„Your Inner Computer“ Series No. 1
The Zoom Tools
© Heidrun Beer 2004
L. Ron Hubbard’s (L. Ron Hubbard: Author of "Dianetics", written in 1950, where the analogy between computer and mind was first presented) idea to compare the human memory with the memory „banks“ of a computer was a breakthrough, although at the time where he wrote his book „Dianetics“ the computer was a much too exotic machine, so that nobody could transfer this theory into reality and give it a practical use. Computers were not part of our world, they existed “out there”, not “in here”, their construction was a weird mystery - therefore they could not be used as a basis for comparison with the functions of the mind.
Today, where computers are part of the basic equipment in all companies and most households, and where the children already learn at school how to use them, it might be time to pick up Hubbard’s idea again and think it forth. After all, it contains an incredible potential!
Repairing, Repairing... How About Performing?
Hubbard at his time, and his followers today, have been and still are mainly occupied by repairing breakdowns. Breakdowns in the mind! The typical auditing session (Auditing: Hubbard's word for his version of psychotherapy), the whole classic processing revolves around “charge”, the negative energy which is created when things go wrong; when we get crushed by trauma, failure or guilt. Later developments like that of Alan C. Walter are already more oriented toward positive goals, but they still mainly do “repair work”.
Yet the more time is spent for repair work, the less time is left for performance! This is true for the computer in the same way as for the mind. We all know how unnerving it is when the computer is defect and we can do absolutely none of the many things which would need doing so urgently - not to talk about the torture of waiting for the technician (and his horrendous bills)!
With the mind it is even worse. If the mind is in a standstill or if it circles around an undigested trauma in an endless loop, life does not happen. Competitors, marriage partners, even one’s own children - everybody moves forward; only we stay where we are, and the distance between them and ourselves becomes bigger every day. Our environment runs a sprint; we are tangled up in the starting blocks. They pass one timing mark after the other; we hardly see the line - sometimes we have not even realized that there is a race going on.
The Operating System Makes The Difference
It is a platitude that every computer is just as good as the operating system which is installed on it. And this again is as good as the programmers have written it. To say the same of the mind is nearly too simple - yet it is not wrong!
Now we have every reason to thoroughly distrust any kind of mental programming. We only need to look around in our neighbouring cultures - or even in our own culture - in order to see how terribly the programming of minds can go wrong.
We find ourselves in a difficult dichotomy: we need an operating system, but we cannot trust the one we have got; the more thoroughly a mind is programmed, the more disastrous the effects of any mistakes will be which may have crept into the program.
Not really big news for those of us who have worked with computers for a while. Let’s just think back to the time of the deceased Windows 95! At that time we all learned from first-hand experience that it depends on the quality of the installed system whether our computer runs stably or tends to crash at every opportunity.
Again: The computer is very clever and at the same time very stupid. It can do magnificient things if we install it intelligently. Unfortunately, it slavishly does what the programmer has told it to do - including all the mistakes! Only a badly installed computer crashes. Or reversed, a computer which crashed has not been installed well enough.
A perplexing realization: it has been programmed to crash! Because if it were not programmed at all, it also would do nothing at all - it would be just as intelligent as the cupboard up on the wall.
Our conclusion should not be that out of so much distrust we decide to work entirely without an operating system (that cannot work), or have to be prepared to repair and re-install our inner computer daily. No - if necessary, we repair it once and then install it so intelligently that it will not crash anymore!
It was this step on the to-do-list - installing a stable (thinking) system after the completion of the repair work -, which has been missing in earlier approaches.
Training the Mind?
The next thing to do is to look for an operating system which will behave stably and more or less totally excludes system crashes. Although with the mind we cannot start over at zero, because we still have to use it even at the same time where we re-install it. So it will be rather be an activity of finding new and reliable tools as well as removing weak points in the existing equipment.
A thinking tool we can imagine as something quite similar as a computer program. Or something like one certain function in a computer program, which we activate with a keystroke or mouse click. It is not something which works outside of our control - some mysterious hum in the background. It is a function which we use knowingly and which we are monitoring. After all, we always want to remain the boss of these things and don’t want to turn into remote-controlled, programmed robots!
