This is not an unusual response from someone hearing about the methodology for the first time. Along with, “Oh, sure, I get it. You’re talking about learning to control my feelings”.
Absolutely not. Both of these could not be further from the truth. I’ll only address the first, but the manual responds quite well to the second.
First, there is an important distinction between “simple” and “clear”. The methodology makes things clear, NOT simple. Application of what it clarifies is anything but simple, and requires outside support to achieve. Simply reading the manual and then doing it is likely to be a setup for failure and disappointment.
Because applying the methodology requires discovering and confronting things about ourselves that we simply cannot see on our own. This is especially true of the stuff that keeps getting in our way the most.
You may have heard it referred to as “finding out what we didn’t know that we didn’t know we didn’t know.” (It’s worth rereading that until you get what it’s saying) [REFERENCE LANDMARK?] Another version might be “The truth shall set you free–and first, it shall piss you off”.
Why this is so is spelled out in detail in the manual. And as you will learn, it is neurophysiologically wired in by the brain’s circuitry. That is, it is a physiologically based phenomenon that we cannot escape.
What we can do is learn that this self-ignorance is quite real and quite powerful. Far more powerful than our Rational Mind’s ability to “figure it out” by itself. Because it resides in the domain of our psychology that is core to our basic sense of safety. And our sense of safety is perhaps the most basic and most powerful factor that influences (read “controls”) our behavior.
Understanding this is so, we can seek help in learning ways of not allowing it to dominate our lives. Unfortunately, there is a hidden trick involved here.
(NOTE: The following material is all explained in detail in the manual, so let yourself ignore what you need to in order to get the main point that this work is virtually impossible to do alone)
How we decide what is dangerous as adults is based on “Safety Templates” that we are wired to create as children. So if these templates are never challenged and updated, we necessarily live according to a child’s sense of safety.
And there’s a problem with this. When these templates were created, they contained mostly raw feelings and little information about who or what generated those feelings. So when applied as an adult, these templates can easily be mistaken. That is, they can scream “Danger!” based on even mild resemblence between the present and the childhood-based template.
Futhermore, when the template sees enough danger, the brain uses emotions to trigger and carry out the dictated “fight or flight” response. This is an “all or nothing” reaction that, as Daniel Goleman [LINK] puts it, “hijacks” complete control of our minds and our bodies. We literally have no conscious say in whether to react or not. Because at that point, our emotions are in control.
So it is precisely when things appear to be the most dangerous (real in the present or not) that our emotions are the strongest. And when they and have the most power to completely disrupt or shut down the Rational Mind.
So it is precisely when we need our Rational Mind the most that it is the most overpowered by our emotions. And this in turn makes challenging or updating the Safety Template involved next to impossible.
Without access to thinking, we are unlikely to even consider whether our reactions are mistaken. And we are much more likely to just keep doing what our emotions dictate. Because according to our emotions, given the danger, our very (emotional) survival is at stake. Just as it was “the last time this happened” as a child. Right now, in the present moment of our reactions.
And it gets even worse! You have probably heard the term, “psychological defenses”. I will refer you to the manual for details about these and how they operate. The point is that they also work to keep us from knowing anything undesirable about what we think or do. And especially if it has to do with our Safety Template.
In addition, the Emotional Brain can literally “hide” emotionally based information from the Rational Mind. So our Safety Templates and psychological defenses can initiate thoughts, feelings and behaviors without our conscious knowledge that this is happening.
All of the above material can be difficult to follow, but it is laid out very clearly in the manual. None of above material lessens the value of gaining insight into ourselves and ways we may be making things worse. The point is simply to underscore why “independent” use of the manual is likely doomed to failure.