This is the 6th Layer of Personality, the layer in which invisible barriers to our being conscious form. And while many people acknowledge the existence of "invisible barriers" in our personalities, no one has previously described them in other than anthropomorphic terms.
What is new here then is that, in Layer 6, we begin to empirically grasp the invisible barriers which lay buried inside us.
Now, as the contents of Layer 6 are previously unknown, I need to offer a somewhat more lengthy description here, beginning with how I came to discover this layer.
My story begins in the Summer of 1996. at that time, I made two significant discoveries, both of which I now know relate to the layer above "needs" and beneath symptoms and painful events.
The first discovery was the structural nature of injury, what I now refer to as a "Block."
The second discovery, built on the first, was the discovery of the structure of healing, what I now call, "Emergence."
What is important to note and remember right from the start is what I have just said about where in the series of layers these two discoveries fall. They exist in the layer below layer 5, symptoms and painful events, and above layer 10, the great unknown.
What makes this so important is the fact that, while previous systems of personality have assumed human suffering emanates from a source which precedes symptoms and painful events, because people have not previously made visible the details of this source, they hypothesized sources.
Translation: Because no one previously found the empirical source for injury, they made up sources, in metaphors like the "unconscious" or "evil."
In truth, these hypothesized sources are not "literal" realities but rather they are only conjectured metaphors. And yes, they do serve a useful purpose.
Unfortunately, most people who use these metaphors end up forgetting they are metaphors or in some cases, never realize they are only metaphors and not literal truths. This means much of the so called "science of human personality" has been based on endlessly arguing the details of what amount to vague and made-up guesses as to the literal source of human suffering.
Ultimately, then, when one of these scientific metaphors has been successfully argued long enough, it becomes not only an accepted truth but also an accepted literal reality. This "literal reality" then becomes the foundation of a whole system of human personality.
In reality, these whole systems of personality are merely collections of logical imaginings all of which stem from a non literal metaphor.
What difference does the truth of literal injury make anyway?
An incredibly important difference. You see, to base healing on a metaphor rather than on an empirical reality means healing professionals must begin their work with what they can see: the symptoms and the painful events. This, in fact, is how all "scientifically" based systems of human personality classify human personality; as classes of suffering; as groups of similar symptoms and painful events.
Sadly, because most people mistake these metaphors for literal reality, they focus their healing efforts on what they can empirically see; again, on the visible symptoms and painful events.
Worse yet, because metaphor is not literal reality, we end up healing only serendipitously, rather than by design. Said more honestly, because we look for the source of our injuries in made-up places, we meander endlessly, searching for the true source of our wounds.
What is the true source of our wounds?
What I discovered in 1996 then is the empirical nature of injury, what I now call Blocks. Knowing this source of injury means healers can directly address the actual injury rather than merely addressing the symptoms.
So what are BLocks?
What Are BLocks?
What are BLocks? BLocks are simply a selective inability to internally picture. What causes them? Moments in which a person experiences a simple sequence of three events with nothing in between:  wide-eyed awe (also known as hyper-awareness),  a startling moment, and  shock (hypo-awareness).
What exactly causes these moments? Literally any event in which a person experiences these three events in this exact order. Thus, to a first year of life baby, this event could occur if the dog next door barks in a moment when the baby is transfixed by a sparkling toy suspended above the crib. To an adult, it could occur in the instant right before a car accident if you are the driver and see the accident coming.
Of course, both the baby and the adult driver must be startled into aloneness for these events to imprint as BLocks. However, pretty much each and every time a baby experiences a startling event, it gets startled into aloneness. This means just about every time a baby gets startled, it incurs some kind of BLock.
Why haven't people noticed BLocks before? To be honest, I have no idea. Certainly, it has something to do with the fact that so many metaphors have been mistaken for reality.
Even in my case, though, back in 1996, when I first discovered the phenomenon of BLocks, I too failed to notice much of what was happening. In fact, I failed to notice the two most significant parts of this discovery. I failed to notice the selective inability to internally picture as significant. And I failed to notice the more personal aspect of this inability; the profound, personal sense of aloneness.
In the case of the selective inability to picture, here we finally have a source for our symptoms and painful events which is more than a metaphor. We have something based on empirical, repeatable, logical evidence.
Despite being empirical though, almost no one saw what I saw. Why? In 1996, I was focusing on the sequence of these three events as the main evidence BLocks existed. Unfortunately, most humans could not access the significance of this sequence. Why? Mainly because most of this sequence occurs in shock, making it literally invisible to the person experiencing it.
To see what I mean by "invisible," think about it like this. Picture being suddenly shoved from behind. Now try to dissemble the experience, meaning, try to picture what happened.
Remember, you were suddenly shoved from behind. You literally didn't see it, let alone see it coming.
Thus, while you could make an educated guess as to what it looked like, at best, your guess would be something like what happened. You literally would never see what happened, in that you did not see it.
More to the point, if indeed you did incur a BLock, then your ability to internally picture even similar scenes would be impaired. To see this idea, picture having your picture taken wherein the photographer uses a very powerful flash. Now imagine the flash and how it would blind you. Now try to picture the light coming at you.
Many people can not picture the light other than for a single blinding instant. Why? Because most people do get a BLock from these blinding flash bulb experiences.
Again, no one notices this missing information as significant. However, if this person was you, and if you were to pay close attention after the dreaded flash bulb event to how you respond to bright light sources, you would probably notice you had been programmed. How? You would probably notice you responded instantly with a protective reaction, such as shielding your eyes with an upturned hand or quickly looking away.
So what, you say. What's the big deal?
