattention may also affect the body image so that body parts in inattended ‘personal space’ are either totally ignored or felt to be foreign.” 11 Notice how one portion of the brain—automatic Perceiver thought—handles spatial attention in areas as diverse as speech, vision, writing, and body parts.

Notice also how the memories themselves are still present within the mind, but the ability to pay attention to them is lacking. This distinction was brought out clearly when researchers “asked patients with right posterior hemisphere lesions to describe a recalled scene of a familiar city square. When patients imagined they were standing at one end of the square, they tended to not report details on the left of the square. Yet when they imagined themselves at the other end of the square, facing their original position, they tended to omit details on the new left side.” 11

While automatic Perceiver thought contains the raw material of self-image, I suggest that it is the Perceiver internal world which gives stability to the mental concept of me. If this internal structure is inadequate, then one would predict that me would become unstable, driven by the latest defining experiences, and unable to maintain its shape for any length of time.[Q]

This is precisely what was found by researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health. They used brain “scanning to measure metabolic activity in the brain cells of 25 adults who had been hyperactive since childhood and had at least one child with the same problem. Not only was overall brain metabolism 8% lower in hyperactive subjects than in a control group, but also the largest differences were found in two regions of the brain—the premotor cortex [R] and the superior prefrontal cortex—known to be involved in regulating attention and motor control.” 12

This same article also provides an example of how a medical syndrome can be used to remove feelings of guilt: “In a landmark study that could help put to rest decades of confusion and controversy, researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health have traced ADHD for the first time to a specific metabolic abnormality in the brain. The findings, published in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, could lead to a much needed diagnostic test and should silence skeptics who maintained that the disorder resided more in the minds of grownup specialists than in the unruly children they were trying to control. Says Dr. Alan Zametkin, a psychiatrist at the NIMH who directed the study: ‘We would hope that people would stop blaming parents and bad parenting and intolerant schools for this problem.’ ” 12 Notice how describing a physical brain syndrome in a respected medical journal lets everyone off the hook morally—children, parents, schools, and doctors.




A Summary of Associative Thought

Before we go on, let us review what we have learned thus far about associative thinking. I will summarize the two ways of programming Perceiver strategy and describe the effects which these different methods have upon Mercy and Perceiver thought. We will start by looking at the mental consequences of using Mercy emotion to mesmerize the Perceiver observer into 'believing' 'facts' as 'true.'

If Mercy emotions are used to learn Perceiver 'facts,' then:

1) Emotional absolutes become defining experiences. An emotional absolute is the Mercy experience within a certain context which has the strongest emotional label. Because of its large emotion, it has the biggest effect on how Mercy thought feels about related experiences. But, with emotional 'facts,' Mercy feelings also determine Perceiver programming. Since an emotional absolute is the experience with the strongest emotion, its arrangement will become the 'fact' that is programmed into Perceiver thought. Therefore, the emotional absolute which guides Mercy emotion also acts as the defining experience which establishes Perceiver 'truth.'

2) Self-image will be determined largely by defining experiences. Whenever a good experience comes along, Mercy thought will identify with this situation, connecting it with me. The strong emotion associated with this good situation will then convince Perceiver thought to 'believe' that this experience is a permanent part of me. The result is that defining experiences will automatically attach themselves to me, and I will be constantly pretending that I am someone else.[S]

3) Blame and denial will be used to protect me from feelings of guilt and failure. These two mechanisms are slightly different. Denial is related to inadequate Perceiver confidence: Suppose that a bad experience becomes part of me. The strong negative emotion associated with this feeling of guiltor failure will overwhelm Perceiver confidence in the facts of self-image. This will stop Perceiver thought from believing that the Mercy bad experience belongs to me.

Blame, in contrast, is connected with excessive emotion. As before, the process begins with a painful experience which is part of me. Mercy strategy will then focus upon the aspects of this memory which relate to another person. The associated emotional pressure will mesmerize Perceiver thought into 'believing' that the other person was the source of this experience.

Notice the relationship between this statement and the previous point. In the second point, strong emotion is used to make good experiences part of me, whereas in the third point, strong emotion is used to stop bad experiences from being part of me.

4) Me will be fragmented and self-image will have low mental stability. This is because me is continually attaching itself to good situations and detaching itself from bad experiences. Each time that me is altered, Mercy emotion is being used to overwhelm Perceiver confidence. Because Perceiver thought is continually thwarted in its efforts to gain confidence, it will lack the self-confidence which is needed to hold me together.

How does a person with insufficient Perceiver self-confidence achieve mental stability? That is a topic which we will be discussing in the next book. However, before we continue let me briefly suggest what happens. If internal structure is lacking, then the external must make up for it. Therefore, the individual with a weak identity will order the defining experiences in his physical environment and then use this arrangement to hold his mind together. He will control his feelings by dividing his environment into good, normal, and bad places and times and then move his body between these physical locations. In essence, the map of his external world will act as a substitute for Perceiver thought.

If Perceiver confidence is used to learn Perceiver facts, then:

1) Self-image is determined by Perceiver confidence. Perceiver logic looks for connections between experiences which are repeated, and does not care whether these Mercy experiences feel good, bad, terrible, or terrific. Therefore, when Perceiver thought sees certain Mercy experiences continuing to reappear, it decides that these experiences are me and creates a mental object called self-image.2) There are no defining experiences, only emotional absolutes. This is because Perceiver and Mercy thought are independent of one another. As before, Mercy feelings are guided by emotional absolutes. In each context, the most emotional experience determines how Mercy thought feels about related experiences. However, because all connections between Mercy experiences are determined by facts which are based in Perceiver confidence, individual Mercy experiences do not define 'truth.' This means that facts become separate from feelings.

3) Emotional absolutes are separate from me. An emotional absolute is the most emotional experience within each mental context. If it comes to mind often, then Perceiver thought decides that it is part of me. On the other hand, if it is seldom triggered by the internal or external worlds, then Perceiver thought knows that it is not part of meSince the most emotional experiences which I encounter are generally not directly associated with my physical body, my emotional absolutes will tend to differ from me.

4) Conscience will be active, andme will be forced to faceguilt, failure, and hurt. Conscienceoccurs when Perceiver thought knows that a pleasant Mercy cause will be followed by a much worse Mercy effect. Guilt comes when Perceiver thought knows that the Mercy cause related to conscience has become part of meFailure, I suggest, is guilt without the personal element. Hurt occurs when Perceiver thought links any bad Mercy experience to me—regardless of responsibility.[T] As long as Perceiver confidence is sufficient, Mercy thought will be forced to face all bad experiences which Perceiver thought says belong to me.

5) Me is stable and not fragmented. Me has stability, because self-image is held together with Perceiver confidence. Me is also not fragmented, because Perceiver thought ties all the experiences of me together into the single mental object of self-image. Since the internal world holds me together, the external world can change without threatening me.

Notice that we have achieved mental stability at the price of lasting guilt. This is not a trivial problem. However, we will only have sufficient tools to analyze this problem in detail once we have discussed Contributor thought. Therefore, we have no choice but to leave the topic until later.[U] Until then, I suggest that any lasting method of dealing with guilt must involve closure. In other words, it is only when cause has led to consequence that an issue can be settled and put to rest mentally.

The Two ME’s

We have looked at two ways of programming Perceiver mode with information. It is possible to learn either facts based in Perceiver confidence or 'facts' rooted in Mercy emotion. We have looked at the interaction between Perceiver and Mercy thought and have seen how this circuit is affected by our method of developing Perceiver thought.

Our study of Perceiver and Mercy thought is not just a theoretical exercise. This is because the computer which we are discussing is our mind. Each one of us must decide how he will program Perceiver strategy. And, since we cannot escape our minds, each of us must live with the consequences of his decision.

A Tale of Two Countries

In order to decide intelligently how we will program Perceiver strategy, we need to compare the results of facts and 'facts.' After all, if emotional 'truth,' confused thinking, logical thought, or no thinking at all, lead to similar results, then why go to the bother of growing up mentally? Why not leave things the way they are. Unfortunately, we cannot peer into another person’s head and directly observe his reactions and emotions.[V] But, we can look at the type of society which is created by a group of people who follow similar mental strategies. Therefore, I would like to compare two countries which I have had the privilege of visiting. Other countries could be chosen, but I am familiar with these two specific examples.


I suggest that Russia illustrates a country in which Perceiver strategy operates poorly in most people: Under communism, citizens were expected to toe the party line. Government propaganda and control ruled supreme. All 'truth,' all 'facts,' and all 'rules' were determined by the state, and the Mercy status associated with the party and the government mesmerized Perceiver mode in each individual into 'knowing' what was 'true.'

None of the attributes which we have associated with Perceiver confidence were present under communism. There was no rule of law; instead, the authorities imprisoned those who stood up against the regime. There was no democracy; rather, the party chose who would be in power and expected the people to rubber stamp these decisions. Truth was a secondary concern, and the facts of history were constantly rewritten to suit the fancy of the leaders. Private enterprise was forbidden, along with the ownership of land. There was no market economy; rather, prices were set by the state. Finally, identity itself dissolved, as the central plan turned each ‘comrade’ into a replaceable cog in the machine of industrial growth.

The fall of communism plunged the average citizen into the threshold of uncertainty. No longer was there a monolithic system to provide an emotional source of stability. But, the problem is that most people did not have the Perceiver confidence which was necessary to replace the thinking of the old regime. As a result, at time of writing, Perceiver 'facts' are largely determined by the feelings and pressures of the moment. Let me illustrate this with some of my experiences in post-communist Russia.[W]

Any type of planning is very difficult to do in Russia. Planning requires sufficient Perceiver confidence to decide that certain Mercy experiences will go together. When we traveled within the country, we usually could not buy return tickets. That would require the ability to plan in an independent manner. Instead, we would buy a one-way ticket and travel to our destination. Once we arrived, we would buy another one-way ticket in order to return home. Sometimes we found that there was no return train or bus despite the assurances of the clerk at the first ticket counter. This is because accuracy is not possible without Perceiver confidence in facts. Even if a bus or train did run, it did not always leave at the scheduled time. For instance, when we took the bus to the airport in Moscow, the driver chose to leave twenty minutes early. We only found out about this because we decided to double-check a few minutes in advance.

Planning musical programs was also difficult. Programs were continually canceled or rescheduled at the last minute. The fact that a program was going to occur could be overcome by emotions from other events. Often the best way to operate was to show up and give a concert on the spur of the moment. This way our presence became an emotional pressure which overturned the Perceiver 'facts' associated with some other tentative plan.

The Perceiver confidence required for learning principles of cause and effect is also generally not present in post-communist Russia. For instance, there was a children’s playground outside one of the apartments in which we were staying. Within twenty feet of this playground was a manhole with the cover missing. The hole was at least twenty feet deep. Any child could have fallen in and killed himself. But, no one cared. Without Perceiver confidence, there is no sense of cause and effect.

In Russia, the law states that people in cars must wear seat belts. I presume that is the law, because every time we drove past a police checkpoint, the people in the front seats would faithfully hold on to their seat belts and pretend to wear them. Almost never did I see a person actually use his seat belt. As usual, the only thing which seemed to matter was the emotional significance of the police, and not any concern for cause and effect. As a foreigner, I would think that the Russian style of driving would be a sufficient hazard to make anyone want to wear his seat belt.

Perceiver confidence also leads to conscience, which forces a person to live with his mistakes. In Russia, it seems that out of sight is out of mind. Garbage is dumped anywhere and everywhere. There is severe pollution. Cities are littered with the rusting hulks of failed factories. Walking in a Russian town is an adventure. We found ourselves continually picking our way past discarded cans, detouring around piles of dirt, avoiding holes, and trying not to trip on protruding nails or half-buried wires.

Without Perceiver confidence, escapism predominates. People search for emotional experiences which can help me to feel better. In Russia, this escapism turns up in the most unexpected places. For example, we found much of the food rather tasteless, except for the desserts. I remember a high school graduation banquet in which our family spontaneously sang a few songs (more planning gone awry). After we performed, we were given tea and nine different varieties of home baked pastries, cakes, and sweets, all in a town where very little of substance could be found in the local store. Here is a similar example. As I have suggested, the number of goods which can be purchased in the stores is somewhat limited. One exception is candy bars. The variety of imported chocolate to choose from rivaled what is available at home. The escapism can also be seen in the architecture. The fanciest building in most towns is the cultural hall or theater. Even if most of the houses in a village are old and decrepit, there will still be a meeting hall which tries to look ostentatious and elegant. Of course, the most obvious form of escapism is also well represented. Vodka is plentiful and potent and alcoholism common.

Finally, Perceiver confidence is needed to instill a sense of value. Perceiver logic looks for qualities in an object or experience which will last over time. This also seems to be lacking in Russia. Buildings which are five years old appear as if they have been decaying for at least thirty. The finishing touches are particularly absent. Many structures appear nice from a distance but lose their appeal as one gets closer and the lack of workmanship becomes obvious. I remember specifically the paint job in one apartment in which we were staying. All of the outlet covers had been painted over. No one had bothered to take them off when painting. The paint did not reach all the way to the ceiling, and about two inches of the old color remained at the top of the wall. The windows all had streaks of paint because no masking tape had been used to protect the glass from being covered.

The lack of value was also obvious in the money. Inflation was high and the ruble was continually dropping in relation to other currencies. After all, money is just a representation of value. If everything that one buys and sells is cheap, then it is impossible for money to have any value. This principle was vividly illustrated by the currency of Kazakhstan. The bills were beautiful and well made, and had been printed in Germany. But with a lack of basic values, even the most elegant imported money was unable to prevent inflation.

I suggest that everything which I have mentioned about Russia can be traced back to one single deficiency—the lack of Perceiver confidence.[X] Russians today are like children who were mesmerized by cruel and domineering parents. They have finally escaped the abuse but now they find themselves in the situation of the teenager who wants to become independent. They face the choice of either learning to think for themselves by waking up the Perceiver observer, or else, like so many teenagers, remaining hypnotized, and succumbing to the tyranny of the peer pressure which we call nationalism.


Let us now turn our attention to another country which I have had the privilege of visiting several times—Germany. While there is no example today of a country in which a majority of people use only Perceiver logic, I suggest that Germany illustrates a society in which most individuals at present have a substantial amount of Perceiver confidence.

I suggest that this Perceiver confidence grew because the three factors needed for successfully raising children were present in German history. First, German culture emphasized Perceiver thinking. This is because the Protestant Reformation, which centered in Germany, taught 'truth' which could be analyzed rationally—people were expected to read and study their Bibles. Second, German political and religious fragmentation downplayed the importance of emotional sources of 'truth.' For several hundred years, Germany was splintered into hundreds of fiefdoms, each with its own variation of government law and religious worship. Therefore, no single group or individual could claim to be the sole source of ultimate 'truth.' Finally, when the French under Napoleon invaded Germany, they overthrew the existing leaders and thus unconsciously introduced German citizens to the possibility of thinking for themselves. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, these three factors combined to produce the best universities and the most advanced factories in the world.[Y]

I should also mention that the same Perceiver confidence which developed German education and industry also caused German thinkers to question accepted religious and political 'truth,' as emotionally based 'facts' were drawn into the threshold of confusion. Germany responded to this subjective uncertainty by looking to strong men and powerful government to restore a sense of subjective 'knowing.' This led ultimately to the horror of Nazi Germany.[Z] As I said at the beginning of the book, it is better not to start with mental programming, then to start and stop halfway through. The political process that led to fascism, though, is a topic for the next book. Suffice it to say that the same factors which pushed Germany into Nazism are also present today in most of the Western world.

In reconstructed Germany, almost everything works efficiently. Not only is planning and scheduling possible, but most objects seem to contain a history of planning. One keeps stumbling across little examples of German ingenuity in which someone took the care to work out the best way of doing something before he started building. German machine tools and cars are well known around the world. The reason for this is that Germans study principles of natural cause and effect and apply these principles in the real world. Logical thinking leads to logical machines.

Germany is a clean country. Garbage is sorted, to minimize environmental impact, before it is thrown away. Germany is also a beautiful country. The landscape is protected. Every balcony seems to have a row of colorful flowers. Walking through a German town is also an adventure. One continually stumbles across restored old houses, pretty fountains and charming town squares.

The food and architecture in Germany are the opposite of Russia. In Russia, the only food which seems to taste good is the desserts. In contrast, everything in Germany is tasty with the possible exception of desserts. While German chocolate is awesome, what I really enjoy in Germany is the bread and the yogurt. I have never seen so many variations on the theme of milk. In Russia, the houses are falling apart while the cultural hall attempts to look impressive. In Germany, every home seems to be solid and well-built. The prettiest buildings usually are the houses from the sixteenth century or earlier which have been restored. Even the drinking seems to be different, with naturally brewed beer being the alcohol of choice, rather than mind-numbing vodka. The German drinks in order to be happy, the Russian in order to forget.

Finally, everywhere I look in Germany I see value. The roads are well built and filled with Mercedes, Audis and BMWs. Buildings which are 400 years old look as if they were built five years ago. This value is reflected in the German currency. Unlike the situation in Kazakhstan, the beautiful bills match the well-crafted objects which they can purchase. They hold their value because they represent value.

Redefining Me

So, where do I want to live? Would I enjoy constant chaos, decrepit buildings, continual health hazards, and low wages for hard labor that is often dangerous? Or, would I prefer a world in which planning is possible, buildings are solid and beautiful, the environment is safe, and I am paid good wages for work that is usually meaningful?

