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Questions About Time, Meaning, and Personality Layers

the Emergence Explorer

Questions for the Week of June 26, 2006






these questions were based on the article
The Meaning Formula
and The Layers of Aloneness: a Theory of Personality Quick List with Examples


Emergence Character Type Babies 9-AI-2


This Week's Questions


[posed by Ed D. and Colleen A.]
  • What is the nature of "suffering" in M=I(T) terms?
  • How can some things which happen in an instant have so much meaning to us?
  • How could the meaning formula be used to help a person who sees no meaning in therapy?

Do you know?



For some reason this homework has me stumped. Every time I try to create a question, I find I am going into shock, and can't picture anything to ask. I believe I am in layer 7, with the need to ask the question. Oh! I am short-circuiting on asking the “right” question from the “right” article. I also find I am reluctant to ask because I do not want to cause Jen to suffer. Hopefully, if you do, it precede great healing.

[Question 1] How could the Meaning formula be used to help a person who sees no meaning in therapy?
[Answer] This is a tough question, especially since you offer no "information" as to what may be BLocked in this imaginary person. Which means that despite my having spent "time" trying to answer your question, the "meaning" of this question has remained almost non existent.

Only kidding.

In all seriousness, people who see no meaning in therapy obviously have a BLock or BLocks in and around therapy. Thus, you could begin to address these BLocks by asking these folks to tell you what therapy means to them. Specifically, you might ask them what their picture of therapy looks like.

You might also ask them what therapy means to those around them, people close to them like parents and friends. What comments, real events, and so on, have those around the person experienced?

In addition, you might also ask the person to ask you what therapy means to you. Then share your life experiences, both positive and negative. I, myself, have experienced a lot of negatives in and around being in therapy. And positives.

My point is, if you do these things, it will be a win - win situation. If they tell you a whole lot of bad things about therapy, then you have increased the meaning of therapy. And if they tell you some good and some bad things about therapy, then you have increased the meaning of therapy here too.

Either way, you'll have a lot more to work with, as the meaning of their resistance will be visibly out in the open.

[Question 2] How does the meaning formula define or explain the often heard statement, "That happened to me a long time ago, so it doesn't really effect me?"
[Answer]
First, this is a Layer 2 statement, philosophically correct at best. Second, it implies that time passing decreases meaning, which it can do, but only if time passing increases the time to information ratio.

On the other hand, if people consciously witness information during this passing time, then the fact that a lot of time has passed will increase the meaning of an initiating event. Why? For one thing, because the current time is connected to the starting point. For another, because the time will be "full" time, rather than "empty" time.

Then there is also the idea of how repetition affects time and information. For this, take a look at my answer to your question number five.

[Question 3] How can something that happened in an instant have so much meaning to us?
[Answer] There are two kinds of events in which this happens. Emergence. And submergence.

When we have an emergence, the time and information variables zoom up to nearly full scale.

Not surprisingly, whenever we have a submergence (whenever we get wounded), we experience the same thing but exceed full scale.

Now let me say this again.

With emergence, information and time zoom to near full scale and remain there a while.

With submergence, information and time zoom to and exceed full scale and then plummet to near zero.

And with both, we get permanently programmed in an instant.

[Question 4] Does merely slowing down the experience of a wounding event change the meaning of the event? In other words, can influencing the experience of time heal?
[Answer] Absolutely. In fact, altering a person's conscious experience of time is one of the main techniques in Emergence Therapy.

So what makes this work?

To put this in M=I(T) terms, "suffering" is caused by one of only two experiences. Either it is caused by [1] the experience of an intense amount of information in a brief amount of time, or it is caused by [2] the experience of an intense amount of time in which you take in little to no information.

What makes people perceive this as painful then?

In simple terms, it is the experience of an abject difference between the Information and Time variables. In essence, the experience of the extremely high variable blots out the experience of the extremely low variable, which then renders the person psychologically and spiritually unconscious.

In other words, because one of the variables is so high, while the other is so low, people experience this combination as that one of the variables of consciousness has been annihilated. Along with themselves.

So how does slowing down time heal?

