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Introduction to The Insight Project

By Peter Shepherd

The Insight Project was conceived, researched and developed by the late Irene Mumford, between 1983-1990. She drew on many sources for inspiration and her work as an artist gave her that breadth of vision which is essential to obtain insight. Applying the principles of The Insight Project she developed an advanced program of spiritual development. Since 1990, her work has been revised and extended by her friend and pupil Peter Shepherd, a psychologist who has similarly devoted his lifetime to the spiritual path.

Creative work is only possible if vision is unhindered by pre-conceived fixed ideas or reverence to a singular ideology. Irene certainly had insight into the make-up of the mind and spirit, and she developed the tools to most effectively obtain further insights into the whole broad spectrum of life experience.


The Insight Project

Dr. John Lilly says: "In the province of the mind, what is believed true is true or becomes true within limits to be learned by experience and experiment. These limits are further beliefs to be transcended. In the province of the mind there are no limits."

Limiting beliefs are the tunnel through which we view our lives. They are programs which direct our actions. They are conditioning, imprinted by the decisions we make, as a result of our experiences in life. Such conditioning is responsible for reactive - as opposed to conscious - behavior. The aim of The Insight Project is to go beyond such conditioning, to transcend the programs that mould the mind, to reveal and empower the meta-programmer: the person who "transcends or goes beyond" the programming of his own mind.

The meta-programmer - known as the "soul" in Gnosticism, the "no-mind" in China, the "White Light of the Void" in Tibetan Buddhism, "Shiva-darshana" in Hinduism, the "True Intellectual Center" in Gurdjieff, the "Higher Self" in Transpersonal Psychology - simply represents the mind becoming aware of itself. In the Zen metaphor, it is a mirror that reflects anything, but does not hold on to anything. It is a conscious mirror that knows it can always reflect something else by changing its angle of reflection.

R. Buckminster Fuller illustrates the meta-programmer by pointing out that we feel puny in comparison to the size of the universe. But only our bodies are puny. Our minds, in actuality, contain the universe, by the act of comprehending it.

"I think, therefore I am" is the apparent sequence. However "I am, then I think and create an identity," is how consciousness really works. The "soul" of the Gnostics is distinct from the self-identity. The self-identity seems to be fixed and firm, but is not. Whatever program you are operating on at the moment is your "self" at that moment. The "self" is not constant but shifts back and forth between the imprints on the various programs upon which our minds are structured.

The "soul" however is constant because it is void or no-form. It plays all the roles you play but it is none of them. It is plastic. It is no-form because it is all forms. It is the "Creative Void" of the Taoists. By learning to transcend the programming of the mind, one's true nature as the soul - the meta-programmer - is gradually realized.

The Gnostic Way

The Insight Project is based on GNOSIS, which means knowledge, and the Zen concept of "Satori" or "sudden" enlightenment, i.e. insight. The ancient school of Gnosticism is defined by Webster as being "characterized by the central doctrine that emancipation came through knowledge, Gnosis, the possession of which saved the initiates from the clutch of matter". The Gnostic Way means emancipation through the direct experience of knowledge, which is insight. Knowledge IS power, and the knowledge that sincere application of the procedures contained in this course will bring you, is all that is necessary for you to experience Truth, your immortal identity, freedom from limitation, and happiness.

But surely, you may say, we are in the midst of a "knowledge explosion" today. But it has not eliminated war, fear, poverty, anxiety or Man's daily inhumanity to man. Nor has it given man any legitimate knowledge of his make-up. It has only been "knowing about", not knowledge acquired from direct experience, from looking within.

The Insight Project is also a practical Transformational Psychology: studying man not from the viewpoint of what he seems to be or what he may become, or seem to become, but of what he actually is - in order to produce a more highly evolved type of man. This new type of man - "homo novis" - does not submit to life "as it happens" but is committed to self-development in order to consciously control his own life and his affairs, and in turn, help others to consciously gain the freedom he has gained.

This new psychology and psychoanalysis really means the study of one's Self. The study is founded upon certain basic principles that are not yet known in orthodox psychological systems. The Insight Project presents a fundamental hypothesis and the practical techniques by which this hypothesis may be either proven out or disproved, by you and for you alone.

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The Age of Anxiety

The labeling of this age has run the gamut from the "Space Age" to the "Age of Aquarius" to the age of "Sexual Revolution". However, the one epithet that probably fits more accurately than all the rest is the "Age of Anxiety". Anxiety is the one negative force that cuts through all levels of society affecting the rich and poor, young and old alike. Anxieties and tensions are insidious forces which exist below the surface of your awareness, smoldering and building up, until you reach a "breaking point" and explode in a fit of anger or a violent argument, or some other unreasoned behavior. It also manifests in over-indulgence in food, alcohol, cigarettes, sex or work, in headaches, fatigue, impotence, clumsiness, sleepless nights, or any number of physical ailments. Conscious worry and fear also enter the picture to compound the feeling of frustration already being experienced because you are not able to identify the source of the unconscious anxiety and thus eliminate it.

