How Filters Shift Your Reality
Inevitably, when interacting with those at the Secret To Life™ Institute™, you’ll hear repeated mention of a profound concept, on how life’s situations, the good and the not, even the ones that absolutely trigger, are ultimately just a reflection of things within your unconscious.
Now, besides this being a bold statement, it is also a foundational truth, valuable to acknowledge, if evolution is your thing. So, it's about time to review the topic a bit, to clear confusion and allow one the ability to grasp this material, by going deeper into the realm of your unconscious.
So, here we go!
What you may come to find, either by now or in time, is that what you experience in your external environment, through your senses (including psychic senses), continually presents as a Sacred Mirror, a self-reflection, or as Dr. Milton H Erickson described, a metaphor from your unconscious, with the people, places, things, and actions, perfectly and intentionally brought into your awareness for your potential healing and growth.
This Divine dance, or life’s play, as Shakespear proclaimed, is an endless gift...one that you can experience, acknowledge, and if desired, adjust from. In this post, I offer insight as to how it is so. The ‘why’ and ‘for what purpose’ I will leave for open interpretation.
Now, I realize that this topic can be a bit sensitive, being that it pretty much declares that all of your (perceivably) good and bad moments are your responsibility. Of course, the good moments are easy to claim as your own, however, it’s often the perceived ‘bad’ moments that are those tough pills to swallow. Yet, know this. Getting a handle on this concept can provide a massive catalyst for growth.
So let’s explore this fascinating phenomenon with examples and insight.
Have you ever noticed that throughout your life, there are similar patterns and similar situations that seem to frequent often, no matter what changes you try to make externally? Now, this may be less obvious for you personally, but I bet you can recall someone to which this is easily visible.
For me, this was a continual issue. I found myself in the same drama time and again. No, it wasn’t clear at first, yet, looking back one day, it became as bright as a flashing neon sign. Always coming across a hurtful adversary in the workforce, experiencing the same degrading boss in various positions, dealing with the same type of challenged employees, enduring the same financial ups and downs, or navigating the same emotional relationships. I trust you can begin to relate.
Now...enter the concept of filters.
A filter is a term I absorbed on my journey to becoming a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming (Board-certified, to be more precise at the time of this writing).
In a simplified explanation, this concept speaks to a matrix of memories that wedge between what you perceive is happening and what actually takes place. It is a cloud, or fog, as loosely described by my medicine-men friends, that alters perceptions as if placing a colored lens through which to look.
Now, if you’ve ever worn a pair of colored-tinted glasses, you instantly get the analogy. Things become different when you add a filter. Everything has a variance, a skewed view, and with that said, perhaps you can begin to realize that your unconscious has many, many filters.
Did this just get more interesting? I hope so. Now, let’s go even deeper with another example.
Imagine for a moment this scenario. You’re at a beach alongside two companions and all are there together, at the ocean’s edge, looking out onto the water.
As you view the horizon, the first person shares with you a personal experience of almost drowning in the ocean as a child, and since, has avoided the ocean altogether out of crippling fear. Can you imagine how your companion must feel right now, looking out into the abyss?
Now, consider the second. This companion is a surfer, with a deep connection and passion for the ocean. Knowing this, I bet you can guess how this person must feel as sets of waves continue to kiss the shore.
Notice the difference in their emotional states. To one, the ocean is scary. To the other, invigorating. But, hold on....it’s the same ocean. The same view. Everything is identical externally, so what creates the difference?
The answer. Memories. A remembrance of (a) experience(s).
Are you starting to make the connection? Great! Still, let’s continue...and now turn our attention to relationships for a more relatable example.
Say you knew someone who was deeply hurt after opening up to love. I trust you can imagine how that individual might enter into a new relationship after those painful experiences. Yep, similar to the companion who almost drowned. Full of projections of the past. I believe some call this ‘baggage’.
From here we can have more fun and tangent into two deep discussions around the nature of reality. For this example...does one project fears into a relationship, then respond in accordance, and as a result, experiences the result of those fear responses...or...does one attract a partner who embodies equal/opposite patterns that are in direct alignment with this person’s unconscious needs/fears?
Well...yes! But, let’s shelf this tangent for another day. Back to the topic of filters.
Language can also alter your perception. Very quickly and potently, I might add. So, let’s explore this one too, with another example. An exercise actually.
If you care to, join in, and find yourself in a place where you can contemplate a few thoughts for a minute or so. Then, only when you are ready, begin by recalling a specific problem. A minor irritation if need be. Got it? Good. Now, I just want you to think of that problem for a moment and begin to notice how you feel as a result. Probably not so good.
Ok. Shake it off. Great!
Now, for the next one, I want you to think of that situation again, the same situation, but this time, instead of a problem, I want you to think of it as a challenge. That’s right. Think of that same situation, but this time as a challenge, and notice how you feel. Notice what’s different.
Nice. One more if you please.
Again, I want you to think of the same situation, yet now, I want you to think of it as an opportunity. Go ahead and think about the same situation as an opportunity and just notice what changes.
