So if the visual blind spot is the problem, where do the symptoms come from? Ah, what a great question. The answer? They come from the way we compensate for our being unable to picture our needs. In other words, symptoms come from the times wherein we "bump into things" because we have filled in a visual blind spot. With what? With what we believe to be a perfectly acceptable substitute; the "logically-likely" information. After which we simply move forward as if we actually "see" where we are going.
Does logic actually allow us to "see" where we are going though? Not really. In truth, we should never assume logic is a valid substitute for actually seeing things. Especially when applying logic to incomplete data sets. Like to hurricanes and quantum particles. And to our own thoughts and feelings.
What makes us believe this logic is valid then? Two words. "Science," and, "religion." Let's start with the "S" word.
Science trusts (and teaches us to trust) logic. What I mean is, scientists routinely trust logical inferences about things they cannot see. And when it comes to the properties of natural objects, many times, these guesses serve us well. Unfortunately, this same logic often fails us when applied to human personality. Why? Because despite what we like to think about ourselves, what is in our minds and hearts more resembles weather than mathematics. And we all know how well meteorologists' logic does with predicting the weather. Talk about black magic.
Then there is the "R" word, "religion. What part does religion play? To see, simply ask yourself this. What, besides the obvious practical value, makes us trust sciences' logical inferences? The answer? In part, we trust sciences' logical inferences because of what science's sworn enemy, religion, teaches us. Religion teaches us to "have faith." What am I saying?
"Religions," and spiritual teachers in general, teach us we must trust certain things we cannot see. Having "faith," they call it. And having faith is a wonderful thing. At least when it comes to trusting the outcomes of things we cannot control, such as the course of post surgical recoveries and the existence of things like feeling courageous and finding love. So yes, faith definitely has its place. But when it comes human nature and in particular, to knowing our needs, because our wounds are literally visual blind spots in our mental data sets, faith, too, can lead us astray. How? By encouraging us to trust logical inferences based on incomplete mental data sets. Translation. At times, we faithfully believe in things we should be questioning. And exploring.
How does all this turn out though?
Many times, our faithful trust in logic turns out fine. After all, odds are we won't always run into things, even if we close our eyes. At other times, though, because we miss seeing things which needed tending to, we suffer. Why? Because all untended needs eventually lead to symptoms.
So where do symptoms come from then? They come from the times wherein we make logical inferences about our needs based on incomplete data sets. And faithfully trust these logical inferences, in particular, inferences about "visually incomplete" data sets.
How does this play out in real life then? To see, we're going to imagine a somewhat amusing example; being told by a "talking book" how to drive a car. In real time. With your eyes closed.
Having Faith in a GPS Talking Book
OK. So imagine you are driving on an eight lane highway, an Interstate, or an Autobahn perhaps. Now let's say you have with you a world class, GPS, guide book on driving. Let's make it the best driving-guide book ever written. It is, in fact, said to be the perfect book on driving. Why? Because it reads itself to you as you need it, in real time, while you drive. Which, of course, means you don't even need to look at it to read it.
Now imagine you are driving on the Interstate we mentioned, and that it is mid day with good weather and clear skies. Moreover, imagine you are listening to this perfect GPS driving-guide book and it is working perfectly. It is telling you exactly where to go and what to do, at each and every moment of your trip.
Now imagine it tells you to steer two feet to the left when it signals you to do so. On the beep, now. Beep!
Wow. This is really great. Wow!
Now imagine it tells you to watch out for the pothole on your right, sixty two feet ahead.
Wow! Nice call. "How have I lived without this book?" you think.
OK. So now imagine this book tells you to close your eyes. Close your eyes! At sixty five miles per hour! Are you crazy! Somehow, though, you find it in you to do exactly what the book has just told you to do. What would happen next? You would crash, right?
Of course you would crash. You don't need to understand perfect truth to know this. And even if you had previously driven many times before on this road, within minutes, you would crash. Right? Yes. Why? Because even if you were being given the world's most perfect driving directions, you would still need to see where you are going. At least, enough to be driving safely.
