„Your Inner Computer“ Series No. 4
© Heidrun Beer 2004
By now we have perhaps already learned to look at our mind as a computer operating system, which can be installed in a systematic way and - in a positive sense - can be programmed.
As soon as it runs stably and we have started the programs for various parts of life, we come across another interesting chapter, which nevertheless has a great potential for negative energy („charge“), which makes it an important matter to address with processing. It is the chapter “settings”, which we find in the “options” menu in most computer programs.
In the computer, these settings are used to define how a program works. We use them to do a fine tuning: whether the music plays more or less loud, whether the video is bright or dark; we tell the computer whether we want a high, medium or low level of security while we are browsing the internet, what screen saver we want to activate after how many minutes of inactivity, and what sound scheme the system is supposed to apply when it opens or closes a window.
The concept of settings is quite similar in the mind, although it is used there less technically and is more directed by feelings. But maybe a more technical approach would be useful?
Simple: data type „yes/no“
Most of the settings in our inner computer, the mind, we make instinctively and we don’t really have any difficulties with that. They are the settings of the data type “boolean” (logical yes or no). For many areas of interest we simply click or unclick a checkbox, and with that the setting is done forever.
The interest for belly dancing, horse riding or knitting contests - to name only a few examples - is either there or it is not. We define these settings and act accordingly from there on. Our “operating system” activates quite a lot of activities based upon only one single “yes” in our inner table of settings. We watch TV productions, go to courses and participate in events. We subscribe to mailing lists, and according to these settings we select our friends, maybe even our partners. We get along with people the better, the more their basic settings are “compatible” with our own.
Hardly more complicated are settings which use a scale between 0 and 100, like volume.
For any given attribute or ability we define what value on that scale we consider ideal, and then need more or less time to accomplish that value. Often this is quite a piece of work, because the beauty which allows us to participate in a beauty contest, or the fitness to run a marathon, cannot be bought in a supermarket - they are the result of hard work. Again we notice that a great amount of used-up time and many individual activities come from the single move of a ruler on a scale.
Professional competence is another thing which does not happen overnight. Nevertheless we can define a setting in our inner computer, which from there on works as a guideline in our life. It makes a big difference in life planning, whether we want to dig ditches for 8 hours a day and otherwise just enjoy life, or work in a profession which requires extensive training and continuous further development.
Settings where several values are combined, don’t need to cause difficulties - and therefore have the potential to produce negative energy (charge) - either. On the computer we often see such a combination of rulers in image editing programs. The rulers belong together because they steer related properties, but they work independently from each other and don’t influence the outcome of the other related rulers.
In the mind, such related values are mostly abilities which are needed in combination in order to conduct an activity or perform in a profession. Typing and language handling would be a typical pairing for a secretary, cooking and child care for a fulltime mother, organization talent and the ability to communicate for a manager.
These things complement each other. They are trained separately, but in the end they are used together, and so they merge into a packet of values which on the computer would have a common heading, like for instance “color settings” for the combination of brightness, contrast and saturation for the color settings of an image.
It is remarkable that on the computer no setting will have a negative value. If that is the case - like in the definition of text- and background-colors in the RGB system (red/green/blue), the negative numbers come only from the fact that a hexadecimal notation, which has no positive or negative sign, is being converted into a decimal value for editing in the property window, where a certain combination of numbers means a negative sign. In reality these values don’t reach below zero, the smallest value is 0/0/0 (black), below that there are no values.
In the human mind however, many negative values exist - and at least spiritually ambitious people spend a great amount of their time at working themselves out of one or the other negative area and up into the related positive area.
L. Ron Hubbard’s tone scale for instance reaches from -40 to +40, with a prominent zero point in the middle. Alan C. Walter has contributed something important to the world of processing with his work around the “codes” (positive/negative basic polarities), also Zivorad M. Slavinski with his PEAT technology, which is also based on positive/negative polarities.
It is an interesting detail in these mental „settings“ that one name is no longer sufficient in most cases. A “negative love” doesn’t exist, the correct word for that would be “hate”. And yet everybody seems to know which pairs of opposites belong together. With a little extra thinking it becomes obvious, that it is the same energy which creates hate in the negative band and love in the positive band. Many other pairs of opposites behave in the same way.
