May 16, 2022 • 17M

Internet of the Mind Podcast 4

Flashlight of Awareness 3: There is No Such Thing as Negative

 
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Don Carter MSW, LCSW
The Internet-of-the-Mind Podcast is about the role of our subconscious mind plays in constructing our world to suit our internal functioning and how YOU can make biological changes to your neural circuitry, at the biological level, in order to bring more serenity and success to your life. The Internet of the Mind offers tools to strengthen mental and emotional resilience for living at such a time as this.
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I'd like to elaborate a little bit on that formula that I brought up in the Flashlight of Awareness, Part 1 and Part 2. The one that says there's no such thing as negative, only the absence of positive. I want to explore that a little further in order to make it clear how we can be the authors of our own pain.

As I pointed out in the videos, Emmet Fox is an engineer turned biblical scholar. You may have heard of him by his most popular work entitled "The Sermon on the Mount."

Emmett pointed out that there's no such thing as Darkness only the absence of light. There's no such thing as cold only the absence of heat. Absolute zero is -459.67 degrees. That's the absolute absence of heat and therefore as cold as it can possibly get.

I also shared in that original video my contemplation of the idea that if Emmett was right, then that formula means that there is no such thing as negative, only the absence of positive. Now here's where we went into the discussion of whether or not there is a devil, or if it's simply the absence of God.

That took us into the realm of the spirit, i.e. the spiritual plane. While the Bible does confirm that our enemy Satan does indeed exist, he exists in the spiritual Realm, unless he possesses someones material body as demonstrated in the Bible. 

Another one of my favorite teachers, Bill Gillam, is fond of pointing out that "We are not physical beings with a spirit, We are Spiritual Beings in an earth suit."

He goes on to explain that we exist here in the material world in an earth suit, our body, but we are Spiritual Beings made in the image of God. He calls it an earth suit because you can't take it off the planet or it will die without life support. 

Bill likened it to when Jesus came to Earth in an Earth suit. Even though he is a spiritual being, he came to us in an earth suit. Now, His particular earthsuit did die, but he was resurrected with a new body which will never die. We will get one of those someday! But that's another story.

So we need this earthsuit to exist on the material plane. But, whether we know it or not, we are Spiritual Beings connected to the spiritual plane as well. 

And since we are spiritual, even if we don't realize that, our enemy, the father of Lies can communicate with us in our thoughts in the same way that God and the Holy Spirit communicates with us in our thoughts.

Those of you who know me, are fully aware that Psalm 91 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. The first verse says "He who dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." 

It can be 125 degrees and the Middle East. Therefore, anything that casts a shadow is protection. Therefore, "under the shadow" of the almighty means "under the protection" of the Almighty.

The word 'shall' means it is  promise. Either God meant what He said or He didn't. But, there is a condition that must be met in order to be eligible for that promise. In order to be under the protection of the Almighty, I have to dwell in HIS secret place

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High"

Where is the secret place? Is it down the street, around the corner, up in a cloud? I believe the secret place is in that moment-to-moment experience of being me, it's in my mind. It's in the present moment. Remember, everything you just read is in the past, everything you're going to read as in the future. This moment is the present, which is an apropos name because it's a gift that you have the free will to use however you wish.

Here is the kicker, I believe that there are two secret places in our mind, one of them is real and the other is a lie, but both of them are experienced in the Mind. And we have the free will to choose the one in which we dwell!

Definitions of 'Dwell'

  1. To live as a resident; reside.

  2. To exist in a given place or state.

  3. To fasten one's attention on something, especially moodily or persistently: synonym: brood

This bears repeating because it is critical that we understand, everything I just said is in the past and everything I'm going to say is in the future. My mind is that moment-to-moment experience of being me. It's the "Now" as they say in Gestalt therapy.

Since we are spiritual beings in an earthsuit, both God and Devil have access to our mind from the spiritual plane. But we have the free will to choose between the Truth and the lie! How do we know which is which? As we've established above, there is no such thing as negative, only the absence of positive. That would make a lie the absence of Truth. It does not exist, it's a lie. 

