Thursday, November 24, 2022

Trading Consciously

Note:  The following is from an essay I wrote a couple of decades ago, recently discovered in a stash of old papers.

A therapy for the mentally well begins with the realization that change is impossible while we remain in our habitual states of consciousness.  Talking about our problems or working on changing behavior while remaining in our characteristic states is like trying to improve the reception on a TV by switching channels.  "What can one do in sleep?" Ouspensky asks his students.  "One can only have different dreams--bad dreams, good dreams, but in the same bed.  The dreams may be different, but the bed is the same".

Such is the state of most coaching, counseling, and therapy.  It changes the content of our thoughts, but we remain in the same "bed".  True change requires that we awaken and rise from our bed.  Because when we can access different states of consciousness, we become able to process self-relevant information in qualitatively different, creative, and constructive ways.  

Several days ago I found myself running late for a morning meeting.  In a frenzy, I attempted to beat the clock by getting myself dressed, quickly checking the overnight trading in the financial markets, and getting my children ready for school.  I went to the closet to get my jacket, but it was nowhere to be found.  Twice I scanned the rack and could not find the jacket.  Meanwhile, the clock was ticking and I was growing frustrated with my mounting lateness.  Suddenly, without premeditation, I closed my eyes and evoked a piece of music that I have come to equate with a clear and calm state of mind.  I calmly walked back to the closet and began looking for the jacket between the hanging garments.  Sure enough, it had fallen off its hanger and was caught between two other articles of clothing.

What is important in all this is that, in my ordinary state of consciousness, I was incapable of seeing between the garments.  The jacket was lost as long as I remained in my normal mode.  Only once I had shifted to another state was I able to see.  How much else lies "between the garments", unseen, while we fuss and fume through the racks of life?

Ouspensky was correct:  As long as we believe we're conscious, we do not take the steps to live--and trade--consciously.

Further Reading:

Trading With a Higher Consciousness

How We Tranceform the Mindscape

A Radical Method for Quieting the Mind