Although we’ve already discussed the general operation of these components within the context of our overview of the design and function of the human brain in my “goal achievement article”, we need to take a little closer look at how a couple of very specific mechanisms function and interact to produce tangible results and predictable outcomes.
Let’s start with the way we absorb data. Remember, the senses simply convey data but the brain is what turns the data into perception. But as you’ll recall, interpretation of perception (called premature cognitive commitments) is what determines how the data is extracted, sorted, and translated by the conscious and non-conscious brain. By design, the conscious and non-conscious brain do not see the same information in the same way. One of the keys for successfully changing anything is to understand and deliberately use the apparatus already in place to facilitate our desired outcome.
It is a well established fact that the brain processes over four hundred billion bits of information per second. But, we are only aware of two thousand. Herein lays one of the secrets to accomplishing, achieving, and receiving absolutely anything you want. Accessing the design function that determines what we see and what gets processed behind the curtain of our consciousness is critical to altering our experience of life.
To understand more specifically, let’s visit two essential components of the decision making process; the reticular activating system (RAS) and the cybernetic mechanism. As you may already know, the RAS is a network of nerve pathways that acts as a filter for all of the sensory input your brain is exposed to in the external world. Every single bit of outside stimulation is first sorted through this filter and then passed on to the appropriate area of the brain for further processing. This structure is the gatekeeper.
But the gatekeeper is only in charge of guarding the gate and can be influenced by what you instruct it to filter. That’s right! Its job is to sort through all of the external data to which you are exposed daily and “SORT OUT” specific bits of information that are consistent with the information patterns already established in your brain. These established patterns tell the gatekeeper what you consider to be important and what is not. When it finds something consistent with these established patterns it sends a signal to the conscious brain at a speed that is eight hundred times faster than your conscious brain cells operate. This is the equivalent to an alert from the “emergency broadcasting system” that is immediately given the priority of your conscious attention. Everything and anything less or different is filtered out as unimportant.
So, when you program in a specific request for information based upon your established patterns of belief, your RAS will hunt it down and deliver it to you based upon the instructions you have given it. Now, since this is a non-conscious function of the brain, it works 24/7 at lightening speeds, sifting through irrelevant data to extract only the information most crucial and consistent with your request. Understanding how this system functions will contribute to faith in the system, making it easier for you to receive exactly what you’ve asked for by virtue of you asking correctly.
Of course, this includes being specific, consistent, and fully expectant of a productive result, because the reality is “YOU GET WHAT YOU”RE LOOKING FOR”. As you develop a clear focused picture of what you want, the RAS works relentlessly to bring it into the reality of your physical experience.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR
Of course, the incredible ability of RAS can be a blessing or curse, depending upon what you’ve got programmed into its search engine. If this system is not imprinted with what you really want then no matter how much you struggle to achieve, accomplish, or change you’ll miss all of the clues and cues, overlook all of the possibilities, and miss all of the opportunities that might bring your dream into reality.
The obvious down-side of this miraculous piece of machinery is also its greatest strength. If it’s programmed with what you don’t want, then guess what? That’s exactly what you’ll get, every time. This accounts for the reason we keep attracting the same situations, circumstances, relationships and why we keep making the same mistakes. And it all seems kind of silly when you think about how capable and responsive this system is to being re-calibrated in a way that is more consistent with what you would really like to experience, if you would only tell it. It’s like the world’s greatest personal shopper.
Unfortunately, few people are aware of it and therefore fail to recognize its importance and pay little attention to it. As a result, they keep getting what they don’t want. And the only way you’ll keep getting what you don’t want is by focusing on it, thereby creating a habit of thought around it and forming a pattern of influence that encourages the RAS to seek out more of the same; what you don’t want.
YOU WILL ALWAYS FIND WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR
Remember we talked about the 50-70,000 thoughts we each have every day? And remember the core concept here is that we live in a thought world, which is part of a thought universe. And thinking substance takes the form of the thoughts impressed upon it and moves according to the thought. So, your thoughts create matter!
Well, ultimately to change your physical experience you’ll need to change your thoughts and in particular, the ones that you focus on most frequently. So, when you focus on what’s not working in your life, what you’re unhappy about, what you don’t like or don’t want, you’re basically telling your personal shopper to go find more of these things and bring them to me. If you tell it to go searching for anything you currently perceive to be a problem, it will absolutely find it, every time, guaranteed. Whether it’s those ten extra pounds you want to lose or the ten-thousand dollar debt you want to get rid of or even just the worry about not being able to pay the mortgage or support yourself in retirement or function with an illness or disability, it will find what you’re looking for.
The RAS will diligently scour the universe of four hundred billion bits and beyond to bring you more ideas, opinions, brief conversations, bills in the mail and sensory data supporting your focus on what you don’t have or don’t want and you will undoubtedly – get much, much more of the same. Why? Because you asked for it! How amazing, that your RAS will find all of this to the exclusion of all possible solutions. It will ignore any evidence, resources, ideas or related information that might help you to experience the opposite of the concern you’re focusing on. In fact it will discard all of this other information as irrelevant and inconsistent with the established information patterns established in your brain.
No matter what you say or do to the contrary, there are no secrets from your non-conscious brain. Whatever your greatest fear, doubt, lack, or unbelief – if focused on will come to pass. What you resist persists. What you focus on expands. What you’re looking for you will find.
You could even be surrounded by all of the evidence in the world to the contrary but your RAS will filter it out based upon the already established beliefs that you hold to be true. These beliefs and habits are far more powerful than any desire. The fact is that if your viewpoint is negative, evidence to support it will be sought out, found, delivered, reinforced and amplified. Your worry becomes a prayer for what you don’t want.
Sorry if this all seems a bit gloomy and over-bearing however I simply wanted to emphasize the importance of learning how to consciously direct the activities of the RAS. Grim and intimidating as this all might sound it nonetheless exposes an encouraging opportunity for us to change our experience by learning how to work with this system.
Awesome as the RAS is, it doesn’t work alone. In fact, without its counterpart it would have little direction other than as a sorting device offering advice and information randomly at whim. Its partner in crime is called the psycho-cybernetic mechanism. This is basically a control and response system built into our hardware; a form of thermostat, if you will. Not unlike the thermostat in your home heating and air conditioning system, this mechanism is designed to maintain a comfortable level of experience based upon your internal set point.
In human physiology this is known as maintaining homeostasis, or balance. In terms of the overall human condition it is known as the status quo. The process is called neurological reformatting and we will explore it in detail throughout a series of additional articles. Just in case you haven’t seen it yet, please refer to my article on goal achievement and the non-conscious mind.