Who are you?
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