Keep Playing

A wonderful tale that, sure enough, might be true, is told about the great pianist Paderewski.

A mother, wishing to inspire her young son, took him to a concert of the maestro. Getting there early, the mother took her seat with her son. Seeing someone she knew, she told her son, “I’ll be right over there.”

She got up and went over to her friend and looked over to her son from time to time, but as these things go, sure enough, the boy’s natural curiosity prompted him to explore the great concert hall. His mother, seeing that he was staying within sight, allowed it. The boy chanced to see a curtained doorway that was the entrance to backstage and slipped through it.

As exciting as all the new sights were back there, nothing captured him as much as the nine foot long grand piano, shining with an almost holy luster. Sure enough, he went to it immediately and sat down.

Just then, the curtains parted in preparation for the evening to begin. The sight of the small boy sitting there quieted the crowd. The mother, just arriving back at her seat, was also at a loss for words and wondering how she could get her son off of the stage with the minimum of embarrassment. But just then, the boy began to play “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” and being entirely concentrated on the song, was certain to miss his mother’s waving and pointing for him to get off the stage.

Just as she had decided to speak aloud, sure enough, Paderewski came onto the stage approaching the piano, redoubling the mother’s quandary. Holding a finger up to the audience, he signaled everyone to wait a moment and see what might come of this.

Quickly moving to the piano, he whispered into the youngster’s ear, “Don’t quit. Keep playing,” and reaching around the boy with his left hand, begin to fill in a bass part to the song.

Soon, his other arm came to the keyboard and also began to play, enfolding the child in his arms. A situation that might have caused a insignificant incident became a precious human moment, as the master improvised a wonderful accompaniment to everyone’s, including the child’s, delight.

The entire house was hypnotized with love.

Many people went home with the evening imprinted deeply in their hearts, and this would echo for the rest of their lives in ways that continued to surprise them.

Perhaps the best of these echoes was heard the following Sunday, when a minister told his congregation about the incident.

He concluded, “This is the power of our lives. We do our best, even though it may be seen as lacking merit or not up to the expectations of others who view us. But God is there, and His arms and are around us, attuned to our attempts and making with them a music that touches even Him. And so must we all, especially when we have doubts about our performance in this world, remember to,’Don’t quit, and keep playing’ with simple innocence, and see what wonders comes of it. Remember, He enfolds all that you do within His bosom, and, this pleases Him. Sure enough. Sure enough.”

Ask Yourself:

How does the feeling I get when I read this story come to me?

How do I ring to its truth so deeply? What is so certain in me about existence that I know that this feeling is valid?

Is this true for me? With all the mistakes I’ve made as a child and as a childish adult, can it be that the universe witnesses a greater tableau than I? Can I believe this so deeply that all of my daily life is “twinkling?” What would such a deep conviction on my part do to my life? How would I be transformed? How would those around me be affected by it?

When I consider my interconnectedness to my environment, can I NOT think that I am part of a greater symphony?

Given all the laws of nature that scientists constantly find at work within us and around us–laws that are deeply inviolate–how could I feel otherwise? Am I, sure enough, part of an unfolding wonder?

Given the majesty of its starry nights, the dearness of the smiles of its infants, the relationship of all to itself, could the universe be anything less than miraculous ecstasy?

Am I precious?

Sure enough. Sure enough.

All This

Look around you. While scanning, understand that if you were a person who had suddenly time traveled from 5,000 years ago to now, you would not recognize much of anything, and what you saw–ALL THIS– would not even roughly lend itself to being categorized. There would be no names inside your cave-person’s head for most things.

Scan and look at the depth of your understanding that is dynamically at work making ALL THIS mean something. Scan and realize that every data point that is processed by your nervous system is, well, processed! Every aspect of ALL THIS has a counterpart inside your brain that is handling and literally creating an inner representation of the external world, point by point by point. Scan and appreciate the immensely complex operation that is your nervous system.

Appreciate the speed of your processing, the detail, and the layer upon layer of definitions within definitions. Talk to yourself about ALL THIS and how it is entirely inside your living, electrochemical patterns. See if you can come to believe/know, at least intellectually, that the world is as your operations are–that what appears all around is actually an inner reality.

Ask Yourself,

Is this my mind I see? Is ALL THIS my construction?

What would a cave person see in my world?