Where it becomes difficult is when we have two settings which influence each other in the opposite direction. On the computer there is a classic example for this, which is the compression of foto images in JPEG format.
Most of us know this pair of rulers in the options for file saving: as soon as we select a higher rate of compression in order to decrease the file’s size and save storage space (important for a speedy download from the internet), the image quality automatically decreases too. On the other hand, as soon as we move the ruler for quality upwards in order to get a sharper picture, the compression rate becomes smaller, which means that the file size becomes bigger.
The image of the two rulers above, where both scales begin with 0 at the left side and end with 100 at the right side, is therefore not very logical. The two values depend on each other so closely that we could display them on one mutual scale and change their settings with only one ruler, which moves both values at the same time, always into the opposite direction.
Example: Image compression
Here at last it becomes difficult for our inner computer, the mind, if not outright painful. We simply have not learned enough about these connections!
About a child who insists on getting both from his imaging software, a perfect picture and a very small file for his personal homepage, we might smile a little and then explain to him patiently, how it comes that it is not possible to move both of these settings to ideal numbers at the same time, even if there is a real wizard at work.
They are paradox values, values which contradict and oppose each other - but nevertheless they are both higly desirable! The (life) artist should not try to reach a maximum in both of them, but has to weigh them against each other in order to find the ideal compromise.
In case of the foto which gets prepared for an internet homepage, it can be compressed as long as it has extra pixels which would not be displayed anyway because of the downsizing on the homepage. If after that it is still too big a file, so that the viewer would get impatient while waiting for the download, it will be necessary to accept a certain loss in clarity.
Really ingenious web designers show a quickly loaded mini-image in such a case, and offer the possibility to download a bigger version with another mouse click. With that, both wishes are fulfilled - the wish to have a fast download and the wish to have a high quality image. The viewer has the choice: fast overview or high quality (allowing for some more time). Unfortunately, such an elegant solution is not always available for the situations in life!
Missing spiritual literacy
The example above is so logical and happens so often in the life of a computer owner, that we have no difficulties to visualize it. But with other conflicts, which are built after exactly the same pattern, we have real trouble. The visual display on the monitor is missing, the logical explanation like offered by every software in its online help, and the many practical repetitions, all of which result in an easily available thinking pattern.
In one word: we don’t have the necessary education and training to manage such settings in our inner computer, or to even localize and completely define them - the first and most important prerequisite for the reliable operation of every component in our inner “operating system”.
Example: Life management
In life there are many cases of paradox settings, and all of them are worth the time and effort to have a closer look at them! After all, it is not very difficult to choose the more constructive side in a positive/negative polarity like love/hate, but how do we deal with a positive/positive polarity, where every win on one side means a loss on the other?
The following example shows a possible ruler construction for the area „life management“. But the derivation can also be used for every other combination of paradox settings in life. If your inner peace means something to you, then copy these pages, delete the captions and duplicate the derivation for other life areas!
The first ruler which we can imagine for the settings in life management would be a ruler for the degree of organization which we have reached or want to reach one day. An organization degree of 100% will perhaps remain a dream forever, but to get from 50% to 80% or 90% - wouldn’t that be great?
However, the degree of organization is only at the beginning of a life - that would be at birth, or maybe when we leave our parents’ house, where we have been managed by others - at a genuine zero. After that it can drop into the negative zone, by omissions, mistakes, opposition or blows of fate. For that reason, we better draw a more accurate scale right at the beginning, because we only have a chance to really get oriented in our inner operating system if the possible range of values is correctly defined.
Now most of us will already have discovered, at the latest in puberty, that even if “organized” is a great and important virtue (especially for our parents), it is also one in a pair of opposites, whose other side has its attractions too. Because the less organized we are, the more spontaneously we can live our lives, or from the opposite side, the better our organization, the more monotonous (boring) is life! At least this is how it appears at first sight, especially to the untrained eye (of a teenager).
A person who perceives all sides of existence with the same attention, will feel a touch of discomfort in the middle of the joy about the spontaneous bicycle trip, because at home the dirty dishes are still standing around and the “organized”-setting has moved a click into the direction of “chaos” without a doubt. On the other hand, later when he does the dishes he will still remember the pleasant ride and therefore, without any anger, will do the work later which he has left behind in the morning.
