In The Bleak Mid-Winter


In the wacky world of NLP (Neuro Linguine Programming), there are the concepts of mental filters and mental maps.

What these concepts suggest, is that during our development as functioning humans, from the earliest of times, we are gradually building up mental maps of our world and how to operate in it, and these maps use mental filters to manage the billions of pieces of sensory information our bodies receive each second.

They are perfectly natural and completely necessary, as without effective filters and maps we could not function in this world at all. They define our experience and views on our world, and they are heavily influenced by culture, place and time.

What we don’t always realise is that we do not, and perhaps never can, fully objectively experience the world we live in. We can only experience what our mental maps and mental filters allow us to.

This is one of the core reasons behind our personal and group conflicts – we just don’t get each other’s maps of the world. And why, when the world we experience matches our maps we are happy, and why a mis-match equates to unhappiness.


What Is Awakening?
Could it be perhaps, that spiritual awakening is basically a process of de-programming our personal mental maps and filters?

Often however, religious and spiritual teachings do little more that swap one set of maps for another. They help us to build a new nest made up of comforting wise words, reassuring ancient ritual, acceptable social behavior and pleasing concepts. Like beavers preparing for a long cold winter, we hope we have stored enough food to last through to the spring time, that the repairs to our dam will hold, and that the mud of our home is thick enough to keep out the marauding wolves.

And what is it that we fear so much when our mental maps and filters are challenged or proven to be incorrect or inadequate? The embarrassment of being proven wrong, the inconsolable rage of ego loss, perhaps the terror of insanity or the cold chill of death so final?

Who dies anyway? Who’s rage is so inconsolable? Who shivers at the prospect of insanity?

And who am I in all of this? Have I mis-identified myself with the results of my mental maps and filters? And can I awaken from this personally modulated experience of the world which I believe is reality, and understand that I am the creator and user of mental maps and mental filters; the creator of my personal world experience.

© David R. Durham
Spirit Healer Web Link

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