That should be a rhetorical question, but there are other factors which complicate the issue. Suppose that I do want to abandon emotional 'facts' and experience the benefits of life under Perceiver confidence. What are the costs? Is there a downside to living in paradise? Does purgatory have its rewards? Let us look at some of these questions.

One major challenge on the way to living under Perceiver confidence involves childhood and growing up. We have seen how the mind of the child starts out with Perceiver strategy filled with the emotional 'facts' of culture and the Perceiver observer snoring away contentedly, enjoying dreams of innocent trust. In contrast, Perceiver confidence can only be gained by enrolling the mind in a lengthy ‘exercise’ program.

In terms of our country illustration, this means that every person is born in ‘Russia’ and has the option of ‘moving’ to ‘Germany.’ ‘Germany’ is populated only with immigrants; it has no native born citizens. This means that the mentally passive person remains by default in the chaos of ‘Russia’ while only the enterprising individual will make it to ‘Germany.’ This explains why ‘Russia’ will always be full of people.

But, there are many real German people who were born in Germany. Doesn’t this prove that my statement is wrong? Actually, at the risk of stepping on a few more politically correct toes, I suggest that there really are no authentic native-born ‘Germans.’ In order to understand this, one has to look at thepersonality of the average German citizen.[AA] On the outside, it appears as if everything is guided by Perceiver confidence and rational logic. However, look at the subjective core of the German psyche and you find that me is ruled by emotional 'facts,' and not by logic. There is an unspoken rule that the personal feelings of every German must be taken seriously and never questioned.[BB] It is as if every citizen is an artist who lives a life of art, and who reacts emotionally against anyone who dares to criticize his artistic expression of me.

We all grow up in ‘Russia’ and can emigrate to ‘Germany.’

·       Me is initially held together by emotional 'truth.'

·       It is possible to redefine me using Perceiver confidence.

This means that while the body and head of the average German citizen lives in Germany, the core of me still resides within the childhood home of ‘Russia.’ In other words, while the me of the physical body may be ‘German’ and well-developed, there is still a me of Mercy identification which remains ‘Russian.’

This statement may sound extreme to a North American, so let me back it up with an example or two. For instance, I am acquainted with one older German lady, currently living in North America, who literally writes to her doctor in Germany for advice about bowel movements. Can you imagine a native North American doing this? Germany, on the other hand, has a whole entourage of towns, called Kurorts, dedicated to the sole purpose of pampering, soothing, and giving healing rest to the body of the German. If a German doctor decides that one of his patients needs some rest and relaxation, he will prescribe an all-expenses-paid trip, courtesy of the government, to a lengthy session of treatment within one of these health spa towns.[CC] This is how seriously me is taken. Finally, you can tell that the me of the average German person is not really German because me tries to escape the logic of the German country as often as possible. Germans probably have longer paid vacations than any other workers in the world. During these extended holiday times, they flock to places where me can feel free of rules, such as Spain and Greece with their Latin temperament, or Canada with its untamed wilderness.

I do not make these strong statements to denigrate the Germans. After all, with a last name of ‘Friesen,’ I myself have somewhat of a German background. However, I do want to emphasize that the paradise of Perceiver confidence has no native sons, only immigrants. And, emigrating from ‘Russia’ to ‘Germany’ is a difficult process. Even when the body and the mind live amidst the external paradise of a ‘Germany,’ the heart may still remain stuck in ‘Russia.’

This leads us to a paradox. On the one hand, I have suggested that an earthly paradise like Germany can be created only with Perceiver confidence. On the other hand, I have also stated that Perceiver confidence can be learned only by holding on to facts in the face of emotional pressure. But, isn’t paradise a location which is free of emotional pressure—a place of ease and luxury without want? After all, this is the traditional view of ‘paradise.’ If so, this means that any person who is born and grows up in ‘Germany’ cannot gain the Perceiver confidence which is required for him to become a true ‘citizen’ of ‘Germany,’ because he lives in a world which is free of emotional pressure. Instead, it is only the individual who is born in ‘Russia,’ with its emotional chaos, who has the opportunity to gain the Perceiver confidence that is necessary to become a true ‘German.’

If this is true, then every paradise has a finite lifetime, because the easy living which Perceiver confidence makes possible removes the difficult Mercy experiences which teach Perceiver confidence. Therefore, a society will go through the stages of growth, success, decadence and failure, just as the human body passes through childhood, maturity, aging, and death. This means that every ‘German’ success story is also the breeding ground for a ‘Russian’ failure.

The paradox of modern society:

·       Living in paradise removes the pressure needed to build paradise.

·       Every paradise that we build has a finite lifetime.

That sounds really depressing. Really, really, really depressing. Is there a better way? Do we have to go continually between heaven and hell? Does every attempt to leave hell have to be a struggle? Why can’t we stay in heaven all of the time? Cheer up. I suggest that there is a solution, if we are willing to pay the price. In order to understand this cost, we are going to have to look at the question of redefining me.

Personal Transformation

We have seen how 'facts' based in Mercy emotions and facts rooted in Perceiver confidence are separated by a threshold of uncertainty. Going from one to the other means crossing a mental no-man’s-land of doubt and confusion. I suggest that the same principle applies to the Perceiver facts which defineme. As we know, the self-image of a child is determined by culture, parents and other god-like figures. These emotional experiences and persons establish the set of Perceiver 'facts' which define the identity of the child—his self-image.

Rebuilding me upon a solid foundation of Perceiver confidence means throwing all of these 'facts' into confusion—each piece of information which defines me must be dragged through the threshold of uncertainty. As the Perceiver observer wakes up from the trance of childhood, it will question the 'facts' of childhood identity: “Who am I? What am I? What defines me?”

If this uncertainty were limited to Perceiver thought, it might be possible to survive the process. But, when the Perceiver glue of self-image dissolves, then Mercy strategy will feel that me itself is falling apart—which it is. And, as I mentioned before, people would rather feel severe pain than face mental annihilation. And we are not just talking here about normal mental annihilation. Rather, it is the core of our identity, the essence of the internal Mercy world, the emotional foundation for the entire mind,me, which is falling apart.

Obviously, the process of gaining sufficient Perceiver confidence to redefine me is a major undertaking, slightly more important and difficult than deciding what I am going to have for dinner tonight. This is the problem with many books on pop-psychology—the ‘User’s Guides to the Mind.’ They try to reduce the agony of changing self-image into a menu for success: “Would you like the fried rice with sweet and sour pork or the bold confidence combined with the personal touch?” Readers should be deeply insulted at being treated like some combination dish at a Chinese restaurant. If I take me seriously, then I will demand real answers, heavy issues, and deep feelings, because me is worth nothing less.

Over the next several pages, we are going to examine the process of redefining me. The name I give to this procedure is transformation. This word suggests that something personal is undergoing a metamorphosis from one form to something completely different. In a very real way, this is what me feels like—almost as if it is being redefined.[DD]

I should emphasize that transformation does not consist of a slow adjusting, shaping and fine-tuning of the me of childhood until it is gradually reformed into the me of the adult. There is no gradual way to jump across a chasm. Unless I leap far enough, I simply will not make it to the other side. And the two me’s are separated by a mental chasm—the gulf of the threshold of uncertainty. This means that somewhere there will be a ‘leap’ of identity, a ‘jump’ of personality, a letting go of the old me in order to sail through the clouds of uncertainty with nothing below me—in the hope that I will not plummet to my death below but rather land intact on the solid ground of a new me.

The Perceiver confusion which separates the childhood me from the transformed me also means that it is not possible to see from one side of the chasm to the other. Seeing where I am requires a mental map, and it is Perceiver strategy which is responsible for building this map. But, if Perceiver thought itselfis confused, then there will be no map. I may understand what is happening to me and be able to describe the process in intellectual terms, if it is explained to me in some book, but as far as me is concerned, there is nothing on the other side of the chasm, only gray clouds of utter confusion.

Personal transformation involves a major personal shift.

·       The old and new me’s are separated by a threshold of confusion.

·       Identity must cross this gap by leaping into ‘thin air.’

This means that I will not redefine me unless I have to. Only a crazy man would jump off a cliff if he did not know what was out there and could see only a blanket of clouds. And, I suggest that this is how many of us are forced to experience transformation. Living with our childhood me drives us so crazy with frustration and agony that we finally conclude that even the purgatory of confusion is better than the hell in which we are now living. In other words, the persecution in ‘Russia’ gets so bad that we decide that we are willing to risk everything in order to escape.

This is the path of suffering. It works, but at great cost. However, this is also the benefit of the chaos of ‘Russia.’ It is so horrible that it forces people to leave, and in leaving, they have the opportunity to experience transformation. Thus, the pain of remaining in ‘Russia’ counterbalances the agony of leaving.

Let me illustrate the ‘jump’ of personal transformation with an example from the real countries of Germany and Russia. I had the privilege for two summers of spending several months in Germany with immigrants from Russia. It is interesting that they can be divided into two major classes. The first group left during communism in order to escape personal persecution. These individuals tend to be honest and hard working. Why? Because they were forcedto jump from the cliff of the old me, and this leap helped them to experience personal transformation. In other words, the struggle of overcoming the barriers erected by the communist authorities drove their me to experience at least partial transformation. In contrast, the second group left after the fall of communism, to better themselves economically; they did not experience the same emotional pressure as the first group. Therefore, these individuals have brought the emotional baggage of Russia to Germany along with them, complete with Russian chaos, corruption and ‘Mafia.’ The second group did not have to jump, and so as far as me is concerned, they are still living in Russia. The only difference is that their physical bodies have moved a few thousand kilometers to the West.

The diagram below describes the three requirements for personal transformation. First, transformation is only possible if a new me exists. Building this new me takes time and effort. Second, the old me must eventually be destroyed. If transformation is to be complete, then in some way, the new me must eventually replace the old one. Third, personal transformation centers around a crisis point in which there is a shift in personal identity. This ‘leap’ happens at two levels. First, there is generally a major climax when the core of me makes the jump. Second, this fundamental point will be surrounded by scores of lesser crises in which smaller fragments of me make the shift.

The order of these three elements can vary. For instance, it is possible to emphasize the first point. In this case, identity will be drawn to the new me. Transformation may also be driven by the second aspect. Here, identity will be ‘kicked out’ of the old me. I suggest that the first option is more pleasant.

Head in the Clouds and Feet on the Ground

Anyone will eventually jump off a cliff if he is pushed hard enough. However, I suggest that a person can also be motivated to leap by the pull of vision. Suppose that I see something hovering out in the clouds which is so attractive that it makes everything around me look like hell. One could say, suppose that I peer through the clouds and get a glimpse of heaven. If the contrast between ‘heaven’ and my ‘hell’ is great enough, then I will jump, not because I was pushed, but rather because I was pulled.

But how does the mind create a ‘vision of heaven,’ and what if this heaven isn’t real but a figment of the imagination? Obviously, these are very important questions. Hinduism and Buddhism, for instance, teach people that salvation is achieved when I am sufficiently motivated by the vision of self-annihilation and self-denial to make a leap away from the bondage of the me of the child. But, if the result of abandoning self-image is the annihilation of self, then obviously nothing is left on the other side for me except an endless plummet through clouds of emptiness, or in Hindu terms, the selflessness of Nirvana. As far as I personally am concerned, though, I like solid ground, and I find the concept of eternal tumbling through nothingness to be totally unnerving. If that is the cure, then give me the sickness.

So how can I know that the mental vision which I see hovering in the clouds actually corresponds to something which is really out there? Let us see if we can use a little common sense to come up with an answer. In fact, why not build our solution out of common sense, since we know that this is one thing that is firmly rooted in the real world.

Have you ever considered the fact that every invention and modern convenience started out as the figment of someone’s imagination? Some individual standing on the edge of the me imposed upon him by his culture saw a vision in the clouds of uncertainty of how things could be and took the risk of leaping after that image of the possible. What turned his vision into reality? I suggest that it was Perceiver belief based in common sense. Let me explain. Perceiver facts, I said, describe connections between individual Mercy experiences. That is how common sense forms; Perceiver thought notices which Mercy experiences go together in a repeatable way and draws conclusions.

In common sense, the Perceiver observer may be awake, but it is still passive. It is observing carefully, but it is still only observing. Suppose, though, that Perceiver strategy becomes active and decides to believe in some fact and to pull it into the internal world of Perceiver thought. This Perceiver belief will reconnect Mercy experiences. The new Perceiver connection will regroup the experiences within Mercy thought; it will arrange them in different ways—by sorting them into differing groups. The result is that in my head, within the imagination[EE] of the Mercy internal world, I will see an object which does not exist in the real world. The experiences may come from out there, but the connections between these experiences are new.

We could think of this process as working with a building set such as Lego. Mercy memories are like Lego blocks—fragments of experience. Culture assembles these pieces in various ways. Therefore, as I go through life, Mercy thought is continually encountering Lego ‘cars,’ ‘buildings,’ and other objects or situations which people have constructed by putting together the Lego blocks of raw Mercy experience.

Internal visions of possibility are rooted in Perceiver belief:

·       Mercy experiences are connected together by Perceiver facts.

·       Perceiver thinking can manipulate these facts.

·       Perceiver belief in these new facts will rearrange Mercy memories.

The result is an internal Mercy picture of something new and different.

When Perceiver strategy believes in a certain fact, it is deciding to place confidence in a specific way of connecting these Lego blocks. If I come up with a way of connecting experiences which is novel, then I can turn this new idea into an actual object by putting real bits of material together in this newway. We see the fruit of this mental labor when we go to the store and notice some clever gadget which combines existing ideas in a novel manner. We see it, slap our heads with our hands and say, “Why didn’t I think of that. It’s so obvious. You just take a bit of this and put it together with a chunk of that and…voila!” Someone believed in a new Perceiver connection and turned it into reality. Why was his leap of faith successful? Because it was based in the Perceiver rules and logic of common sense, which in turn are rooted in the real world; he took what he saw and knew, and rearranged it, and this new arrangement could be imposed upon reality.

But what does a new combination can-opener and back-scratcher have to do with visions of ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’? A lot, because it is the same mind which is generating them both. In each case, a vision of new and improved existence is (hopefully) being transformed into reality. The only difference is that the corner store gives us better gadgetsand services while images of ‘heaven’ and ‘paradise’ promise us a new me along with a better body. In other words, one comes to us with better objects, while the other improves me. But, we know that me and object recognition use exactly the same mental circuitry—they both exploit interaction between Perceiver and Mercy thought. Me is built within the internal world of Perceiver and Mercy thinking, whereas object recognition occurs within automatic thought. Therefore, the principles which apply in one area should also be true in the other.

If this is correct, then I suggest that the following principles can guide us in creating visions of ‘heaven’ to which we can leap with at least reasonable confidence that we will land upon solid ground.

First, I suggest that a ‘heaven’ has to be based upon Perceiver logic, confidence, and common sense. This is because it is Perceiver confidence and common sense which allow us to create the order of ‘Germany’; it is only by working with these ‘bricks’ that we can build a ‘heaven.’ In contrast, if we work with the frozen mud of emotional 'facts,' we will end up inevitably with the chaos of ‘Russia.’ No matter how beautiful our ‘heaven’ appears, it will turn eventually into ‘hell.’ In other words, if we want lasting results, we must use solid building material.

I suggest that the United States from the Second World War to the 1990s provides an illustration of this principle. Never in the history of mankind have so many people had it so good for so long as in the United States during this period. What is experienced daily goes far beyond what the medieval person dreamed for in paradise. How have Americans responded to this ‘heaven on earth’? Curiously, we find American society pervaded with destructive thoughts, images and actions. There is violence on television, murder in the streets, confrontation in the courts, and dog-eat-dog competition in business. Isn’t it strange that a country which is so close to ‘heaven’ would lust after ‘hell’? Why is this? I suggest the basic reason is that at the core of their personalities, Americans are really ‘Russian’ and not ‘German.’ Deep down, they follow emotional 'facts' and are repelled by rational logic. After all, does it make sense to choose to focus upon pain and disaster?

Second, if we want to construct a vision of ‘heaven’ which can be brought ‘down to earth,’ then I suggest that it must be possible for Perceiver thought to find logical similarities between present life and any ‘heaven’ which we see hovering in the clouds. In other words, if we want to redefine me using Perceiver confidence and logic, then it must be possible to redefine me using Perceiver confidence and logic.

This means that personal transformation is only feasible if I use Perceiver strategy to search for connections and similarities between the present me and the possible me of the future. This is because Perceiver thought operates by looking for connections and similarities. If I expect my ‘heaven’ to be completely different from my present life here on ‘earth,’ then ‘heaven’ will always remain a vision in the clouds, separate from me, because by its very nature, it will be unattainable.

Finally, I suggest that a ‘heaven’ must always contain Mercy experiences which are like those in our present life. This is because Perceiver logic is only capable of relinking experiences which live within Mercy thought. It cannot destroy Mercy memories or create them out of nothing. It can onlytake Mercy memories apart and put them together in new ways.

For example, compare our modern Western society with the world of two hundred years ago. We still eat, sleep, talk, send messages, travel, learn, build, and even go to the bathroom. All of these Mercy experiences have remained unchanged. However, the Perceiver connections between these experiences have altered vastly. We now speak over long distances with the help of a telephone, but we still talk. We enter an airplane and soar like a bird, but we still travel. We build incredible skyscrapers using massive machines, but we still build. We have flush toilets with fans to remove odors and sewer systems which process our waste, but we still go to the bathroom. We buy instant food packages and stick them in the microwave oven, but we still eat.