My point is, when we cannot see where we are going, we crash into things. Moreover, this is true whether we are talking about driving cars or parenting children. This, in fact, is why most of those "how best to live" books fail so miserably. You know. The ones they sell by the millions in the mega-book stores. The "fix yourself," "get the love you want," "be who you want to be" instruction books?
So, OK. Most people already know these books are far from perfect. But we read them anyway, don't we. Why? Because most of us are so used to filling in our visual blind spots with logically likely information that we choose to close our eyes and do what is in these books anyway. The result? We crash into a lot of things in life, over and over again.
OK. So I admit. These "perfect guide to" books can be interesting at times. Still, the fact remains, the good we get from them never lasts for long. Why not? Because the solutions to our problems never lie in our getting better life instructions. These solutions lie in addressing our flawed internal visual abilities, the thing which is causing our faulty logic; our reliance on visually incomplete data sets.
Unfortunately, because none of these guide books ever mentions, let alone addresses, this missing visual data, folks who read these books do not end up fixing themselves. Nor do they get the love they want. Nor do they become the people they want to become. Why not? Because visually experiencing life for yourself is the only way to make sane decisions. Moreover, this is true whether you are driving a car or creating a life.
But isn't what I've just said merely philosophy?
Not really. And although we still have a lot to talk about regarding what "symptoms" and "crashes" are, the main proof we have been missing something is that we continue to get symptoms.
Here, then, are the points of this chapter.  "Symptoms" come from "crashing" into things.  "Crashes" come from the way we make and trust logical inferences based on flawed visual data sets. Both other peoples', and our own.
So Why Haven't We Seen This Before?
Why haven't we paid more attention to how these two things interconnect before? What, in fact, has kept us from noticing that we ignore missing visual information?
For one thing, the apparent timing of our symptoms and crashes is often not logical. What I mean is, symptoms often do not appear right after a crash, even in real car accidents. If they did, we would have long ago made this connection.
Some times, too, we are simply lucky and get no symptoms. I, myself, have had this happen and have had several seemingly impossible escapes from death, one wherein I skidded under a steal cable which cut away everything above the door level of my car. I was, indeed, lucky in that I never did get any symptoms.
Then, too, many times, we can get away with temporarily being blinded or with looking away for a moment. How? By visually compensating for what we can not see. Not logically compensating. But visually compensating. At least enough to avoid crashing. For instance, after being startled by a wedding photographer's flash, most people will, for the rest of their lives, visually anticipate this blinding flash. And involuntarily compensate for it by closing their eyes even before the flash goes off.
Ever do this? If you have, did you ever notice you felt blinded by the flash even though you closed your eyes? Not think about it. If your eyes were closed, what actually blinded you? The truth. Your visual memory of the original startling moment. The moment you involuntarily relive each and every time you face a wedding photographer's camera.
My point? That we often decide things in life based on things we can no longer see. Or on things we were never capable of seeing in the first place. Like a wedding photographer's flash.
So when we close our eyes, what is it we are seeing? What we visually recorded in the startling event. And if this is what we are seeing, then what about what is right there in front of us? The actual reality?
We don't even see what is right there in front of us. Which is why we can often crash into things even in plain sight. And get symptoms when we least expect them. Like fighting the same fight with the wife, over and over and over.
Do All Wounded People "Visually Anticipate?"
Do we all do this then? Do we all visually compensate by anticipating for the missing visual information?
Yes. In fact, most times, this happens to us with no effort on our parts whatsoever. We do it involuntarily. This is just the way our brains are wired.
We also augment this anticipatory visual filler with logical inferences about our past visual experiences. And inferences as to what we might do to avoid experiencing these unpleasant situations yet again.
Unfortunately, most of these prevention efforts fail? Why? Because assuming the future will be a repetition of the past is like assuming you will know the outcome of a dice roll. Which in real life is so common, it has a name. We refer to this situation as the "gambler's fallacy." Not a very sound way to live a life.
The worst part of all of course is that, anticipating that we will be blinded again is a lot of we get symptoms, in part, because we viscerally experience everything we imagine. So whenever we visualize being blinded again, our bodies react as if these things are literally happening to us all over again. And again, we do not have a choice here. This is simply how we are wired.