Consequently, if you are like most people, you will gulp down a handful of pills to alleviate that dull aching feeling, or your "escape" will be in the form of the after-work booze-up. Or you'll change your job, or get a divorce, or move to another town, or some psychologist will tell you to "adjust" to your problems. Or you will grin and bear it because your religious leader piously proclaims that sorrow is this life's just reward, and so on. But you find that you receive nothing but temporary relief and that you carry your problems with you wherever you go and whatever you do.

To add to this state of tension, is the sense of "alienation" that modern society produces. A sense of isolation, separation, loneliness, powerlessness, apathy, non-involvement, pessimism, meaninglessness, rootlessness, and lack of authentic values. Alienation may be described as that state in which the individual feels dislocated from himself, from others, from the world in general.

With mechanization, specialization and automation increasing every day, man has become lost in the giant machinery he once controlled and created, and thereupon he has become a mere "cog in the machine" - mechanized, routinized, depersonalized, apathetic, insignificant, an object to be manipulated.

With the threat of nuclear annihilation on the one side, and on the other promises of a super-abundant age of leisure from the resources of high technology, man has become confused, uncertain and schizoid because he cannot relate to or solve problems of such magnitude. With the instant communications systems of mass media, informing Western man of the struggles for freedom of men throughout the world, he feels helpless in his inability to do anything about the situation. Learning about constant crime, the world seems a dangerous place. And stuck in urban dwellings, he becomes increasingly isolated from Nature with all of its beauty, peace and refreshing naturalness. And while the population of the world is exploding at a fantastic rate, he finds increasing difficulty just communicating with his neighbor.

Thus it is that man drifts aimlessly through a world seemingly without meaning or purpose - a world he created but over which he no longer exercises conscious control or power. Man today has lost his identity and his purpose for existing. He has lost his sense of the Game of Life. He is an unknowing and unwilling games player. Never before has man been so much of a problem to himself. Why does man, with all his intelligence, allow this situation to exist? Is there a practical answer?

Man does not know himself. The task now before you is to begin to know yourself. To possess self-knowledge you must first become free of illusions about yourself, the people around you, and the Universe. Until you begin to understand your illusions you will never be free to see the truth about yourself or anything else. That is, as knowingness, not "knowing about". Illusions consist of all sorts of mistaken ideas you hold about yourself, false assumptions as to your abilities, erroneous concepts about your place and purpose in the world, and so forth.

It is difficult to break-up these illusions because they are deeply ingrained habit patterns. To be able to change, which is the only way to gain self-knowledge and freedom, you must do things you have never done before, and recognize that viewpoints that you were determined must be right, may possibly be wrong.

The greatest barrier to consciousness is the belief that one is already conscious. Just considering the matter, one for an instant wakes-up, then returns to slumber in the illusion that, yes, he is conscious. The truth of the matter is that 99% of the time, man is behaving mechanically - he is determined by external influences. Nearly all of man's thoughts, ideas, emotions, aspirations, words and moods are triggered by external influences. Events, circumstances and trains of thought trigger these reactive emotional responses automatically, according to his previous conditioning, upbringing, education and experiences, and his innate human nature, instincts and drives.

The collection of ingrained habit patterns and memories are linked together automatically and unconsciously. The application of free will is only possible if vision is unblinkered by preconceived fixed ideas or reverence to singular ideologies and cultural norms; this requires relative freedom from this reactive agglomeration.

The subconscious and unconscious minds play the major role in controlling your life and behavior, when you are not fully awake and self-aware in the present moment. In the normal human person it is responsible for over 90% of everyday thoughts, feelings, motivations, desires, prejudices, anxieties, tensions, illnesses, illusions, personality problems, and everyday behavior. The Insight Project seeks to re-orient your basic unconscious concepts by changing your normal reactions and responses to life's everyday occurrences, in the light of insight by the higher consciousness, intuitively perceived.

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Beyond Survival

For many years philosophers and scientists have unsuccessfully attempted to uncover the "missing link" - that point in evolutionary history where the primate became Man. The evolutionists have, however, been on a prodigious detour because the "missing link" will never be found physically, since it is to be found within the essential nature of Man himself.

It is a point of change. A point where pain of some sort was experienced. It could very well have been that the painful moment of dissatisfaction experienced while encountering the sometimes catastrophic forces of Nature, brought about pre-human Man's simultaneous "resolution" to change his present state of natural environment. This was, then, a psychological turning point - a point of supreme dissatisfaction with things as they are. It was a point where Man came to look at himself as he never had before.

Since this time when Man first began to free himself from the subjective environment that seemingly produced him, Man has continued in his attempt to free himself from bondage to circumstance. There can be no doubt that Man has gained increasing dominion over his environment but has not yet gained dominion over himself.