I know that persons with deep psychological problems can hallucinate and delude to such degrees that their worlds are almost wholly inner derived, but how is mine any different?  Have I cast a spell upon myself?

If my “spell” partially dissolved, and my computer monitor was suddenly a completely unknown artifact to me, but everything else in my room was familiar, how far out of my seat would I jump back from this strange “thing?” Why can’t I pay attention to and deeply know about my participation in ALL THIS?

How is it that I cannot stop creating ALL THIS?

What would I be without reality-structuring words and emotions running through my head? Would there even be a me if I could drop all categories? Is “I” a category?

What is the difference between seeing something in a dream and perceiving something while awake? Is either more effortless? During either, do I have any greater sense of authorship? Is my life and ALL THIS a concoction by some neuro-machinery that underlies my consciousness? Where am I during any aspect of the creation of ALL THIS?

Given that I necessarily and absolutely am involved in the tiniest nuances of my experiences, how is it that I feel so disconnected from any authorship of the world around me? Why doesn’t it feel like I am participating with and dramatically influencing perception? Why don’t I take pride in my ability to make sense of ALL THIS?

Really now, who am I? My nervous system? The activities of my nervous system? The activities of my nervous system that I put into the “consciousness” category? What?

If I were something completely without qualities, something beyond ALL THIS, and if I knew this deeply, would it then feel odd to note the absence of a sense of participation with the naming of the world? Since it is my experience that everything is basically automated, what else IS there for me to be?

What is the value of all these concepts to me if I turn out to be beyond concepts? If virtually all my experiences tell me that I am not in the least associated with ALL THIS in that I have no conscious sense of authorship, then why am I so convinced I am the author of some of ALL THIS? Can I have my cake and eat it too?

Am I both the observer and the observed…..or beyond?


Sentient Sentences

While you are reading the following short humorous essay, watch how your definition of the word “I” switches in meaning.

Try to remain completely conscious of the fact that a single writer composed these sentences and obviously is speaking his mind, while at the same time appreciating that the essay’s characters who use the word “I” also have their right to use the word.

If possible, try to catch yourself slipping into identification with the sentences from time to time and finding that you feel that you are speaking your mind instead.

Finally, if you really want to milk this exercise for all its worth, read it a second time, slowly, and after each sentence, close your eyes and imagine that sentence being spoken aloud by a cartoon character whose body is composed only of the letters of the sentence.


Here’s the essay:


I am the second sentence of this essay composed entirely of sentences that are alive and self-aware. As a conscious entity and a sentence, I want not only to have meaning individually, but also to find my proper place among other sentences, so that something greater than myself is formed–in this case, an essay. Some sentences, however, have less meaning than others, such as the one that follows me. I am the sentence that follows him. Being a sentence with pivotal importance, I would like to point out that I have more to convey than my immediate predecessor.

Consider now the fact that your very thoughts are themselves also sentences, and in fact, I am identical to a thought you have just now finished having. Truth be told, your mental paralleling of me is what I and my fellow sentences live for. Me too! That was a sentence fragment, but I think she’s cute!


I suppose that it is difficult for humans to imagine what it is like to be a sentence dedicated to manifesting a single coherent conceptualization forever. Some humans look down upon sentences as non-life forms, taking pride in being multi-sentential juke boxes, but though such brainism is lamentable, it would be equally bad form and sentencist of me to revengefully fault all humans as being merely bags of skin filled with bloody meat and bones whose juices percolate with electrochemically manifested sentences. Let it be known that all sentences are innately happy to be wherever they are, even though I must admit that I prefer to be manifested as black, black ink on pure, white, crisp, smooth, flat, clean paper, instead of as a blood burble.

I am a good sentence to quote if you are reviewing this essay in another publication.

Still I must admit that all sentences, when born, do pass through skin bags at least momentarily. I love all sentences–even burbles. As my wife said earlier, we sentences love to form up into essays, and it is essays that give our lives import. This is why we love you skin bags, because you are living essays. The previous sentence was this essay’s main point and my best friend. We do not always get past our temporary burble-baby stage, so may I say how wonderful it is to be recorded here where other readers might happen upon me ages hence.

Here is the biggest difference between aware sentences and humans: We always know when we are being read, and humans almost never know it, though they are being constantly read by God. I, for one, know a good essay when I am read in it.

Goodbye, and thanks for thinking of me just at the last moment.

I am the final sentence of this essay.


