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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Will My Joy Eventually Return?

Dear A. B.

Thank you very much for your quick and thorough reply.

I will order your first book, as you have cited this Chapter 10 to me but also to many many people on your blog.

If I'm wired to practically autogenerate negative thinking 24/7 ( actually strangely, in my dreams I have positive thoughts and am joyful -- that's why I love to escape to sleep ), mind switching replacement thoughts will certainly take a lot of effort. It's the continual auto generation of thoughts that are so hard to tackle each time.

Also I have a question: why would you not replace a positive thought ( instead of neutral ) to the negative thought? I could not find that explanation.

From my first email : will joy eventually return?

Thank you very much for this correspondance. Y__________

Dear Y____________

There is a place for positive affirmation. However getting out of a depressive episode is not the time to use positive thinking. That's because the brain works by learned association (think salt and the neuron for pepper pops up). So a positive thought could just as easily generate a negative one. You might think "I will be positive," and your learned assocation thought "but it won't do any good" might pop up thus agitating the emotional subcortex even more.

The point of brainswitching is to use a non-emotional thought which will stimulate neural activity in the neocortex, withdrawing neural activity from the agitated subcortex. Thinking "hippity-hop" over and over generates no emotional response and not only helps to stimulate activity in the neocortex but perhaps more importantly, it blocks the acknowledgement in the neocortex that depression is being produced in the subcortex.

In order for a human being to feel any pain or emotion which is all produced in the subcortex, the signals must go up the brain and not only be received but acknowledged in the neocortex. This is why hypnosis works.And why a player can actually break a bone in a football game and feel no pain until the play is over. The neocortical concentration on the game prevents the acknowledgment in the neocortex that pain is being produced in the subcortex.

Will joy eventually return? Your very nature is joy. You are never without it. However repressed fear and anxious worry covers up your essential joy so you are separated from your original awareness, and therefore separated from your essential joy. It is there, but you are not aware of it. You are only aware of your despair. It's like a one-way mirror. You don't see beyond the despair to your essential okayness hidden behind the mirror of your despair.

Despair is extremely seductive. You are programmed to focus on it because it is an instinct built into your original subcortex defense mechanism. This defense mechanism is the human being's default position. When you are not actively engaged in on-purpose, directed or productive thinking, your brain automatically reverts to its defensive position. A. B Curtiss

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