But how many people really look at all aspects of their life in a balanced way? How many have a tendency to look more at the negative? How many are ready to pay the price for a win on one side of a pair of opposites, if the win is in the past and the price is found to be expensive, maybe too expensive? A really good chance to keep one’s balance in the great multitude of such pairs of opposites has only somebody who thoroughly understands them.
The processor must know that with any win on one side of this pair of opposites, there can (if not must) correspond a loss on the other side, which needs to get attention during processing, and vice versa!!! The “price” of a win and the “set-off” for a loss are both essential concepts in processing, even if they are totally new and unusual!
For this reason, we will first optimize our rulers some more, so that we can visualize the settings of such pairs of opposites even better. After we have understood that an improvement on one side always means a deterioration on the other side - and vice versa -, we actually can put both values onto the same ruler. Because without fail one single movement of the ruler means a change in both values, and without fail they are counter-rotating.
Mind you, we are talking about a positive/positive pair of values, and both values are desirable! Don’t let some genius talk you into believing that a positive can be opposed only by a negative - the real conflicts in life are happening between positive and positive!
The final form of our ruler is actually the same as the ruler for file compression - after all, we are dealing with the same principle of a positive/positive pairing.
Children and parents
The example above is only one of several important positive/positive pairings which we have to master in life, if we don’t want to accumulate serious deficits. We must install them in our “operating system” and practice their use over and over, so that our mind gets familiar with them. But in the first place, we need to understand the underlying principle!
In most cases of tensions in partnerships or families the actual problem is the fact that the involved people do not recognize the positive/positive pair which constitutes the core of the conflict. They concentrate on the two corresponding positive/negative pairs. The conflict between “spontaneous” and “organized” among children and parents is more or less classic (it also occurs between partners). But for the parents, the positive/negative pair “organized/chaotic” is in the foreground, while the children focus on the positive/negative pair “spontaneous/monotonous”. None of the two opposing sides recognizes the positive value which means so much to the “opponent”. Could they recognize this value, it would be possible to begin a dialogue and finally formulate a compromise.
Another important pair of opposites in the life of children and parents is generosity versus consequence. Of course it would be wonderful, and we would feel enormously noble, if we could forgive the kids every prank, buy them everything they dream of, and always allow them to do what they want. But then, who teaches them that everything in life has its price, that we pay for our stupidity, and that a wallet has limits?
The positive opposite of generosity is not greed (that would be the negative), but consequence. If a child at school start does not know that he will receive a kick (or even two) for every kick he is dealing out, he has a disadvantage compared with others, and we as parents have brought him this disadvantage. If he cannot manage his pocket money or if he looks like a purse-proud snob, he again has a disadvantage, and again we are the reason for it. Our generosity has harmed him instead of doing him good!
On the other hand, we also don’t want to raise a pedant. We want our children to be able to forgive, although they have understood the principle of justice. We want them to be able to spontaneously give away some of their pocket money. We must bring across both values, must weigh them against each other from one case to the next, and we must understand that we will have to pay a bitter price on one side every now and then, if there has been a spectacular win on the other side.
There is a similar positive/positive pair of opposites in our professional life, which is the pairing „tolerance“ and „precision“.
Generally, tolerance is a great virtue in professional life, because here many different types of people come together and have to live with each other, whether they want it or not. The person who has the most tolerance will, in the long run, be most successful here. He will not exhaust himself every hour and every day with silent or even noisy protest against open windows, food smells, juicy jokes or weird clothes. On the other hand he also will be able to defend himself against lack of tolerance in others, because he has been thinking about the principle as such and will recognize its violations, whether they are directed against himself or somebody else.
But where the work is concerned, tolerance can be deadly. Tolerance in the training of an astronaut or brain surgeon is treason in the subject and can cost lives in the worst case - in these professions there is no place for tolerance, at least as far as work is concerned. Not all professions require the same amount of precision as the two mentioned here, but it remains a fact: in our professional life we must be able to demonstrate tolerance toward our co-workers as well as asking for the utmost precision from them (and ourselves!) Tolerance in the lunch break, precision at the operation table!