First, try to remember your reaction before the first blinding event. You probably will not be able. But if you can, try to remember a time when you had yet to experience being blinded by a sudden bright light, a time wherein you were open still to what was coming at you and so, did not recoil from the thought of the bright light.
Still don't see my point. Please, don't worry. I've written thousands of pages on this idea and yet, I still find most people struggle to see my point. Besides, the focus of this book is on aloneness and on how to help people overcome this painful feeling. Thus, I mention the technical aspects of BLocks only to support the two points I have been making; , that BLocks can be identified by the selective inability to picture always present, and , that the core element of these painful experiences is a startling moment of profound aloneness which the person later relives over and over.
Technical explanations of injury aside, try to imagine how being unable to picture literally thousands of scenes in life could and does affect one's ability to have relationships. For instance, one man I worked with, a data processing executive at a large corporation, felt a profound sense of aloneness which separated him from his peers. More so, he felt this not just briefly but for the entire thirty years he worked at this corporation.
What was his BLock? Among other things, he had an inability to picture the number five. The number five! Yes. And when the scene emerged in which this BLock occurred, all that had occurred was that at age six, in a quiet moment in first grade, he suddenly realized he did not know "which direction to make the hat on the five!"
"Which direction to make the hat on the five!" What the heck does this mean? It means that at age six, he ceased to be able to picture 5's and so, worked all his life in and around numbers in a constant state of insecurity while never having a single clue as to the source of this insecurity.
How can I be sure this was it? Simple. He now works as a financial planner, offering advice as his stock in trade. Can you imagine an insecure financial planner? Can't be. The person would quit the first week.
More empirically, though, in the course of the healing session, I helped this man to go from an overwhelming inability to picture five's to a clear and confident ability to picture all ten digits. In addition, after experiencing this instance of a BLocked ability with math, I was able to repeat this healing process with many others, all of whom believed they were "bad at math," and all of whom came to love math.
Now think about how conventional therapies would have explained this man's lack of confidence and insecurity. God, how many people, places, and things do you think they'd blame in the course of trying to help him heal? And what would they do when none of it worked? Blame the therapist? The man himself?
OK. This is one instance. How about others.
How about the case of the woman who had, at about age eight, experienced a startling moment of aloneness when she came home expecting her mother to have left her a key to get in the house. But when she looked under the mat, there was no key. Her mother had forgot.
What happened? The blinding flash bulb of a thought in her own head wounded her: "She left ..."
She what? "She left ..."
What the heck is this? An uncompleted thought. And at age eight, this woman's uncompleted thought suddenly overwhelmed her, throwing her into a profound moment of aloneness. Result. The word "left" got charged in such a way as to literally cause this woman to go blank every time she heard this word, including times when she heard the word in her own head.
How would this impair her ability to have relationships; in effect, how did it cause her to feel aloneness?
Consider what would happen if you could not hear the word "left" and picture it. First, you could not understand the simplest of directions, in that as soon as you heard the word "left," you would cease to be able to understand what was being said.
Was this the case here. Absolutely. In fact, this woman and her husband had fought for twenty years about her inability to retain the directions he gave her. And she was so BLocked, she could not even give me directions as to how to get from her seat in my office to her car in the parking lot. Why? She went blank every time she tried to think the word "left."
Here again, imagine what conventional therapies would do to explain this woman's fighting with her husband? What do you think? Something in her unconscious? Her fear of her father?
What crap these things are. And how sad it is that the very things intended to help people to be less alone promote more and more aloneness.
Please realize the significance of what I'm showing you here. These two people and in fact, every single other person I have ever worked and ever will work with all share one common symptom: a selective ability to picture. This occurs to all people regardless of age and regardless of the content of the injury.
What about other types of symptoms, for instance, what about people who have problems with lateness.
Obviously, "problems with lateness" is a symptom. Anyone can see this. However, where would you begin to look for the source of this problem given you do not have a knowledge of BLocks?
How about the "unconscious" route again? How about, her "unconscious" told her to avoid where she was going. Surely, this gem of a diagnosis sounds logical. If there really was a literal, real world unconscious, that is. But if the "unconscious" is simply a metaphor for an unknown source which precedes symptoms (which it is), then where would you look next?
How about in her childhood? That's a pretty popular one. In fact, maybe we can make her feel better by blaming her lateness on a father that was always late too. Hmmm. Sounds good. Except where does blaming her father leave her? With a new problem to work out between her and her father?
Actually, I can't even begin to guess the ramifications of this kind of blaming. Whatever the outcome, though, one thing you can be sure of: she would feel more aloneness than ever before. And she would still have the problem with lateness only perhaps she would feel less confused about the source and less responsible for her own lateness in that she could now blame her father.
Doesn't sound like a desirable outcome to me.
So what did I do? I noticed she could not picture the sound of an alarm clock without getting really worked up, angry in fact. "I hate the sound of my alarm clock," she had told me.
How do you picture a sound? Actually, you picture anything you sense, even the experience of darkness and having your eyes closed.
Long story short, I asked her to bring in her alarm clock. When she did, we worked with the sound. What emerged? A scene in which she was watching a clip from the movie "psycho." The Block? Her alarm clock sounded exactly the same as the startling noise playing in the background as the woman in the shower was being stabbed.
Here again, imagine trying to logically arrive at this for a source? More important, imagine trying to start your day by reliving this stabbing scene, never realizing what was getting you upset. Bet you wouldn't want to get up either.
Is this BLocks thing beginning to make sense?
Remember, BLocks are the layer one level down from peoples' symptoms and painful events. More important, BLocks are not based on a metaphor but rather, they are based on literal, real world, empirical events; a selective inability to internally picture.