Inside each one of us lies images and worldviews which filter and reshape the “out there” world into our own personal versions of reality. These are affected by events and environments but for a time our filters of reality operate to dismiss new or emerging shifts in awareness or environments.
Importantly it is emotions that drive core beliefs rather than rational logic or information.
Recent studies by the Cultural Cognition Project(CCP) run out of Yale University have shown that facts exert only a weak influence on a person’s beliefs and opinions and also do not touch those deeply ingrained emotional convictions. Logic and facts are useful to create conceptual ideas where no previous equivalents exist.
Neuroscience understands that our brain will take on new information and run it past pre-existing cognitive filters. These filters will evaluate information and act to either confirm that information as aligned to current knowledge and belief, thus reinforcing those neural circuits, or positioning the information as new and novel.
Researcher Joe Dispensa states that new and novel information is treated by the brain as an “incidence” which may retain it in short term memory, a second encounter as “coincidence” which deepens short term memory context, and only after third and subsequent experiences will our brain truly act to lay down new long term memory neural circuits around that knowledge or belief.
Bessel Van De Kolk has pointed out in his long career in neuroscience that emotions that arise as the new information is received by the brain will influence the brain’s retention and meaning making of that new information. Neuroscience researchers such as Stephen Porges (Polyvagal theory) also come to similar conclusions in their work.
On interesting fact is that the reality filters buried in our subconscious mind can be barriers to change and act by filtering out information that contradicts what we already believe of know. We will tend to disregard new information when it conflicts with the belief we already hold. People can easily go into a form of denial or remain unconscious to presented new information.
They also normalise new beliefs when confronted with strong actions and images such as violence where a strong emotional context originally exists. In this process we can subsequently “numb out” to the emotional context as we normalise the experience and integrate it into our reality..
Researchers such as Antonio Demasi have shown that for many other mundane events there exists a basis for resistance to new incoming data which may be hardwired into our brains. All of us may reject new data when it is presented and instead refer back to the safety of our old status quo of current reality. I have noticed this is common in the context of healing and therapy.
In therapy one often sees clients who hold firm views on reality about life which are not correct, adaptive or supported by the facts. However when one explains the facts, shows them books, or credible arguments they nod their heads but simply disregard the information. They tend to “forget” to do homework or investigations recommended to them, and passively resist change. A form of filtering appears to prevent this new information taking root in their reality.
Such people often find “nothing works for them” or “no one has been able to help me”. They tend to place the blame “out there” but fail to see how their own nature is working against change and in being able to assimilate new ideas. We all need to have a conscious mindfulness about our own nature as it represents a sabotage that we all can subconsciously fall into.
Many people only jolt themselves out of their complacent reality when a crisis or strong emotionally charged event occurs. They may get very sick, face death, lose their partner, have their partner leave their relationship, lose their job, or get charged with a crime due to a previously unacknowledged behaviour, or have an addiction or personality disorder.
As a therapist I can identify with this problem. This form of inertia is best countered by enacting a daily ritual to override any filtering and to deepen new beliefs which serve the healing role. I have personally adopted the practice of the medicine Buddha for which I have taken empowerments to do.
Neuroscience does tend to support the spiritual wisdom that the things we seek are always there in front of us if only we would see them. Manifesting is much less about popping objects out of some quantum wave form state into materialism than it is about noticing what material things, what factual constructs and truths, are and have always been ever present all along.
We see them when we have stopped filtering them out through the subconscious brain as supported by redundant old beliefs. Let us begin to start fully seeing what is there before we start to believe we need to conjure up something else. You might just be pleasantly surprised that what you see is all you will ever need to see and know anyway!!
Neuroscience shows that you can teach an old dog new tricks and we can actively work on ourselves throughout our whole life journey to make that experience a happier one!! What is there in your reality that filters out what you would be better served letting in?
We are adept at helping clients expose these mental filters and old beliefs which are getting in the way of clients having their goals fulfilled. Contact us if you would like to work on yourself to become more aware, conscious and alive to what is really out there moment to moment for you to experience!!
For the more comprehensive version of this article please follow the link to this latest article The Resistance to Change and Healing in Us All.
“Richard Boyd is a Body Psychotherapist, counselor, author, and the CEO of Energetics Institute and Corporate Energetics” MBA,BBus,AdvDipCEBPsych,Cert Coaching AICE,AIFM,ExtDISC Certified
Visit him at http://www.energeticsinstitute.com.au/