The ability to move the ruler from one end of the scale to the opposite end at will, as the situation requires - even the insight that both values are located on the same scale and that they are counter-rotating -, may require a lot of meditation and also a lot of training, but for a successful professional life it is indispensable.
Partnership is especially difficult, because two important and quite opposed areas are overlapping here. These are the area of (private) productivity and the area of recovery from both private and professional productivity.
Male and female partners must learn to see a value in the activity of the other one as well as in his idleness, because during the times of idleness s/he recovers and regenerates. Yes, the two things contradict each other, but at the same time they are both desirable and need to find their place in the life the two partners are living. A partner who gets angry about “laziness” if the other one is having a nap, will get difficulties as well as somebody who never moves a finger and lets the other one take care of all their private duties.
Spiritual and physical existence
If we look at the last few positive/positive pairs of opposites again, we notice with some surprise that the pendulum between them swings into the spiritual and physical existence at the same time. Tolerance is a spiritual quality; precision is required on the physical plane, so that the rocket launch or the tumor operation ends with a success. Generosity is a spiritual quality; consequence is needed by parents to protect their children from physical damage. And contemplation/productivity are a similar pair.
Although not every positive/positive pair of opposites necessarily has to fit into that pattern, it always makes sense to look for the pairing “spiritual/physical” quasi as an overtone, because we need to keep a balance there too. If we think of the amount of spent time, we could even find a positive/positive pair of opposites in “spiritual aliveness” and “physical fitness”, because every hour on the bicycle we don’t spend in a session, and vice versa!
Managing positive/positive pairs
When we save image files, it is a good idea to choose a setting in the middle between file quality and compression rate. However, when we want to manage the positive/positive pairs of values in our “inner computer”, this is not a good solution, because if we try that, both values remain in a low setting and we will see no substantial result on either side.
Saving a file is of course done in a single moment, it does not have a dimension of time and therefore cannot consider any movement or change.
The setting of a ruler for our „inner operating system“ is always the snapshot of one moment, it can only rule one individual decision. Do I go for a spontaneous trip now or do I wash the breakfast dishes? Do I iron some laundry or put my head on a pillow? Do I repair the water tap or watch a soccer game? Each of these decisions moves the ruler for two positive values. Always one value will improve, while the other one will get worse.
We need to learn to live with this tension. More: we need to train to keep this tension in a continous flow, because if the pendulum between the two positive values does not swing continuously, one of them will suffer, and this will make our whole life suffer. The real art consists of not setting the ruler to a fixed position, where it will get rusted up, but to keep it moving “well oiled” and balance it harmonically with all other rulers - a question of masterful time management.
A ruler which displays a positive/positive pair that moves in an optimum way in our inner computer, swings in a sine curve. It reaches a maximum for one value while the opposing value reaches a minimum; then it allows the opposing value to reach its maximum and swings back to its own maximum afterwards.
A graphic and less technical example is the human walk on two legs. We keep our balance by having our legs making alternating steps forward in a harmonic rhythm. Bicycle riding works in a similar way.
In order to take away any negative smell from the minus-position („below zero“ nearly never means something positive for us), we better rotate the image 90 degrees and imagine that we walk along the river of time, always one step left and one step right. And of course we must balance all the pairs of opposites in our life - that means we have not only two “nested” curves like in the image to the right, but dozens or maybe even hundreds of them!
Buddha’s middle path
If we now fold the time track back into itself, meaning that we look at a whole life - or a section of it - from the outside (“exterior viewpoint”), all the many rulers which we need to play this sine-curve music are melting together into one.
Viewed from a distance, we develop from a centipede with countless legs back into a human being, who basically moves forward on two legs: the spiritual and the physical - even if they consist of thousands of individual fibres.
If we learn to coordinate these many fibres smoothly; if we use these two legs alternatingly in a harmonic rhythm; if we consider both sides in all that we are doing; if we neither prefer nor neglect either one of them; and if we take good care of the negative energy (“charge”) which results from this subject: then we are walking Buddha’s celebrated “middle path”; we live the perfect symbiosis of body and spirit.
„Your Inner Computer“ Series No. 3: Endless Loops -- „Your Inner Computer“ Series No. 5: System Resources
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This page last changed on: 30. Mar 13