Of course we could maintain that a spiritual being, if it is full of life energy and lives completely in present time, should be able to operate entirely without any tools. There is something to this idea. But to be honest, don’t we prefer a car of a well known type rather than experimenting with combustion motors and differential gear shift parts? And doesn’t a complete telephone have certain adavantages, especially if we need to call somebody within the next 5 minutes?
Traumatic Education and School Years
A spiritual being is alive and therefore cannot be predicted; but the mind is a machine and can be conditioned. The better it has been installed, the more efficiently it can be used. Of course, if this topic comes up, most of us collide with one of the most massive traumas of our first years: childhood and school time. In this time, our mind has absolutely been conditioned, the question is just how?
We instinctively avoid having our mind trained or - God forbid! - even programmed, because connected with this simple technical process there are so many negative experiences. That’s why we stay away from further programming attempts and shield ourselves, like we protect a broken arm and put it in splints in order to keep it from suffering further damage.
But it must be clear that there have been mistakes. Only faulty programs annoy us, only to faulty mind training we do think back with a shudder. Programming work which functions flawlessly, we need daily to do the (thinking) work for us. And like with the broken arm it is the most important thing of all - immediately after the recovery from trauma or misprogramming - to learn to use the mind again, to train it back to fitness and into a top condition.
Until that recovery is complete, the intense repair work of processing, as defined by Hubbard and his successors, has one of its most rewarding target areas. But immediately after that, the new training would have to begin, or the mind will stay weak forever, like the broken arm stays weak if it is not systematically trained back to strength as soon as the cast has been taken off.
Or if we want to continue the analogy with the computer: after a successful rebuild or after cleaning the system from computer viruses (harmful programs!), it would be necessary to pull out our CD’s and install those programs again, which make the system useable and valuable, so that we can work like before - or maybe better than ever before!
Self-Determinism and Other-Determinism
In case of the mind, it is fortunately a fact that only we ourselves can install its patterns. We as the owners always are the senior authority and always have the last decision, what tools we want to use, when and how - and whether we want to work with tools at all, or rather want to approach every situation “freestyle”, without any pre-formed thinking patterns.
If this ownership has been trained out of us in our childhood (possibly with violence), we are robots and will always depend on some kind of remote controlling, wether remote controlling by a school, a church, a society, a government or any other higher authority. In such a case it would be necessary to call the repair people, before it is possible to install an efficient thinking system. Connect to the internet and look for the next auditor, if you have the feeling that this has happened to you!
But as soon as ownership (sovereignty) is given, we can start to look around in the world of the computer, which has so many parallels to the mind, and find out whether it has one or the other tool which we also could install to our benefit in our inner computer, the mind. Why don’t we just pick out one such tool at random and play with it in order to see what could be done?
Playful First Try: The „Zoom“ Tools
Each of us who has edited the fotos of his digital camera on the computer at least once, knows the zoom tools. They can be found in every image editing program and are used to display the foto bigger or smaller, as needed.
An ugly pimple on the daughter’s chin? A sharp wrinkle on Mum’s forehead? No problem - we just get the trouble spot enlarged by clicking onto the “zoom in” tool; we edit the wrinkle with the softening brush or overpaint the pimple with the clone-brush which copies the color points of the neigbouring clean skin over the the offending pimple. Then we switch back to the original image size with the “zoom out” tool, check for smooth transitions, and the world is perfect again!
What in the world should we do with such a tool in our mind? What pimples or wrinkles should we edit away? In the first moment we don’t see the connection; but if we rename the two tools, it dawns on us: The looking glass with the plus sign, which we use to enlarge one section of an image, we call “detail” instead of “zoom in” - and the looking glass with the minus sign, which shows us the whole picture again, we call “senior correlation” or “context”.
