by Bill Harris, Director,
Centerpointe Research Institute
Over the last several articles I've been describing the inner workings of what I call your internal map of reality, because I want you to understand that making this internal map conscious – rather than just letting it run on automatic – is the way to introduce choice into your life.
Once you can choose, you can choose happiness and inner peace (unless you're some sort of a masochist). When this map and its workings are conscious, you can clearly see how you create your experience of life, including your thoughts, your feelings, and your results. Once you see how you create your life, it becomes impossible to create results that do not serve you.
When you hear about spiritually advanced people being in moment-to-moment bliss and happiness, one of the reasons they are having this experience is that they are conscious of their own map of reality and can therefore direct the creation of their life.
There is a second level to being conscious of this map, about which I will not go into detail here, but which deserves mention.
Once you see how all of these usually unconscious processes function, in addition to gaining control over them, you also realize – at a very deep experiential level – that you are not these processes.
You discover that you are something much deeper and more profound. You realize that you are not your feelings, you are not your thoughts, you are not your body, you are not the various cognitive processes that make up your map of reality, and you are not even the feeling or sensation of "I."
If you're not these things, then who are you? You're going to have to discover who you really are for yourself, because it's beyond anything conceptual or cognitive, but here's a clue" you're the nothingness out of which all these things arise.
That you are not these parts of your internal map of reality is the deeper meaning of "the map is not the territory," another of my Nine Principles.
Once you have this realization – not intellectually, though it may start there, but experientially – you are really free, and nothing can shake you from your happiness and inner peace. Different traditions have different names for this, but some of them include liberation, enlightenment, awakening, nirvana, and self-actualization. We'll visit this subject again in upcoming articles.
I tell you this because I want to motivate you to do the work required to make this map conscious, because it is well worth the trouble (and besides, it is very joyful work).
Okay, onward. I want to examine in more detail a very significant part of this internal map of reality, the subject of representational modalities and sub modalities, and how they affect your experience of yourself and the world.
I know this may sound complicated, so let me explain.
I have mentioned in previous articles that when we receive some sort of sensory input (i.e., we see something, hear something, smell something, feel something, taste something, or have internal dialog about something), this input passes through a series of mental filters that then delete, distort, and generalize the input.
These filters include the language we speak, our concept of time and space, our values, our beliefs, our decisions, our metaprograms (such as whether or not we move toward what we want or away from what we don't want, or see sameness or difference when we look at things, or sort information by possibility or necessity, and so on — what could be termed non-content filters or filters about process rather than about content), and a number of others.
I have described many of these filters in more detail in past articles, and will elaborate in more detail in future articles.
Once we have deleted, distorted, and generalized the input coming at us, we make an internal representation of the results of this filtering process. This internal representation can be a picture (a visual internal representation), a sound (an auditory internal representation), a feeling or sensation of touch, temperature, or pressure (kinesthetic), a taste (gustatory), a smell (olfactory), or some sort of internal dialog (auditory digital, a kind of variation on auditory). These different ways of internally representing something to ourselves are called modalities.
Internal representations are very interesting. Before we go into them in more detail and investigate the role they play in creating your experience of life, I want to make a few general observations.
First, internal representations are our interface with the rest of the universe. They are how we experience what we think of as "reality." We do not experience reality directly (at least not until we become fully conscious), but rather we experience our representation of reality, and then (mistakenly) think it is reality.
Second, I want you to you to keep in mind that internal representations are, like everything else about your internal map of reality, happening — for most people — outside of conscious awareness and conscious control. As such, they often create results for you do not want.
Third, I want you to be aware of the fact that when you want to make a change in something in your life, it is usually either your state (how you feel) or something about your behavior (motivating yourself, for instance, or stopping a behavior you don't like) that you want to change.
You accomplish these changes in one of two ways (whether you know it or not): either by changing something about your physiology (the subject of an article to come later) or by changing your internal representations. This gives internal representations great power over your experience of life (and might be a good reason to make them conscious and learn how to consciously direct them).
If you decide to change something about your internal representations in order to change something in your life, there are two things you could change:
WHAT you represent to yourself (i.e., the content of what you represent, such as thinking about a goal you have rather than about something you are afraid of; or deciding to do one thing instead of another)
HOW you represent it (in other words, the details of how you create the internal representation).
To understand the choices you have when you change how you represent something to yourself, you need to understand that each of the modalities I mentioned above (visual, auditory, auditory digital, kinesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory), can be broken down into various sub modalities.
These are the details of how we create a certain internal representation. Depending on a person's individual map of reality, different sub modalities will affect different people in different ways, and discovering the different ways we represent things to ourselves and how they affect us gives us a very powerful tool to use in taking control over our state and our behavior.
To demonstrate sub modalities and the powerful effect they have on both state and behavior, I want you to do a little mental process with me. You might want to have someone else read these instructions to you so you don't have to keep opening your eyes and referring back to them, or you can just read and learn them and then stop and do the exercise by yourself.
Think of a very pleasant memory. Close your eyes, relax, and think of it. Let yourself make an internal image that represents that memory. Now take the image you see in your mind's eye and make it brighter. Notice, as you do this, how your state changes.
Next, bring the picture closer and notice any state changes. Play with close, very close, and far away and see what happens to your state as you do so.
Then try making the picture bigger and smaller and see what happens. Then, when you are finished, open your eyes.