Now consider what I have just said. I have just said that, most times, nothing real even blinds us. We get blinded by what we imagine. How can I be so certain? Because the timing of our blindness is that it occurs even before the actual event happens.
For instance, with flash cameras, once people get wounded, they then get blinded even before the next flash goes off. How? They get blinded by what they see in their minds, by what they imagine will happen.
OK. So we can get blinded by what we imagine will happen, before it actually happens. Can we also get blinded much later too?
Absolutely. For instance, say you were in a car accident in middle of an intersection. In this accident, you were driving legally. No closed eyes this time. Unfortunately, even with your eyes open, you still did not see the accident coming. Why not? Because the person who hit you plowed right through a red light and smack into your passenger door. Moreover, this happened so quickly, you never even saw it coming.
OK. So now let's say weeks have passed. Let's also say that at this point, you have sorted out all the legal stuff and you physically you feel fine, meaning, you have no symptoms.
Now say you are again driving through this intersection and someone waiting for the red light gets a bit jumpy. So they pull out a bit into the intersection just as you are driving through it. How would you react?
In all likelihood, you would freeze up the instant you saw this person pulling out.
You might also jam on your brakes so abruptly that you might cause the car behind you to slam into you. Oh, boy. Two accidents in two months. What will your insurance company say?
If they knew the truth about human woundedness, what could they have said? They could have made you get a "startle check-up" before you drove again. Unfortunately, since they no one realizes yet how being startled affects peoples' visual abilities, this will not happen any time soon.
All this said, can you see how normal all these stories seem? They seem normal because they are normal. These things happen to people every day. What is not normal, of course, is to notice these anticipatory visual reactions as the key to understanding symptoms.
Are "Pre-Visual Anticipations" and "Abrupt Over Reactions," "Symptoms?"
Are these pre-visual anticipations and abrupt over reactions, "symptoms?"
Yes, in fact, they are. And they do indeed often cause more problems than the actual wounding events do. For instance, if, in the car accident we just spoke about, you did not freeze up (because you never saw it coming), you could still freeze up when you later relived this event. Why? Because you would have in you a picture of being hit in an intersection. And because you did, you might instantly picture the accident aftermath. And then go blank.
Imagine if this were to happen to you while you were doing something entirely unrelated, like sharpening a knife or hammering a nail. Can you imagine?
Freezing up is a common symptom of mental blankness. After all, what else would you do if you suddenly couldn't see.
Sometimes too, our minds freeze up on the last single frame of life we saw, just before we got startled. In these cases, then, we go blank in the millisecond which immediately follows this frozen frame. Thus, in these cases, we actually do see something. We just do not see anything moving in real time, after we see this frozen something. We see only a kind of an infinite closed loop, a sort of moving, snap shot of this last frame, similar to what the bank robbers use when they loop some innocuous film into the security cameras.
Of course, when we get wounded, what we see on this frame is anything but innocuous. However, the part which is the same as the bank robbers ploy is that we see a fixed frame play over and over, rather than seeing what is really going on.
Here, then, are the two ways in which injury programs our minds. One, we see a completely blank screen of the mind. Two, we see a fixed frame on the screen of our mind, with a blank screen just past this point.
So where is the hole? It is in what we see on the screen of our mind. We literally have a blind spot, even if we can see something.
And what does having this blind spot do? It creates either a painful anticipation followed by an experiential reliving of the original event, or it creates in us a gross inability to anticipate problems, despite repeated efforts to not make the same mistake again.
Ever make those promises?
Plugging This Into the Meaning Formula
How then does all this look if we plug these ideas into the Meaning Formula? Well, in the first case, in the experience of getting "blank screen," it looks like this:
As you can see, with "blank screens," the value of the Information variable falls pretty close to zero. Why? Because the camera is off. Thus we are taking in almost no information, even if we feel we are.
The value of the Time variable also falls pretty close to zero as well. Why? In this case, because we see nothing with which to mark off time; no information coming in with which to mark time changing.
This means the value of the Meaning variable also falls pretty close to zero. Which is to say, it falls pretty close to being off the scale at the low end of the scale.
Translation. We see nothing important happening, even when we are in danger.