The Context Tool or „Big Picture“
Although it is much more fun to use the “detail” tool to play with the color points in the pimple of the big sister, the “context” tool is the more important of the two. It shows the senior correlations of any detail work and therefore indicates the general direction into which the detail work needs to go. Only if whe know the “where to” does it make sense to deal with any “how”.
The discovery of the context tool is often one of the biggest experiences in life. A little boy in primary school, who hates to do homework, can turn into a highly motivated student within five minutes, if with a few toy figures we demonstrate to him the correlation between good school grades and a successful career (including top income). A teenager whom we just caught “forgetting” to shower again, can be looking for the deo soap only moments after we reminded him of the fact that girls don’t like guys who smell like a garbage dump.
We all know these situations; what we now need to understand, is: we have used the context-tool, we have “zoomed out” in order to show more of the correlations with the detail situation - and there are a lot of situations where the same tool could be an enormous help for ourselves too. So why don’t we mentally connect it with the image of a looking glass, combined with a minus sign, like we know it from foto editing programs?
Over time, we can install a whole toolbox with such reminders, which we always consult when we are really helpless in a situation. At some point in the future, when we have practiced thoroughly, we will use them totally spontaneously and instinctively.
The 4th Dimension: Future
The context tool has even more importance if we don’t only use it in the three spatial dimensions but also the 4th dimension: in time. In the author’s homeland, Austria, an interesting example exists for the use of the context tool in the 4th dimension: In the early 70’s, the “green” movement insisted on a referendum here about the first nuclear reactor going to work, whose construction was already complete.
With a thin majority, those people won the referendum who were able to look some decades into the future. The nuclear reactor was never used as such. Today it serves as a museum and school building - and all the problems with the storage of nuclear waste materials, with reactor catastrophes and terror threats, which dominate the media headlines every week today, have been spared in Austria.
Deadly threats to all of humankind, like the exhaustion of the sun in many billions of years or the return of gigantic asteroid hits every few million years, reqire the most concentrated thinking with the context tool set to “maximum” in both the spatial and time dimensions. We are lucky to have nobel prize winners and NASA experts who mainly do this thinking for us, but in smaller frames and especially in personal life the use of the context tool is always worth the time.
Other prominent thinkers are less lucky with the this tool. A big and highly civilized country, well known to all of us, recently pulled out of an international program to reduce greenhouse gases. Here we observe a lack of perspective, time-wise: what will happen with this country if global warming leads to more and more dangerous storms? Will the tornados steer around its coasts? The most recent debris piles with their tragic fatalities show that this is certainly not going to happen.
What we see is an error in the mind’s operating system. The people in this country have their context tool at such a narrow setting, that they hardly perceive anything outside their four walls and don’t care very much about what their government is doing; this government again does not look ahead far enough in time. In both cases we have context tools with too narrow settings, once in space and once in time - history will show what will be the result of that.
Once we are getting used to a wide setting of our context tool, we effortlessly learn to recognize new life forms as such and finally can identify ourselves with them. Every unit of life which has separated itself from others could be called a life form, or in other words, everything which is a more or less closed unit of life.
On a scale of 1:1 we are used to life forms like dogs, cats, trees, livestock and of course human beings. But if we use our context tool, we sooner or later realize that a family can be a life form too, or a town, a geographical region, a country or even a planet.
They all have an identity, they have a “skin”, “feelings” and “reactions” - why don’t you try to recognize a few of them, just for the fun of it? Most times they also have a typical case, which would respond to processing as well as to the application of ethics conditions.
If a situation is resistive and resolves neither in session nor by the application of ethics, it often makes sense to address the next higher life form in session, represented by the individual member or “cell” who is physically present in the room and answers the processing questions. Sometimes this has surprising effects on the higher life form itself!
The Detail Tool
By the way, there are also life forms to discover in the other direction, who often don’t agree with each other in the least. If we have ever knowingly watched how our burdened heart painfully protests against the next cigarette or piece of chocolate, while our tongue or throat wildly craves it, we understand that instantly.
