Unlearning Starts Here
by Michael Braunstein
When we are born, we don’t know much about the world. And that’s a good thing. Though we have intelligence, consciousness, a mind — our awareness for the first several years is based on internal guidance. As our body grows, our sensorium expands, we begin to form a mental tool that allows our innate intelligence to interact with that physical world outside our mind. Our awareness slowly grows from our tight, concise world of our nose, our mouth, our thumbs, and reaches out to connect with food, parents, our crib, mobiles and toys and beings around us. Though our guidance and thinking still comes from within, we are experimenting and building a tool for our mind that can then interface with the physical world. That interface is mistakenly called the “conscious” mind though it was not conscious when we were conceived nor born. It is more accurately called the analyzer or intellect. It is a construct; simply a tool to be used by our real mind.
Observations of the “outside” world lead to developing tools and skillsets that enhance our abilities to engage and even manipulate it. We learn language, walking and more. These tools enable us to continue heeding a pure form of guidance from within and then apply that intelligence to our interactions with the physical world. We still follow the flow of information from within guiding our actions without. Our basis for right action is from within. The process of decision making is from inside to outside.
As we age, our experience with the physical world expands. We extend our inner wisdom, knowledge and guidance into our interactions with the outside. As children, that is how we operate. But soon the world begins to intrude. After a few short years, these days even shorter, we are placed in environments that begin to tell us things, teach us how the world is ordered. We are told how to live and how to act based on outside information. As children and without a maturity that can temper or regulate that intrusive belief system, we begin to adopt outside data as guidance without, at first, recognizing that the data is inconstant. It changes from day to day and from source to source. Though the data is unreliable, we are taught that the data gathered by “the world” should guide our decision making. Slowly, our learning curve steepens so that the only thought processes are the ones from outside that tell us what to do and how to act. By the time we are reaching adolescence we have begun to listen to outside data as gospel and guidance that overwrites our connection with our internal voice. Our decision making has become from the outside to the inside.
“I can’t get no satisfaction,…” At some point along that learning curve of “growing up,” we began to pay more attention to the outside world and its information flow than to the inside voice and our innate wisdom. Most of that shift in attention is due to how we begin to relate more to our body than to our spirit. The more experience we have in the physical world, the more we are enticed by the things our bodies seem able to provide us. The shifting pleasures of the world that seem to satisfy the body’s desires become so alluring that we heed the drives of the outside world to the extreme. Ironically, no matter the scope of our physical acquisitions, there is no satisfaction. We seek more. The idea of “data” determining our actions becomes paramount though we innately realize that data keeps shifting over time. There is nothing constant in the information we receive that we value so much that we base decisions on it rather than our own inner guidance.
No one should struggle with understanding the connection and clarity of that inner voice. Everyone has had the experience of inspiration. That’s when the solution to a problem, — whether big or small, seemingly insignificant or monumental, — seems to pop into your mind at a time when you least expect it. Some part of your mind, some connection to a bigger part of you, is operating behind the scenes, as it were. Maybe it will be an issue you have thought about for a long time and one morning you wake up and voilá, the answer is in your mind. That is an indication that the original part of your mind is still alive and well. It’s just been shouted over by the outside world. Viewed clearly, most of us can see that our best ideas come unbidden, with ease.
“You must unlearn what you have learned.” To be at our best, we need to use the best advice we have and that isn’t from the outside world, that should be obvious. One must reverse the learning curve, unlearn what you have learned as Yoda puts it. He is not alone in that admonition by any means. That advice has been offered for millennia. Just give it a listen.
No one should question where inspiration originates. The very word itself has as its central stem the Latin word spiritus, spirit.
This is not to suggest that data need necessarily be ignored out of hand. It’s sometimes helpful, often though distracting and most of the time simply amusing. But the greatest guidance we have is our inner voice. Some call it instinct; some intuition. Others call it muse, or hunch or gut feeling. And some call it Holy Spirit. Whatever you choose to call it, just call it. It’s there for you to use.
Heartland Healing is a metaphysically based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Important to remember and pass on to others: for a weekly dose of Heartland Healing, visit HeartlandHealing.com.