We "moderns" have become a race of near-men and near-women who have never achieved true maturity. Even the most sophisticated and educated people of today are like children who masquerade in adult bodies. We are the sum total of our genetic inheritance and our personal experiences. This means that we have, in fact, been brainwashed by our parents, religions, schools and society. We have been trained like animals since birth to fit into a certain prescribed pattern of behavior. If we follow it, we gain social acceptance and approval; if not, we gain everyone's scornful glance. As a result we have become a socially-conditioned image or facade wearing only a thin veneer of civilization over our more primitive instincts - that need only the right set of circumstances to be triggered. Thus, almost all people live rigid lives compressed in a tight circle of egocentricity and self-interest. The point is, that we have been brainwashed into believing we are something we are not.

To evolve, to develop, you must first want to be different. You will want to be different than you are now only if you are at present dissatisfied with yourself and your world. This is the first requirement of evolution. If you are reading these words, you more than likely have experienced this feeling and have resolved to do something about it.

Through union of the sperm and ovum, it is clear that man, on a physical basis, recapitulates his entire evolutionary past during pregnancy: from the single celled protozoa to fish to reptile to mammal to man. This evolutionary pattern is today part of everybody's subjective nature, or "id" and must be transcended for you to be free.

Just as pre-human man evolved to view himself as never before, so must you now come to view yourself not as "human", not as a rational thinking animal, and not as a random product of "accidental" evolution. The destiny of Man is to become less and less human and more humane, less compulsive and more creative, less instinctive and more intuitive, less material and more spiritual. Man's destiny is to become more fully divine.

Your evolution, now and in the future, requires direct conscious effort on your part. This important step of cognition begins your evolutionary journey into higher consciousness. Know from this moment forward that your evolution at any and all times requires progressive changes of consciousness. It occurs by small but progressive quantum jumps, each one a further insight - a further understanding of some aspect or attribute of the infinite Truth that is your essential nature. Each progression of understanding will be a step into cognition of your real identity. This will ultimately, but only after a great deal of concerted effort along the way, set you totally free of all limitations.

With this course you possess the rare secret of self-directed evolution. You will be learning how to release the "mechanism" of evolution within you, so that you may now become your own "self-generating" force capable of mutating under your own power. This means that you will be able to change from within; not because of the pressure of external forces, as did pre-human man, but through the systematic application of knowledge.

Everything that comes into material existence must one day die or go out of existence. There is an intrinsic knowing within you that this conglomeration of memories you call ego, and your physical human id-nature (instincts), must one day be transcended. The "survival instinct" is usually evidenced in terms of self-preservation, which means preservation of one's ego. Man will go to any length to preserve this false image he has become. He has created religions solely for the purpose of "immortalizing" this egocentric concept of which he is so fond. "Survival comes first - MY survival" and "Get the other guy before he gets ME" is the motto of the day. Thus we have developed a culture in which most people show an apathetic lack of concern for everyone else.

This form of "will to live" is a perversion of a deeper more legitimate instinct of man. What the psychologists would call basic drives or natural instincts, such as self-preservation, the sex drive, survival of the fittest, preservation of the species and so forth, are all genetically based. They rest however on a more fundamental knowingness that gives man the impulse of immortality. This is the knowingness, usually deeply suppressed, of one's actual nature as eternal. By understanding this now, through insights gained - one by one - on this Project, you regain control of your future destiny.

To accomplish this noble end, Crucifixion and Resurrection are necessary. "Crucifixion" is an archetypal symbol that means to cross-out an erroneous concept of yourself. You, yourself, must put to death the belief that you are physical man. With this new validated knowledge about your identity you are then capable of resurrecting up out of the paradigm of animal man and a material world. The eternal question "Who am I?" is finally answered by turning the scientific method inward upon man himself to objectively determine his real nature.

Everything is your cognition. All exists in your knowing faculty of mind. If it did not, you wouldn't be able to know anything. This includes your universe, your friends, your enemies, your job, your husband, your wife, your children, YOU. All life is the singular experience of your mind. This is not your human ego mind but a single higher consciousness that is infinitely pervading and eternal.

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The Approach of The Insight Project

With the tools of The Insight Project, one looks outward, in the present moment, at the goals, identities, roles and ways of being that are being assumed. Right now, not in the past. Usually these are being re-enacted unknowingly, rather than by conscious decision, and therefore no responsibility is taken for the identification. The reasons why one is compulsively playing a role, and therefore behaving reactively and unconsciously, have not been confronted. A network of rationalizations have been put in place to avoid having to make this confront. It is a network of safe solutions to the trials and tribulations of life. It is also the destroyer of awareness, and the preventer of insight.