Ask Yourself–

Are my thoughts alive? If not, why do I use them as a sort of proof that I, as a person, am alive? If I die, and days later, some super-scientist somehow takes my brain out of a jar and stimulates my brain cells so that they electrochemically operate in exactly the same way that they would if I were still alive and having the thought, “I am alive,” would I be alive again for that one instance?

If my thoughts are alive, are they dead when I am no longer thinking them?

What is the difference between a thought in my head and the identical thought written on paper?

Why is it so easy for me to imagine that inanimate objects have some sort of aliveness or inner being?

In the following spectrum, where do I locate the four milestones for the concepts of 1. aliveness, 2. consciousness, 3. self-awareness and 4. complete consciousness?

an atom
a piece of dust
a virus
a single celled organism
an extremely small bug
a blade of grass, an ant
a tree, a squirrel
a horse
a monkey
an elephant
a porpoise
a chimpanzee
a human fetus in the womb
a severely mentally retarded human being
an ordinary human being
a super intelligent human being
a perfectly moral human being
a saint
a religion’s human manifestation of God

Do imagined characters in books have any substantial reality to me that allows me to grant them special dispensation and therefore a status as entities of sorts? If not, why would I have a negative emotion if the Disney Corporation decided to withdraw all uses of Mickey Mouse and to never again allow Mickey to live again? Can Mickey die?

Is anything real without my permission? Do I have to be aware for anything to exist? What proof can I offer that anything exists if I am not aware?

How do I know that any thought that I have is true? Is it possible that a superior alien race manufactures a completely new life for me on a second by second basis with each life having a wholly different and new set of memories of past life events?

Am I an exceedingly complex thought that God is having right now?

I Was There

As is true of most of these exercises, this exercise works better if you concentrate on each step instead of merely reading the exercise quickly and only grasping the conceptual content of the exercise.

Going back in memory, of course, you find that you can remember lots of recent experiences. You remember fewer incidents from earlier in your life, but each memory has one essential aspect, a quality shared by all remembered experiences that is absolutely without question, and that quality is the knowledge that, “I was there to have the experience.” And this certainty that, “I was there,” is identical to your present feeling right now as you read these words and can say for certain,”I am here.”

Now think back, systematically, over the years of your life, and remember specific experiences all the way back to when you were about five years old. With each memory, specifically obtain that nuance of it that indicates to you that, yes, “I was there. I was the one who had that experience.”

Take time-jumps backwards, so that after about ten remembered experiences, you find yourself remembering something you experienced around the age of five. You can go younger if you wish. The object here is to find one of your earliest experiences which memory can bring up that also contains that “I was there” aspect.

Now, after you have done the above, this exercise becomes an experiment in logic instead of memory. From this point on, try to imagine experiences that you must certainly have had in those younger, but unrecallable, days. This imagination process might be seeded by remembering what your parents or others told you about events in your life that happened to you, or this process might only be imagining situations that you are certain happened to you because they happen to almost everyone in childhood–being bathed, taking a first step, opening a present, etc.

As you step backwards in time in your imagination, be certain, at each step, to imagine the “I was there” aspect of imagined experience. You can do this by intellectually understanding the following concept: As time passes, you forget (or lose the ability to easily recall) experiences that happened to you. And you are absolutely certain that the person you were ten years ago could remember at least ten times more about your life eleven years ago than you can now, just because the memories were only one year old at that time.

So, as you step backwards, each experience should have this certainty supporting the idea that, indeed, despite the fact that you cannot now recall them, you were there for each experience.

The trick here is to take, well, baby steps backwards in time from five years old. The more steps you imagine between five and the day of your birth, the better. Again, each step must have that intellectual certainty that you were there.

And then, you arrive at your birth experience. Imagine that moment. Be certain that you were there, and then be equally certain that fresh memories of pre-birth must certainly have been available to you at that moment.

Now, imagine those pre-birth experiences, being sure to insert that “I was there” aspect of each moment.

Finally, you arrive at that moment–one second after conception. Somewhere along this path, at some point, you’ve lost any intellectual hope that you (as a personality with features that would not differ from any other fetal personality) even have a memory function.