It heals by expanding and rebalancing the ratio between the Information and Time variables. Which decreases the difference between these two variables, and by doing so, decreases peoples' experience of suffering.

Realize, of course, that everything we just spoke about has been voiced in M=I(T) terms. Voicing it as part of our personality theory (as in what changes in the Layers of Personality) would sound entirely different. And mean exactly the same experience.

[Question 5] Does the nature of repetition kill meaning? Is there anyway to repeat something, like a martial arts form, and not have its meaning altered?
[Answer] Only "unconscious" repetition kills meaning. Redoing something consciously, even a million times, never kills meaning. Rather, it will simply create even more meaning.

The trick, of course, is to remain conscious during the "redoing." In more pragmatic terms, then, the trick is to find new meaning in every single move. Which is just another way to say, we need to keep learning new things about whatever we do in order for the meaning to stay fresh.

No surprise this sound very Buddhist like. Meditative, in fact. So, to answer your question, yes, unconscious repetition kills meaning. Repeatedly learning, though, creates great joy.

[Question 6] I thought that it is when we are connected with another person (Layer 9) that we heal injuries/Blocks/wounds. Does there need to be a connection to "The Great Unknown" to heal? Is connecting to another person understood as part of "The Great Unknown"?
[Answer] Understanding Layers 10 and 9 is the key here.

The Great Unknown (Layer 10) contains everything we can connect to which does not resemble a being. The Layer of Personal Connections (Layer 9) contains everything we can connect to which is a being. And Layer 9 contains Layer 10.


Core of Personality Baby onion

So if you talk a look at the Emergence Onion, and if you look at how Layers10 / 9 are represented, you'll notice that Layer 10 is contained within Layer 9.

Now if you want a good metaphor with which to grasp what this is like, use the idea that the orange content within Layer 10 is the non personal essence of God. The circled number 10 is us. Thus, we connect to the essence of the Divine in Layer 10. Us and God. Or us and the Prime Mover. Or us and whatever word you choose to use to represent where we come from. Not as a person. Just as an essence. Or as an "Ousia" as the ancient Greeks might have said.

In Layer 9 then, we connect to another being and together, we can see God.

The important thing to notice is that our connection to each other happens in Layer 9. And Layer 9 contains Layer 10.

Now, as to your question though, "Is connecting to another person understood as part of The Great Unknown?" The answer is no. However, healing happens in both Layer 10 and 9 simultaneously. Thus, when we experience an emergence, we experience connections in both Layer 10 and 9 simultaneously. This, in fact, is a part of what makes these events so powerful.

[Question 7] You write, "One way to understand this source of divine wisdom is to see it as the perspective people have access to while consciously aware of the differences between themselves and all else, including all other people." I'm go into shock when I read this sentence. I don't even know where to start. I think it's the words "perspective" and "differences." Would you explain this to me differently please?
[Answer] Before I offer an alternate explanation, let me first address what I am seeing as the real problem here; your ability to read consciously. What I mean is, it seems you have no pictures for some of the words I've used in this sentence. That you know this is a good start. However, knowing it is not enough. Conscious reading requires you create your own personal visual library for all the words you read.

To wit, you mention two words; "perspectives" and "differences." What pictures do you have for these two words? Any? Limited? You would do best to start here.

As for expressing what I've said differently, try this. My goal here is to give people a picture for the "source of divine wisdom." The ancient Greeks did this by personifying wisdom as a wise woman; "Sofia." In this way, they could each picture "wisdom" as a person. In doing so, they could then connect to this ideal in a personal way.

Of course, personifying an ideal is a Layer 9 event, not a Layer 10 event. Thus, "Sofia" does not answer your question. Even so, if you picture yourself trying to access the Divine source of wisdom, and if you see this source as, perhaps, something like a library which contains clear and concise descriptions of the differences between you and all else in the Universe, then you begin to get an idea of what I was trying to say.

In other words, say you were to read, in this library, a description of the similarities and differences between you and a cloud. In consciously witnessing these similarities and differences, you would better know your place in the grand scheme. And better connect to the Divine.