The Insight Project examines the area of mental functioning that causes these survival computations to stick together, to form barriers against that which cannot be truly perceived. At a subconscious level, the responsibility that perceiving the truth would demand, is considered too much to take on.

The techniques taught in The Insight Project take down this barrier by questioning - with the aid of the Biofeedback Monitor - the validity or closeness to the objective truth, of one's every mental consideration. The Being - YOU - knows, which is why the Monitor can work, but the mind hides this knowingness behind a fog of confusions, fixed ideas and "ways of being right". All of them are safe solutions that are being grasped onto, despite the fact that many of them conflict. As one strips these away, gradually increasing one's awareness, responsibility and confront, lo and behold, new and previously unseen layers of rationalization and self-deceit become available to inspect. The view constantly changes and opens up, until finally, in the particular area that is being inspected, the unaltered reality is seen, and the breakthrough to insight obtained.

The charge, or energy that had been taken-up to suppress this truth, is therefore released and the lies erased. Each area that is examined is chosen, by monitored assessment, because it is the most emotionally charged at the current time. However there is a mass of charge, holding the Being down from his native state of spiritual awareness, and when one area of charge is removed, another naturally flows in its place, as the senior item to be examined. In this way, one "follows the charge through the Stimulus-Response mechanism". Whatever reads the most, upon assessment, is where you handle next, whatever level of handling this involves: trauma, painful emotions, upsets, problems, withholds, survival computations, purposes, intentions, postulates. All the techniques for applying this "cyclic" approach to improving mental functions are given in this course.

Most of the procedures on The Insight Project involve examining the Present Time viewpoint of the Being. This Present Time pole is what the Past is hooked onto. There is a finite amount of Present Time mental content but an infinity of Past experience that would take forever to resolve. By taking down the Present Time pole, the mass of the Time Continuum falls away.

One is always looking for truth - something you didn't realize before - although at one level you already know it. But one's view is always conditional upon the degree of awareness, responsibility and ability to face reality, and upon the identity you are adopting, for survival purposes or for purpose of game (the need to have exciting challenges). The way you see something is always conditional in this way, unless the subject has been released of all charged conflict. Normal, human, perceptions are - as a rule - reactive or "stimulus-response", the result of the conditioning of a lifetime and beyond even that. Psychotic perceptions are, of course crazy; neurotic perceptions are illogical; but even normal human perceptions are still other-determined (determined by imprinted conditioning) and far below the awareness of a fully realized Being.

realizing that what one had previously thought was crazy or illogical will cause a release of emotional charge, one has achieved a satisfactory "relative truth". This is familiar procedure in conventional psychoanalytical practice. But on The Insight Project one goes beyond that, digging up the lies, misconceptions and misattributed ownership of concepts or viewpoints that were the source of later distortion, to get to the actual truth of the matter and this gives not just a release but a permanent erasure of charge. Then it's really handled for good, and you won't be re-creating your problematic feelings as soon as the session ends, or troubled times re-occur.

YOU KNOW; the Monitor reveals your knowingness or intuition to consciousness; and eventually, layer by layer, this truth is revealed, like a painting being cleaned of centuries of grime. YOU are revealed. Gradually you differentiate your Beingness from the composite state of the human being. The human animal is a sophisticated (highly evolved) combination of both genetic programming and the brain-mind conditioned from conception by traumatic stimuli and parental and cultural influence. From this the personality-mask or "ego" develops, and this is multi-faceted, as different masks and different egos come into play in all the many and varying circumstances of life. The Being identifies with these multiple sub-personalities and the archetypal drives and survival instincts this earthly vehicle dramatizes. And the genetic entity is similarly programmed by the Being, and the Being's own intentions and experiences. Thus forms the Composite.

However, the Composite is in conflict. The Being is not, essentially of this world, and has no innate concerns with survival - he is interested in Game and his considerations concern that. The human, genetic organism is primarily concerned with survival. What results is a mass of survival computations - of safe solutions to this conundrum.

When energy flows meet from opposite directions they impact and form massy "ridges". Similarly, the conflict of intentions within the composite (human) being form a mass, and this mass of intention-counter-intention effectively acts as an "Imprint" upon the Being. It is the "unconfrontable" that causes the being to shut down drastically his awareness and responsibility for causation, to be "asleep" while the human being robotically takes control. It is a primary purpose of The Insight Project to erase this Imprint.

The Imprint is the mass of ridges that result from the composite elements being identified and massed as one, although they conflict in basic purpose. The spiritual or non-physical element is trying to play games, but they have become unknowing (like actually becoming a piece on the chess board) and hence trap him. The physical element (of fixed and located Matter, Energy, Space and Time) is programmed through evolution to survive, again without choice.

