Monday, November 29, 2010

Please Stand By

It's 1970-something. As happened every so often in the early days of color analog TV, the station I'd been watching lost its broadcast capabilities for the moment and went off the air. Technicolor bars appeared in place of the cartoons I'd been watching, followed by a high-pitched "oooooo" signaling the disruption. The words flashed on the screen,


I immediately stood up and took up my position next to the TV.

My Mother, in the next room ironing Dad's shirts, looked up from her work and asked me what I was doing.

"I'm standing by, like it said."

She uttered a single snort of laughter, her face registering resignation and acceptance as it would many times throughout my childhood, and said, "Oh honey. Don't be silly. That's not what it meant."

I was confused. "Well that's what it SAYS. It says 'stand by', so I'm standing by. What else could it mean?"

She set the iron on its edge, both hands on the ironing surface, smoothing out the shirt. "What do you think it means? It doesn't mean 'go stand by the television', it means 'they're having problems, please wait while they fix it'. The obvious thing."

It certainly wasn't obvious to me. What was obvious to me was that when someone said "please stand by", they meant "go and stand by whatever it is that needs to be stood by until otherwise notified".

To think it meant otherwise was to infer my own meaning and interpretation into it. In my youth, still only a few years into this life experience disconnected from the cosmic energy from which I came, interpretation had not yet been learned. I took things literally. I understood the words to mean exactly what the words themselves meant, in the most basic, obvious, literal way.

It wasn't until much later in life that I learned that words can have multiple meanings, in some cases far different from their original intent. It was even later that I learned the effect this can have on one's life.

The human brain is a primitive construct. Its basic function is to regulate the body's systems so that we stay alive. It reacts and responds to positive and negative stimuli in order to protect its human and sustain life. It's known as the amygdala, also known as the "lizard brain". It operates in isolation from our thinking brain (our intelligence or intellect) and runs on auto-pilot.

The human brain, and the Universe, are incapable of making inferences. The human brain and the energies of the Universe function in the same way as my childhood mind did. They do not infer, they do not read meaning into words. They interpret them verbatim. As written. As spoken. Never mind your intention.

To the Universe, to the unlearned lizard brain, it would make perfect sense to go stand by the TV when the TV asked you to. Because that is what the words SAID.

It is not until we develop intellect and intelligence, which are separate from the base functioning of the human brain, that we learn to infer and assign alternate meanings and begin to read into and decide for ourselves what we think the person's words really meant.

Hence our planet is full of rampant miscommunication. Hence we always get what we ask for, but rarely do we get what we really want, really meant to get, or get it in the way we wanted it.

Because the brain that uses our thoughts to direct our actions does not infer. It hears the words we think and say, and it "goes and stands by until further notice". Because the Universe, which gathers the energies of our words and thoughts and manifests it into physical matter, does not infer. It hears the words we think and say, and it "goes and stands by until further notice", too.

So when life is going haywire, you set a perfectly reasonable intention for a better outcome. You craft it very carefully, using all you've learned from NLP and knowing what words are more beneficial. You avoid shooting yourself in the foot by sending out the negative opposite of what you really want ("I am a nonsmoker" is the intention; the negative opposite is "I don't want to smoke anymore"). You stay focused on it, you hold it in your mind, you meditate, and so on.

And nothing seems to happen. Life is stagnant, as usual. And then you begin to feel that little niggling doubt poking at the corner of your mind. You grow a bit uncertain. You wonder if it's ever going to really happen.

"NO!" you cry out. "I set my intention and that's what I'm sticking to". You reaffirm. You feel stronger. And life goes on.

And once again, the worry and doubt gradually increase, turning into panic and hesitation and then fear.

Out of desperation to get yourself back on the affirmation track, you cry out to the Universe in a plea for mercy. "Please! God! Universe! Buddha! Whomever You are!!! I can't stand it anymore. Please help me." And then you utter the words that deal the final blow to your intention. Words, so innocuous, so innocent, they couldn't possibly have a negative effect on your desires.

You call out and demand that the situation turns around right now.

And then, much to your horror, within a few days, things do turn around.

For the worse. Instead of getting better, they're falling apart. Which of course sends you into paroxysms of panic, because you feel like the person who is carrying a precariously balanced overload of stuff who just felt one little bauble slip, and you know it's only moments before you lose control of the whole thing and everything goes flying everywhere.

And you cannot for the life of you figure out what you did to so drastically derail your carefully crafted intention.

I can tell you. You told it to "please stand by". You didn't mean for it to actually stand by; you meant for it to hang out and wait while we fix this. But you didn't SAY "please hang out and wait while we fix this". You said, in effect, "please stand by".

I see you're confused.

You said, "Turn it [this situation] around."

Well, what's wrong with that? you ask.

Everything, if your initial intention was well-set, and you were doing a fine job of staying on track with it and keeping it focused. Because despite appearances to the contrary, your outcome—the manifestation of the actual result you desire—was already on its way to you. Things were already reorganizing themselves to align with your intention, like the players gathering and taking places before the curtain rises. The orchestra was tuning up, the singers warming up, the last-minute stand-ins were going over their lines one last time in preparation for the curtain call. And the curtain master had his hands wrapped around the heavy cables, watching for the signal to pull and reveal the tableau.

But you blew it.

You said,




So, to use another metaphor, your ship, which was about to dock at port, applied the brakes, shut off the engines, and began the long slow process of turning around. So it could head in the opposite direction. "Sorry sailors. I know we just spotted land after months at sea, but I guess we won't be discovering the New World. We've been called back to Spain."

I'm sure you get it now. Your intention was happily on its way to manifestation, but you panicked and you told it to turn around. You didn't MEAN to tell it to go away. You just couldn't see that it WAS on its way, that it was almost here.

In fact, that worry and doubt you felt? Perhaps it could have been the excitement of knowing It was mere moments from arrival. Like the anticipation in the days before Christmas. But you misinterpreted it, assigned it a new meaning (fear), and sent out a counter intention to turn it around.

It's fine to infer and interpret with other intelligent beings in human form. But to our knowledge, nobody else has what we consider to be true "reasoning" capabilities. Horses, cats, dogs, crickets—they only understand what we tell them, to some extent. No. Sit. Lay down. Quiet. They don't understand that "stop barking" means "be quiet". They don't understand that "no, don't climb the curtains" means "stay down". They interpret short verbatim sentences, if they understand the words at all and aren't just responding to the tone of voice and our body language. So does our lizard brain and the Universe.

When you SAY, "turn it around", it turns around. Regardless of the direction, good or bad, in which it was headed before you issued your edict.

So watch what you say, think, complain about and ask for. Because you will get it. Verbatim. Word are vital. Use them wisely.

And now I must finish my NaNoWriMo submission (9,889 words to go before tomorrow night's deadline), so please stand by while I go do that.