No wonder we fail to react.
What about in the second case then, in the case of a "stuck clock?"
In the case of a "stuck clock," what happens is, the information we see stays frozen on a single frame of life, all this while life races on by. When this happens then, the Meaning Formula looks like this:
As you can see, with "stuck clocks," the value of the Time variable zooms up to close to infinitely high, while the Information variable freezes at close to a steady full scale. Why? Because our minds become extremely hyperaware as we search though what we do see in increasingly finer detail, trying to make sense out of what is happening.
This means the amount of Information we believe we are taking in zooms to almost infinity as well.
What happens to the meaning of the event then?
The value of the Meaning variable zoom pretty close to full scale too, as in, it goes close to, or over, full scale. This means what we experience here is very similar to what digitally recorded music sounds like at over full scale. Everything gets distorted almost beyond recognition, because the original volume of what was recorded was literally at ten plus. Thus, it sounds loud even if we play this music back at a lower volume.
Translation, we hear everything as being too loud, even when life (or our wife) is whispering.
So Where Do Symptoms Come From?
So now, once more, the question at hand. Where do the symptoms come from then?
The answer. They come from the way we experience life when we no longer feel we are in it. In these times, we literally feel like we are watching ourselves from somewhere outside of ourselves, as if we have lost contact with the real world.
Because of this disconnect, we lose our ability to self regulate those parts of ourselves which relate to the traumatic experience, including our ability to self regulate what is in our minds, hearts, bodies, and spirits. Not completely. And not always in exactly the same way. But always with some degree of distortion, either that they are too loud or non existent.
Can you picture what this loss of self regulation does to us?
What it does to us is, it causes symptoms. We literally cannot control ourselves, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. And where is my proof for this? Again, this is not a book on wounding. It's a book on how the mind works. However, because I want you to get a picture for what I'm saying, I promise to talk a whole lot more about how wounding happens in later chapters. More important, if we were to now lose ourselves in example after example, we would very quickly lose our ability to hear the topic at hand; symptoms. Why? Because we would be trying to picture too much data, and this would quickly overwhelm our optic nerves.
Sound like a cop out? Believe me, it's not. However, for those who insist I discuss this "symptoms" thing more, I promise I will devote a whole chapter, or two, or more, to wounds later on in the book. For now, remember what I've been positing. I've been saying that if you were to ask a wounded person to try to picture a wounding event, invariably, during the course of recalling this event, this person would lose the ability to picture the event at some point during the attempt.
Know this idea is counter intuitive for human beings. We simply find it impossible to believe, even with the bare logic staring us right in the face. Even so, this "missing visual piece" is the absolute nature of wounds, and our reactions to these missing pieces are what create all symptoms.
So Am I Saying Symptoms Are Unimportant?
So now that I've just blown your fuses once again, let me return to the topic at hand. Know that what I've just shown you; the test for woundedness, is but one idea in a series of many which make up a whole new theory of personality, a theory we call, The Layers of Aloneness.
Know also that the idea I just told you about wounds also infers the nature of healing as well. And how to accomplish it. How? By dividing all of our inner, visual information into two basic piles,  into the "what we can see" pile and  the "what we cannot see" pile. This, in fact, is one of the most important things to know about information, especially when we want to know if something is true or not.
Am I saying then that variable information, such as symptoms, is unimportant? No. I am just saying that perfectly true information is much more meaningful. And that it will pass the test of time, meaning, it will always be true.
And the test for truth again? That the thing we are talking about is based on infinitely variable meanings and time in an unchanging relationship to a constant type of information.
Applied to wounds then, this constant type of information is the "can see / can't see" thing, the relationship of our inner mental, visual abilities to our inner visual inabilities. And although these wounds can manifest in an infinite manner of times and meanings, this information never changes. It is the sine qua non of wounding.
We're going to look at one of the most interesting ideas we could ever know, the idea of "energy" itself. Know we'll be coming back to the idea of information again, many times before we're through. At this point though, we need to begin to place this information into a time frame, and it turns out that in order for us to do this, we need to understand how the way we sense "energy" is what creates our sense of "time." What do I mean?