The Being is not of this world, but adopts a viewpoint within it. Adopting a human body, his mind operates through the "via" of the human brain, to control the body and to perceive through the body. The behavioral instincts of the human are contained in the primitive "reptilian" brain but this of course interacts with the highly evolved human cortex of the brain, the seat of "thinking consciousness". The left half of the cortex works with verbal, sequential and analytical processes, while the right side deals with intuitive, emotional and synthesizing processes.

Both may be inappropriate. The left may adopt misconceptions, defensive rationalizations and survival computations - the fixed ideas of belief systems, which attach to the various assumed identities or ways of being. These are played out again (usually unknowingly) in similar circumstances to the original, through stimulus-response. In the right brain, distortion takes the form of suppressed feelings, emotions, attitudes, pains and experience - truth that is withheld. The Being communicates through the intuitive non-verbal right side (via a crystalized link from the pineal gland) and if right-brain awareness is detached from the left-brain conscious ego, the Being may become detached from consciousness - asleep behind a smoke screen of words.

Insights and practical ideas are useless if just "known about" - they are for everyone that can act, to test out empirically for themselves. All belief systems are just another potential trap and all the ideas described within the Project materials will either be discovered or not on your own venture into self-knowledge. Certainly don't believe anything until you KNOW. The truth lies within you, no-one else can provide it for you. The The Insight Project procedure completely eschews any type of evaluation - where you look and what you find are up to you, The Insight Project simply provides you with a set of powerful tools.

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The nature of "Spirit"

Life is basically a quality, rather than a quantifiable energy. It has a quality that is unmoving and untouchable - it is a quality that is not of this physical universe. Spirit has no mass, no motion, no wavelength, no location in space or time. It does however have causation: the ability to postulate and to perceive, to have considerations, evaluations, opinions and intentions. The Self is a viewpoint within the universe that perceives, but it is the Spirit, the Higher Self that is not of this universe, which is aware of being aware in this universe: of perceiving, of emoting, of being, doing and having. When awake - centered and free from dramatization of identities - this is the inner still point that we experience as our true self, that is, without ego-boundaries.

Most meditative techniques attempt to realize and integrate the Higher Self, the true spiritual Being. We can be at rest in this awareness, like the eye of a storm. The world whirls all around, in the field of consciousness. This "I" is both an observer and a constant center of all the activity. It is only at this center, having dis-identified from the many controlling forces, that the person achieves freedom, to master, direct and utilize them. Being at the center, the observer can also be seen as the experiencer, able to more fully experience inner and outer events and to become unafraid of living.

The free person can move around in his personality and in the world, instead of being locked into fixed and safe patterns, and in that way can be in touch with unlimited potential for experience (rather than cut off in a limbo, as is commonly understood to be the spiritual life).

The Spirit is known mystically as "The Void". But this is misleading because it is more truthfully a "no-space", that is packed with the potential energy and intention of all life, in a "no-time" inclusive of past, present and future. It is the Causative Order of Being, where creation is implicit and enfolded: the unmoved mover. The physical universe is its manifestation, an unfolded, explicit space-time. The two are not separate though; within the heart of every atom is a zero-point of no-space/time, connected in its quality with every other zero-point, so that in every atom lies a universal nothingness. This same zero-point is also the creative vacuum that is the Spirit, so within each atom lies also the source and the knowledge of the whole universe. This is the All That Is, of which we too are One, and at the same time, individuals. It is just as "big" as the vacuum "outside" the universe, as both have no space or location, in truth.

The practice of mantra meditation aims to cut off distractions from the unconscious mind, to experience the still center, but this can result in building a wall against the distraction of all Preconscious material, and an unwillingness to actually confront and re-experience unpeaceful and painful memories. If these are in reactivation they have to be handled, not pushed aside. The way out is the way through.

Knowledge and awareness of the soul can only be stable with a strong and growing personality, which has come well enough to terms with the lower subconscious and is well centered in the strength of a stable and dis-identified "I".

The usual ego-state is that small part of the deeper Self that the waking consciousness can assimilate at that time. It is a reflection of what can become ever more clear and vivid. It is that part of the higher consciousness that is identified within this individual. If we call the quality of causative consciousness Spirit, then an individualized viewpoint would be a Spiritual Being, the spirit of the Composite of spirit, mind, brain and body. The Being is connected through the quality of Spirit to all other Beings, so ultimately we see here the Universal Consciousness of Eastern religion, which has been personalized and inverted in Western religions to a single Being or Creator God/Father.

The quality of Spirit can be seen as a fifth dimension, perpendicular to this physical plane but that impinges on it, like a needle on a gramophone record, which is itself a physical universe of past, present and future. Spirit has the quality of ability. The foremost ability is being able to adopt a Beingness, to take a viewpoint from which it can view objects that it creates by considering them to exist. It can move them around and in so doing persist them in a time continuum. This creation may be called a Universe. If shared with other viewpoints, the individual universe becomes an agreed-upon Reality, within a fixed time-continuum. The gramophone record is then being played.