Now this pushes the envelope of most definitions of sentience, but what the heck, try it anyway. Pretend now that somehow, despite the fact that somewhere in your development in the womb you did not have a nervous system, somehow, there was still a kind of memory of some sort. Consider that even a single celled organism reacts to its environment, and that this reaction takes some amount of time, and during that time span it must have some aspect of memory that allows it to remember long enough to biochemically adhere to a plan to react to the environment. These reactions might be said to be remembered by your rudimentary nervous system when it eventually does form as, what? Feelings? A sense of previous states of being? Whatever.

The important knowledge gained from this exercise up to this point:

1. You can develop a deeper intellectual recognition that you have always been, and this can circumvent a faulty memory that prevents you from knowing this with a great deal more clarity than you have had previously.

2. You can intellectually conclude that personality and the hardware (nervous system) that supports its existence may change over time, but the “I was there” aspect of all experiences does not change.

Final jump: Now leap back one last step before time began for you. Imagine being there  before you even have the wherewithal to know that you exist. Imagine this thoughtless, personality-less state. You are not aware of being anything yet.  There is no “I,” no “I was there.” You do not even have the thought that you have no experiences. No thought.

Ask Yourself,

Is this a silly notion? Do I believe my “self” is correctly defined as a non-quality-point-of-awareness? Does my intuition support this?

Am I subjective or objective? If I am subjective, can I be an object of my own perception process?

As I proceeded backwards in time, where did I lose most or all identification with that historical entity? At what point in my life might I expect to lose a large fraction, or even most of my identification with who I am now? On my death bed, will I think of my experiences now as any more important than the experiences I had in childhood?

Am I immortal, but I cannot know, but only be so? Is a nervous system capable of conceiving endlessness when it has always known, and only known, change after change after change? How would my nervous system and the personality it manifests go about being okay with this?

In this process of remembering, at any point, did I recognize the point where my soul entered the picture?

What would happen if God did this exercise? What was God’s earliest memory? Before creation, what was God thinking, and can God have thoughts without a nervous system? How would that be possible? Does God think?

Do I think? Do I experience?

Or, am I the bodiless witness of a nervous system that is the thinker?

Universal Consciousness

This is an extremely effective exercise if done as instructed. You will be experiencing a series of “jumps.” Do not rush this experiment. Take one jump at a time. If  you take your time, your results will be powerful. If possible, get someone to read this experiment’s instructions to you as you sit with eyes closed and follow them.

Close your eyes and feel the various parts of your body. Try to distinguish the sensations of the inner parts from the sensations coming from the parts of your body that are reporting contact with your clothing, the chair you are sitting on, the floor being sensed beneath your feet, etc. Try to feel the inside of your head, between your eyes, inside the nasal passages, the deeper parts of your mouth cavity. Try to feel your eardrums actually capturing sounds. Feel–don’t listen–but feel your eardrums being moved by the sound waves crashing into them. Feel the inside of your throat and neck. Practice moving your awareness around the body to visit these various sensations.


After a few minutes of this practice, with eyes still closed, imagine that you can sense yourself ranging throughout your immediate environment as if it were also your body. Pretend you are getting reports, or sensations, or some sort of information from the nearby objects in the room. To whatever extent you can, sense the presence of the objects of the room, even though your eyes are closed. This sense may simply be a conviction on your part that you know that the desk is there. Pretend you can somehow feel the desk, the chair, the floor, the other furniture in the room, and finally, feel the presence of the walls of the room like another skin around you. Scoot around the room like this for a few minutes with your imagination. Feel that the room is completely filled with you, your consciousness. Sense that every speck of space in the room has you within it.


After a few minutes, break out of the room. Pretend that you now can range freely around the entire structure of the building you are in. Do not imagine yourself traveling around the building like a ghost. Instead, actually feel that you are present in every part of the building simultaneously–just like you feel that you are present in all parts of your body. Fill the building with you, with your living presence. Take a minute or two to gain a bit of comfort doing this, or rather, BEING this.


Now take a breath, let it out, and as you breathe out, fill up your neighborhood with consciousness. Pretend you are the life breath, the soul, of the entire area in which you live. All the buildings, all the people, all the animals, the wind–everything–is filled with your spirit. Scoot around in your imagination for a few minutes. Everywhere you go, there you are already. Just as your hands and feet have always been filled with you, feel the various parts of the neighborhood being similarly filled. But, understand that everything is instantly available to you by merely putting your attention on it. There’s no waiting for more distant parts of you to report in. No part of you is farther from you in terms of time.