These things — brightness, location, and size of the picture — are examples of visual sub modalities, and you can see that changing them does indeed change the way you feel about this pleasant memory. Some changes increase the pleasure, and some diminish it. Some may even make it feel negative.
Now close your eyes again and tune into the sounds you hear internally that go along with this picture. Raise and lower the volume and see what happens. Give the sounds more rhythm, change the tone, change the location from which they originate (in other words, if the sounds are coming from in front of you, see what happens when you move the location to the side, or make it come from overhead or behind you).
Now focus on the kinesthetic sub modalities. Make the memory warmer and softer. Make it smoother. What happens to your feelings when you do this?
Now think of a negative situation, something that upset you and caused you pain, and let your mind create an image representing it (believe me, you already have one stored away in the mental vault). Take the image and find out how making it brighter or dimmer changes your state. Do the same with making it bigger or smaller. Play with the focus. What happens?
Then, hear your internal voice, or whatever sounds there are, in a loud, staccato tone. Feel the experience as hard and firm. Then let it soften. What happens? Now take the negative image and make it smaller, then de-focus it and make it dimmer. Now move it farther away, so you can hardly see it. Move it behind you, far away. Then, reduce the volume of the sounds you hear. Take away their rhythm. Finally, make the image feel sort of wispy and insubstantial.
As you can see, these changes have a definite effect on how you feel. Why? Because sub modalities are the way you catalog and store all kinds of distinctions between things you like or don't like, things that feel good or don't feel good, things you believe or don't believe, and many other distinctions.
You recognize and keep track of all the ways you distinguish between any one thing and something else, or how things are the same, by storing them in your mental files, and you do this by assigning certain sub modalities to each category based on the distinctions you want to make.
If you make an internal picture of something you believe, for instance, the picture you use to represent it will have a certain brightness, be in a certain location in your visual field (i.e., right in front of you, over to the left, slightly above the visual mid-line, or whatever), be a certain distance away, and have a certain amount of clarity and focus.
It might also be panoramic or have a frame around it. It might be large or small, color or black and white, a still picture or a movie — and so on. There are many more possibilities, but these are generally the most important visual sub modalities (often called drivers).
For most people, all the pictures that represent things you believe (even if these things are unrelated in other ways) will have the same or very similar sub modalities. Those things you do not believe will have other very different sub modalites. You can verify this by making a few internal pictures of some things you believe, and a few of things you don't believe and noticing the sub modalities of the pictures.
Though this process generally happens outside your awareness, this is the way you keep track of what you believe and what you don't believe (most people have another category, too: what you used to, but no longer, believe). This is your mental filing system!
The really interesting thing about using sub modalities to create change is that if you make a picture of something you don't believe (such as "I can be happy all the time" or "I can be rich"), and change the sub modalities of the picture your mind generates so they match those of something you DO believe, you will begin to feel like you believe it, and begin to act accordingly.
Or, you could take something you are very motivated about, discover what the sub modalities you use to represent motivation, then pick something you want to be motivated about (but aren't), and then change the non-motivated picture so it now has the sub modalities you use for motivation.
This causes the thing you were not motivated about to be stored with those things you are motivated about, and as a result you begin to feel motivated by it (there is another piece here that we don't have time to deal with, which is how you keep the picture from changing back, which is what will happen if you have some strong, underlying, secondary reason for staying unmotivated).
We've been talking here about visual sub modalities mostly, but the same can be done with auditory, kinesthetic, and other modalities. Sometimes at retreats I ask if anyone has a voice in their head telling them they are not okay, or can't succeed at something. Generally this voice, when experienced, has a powerful effect on the person's state and ability to act.
When we change the sub modalities to something very different, the emotional charge, and it's ability to affect their state and their behavior, goes away. When we change the internal voice of someone's mother telling them they'll never succeed by moving it 100 yards behind them, lowering the volume, and then changing it from Mom's voice to Goofy's voice, or to a very sexy voice (or whatever), it to lose all its power.
Every distinction you make — whether it' keeping track of what you believe, what motivates you, what you like, what you don't like, what is funny or not funny, what turns you or repels you, or thousands of other distinctions — is stored inside your brain and categorized using sub modalities. As you can see, by changing the sub modalities of your internal representations, you can change beliefs, values, and many aspects of how you see yourself, the world, and your relationship to it.
To exercise control over this powerful aspect of your internal map of reality, though, you have to spend some time playing with your brain and discovering how you, personally, make these distinctions for yourself. So spend some time playing with this. Discover how you represent things you believe or don't believe, things that motivate you and things that don't, things you like or don't like, things you think you can do and things you don't think you can do, things you are afraid of and things you aren't afraid of, and so on.
Instead of letting all of these distinctions — and the way they affect your state and your behavior – happen unconsciously, outside your control and without your conscious choice, find out how you create them and begin to take control of the process and make choices that give you the results you really want.
This whole process of discovering and taking control of how you create your reality is a very easy process when you meditate daily with Holosync.
Why? Because Holosync dramatically enhances your ability to take the perspective of the watcher in noticing how your internal map of reality works, and once you are able to do that, you automatically begin to create what serves you and toss out what creates suffering in your life.
Since you have the ability to make this process easier, you might as well take advantage of it.
If you'd like to experience the kind of dramatic, positive change Holosync audio technology can create in your life, read the introduction which details all the benefits and reveals the scientific proof behind Holosync (and includes an extremely attractive, money-saving offer) found on the homepage.