Summary: The amount of emotion contained within a belief system is what empowers it. This retained emotion confers a sense of reality on the belief system and makes the past seem real. When the retained emotion is discharged from a belief system, the belief loses its sense of reality and it is much easier to release. The release of limiting or negative beliefs is central to a transformational work called Pre-Cognitive Re-Education (Pre-Cog).
Beliefs. Beliefs direct and limit human consciousness. We interpret data based on our beliefs. If a person holds a limiting belief about himself, such as “I am not good enough,” his ability to acquire new information and have a reasonable expectation of success will be negatively affected. If a person holds, what is quite possibly the most common limiting belief, “I am not lovable as I am”, this person will create difficulties for him or herself in relationships.
The human mind cannot function without beliefs, but it can function without self-limiting beliefs. It is possible to list negative, self-limiting beliefs of which one is conscious. But, most of our negative, self-limiting beliefs exist at the subconscious level. (For the purpose of this discussion we will consider the unconscious and the subconscious to refer to the same thing.) It is beyond question that the subconscious retains a vast reservoir of beliefs and past experience. As for sheer neurological processing abilities, Dr. Bruce Lipton (The Biology of Belief, p.97) states that, “the subconscious mind is millions of times more powerful than the conscious mind.”
If one is unable to free the mind from these limiting beliefs, one’s life will be limited, one’s success will be impaired, and one’s capacity to love will be damaged. These limiting beliefs are like defective software in a computer. They produce a defective printout, or life experience. To continue the metaphor, it will not prove useful to try and change the printout defect after printing. It must be changed at the software level. We must be able to change our beliefs. And we must be able to access the subconscious to do this effectively.
Retained Emotions. Retained emotions are emotions that were not fully discharged at the time they were first felt and have been stored in the body. These retained emotions give power to the acceptance and retention of beliefs. For example, a child has been mistreated, blamed and victimized by a parent’s inappropriate behavior. The child was forbidden from expressing anger and so this anger is retained. As a result of this and subsequent similar experiences, the child feels that life is unfair. These retained emotions result in a strongly held belief in, and a sensitivity to, unfairness. And, when the possibility of unfairness arises at a later time in life, this child will blend these retained emotions into the emotions that are generated by a current experience and make it more likely that the individual will perceive the current experience from the perspective of unfairness. This is not a new idea. Spinoza (1677) defined emotions as, “states that make the mind inclined to think one thing rather than another.”
On the other hand, perhaps a child has been scared, but not terrified by a dog. This child may have a small amount of retained fear from the incident. He or she may have a belief that dogs are frightening. But if the next dog is gentle, the child will be more able to release its limiting belief about dogs and appreciate the actual dog in the moment. However, if the child was terrified, even if the next dogs is gentle, the child will likely retain its limiting belief that dogs are frightening – even if current reality does not support the belief.To summarize, the amount of retained emotion will determine the willingness to release a belief and embrace a new possibility.
Beliefs and Retained Emotions at the Subconscious Level. We know that we have conscious emotions. But what we may not be aware of is that we retain emotions in the subconscious and that these retained emotions have a profound affect on our lives. Beliefs can be imagined to be like bubbles with the retained emotions on the inside determining the volume of the bubble. If a child has been told two or three times that he was stupid, this emotion bubble will have a small amount of emotion in it. It will probably not be a belief that directs that child’s life. However, if a child has been told a thousand times by an angry parent that he was stupid, that bubble will be huge and will probably become part of that child’s self-concept.
It may be that as that child grows up he protects his self-concept by forgetting what happened to him in childhood. However, that forgetting will only be at the conscious level. The limiting belief will still exist and be influencing that person throughout his life, even if he is not conscious of it. It will be there until it is cleared out. For this clearing to occur most effectively and expediently that bubble must be addressed. We will call this bubble an inner child. An inner child is defined as a moment of the past that contains a belief (in this case the belief, “I am stupid”) and the emotion that occurred at the time. This belief, “I am stupid” will be anchored by many inner child moments. Some of these moments will be active in the subconscious, influencing behavior, and many more will be dormant in the subconscious, not yet influencing behavior. If all the inner child moments were active at the same time it would be overwhelming to the consciousness of the individual and so they exist as if in layers, waiting for the above layer to be cleared out before becoming active. The key understanding is that the subconscious is, as it were, emotion-tight. Emotions do not decay or leak out over time. Emotions from the past are retained and must be discharged so as not to contribute to the retention of beliefs that are limiting and non-life supportive. Pre-Cog is one way to accomplish the goal of releasing limiting beliefs and retained emotions.