Well, if you played along and you were like countless others, you quickly noticed shifts in your emotional state. Perhaps it went from stuck to unstuck. What’s interesting is that the situation remained the same. The difference was a simple altering of the name, the ‘label’, that we placed on the situation. Reflecting on this now, and how words easily influence our thoughts, you can begin to realize (or recall) that words do not describe our reality...they define it.
Fascinating, right!?! Again, more filters within your unconscious.
So...what’s going on? Well, in simple terms, sensory input channels, a.k.a. your senses, receive information as unbiased, raw data, from the environment, which is then passed through a series of unconscious mental filters formed from experience, hardened beliefs, identities, values, and other such deep subconscious thought patterns. In this process, your subconscious then deletes, distorts, and generalizes the raw data to align with what you believe to be true at a deep unconscious level. Remember the ocean.
It’s a very tricky thing, your thoughts...since, what you believe becomes your reality and not the reverse. It is what you perceive that offers the confirmation of an old belief, which, you guessed it, solidifies the belief and creates a cycle that can quickly spiral.
Now, let’s take another direction. I like to play this game with my students, so I will offer it to you as well. I want you to stop for a moment and think of something for me. Think of a cat. That’s right, the animal. Go ahead and think of a cat, and when an image of that cat enters your awareness, just notice the type.
Good. So, what kind was it? A black cat? Garfield? A lion? A cherished pet?
Since I cannot hear your response, I’ll state with 99.94% certainty that what came to you was different than what came to me, or the other readers for that matter.
Go ahead and try this with a friend. Then, once you too notice how vastly different we all can perceive a single word, like ‘cat’, you can begin to realize that all words are perceived differently, based on our individual experiences with that particular word...aka...a memory associated with that word.
Now, acknowledging that each word has a different meaning (a.k.a ‘filter'), I bet you can begin to laugh at the absurdity of an entire article of words, with each, like the word cat, meaning something different to each person who reads it. This is partially why one person can say one thing, yet someone else hears something completely different.
Oh, I love this stuff.
Ok...so, to recap...how you perceive your environment (called your Model of the World, or M-O-W), is a reflection of what resides within (your filters). Your unconscious mind is a matching, generalizing, efficiency-creating machine, that contains a necessary function to scan information in your environment and fit it directly into what you believe to be true, based on your memories of how life is. (You can read about the Reticular Activating System (RAS) if you desire more on this topic.)
So again, your M-O-W, is not what’s actually happening, but filtered, based on your perceptions from past experiences.
Now, some would say...not everything in my environment is within me. What about that starving child in ____? What about famine? Natural Disaster? How are those within me? Well, here is where an article morphs into a full certification course. There is far more to comprehend than to be imaged. Still, for now, just realize that if it grabs your attention or claims your focus, it is within your awareness for your specific learning at an unconscious level.
So, now what? I mean, the information is great and all, but who cares. How does one value?
Well, while there are many layers of application and awareness that unfold once this is grasped more fully, a good area to call attention to is that of unresourceful situations in your life.
See, your subconscious mind has built-in protection mechanisms and stores unprocessed traumatic memories, keeping them at bay until you have the capacity to process what needs to be released. Equally, and often with poor timing, the subconscious will also present situations similar to the original experience to bring attention to what needs to be addressed and released. This then brings us back to those cycles that continue in our life, situation after situation.
Through filters, your subconscious shapes your perceptions and events, displaying the pattern often and repeatedly, to pretty much say… ”Are you ready to address this and gain the learnings so we can move on, or, should I come back around again later, when your capacity is larger?
So, with a willingness to acknowledge the above as a universal truth, you also have the opportunity to begin to choose differently. To stop and consider what is in your point of view, (your M-O-W), to then consider the question…Do I like what I am experiencing?
If you do, awesome!
Yet, if there was not a resounding yes, realize that all is a mirror for what lives within, and by applying the right learning, alongside a true desire to create change, you can release the unprocessed memories and acquire new perspectives that are far more resourceful and rewarding.
By bringing full attention to the blockages and unresolved experiences, while acquiring the learnings necessary for your growth, your outside experiences shift alongside your newly formed, or recently remembered, subconscious truths. Which, of course, brings you closer to inspiration and alignment with what you desire at a soul level.
And that’s where the fun begins...or continues.
About Carl Schirtzer
An internationally board-certified trainer and acclaimed master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Carl is a master hypnotherapist, accredited astropsychologist, and celebrated transformational coach, who commands a diverse range of modalities that Awakn™ the human spirit.
With a passion to unlock personal potential, he works in the sphere of the unconscious, utilizing astrological axioms, universal laws, and the language of the subconscious mind, to release original wounds and Ignite Your Inner Spark™.
Through enlightening perspectives, paralleled with powerful tools and techniques, Carl advises on how to purposefully influence interactions, past experiences, and future aspirations, while sharing a behind-the-scenes look into the secret principles to master your own life story.