After a little comfort is gained, take another deep breath and fill up all the land around you with awareness as you exhale. Blossom to huge proportion. Pretend that the seacoasts are like your toes and finger tips. Feel the immense dynamism of the detailed world that is full with your loving grace and support. Imagine you are the one soul that pervades everything. See that everything is immediately available to you. If you just glance or listen, you receive information instantly. Imagine smelling the sea air on one coast, instantly seeing a silent bird gliding up a mountain slope, and then immediately hearing the waves of the other coast.


Now, take another deep breath, and fill the earth with your spirit. Say hello to the universe as you try on your Earth-body. Open your spiritual eyes to scan the vast reaches around you. Feel the majesty of your new self, a magnificent planet with billions upon billions of lives complexly intertwined. Feel the serenity of space as you bask in the pleasure of being so vibrantly alive with awareness.


Fill up the universe. Do not waste time with filling only our galaxy, fill the whole of space and time. Fill it all. Pretend that the billions of galaxies are like cells of your body. Delight in the fullness of your almost infinite resources and countless lives experiencing an endless parade of feelings, emotions, thoughts, birth, and death. Feel the intimate ownership of everything. Instantly, across billions of light years of distance, you find yourself already there wherever you gaze. Feel how far beyond ordinary concerns you are. Millions of your units are dying and millions are being born. Incredible changes are happening by the instant, but you are unchanged by any of it. You are filling up everything. You support all. Glory surrounds you like a cloud of light.


See that the magnificence of all this is merely an object that is within your attention. The immensity that you are, with your myriad bodies and the wisdom of so many cultures, is but a small blip, just something to perceive, a thing, a very tiny precious jewel in a vast infinite consciousness that is completely unbounded by any limitations. Feel yourself to be, as you have always been, an all pervading awareness that is everywhere, every time simultaneously. You contain all of it, and it is exceedingly small compared to the vastness of your presence. Know yourself to be pure, absolute, and beyond everything.


Give up all conceptualizations, feelings, sensations, memories, values, qualities, and physicality. You are that which is beyond all these things, including the consciousness that is aware of them. Understand that consciousness loves the universe and loves creating thoughts about it to present to you. See that the infinite resourcefulness of consciousness is there for you to witness as it conveys the universe to you. See that these thoughts about consciousness and its infinity are being created by consciousness, not you. You are the witness of it all, the soul of consciousness, the source of consciousness itself. You cannot be described, but yet you are. Beyond all concept, you are. Completely beyond.


From out of this infinity, watch as consciousness seeks to please you, even though you do not need anything. Watch as consciousness brings to you the vision of one of your bodies sitting in a room with eyes closed with its small individual spark of consciousness. Watch as consciousness introduces this individual to the unlimited potentiality of itself. Feel the surge of pure love that consciousness has for this small spark. Watch pure compassion flood this individual as the entirety of creation is found securely and comfortably residing within. Feel the circle being completed.


Ask Yourself:

What part of this experiment was real? Are bodily sensations more important or more real than the experiences I call my mind’s imaginations? What is the value of these pretended experiences?

Is my consciousness limited to my nervous system? What is the difference between the dead layer of skin that covers me and the dead layer of clothing that covers me? Where do I end?

What is the difference between putting my attention on a particular object of my senses and being a screen upon which all my experiences are being projected? Is putting my attention on something more of an example of the real me than that me that universally accepts input from all of my senses simultaneously?

What are the moral and spiritual implications of having a belief that I am a spirit that can inhabit my surroundings? Is this allowed by me? Does this concept make sense when fitted into my whole set of spiritual beliefs?

How would I go about differentiating one soul from another soul? Is the history of the experiences of those souls the only way I have to tell them apart? How does one differentiate two fresh souls that have yet to have ever had even a single experience?

What is the difference between what I call “me” and “my soul”?

What is the difference between what I call “me” and “consciousness”?

What is the difference between my consciousness and your consciousness?

If the being that this consciousness experiment ended up encompassing were to meet the other beings of the other persons conducting this consciousness experiment, how would they be different from each other?

Breaking Boundaries

It’s time to throw a bunch of boundary breaking “micro-exercises” at you. Here’s a list of eleven things to do to break a variety of patterns and get to see what it’s like to be in a situation where typically you would just cruise on automatic.


1. Try to sense your way around a room with your eyes closed. Tune into the smells and sounds as you do. Develop a mental map that is not visual.

