10 Minute Therapy . . . . . . . Furniture of the Mind


Dancing on the Ceiling


Rearrange your beliefs as you would furniture


Usually when you look into your conscious mind you do so for a particular reason, to find some information. But if you have schooled yourself to believe that such data is not consciously available, then it will not occur to you to find it in your conscious mind. Separate portions of your mind can contain such chambers of inactive material. This information will not be a part of the organized structure of your usual thoughts; though the data is consciously available, you can be relatively blind to it.


Furthermore, if your conscious data is strongly organized about a core belief, then this will automatically make you blind to experience that is not connected with it. A core belief is invisible only when you think of it as a fact of life, and not as a belief about life; only when you identify with it so completely that you automatically focus your perceptions along that specific line.


You hold some basic assumptions that are also core beliefs. To you they seem to be definitions. They are so a part of you that you take them for granted. Your idea of time is one. You may enjoy manipulating thoughts of time in your mind. You may find yourself thinking that time is basically different from your experience of it, but fundamentally you believe that you exist in the hours and the years, that the weeks come at you one at a time, that you are caught in the onrush of the seasons.


Naturally your physical experience reinforces this belief. You structure your perception, therefore, in terms of the lapses that seem to happen between events. This in itself forces you to concentrate your attention in one direction only, and discourages you from perceiving the events in your life in other fashions.


You may occasionally employ the association of ideas, one thought leading easily to another. When you do this you often perceive new insights. As the events fall apart from time continuity in your mind they seem to take on fresh vitality. You have unstructured them from the usual organization.


As you apprehend them through association you come quite close to examining the contents of your mind in a free fashion. But if you drop the time concept and then view the conscious content of your mind through other core ideas, you are still structuring. I am not saying that you should never organize those contents. I am saying that you must become aware of your own structures. Build them up or tear them down, but do not allow yourself to become blind to the furniture of your own mind.


You can stub your toe as easily on a misplaced idea as you can upon an old chair. It will help you, in fact, if you think of your own beliefs as furniture that can be rearranged, changed, renewed, completely discarded or replaced. Your ideas are yours. They should not control you. It's up to you to accept those that you choose to accept.


EXERCISE . . . . . . Before You Meditate . . . . P B R

Now take a minute and take a few deep breaths.

Imagine yourself rearranging the furniture of your mind.
Images of particular pieces will come clearly to you. Ask yourself what ideas these pieces represent.
See how well the tables fit together. Open up the drawers inside.
There will be no mystery. You know what your own beliefs are.
You will see the groupings, but it's up to you to look inside your own mind and to use the images in your own way.
Throw out any ideas that do not suit you.
If you find such an idea in yourself and then say, 'I cannot throw this idea away,' then you must realize that your inner remark is in itself a belief. You can indeed throw the idea away, the second one, as easily as the first.

You are not powerless before ideas.


Using this exercise, you will certainly find some furniture that you did not expect. Do not simply look in the center of your inner room of consciousness. Make sure that you are on guard against the certain invisibility where an idea, quite available, appears to be a part of reality instead.


The structuring of beliefs is done in a highly characteristic yet individual manner, so you will find patterns that exist between various groupings, and one can lead you to another.


Understand that these ideas are not simply dead ideas, like debris, within your mind. They are psychic matter. In a sense then they are alive. They group themselves like cells, protecting their own validity and identity. Arrange and rearrange your ideas like furniture. Dance with them on the floors, walls and ceilings of your mind.