Just for the records: scientifically it is not the tongue or the throat who does the craving, but a little brain center, the so-called “Instant Gratification Spot”, which in our genetic ancestors rewarded the hunting animal for its endurance with a shot of happiness hormones once it started to eat its prey.
This brain center is also active in procreating offspring. It is tightly connected with addiction and dependency patterns and often creates trouble where we deal with the problem of pleasure versus rationality. With such relics of the past we are often confronted if we want to manage a human body.
In processing we recognize the real artist by his ability to not only recognize the conflicts between such opposing parties, but also to get them into a “dialogue” where he asks them to come to an agreement or contract which makes life worth living for both of them. After all, tongue and throat - and brain centers! - all depend on the heart’s work, so they would be well advised to demonstrate some deference to it.
We are already talking about the second “zoom” tool, the looking glass with the plus sign, the “zoom in” tool which we renamed to “detail” tool just before and which shows things bigger than they are in reality. It shows details which we normally would not be able to discern with the naked eye, or allows us to see borders between individual units which at a greater distance we could easily mistake for a unity.
This tool is enormously helpful wherever we want to create - or maintain - order in our own body. Most of its functions happen in magnitudes which we cannot observe with the naked eye - and it has proven to be quite difficult to put a microscope into a living organism! So we best work with visualization on the basis of our school knowledge. We don’t see things optically, we imagine what we know about them and project this image onto the body part which contains the events that interest us.
Matter, especially animated matter, tends to become autonomous and take the command if it does not get steered. The more details we can see, the more precisely we can steer. And our steering mechanism is the projected mental image, the visualization. In running and climbing stairs we use it instinctively all the time; but in fixing problems inside the body it is just as useful!
Healing The Body
There are studies which for instance document that cancer patients have better healing chances when they mentally add to the medical treatment. Now what exactly are they doing? Well, they imagine for instance how an army of warrior in shining armor attacks the evil monsters in their blood, fights and destroys them... or one of hundreds of other similarly efficient scenarios. These images are nothing else than commands: “Attack!”, “Destroy these aggressive cells!” They are given without words - in the primary language of all spiritual beings, as a moving image energized by strong intention.
It does not necessarily have to be so romantic. If we simply visualize how the little red bicycle couriers who transport the oxygen in our blood, actively and with urgency overtake the plump trucks and find every little one way road, instead of passively and lamely swimming with the traffic on the main roads - who knows, maybe we have done something for our blood circulation in that very moment?
There would be many more examples for the use of the detail tool in body management. Which ones would help you most? Do some experiments!
And of course the body is only one of the many things which we have to manage in our lives. The two “zoom” tools can be applied to every life area.
When Do We Need Which Zoom Tool?
Yes, that’s the $64.000 question! The answer is simple on first sight: both zoom tools are needed when we don’t see enough. In one case we don’t see enough details to really understand a situation, in the other case we don’t perceive enough of the context in order to see how we should act.
To always switch the zoom factor when we don’t see enough, is a simple and a difficult rule at the same time, because how can we see what we don’t see? A contradiction in itself! You are lucky if you can perceive a lack of insight or perspective as some kind of diffuce discomfort or vague pain. If you feel something like that regarding a certain matter, you are well advised to immediately check all possible zoom settings regarding that matter in order to find out which view you need to complete.
Is there a lack of details? Is there a lack of context? Have you not thought big enough, or have you not visualized the smallest events with sufficient plasticity? If you feel discomfort at these questions, maybe you can even check them on the e-meter and follow up on any reads you are getting.
But without such perception skills you are also not lost. For instance it is a good idea to never remain in the same zoom setting for too long a time. That way you neither get fixated on the fine detail nor on the big picture. This is a valid principle for all life areas in which you are active, whether they are of a physical or spiritual nature.
If you maintain a constant pendulum swing between precise detail and wide perspective or “big horizon” in your life, you have the best chance that nothing important escapes you in both zoom bands, so that you can do both: steer wisely and manoeuvre with precision.
„Your Inner Computer“ Series No. 2: Exception Handling
- or read more at the start of our
This page last changed on: 30. Mar 13