Thing are not always what they seem
When an external event comes inside our neurology, the filters we have delete, distort and generalise it. Those filters are time, space, matter and energy; language; memories and decisions; and our values, beliefs and attitudes. They filter what our experience is and then we make an internal representation with visual (pictures), auditory (sounds), kinesthetic (feelings), olfactory/gustatory (smells and taste). We label those experiences with our internal dialogue.
What you might not be aware of is that your internal dialogue, the words that you use to label your experiences, constitute suggestions that you give to your unconscious mind on a regular basis. So your point of view, your evaluation of your external experience, also makes a difference as to what kind of suggestions you are giving to the unconscious mind.
We have about 2 million bits of information per second that is coming into the neurology of our human nervous system. The human brain is only capable of processing about 134 bits per second according to the Hungarian biologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. The brain is an information processing unit and it takes the information coming in and makes it into an internal representation using pictures, sounds, feeling, smells and taste. In order to handle 134 bits per second of information the brain then groups the information into seven plus or minus two (7 +/- 2) chunks.
Seven is a magic number for the human nervous system. Most people can’t remember more than seven different brands of a certain product (ask the marketing department). Try to remember seven different brands of trainers right now off the top of your head … after three or four you probably begin to struggle (*answers at the bottom of this post). Seven plus or minus two chunks are the maximum amount of information that we can handle consciously.
The perceptions that we hold are deleted, distorted and generalised from the 2 million bits per second of information, reduced to 134 bits per second and then grouped into seven plus or minus two chunks. We tend to leave out a lot of information.
James Gleick in his book Chaos: Making a New Science says that a human nervous system cannot attend to things which are outside the realm of its experience. He says that the universe is probably a lot more chaotic than we think it is, but the human nervous system is designed to impose order upon the chaos.
The human nervous system is designed to recognise patterns that exist among the content of the information.
Think about this –you are leaving out so much information from what you see, hear, feel, taste, smell and the self talk. It is not even possible for you to fully attend to every bit of information that comes to you.
Perception is Projection
You can tell how you are doing with the cause and effect equation by looking at the people around you.
The information which is most unconscious in us, we by need, must project it out onto someone around us.
Jung explained that the ‘shadow’ archetype is a part of our being that reflects the deeper portions of our psyche, and is where our ‘latent’ predispositions reside. The shadow parts can be dark, mysterious, unexplained, potentially troubling and largely unknown.
We are often able to see the shadow in others and prefer not to associate the shadow with ourselves or have our shadow archetype pointed out, preferring to project it on to others. If we are aware of our shadow archetype, we often deny it in ourselves, for it is sometimes difficult for us to admit if our shadow archetype is active. It may in fact, frighten us, so we deny it and project it on others and tend to look outward and rather search for the shadow in others.
The fact is, we really can’t see anything other than who we are. This means that the better our personal belief system is, the better the world we experience.
If we can adjust our existing filtering system and allow different and new information into our awareness, we can live a totally different existence.
When you make sure that your head is in the right place, that your own internal thinking is a positive internal representation of the outcome, that the pictures that you are holding in your mind are positive, that you are in a state of excellence, when you totally believe that you can do anything, and when you are completely congruent, your behaviour will reflect that and be reflected back to you by your experience of the world around you. It’s all inside you.
*Nike, Asics, Brooks, New Balance, Adidas, Reebok, Saucony, Mizuno