Ah, says the religious person. In the real heaven, that will all be different because we will have completely new bodies. We will no longer need to eat, sleep, travel, learn, and build, and as for toilets, they will never again be mentioned, for they will not be required. Let us suppose that all of this is true and that in some way we get to exchange our old physical containers for new and improved versions. Let us also assume that with all of these physical necessities out of the way, it will be possible to find something to occupy our attention. Unfortunately, what remains intact and unchanged is the childish me of irrationalism and chaos along with the Perceiver footing of mesmerized mud, and this is sufficient to turn any ‘heaven’ back into ‘hell.’

But, continues the religious person, not only will we have new bodies, but we will also have new minds. In heaven, me will be perfect. No impure thought will ever cross our imaginations. Again, let us pretend that this is possible. Let us also assume that after having removed all thoughts which directly or indirectly concern impurity, something will be left to think about, and me will not end up completely devoid of content. What would happen if both our physical bodies and our emotional desires were changed at the same time?

This would mean altering both the me of the physical body and the me of Mercy identification simultaneously, because changing my physical body would change the me of the physical body and changing my desires would alter the me of Mercy identification. Let us examine this possibility.

Changing Both ME’s Simultaneously

It appears that something must at all times hold together at least some aspect of me. A redefining of my identity can only be done by playing one aspect of me against the other—I ‘walk forward’ by moving part of me while at the same time keeping the other aspect of me firmly on solid ground. Therefore, I suggest that the result of trying to alter both definitions of me at the same time would be total mental annihilation. The edge of the cliff, on which the childish me stands peering out into the mists of the threshold of uncertainly, may be rather uncomfortable, but it is at least solid. If some ‘God’ were to wave His magic wand and dissolve this ground into thin air, what would be left, except for an endless plunging through the voids of nothingness?

In this sense, there is no difference between the religious person who hopes for instant salvation when he reaches heaven and the Eastern mystic who tries to escape into Nirvana. The solution of both involves the destruction of me and defines salvation as a shadowy world of eternal existence which has no connection to life or to this present world. The only difference is that the eastern mystic tries to reach heaven now whereas the individual with religious blind 'faith' 'believes' that his ‘heaven’ will be reached in the future when he dies.

It is impossible to change both me’s at the same time.

·       One me must remain solid while the other me changes.

·       Changing both me’s at the same time would create mental chaos.

By the way, I hope that I am not confusing you by mixing the topic of personal transformation with that of ‘life after death.’ In our minds, we tend to keep these two subjects quite separate. However, I suggest that they are intimately related. First, if life after death really does exist, then learning how to survive in the new world will involve at least some form of personal transformation. Second, where did our mental image of ‘life after death’ come from in the first place? Some set of Perceiver facts managed to relink Mercy experiences and thus build an internal picture of a better world for me—Perceiver strategy had to work with Mercy experiences which already exist, for it cannot manufacture them out of thin air. The idea, in various religions, of life after death in heaven, hints therefore at the mental significance here on this earth of personal transformation and its vision of a better world—this is evidently theseed from which these higher concepts developed.

In fact, what we are really talking about is building ‘heaven’ on ‘earth.’ Making a transition to ‘heaven’ requires the stability of an ‘earth,’ and the ‘heaven’ which is created will end up coming back down to ‘earth.’ This is an important principle. As we know, there are two ways of defining me, either with our physical bodies or through Mercy identification. I would suggest, therefore, that both of these definitions cannot be altered simultaneously. Most systems in our world today, such as communism, socialism, capitalism or religion, do not realize this. They assume that changing a person’s environment will automatically change his mindset. In other words, they think that by altering the me of the physical body, they can bring instant improvement to the me of Mercy identification. In contrast, the history of these systems suggests that change in the one aspect of me tends to cement the other more strongly in place, just as lifting up one leg puts all of my body weight on the other foot.

We have just seen how Western religion falls into this error. It feels that giving the human 'believer' a new body and a new world will instantly give hima new mind. Similarly, the central tenet of communism is that changing an individual’s economic status will alter the person. Likewise, socialism assumes that people will be emotionally satisfied if they are given the resources that they need. Capitalism also thinks that individuals will be successful if they are given sufficient freedom. In all cases, altering the environment is thought to change the person.

What happens when the physical me is changed before the me of Mercy identification has been reprogrammed? You get very clever people following goals which are really dumb. In other words, you get our modern society. Why are we clever? Because we use objective thinking to transform the me of our physical bodies. Why do we follow dumb goals? Because some aspect of me must remain solid in order to preserve personal integration. Therefore, as our physical world has changed around us, the me of Mercy identification has clutched all the more strongly on to the security blankets and idols of our past in order to maintain some kind of stability in our evolving identity.

We can see this same principle at work in the industrializing countries. Generally speaking, they are willing to accept Western technology as long as they can hold on to their native culture. In other words, they will change the me of the physical body if they can retain their existing me of Mercy identification. By the same token, whenever technological change has threatened the core of local culture, then people and countries have rebelled against further progress and have attempted to preserve their culture at all costs. You see, the human mind really does not like plummeting through the void. The only reason that the Eastern mystic can ‘live’ with his head totally in the clouds is that his feet are absolutely anchored in the permafrost of his Eastern culture.

Let me summarize. There are two me’s: the me of Mercy identification and the me of the physical body. First, we cannot change both of them at the same time. This leads to mental disintegration. We see this illustrated by the rebellion of industrializing countries against excessive Western culture. Second, if we try to change one aspect of me, then the other part of me will be forced to hold more strongly on to something that is solid. This explains why our Western world has struggled to protect its culture and religion from the encroaching influences of modern technology. Third, if one part of me is solid, then the other part of me can be allowed to drift. This is why a country such as the United States can get away with lusting after death and destruction. Because it is industrialized and the me of the physical body is in good condition, the me of Mercy identification can be permitted to float into various alternate realities to gain excitement, or to practice mind games that remove feelings of guilt.[FF]

Changing one ME at a Time

Changing both forms of me simultaneously may lead to mental disaster, but I suggest that altering one at a time is a very different story. This appears to be quite possible. We could compare this process to walking. First, we use either the me of Mercy identification or the me of the physical body to build a corresponding partial new me on the other side of the chasm of uncertainty. This is like picking up one foot and putting it on the other side of the gap. While we are changing one aspect of me, we keep the other side of me fixed. This is like using our second foot to hold up our weight while moving forward with our first foot. Second, we transfer our personal identity from the old me to the new me, just as walking transfers the weight of the body from the back foot to the forward one. Finally, we let go of the old me and allow the new me to pull it across. This is like lifting up our back foot and pulling it forward.

This leaves us with a choice. Which aspect of me are we going to alter first? Which ‘foot’ are we going to lift up at the beginning? Let us look at the two alternatives, starting with the one being followed by the world around us today.

By the way, this is our first pass through the topic of personal transformation. If everything does not make perfect sense, don’t worry. We will be examining the subject again. Because the issue is so essential—after all, what is more important to me than me—I will walk through the process twice, each time emphasizing different aspects.

First, we can build a new me with our physical bodies while leaving the me of Mercy identification behind. How do we move ahead with the me of our physical bodies? We learn new skills, we gain understanding about our natural world and about our physical bodies, we pursue goals of external wealth and improvement, and so on. In other words, we do what is being done in today’s society.

But how can we leave the me of Mercy identification behind while placing the other foot forward? Well, we know that whenever something good comes along, the me of identification will automatically try to identify with the pleasant experience. Therefore, if we want to keep the me of Mercy identificationaway from the me of the physical body, then whatever we do with our physical bodies is going to have to produce some sort of painful result: Face Mercy identification with suffering and it will do its best to avoid the discomfort. Where does the me of Mercy identification go today when it experiences hurt? It runs to find comfort among its memories and its idols.[GG] Therefore, if our physical actions lead in some way to emotional pain and discomfort, this will repel Mercy identification and force it to remain shivering on the cliff trying to hold on to some pleasant memories in the past. We are now ‘straddling’ the chasm of uncertainty, with one ‘foot’ on the near side and the other on the far side.

This sort of thing happens, for instance, when I experience personal tragedy. Something horrible happens which makes Mercy feelings cry out in agony and run for the ‘shelter’ of emotional comfort. Meanwhile, my body has to keep on living and working. Gradually this builds two separate me’s. On the one side there is the public me, guiding my physical body through life and smiling at those who pass by. Meanwhile, the hidden emotional me is crying and whimpering inside.

Now look more closely at our present society. It chooses to improve the me of the physical body. It does so by using objective thought. This encroaches upon the realm of the subjective, causing people to doubt the emotional 'truth' of culture, religion, society, and the me of Mercy identification. Why? Because of the threshold of uncertainty. If the overall level of Perceiver confidence rises, then emotional 'truth' in every area automatically becomes uncertain.[HH] This leaves the me of Mercy identification in a bind, because the growth of objective thought destroys subjective 'truth' without providing an alternative. Why? Because objective understanding, by definition, is objective—it avoids Mercy feelings and ignores the me of Mercy identification. Thus, no matter how wonderful the conveniences which objective growth bestows upon its citizens, they will end up feeling emotionally naked. They will sense that the clothes of culture have been torn from their subjective identity and that no other garments are being provided. The end result will be Mercy anguish. And, what does the me of Mercy identification do when it experiences hurt? It comforts itself with its memories and its idols.

Thus, our society has reached the position where our identity is ‘doing the splits’ across the threshold of uncertainty. What now? Let us assume that we wish to complete the process of transformation. First, we have to make sure that the forward foot is placed solidly. Since the new me of our physical bodies is constructed out of Perceiver confidence, this means that our physical body must live in an environment full of repeatable cause and effect. In other words, our physical condition must last long enough to convince Perceiver thought that it will always be with me—regardless of how much the me of Mercy identification loathes the situation. For western society, this means accepting technology. We have created a modern world ruled by natural law and order. If we want to anchor the ‘forward foot’ of the me of the physical body, then we must continue to live within this world.

Second, we have to make sure that both ‘feet’ are connected to the same body. There is no point in trying to jump across a chasm on someone else’s ‘legs.’ Rather, I must be the one whose ‘body’ is dangling above the precipice, and both ‘legs’ must belong to this same ‘body.’ Moving from metaphor to reality, this means that both me’s must be connected: The situation that is produced by the me of my physical body must be the very situation which makes the me of Mercy identification feel miserable. Unless both me’s describe the same predicament, it is not possible for identity to change from one me to the other. Unfortunately, modern society has erected a huge barrier which keeps these two me’s completely separate—the division between subjective and objective. If we want to experience transformation, then this wall must be torn down. Otherwise, our identities will remain permanently split.

Third, I have to ‘shift my weight’ from the back ‘foot’ to the forward ‘foot.’ This is hard enough to do when crossing physical gullies, but when trying to change me, it can be almost impossible. For the individual who suffers personal tragedy, he must let go of his hurt and decide to continue living. For the technological society, it means holding on to the method of science while at the same time being willing to let go of the irrationalism of the past. The temptation is to cling to the ‘good old days,’ to throw out the technology and to start hugging trees or glorifying pioneers.


Personal Transformation is like walking—it requires two me’s.

·       The first me anchors itself solidly to the ‘ground.’

·       The second me detaches itself and moves forward.

·       The second me then plants itself down on the ‘ground.’

·       Then the first me detaches from the ground.

·       Finally the first me moves forward to join the second me.

Of course, if the ground beneath my back ‘foot’ begins to crumble, then I have no choice but to jump. How does one dissolve the foundation under a back ‘foot,’ for a me of Mercy identification rooted in emotional 'facts'? Simple. You get rid of idols and debunk emotional sources—as I am doing here in this book. Remember that the me of the child is based in emotionally important people, events, and objects. Alter these emotional supports, and me simply falls apart. We call this step ‘removing a person’s crutches.’

How violently will an individual react when his idols are disturbed? Well, it depends upon how much ‘weight’ he is placing upon them. If most of the ‘weight’ of personal identity has moved forward, then they will slide away fairly easily. However, if he is clutching on to them for dear life, his reaction may be quite violent, and reaching the far side may involve quite a clumsy kind of jump. Pity the poor individual who still has both ‘feet’ firmly placed on the side of emotional 'truth.' When the ‘earthquake’ comes and the ‘idols’ begin to topple, he falls with them.

What does it feel like when identity changes from one me to another? Exactly like it sounds. I literally change inside. What used to be me is no longer me. I feel ‘reborn’—as if I have died and come back to life again.

We have examined now what happens when the me of the physical body moves ahead while the me of Mercy identification stays with emotional 'facts.' Notice the key role that is played by suffering—it separates the two legs, and it forces the final jump. Again we are back to the conclusion that every ‘Germany’ requires a ‘Russia.’ There must be a better way.[II] Well, let us see what happens if we keep the me of our physical bodies on this side of the cliff while we use the me of Mercy identification to probe the uncertain clouds which separate emotional 'facts' from logical facts.

When the me associated with my physical body was probing the mists of Perceiver uncertainty, as in our previous option, there was external change—some lasting external series of events convinced common sense that me was different. In contrast, when the me of Mercy identification establishes the bridgehead, then the initial changes are entirely mental. They are not seen by others.

The goal of this alternate kind of mental probing is to use Mercy identification to build a new me held together, as before, by Perceiver logic and confidence. Above all, this requires internal honesty and integrity. If I use Mercy identification to fly away to some mental world of escapism, then I will not be building a new me, but simply playing games with the old one.

In scientific circles, this type of mental probing is called research. We all know that research is useful only if it is honest and accurate; that is what distinguishes research from fiction. The scientist who intentionally falsifies data or who spreads lies is usually rejected very quickly by the scientific community. And yet, we also know that honest research is often quite difficult, especially when personal emotions are involved. For instance, do we trust the words of a scientist who says that smoking tobacco is not harmful when we find that he works for the tobacco industry?

Unfortunately, it is exactly this type of painful honesty which is required for building a new me. We must include the subjective in our research, because we are not simply working with a set of abstract beliefs, but we are constructing a new me, and me, by definition, is my subjective part. In practical terms, this means bringing my personal life to my work with me, acknowledging my ‘sins’ when I worship ‘God,’ including my subjective feelings in my scientific research, being honest in my business, telling the truth in my marketing, and building personal integrity into my love life. Ouch, that hurts! Of course it does. But isn’t it better than the alternatives of either leaving me locked in the childhood fantasies of emotional 'truth,' or having me forced across the chasm into adulthood by some physical trauma or disaster?

It is precisely this agony of personal honesty which builds the Perceiver confidence that is required in order to hold the new me together. Remember that there is no way to build Perceiver confidence except through holding on to facts in the midst of emotional pressure. As Perceiver belief grows in confidence, it becomes strong enough to reconnect memories within the internal world of Mercy thought. The result is an inner vision of how things could be. It is as if the clouds of uncertainty clarify slowly into shapes and forms. At first I only see these possibilities dimly and vaguely, but as Perceiver belief continues to build, this inner sight becomes ever sharper until the clouds actually start to look solid. The result is that one mental ‘foot’ ends up being placed upon the far side.[JJ]

Eventually, the inner picture of what could be becomes so bright that it appears more stable and real even than the ground upon which the old me is ‘standing.’ This is when the old me makes the shift from the ground on this side, to the clouds on the other, and by making this shift, turns these clouds of Perceiver belief into solid ground and reveals the ‘ground’ of emotional 'truth' on this side as the oozing mud which it really is. Remember, it is Mercy strategy which adds individual experiences to the abstract connections of Perceiver thought, and when Mercy identity makes the jump into the new me, then it turns this me into reality by attaching the flesh of new emotional Mercy experiences onto the skeleton of Perceiver self-image which was previously built by Perceiver logic.

We notice this type of mental shift illustrated sometimes by the entrepreneur with his new product. His vision of improved reality can be so real to him that he believes his version of reality more than he trusts his own senses. For instance, Steven Jobs, the personal computer innovator, was described as carrying with him a ‘reality distortion field,’ as he combined computer facts with computing possibilities. However, he also solidified his internal visions into the Apple, Macintosh, and Next Step computers.

We have seen how one ‘foot’ is placed upon the other side of the chasm. How about the other ‘foot,’ the me of the physical body? It can only move after identity has transferred into the new me constructed by Mercy identification, and this can take a very long time. Paradoxically, people who do not wish to change or move can actually assist me in ‘stepping forward’. This principle is especially true when I, as an individual, move forward with the me of Mercy identification while living in a society which is moving ahead with the me of the physical body. Everyone will think that I am putting the wrong ‘foot’ forward—I am answering questions which no one is asking, and ignoring goals which everyone is pursuing. In this case, me will have to straddle the chasm until something breaks. Either my vision becomes bright enough to attract the attention of others, or the suffering of society becomes sufficiently great for others to start asking questions, or I split apart mentally and lose the ability to bridge the gap.

During this time of waiting and tension, logical research and thinking is going on, but nothing substantial is changing externally. Everything continues the way it always has been, except that I increasingly see and understand that the existing situation cannot continue. But that is dreadful! Imagine mentally straddling a chasm after years of research because, externally, it seems that nothing which I say or do has any effect or makes a shred of difference.