In this fundamental hypothesis, we are all spiritual Beings; we are largely asleep as Beings, but nevertheless this quality of Spirit we have in common, connecting us. "Light that is one, though the lamps be many". The state of being of one affects all others. And this was Irene Mumford's aim in developing The Insight Project - to cause a major enhancement of life on earth, by making profound changes in the awareness of relatively few individuals and thereby - through the connectedness of all Beings - to the Soul of Humanity.

dis The aim of Buddhist practice is to detach or dis-identify from Earthly desires and human compulsions, and so to at last free the spirit from the endless cycle of Birth and Rebirth, that attachment to the body entails. The Insight Project works towards the same end, since it is not just a de-programming of cultural hypnosis; the consensus trance has a more fundamental basis, rooted in man's spiritual nature and existence, and the culture merely reinforces this ancient programming. But unlike Buddhism, The Insight Project does not aim to remove desires and attachments with the world but rather to remove the compulsions and inhibitions that enforce conditioned desires and attachments, so that we may have freedom of choice to be or not be, to do or not do, to have or not have.

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Stimulus-Response mechanisms

The Stimulus-Response mechanism of the mind could be said to be a mass or "agglomeration" of counter-intentions; all the unresolved conflicts held in place and stored in a chaotic manner. Like a tangle of string it is compacted, because it is unresolved, unfinished business. It hasn't got accurate time/location tags on it and therefore "hangs up" and continues into Present Time.

There are all sorts of knots and tangles, as irrational identifications are made between similar items in different contexts - the method in which the Stimulus-Response mechanism "thinks" A = B = C by association. Much of it is not confrontable by the Being, the data goes in and out of reactivation subconsciously, so it is a mass of unknowns, of lies and misattributed ownership. (Misattributed ownership is thinking something is yours when in fact it isn't, or vice versa. E.g. taking someone else's experience as your own, saying you did something when you didn't, or vice versa). The primary action of conflict resolution is putting time and order into the Stimulus-Response mechanism, and exposing and indicating lies and misattributed ownership, so that the Stimulus-Response mechanism dissolves and becomes simply mental content, without reactive force.

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Relative truth

The person doing self-development with a Biofeedback Monitor is working to find his true causation in all domains of life. Charge results from frustrated intention, i.e. it is unresolved emotional energy. Due to increased tension and therefore brain arousal, the emotional charge on an item causes a deflection on the Biofeedback Monitor. This shows it has reality and meaning to the person, it can be confronted, it is something he would naturally be interested in looking at, even if to do so is not easy.

Awareness, Responsibility and Confront monitor what he is willing and able to view, and as they change and rise in perspective in the course of analysis, new viewpoints will therefore be exposed. So the meta-programmer's view of truth will always be relative, dependent on the charge or fog that occludes his vision being removed. The way he sees the world is therefore conditional - a cognition of "truth" may subsequently turn out to be seen as untrue from a new position of awareness, responsibility and confront.

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The current, major Item in reactivation (that identity which is most being re-enacted in the present) is the wall of charge between you and the present moment, the reason you're not in Present Time, the effort you are putting into not being there. It is your communication lag. You may feel it as the mass around your head, which blows away when the charge is released, its lie discovered. The charge will then naturally transfer on to the next Item - revealing the next thing you are able to confront that is in reactivation.

The Insight Project is always primarily concerned with this current, predominant item of mental content - that which is of most vital interest to the analyst of all the items in reactivation, which he is dramatizing, or living out, in his life at present. For this reason Assessments of possible items are a key part of the procedure, as you want to find not just a charged Item, but the charged Item - this requires assessment with the Monitor of all likely candidates.

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The trap

As spiritual Beings, we have been persuaded to forego our true creative powers, to forget that we are actually creating the world around us, and to believe that we can only perceive and act in complete identification with a physical human body. Much of this may have been self-imposed for purposes of an interesting game that we became introverted into, but some, it seems, was the result of the inter-active identification with the human organism, over many separate lifetimes. This has the effect of a complex forceful hypnotic suggestion or Imprint, which we have taken on board, and which has dominated the determinism, actions and considerations of each of us, to dramatically curtail our powers and our awareness.

Of course like all hypnotic suggestions, when it is acted out, we find ways to justify or rationalize our actions whilst being totally unaware of the reasons for our behavior. This Imprint is re-installed upon assuming a new body at birth, and then at death this is heavily reactivated, normally causing a new body to be compulsively acquired, according to the edicts of the Imprint. It is therefore an underlying stereotype for the human race in all domains of survival, affecting our personal awareness, our sexual and family behavior, how we relate to others singly and in groups, and so on. Not just because of the Imprint phenomena, but because of all the consequent build up of rationalizations subconsciously based on it, which help to keep it in place and that become, in the group mode, the basis of our cultural psychology.

