On Developing the Virtue of Detachment: Day 1
When I first started doing NLP training during the time that I lived in Alberta working on the Cree Reserve, one of the things that I noticed was that it was extremely difficult for me to do one of the basic submodalities around internal visual processes. The premise of NLP that is so powerful is that experience has a structure and is stored in the mind with the way that your being has structured it. So for instance, fear is often stored by the submodality of size. When we are fearful of something like fearful of being overpowered, then the object of the fear appears very large in our minds. The purpose of structuring the fear in your mind in such a way is protective in nature. Once the fear has been learned, it just stays in place until another higher and more effective one can replace it. It is sort of like correcting a bad habit in a sport. If your swing is not very level in baseball, you are going to have problems. To overcome the bad swing, you simply need to learn a new way of swinging and practice it enough so that you can drop the old way. The problem with the old way is that it is such a habit that you don’t even realize that you are swinging incorrectly. So the first step is being aware of the bad pattern, analyzing its structure, and then replacing it with a new pattern.
So for instance, you may be fearful of heights and have just accepted that that is who you are and you will always be afraid of them. This is what most people do. But if you analyze the fear internally, if usually has something to do with enthusiasm (the quality of being up). The fear is developed because enthusiasm is somehow a threat to our being. So you can develop upness, by understanding the structure of the fear at its origin and then replacing it with a new pattern. If the new pattern works, your being will prefer it, and then the protection can be dropped.
So, a few days ago I started dreaming about cats. Cats are symbols of independence and detachment because they go their own way and really don’t care about you like a dog does. Anyway in my dream there were these three shriveled up squashed kittens on the stairs leading to what was my house. There were also a couple of cats taken away in a car. So immediately when I woke up, I knew that the quality of independence, of detachment, was calling me and it was giving me some information on the origins of the problem.
Last night when I was out for a run on Bukit Kiara I realized that the problem I was having with detachment and independence was that I was blaming someone else for squashing the catness in me. So I could identify the origin of when the cats got squashed, but I kept putting it on someone else. As long as I was doing that which is a number of years now, I couldn’t develop detachment in a good way, that is, I couldn’t develop a new internal pattern to replace the old one.
So one of the things that I knew from NLP was something called seeing an image internally in a dissociated manner. You can either process in an associate manner which means seeing through your eyes while you are in your body which allows you to see and feel strongly at the same time, or you can process dissociated which is the ability to see yourself out there doing something. This is the essence of detachment because whatever happens in a negative manner toward you is not felt. It is extremely useful in dealing with situations where the environment is very critical, that is, where people use criticism as a tool to advance themselves. Criticism is a tool that many people use to get to the top. It is the tool of choice by political parties. I tend to be on the end of a lot of criticism because I like to go for new and untried ideas that are mistake ridden in the first applications. So people who use criticism to maintain conservative positions and move up the ladder like to go after me.
The problem I seem to have, according to the dream, is that I let them pounce on me, and get rid of my independence. I don’t think I can control the criticism or the critical environment that well, but I can learn how to have the quality of detachment, the NLP process of dissociation, which is seeing myself being criticized but not allowing it to affect me in a negative way. Right now, I going through the process. It is very rewarding. More in Day 2.