I don’t have to imagine it. This literally describes where my research led me. It was precisely the stress provided by the gap between internal and external reality which gave me the ability to ‘teleport’ across the chasm of uncertainty—that was how I ‘grew’ the ‘legs’ which allowed me to ‘walk’ across the gap.[KK] Without some form of chasm, my childhood me would have remained essentially intact; a little smarter and more polished perhaps, but deep down, still a foolish little child. Furthermore, the delay in implementation built Perceiver confidence, making my internal image of the world on the other side brighter, clearer and more solid.

All that remains is to dissolve the old me provided by my physical body—to ‘lift up’ the back ‘foot’ and to bring it forward. This happens when action finally turns ideas into reality. By implementing my internal vision and building a better world, or by having it implemented by others, my physical body finds itself living in a new and improved environment, which now matches the me of Mercy identification—that is, if my visions can be made real. However, if the kingdom of ‘heaven’ cannot come down to ‘earth,’ if it is not possible to do things on ‘earth’ as they are done in ‘heaven,’ if people around me will not change, then I remain stuck trying to live on both sides of the mental chasm. Like the Eastern mystic or the Western philosopher, my head is in the clouds, but my feet are glued firmly to the stubbornly solid earth of the old me—which refuses to dissolve. I become split, both here and there, and as a result, neither here nor there, but rather with my identity stretched upon the rack, and the chasm of uncertainty a deep wound which runs through the heart of me.

Suffering versus Patience

I suggested that the option of moving first with the me of the physical body describes the path of suffering. In contrast, I suggest that moving initially with the me of Mercy identification represents the road of patience. Both options can produce personal transformation.

We can illustrate the difference between suffering and patience with the help of a diagram. In suffering, a disaster occurs which makes me feel bad for a length of time. While in this situation, the wish is for life to return to normal. In contrast, patience starts with normal life. In this case, the wish is for something good to happen. In both situations, it is the gap between the real and the desired me which forces the identity transfer to occur; it spreads my two feet apart, pulling one ‘leg’ forward and the other backward.

We encountered the idea of patience earlier on when examining conscience. There, we were looking at an episode of patience, while here we are referring to the path of patience. If I learn patience in enough individual situations, then eventually I will reach the point where my identity itself begins to be characterized by patience. It is this repetition which turns an episode of patience into the path of patience. In other words, patience now becomes the building block out of which the structure of the new me is formed. Patience is present in suffering as well. Suffering is motivated by the emotional pain of either hurt, guilt or failure—some inescapable experience which is imposed upon me. This is not the building material of the new me. Rather, it is the method by which the old me is torn down. Destruction of the old me leaves identity out in the open, exposed to the elements. This leads to a search for building material out of which a more solid and lasting me can be constructed. That building material, I suggest, is again patience. The agony of living with my problem while wishing that I could get rid of it slowly builds patience—if I allow it to happen. In other words, only patience can build a new me, and the path of suffering works because it also ends up teaching patience.

Text Box: 	Path of Suffering	Path of Patience  	Feels  	Good  	Normal	 	‘blah’ me	   	Life  	Feels	  	bad me	   	Bad  	TIMEI suggest that we often tend to confuse patience with ignorance. We may look at the struggling peasant in the third world and think that he has great patience. No, he doesn’t. He only appears to have patience because he does not know any better. It is only when he sees how things could be that he needs to exercise patience. The average peasant’s lack of patience was shown by the success of communism in the emerging third world during the twentieth century. When the ignorant peasant encountered the baubles and trinkets of Western civilization, he saw for the first time how much better his life could be. Because he lacked patience, he was deceived by communism and revolution—it promised a shortcut to consumer paradise. However, by destroying the Perceiver integrity of sowing and reaping, private ownership, honesty, conscience, and individuality, the revolutionary denied to himself the path of patience and plunged headlong into the option of suffering. By rushing ahead with his physical body rather than probing first with his mind, he had to grow up the hard way, and in the process, often destroyed the very physical wealth for which he lusted.

The individual with patience is the one who sees how good things could be and yet still acknowledges and accepts the way things are. He sees the future, but chooses to live in the present, so that it can be turned into the future. Patience means living next to a mansion and being satisfied with my bungalow while doing the hard work that is necessary for me to get my own mansion. Patience means going to church and worshipping the mental image of a perfect ‘God,’ while accepting that I am imperfect and that I need to be changed step by step in order to match up to my internal vision of perfection. Patience means seeing all the items which are advertised in the media, and then enjoying what I have while saving up for what I really want. Patience means electing a government which will stop deficit financing and then cheering as my benefits are slashed, knowing that these hard choices will set the country’s fiscal house in order. In each case, I am willing to live alongside an emotional vision which is better than my present physical reality.

Notice also that we have described the problem of the teenager in more detail. The teen who rebels usually does so with the help of his physical body. He leaves home; he ‘hangs out’ with his buddies; he avoids his parents; he wears strange clothes and hairstyles; he acts bizarre; he tries out sex and drugs. By running ahead of his mind with his physical body, I suggest that he condemns himself, like the peasant revolutionary, to the option of suffering. His road really is a dead-end solution. In contrast, the teenager who ‘grows up’ usually keeps his physical body at home, in a secure environment in contact with his parents and other figures of the establishment. His mind travels first, and then his body follows. He thinks things through, and then he acts. For him, I suggest that the path of patience is open.

We have looked at two ways of redefining me. Our solution may sound complete, but I suggest that two major factors are still missing. First, there is the problem of ‘propulsion.’ We have described how identity makes the shift from old to new me—a type of personal leap into the unknown. In order to make this transition, I suggest that me must be taught how to fly. In other words, Mercy identity requires access to some sort of mental strategy which can lift it off the ground and propel it across the chasm of uncertainty. Believe it or not, this method does exist, and it has nothing to do with magic. Rather I suggest that mental ‘wings’ are provided by Teacher thought and Teacher understanding. So, we will now move our attention from the right hemisphere of associative thinking, and turn to the left hemisphere of analytical thought, starting with Teacher strategy.[LL]

But first, the second missing factor. Unfortunately, we still have the problem of guilt. The nasty pain induced by honesty in areas of personal shortcoming often prevents me from completing the leap across the chasm separating childhood 'facts' from adult belief. It is fine to talk, in theoretical terms, about changing me, and even to study the process in detail. But, suppose that I actually discover that a new me is really possible. Once I accept this fact, then all of my previous endeavors become laced with feelings of guilt. Why? Because every Mercy goal which I pursued while living within the old me has become a dead-end—literally. My pursuit of the ‘bait’ of childish identification, blame and denial, has ‘hooked’ me with the unpleasant results of a childish me. This me is now faced with the sentence of ‘death.’ And the longer that I have lived within the old me, the stronger will be these impending feelings of guilt.

We can see this principle illustrated by the response of the Western World to the carnage of the First World War. A whole generation of young people was almost wiped out by the withering fire of the machine gun. What was the root cause of this war? I suggest that it was the childish me of nationalism and imperialism. This mentality motivated millions to volunteer as cannon fodder. As a result, those who were still alive began, even during the war, to conceive of a new me, in which nations cooperated instead of constantly fighting one another. But, the war and the dying continued. Why? Because abandoning the old me would have meant admitting that all of the fighting had been useless and worthless. The feeling of guilt which this would have produced was too great to accept. Therefore, the rallying cry became, “They must not have died in vain,” and the war effort continued, as nations struggled to prove that the old me did not have to be abandoned. Because of this blind refusal to face guilt, millions more died, cut down by senseless forays into a real no-man’s land of flying bullets.

When the war finally did come to a close, then the problem of guilt could no longer be avoided. How was it ‘solved’? By placing the responsibility on the losers. In the Peace Accord was a clause specifically blaming the Germans for causing the war and ordering the German nation to pay impossibly high sums in war reparations, in the process bankrupting the country, and laying the foundation for a new war.

I should point out that the need for an answer to guilt comes at a different stage in the path of patience than it does in the path of suffering. As long as mental growth in the first alternative is somewhat theoretical, and the old me is left undisturbed, then there will be no major feelings of guilt.[MM] This means that the path of patience only needs to solve the problem of guilt near the end of its journey, because it uses understanding to build the vision of a new me, while leaving the old me intact. The old me is only forced to change when the second ‘leg’ of personal identity is lifted up and brought forward.

In contrast, suffering requires a solution for guilt which can be applied right away, because it begins with a painful crisis which attacks the old me. Since this book is emphasizing the path of patience, I can leave this question unanswered until later. It does not help for me to discuss guilt logically with those who choose to follow suffering. This is because they are at the beginning of their mental journey, and me is still based solidly upon emotional 'truth.' Therefore, what they need is a solution for guilt that involves defining experiences and blind 'faith.' A solution does exist, and it does work.

Now that I have managed to defer a discussion about guilt, let us turn to the topic of Teacher strategy and mental ‘flying.’ As every good Teacher person knows, we must solve our problems one step at a time in sequence, and read our books one page at a time from start to finish. This path may be somewhat boring, but contact with reality and with my Teacher brother has slowly taught me, the Perceiver person, that doing things in the proper order does occasionally have its merits. Arghhh!

Teacher Strategy

Let us start our examination of the Teacher person [NN] by taking another look at the diagram of mental symmetry. Notice that the Teacher is at the top left corner of the diagram. This is easy to remember. His head is always in the clouds working with theories, therefore his name is at the top, and he uses left hemisphere processing, so his name is on the left of the diagram. Any other questions?

If you look at the diagonal label, you find that the Teacher person thinks emotionally. Your response at this point may be: “What!? You mean that those dry, mathematical sorts actually feel? They are so dry, you couldn’t get a drop of emotional moisture out of them if you put them through a wringer.” Exactly. The reason that the ‘dry theoretical type’ can exist without any apparent feeling is that he has discovered another type of emotion—that of understanding. Like the ferns which live without roots and obtain their moisture directly from the air, the Teacher person can pull feeling directly from the rarefied atmosphere of theory and understanding. We have all experienced the positive Teacher emotion of comprehension, when the ‘light’ goes on inside and things suddenly make sense. We also have all sensed the Teacher pain of not being able to put things together, and of having to live with fragments which do not fit. We will describe Teacher emotion in detail in just a moment, but first let us look at some other aspects of Teacher thought.

The diagram indicates that Teacher and Server modes work with analytical processing. This type of thinking involves sequences—as in reading the book from page one through to the end. A sequence is like a train. A train may consist of just the locomotive or it may contain a long chain of railroad cars. In the same way, a sequence may have only one single element or it may be the result of joining together many segments. Speech and writing are verbal sequences. For instance, a sentence can be as short as ‘Hi’ or as long as some of the statements in this book. Notice how simple comments themselves join into a long integrated sequence of words, sentences and paragraphs which flows on from one page to the next.

Analytical thinking is like a railroad switching yard. Trains are taken apart and reassembled; railroad cars are rearranged, removed from one train, and added to another train. In a real sense, analytical thinking is what produces the ‘train’ of thought. In addition, it gives the Teacher person his ‘one-track mind.’ Once he starts with a problem or a sequence, then he wants to continue until it is finished.

Teacher Sequences

Teacher sequences come in many different forms. I suggest that Teacher strategy is in fact responsible for many aspects of thought which we would not initially associate with abstract processing. Speech, for instance, is an example of Teacher mode working with sound. When I talk, I make a sequence of noises that expresses my ‘train’ of thought: “H…e…ll…o, H…o…w  a…re  y…ou?” It may seem rather demeaning to associate human speech with a series of grunts, but when I listen to a foreign language, as far as my mind is concerned, what I am hearing is only a sequence of sonic squeaks and rattles.

Rhythm is another sequence of sounds which is analyzed by Teacher thought. Unlike speech, the acoustic sequences of rhythm do not convey any explicit meaning. However, rhythm does contain order and patterns, and this attracts Teacher thought. Of course, it is always possible to assign meaning to a sequence of rhythm, and this is how Morse code operates. Each letter of the alphabet corresponds to a certain series of long and short beats. However, even musical rhythms can become associated with some type of meaning. For example, we all know that a rhythm of “oom-pah-pah, oom-pah-pah” goes together with a waltz. Try singing the ‘Blue Danube Waltz’ to a rhythm of “boom-chick-diddly-oom, boom-chick-diddly-oom.” It doesn’t work; the pattern is wrong, the sequence is messed up.

Teacher sequences can also involve sight as well as sound. You are looking at one example right now. It is called writing. Notice how each letter is formed out of a series of lines and how these visual outlines are connected together into a sequence. The sequence of writing becomes more apparent when we take our pen to paper and start writing.[OO] We literally leave a trail of ink behind us to mark the movements of our hand. Mathematics is another form of Teacher sequence which is often combined with writing: A mathematical equation is a series of abstract symbols which we can write down on a piece of paper. Mathematics itself is the exercise of going through a sequence of steps which massage and manipulate these mathematical equations.

The outline of an object is another example of a visual Teacher sequence. When we look at the shape of a car or the form of a human body, our eye will often follow the lines which are formed by the outline of the object. We speak of the curves of the female body or the lines of a car, and sometimes these two are combined, with the curvy girl curving over the curves of the car.

Finally, when objects or people move, their actions trace out a visual sequence. In our mind’s eye we can easily imagine the path that they are following, as if their movements were like those of a pen, leaving a mental trail of ink behind to mark their progress. I suggest that it is Teacher thought which does this mental ‘marking,’ looking, as usual, for the sequence behind the event, just as Perceiver thought tries to find the fact behind the experience.

There are four basic types of Teacher sequences:

1. Words. These are patterns of noise to which we assign meaning.

2. Visual Outline. This is a spatial pattern of lines and curves.

3. Path. This is a pattern of lines and curves which occurs over time.

4. Rhythm. These are repeated noise patterns which have no specific meaning.

Teacher strategy can also use thought to move beyond the basic sequences of sound and sight. Teacher thought may use words in order to build general theories. This book is an example of a general theory. Sometimes so much mental processing occurs that it becomes difficult for Teacher thought to go from theories back to words in order to verbalize understanding. Visual outline can also become very abstract. Galileo’s research started by studying the visual paths traced out by the swinging of a pendulum or the dropping of a ball. Kepler analyzed the paths followed by the planets as they moved through the heavens. Newton (a Teacher person; Galileo and Kepler were Facilitator persons) built an entire system of scientific law and theory upon the motion of objects. Sometimes visual outlines become so abstract that they lose all connection with sight. We speak, for instance, of the outline of a book, which describes the path of concepts that is being followed.

If you look at the previous examples, you will notice that, while all are very different, they have a tendency to blend into one another. For instance, verbal sounds and curvy lines have nothing in common with each other, yet writing combines these two types of Teacher sequences: We use strings of curvy lines called ‘letters’ to represent collections of sounds called ‘words.’ Visual outlines and general theories are also quite different, but these two concepts come together in the outline of a book or a speech. Similarly, many of the first scientific theories came from an analysis of visual path. This data could be shown with graphs—wavy lines drawn on paper describing sequences of events, and analyzed with mathematics—sequences of letters written upon paper describing general theories. In fact, the previous example combines together four different Teacher elements: Graphs, equations, theories and sequences. Sometimes even a fifth Teacher sequence is added: The monotonous words of a lecturing university mathematics professor. We find this combining of Teacher sequences in other areas as well. Morse code pulls together Teacher words and Teacher rhythm, and we often speak of the rhythm of life as we go through the repetitive cycles of days, months and seasons.

Teacher Emotion

I suggest that there is a reason why Teacher sequences tend to mix together: Teacher strategy looks for order, and Teacher thought feels good when separate Teacher sequences can be combined into one general system. Therefore, Teacher mode is emotionally driven to find ways of bringing together visual curves, speech, rhythm, path, general theories and any other types of Teacher sequences which exist. The more, the merrier. As long as each ‘guest’ acts in an ordered way, Teacher thought likes to fill the ‘room’ of a general theory with as many ‘people’ as possible.

The suggestion that order and theories are related to emotion is probably a new concept to most readers. That is because most of us do not develop general Teacher theories, and as a result seldom experience strong Teacher emotion. While our physical bodies continually bombard our minds with Mercyfeelings of pain and pleasure, these same mortal containers force us to wade through Teacher sequences one step at a time. The result is that our Teacher feelings also have to be constructed bit by bit. Therefore, when we think of emotions, we automatically assume that we are referring to Mercy thought, experiences and feelings. However, I suggest that Teacher thought also works with emotions and that, when properly developed, these feelings are just as real and intense as those which come from Mercy experiences.

I suggest that good Teacher emotion comes from discovering order within complexity. Notice that both order and complexity are required in order to produce a good Teacher feeling. Teacher thought feels good when many items can be pulled together into one general statement, plan or theory. In contrast, Teacher thought feels bad when a number of individual elements exist which refuse to come together, but rather remain fragmented. The more pieces there are which join together, the better Teacher thought feels. The more bits there are that remain disjointed, the worse Teacher strategy will feel. If there are only a few items, then Teacher emotion will be neither very good nor very bad, and Teacher attention will probably drift to some other topic.

