Who are you?

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Health -

Psy­chother­apy by Gra­hame Mil­ton-Jones This com­pli­cated ques­tion has tested philoso­phers for thou­sands of years. In psy­cho­log­i­cal terms, it is not so dif­fi­cult once some fun­da­men­tals of the mind are un­der­stood. As with all ‘mind mat­ters’, how the mind works, how it de­vel­ops and ma­tures is viewed by ex­am­in­ing a per­son’s be­hav­iour. It is not pos­si­ble to look at a per­son’s brain and see who he is. In the same way, that look­ing at a com­puter (the box on the ta­ble) will not tell you about what is hap­pen­ing on the in­side.

When you ask most peo­ple who they are, the start by telling you their name and then pos­si­bly their job. They may qual­ity it by say­ing they are some­one’s mother or daugh­ter or even ‘the man who fixes your car’. If you then ask fur­ther, “Yes, I know your name and job but who are you”, they be­come to­tally con­fused and look blankly back at you. In re­al­ity, this is quite fair. Very few peo­ple know who

they are Not only do very few peo­ple know who they are, very few peo­ple live their lives ac­cord­ing to what they re­ally want; they do what they are con­di­tioned to do.

To un­der­stand the mind bet­ter, it is nec­es­sary to un­der­stand that the mind is in two parts, the con­scious and the un­con­scious. We think that the con­scious mind is “me” be­cause we are aware of it, but the un­con­scious is where we re­ally are; that is where the per­son­al­ity is lo­cated. The con­scious mind thinks us­ing words; the un­con­scious mind uses a lan­guage called emo­tions.

To un­der­stand who you are, you need to un­der­stand where

you came from When you were born, your mind was like a blank sheet of pa­per just wait­ing to be writ­ten on.

Your un­con­scious mind op­er­ated your body and con­tin­ues to do so un­til the day you die. As soon as you ar­rive, you start mak­ing mem­o­ries, and when you make mem­o­ries you also learn. The prob­lems start the day you

were born It was not ‘you’ who started writ­ing on your blank sheet of pa­per, it was your mother, fa­ther, big brother or sis­ter. It was your grand­par­ents and ev­ery­one else who you came in con­tact with.

They told you things and taught you what they thought was right. This was a dis­as­ter be­cause they were also taught by rel­a­tives who didn’t un­der­stand real life. They wrote on your blank pa­per and as a re­sult, you learned lots of things that were in­cor­rect, bi­ased, mis­un­der­stood and so on.

By the time you were 7 or 8 years of age, you had taken in so much in­for­ma­tion about the world and how you fit­ted in that your ba­sic per­son­al­ity was set. You be­lieved ev­ery­thing you had been told, you ac­cepted all the mis­in­for­ma­tion given to you by peo­ple you trusted. They did not lie to you on pur­pose, the be­lieved ev­ery­thing that they said.

After the age of 7 or 8 years, all that hap­pened was that you added lots of mem­o­ries and made mod­i­fi­ca­tions to your per­son­al­ity but it did not change very much.

What is a per­son­al­ity? If you have a fear of dogs, that’s part of your per­son­al­ity. If you think you have big ears, that’s part of your per­son­al­ity (it may or may not be true, that’s ir­rel­e­vant).

If you think your fa­ther doesn’t like you, that’s part of your per­son­al­ity (your fa­ther may hate ev­ery­one and not just you but you will dis­re­gard that). You act in ac­cor­dance with your be­liefs, in other words, you are con­di­tioned, pro­grammed to be­have in the way that you do. Your per­son­al­ity is the sum to­tal of the be­liefs that you act upon Not all pro­grams have the same strength or op­er­ate all the time. For ex­am­ple, a pho­bia has enor­mous power but only when trig­gered. Lone­li­ness may have lower power but is in op­er­a­tion all the time.

At any time, your un­con­scious mind may be run­ning hun­dreds of pro­grams with dif­fer­ing strength. Your per­son­al­ity is the weighted av­er­age of all the pro­grams run­ning at any mo­ment.

Be­cause the power of each pro­gram changes with each sec­ond and pro­grams stop and start depend­ing on trig­gers, your be­hav­iour changes all the time. The changes may be small or large but will not stay the same for long. Your per­son­al­ity re­mains the same but the dom­i­nant be­hav­iour will change from mo­ment to mo­ment. Ex­am­ple of two life fac­tors de­ter­min­ing a per­son’s

per­son­al­ity A girl is the sin­gle child of very lov­ing par­ents who never seem to have a row.

When she was five, the neigh­bour’s chil­dren bul­lied and made fun of her say­ing that she was fat.

By the time she is 25 years of age, she has low self-es­teem which causes her to crave love and af­fec­tion, she can’t say ‘no’ to any­one, she has been pro­mis­cu­ous for years, she chooses boyfriends badly, her re­la­tion­ships fail at the first row, her mar­riage(s) fail, she may have been anorexic, she may be ad­dicted to drugs or al­co­hol, she in­dulges in self-harm­ing and she hates her­self.

These are the typ­i­cal be­havioural re­sponses to the two life fac­tors. The par­ents in­ad­ver­tently failed to teach her about rows and how to re­solve them; the neigh­bour’s chil­dren gave her low self-es­teem, which drives al­most ev­ery­thing she does.

With some help and un­der­stand­ing, the mind is able to erad­i­cate un­wanted pro­grams and even mod­ify them. It is not pos­si­ble to change ev­ery­thing but that would never be nec­es­sary; no one has all bad pro­grams. Usu­ally peo­ple have just one or two pro­grams that cause them prob­lems and if they are cor­rected, they lead a good life.

To some ex­tent, this means that some­one can de­sign their own per­son­al­ity. This sounds like sci­ence fic­tion but is al­ready be­ing car­ried out on a daily ba­sis.

Peo­ple ex­am­ine what they do not like and sim­ply rem­edy the sit­u­a­tion. As a re­sult, low self-es­teem can be erad­i­cated, de­pres­sion re­moved, pho­bias can­celled and so on. This leaves the per­son feel­ing much hap­pier and more rounded.

‘Who are you’ has been an in­ter­est­ing ques­tion for thou­sands of years. Pos­si­bly the right ques­tion for peo­ple is ‘Who would I like to be’. For more in­for­ma­tion call Gra­hame on 96 540 5631 or visit the web­site www.san-luis-clinic.co.uk

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