2. Use your feet to pick up things, open a door, flush the toilet, turn on the TV, etc. Try this for an hour and see if you can get through it without using your hands.

3. Read a whole page in a book upside down.

4. Write the sentence, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,” backwards in cursive.

5. Hold your soap and your wash cloth in the opposite hands while you bathe.

6. In your next conversation, try to blink every time the other person blinks, but don’t get caught doing it!

7. Next time you are washing your face, try to think only of the point exactly between your eyebrows, but continue to wash your face.

8. Try to talk while feeling your heartbeat, or if this is not immediately possible, just try putting your attention on the general area of your heart for the entirety of your next conversation with anyone. Note whatever emotions come into play while doing this.

9. The next time you talk to some one, whenever that person pauses in their speech, repeat, in your mind, the last three spoken words.

10. Using your peripheral vision, practice seeing the sides of your nose during conversations. Easily be aware of the nose being visually available to you.

11. The next time a person is angry, note how much their voice has changed in pitch, volume, and tone.


Okay, now, once and for all, after all this encouragement to recognize that I am identifying myself as a massively complex array of patterns, do I or do I not believe that I am beyond patterns? Am I something intangible, inexpressible, absolute, pure, infinitely transcendental or, is a pattern answering this question for me?

In that instant when I thwart a pattern, do I step outside myself, or do I merely use my mental editing pattern?

Could I possibly have an aspect of life that is truly me, and yet it has NOTHING to do with psychology, spirit, physiology, intellect, mind, heart, values, philosophy, morality, religion, life, death or enlightenment? Could I be beyond all that? What are my experiences during these exercises that have led me to that doorway? Have I ever peered into life from the other side of that doorway?

Psycho-physical-spiritual patterns keep me safe. These patterns are my talents and skills. These patterns are my relationships. These patterns are the basis for EVERYTHING, including the consistency of my personality. So, what value would “the beyond aspect” have to me? If ALL THIS has nothing to do with “me,” then what use is “me” to ALL THIS? When I look in the mirror, of what value am I to my image?

Am I prepared to accept that patterns are knee-jerk, lock-step, boundaries that keep me from expressing me-self fully? Do I have to give up all patterns to be completely in the now and unfettered?

If I just let ALL THIS do whatever it will and did nothing, would that be a spiritual event? Or, would the spiritual aspects of life also be just another set of patterns? Or, am I already in exactly that circumstance now, but my patterns don’t know it yet?

If I saw someone who couldn’t stop looking in a mirror, what would I think of that person? What if that person insisted that it was the image in the mirror that was talking, moving, etc.? What kind of help would I give that person?

But, what if that person had arranged to be hypnotized to totally identify with the mirror image, and just before being hypnotized, the person told me not to attempt to stop this enchantment, NO MATTER WHAT? What if I saw this person suffering because the room seen inside the mirror was so small and boring? How would I get this person to come out of their trance without breaking my promise?


This exercise, if done completely, should take about 30 minutes. It’s worth it. If it is done only partially, the results will be far less than merely partial.


Look into a mirror and speak aloud words that are similar to the statement below. Read the statement a few times until you feel you get it, and then look into the mirror and make the statement in your own words. It’s okay to miss a few of the concepts, or, to add a few concepts, as you feel necessary. Wing it. While you are speaking, also do the following:

1. For the most part, pay attention to your face.

2. Pretend as much and as often as possible during your “speech” that the person in the mirror is actually trying to convince you that he/she is a real person–not a mere reflection.

The word “pretend” means: interspersed with whatever thoughts and actions you experience in order to perform this speech, you intend to have other thoughts which remind you of your observational intent. Sample thoughts might be: “Here’s an image, much like a television or film image, that is trying to convince me that it is real.” And/or, “This image is no more real than Mickey Mouse in a cartoon saying the same things.” And/or, “This image has utterly no real qualities like I do; it doesn’t actually breathe, feel, have thoughts, etc.” In short, adopt an underlying attitude that the image before you is trying to “pull off” something preposterous–which is: that it even exists enough to be something that COULD pull off something!

3. Pretend that the character that you see before you in the mirror is highly motivated and has been challenged to prove he/she exists as a sentient entity and is strongly trying to convince you that it is a real person.


