The mind has always fascinated me. I've done quite a lot of study on it. One was taking hypnosis classes with a medical doctor who had delivered over 5,000 babies under hypnosis, receiving beginning and advanced certificates. I learned a HUGE amount in the class. I also took many classes on sociology, psychology, philosophy, etc in an attempt to understand more fully. I read and re-read the Bible countless times.
This morning I read a rather old study on priming. Our minds are primed so that we become more receptive to certain things. A simple study involved memorizing a list of 10 words. At a later time, when the list could no longer be recalled, the subjects were asked to do a word association. The answers given were from the original test. Example: stop, butterfly and rough were on the first list. some of the words for association were highway, animal and wood, which elicited the words from the first list from the participants.
Our lives prime us without us even knowing, especially our first 7 years, but also continually. We have a hidden education, that is we are not consciously aware of it. If we had been born in a different country, for example, we would speak a different language, have different norms and values and believe different things. And it is difficult to change them. In the USA we are primed to free speech, for example, but in many countries the opposite is primed. We are open and often fearless. In some places that would be impossible for they were primed for guardedness and fear.
Our nation was originally founded by people fleeing from religious intolerance. Our founders were primarily Christian and very strict about what that meant. Today we have been primed by the underlying premises that began with Pilgrims and our founding fathers and mothers. We are primed to freedom, to opportunity, to hard work, to Judeo-Christian ethics and values, to the importance of faith, etc.
It seems to me that one problem is priming that happens in the negative lane. People can be primed to feel worthless, to be paranoid, to be angry, to live in a drunken way owned by the darkness of negativity. All or most life experiences then are defined by the primed darkness, even when it's a stretch. How to neutralize the destructive within has to be addressed, if a person is to live a joyous and meaningful life.
As for me, I've spent a great deal of time in days gone by to escape and neutralize my negative priming. Forgiveness, study, prayer, meditaton, contemplation, conversation are all essential elements. It's rarely an easy task. It takes dedication and persistence. It involves first seeing yourself, your choices, your reactions, etc from an observer and neutral position, and to decide enough is enough.
Let's strive to be free from the dark cloud of negativity so that we can truly let our lights shine.