[Revised February 12, 2011 here]
This essay was written after this section of the website was reformatted due to the reason given here. I had intended on writing a different essay, but it occurred to me that I, as an experienced software engineer working in a nuclear plant, was behaving very unprofessionally: I had somehow come to the appallingly naive belief that the gremlins driving Murphy's Law in real life would avoid interfering with the smooth implementation of the methodologies outlined in "Hack yer Mind" and "Variance Management" when it came to controlling the thought life of my readers. Silly me! Accept my sincere, and embarassed, apologies as I correct that serious oversight in this essay, for it never occurred to me that those enforcer gremlins might actually exist and work out of a different department of the Infernal Bureaucracy than the ones normally sent to oppress Christians.
Review of the Methodology
Let's do a quick review and rephrasing of the methodology outlined in the previous two essays, starting with the "machinery" to which the methodology is being applied:
- The "heart" of man, as understood by the Writers of the Scriptures (the ancients), is the generator of thoughts. A byproduct of the fall of man in Eden was that this generator became corrupted.
- These thoughts include thoughts that present themselves as sensations, as well as thoughts that present themselves as ideas (in the form of sensations of speech).
- The part of man that is aware (that part of you that is aware that you are reading this essay) is called "the inner man", and is the perceiver of the thoughts that the heart generates. There is no direct perception of the heart or the process of the generation of thoughts, only of the byproduct of that generative process (i.e. thoughts).
- While perceiving the thoughts, the inner man chooses to focus on one of those thoughts. This can be likened to the selecting of a menu item from a computer program's menu interface.
- The thought concentrated upon is fed back from the inner man to the heart, which may or may not modify the thoughts being produced. This can be likened to a computer acting upon a selected menu item, but the conditions within the computer may not permit execution of the item.
- Sin and corruption occurs when the inner man focusses on thoughts that lead to acting in a manner contrary to the Law of God.
- When a person becomes a Christian, the Holy Spirit takes up literal residence as a symbiote within the believing host.
- The location of the Holy Spirit within the believer is the believer's heart, as understood by the ancients.
- The effect of a symbiote upon the host is dependent on the location within the host of the symbiote. Based on this, the Holy Spirit, as a symbiote, is capable of affecting the thoughts generated by the Human heart.
- Despite being of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit remains quiescent within the Human heart unless He receives permission and cooperation from the Inner Man.
The process outlined in "Hack yer Mind" reles on a mutually agreed-upon protocol between host (you) and symbiote (Holy Spirit) that must be consciously implemented. The protocol is put into practice as follows:
This process is very generalized and reflects the reality that the Holy Spirit symbiote resides in the part of the human mind that is indirectly influenced by the inner man, and is perceived by the inner man only by the side-effects of the output of the heart.
- The heart may generate thoughts that are contrary to the Law of God. To maintain choice (free will), the symbiote may not suppress these unlawful thoughts. However, to enable choice (free will), the symbiote may reduce the intensity of those unlawful thoughts so that thoughts in agreement with the Law of God can be fairly considered and chosen. In addition, the symbiote may independently generate a thought that is passed up to be presented to the inner man of the host. This thought is in addition to the thoughts normally generated by the heart.
- The inner man evaluates the thoughts being presented and chooses to focus on one that is seen as in accordance to the Law of God and the agenda of the symbiote. This requires an awareness of the Law of God in the first place. Alternatively, the inner man may choose to focus on a neutral throught that is not contrary to the Law of God, but not necessarily optimal with regard to the Law of God. What is essential is that the inner man does not focus upon a thought known to be contrary to the Law of God.
- The feedback mechanism feeds the choice of thought focussed upon by the inner man back down to the heart.
- The heart responds to the choice by generating follow-on thoughts.
- In the event that the inner man chooses a thought generated by the symbiote, the symbiote will step in and override the response of the heart in the event that it does not respond appropriately. This is step 2, with the choice of the inner man being factored into the symbiote's ensuing action
- The edited response thoughts are passed to the inner man for evaluation and choice.
If the inner man chooses thoughts generated by the symbiote to focus upon, that choice constitutes approval of the actions the symbiote took in steps 1 and 5, as well as a further granting of permission to continue acting as was done in steps 1 and 5. The process cycles back to step 3.
A choice of thought that is contrary to the Law of God may or may not cause the symbiote to generate a warning thought. However, such a thought is understood as denial of approval and permission from host to symbiote, in response to which the symbiote may cease functioning as outlined in steps 1 and 5. Continued inappropriate choices by the host exits the protocol.
The process is made more specific in "Variance Management", where the protocol described in"Hack yer Mind" is adapted to accomplish the more specific goal of suppressing thoughts that are generated from a human heart caught in compulsions or unlawful desires, or which may be triggered by external stimuli that the heart translates into thoughts, prompting it to generate the associated thought temptations. The sub-protocol relies on the fact that all sinful behavior and attitudes begin as thoughts presented to the inner man, making them subject to the process/protocol of step 11 above. That is, temptations are thoughts of a specific kind. The suppressive sub-protocol works as follows.
- The symbiote recognizes the temptation first, and generates a thought that conveys a warning. The temptation itself may be moderated to enable free choice, but it is not eliminated to perserve free choice.
- The inner man focusses on the warning thought, rather than the tempation, which is fed back down to the human heart. This signals agreement with the assessment. It also serves as a signal of the host agreeing to participate in this particular sub-protocol.
- The symbiote receives the agreement of step 2 and generates thoughts that access the memory of the host to present an evaluation of the temptation. These are sent up to the inner man for evaluation, including a "suppression request" thought that says "This temptation/thought is in violation of this part of God's Law, so I am requesting that this temptation/thought be suppressed to bring subsequent thoughts into conformance with God's Law."
- The inner man focusses on the "suppression request" thought, and that choice is fed back down to the human heart. This consitutes permission by the host to the symbiote to moderate or eliminate the temptation that is the 'direct object' of the "suppression request" thoughts.
- The symbiote responds by suppressing or moderating the tempting/compulsive thought, and generates a further "suppression request" thought, similar to the one generated in step 3.
- The cycle repeats at step 4 until the inner man ceases to choose the "suppression request" thought, or the temping/compulsive thought is fully suppressed.
Note that the above protocol assumes that the temptations and compulsions are being generated by the human heart. Between the process of sanctification and education, the heart will eventually be trained to generate such temptations and compulsions less often, but scripture does not promise "perfection" in the sense that the heart becomes incapable of generating such thoughts: free will requires some non-determinism that has the side effect of randomly selecting thoughts for presentation, some of which may be memories of prior temptations, causing the temptation to rise again . Temptations generated by demonic influences are a different matter altogether, in that their origin is outside of the human heart, and thus outside the bounds of the methodology/protocol. These demon-originated temptations seem to be injected into the mental system at a point that partly bypasses the portion of the mind being controlled by the Holy Spirit symbiote, so do not expect a temptation-free life! Demonically originated temptations may be reduced in intensity, but do not seem to disappear as quickly, or do not seem to disappear at all, as those whose origin is exclusively internal. This will be discussed later in this essay.
A careful and critical systems analysis of the above list reveals a multitude of places where difficulties and failures of implementation can occur. These will be considered in the pages that follow. I beg your indulgence if, in an effort to be complete, I may come across as insulting. Also, even if you are sure a particular area is not a problem, you may want to read every page so that you can be better prepared as a teacher and guide to others attempting to put the methodology and protocols into practice.
Finally, I reserve the right to expand any discussion in response to new information, as well as add new pages when I discover new failure modes. I will attempt to put in a revision date when I do so, and will note the date in the link to this essay in the right-hand menu bar.
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