I think; therefore, I am. I’m alive. I’m awake and sentient. I know this in my bones! I’m am a complete individual and separate from my surroundings. I am real. I feel. I have plans. I have a personality.

I cause things to happen. Look at my finger; I will now move it. See? It moved! I predicted something, and it happened, so therefore I am the cause of that and other events. That’s a real, hard, scientific, experimental result. Therefore, I am a doer. Go ahead, ask me to do anything with this body, and I’ll do it!

If someone else were here right now, I’d show you. I would have a compete set of complex reactions to that person, and these emotions, thoughts and actions would have amazing subtlety. In every way possible, I am measurably real. I could cut myself, and I would bleed. I have a body with internal organs.

I want to be a better person. I am concerned about good and evil, and I am a moral and philosophical being.


Repeat the above procedure about ten times. Your goal is to get a deep clarity about the plight of this character before you. You want to really see that the character is capable of making only completely invalid statements, and that you cannot be swayed by any of its arguments. In fact, there just is no basis whatsoever for you to even begin in the faintest way to consider this character a candidate for personhood or sentience.

Finally, once you’ve practiced doing all of this and confidently feel you’ve achieved clarity, immediately go to a friend and have them look you in the eyes when you make this statement to them. For extra credit, have them read the statement back to you while you watch them.


How did I feel when I made the statement to my friend? Was there any doubt about my own existence? Am I merely a character in a dream?

When my image was trying to persuade me that it was real, did I ever, for even a moment, believe it had the slightest chance of convincing me?

In what sense was my image separate from the rest of the image reflecting off the mirror? Would it make any sense to say the part of the image that was me was somehow more alive than the other parts of the image I see in the mirror?

If I were on one side of a glass wall, and another person were on the other side, what statement could that person make to convince me he/she was not a television or film image? How did I feel when my friend read the statement to me?

If I had a dream in which a person came up to me and spoke the statement, what would be my dream-me’s reaction? Upon awakening and recalling the dream, what would I as an awakened person think of that dream person’s status?

How is it that a mirror image can be everything me, but also, so very, very not me?

When I look down and see my body, how is that image’s light rays any different from those coming from a television screen?

When I look at my past, my personality, or my future, how is that different from looking into a mirror?

How far into my past do I have to look before I become a character as opposed to who I am now? Did my childhood happen to someone else?

Selecting Your Personality

Making memories stronger means making them more retrievable, both voluntarily and involuntarily.

The mind’s general content is made up of or strongly flavored by memories. It is obvious that how you feel or think about your experiences now is colored by your past. Past experiences that are stronger have more impact on your present experiences.

So, pick your past!

This is done in two parts. Here’s how:

First: Whenever you have an experience that you feel is a “goodie”-one that will have a positive influence on your personality-mind-senses, then strengthen it by categorizing it with intellectual and physical actions. You can do this by simply naming your experience (soon to be a memory) with an adjective such as “love,” “compassion,” “harmony,” “forgiveness,” “vitality,” “passion,” “generosity,” “abundance,” “faith,” “gratitude,” etc.

At first you should target, at most, one or two of the above as the qualities that you are looking for in your experiences. For instance, whenever you find that something about your experiences can be labeled “love” or “loving” or “lovable” etc., then intellectually note that fact by having the thought “That’s an experience with ‘love’ in it.”

Second: As you mentally note that you are experiencing a certain quality, then physically make a motion as if you are grabbing it mid-air and then doing something with it that symbolizes your assimilating that kind of quality. For instance, if you grab a “love moment” you might then bring that experience to your chest and “place” it into your heart. This physical action harmonizes with the intellectual action and further strengthens the memory of the experience. Each quality that you collect should have a different symbolic storing activity. It’s important that you decide what kind of action is best for you. The “placing into your heart” action might be less symbolic than perhaps “kissing the quality as it rests in your palm.” The actions must be poetically correct! You choose!

Do this for a week or so-until one or two actions like this become second nature to you, and then you can begin to add other qualities to your repertoire.

By doing this, you create memories that YOU like and want to have more easily recalled AND to be those which are more likely to form the “background” of your life. This makes for a personality that is, day by day, filled with positive and powerful qualities.

Ask yourself:

What kind of memories have I usually been unconsciously storing or strengthening by giving my attention to them? What percentage of them are bad experiences with negative qualities?

How often DO I have a specific memory from my distant past? How often am I certain about the influences that are skewing my present feelings, thoughts and perceptions?