Similarly, say you were to read, in this library, a description of the similarities and differences between you and an ocean. Here again, in consciously witnessing these similarities and differences, you would again better know your place in the grand design. And better connect to all there is.

As for including "all other people" in my definition, I mean this in the sense of humanity as a whole, not humanity as individuals with whom you can connect. In other words, I am referring to people as an "ocean of humanity," rather than as a multitude of individual beings. And the easiest way to grasp this idea is to see it as the being the nature of "human nature" rather than the nature of "individual differences."

[Question 8] You write, "One way to understand this source of personal wisdom is to see it as the perspective people have access to while consciously aware of the differences between themselves and all other people." Again, I think I don't understand the same things as above, but I can't be sure because the sentence is slightly different and there may be more I don't get. Would you explain this differently for me please?
[Answer] Having just read my previous answer, I would think the same beginning is at work here; a need for you to work toward having your own visual library for the words you have trouble picturing. This is the most important feedback I could offer you.

As for rephrasing what I wrote in this second definition, the easiest way to grasp this idea is to see it as the being the nature of "human differences " rather than the nature of "human nature."

[Question 9] You write, "Experiencing this change, the difference between "the first relationship" and "the first broken heart" ... from which all personality will be formed." I thought the personality types were formed within the first 4 years. Is this passage saying that it all happens at the moment of birth? Is it both? Please explain.
[Answer] Colleen, an English professor might say, you read a bit too closely, my dear. Moreover, your quote was somehow edited somewhat out of context. The original says,

Experiencing this change, the difference between "the first relationship" and "the first broken heart," becomes the baby's "first perspective." Essentially, this first perspective forms a baby's first view of life, the view against which all other experiences will be measured and from which all personality will be formed. This means it is the experience from which all else; all thoughts, all feelings, and all behavior; emerges. Taken as a whole, these three inner responses combine to form all human motives, and this sum of three is referred to as "resolving aloneness."

So what does this mean? It means that the birth experience; the experience of being connected, disconnecting, and feeling neediness (the experience of going from Layers 10 / 9, to Layer 8, to Layer 7) is what underlies all of human personality. In addition, the birth experience creates Layers 8 and 7, and for the first two years or so, the baby then has a four Layer, one compartment mind.

As for "personality types," I assume you mean "Character Types," which indeed do get formed at the latest by age four. Even so, Character Types are simply one small aspect of a whole personality, merely a quarter of a single Layer, Layer 7 to be exact.

Thus, what I wrote here simply says that the patterns which will eventually lead to everything in a person's personality get created and initiated in the birth experience. The patterns get created. Not the personality. Moreover, the essence of these patterns is that after birth, people try like the dickens to avoid reliving connection, as being connected leads inevitably to the pain of disconnection and the suffering of neediness. In doing so, we relive the birth sequence. Certainly the most painful experience of our whole lives. Even if we do not consciously realize this as true.

[Question 10] In the lengthy article (not the quick summaries), you give examples at the end of each Layer description. Under the box, "What Do We Look Like?" (roles), there is a list of professions, hobbies etc. Do some people live in any one layer all the time? I'm confused because I thought we all sort of flowed through the layers depending on the given moment. Am I taking the examples too literally? Do some people flow and others get stuck?
[Answer] Colleen, you have asked a lot of questions here. Let me try to take them one at a time.

Do some people live in any one layer all the time?

No. We all move in and out of the Layers constantly, similarly to how what we feel and thing constantly changes.

So why have I bothered to list professions at the bottom of these Layer summary sheets?

Because these professions typify how having a bias toward a particular Layer might preference a person's choice of career.

For instance a Layer 1 person might prefer being in a job which requires little to no attention. For instance, this person might work as a museum night watchman. A Layer 10 type person, then, might prefer a job away from people and yet connected to the source of humanity. Here, the person might choose to work as a poet or a film maker.

My point is, these careers simply typify how having a preference for a particular Layer might influence a person's choice of career.

As for your last question, "Do some people flow and others get stuck?" Yes, and yes. And yet, even this stuckness never lasts. In other words, even the most wounded of people has a very dynamic and complex system of personality. We are simply all created this way.


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