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There is a difference between a viewpoint and an identity as we define them. A viewpoint is simply a point from which one perceives. A Being, in order to operate in this universe needs to assume a viewpoint, a Beingness. One can then receive inflow and give outflow. An identity is more than that. It has some commitment - it is the way one decides to be, in order to deal with a situation or handle a problem. It contains a viewpoint but it's also aligned with a Goal and purposes towards that Goal, along with beliefs, decisions, considerations, ideas and so forth.

The spiritual Being first postulates an objective and then, if necessary in the context of his reality (the Game he is playing), he may decide to adopt an identity or beingness, to achieve by means of action and effort a Goal that is aligned with the postulate. A Postulate, then, is a decision of what you want (e.g. "I will be famous") regardless of how it is attained and a Goal determines the practical means deemed necessary to attain it (e.g. "To be an excellent composer") and this requires a way of being.

The very nature of a game involves opposition, barriers to overcome, others preventing you achieving your objective. Problems are likely to occur: intention versus an equally matched counter-intention. If such a problem is unresolved, the identity that has been created for this point in the game, may as a defense or safe-solution, to get around this stale-mated problem, adopt a lower beingness that he feels will be able to achieve at least a satisfactory outcome towards the Goal, even if not what he originally wanted.

This may work for a while, maybe several lifetimes, or not at all, but when the problem (that which is being opposed, that may have changed as circumstances match his new viewpoint in the Game) is not being won over, the game is not getting anywhere or it's getting too painful, a still lower beingness and version of the Goal may be adopted. This structure may be continued until eventually, the Being is actually opposing his own original Goal and this holds the whole Conflict Structure in place as a "macro" unresolved problem. Colliding intentions cause "ridges" as the opposing energy flows impact. The ridges acquired in all these unresolved oppositions become a mental mass and the whole structure hangs in subconscious present time.

The structure consists of opposing pairs - an identity versus whatever is opposed - and attached to each pair is a COEX (Condensed Experience, as Stanislav Grof defined the phenomena) of experiences in which the conflict was being played out, or was in reactivation and being re-enacted. The COEXs contain all the trauma of the situations, all the postulates and observations surrounding it, all the decisions and emotional charge, all the lies, irrationalities and misperceptions - all the "I must be right and they must be wrong" computations. These are the actual source of the problem areas that people have in their lives.

Since they are held unconsciously and not viewed, these two-pole structures have become permanent, and are a liability to freedom of action in Present Time. With them in reactivation, the person is moving from one out of Present Time viewpoint to another, and recreating the opposed viewpoints that have caused enough counter-intention to stale-mate his game. His effectiveness is limited to their content and failures. He is stuck in old games and the outcome is predictable as the result he always gets in a particular game. These structures are, then, a foundation for "false personality" and its sub-personality masks, identifications and defenses.

These structures are examined and taken to pieces on The Insight Project, so freeing the spiritual Being to recover freedom of choice, but also of course, to be much the wiser!

A more detailed explanation of goal conflict-structures, how they evolve and how they impact on our everyday lives is contained in the article "The Evolution of Goal Conflict Structures" by Peter Shepherd.

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Let us look a bit further into this hypothesis (for that is all it is at the moment - you'll have to do your own search and discovery to prove it out or otherwise). The action of a Being in the Universe boils down to the essential cycle: BE - DO - HAVE. One adopts an appropriate identity towards a Goal, one does what is necessary, and eventually one achieves what one wanted to have. One starts and then continues until one completes the cycle of action. Directed action can be described as a Game when there are opponents - you grant beingness to one's co-players and deny beingness to one's opponents. Spiral this be, do and have in many games and you accumulate more and more opponents and denied beingness.

You, the player, have accumulated a backlog of identities (beingnesses), actions against (doingnesses) and denied beingness (and therefore havingness) to thousands of opponents. You are trapped in the unfaced debris of all your previous games because they were played on a persisting time-track and therefore did not disappear afterwards (the illusion of Time being the primary lie). The Being is now trapped in the kinetic of his own actions, intentions and postulates, on a persisting Time Continuum.

The space or beingness of an opponent is denied, whilst the space or beingness of self is heavily defended. This cuts down the space one occupies to a single identity, "Me!" The frustration of the creative Being trapped in this limiting situation is almost madness, as he wants more free space to open out his game.

The spiritual Being who conforms to the Human Composite Game doesn't have this problem - he's content to play the conventional game of clobbering his enemies and taking over their territory. The conflict between the Higher Game and the Survival Game forms a ridge (compacted opposing energies) centered around the conflicts between the Being's viewpoint within the Survival Game, and the physical vehicle he is playing it with.