We could compare Teacher emotion to the status of a king.[PP] The prestige of the ruler depends upon the number of his subjects, and the control he has over his people. He may be an absolute monarch, but if he only rules over 50 citizens, then his status is rather low. That is because there is order, but not complexity. Therefore, Teacher thought will only feel somewhat good. On the other hand, the king may have millions of subjects, and have very little power. This will also reduce him to insignificance, and keep Teacher pleasure weak. In this case there is complexity but not order. The only way the ruler can have status is to have many subjects, and also have power over his citizens. Then there is order within complexity. The result will be strong, good Teacher emotion.[QQ]

The same illustration can be used to describe bad Teacher emotion. If the subjects of a king rebel from his authority, then he will have negative status—the chaos will create bad Teacher feelings. The larger the rebellion, or the greater the number of people who revolt, the worse the Teacher pain. This means that a king who has loose control over many subjects has the potential for experiencing either great Teacher pleasure or great Teacher pain. If his citizens begin to cooperate, there will be order and good Teacher emotion. However, if these citizens start to collide with one another, the result will be Teacher feelings of pain. When Teacher thought faces partially ordered complexity, it feels emotionally vulnerable. Things could turn out either very good or else very rotten.

The result is that Teacher thought wants sequences, explanations, and outlines which are as short and general as possible. Whenever Teacher strategy is faced with any sort of complexity, it tries very hard to come up with some kind of universal explanation or theory which incorporates all of these diverse elements, and makes them simple again. The Teacher person, as a child, tends to be somewhat of a ‘know-it-all.’ He seems to have an answer for everything, and his solutions are very simplistic. In fact, he is emotionally driven to find a simple explanation for everything. He feels good when he succeeds, and he feels bad when his theory falls apart or someone else finds a hole in his answer. Pity the parent who does not understand the workings of his young mind.[RR]

Good Teacher emotion comes from noticing order within complexity.

·       A heap of items does not feel good—the complexity has no order.

·       A single item gives no feeling—there is order but not complexity.

·       A pile of items that order themselves into a structure feels good—there is order and complexity.

Teacher order can occur in many different areas. Let us look first at the subject of visual outlines, because Teacher theories here are the easiest to visualize. A smooth curve, for instance, produces good Teacher feelings because it is a general shape, without any specific bumps and squiggles. However, the best Teacher emotion occurs when a smooth curve ties together a number of specific lines. A violin is one example of an object whose visual outline produces a good Teacher emotion. The shape of the violin is a smooth curve. But, within this outline, there are more specific curves and angles. It is when a number of different curves are combined into an overall flow that Teacher strategy feels best.[SS] The symmetry of the violin also adds to this Teacher feeling: The same smooth curve occurs on both sides of the instrument.

Notice that there are two ways of increasing Teacher emotion. First, specific shapes can be combined into a general pattern. Second, a pattern can be repeated. When we examined Perceiver thought, we saw that there could be both spatial and temporal objects. I suggest that a similar type of relationship exists between Teacher combination and Teacher repetition. We will come back to this topic later.

An oval is one of the simplest examples of a general curve. It contains a flow which ties together lines of different curvature, and it has a symmetry in which one side is the same as the other. The result is order and complexity. In contrast, a circle has order but not complexity. It contains only a single curve. The result is that the sight of an oval produces greater Teacher emotion than the image of a circle.

The circle is a single curve with one shape.

This has low Teacher emotion.



The oval combines two curves.

This has more Teacher emotion.

We may think that the outline of a circle has nothing to do with Teacher theories. However, it is interesting to note that circles played a major role in the universal concepts of the ancient Greeks. The circle was regarded by them as the perfect shape, and every object in the heavens supposedly traveled in circles. This choice of an object with perfect order but no complexity, as a basis for Teacher theories about the universe, led to major problems. The Greeks never could reconcile the ‘perfection’ and ‘order’ of their mental image of ‘god’ and ‘heaven’ with the complexity which they viewed around them, and Ptolemy’s method of explaining the movements of the planets as a system of circles eventually broke down under the pressure of scientific observation.[TT] A breakthrough occurred when Kepler realized that the planets moved in ovals and not in circles. The oval was also a general shape, but it had sufficient complexity to describe the actual path of the planets. Notice, incidentally, how we see again a mixing between different forms of Teacher thought.

We have looked at Teacher emotion and visual outline. I suggest that the same principle applies when the curve is an imaginary line traced out by the path of a person. Teacher thought feels good when people move smoothly. For example, the graceful path of a ballet dancer produces positive Teacher feelings. This emotion can be increased by having a chorus of dancers carry out similar smooth actions, or a pair of ice skaters perform a routine together.

Again, we find the Teacher need for order within complexity. If a person repeats the same smooth movement, or if one individual perfectly copies the movements of another person, then there is order, but not complexity. The result is shallow Teacher emotion. Teacher feeling is greatest when a number ofdifferent smooth movements are combined into an overall program, or when a number of performers usually perform in synchronization but occasionally do individual actions. We see this same principle illustrated with acrobatic flying teams such as the American Blue Angels or the Canadian Snowbirds. Most of the time, the planes fly together in formation. However, the biggest Teacher feelings are created when the pilots break formation to do their own maneuvers, and then rejoin again. That is order within complexity.

Teacher smoothness can also be present in an everyday action, such as driving a car. For instance, I may look ahead when I drive so that I do not have to make any sudden lane changes or jerky stops. I may adjust my speed by taking my foot off the gas pedal rather than using the brakes. I may time my arrival at the next light so that I can sail through just as it is turning green. All of these responses produce a smooth curve of movement which makes Teacher thought feel good. And in a similar way to ballet dancing, ice skating, or formation flying, this Teacher emotion is increased when everyone around me is also driving smoothly.

We can now define beauty and eleganceI suggest that beauty is the positive Teacher emotion which results from a general theory based in visual outline. We speak of a person, object or situation being beautiful. Elegance, in contrast, is the good Teacher feeling related to a general theory rooted in apath of action. A mathematical theorem is elegant when the equations move smoothly from start to finish. A person is elegant when his actions are smooth and organized.

While beauty and elegance are primarily Teacher feelings, these emotions also include secondary components of Mercy feeling. For instance, a beautiful object should have a texture which produces a good Mercy emotion. It must contain no flaws which would create a bad Mercy reaction. Similarly, anelegant action should not be forceful, since the use of force implies that some Mercy object is being battered or destroyed.

Teacher emotion also applies to words and theories. My brother Lane, a Teacher person, will often preface the explanation of some concept with the statement: “Let me describe this idea in a single sentence.” Sometimes he succeeds. At times, though, his ‘single sentence’ ends up being as long as a paragraph. Always, there is the desire to summarize a theory in the shortest space possible.

The best example of words and theories that are guided by Teacher emotion is probably mathematics. Let me give you a simple example, and don’t worry, it really is a simple example. Suppose that I want to relate Celsius temperature to degrees Fahrenheit. One way is to write a list of numbers comparing the two scales:

-20° C = -4° F         0°C = 32° F         20° C = 68° F         40° C = 104° F

Notice how I have to write a different Teacher sequence of letters and numbers for each specific temperature. Using a mathematical equation, though, I can represent all of this information and more with the single letter sequence of:

          °F = °C x 9 / 5 + 32

In other words, if I take the temperature in degrees Celsius, multiply the number by 9/5, and add 32, then I get the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.[UU]

This general equation produces a much higher Teacher emotion than a list comparing individual numbers, because it packs more information into a smaller package. It is this desire to summarize information which makes the mathematician describe concepts in such general terms. There are three reasons why the average person does not regard a math equation with equal pleasure. First, Teacher emotion will only be produced if there is Teacher comprehension. For many people, a sequence of letters, numbers and symbols only reminds them of the bad Mercy experiences associated with learning Algebra in high school.

Second, a Teacher theory is only general if it ties together many specific statements. When the mathematician writes down his equation, his Teacher part experiences good emotion because he knows the areas in which the statement applies. The rest of us see only the single equation and have not learned the specific theories.[VV]

Third, in a very real sense, there is a strong mental connection between our Teacher understanding and our status as a ‘ruler’ over the ‘domain’ of intellectual thought. It makes us feel inferior to be faced with Teacher theories which we do not understand. This inadequacy puts us below those who do comprehend—we become their ‘subjects’ and they become our ‘rulers.’

The emotional reaction of the average reader to this book provides a good example of Teacher processing. At first sight, the diagram of mental symmetry probably produced only an unpleasant Mercy feeling as Mercy thought was reminded of boring experiences with intellectual theories, and a bad Teacher emotion prompted by the complexity of lines and words. However, if the reader has persevered until now, Teacher mode probably feels differently about the theory of cognitive styles. Enough specific facts have been tied into a general understanding to produce the order within complexity that is needed to create good Teacher emotion.

A Teacher Theory of Mercy Emotion

I have described Teacher emotion as being related to order within complexity. I suggest that it is also possible to come up with a general definition for Mercy emotion. While all of us are familiar with Mercy feelings of pain and pleasure, we probably have never looked at these various emotions and tried to come up with a common thread which ties them together. In other words, we have never come up with a Teacher theory for Mercy feelings.

I suggest that good Mercy emotion comes from beneficial interaction. Whenever two or more experiences, events, situations, people, or any other type of Mercy ‘bodies’ interact with one another, then there is the possibility for Mercy emotion. If this interaction results in the partial or total destruction of one of these ‘bodies,’ then that ‘body’ will feel Mercy pain. On the other hand, if the encounter leads in some way to greater wholeness, then the result will be Mercy pleasure. In Mercy terms, I suggest that what we are describing is love. In other words, love is the good Mercy emotion that is associated with beneficial interaction.

The strength of the Mercy emotion depends upon the extent of the interaction. If various ‘bodies’ affect each other only slightly, then any pain or pleasure which is felt will be fairly weak. In contrast, if one ‘body’ is influenced strongly by another ‘body,’ then the Mercy feelings which result will be quite strong.

The intensity of Mercy feelings can be increased with emotional vulnerability. It is when a person is open and vulnerable that either the greatest pleasure or the greatest pain can occur, depending upon whether the end result is integration or destruction. Therefore, I suggest that the best Mercy feelings occur in an environment in which people can be totally vulnerable while at the same time confident that every interaction will result eventually in greater integration and not destruction. Mentally speaking, Mercy thought would regard this combination of protection and vulnerability as paradise.

I suggest that it is also possible to describe the conditions for Teacher paradise: The greatest positive Teacher feeling occurs in an atmosphere of incredible complexity in which it is guaranteed that Teacher sequences will always come together eventually to produce greater order. Notice that while the definitions for Teacher and Mercy paradise are different, they are not incompatible.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, paradise is “a place or state of bliss; a region or condition of supreme felicity or delight.” If it is Teacher and Mercy strategies which are responsible for producing these feelings of “supreme felicity or delight,” then as long as we continue to live within our present minds, it logically follows that the only physical paradise possible is one which is consistent with both Teacher and Mercy mental ‘paradise.’ Any other type of paradise would first require a brain transplant to give us minds appropriate for appreciating its ‘pleasures.’

Teacher Emotion and Fractals

Moving on from the sublime to the theoretical, I would like to look at the relationship between thinking and Teacher theories. I have said that Teacher emotion comes from discovery of order within complexity. This relationship is illustrated by the mathematical concept of ‘fractals.’

It was discovered in the 1960s that, with the help of computers, it was possible to use simple mathematical equations to produce geometrical shapes of incredible beauty and complexity. These visual masterpieces were called fractal curves. The best known one is the Mandelbrot Set. Its basic shape is two unequal circles, sitting side by side, bordered by a ‘lace’ of color. The amazing thing about this image is that further complexity and beauty can be uncovered by zooming in on any of the colored areas. Each time the computer is instructed to blow up one of the ‘lacy’ regions, this lace expands into another scene of beauty. If the computer has sufficient accuracy, and one zooms in on the right areas, then it is possible to expand a tiny region into a full picture dozens of times or more before reaching the end.

The Mandelbrot Set and other fractal curves are examples of order combined with complexity. Using the order of a simple equation, it is possible to create a seemingly infinite complexity of visual curves.[WW] When the mind looks at these visual curves, Teacher strategy detects the underlying order which ties together all of the complex lines and shapes. The result is that the picture looks beautiful. Notice how, again, we find a blending between two aspects of Teacher thought—in this case, beauty and mathematics.

A tree is an example of a fractal object which occurs in everyday life. It consists of a trunk with branches. Each branch has several twigs, and each twig has many leaves. The leaves themselves have a main stem with several branching veins. Notice how at each scale the same general shape of trunk and branches can be seen. This creates order within complexity, because the same overall feature—trunk and branches, is continually repeated at different places and at varying levels of detail. There is order because the same pattern recurs, but there is also complexity since each individual reoccurrence is slightly different from the others. The result is good Teacher emotion, because Teacher strategy loves to discover order within complexity.[XX]

The definition of Fractal:

A fractal item contains the same feature at many different scales.

·       A tree is an example of a fractal object.

Any object which is fractal will create good Teacher emotion.

Before we go on, let us summarize the various ways of generating good Teacher emotion which we have discovered thus far. Smooth visual curves and graceful actions are one way to create positive Teacher feelings, because many individual items are connected together in a way that flows smoothly. A smooth curve gives order to the complexity of the individual elements. If movement is smooth, then feelings of elegance are produced. Smooth visual curves, in contrast, generate feelings of beauty.

These Teacher forms may be repeated over time. The result is a cycle. Teacher thought notices the reoccurring structure and feels good.[YY] For example, cycles such as days, years, seasons, and so on create pleasant Teacher emotions. It brings order to our complex world of experiences when we see that the sun continually rises and falls every day, the moon waxes and wanes, and the seasons follow one another. Even the cycle of birth and death gives us Teacher comfort. Of course, pain and dying are very unpleasant for Mercy thought, but as long as our minds are capable of thinking, Teacher strategy can sit back stoically and wax eloquent about the order of people and civilizations growing and dying.

Teacher cycles can also be created artificially. Our paycheck may arrive every Friday on payday, or we may go home every year to celebrate Christmas as a family. Even fashion tends to fall into cycles with the same trends continually coming and going, each time in a slightly different incarnation.

Teacher emotion can also be created by structures which repeat over space. This leads to patterns. For example, most wallpaper designs make use of patterns. A tree also contains patterns. The shape of ‘trunk and branches’ is a general pattern which ties together all of the individual elements of a tree.

Cycles and patterns are often interchangeable, producing a mental blending between time and space. For instance, if I let my eyes travel from one side of a forest to another, I see branches alternating with trunks. In other words, the spatial pattern of ‘trunk and branches’ repeats itself cyclically. On the other hand, an oscilloscope turns a cycle into a pattern. It allows me to see a picture of Teacher structures which repeat over time.

Cycles and patterns may in turn contain subcycles and subpatterns. For instance, a musical note is a cycle of sound which has both a fundamental waveform, which the ear hears as pitch, and harmonics—subcycles which create the tone of the sound. A tree is an example of patterns and subpatterns. If I look at the trunk of the tree, then I see only one example of ‘trunk and branches.’ However, if I examine the branches, I notice a pattern of ‘trunk and branches’ as twigs are interspersed with leaves. As for the tree itself, it is only one element in the pattern of a forest. In terms of waves, the core of the tree is the ‘fundamental,’ whereas twigs and leaves are the ‘harmonics.’ [ZZ] The end result is a fractal multidimensional order which is capable of producing intense Teacher pleasure—if the mind is programmed to notice it.

Words and theories in turn can be used to combine artificial order with the naturally occurring Teacher order of the external world. Many of us have probably not noticed the relationship between beauty, mathematics, and grammar. I suggest that the complexity of these interactions is the reason for this confusion. The patterns and cycles which occur within some types of beauty are fairly obvious; it does not take great learning to figure them out. For example, even a stupid teenager can enjoy a good beat, a total couch potato can appreciate the elegance of figure skating, and a redneck truck driver can hoot and holler with pleasure when he looks at a pretty girl.

On the other hand, deriving and creating Teacher enjoyment from systems such as mathematics and grammar is definitely an acquired taste. This is because the connections between the individual items are not obvious, but must rather be learned. There is no inherent reason why two upside-down visual ‘hooks’ should be equivalent to a messy visual ‘triangle.’ But this is exactly what we are saying when we state that ‘2’ + ‘2’ = ‘4.’ Similarly, those who try to learn a foreign language know the struggle that is involved in assimilating the order behind the complexity of words that is encountered. In some systems, such as mathematics, this layer of mental cloudiness is relatively thin. If enough facts are learned, one eventually breaks through into the clear sky and bright sunshine of order as all of the connections begin to fit together. In other systems, such as the English language, it seems that the clouds go on forever—no matter how high one goes, the sun of order remains partially hidden by a haze of unresolved complexity.[AAA]

Understanding ME

We ended the last chapter with an image of rising through clouds of confusion into the clear skies and sunshine of Teacher order. You may remember that I used this same type of metaphor before when we looked at the process of mental transformation in which Perceiver logic was used to define a new me. In that section, I suggested that we needed to discover some type of emotional force that could lift me up from the cliff edge of uncertainty, give me the ability to fly, and propel me through clouds of uncertainty towards a misty framework of vision and possibility.

By the way, before we go on, let me explain why I use both walking and flying as metaphors to illustrate the process of transforming me. When I walk, one foot is always in contact with the ground. The other foot, though, is ‘flying’ through the air. Similarly, I suggest that human transformation must involve a form of mental ‘walking,’ where movement is combined with stability. Therefore, either the me of the physical body or the me of Mercy identification must remain anchored. However, the me which is doing the changing will at times feel very much as if it is ‘flying’ through the air without any visible means of support.

In fact, I suggest that those who practice some form of mental ‘flying’ always have a part of their identity—usually undiscussed—which remains in contact with solid ground. Their flying is linked to walking. Therefore, when we look at the overall process of personal transformation, we will use the analogy of walking. However, when examining individual aspects, or the role played in particular by Teacher thought, we may sometimes use the analogy of flying.


