The Mind Model
To continue with the hypnosis model, we move on to defining how the mind model works in association to hypnosis and trance.
The Three Mind Concept: The theory that I operated with when constructing this mind model is that there are in reality, three separate minds at work, in what most people would normally view as their singular mind.
These minds work together like a muscle group, with none having jurisdiction over the others, but each having their own specific responsibilities and functions.
Although there are many other existing names that are used to describe these minds, none of these other names tell us anything about what each mind does.
So in order to help people understand the mind model for “which mind did what”, I came up with more descriptive names and definitions for each of the three minds for this mind model.
These three minds are identified as:
The Analytical mind
The Behavior/Decision Center (The Judgmental Mind)
They are defined in the mind model as follows:
The Analytical Mind: this is our interface to the outside world that collects and interprets data for us.
It utilizes all logic, all analysis, all rational, all problem solving, and all truth detection, for one single goal: to determine what is real and what is true.
It is our ability to drill down and determine the reality and/or truth of the matter.
I personally believe that this mind was derived from a survival need to find out what is a real threat and what isn’t, and if someone is trying to fool us or not, even down to how much does two plus two really equal.
I also feel that this is what the “critical faculty” as described by Dave Elman is all about.
The key point about this mind is that having all of those amazing abilities comes at a price.
When analyzing something, it takes all of the focus of the analytical mind to do so.
Meaning; it can only focus (or do) on one thing at a time.
Example: Think of two people trying to talk to you at the same time... you can be aware they are both there, be aware they are both making noise... but in order to find out what they are saying... you have to focus your attention on them... and you can only do so one at a time.
You can jump back and forth between the tasks really fast, but you cannot listen to them both at the same time.
This is also the reason that we hate being interrupted, or when someone breaks our chain of thought.
This limitation of the analytical mind is an important one to remember, because this is the reason that we need natural trance states to survive, and why I believe, that we have them in the first place.
Let me explain.
We have a survival need to be able to multitask, to do more than one thing at a time.
An example of this need is that we need to still be aware of our surroundings, looking for threats while we perform other tasks.
And; as we have just proven by the above example, the analytical mind is not capable of doing two things at once.
So we can conclude that trance is not a function of the analytical mind, and, that there has to be more than one mind at work to accomplish it.
How do we do it with this mind model? Read on…
The Imagination: I feel that the basic purpose of this mind is to provide us with an understanding of what we experience and what we encounter.
Nothing freaks us out more than if we don't know "what that is" or "what is happening to me".
It does this in a couple of ways:
A. It provides us with an understandable representation of what our senses tell us... meaning... we do not get direct input from our senses.
Example: Have you ever had a cut, a bruise, or a scrape, that you discovered? (.i.e. "How did I do that?")... and it didn't hurt until you did discover it?
This is actual tissue damage that you were unaware of because when it happened your focus of attention was elsewhere.
This lets you know that you do not get direct input from the senses... it's interpreted... and that's why we can change them with hypnosis.
B. Sometimes we do not get all the data... so the imagination will fill in the blanks in order to provide the closest match for our understanding.
Example: Driving in the car, and up ahead you see what looks like a dead animal on the side of the road... but when you get up there... it turns out to just be a burlap bag.
The imagination provided the closest match for the info it had... and didn't update it until the data itself got updated.
This is why we can see patterns in things, and see faces and shapes in clouds etc.
It contains no ability for rational thought and simply compares what we experience and encounter to memory and provides an understandable response.
So, in effect, the imagination is the exact opposite of the analytical mind.
The Imagination has no intellect or reasoning power at all, yet it can do multiple things at once without a problem.
This mind comes with no reaction instructions at birth... it has to learn it all.
Everything we learn from the point of birth forward; is our imagination providing a reaction to facilitate our understanding.
This is what most learning really is, learning how to react without having to think about it.
So; now we have two minds that are opposites of one another, what brings them together?
What this mind model needed next was a management tool.
A mind that can make decisions, determine what direction to take, know if it likes something or not, and to develop and maintain a personal code of conduct.
This management tool is called… The Behavior/Decision Center (the judgmental mind):
It is the decision making part of our mind that also controls our behavior.
All of our morals, virtues, values, ideals, and rules that make us who we are, are kept and enforced here.
The judgmental mind maintains the lists of what we will do, and what we won’t do, determines if we like something or not, and is the part of us that experiences emotions.
It is considered our “higher” or spiritual self.
It is the mind that provides the “voice” in our head, and it makes all decisions based on how it “feels” about something.
What makes the judgmental mind different from the other two is that this mind is multifaceted.
Which means one part focuses specifically on each reaction or behavior that we have, like a manager.
Because of this diversity of control, it can do more than one thing at a time like the Imagination, and yet it can focus on specific things while it does so like the analytical mind.
This means we can have conflicting views on things and actually argue with our self about them.
The limitation that this mind has, is that it doesn’t know what is real and true in the world.
Its primary focus is of taking care of the host person.
So, it acts as a gatekeeper or watchdog for input to the Imagination, and uses input from the analytical mind as to what is real and true, to help it make decisions.
This decision making activity is much more complicated that it might seem.
For the Behavior/Decision Center to be able to make good decisions and judgments, it must not only be able to view things from a multiple of perspectives, but also needs to be able to make comparisons to the established self-behavior standards, and provide continual behavioral governance for each of the many parts of our daily life experiences.
To do this, this mind seems to operate in the same manner as the management structure of a large company.
As stated earlier, it has like a specific “manager” for each type of behavior we have, and each ideology we follow.
It is important to reiterate, that unlike the other two minds, this mind can be in conflict with itself, and bases the decisions it makes on how it “feels” about something, and not on what the data says, or what it considers right or wrong.
It can know what the right thing to do is for others, and know what would adhere to its accepted personal code of conduct for self.
Yet; it can decide to do something entirely different if the right emotional justification presents itself.
An example of this would be: if you ever knew what the “right” thing to do was, yet did something else.
The overall goal of the Behavior/Decision Center appears to simply be the betterment of the host person.
All of the management “parts” of this mind appear to have this as their number one priority.
It may be interesting to note at this point, that the Behavior/Decision Center can view punishment as being necessary for the benefit of the person.
I believe this is because some of us are told as children..."you need to be punished in order to feel better..."
It is important to realize that although these three minds work together like a muscle group, they do not control one another.
I said earlier in this mind model that the Behavior/Decision Center plays watchdog over the input to the Imagination.
It can allow, or prevent, input from being automatically reacted to.
This safeguard is necessary so we don’t automatically react to just any outside input.
It looks for the “intent” of the outside input and will block the input if there is evidence of something trying to control us without our permission, or if there is some other benefit for blocking it.
However; the Behavior/Decision Center cannot change the reactions that the Imagination has learned, and neither can the analytical mind.
The analytical mind cannot change how the Behavior/Decision Center feels, or what it decides for us to do, just as the Behavior/Decision Center cannot change what the truth is for the analytical mind.
Understanding this facet of the mind model is important when using hypnosis for change work.