Pre-Cog Methodology. The following is an overview of how an inner child moment might be dealt with and retained emotions and limiting beliefs released:
In the process of Pre-Cognitive Re-Education attention is brought to the inner child by a part of the mind called the Loving Adult. Through visualization, a Practitioner helps the client to sense that he or she is separate from the child. If the client can’t achieve this imagined separation the Practitioner has learned techniques that aid in this. The Loving Adult tells the child that he or she has come to offer love and protection unconditionally. Additionally, the Loving Adult also says that it was not the job of the people who were playing the role of parents to provide this unconditional love exclusively. The parents have other roles to fulfill that have to do with setting up the child’s journey of healing and growth, what could be called, their initial life architecture. The client imagines what it would be like to have that unconditional love non-stop. If the child was abused, the client imagines that the Loving Adult multiplies itself by 100 and surrounds the child such that if anyone wanted to enter the child space, if they meant harm, the love would cause the potential harmer to forget why they have come and either leave or just be nice. This sense of safety is essential to the healing process and forms a much need boundary. The love is essential to free the inner child of the retained emotion that makes the belief feel true. Clients imagine that the Loving Adult is always present, loving and protecting, as the child grows up to adulthood. As clients imagine what that child’s life would be like and who that child might mature into as an adult, they often have an extraordinary experience. They experience a part of themselves, their Inherent Nature, the goodness that is at core and unchangeable. When they have this experience of themselves without the negative influence of the past, the limiting belief that seemed true to them no longer seems true. Clients feel elevated, even blissful. The retained emotion and the limiting belief contained in that bubble is gone.
Inherent Nature Revealed. The belief of a positive core of Being or an Inherent Nature is central to the work of Pre-Cognitive Re-Education. It is part of a “Three Minds” theory.
There is the conscious mind, the subconscious mind and the Whole or Divine Mind. This Divine Mind is the Source of creativity, intelligence and love itself. In the state of enlightenment, the subconscious does not exist and conscious awareness directly apprehends Whole Mind without the interference and distortion of the subconscious. When the subconscious is filled with limiting beliefs and retained emotions then these form barriers to the awareness of the riches of one’s Inherent Nature. Carl Jung speaks to this point when he writes, “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
These limiting beliefs are central to freeing the mind from being dominated by the ego. If we accept Tolle’s description of the ego as self-created identity, then we can accept that there is an authentic identity. The egoic identity is the result of the retention of past experience and limiting beliefs. The True identity or True Self will manifest as subconscious barriers are removed. LaoTzu refers to this process when he writes, “Learning consists in daily accumulating. The practice of Tao consists in daily diminishing” (Tao Te Ching, #48).
One’s life experience is greatly if not completely determined by one’s internal beliefs. Ernest Holmes, founder of Religious Science, states that “Jesus summed up His whole philosophy in this simple statement: ‘It is done unto you as you believe” (The Science of Mind, page 37). Jung wrote: “When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate.” And perhaps the most direct statement of this philosophy comes from A Course in Miracles (Text, page 448)”I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience and I decide upon the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me, I ask for, and receive as I have asked.”
In Pre-Cog, the practitioner is trained to develop an internal “Yes” or “No” signal. With this intuitional guidance specific limiting beliefs can be found in the subconscious and the retained emotions that fill these beliefs can be determined. This specificity greatly speeds the release process. One is not trying to determine what is causing a problem. The problem is seen as the out-picturing of a belief system that can be determined.
In Conclusion. The mind is very much like a computer. The software will determine printout. What is in the subconscious will determine one’s life experience. When limiting beliefs and retained emotions are released one’s Inherent Nature is no longer obscured. A psychotherapist once interviewed an enlightened master. The therapist asked the master what he thought of the subconscious. The master replied, “What subconscious?” As we do our work, we too will be able to answer that nothing obscures our awareness of the Self.