Let us go back a little, look at the various requirements, and confirm that Teacher strategy is indeed a candidate for the mental task of flying. First, we have the question of ‘lift.’ Can a Teacher theory detach me from the ‘ground’ of normal existence? When we look at mathematicians, who work with general Teacher theories, we know that Teacher thought can produce ‘lift,’ because theoretical people tend to walk around with ‘their heads in the clouds.’ Therefore, there must be something about a Teacher understanding which can lift me from the ground. However, while the mathematician may have his head in the clouds, his feet are still firmly mired in the mud of mundane reality. Perhaps the reason is that his theories are inadequate. If the current understanding of mathematics can lift a person’s head into the clouds, then it might be possible to extend the theory to lift all of me from the earth.

Second, can we actually learn how to ‘fly’? In other words, can me live within the rarefied air of a Teacher theory? Again, when we look at the example of the mathematical individual, we find that he is capable of ‘building castles in the air.’ He has learned how to manipulate the gray haze of raw ideas and turn it into the solid form of a mental edifice, within which me can find a home—it is a ‘castle in the air.’ The only problem is that the mathematician can only ‘live’ within this castle while working on his theories. In between, he must re-enter normal existence at least occasionally, in order to feed and clothe his body, interact with his family, and collect his paycheck.

Qualifications for a Teacher theory that can transform me:

·       It needs ‘lift’ to detach me from my present experiences.

·       It must contain a ‘pressurized cabin’ which can house me.

·       It requires an ‘engine’ to propel me to a new location.

·       It needs ‘wheels’ so it can land after the flight—with me intact.

Third, we have the question of ‘propulsion.’ While the mathematician is capable of ‘building castles in the air’ and even ‘living within his ivory tower’ during the periods when he can successfully ignore his physical body and his personal feelings, his constructions tend to be fixed and immovable. I suggest, however, that this does not need to be the case, because Teacher strategy operates easily with time as well as sequences. The problem is that the theoretical person does all of his sequencing and time analysis within the static structure of his ‘ivory tower’: He runs sequences of instructions on computers; he analyzes sequences of events in experiments; he writes sequences of equations down on paper; he reads and writes books and papers which contain sequences of words and ideas. If we could somehow take the propulsive power of this kind of sequencing and apply it to our own person—in the dimension of time, then our problem would be solved.

Well, actually, our problem might be solved. We may have given wings to the me of Mercy identification, but the me associated with our physical bodies is still sitting forlornly on the edge of the cliff, gazing longingly up at the freedom of the birds flying overhead. Therefore, any Teacher theory within which we choose to live will have to be consistent both with our physical bodies and with the external world, since the me of my physical body is programmed by events which I observe are repeated within the external world. In other words, any theory which we develop is going to have to contain a healthy dose of common sense. Why? Because this will allow us eventually to stop ‘flying’ ahead with the first ‘foot,’ and finally bring it back down again to the solid ground of real experience. Only then will we be able to ‘lift up’ the second ‘foot’—the other aspect of me.[BBB]

The Fractal Nature of the Mind

As usual, we do not yet have sufficient information to answer all of the points which were raised in the previous section. However, I suggest that we can examine the first two points of ‘lift’ and ‘flying.’ They relate to an understanding of something that I call ‘the fractal nature of thought.’

In our tour through the mind, I have tried to demonstrate how various aspects of human thought can be summarized by the operation of a few simple mental strategies. For instance, we have seen how Perceiver mode deals with all types of facts and objects, regardless of their shape, size, appearance, or even external existence. I may be gazing at a skyscraper, eyeing a flea, or thinking of the idea of freedom. In all cases, Perceiver thought is working with a mental object. Sometimes this object or fact is something that exists in the real world; at other times it describes an abstract concept. Similarly, we noticed that Mercy strategy works with all sorts of experiences, real or imagined, intensely personal or highly objective. In the same way, Teacher thought looks for order within complexity, wherever it can be found. As we continue through this volume, we will find that the other mental strategies can also be described in simple and general terms.[CCC]

What we are really saying is that the mind is fractal. No matter where we look in human thought, we keep seeing the same seven modes of processing. The same ‘features’ keep reappearing in separate places, at various scales, using different sensory input. In addition, not only do the seven basic modes of processing keep showing up, but these various ways of thinking themselves relate together with parallels and symmetries. The result is that Teacher strategy can look at the thinking of the human brain and discover massive fractal order within a vast complexity of seemingly unrelated thoughts.

Notice that I am not suggesting that Teacher processing is the same as human thought. However, just as Perceiver mode is responsible for generating maps for the entire mind, so Teacher strategy is capable of bringing order to all of thinking. The difference between thinking, and Teacher understanding of thinking, became obvious to me while I was developing this theory. Time and again, my mind would react in a certain way and then a split second later, subconscious Teacher thought would come up with the explanation for this mental reaction. My understanding of thought came after the thinking itself.

Emotional ‘Lift’

If Teacher strategy can come up with a general theory of human thought, it becomes possible for Teacher mode to provide ‘lift’ for all of the mind, including me. This is because the presence of a lasting good Teacher emotion makes it possible to change the emotional focus of the mind. We have seen how each person grows up with his thinking emotionally integrated around a core of Mercy experiences—the me of childish Mercy identification. Learning Perceiver facts about me builds the framework for a new identity, but this network of personal beliefs is still just a bare skeleton imposed upon the clouds of uncertainty, a sort of vision in the air. It is only when my emotional core moves into this framework that it fills out and starts to become real.

If my emotions came only from Mercy experiences and Mercy feelings, then it would be impossible for me really to leave the ground, because Mercy strategy deals always and only with concrete experiences. On the other hand, suppose that Teacher thought comes up with a general theory which brings order to all of my thinking. My mind will now be held together by two emotional sources: Mercy absolutes and Teacher understanding. Now it is possible for the me of emotional Mercy identification to stop clutching onto its idols and allow itself to be drawn up by the emotional ‘lift’ of Teacher thought.

Making this emotional transition literally makes me feel detached from the world. My emotional focus is no longer on experiences and how they feel. This is because I have a general Teacher theory which explains my reactions to experiences. This understanding makes me feel that there is anotheremotional force, apart from experiences, which is holding me together.

One might think that this type of emotional detachment would make me fall apart inside. However, because of my Teacher understanding, I sense that there is an underlying order which integrates all of my experiences. This ‘order’ is present fractally, which means that it can be sensed at many different levels. Therefore, through all of the various ‘ups and downs’ of life, a general Teacher theory observes, analyzes, understands and creates a continuing feeling of ‘order within complexity’ that allows me to ‘rise above my circumstances.’

This Teacher emotion ‘lifts’ me up, and is thus more than a mere ‘castle in the air,’ when two requirements are met. First, Teacher feelings must be different than the emotions associated with me. Obviously, if Teacher strategy acts as a ‘yes man,’ echoing the sentiments of me, this will only reinforce the feelings of me, and not change them. This is like trying to use ‘wings’ as an extra pair of legs. Wings are meant for flying, not for walking. Similarly, Teacher feelings function differently than do Mercy emotions and should be allowed to ‘fly’ through the air of understanding.

Second, Teacher emotions must be connected with me. If I study subjects which are not related to me, I may build positive Teacher feelings, but they will have nothing to do with me. In order to lift me, I must study and understand me. In other words, wings need to be attached to the body, and not just ‘flown’ by themselves.

Suppose that me does manage to gain ‘lift’ from Teacher strategy. What does it feel like? I suggest that one major effect is that a person gains perspective. In the childish me, emotional absolutes, mental integration, 'truth' and me are very closely related. All depend upon the most emotional experiences in Mercy strategy. The result is that any attempt to question the significance of these specific experiences threatens my mind in multiple ways. If you want an illustration, try analyzing the cultural absolutes of some politically correct special interest group.[DDD]

In contrast, building my mind around Teacher emotion and understanding allows me to stop clutching on to its specific Mercy experiences, and to replace them with a general Teacher understanding. As this happens, I realize also that I live in a finite body with limited experiences within a world of other people. I comprehend that my knowledge is only a fraction of the total body of knowledge. And internally, I grasp that me occupies a relatively small portion of my mind. In contrast, my source of emotional integration holds together many people, events, facts, and theories which are only related to me.[EEE]

Many individuals have not learned this lesson. They go through life thinking that the world revolves around them. They feel that they are the center of the universe, and act as if they know everything.

Zen and Nirvana

Let us detour for a moment and analyze the mystical ecstasy of the Zen Master. Buddhism claims to achieve the emotional ‘lift’ that comes from a general Teacher understanding. And yet, it alsomakes several statements which seemingly contradict the requirements which I have just described. How is this possible? I suggest that Buddhism reaches its ‘paradise’ by cleverly tricking the mind to ignore potential roadblocks on its way to Nirvana.[FFF]

Buddhism in its various flavors teaches, first of all, the general Teacher theory of ‘Oneness.’ After all, the assertion that all individual experiences are actually part of one cosmic unity is simply another way of stating that there is ultimate order within complexity, and this is the basis for Teacher emotion. How can the mind be convinced that all really is one? By using Mercy strategy to identify with an external object. Therefore, I will empty my mind of fragmentary thoughts while concentrating on, say, the flickering light of a candle. The emotions of the event will mesmerize my Perceiver observer into 'believing' that me and the candle belong together—they are one. This Mercy identification will then implant the Teacher theory of ‘Oneness’ into my mind.[GGG]

But how can the mind leap from emotional identification with a specific candle to the general statement that all is one? It already has. When Perceiver thought is mesmerized into 'believing' a 'fact,' that 'fact' becomes 'true' in all situations and for all times. Remember the phobia about dogs? One bad experience with a nasty dog convinced my mind that all dogs were bad. Similarly, if I can get Mercy thought to identify with one object, then Perceiver strategy will 'know' the universal 'truth' that all objects belong together.

Oneness, then, is strengthened by the practice of meditationThis cycles words endlessly in automatic Teacher memory in order to force them finally into the inner world of Teacher thought, where they reinforce what Perceiver thought already 'knows.'

The Eastern mystic will then use his Teacher theory of Oneness to give the power of ‘flight’ to the me of Mercy identification. He will gain mental perspective, let go emotionally of his tiny world of personal experiences and look at existence on a cosmic scale. He will meditate upon his insignificance—he is a small drop in the ocean of life, a tiny trickle in the river of time. He will contemplate Nirvana, a selfless unity which goes beyond space and time. He will experience the ecstasy of satori, in which me is lost in the wonder of a universal Teacher theory.

But what about the me of the physical body? When I eat, you still remain hungry. When you come in from the cold, it does not make me feel any warmer. Our bodies constantly tell us that we are not all one. Surely the mystic must come back down to solid earth once his stomach gets empty or his bladder full. Paradoxically, I suggest that it is precisely this contradiction which makes eastern meditation possible.

First, civilization provides a mental anchor for meditation. Remember that only one aspect of me can ‘leave the ground’ at any one time. Therefore, if the meditator’s me of Mercy identification is wandering through the clouds of infinity, this means that the me of his physical body must remain fixed upon solid ground. Evidence suggests that this is what happens. Meditation invariably seems to arise in societies in which a person’s physical surroundings are controlled by strong cultural bonds. These rules tell the physical body what to do and where to go. I suggest that this is why mysticism has historically been connected with the East. The frozen culture of Asian countries has for centuries anchored the me of the physical body and allowed people to float freely with the me of Mercy identification. Similarly, now that the West has become comfortable with the concept of changing technology, it too can begin to allow the me of Mercy identification to wander.

Second, the social structures of civilization allow the meditator to ignore the me of his physical body. Like everyone else, he has a body with physical needs. But, if other people give him food, clothing and shelter, then his contact with the physical world can be minimized. For instance, he does not have to grow rice; he only has to eat the rice that others give to him. Meanwhile, as long as he sits motionless, he can pretend that his physical body does not exist.[HHH]

Third, the existence of civilization itself gives emotional appeal to the Teacher theory of Oneness. Remember that positive Teacher emotion comes from discovering order within complexity. A general theory which contains no specific elements does not feel good, because it has order but not complexity. Now, suppose that the theory of Oneness really were true; suppose that no specifics existed, and that there really was no difference between me and not-me. Teacher thought would then look at the theory of Oneness and disregard it—because it would contain no specific elements. In other words, Teacher strategy can only gain emotional pleasure from a theory of ultimate Oneness when the holder of this theory lives in a world of specifics in which all is not one. This means that Eastern meditation can only be true if it is not true.[III] But isn’t that a contradiction? Yes, but the next point will take care of that.

Fourth, the irrational thinking of a stable and ‘mature’ civilization protects the contradictions of mysticism. This is because a mature society can base the majority of its thinking in emotional 'truth.' On the one hand, most goods and services are provided by other people. Therefore, citizens will 'believe' that 'facts' are based in people and their opinions. On the other hand, because society is mature, it has existed relatively unchanged for some time, and 'facts' by their stability therefore appear as solid facts. Thus, because there seems to be no need for active thought, the Perceiver observer in most people will remain mesmerized. As a result, people will be unable to see the contradictions inherent in mysticism.

And, if society gives honor and respect to those who practice meditation, then this Mercy status will convince Teacher thought that the theory of Oneness is more important, and thus more general, than the specific experiences of normal life.

What I have just described is a snapshot of traditional Eastern society. Everyone is expected to carry out his assigned role in life; this exalts people. And, in many of these countries, Buddhism or one of its metaphysical kin is lifted up as a state religion; this gives particular honor to its practitioners.

Let us move on to the question of ‘lift.’ We have seen how meditation can survive and even turn into a state religion such as Buddhism. But, haven’t I suggested that a Teacher theory can only give ‘lift’ to me if it is different from me? How then can the Eastern mystic reach Teacher bliss if his theory is so strongly rooted in Mercy identification? I suggest that meditation ‘solves’ this problem by replacing Teacher ‘lift’ with the illusion of ‘lift.’ How can a Teacher theory get around the fact that it is completely rooted in raw Mercy thought? By making this an essential element of the theory. Therefore, the theory of Oneness is expanded to claim that the entire universe has its source in me: “I am god. I am the ultimate source. Everything flows from me.” Mentally speaking, this is an accurate statement. The Teacher theory of Oneness is mentally ‘proven’ by the Mercy experience of identification, which equates me with some external object.

But, physically speaking, everything does not flow from me. The mystic cannot create a single atom, let alone a budding tree, a mountain range or the vast stars in the heavens above. How can the mystic maintain his theory when evidence from his physical body flatly contradicts his assertion? First, it takes Perceiver confidence to notice contradictions, and we have already seen that mysticism exploits a mindset based in emotional 'truth.' Therefore, as long as Perceiver strategy remains mesmerized, then enough people saying something is 'true' makes Perceiver strategy 'know' that it is 'true.' And, if the mystic acquires emotional status, then his societal standing will back up his metaphysical claim. He is a source of 'truth' for those around him. 'Facts' do flow from him and his person.

Second, the mystic can deny the evidence of his senses by disregarding the external world as temporary. In other words, the Teacher contradiction he sees is only an aberration which will pass. Ultimately, all is one, and everything does come from me. Why can he regard the cosmos as temporary? Because he lives within a civilized world which is permanent enough to provide for his physical needs—another contradiction. Hmmm.

If the mystic desires to suppress this physical evidence he must go beyond a Teacher dismissal of the physical world. He must also denounce it in Mercy terms. This is because his Teacher theory of Oneness is rooted in Mercy feelings. Therefore, the mystic will state finally that the material world is both temporary and evil; it is Teacher temporary and Mercy bad.

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Imagine, the average peasant works diligently to grow food and build shelter. He then gives part of his hard-earned wealth to someone who does nothing except sit around and stare into space. And how does this parasite of society respond? By pronouncing that the peasant and his physical environment are irredeemably evil. And what does the peasant do? He accepts this ungratefulness as deserved. After all, he 'knows' that his Mercy status is ‘nothing’ compared to that of those who meditate.

By now, I have probably given the impression that Eastern meditation is an avowed enemy of Perceiver thought. Buddhist doctrine supports this conclusion. One of the core tenets of Buddhism is that 'truth' is not found rationally, and the Buddhist monk states that his 'doctrine' goes beyond logic. The aspiring Zen master will actually concentrate on statements which are logically impossible—called koans—in order to snap his mental link with common sense.[JJJ]

Now tell me, how would you react if a group of individuals made a religion out of killing your race of people and then re-animating, as zombie servants, those they murdered? How would you respond if this genocidal tribe invaded your country and made it impossible for you to continue living?

That is the situation in which I find myself. I was born a Perceiver person; it is my race; I cannot change the fact that I live in the Perceiver room and am conscious there. Eastern mysticism operates in environments in which the Perceiver observer in most citizens is mesmerized. It spreads by murderingPerceiver logic. Then, it uses the Mercy experiences of meditation to mesmerize the poor desiccated Perceiver remains into 'believing' blatant lies—contradictions which no ‘living’ Perceiver mode would ever accept. And, as Western civilization ‘matures,’ this Eastern pseudo-thought finds footholds within our shores. We too are abandoning logic. We also use our emotional status to suppress those who question our ‘godness.’

