Sunday, February 21, 2021

How We Tranceform The Mindscape

In The Psychology of Trading, I wrote about "Tranceforming the Mindscape", which was my way of describing how we can cultivate alternate states of consciousness as a way of expanding our ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.  Although many turn to drugs and alcohol for this purpose, the reality is that there are many disciplines we can learn to live life more intensely.  The right kinds of dance and music can shift our awareness.  Mastering meditation can be another path.  In the recent Trading Coach Video, I describe the use of self-hypnosis as a way of expanding our repertoire.  Especially relevant is the recent Forbes article, which describes the technique of anchoring and how we can employ it to improve performance. 

Suppose you want to be a winning race car driver.  You work on different techniques of driving, different ways of passing cars, different ways of pacing yourself.  All are fine, but you're still driving the same car.  That's the challenge of most traders.  They are looking to improve their psychology, but they're operating with the same brain, the same states of awareness.  Does anyone truly rewire themselves simply by writing notes and goals in journals or casually reviewing charts?

To win, we need to be driving a better car.

In the Radical Renewal blog book, I describe ways of programming our minds for stillness and extreme quiet.  There are ways of radically quieting the mind that enable us to reprogram ourselves and create new connections of thought, feeling, and action.  This "trance-forming" of our mindscapes involves entering very different states of mind and body and then rehearsing desired patterns--and directly experiencing our best selves--in these fresh states.  For instance, I recently wrote about brain wave biofeedback and techniques I'm learning to keep myself in hyper-focused states.  While highly focused, I simply walk myself through the things I want to accomplish in my day or in my trading.  Incredibly, everything I rehearse comes back to me vividly once I return to the focused state.  So, for instance, one of my trading goals is to hold winning positions longer under defined conditions.  Rather than keep myself "disciplined" to achieve this goal, I keep myself focused.  The right trading actions are anchored to the state of high focus.

The fundamental idea behind Radical Renewal is that the world's great spiritual and religious traditions are collections of time-tested methods for transforming ourselves, overcoming our egos, and tapping into our souls.  It is difficult to find such a tradition that does not induce trance states through ceremony, prayer, meditation, and/or dance.  "Tranceforming the mindscape" means that we develop the ability to process the world in enhanced states of focus and awareness and then use this experience to expand our repertoires.  It is through the body that we program the mind; if we operate in a narrow range of mindsets, we will never expand ourselves.  To paraphrase Gurdjieff via Colin Wilson, the fundamental human situation is that we're watching the wrong movie, not realizing that we have been the projectionist all along, that we should be in the control booth.  

Life is too precious to be lived mechanically.

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