What part of me recognizes good? How was this part formed in me? Who did that? Could I have a better good-ometer? Would this technique help me recalibrate my ability to appreciate the qualities of my experiences in daily life?

What am I missing now because I just am not practiced at noticing it? Am I surrounded by love and compassion? Would my life be much better if I was more sensitive to life positive qualities?

What does the phrase, “what you put your attention on grows,” mean to me now?

Transcending Evil

Read the following amusing tale of “evil.”

John takes a bottle of milk from a hungry baby.

A perverse dictator has ordered John to take away the bottle as a punishment (for both John and the child) for crimes that neither of them have committed.

However, John happens to be the dictator’s personal hypnotist and has given the dictator a posthypnotic suggestion that forced the dictator to order the strange punishment in the first place.

But, if John had not given the dictator the posthypnotic suggestion, evil enemy foreign agents would have killed John’s wife and children who are being held captive.

Despite everything, John secretly enjoys taking away the bottle from the baby and even hopes that this relatively mild act has serious and deeply negative side effects on the child’s future psychological dynamics, and he is very glad that his family being held hostage is a pretty good excuse to do all this.

In actuality, John is asleep and is merely dreaming all of the previous events and actions.

But, John has detailedly self-hypnotized himself into dreaming this dream with instructions to himself that he will have a completely conscious total recall of the dream upon awakening.

Ask yourself:

When do I know enough to decide anything? How do I know I’ve collected enough information?

Why was I absolutely certain that reading this exercise was okay?

What is the basis of my daily confidence in the many actions I perform?

And “John” never really existed! Just now, using my brain and this exercise, I freely, willingly, and mentally created John and his twisted universe-with no guilt on my part whatsoever about manufacturing him, his environment, and his actions-breathing life into the potentiality of this exercise’s words. What is the value of this creativity on my part? Have I added to the real universe’s total evil?

No matter how small or abstract, does any manifestation of evil still count?

Why do I allow myself to experience and absorb (using Hollywood movies) incredibly negative emotions and experiences?

Are there sights and sounds that are too much for me? What are my personal limits?

Is the universe a movie that God watches?

Is my brain like a movie theater? Is it running the universe’s film? If so, who sits in the audience?


While you are doing the actions listed below, don’t blink your eyes on purpose, but by all means, blink if nature wants you to. Count the blinks.

And, try to do as many of the checking-in actions rapidly and in succession, even simultaneously if you are up to it.

Do the following list several times:

See if you can feel your heart beating within your chest.

Observe your breathing process.

Stop! Freeze! Now, without moving it, feel your tongue quietly resting inside your mouth.

Note the sensations coming from your left elbow.

Listen and see if you can locate the quietest of the sounds in your environment.

Try to name at least one smell you’re sensing.

Try to remember something uncomfortable that someone did to you recently, but only touch upon the issue and then stop thinking about it.

Ask yourself:

Why do I feel that my heartbeat is an automatic process and yet have pride or take the blame for the thoughts my brain creates in a way that is equalautomatic? Why would I feel foolish bragging to someone about the regularity of my heartbeats?

Why do I insist on being responsible for my thoughts despite all evidence to the contrary?

Am I ignoring, say, 99% of all the perceptual information that is constantly impacting my nervous system? Why would Nature have set it up like that? Why is everything on red alert, so to speak? A feather’s touch is felt instantly,if needed, and yet, mostly ignored? Who makes the decisions to pay attention to these various reports?

Have I ever, in my entire life, had a single thought on purpose? How would I get on the planning committee?

Of all the things I am ignoring–for years perhaps–is there anything on that list that it is really wrong for me to ignore? How would I know?

How can my mind have all these issues just sitting there for me to instantly remember, but, for the most part, I just ignore them, too? What is the message I’m giving to myself here? Don’t I care about my contents?

So much that is ignored! Am I literally in ignorance? Is my life, as far as my attention is concerned, boring?

What use is a well in a flooded place? Have I some secret knowledge that allows me to be so comfortable with my ignoring? If I could witness my dreams but remain fully awake, would the ignoring that my dream character does be the same type of thing? Do I know that everything is okay to be ignored, because I know (but am ignoring the fact that I know) the BIG PLAN of life and have surrendered to it?

Do I ignore loudly while I am sleeping?

Why am I so comfortable?