“But Lorin, how dare you criticize the religion of so many people. Surely the comments you just made should be outlawed as hate literature.” That reaction assumes that 'truth' is based in the opinions of people—if enough individuals 'believe' something, then it must be 'true.' Meanwhile, those who use Perceiver thought are eased gently and politely towards the gas ovens.

The fundamental 'faith' of the western world today would probably be tolerance: “Every person’s beliefs must be accepted and respected.” In other words, everyone is a god who defines his own Perceiver 'truth'—this is certainly consistent with Buddhism. But, people can only define 'truth' by mesmerizing their Perceiver observers. Therefore, tolerance is utterly intolerant of an awake Perceiver observer. This means that, like Eastern mysticism, tolerance hates me simply because I was born a Perceiver person. That also is racist and genocidal.[KKK]

How should I as a Perceiver person respond? I cannot protect myself with force, for then would also attack Perceiver thought. Instead, I respond with logic and understanding; I point out inconsistencies, and I describe consequences. Hence, this book.

Learning Lessons ‘Fractally’

How then does one learn to ‘fly’ without destroying Perceiver thought through universal identification? I suggest that the answer lies in fractal thinking and learning. In order to understand this, we will look first at what it means to learn lessons fractally, and then I will show that this is equivalent to Teacher ‘flying.’

The normal way of living is to approach each situation as an isolated event, unrelated to other experiences. For instance, I go to school among other things to learn about mathematics, French and economics. Then I go home and work on my car until it is time for me to take my piano lesson. Once that is finished, I practice baseball with my friends. Each item is an individual learning episode which does not impinge upon other events. As a result, learning in one topic has little or no effect upon learning in any other area.

However, notice that in all of these situations I am using the same mental equipment—I am thinking. For example, I am using Perceiver thought to work with facts about math, to remember definitions of French words, to compare prices in economics, to analyze malfunctions in the car, to work with musical chords while playing the piano, and to compute trajectories while hitting the ball. In all of these situations, Perceiver thought has to sort through a pile of Mercy experiences in order to figure out what is solid. That is what I mean when I say that the mind is fractal: I am using the very same strategy—often at different levels of complexity—to carry out these various quite diverse tasks. Everything I do, in fact, is carried out by one of only seven different strategies.

Therefore, I suggest that it would be more effective for me to approach each individual situation as a specific aspect of the general task of developing my mind. This is the ‘fractal’ approach: I recognize the order which ties together all of the complexities of life. In plain English, I look beyond symptoms—what I do, to underlying causes—the strategy behind it.

How is this done? Do I have to add ‘complicated thought’ to the normal stress of life? Who said anything about complex mental analysis? I only need to recognize which mental strategy is handling what activity; in other words, what mental rooms are active in a given situation. For instance, if I run into a certain problem, I ask questions such as: Is it Perceiver thought which is stymied? Do I lack confidence? Is Mercy strategy hurting? Is Teacher understanding inadequate? Anyone should be able to perform that much analysis. After all, we constantly take extra pains to recognize who does what when dealing with real people. Just try to publish a book without referencing who said what. If we can do that with live people, then why not with mental rooms?

But what is the point in figuring out which mental room is responsible for what? What practical use is there in this exercise in mental nomenclature? I suggest that it will reveal the situations in which I am following contradictory strategies. Often, we are like the proverbial frog in the well, going one step backwards for each two steps forward. If that poor frog could discover where he was making his backwards step, he could literally triple his progress with no more effort.[LLL] Like the frog, I suggest that much of our activity consists in satisfying the desires of one or two of our mental rooms while at the same time hurting or damaging one or more of the other rooms.

For instance, we learn facts in order to satisfy Perceiver strategy, but we study them in an objective way which leaves Mercy thought feeling cold. Then we turn and give warm, fuzzy experiences to Mercy mode, but package them in such a way as to confuse Perceiver thought. Would it not be much more satisfying to combine Perceiver facts with Mercy emotions in such a way that both of them could get what they wanted simultaneously? And, this example involves only two of the seven mental rooms. The compensation mechanisms which we build up trying to protect room ‘x’ from damage while giving comfort to room ‘y’ or bandaging the wounds on room ‘z’ are incredible. Add to this the effort which we expend keeping room ‘w’ semi-comatose so that it never wakes up sufficiently to disturb room ‘x’ or prevent room ‘y’ from having its fun. And I have not even mentioned the demands put upon us by our physical bodies. Many of us spend the majority of our time bouncing from one mental crisis to another, so busy surviving that we have no time to live. Imagine how fulfilling life would be if we could ever manage to get all of our mental arrows pointed in the same direction and live in a way that allowed all of our mental rooms to operate at the same time. Since so many of our physical ailments are exacerbated by mental conflict, our bodies would probably experience quantum leaps in efficiency.

Oh, by the way, if we solved our problems of mental conflict, we might also move beyond blowing up our neighbor and his house whenever he offended us. Just think how mentally inefficient war is. We grow people, educate soldiers, design and build effective weapons, and construct roads and buildings, and what do we get out of this? At most, a few months of blood, guts, destruction and mayhem. Just imagine. If we exploded a few dozen atomic bombs, it might take thousands of years of comforting, growing, bandaging and rebuilding before we could satisfy one or two of our mental ‘rooms’ with another earth-shattering kaboom. After all, what is war but an external expression of our internal practice of making some mental ‘rooms’ feel good at the expense of other ‘rooms.’

But why go to all of this effort? Why drag the mind into everything? Because, we already are dragging our minds into everything that we do. Therefore, I am not suggesting something new, but rather taking advantage of what is already present. But, doesn’t this mean that I have to draw up some list of activities and do everything according to some timetable? No, we are not talking about scheduling, but rather categorizing. Since some aspect of my mind is always being used to some extent no matter what I do, I continue with normal activities. I only add understanding.[MMM]

We have looked at the price of ignoring mental contradictions. Let me suggest two practical benefits of ‘fractal’ thinking. First, by realizing which mental strategies are being used, I gain access to programming which already exists within those rooms. Therefore, I can approach each situation with a headstart, already partially on my way to a solution.

Two possible approaches towards learning:

1. The isolated method. Each situation is viewed as a separate incident.

·       Individual problems are solved and not related to other challenges.

·       Each situation requires relearning everything all over again.

·       This leads to hidden contradictions.

2. The fractal method. Each situation illustrates a general principle.

·       Specific incidents give opportunities to learn general lessons.

·       For each situation, only its unique details need to be learned.

·       This resolves mental contradictions and integrates the mind.

This principle was vividly illustrated to me a few years ago. The stress of doing this research combined with repetitive physical activity gave me tendinitis in my arms. For a whole year, I could hardly touch the violin. However, during this time of physical inactivity, I did a lot of mental work and mental reprogramming. When I was able to return to the instrument, I distinctly felt that my playing had improved, even though I had not practiced at all. It seemed as if I had more mental ‘horsepower’ available at my fingertips. Where did this ‘skill’ come from? I had not worked on my violin, but I had practiced using my mind, and this learning spilled over into my violin playing.

Second, by learning techniques of mental programming, it becomes possible to approach each individual situation in an intelligent manner. The previous benefit saved me time by giving me a headstart. This effect reduces my mental agony by allowing me to speed through those initial stages of learning in which I act, look, and feel like an unskilled idiot. It can do this even in the most mundane of activities.

I suggest, moreover, that fractal learning adds Teacher ‘wings’ to all aspects of Mercy thought; it gives ‘lift’ to the ‘body’ of Mercy identity. This is because it brings order to the complexity of individual Mercy situations—and Teacher strategy finds this pleasurable. Teacher thought hates fragmentation and confusion. It feels good when the same general principle can be applied in different situations. It detests the meandering path of one step backwards for every step forward, and loves the elegance of a shortcut. It approves actions that are smooth and graceful, and dislikes the choppy movements of the beginner. It finds it strongly appealing when each situation is approached with the same general understanding and it suffers emotional agony when every new area requires a different theory.

The reason that we do not recognize this fractal analysis as ‘intellectual thought’ is because our theorizing usually detaches the wings of Teacher theory from any body of experience. That is why the mathematician doesn’t ‘fly.’ He has wings and he uses them, but they are seldom connected to the ‘body’ of me. The aerial gymnastics which he performs are amazing, but they are done by remote control, guided by a me which remains on the ground below.

In actual fact, Mercy and Teacher feelings can combine beautifully. Mercy thought deals with experiences and situations; it is associative, oriented around space. In contrast, Teacher strategy works with words and processes; it is analytical, geared towards time. When these two are brought together, then Mercy feelings determine what is done, and Teacher emotion guides how it is performed. We live within the world of Mercy experiences, but we use Teacher thought to determine how to approach these situations. Like the warp and woof of a fabric, the two threads of analytical and associative thought blend to form an integrated fabric.[NNN]

I suggest that the situation in post-communist Russia provides a good illustration of the principle of learning lessons ‘fractally.’ I have already described the pervasive lack of Perceiver confidence. Suppose that one tried to tackle Russian problems in a piece-meal fashion, perhaps introducing private property, or market prices, or democratic government, or honest police. The result would be like the frog of the fable, except in this case the ratio would probably be one step forward for about five lurches backward. For each situation in which Perceiver strategy was encouraged to wake up from its slumber of hypnosis, there would be at least five other related areas doing their best to keep Perceiver thought sleeping soundly.

Unfortunately, the problem is even worse. Suppose that some Russian citizen does try to make an honest ruble. Typically, the Russian ‘Mafia’ then comes along and demands that he pay them protection money, buy his goods from them, and set his prices according to their standards. If he does not comply, then they beat him up, cut off one of his fingers, or threaten to kill his daughter.[OOO] How can Perceiver strategy ever hope to wake up when any stirring leads immediately to a death threat from some bloodsucking tyrant? [PPP]

Along with the Mafia are the jealous neighbors. For decades, the Russian citizens were taught that their way of communism was superior to the capitalism of the West. Now, communism has been shown to be a dead end—the old me is faced with death. However, feelings of guilt and failure can be avoided as long as the new me of capitalism remains a distant theory, practiced only by others. But, if my neighbor follows the principles of private ownership and gains some wealth, then it becomes obvious that a new me is possible, and that I can change. This turns remorse into guilt, and the easiest way to deal with this emotional pain is to remove its source by destroying the wealth of my neighbor.[QQQ]

Suppose that one approached the problem fractally. What is the underlying cause behind all of the individual symptoms? The fundamental difficulty in Russia today is not bad business technique, poor planning, crumbling buildings, or even a lack of value. These are symptoms. Instead, the root problem is mass hypnosis—a nationwide case of Perceiver strategy bludgeoned into insensitivity by centuries of Mongol, Tsarist, and Communist terror and abuse. The solution, I suggest, lies in facing this basic need and in every area asking whether Perceiver thought is being helped or hindered by the response to that situation. It does not matter whether the Russian citizen is painting, building apartments, selling wares, or driving his car. Nothing will change unless Perceiver strategy wakes from its slumber, and the only way to wake it up is to keep prodding it relentlessly.

But how can Perceiver thought be ‘pushed’ into waking up? Exhorter leaders such as Peter the Great, Khrushchev and Gorbachev have tried prodding their comrades, with only moderate success. I suggest that the solution lies in ‘learning to fly.’ First, the conditions are present. The Russian who lives amidst the insanity of home-grown Mafia and so-called government cannot change his physical circumstances, but he can use Perceiver logic to build a vision of a better world based upon the general understanding of mental cause and effect. The conditions in post-communist Russia are ideal for a whole segment of society to cross the gulf from the me of the child to the adult me based in Perceiver confidence. The average Russian may not be able to get ahead with the me of his physical body, but it is precisely this oppression which allows the me of Mercy identification to ‘teleport’ across the chasm of mental confusion and to experience mental transformation.

Second, the mindset is also there. Fractal learning teaches that there is a general Teacher theory which ties together all of the actions and thoughts of life. Communism for years taught the presence of such a theory. The central planning and philosophy of communism often had dreadful Mercyconsequences, but they did at least produce positive Teacher emotions. Now that the ‘inevitable victory of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie’ has not come to pass, Teacher thought in the Russian citizen has lost its general understanding of life and wants a replacement. This intellectual hunger provides the ideal motivation for programming Teacher thought.

So how can the Russian people make a jump involving Perceiver logic when the country is characterized by a famine of Perceiver confidence? I suggest that while the average Russian has no clue about truth, he has learned a lot about error—in two specific areas. First, he knows that a central plan which ignores Perceiver truth leads to tyranny and chaos. The evidence lies rusting and rotting around him. Second, he also knows that a plan which focuses upon external goals will eventually destroy the individual and the inner person. The evidence for this sits drinking and dying around him. These two lessons are at the core of mental transformation, which uses Perceiver logic and belief, spurred sometimes by suffering, to rebuild the internal me.

My own personal path also began with a knowledge of error. My strict upbringing and strong principles taught Perceiver strategy in me to discern wrong with great accuracy, and gave Server mode the skill of not doing those actions which were ‘wrong.’ [RRR] When I discovered that a general Teacher theory resided within these mental walls of taboo, my emotional focus gradually changed from the suppression of ‘bad’ to the uplifting of ‘good.’ The content of thought was not altered, but the motivation changed dramatically.

Maybe the communists really were right when they taught that oppressive government and repressive management could be overthrown by a general theory. Maybe they simply chose the wrong theory and the wrong method. They tried to help the wrong world and the wrong me. They thought that improving the external environment would create a better man, and ignored the internal world of thought that could transform people and equip them to create a better world.

Before we go on with our look at Teacher thought, I would like to make one more comment about fractal learning. I have suggested that it is helpful to know that a general principle applies to many individual situations. However, this knowledge does me no good unless I have sufficient Perceiver confidence to hold on to this mental connection while I am in the middle of some difficult situation. For instance, I may realize that my love of chocolate is an example of Mercy thought that is fixated on emotional experiences regardless of the long-term consequences, but this general knowledge only helps me if I can hang on to this understanding while trying to stare down a Belgian chocolate truffle.

Therefore, I suggest that fractal learning is most effective when the toughest problems are tackled first. In other words, I look for root causes and then I also deal with root problems. If the general lessons can be acquired in these areas, then Perceiver (and Server) thought will have sufficient confidence to apply facts and skills to other situations which are less emotional. On the other hand, if the big lessons are avoided, then fractal learning will work against me as the strong emotions associated with the real issues always threaten to overturn any learning which is done in other areas. In this case, my only hope is to keep my mind fragmented, in an attempt to protect the mental pockets of civilization within me from encroaching advances by the hidden jungle of emotional immaturity.

The most efficient method of learning: Think globally, act locally.

·       See each specific situation as an opportunity to develop the mind.

·       Apply general principles to situations which touch me the most.

‘Tackling tough problems first’ means that if everyone develops thought in the most efficient way possible, then each person will learn to apply similar mental principles in different areas. This is because the most emotional situation for me will be different than it is for others. The biggest challenge for the rocket scientist may be the prevention of an explosion. The emotional hang-up for the ditch digger may be his marriage at home. The housewife may be very worried about an exam she is about to take and the President may be thinking about a break-in at some local motel. Each person needs to learn the lessons of mental maturity in the situation which is most emotional for him, regardless of how others feel about this situation.

Do I sound utopian? Is this starting to look like a castle in the air? If so, then you know what Teacher thinking is like. It makes sweeping statements. It learns something in a small area and then turns it into a general theory by applying it everywhere. In other words, Teacher ‘flying’ means leaving the ‘ground’ of mundane existence and sweeping through the air of generalization. There is no point in taking flying lessons if I remain seated passively on the ground. That is only wishful thinking. Me will only make it into the air if I allow my personal identity to be emotionally lifted up by the feelings of a general theory.

The Theory Addict

I have suggested that all of human thought contains a fractal order which can be described by a general theory of the mind. This may sound great in theoretical terms, but what does it really mean to coexist with a general theory. What does it feel like? How does me react?

I suggest that this type of situation has never occurred before. Science has given us many general theories, but whenever these theories come into contact with me, they turn soft, as logical corners are abraded by emotional pressure. Religion talks about me, but it also turns into pious mush or incomprehensible revelation when it gets too close to the core of me.[SSS] Therefore, I should warn you that when this theory hits your mind, it will do weird and wondrous things along the lines of: “Wow man, far out, psychedelic, what a trip!”

I suggest that this mental encounter could in fact be compared to getting hooked on a drug.[TTT] First there is the initial ‘high.’ People who hear about cognitive styles are usually quite excited: “That is fascinating! When is your book coming out?” However, after a little while, the ‘drug’ of a new theory wears off and people continue with their normal existence, satisfied with the idea of a general theory, and convinced that the reality cannot be attained.

If people hear more about this theory, then they often have a negative reaction, almost like the aftermath of a bad drug ‘trip.’ The idea of mental cause and effect makes them uncomfortable, the intrusion of logic into the subjective leads them into the threshold of confusion, and an encounter with the strange emotion of Teacher thought inside their heads makes them feel uneasy. In any case, time and again people react to my words by dropping the subject of the mind like a harmful drug, and then treating me like some kind of drug pusher.

On the other hand, when people learn enough about this theory, then they become addicted. The general understanding turns into a drug habit. They want to know more, because understanding gives good emotions to Teacher strategy, but they are afraid to know too much, because the same knowledge which makes Teacher thought feel good also threatens the childish me which is based in emotional 'facts.' For these individuals, I become a ‘drug dealer.’ They come to me for more information, but always in small doses. Never too much, just enough to keep the habit going.

