People who know too much

One obstacle to progress in processing is when the client has too much data. If she has too many theoretical explanations, and they are very logical and make good sense, then she thinks that she already knows.

Processing is based on learning some new things about oneself or one's life. To do that one first needs to realize that there is something one doesn't know. Then one needs to work on finding out what that is. And then when one discovers it one can enjoy the surprise and the learning that comes out of that.

Sometimes it might appear that all we are after in processing is a good explanation of what is going on, a realization of what the truth is. However, that is only on the surface. The client might put a lot of value in the realization that she gets. But it is not at all what processing is about. A realization is only a piece of candy that can occupy the conscious mind for a while. It is at best a sign that deeper change has taken place.

Change really happens when the person simply makes her reality different. That means it will feel different, and she will have different perceptions of it. The underlying thoughts and intentions might be different. None of this has anything to do with logic.

The logical analysis of what went on is a secondary phenomenon. It is not at the core of the matter, but is only secondary considerations and reactions. It might be very satisfying to the person's conscious mind, and as such might back up and reinforce the change that takes place.

But a person who specializes in intellectual explanations can often be found to have a tendency to mistake the identifications in their mind for the real world. They are so fluent with symbols and meanings that they have forgotten that those symbols were referring to something real.

So, if such a person looks as processing as simply a way of figuring things out, then we might be in for a bit of trouble. Because an intellectual might already have figured a lot of things out (mentally) and might be unwilling to deal with those areas that are already figured out. She might very well insist on using her logical explanations as a starting point from which to find out something new.

Well, that doesn't really work. Our intentions in processing go quite contrary to that. We are working on undoing fixed mental explanations and getting people to perceive and experience the real dynamic world. We want to replace explanations with perceptions, we want to replace fixedness with dynamics, we want to replace speculation with experience.

Intellectually fixed people are not as likely to seek you out as people who are more ready to change. Unless of course they somehow have worked the participation in processing into their picture of a correct world. That doesn't make it better, even if they are eager and enthusiastic about what they are going to do with you.

For a person to be involved in a session, she needs to be open-minded, ready to discover something that she doesn't know. Preconceived ideas against that will stand in your way.

Of course everybody who walks in will have fixednesses, preconceived ideas, blind spots, false explanations, and so forth. That is what we are there to help them out of, of course. That is routine. We ask them questions that they've never thought of and get them to see things a new way so that suddenly there is a way around their limitations.

But the trouble is if the client has overall beliefs that hinder the change of their mind. If the client has a fixed idea, no problem, we can change that. But if she has a fixed idea and above that a belief that the fixed idea should never change, that gets a bit more tricky.

A fixed explanations is in itself not a problem. But if the fixed explanation is very logically satisfying to the person and she then adds the consideration that it serves her really well, then we have a bit more work cut out for us.

A similar thing occurs with people who adhere to particular belief systems, for example a religious denomination. Not only are there certain fixed ideas involved, but most likely the person has placed an overall blanket conclusion on the whole subject. Like "This is what God says, so it is unchangeable".

Often the people who routinely will make the most powerful changes in the fastest possible way are the ones with open minds and few pre-conceived ideas. Ironically that often means that a naive and uneducated, but motivated, person can progress faster than a highly intelligent person who has studied her whole life for it.

There are of course degrees of all of this. What is in our way is mostly identifications. The more identifications the person has and the more complex, multi-layered, and logically satisfying they are to her, the more work we have laid out for us.

It is all a matter of technique, of course. Any client will only appear difficult if we aren't using the right approach.

For a client who has blanket beliefs about the logic or beauty of her collection of identifications, the best choice is to address the general blanket beliefs first. You might not recognize the situation right away, or you might have a bit of trouble locating the exact big fixed idea she is using, or persuading her to give it up when it has served her so well for a long time, but that will be the best time you can spend.

Really one can't know too much. But one can have a fake knowledge that is so convincing that one isn't even glancing at reality.

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