The “Real-ization” of a Rational-Lie

Now, we are ALL mark-missers which means by our earthly nature we are going to to miss the mark from time to time and focus on the negative as if it is real (and because of that it might as well be!)  But here is the challenge, when we dwell there, when we choose to leave our flashlight of awareness focused on the negative as if it is real, then we "real-ize" it (make it real  to ourselves.) How does THAT work? The short answer is because we are fearfully and wonderfully made! (Ps 139:14)

Isn't it amazing that Olympic athletes continue to break records every year? How do they do it? With advances in neuroscience, athletic competition has reached a whole new level. Not only are athletes preparing their body for competition, they are preparing their mind. Most of the great athletes over time have intuitively understood that in order to do amazing things, they have to see themselves in their minds doing amazing things. 

Many Studies of the mind have been done with Olympic athletes. One of the major findings was that when the athletes simply imagined doing their event in a meditative state with smells and sounds of the field in the background, every part of the Mind and Body involved in that event would light up as if they were actually doing it. The body did not move but the mind was unaware. The only thing the mind is aware of is where you shine your flashlight!

Observation of an action with a congruent contextual background facilitates corticospinal excitability

2018, Neuropsychologia

The effect of action observation on activity in motor regions of the brain has been explored extensively using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)

So I say we "real-ize"whatever we focus our awareness on because whatever we see in our minds-eye LIGHTS UP OUR NERVOUS SYSTEM AS IF IT IS REAL! So it might as well be real!! We have been trapped by the enemy, until we refocus our flashlight on the Truth. Will it be easy as that? Just refocus our flashlight? No, because if we have been real-izing lies the majority of time then our nervous system is habitually conditioned to focus on those lies.

We need a new habitat!! Watch my Mental Filters & Normalcy Bias video for a description and a brief demonstration of how this transformation can take place

So with all this, now "He who dwells in the secret place of THE MOST HIGH" takes on a whole new meaning. The question I have to ask myself is, "Which secret place am I dwelling in?" Is my mind, my Flashlight of Awareness, focusing on Secret Place of the MOST HIGH... or the secret place that old lying "wannabe most high"?

Again how do we know the difference between the Truth and the lie? Because the lie is negative and we can confirm the Truth in the Book of Truth. As I was working on this article, I woke up one morning with an epiphany. I'd always contemplated a passage in Matthew repeated by Jesus on two separate occasions. I knew because He repeated because they must be very important. It finally clicked with me that they summarize what I've been explaining in these articles on the flashlight of awareness.

In Matthew 13 right after the parable of the sower , Jesus disciples came to him and asked him why he spoke to the people in parables. He replied, "The knowledge of the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven have been given to you, but not to them." then He said, "Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him."

  • "He who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance..." (Focus on Truth = Addition/Positive)

  • "Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him." (Focus on Lies = Subtraction/Negative)

Twelve chapters later in Matthew 25:29, right after the parable of the talents He repeats the same thing almost word for word.

"For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him." (Matt 25:29)

In the parable of the sower there were four types of soil. Shallow (Focus on Lies = Negative), rocky (Focus on Lies = Negative), weedy (Focus on Lies = Negative), and good soil (Focus on Truth = Positive). Only the seeds that fell on the good soil thrived.

In the parable of the talents a master went away on a long trip and instructed three of his servants to grow some of his money while he was gone. 

  • To the first servant he gave five talents, upon his return the servant returned him ten talents from an investment. (Focus on Truth = Addition/Positive)

  • To the second servant he gave two talents, upon his return the servant returned him four talents from an investment. (Focus on Truth = Addition/Positive)

  • To the third servant he gave one Talent, upon his return the servant return him the one Talent. The master asked him why he did not grow his money. The servant said he was afraid because the master was a hard man.  (Focus on Lies = Subtraction/Negative)

The master told the first two servants, well done thou good and faithful servant. He chastised the third servant, took the one talent and gave it to the first servant who had the most talents.

With my free will, I can choose to dwell on the Truth in secret place of the Most High (God's Will), or dwell on the rational-lies in the secret place of the "wannabe most high" (Self Will). Because they look true, sound true, and sometimes even feel and taste true we are conditioned to give into these lying temptations. It will take practice to patiently refocus the flashlight of awareness on the truth. To see why and how, read the Four Stages of Learning Something New in this post.