The dichotomies of the Game (players vs. opponents); the Physical Universe (negative vs. positive); the Composite consciousness (all the dichotomies you can think of); the Stimulus-Response mechanism (past vs. now ); even down to a current Problem (intention vs. counter-intention), are all based on Physical Law (the dialectics of materiality) and are the trap, i.e. an appearance hiding the truth. Certainly the Spirit, which is not subject to laws, would not be definable in these terms, except by stating that it isn't Physical. Essentially, Spirit is the law and that is all the law there is. To put it another way, as Crowley wrote, "Love is the law, love under Will".

All the sciences, philosophies, etc., even the essay you are reading now, are merely knowing-about something, so they do not resolve the Being's problems. A true subjective understanding is only arrived at by clearing the whole of one's mental distortions. If you did that, you would not only understand it, you would BE it, for the two are synonymous. You cannot truly understand something that you have emotional charge on, for the charge blocks your view with non-confront and reactive considerations (primarily lies). Total understanding would produce the vanishment of the mechanical conditions of existence.

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Thinking and verbalizing will not produce understanding, only the inspection of one's own causation. It is the reactive mental material that needs to be confronted and put into order, and this is the material that The Insight Project methods reveal and resolve.

This causation of reactive material is happening in the NOW, for the Stimulus-Response mechanism is working in Present Time. The Being's causation in Present Time is no longer under his control, but is being motivated and arranged by his back-log of denied understanding (love) for others - he is at the effect of his own decisions. The Game has become serious, solid and stuck. The Being, rediscovering his own postulates and identities, will eventually drop the lies, and free up the Game again. This is why The Insight Project - in its advanced application - is called "The Remedy of All Games".

The Being is not going to let himself out of any trap until he is good and ready, and he has to learn exactly how he is creating, and has created, his own entrapment. To achieve this release he must be willing to look at his own causation and take responsibility for himself. No-one can do that for him.

The barriers of "close proximity but mystery" (i.e. the truth that is under your own nose), have to be understood, in order to achieve a state of full realization, which alone can achieve freedom.

So the correct approach in self-analysis is to seek one's own causation, rather than hidden causes for one's condition and problems. Conditioning can have no effect without one's own agreement and involvement. One is in agreement for game purposes and is unlikely to let that go until he discovers that he is putting the game there - that it is his causation.

The Being is locking the doors from within. He is the hidden cause in the game, not his past bad times and excuses. He must seek to uncover his own causation every step of the way; to be willing to confront himself, and to be the responsible communication point in his games of life, whether inflowing or outflowing effects.

The Insight Project procedure is not just the individual answering questions while convinced of the essential rightness of his viewpoint. This will not produce change. He must be willing to question himself, his considerations and motives, as a neutral viewpoint, willing to find out about himself, however painful that revelation may prove. Then there is the possibility of change.

If all was right with the individual, he would have no objective in The Insight Project. If all was wrong with him, he would have too little certainty about himself to undertake the analysis. He must be willing to discover who or what he is being, doing and having, without any considerations as to goodness, badness, beautifulness or ugliness.

Truth cannot be so qualified. Truth is Spirit and nothing more. To win at The Insight Project one must be a seeker after truth, not a seeker after validation of one's own rightness, or a seeker after hidden causes that excuse one's condition as a Being.

The truth is we are nearer to the animals our bodies evolved from, than the Gods to whom we aspire. It takes a lot of courage to accept this status with reality and to be willing to do a great deal about it, because that is what it will take. The Insight Project provides the tools for an honest practitioner to recover his true viewpoint - being at cause!

If you can't play this game that we are all in, you are not going to be able to play a higher game let alone be able to create new games. So the route is through this game in all its aspects, good and bad, beautiful and ugly - that can't be bypassed. The way out is the way through.

The Insight Project enables you to find the answers to those questions known as the Riddle of the Universe, which philosophers have been teasing themselves with for thousands of years. Not as theory but as cognitive knowingness and certainty.

  • Who am I?
  • Where did I come from?
  • How did I get trapped?
  • How can a Being with the capacity for total knowingness get trapped?
  • Who or what created the Universe?
  • How is it being created now?
  • Am I one Being or are we all One?
  • What is a Human Mind?
  • What is my real relationship to the domains of life and with other Beings?
  • Will I continue to come back here life after life?
  • Do I have any choice other than the Survival Game or being Spirit with no Games?
  • Can a Being play a Game that will not distort or trap him?
  • How do you trap a Being?
  • How am I creating reactive mental content in the present moment?
  • Do I have to be ME forever or can I escape the trap of immortality?
  • Whose postulates keep the Universe persisting?
  • Can I escape or is it one out, all out?
  • Is there a spiritual solution to world problems?

No answers offered - you discover them yourself session by session. It's realizations all the way and discovery of your own infinite universe!

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The Path of Love

Peter Shepherd is interviewed by Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby, who asks about his background, how and why Trans4mind was founded, what spiritual growth means in practice, and the heights that can be reached with The Insight Project, an advanced course which Peter developed and supervises. Here is the audio (1 hour)...

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