The next stage is for this mental ‘addiction’ to become all-consuming. That is what happened to me when I was doing the research for this book. I discovered that I could not escape from the general understanding, no matter how hard I tried. Every topic I studied, each country I visited, and every person with whom I interacted, simply turned into another specific example of the general theory—another facet of complexity within the general order. I didn’t try to analyze situations, they analyzed themselves. Finally, I gave up trying to fight the theory and turned into a full-fledged ‘junkie.’ The other day someone asked me what I did to relax in order to get away from my theoretical work, and I answered that the theory followed me around everywhere. I never leave it.

So, what is it like to be addicted totally to a theory of the mind and to have it stick its nose into everything you do? As far as my internal world is concerned, it is like being on a permanent ‘high,’ on drugs all of the time, without ever having a hangover or a bad ‘trip.’ But wouldn’t that be enough to drive a person insane? Actually, just the opposite—it drives you sane, because no matter where you go or what you do, you have no choice but to follow common sense. Imagine, an internal drive that forces you to be logical, forces you to avoid war and destruction, forces you to follow lasting goodness and beauty, and forces you to become an integrated person without any hidden inconsistencies or hurts. All this with the irresistible pressure of growing pleasure. For some reason, normal so-called ‘life’ no longer seems as attractive to me as it once did.

There is only small ‘fly in the ointment.’ Suppose that a theory ‘junkie’ tries to share his understanding with other people and is continually rejected. He feels then like a painter living in the land of the blind. He may be combining subtle shades and working with delicate hues, but those around him regard color as an empty word, devoid of meaning. How can he respond? If he ‘gouges out his eyes’ by rejecting his understanding, then he turns into the most miserable of creatures—a blind man who used to see, an individual who knew the pleasure of a general understanding. If he avoids looking at the world, then he shrivels up inside, for his theory gains its generality by explaining the behavior of his environment—by painting what it sees around him. If he attacks others, then he brutalizes his own mind and loses the ability to appreciate the delicate shades of a beautiful theory. The only choice that remains is to keep painting and to keep hoping that somewhere within his understanding lies a salve which will give sight to the blind. This type of internal vision seen ‘over there’ in the clouds of uncertainty has sufficient emotional depth to propel an individual through incredible personal transformation.

[A] Remember, whenever referring to the Mercy experiences of personal identity, I put the word me in bold case: me.

[B] We will see later that the only lasting way to remove ‘mental furniture’ is to use Perceiver thought to disassemble the unpleasant ‘object’ into its component parts and then to reassemble these pieces into a more desirable form. We will also see that the counterfeit alternative of ‘disappearing’ the object involves Exhorter thought, which lies as we might expect at the foundation of imagination.

[C] It appears that a great number of programs on television can be classified as either escapism—using Mercy identification to make me feel good, or catharsis—using Mercy identification to stop me from feeling bad.

[D] Medically speaking, the syndrome is a valuable concept. A syndrome is a collection of symptoms which occur together, and the first step in curing an illness is learning to recognize the symptoms. However, I suggest that Mercy identification often uses the syndrome as a tool for escaping feelings of guilt.

[E] This subject of self-initiated action will be analyzed in much detail when we examine the Contributor.

[F] We will see later that this feeling of being the observer watching oneself go through life is especially strong with the Facilitator person because he ‘lives’ in the mental room which is the observer for the entire mind.

[G] This is only a partial definition. Here, self-confidence describes an individual’s Perceiver ability to know himself accurately. Normally, when people think about self-confidence, they are referring to Contributor strategy—the ability to plan and to act in the middle of emotional conflict. We will see later that Contributor confidence is built upon an assumed foundation of Perceiver and Server confidence and that if either Perceiver or Server thought experiences doubts about self, then Contributor self-confidence will also falter.

[H] Remember that we are using the term self-confidence here to refer to Perceiver facts about me, and not Contributor plans involving me. Thus, I suggest that four different concepts about self are often mixed together: First, Mercy feelings about me; second, Perceiver facts about me; third, Contributor plans involving me; and fourth, Server skills possessed by me. We are tackling the Perceiver and Mercy aspects of ‘self-confidence’ first because they are the primary factors; the other two extend from this interaction.

[I] We also saw a relationship between repetition and similarity when we examined conscience.

[J] The same technique applies to both natural and approval conscience. With natural conscience, strong feelings are used to attack Perceiver confidence and mesmerize the Perceiver observer into 'believing' different 'facts.' With approval 'conscience,' the Perceiver observer is already mesmerized. However, strong feelings can replace the existing Mercy master with a new master who fills Perceiver thought with new 'facts' that no longer connect me with bad Mercy results.

[K] We will see later that doing an action also leads to Server skills. Not only do Perceiver and Mercy thought know that I have done the action, but Server strategy also knows that I can do it. In addition, repeating an action enough times leads to the added pressure of Teacher emotion.

[L] There is also the question of responsibility. Guilt says that me is responsible for the problem, whereas hurt is imposed upon me by some outside force. However, in both cases Perceiver strategy is trying to use facts to make me live with a painful experience. Therefore, the mental conflict between Perceiver and Mercy thought is the same.

[M] The average Exhorter person who encounters problems will respond by calling for a party. If someone displeases him, the Exhorter is capable of ‘disappearing’ this person—he acts as if the individual no longer exists. This indicates a low level of subconscious Perceiver confidence.

[N] Why fate? Because the guilt is being shifted to a predetermined unchangeable plan, which Mercy strategy interprets as a impersonal ‘person’ called Fate. We will examine the idea of imaginary ‘persons’ later on.

[O] It is also possible to 'believe' that church buildings are never connected with ‘good’ people or ‘good’ experiences. However, this 'belief' also treats a church structure as a special location which separates ‘good’ from ‘bad.’

[P] Remember that each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body.

[Q] Personal fragmentation seems to be a significant factor in schizophrenia. The schizophrenic individual enters fully into emotional flights of fancy. In other words, his identity is driven by Mercy and Teacher identification and unrestricted by either Perceiver logic or Server sequences. This mental deficit can be the result of physical brain damage. Research has discovered that the hippocampal region (I have suggested that the right hippocampus is associated with Perceiver thought, and the left hippocampus with Server processing) is often damaged in schizophrenic patients, usually because of a difficult birth. The mental deficit may also be caused by an inconsistent environment. For instance, parents may expect a certain response from their children while simultaneously preventing them from generating this response. If Perceiver thought in the child faces enough of these contradictory demands, then a solid self-image will never develop and schizophrenic thought may emerge.

[R] The premotor cortex is right behind the superior prefrontal cortex and just in front of the motor strip which divides the front of the cortex from the back of the cortex.

[S] With individual facts, we used single quotes to distinguish Perceiver based facts from 'facts' rooted in Mercy emotion. We cannot use this convention with self-image because it is the collection of facts about me. This information usually contains a mixture of facts and 'facts.' Therefore, please keep this in mind when we use the term self-image.

[T] Let me expand on the difference between failure and guilt. A feeling of failure occurs when I violate natural conscience; the bad result comes from natural rules of cause and effect and no person is involved with the punishment. Failure turns into guilt when people get involved; they may either threaten mewith disapproval, or they may suffer as a result of my failure.

[U] If guilt is such a major problem, then how can I postpone dealing with it? Because this book follows a path of rational thinking. Why does that help? I will explain later.

[V] The continuing development of brain scanners may make this possible in the future.

[W] I visited Russia twice in the early 1990s. My description is of that time period.

[X] Russia also contains many professionals—nomenklatura—who have great expertise in some limited area. However, outside of their specializations, the same lack of Perceiver confidence can usually be seen.

[Y] I suggest that other countries experienced similar benefits for similar reasons. However, Germany excelled in the area of learning and industry.

[Z] On the whole, Germans since the war have tried to learn from the mistakes of their Nazi past. Their moral self-analysis has helped to re-develop Perceiver confidence. Likewise, the struggle of postwar rebuilding has also fostered Perceiver confidence.

[AA] I am making sweeping generalizations, but I have lived in Germany, I do speak German, and I believe that these statements are accurate. Of course, there will always be individual exceptions, but it is amazing how deep the emotional current of culture runs.

[BB] Uh oh! I am just about to violate this rule. Entschuldigen Sie mir, bitte.

[CC]Any town name that starts with a Bad, which means “bath,” as in Bad-Füssing, is a Kurort.

[DD] We now have two pairs of me’s: The me of Mercy identification versus the me of the physical body, and the me of the child versus the me of the adult. Don’t worry. These two pairs will be integrated very shortly.

[EE] Imagination is driven by the mental ‘pump’ of Exhorter, Contributor, and Facilitator strategies. In the right hemisphere, this circuit is seeded by Mercy experiences, and forms the basis for creativity and planning.

[FF] But didn’t I just say that Western civilization changes the me of the physical body? Yes. However, in the United States, the me of the physical body has been transformed and is now comfortable with the idea of change. Americans expect technological improvement and the system is designed to deliver these changes to the consumer in digestible, bite-sized chunks, as ‘advances in the state-of-the-art.’ That is part of the American concept of me. In many other countries, technological change is still seen as a threat. There, the me of the physical body has not yet become accustomed to the idea of change.

[GG] We will discuss idols in the next book.

[HH] It is the mechanism of the panic attack, operating now in reverse.

[II] Why must there be a better way? Because, I assume that this is true. Another major assumption of mine is that an answer can always be found to every problem. We will see later that it is these two assumptions which allow Contributor thought to operate with freedom. So far, I have found these axioms to be true if I am willing to pay the price—and there always is a cost.

[JJ] When the me of Mercy identification has been reshaped by Perceiver logic, then identification turns into enjoyment. Mercy feelings are still there, but not the identification. Me can enjoy a pleasant experience and then move on, without clinging to the memory. Therefore, it is no longer accurate to call it the ‘me of Mercy identification.’ However, in order to avoid introducing yet another label for me, I will continue to use the term.

[KK] ‘Being stuck in a hole’ does not necessarily mean that I live in some shack in the wilderness. Instead, it can mean that my external circumstances remain stable. Whatever I am doing with my physical body, I continue to do. Suffering or agony is not required, only stability. Change may be present, but it is always a variation on some unchanging theme, and it never leads to any fundamental alterations.

[LL] The mixed metaphor is deliberate. We need some way to propel me from here to there. From the viewpoint of Mercy and Perceiver strategies, personal transformation is more like walking or teleporting. For Teacher thought, in contrast, it is like flying. When Teacher ‘flight’ is combined with Mercy plodding, then personal identity gains the ability to cross mighty chasms.

[MM] Personal honesty is painful, but we will see later that this pain can be balanced by the positive feelings of growing understanding.

[NN] If there are seven different cognitive styles, then one might expect that one seventh of the population belongs to each group. This does not appear to be the case, at least in North America. Rather, the Teacher individual may form only 1% of the average human population, or even less. Our experience is that many people who appear initially to be Teacher persons actually have the cognitive style of Contributor or Facilitator. I suggest that one of the major errors made by others who use this scheme of cognitive styles is that they confuse the intellectual Contributor and the naturally curious and highly verbal Facilitator with the Teacher person.

[OO] The action of writing itself is carried out by Server strategy.

[PP] For a real king, dictator, president, chief, manager, or boss, this is no illustration. Teacher strategy within his mind will actually feel these Teacher emotions.

[QQ] If a person originates a general theory that is accepted by many other people, this will also produce strong positive Teacher emotions.

[RR] This problem is worse for the male Teacher child, who emphasizes abstract thought, especially when his mother is a Mercy person. Subconscious Mercy mode is more active in the average female Teacher person, adding some ‘humanity’ to the ‘inhuman’ feelings of Teacher thought.

[SS] Normally, when a person looks at a violin, the feeling which he has is a combination of Teacher and Mercy emotion. Teacher emotion will be emphasized if the violin is backlit is such a way that only the outline can be seen. On the other hand, if the violin is played, then that is a different matter. Mercy strategy, for instance, is sensitive to melody.

[TT] We will see later that the same combination of order without complexity is found in Buddhism. This also leads to a Teacher understanding which has no room for the intricacies of normal existence.

[UU] Here is a simple way to know if someone has lived on the Canadian prairies. Ask him what -40°C is in Fahrenheit. If he answers right away, you know that he has experienced real cold. Work out the answer and you will see why this is true.

[VV] Notice that the idea of ‘order within complexity’ covers more than just sequences. Teacher strategy working by itself can only generate order by stringing individual elements together into sequences, like railroad cars in a train. However, with the help of the rest of the mind, Teacher thought can go beyond this and generate other types of order within complexity. In terms of our analogy, Teacher strategy, when assisted by other modes, can build a single theory out of many different ‘trains’ or even tie together cars, trains, planes, and so on. We will look at this concept more later on.

[WW] The equation for the Mandelbrot Set is Znew = Zold2 + C. It is hard to think of a much simpler equation. The only hassle is that Z is a complex number, with both a real and an imaginary component. An imaginary number includes i, the square root of -1. Since no real number multiplied by itself equals -1, it must be imagined. Hence, imaginary numbers. If you do not understand this, then go talk to a physicist or electrical engineer. Except, make sure that when you talk to the engineer you use j and not i.

[XX] If a tree contains so much order within complexity, why do we not experience ‘gobs’ of Teacher emotion every time we look at one? Sometimes we do. However, usually boredom and emotional insensitivity conspire to make us pass by without noticing what we are really seeing. We will discover later that Teacher thought in any case tends to be dysfunctional in most individuals, and it therefore has problems responding properly.

[YY] Notice the double Teacher emotion. The structure itself feels good because it gives order to a complexity of items. In addition, repeating the structure creates positive Teacher feelings.

[ZZ] There is a crossover between Teacher and Mercy processing. It appears that Teacher strategy is responsible for analyzing waves which repeat at less than about 20 cycles per second, while Mercy thought processes waves which repeat at higher frequencies, interpreting the relationship between fundamental and harmonic as tone. This suggests that the mind is only capable of intellectually analyzing slowly repeating waves and is limited to forming general impressions about faster cycles.

[AAA] This is why I appreciate Hebrew. As part of the Semitic family of languages, the complexity of individual words is tied together by the underlying order of a ‘root system.’ Also, being a resurrected language, it was brought up-to-date by a process which increased this inherent order, and it has not yet experienced the rotting effects of haphazard borrowing and centuries of bad usage.

[BBB] Remember that this book is focusing on the path of patience, which starts with the me of Mercy identification and then alters the me of the physical body. The path of suffering, in contrast, first changes the me of the physical body, through methods such as science and technology, and then discovers that the me of Mercy identification also needs help. Then, surprisingly, it finds that it also needs patience. So, our discussion really applies universally.

[CCC] Notice how our Perceiver facts describe mental functioning (something which occurs over time) in general terms. Sound familiar?

[DDD] For example, How many feminists does it take to replace a light bulb?Answer: One, and that’s not funny.

[EEE] After making this transition, I will feel that the entire universe revolves around a specific Teacher theory. One thinks, for example, of the scientist’s search for a unified field theory—a single Teacher understanding which can tie everything together. We will examine the implications of this concept later on. Does Teacher strategy remain the ultimate source of mental integration? I suggest that it is possible to go one step further, and that this final step brings balance between Teacher and Mercy thought. However, that topic is beyond the scope of this book.

[FFF] I am talking here about Buddhism, Zen, mysticism, meditation, and Eastern religion as if they are all one and the same. Obviously, these systems are not identical. However, I suggest that there is a common fundamental thread which runs through these various systems.

[GGG] It does this because Teacher and Mercy emotions are linked. We will look at the process in detail when we examine ‘pseudo-theories.’

[HHH] We will see in a later book that Zen Buddhism manages to combine meditation with movement. We look here at standard meditation, which remains motionless.

[III] The Facilitator and Contributor persons are most prone to believing in general theories which contradict the foundation upon which they are based.

[JJJ] For example: Imagine the sound of one hand clapping.

[KKK] We will see later that the Perceiver person is not the only individual to suffer under institutionalized emotional 'truth'; he is merely the first. Eventually, everyone is mistreated.

[LLL] Work it out. 2 forward + 1 back = 1 forward. 2 forward + 1 forward = 3 forward: three times as fast.

[MMM] Of course, once I have understanding, then I may decide to change some of my activities. But, I will be motivated by a desire for more life, and not by a fear of disapproval or judgment.

[NNN] In mathematical terms, Teacher and Mercy thought form an orthogonal basis for the emotions.

[OOO] This was the situation when I visited Russia in the early 1990s.

[PPP] As I suggested before, under institutionalized emotional 'truth,' eventually everyone suffers, not just the few ‘dissidents’ who value Perceiver thought.

[QQQ] Jealousy steals my neighbor’s wealth in order to possess it. Envy destroys it so that no one benefits.

[RRR] Just as Perceiver strategy can gain confidence in both truth and error, so Server confidence can involve both doing and not doing actions.

[SSS] Religion usually has rational elements and often claims to follow logic, but my experience is that sufficient probing will always reveal some core rooted in hypnotic mesmerization and emotional 'truth'—some area in which the religious person is convinced that “God’s ways are utterly and totally beyond the comprehension of finite man.” Is this bad? No, it is childish. We naturally begin life with Perceiver thought mesmerized. The solution does not lie in rejecting childish 'truth,' like a rebellious teenager, but rather in analyzing the facts as a growing adult.

[TTT] I am speaking theoretically here. I have never taken drugs and do not drink alcohol. A general theory of the mind provides a good enough ‘thrill.’