„Your Inner Computer“ Series No. 2

Exception Handling

© Heidrun Beer 2004



In the last article of this series we realized with some amazement, that the computer crashes which usually happen in the worst possible moment - just when we need to print the overdue tax declaration or the application letter for a most unique chance in business - that these crashes are in no way accidents.

Because we cannot look into the secrets of the operating system, we cannot predict them - but the programmers of the system have already typed all the letters of complaint into a neat database and know exactly what goes wrong. The next system update will then enthusiastically be promoted with the line that “thousands of bugs have been fixed” (literal quote) - in other words, for many years we have trusted in operating systems which contained thousands of errors!



Unfortunately this is not a joke but hard reality. And even harder yet is the certainty that in the other operating system, which has been installed in our inner computer, the mind, by parents, schools and environment, there are errors too. Maybe not exactly thousands of errors, but just enough of them to cause it to crash royally every now and then.

Although it is good to know that such crashes will not destroy our mind forever, but can be repaired with good processing - would it not be much better to work with an operating system which does not crash in the first place? Or at least one which crashes only very rarely?

Should it be possible to install in the human mind a (thinking) system as well, which runs more reliably than the fragile systems to which we have been used all those years?


Computer-„crashes“ in the mind

We are talking about exceptional situations or crises. At some point in time all of us have agreed with the fact that we react to a crisis with negative energy - so much that making a session appointment has become a normal impulse. We know that a crisis requires a session in order to handle the negative energy or “charge”. And this is good, because how many other people exist who have to run around with such a burden for the rest of their lives - or even for many more lives!

In other words, we are talking of the temporary breakdown of our inner computer. We know in our heart that a crisis creates negative energy which has to be removed afterwards. We know that with such a certainty that we have no more second thoughts about this “stable datum”.

But just a moment: Didn’t we just realize that with a better operating system many crashes in our computer, to which we have been used for so many years, don’t necessarily have to happen anymore? Could it be possible to program our inner operating system in such a stable way too? In such a stable way that crashes which we thought to be able to predict, can be avoided? Is it thinkable at all to get prepared to disasters which hit us without any warning and against which we are helpless?


A sample program

Most of the time a computer programmer gets measured against what his program can do. But often the things which his program don’t do are at least as important as the things it can do! Especially it should not react with a crash to a situation which hinders a certain function or makes it impossible to run. Such a situation is called an “exception”.

An example will show what that means. Let’s assume that we want to write a program which moves or copies the image files in our foto album onto a CD. A CD-burner has been put into the computer and works just great, we have bought a stack of raw CDs and the test copies have worked, we are familiar with the program development software and ready to start.

We want to keep it simple, so we just design a quick form where the user can enter the drive letter for the CD drive, then a file selection window and a button which starts the copy process. A first test run doesn’t show any problems. Isn’t it beautiful! Such a useful little program written in such a short time! Full of enthusiasm we show it to our son - who takes it and produces a capital crash in the next minute.


Exceptions on the computer

What happened? What did Andy do wrong? Well, he didn’t do anything wrong - at least not with intention. He just mistyped. He wanted to enter “E” as a drive letter, but he hit the key to the next and the “E” became a “W”. Yet such a drive our computer does not have - and bang, we have a program crash.

This is only one of many possible unexpected conditions which the program cannot handle. Andy could also have entered “D”. Our computer knows a “D”-drive; it is the second harddisk. But “D” is not a CD burner and therefore our program, which recognizes only CD-drives, will not be able to access it. Or Andy could have entered a number for a drive letter, or a space character. Andy could have hit two keys at the same time; this would have confused the system entirely. Andy could select so many files that they don’t fit onto the empty CD in the drive. The empty CD could be defect... we could add to the error catalogue forever.

All these situations the programmer must forsee. The program must tell the user about these things instead of just crashing. Or it could simply have a hard skin and do nothing (internally of course it does not do nothing; it recognizes the unexpected situation and interrupts the function without saying so.) In any event it should not just disappear from the monitor, and the last thing it should do is to make the operating system so unstable that the whole computer “freezes” and requires a reboot, or even a repair.


Exceptions in the mind

Summarized, the exception conditions in the computer are all those circumstances which keep our program from doing what it has been written to do. The quality of the program consists not only of its performance under perfect conditions, but also of how it does not crash in exception situations or even causes the computer to crash.

What then are the parallel exception situations in the mind, how can we recognize them, and most important, what can we do against them? It would be too beautiful if the analogy with the computer were so simple that we could say: “Of course that’s all all the things which keep us from doing what we have planned.” Unfortunately it is not so easy. Our mind is knit in a way that exception situations not only impede the one program in which they happen. They are creating an error current in the whole machine and are endangering not only the behaviour of the involved program but the stability of the whole operating system with all the programs that run on it.

The most important keyword here is pain. But other forms of energy derailment can disturb the operating system as well. Fear for instance can paralyze the whole system. Rage can drive it into dangerous activities. In one word: all those energy conditions which we have learned to know as “misemotions” are more or less complete computer crashes, and every event or pattern of events which leads to a misemotion, is an exception condition for which a good programmer theoretically would have to plan an error exit.

About such a „programming“ we heard neither from our parents nor in school. It really sounds exotic. But if we know in advance that these things happen in life - would it not be worth the effort to get prepared for them in such a way that the compulsive connection between exception condition and misemotion gets dissolved, and that a crisis, if it cannot be avoided, at least does not paralyze the activities of the whole computer?


Physical pain

An error current which has no parallel in the computer is, however, physical pain. We are lucky to be able to control many situations which are typically connected with physical pain, with the means of modern medicine. Labor pains are sometimes even welcomed by young mothers - and other pains we can suppress with medicines in nearly all critical medical situations, after which we can search for their cause without stress and repair or remove it from the body.

Yet how can we prepare ourselves to situations where this is not possible? How do we protect our inner computer against a total crash, if a mad criminal injures us with intention? How do we stay in control if we live in a country where a sadistic policeman or soldier can subject us to bloody torture, maybe even until we die?

A nearly similar situation can even come about in civilized and politically stable countries, when we have an accident and are not found immediately, or at the end of our lives, when the pains of a deadly disease go out of control and we are denied the helpful last injection.

The analogy with the computer fails here. A computer which has been infected by an evil virus can be switched off, then we can repair the system without any time pressure; we are still in control, and also the system crash causes no pains. Even if a furious husband or wife hits it with an axe, it will die quietly and will not torture us with unbearable energy signals.


Loss of control

Stuck in a burning car however we have lost our control. The same is true if we are in the hands of madmen or torturers, or in the claws of a disease against which medicine is powerless. In most of these cases we also can not switch off the “computer” with a cyanide vial, or are not allowed to, even if we desire that more than anything else.

For such a situation we cannot program an error exit, because we have lost our ownership, whereas successful and useful programming is based on ownership. We cannot even make the decision to escape the pain by our death, because a planned death requires ownership as well.

What we can do, is to face the fact that we can not always and in hundred percent of all cases stay in control. And we can make our peace with that fact. Per L. Ron Hubbard, life is a game, and part of the game conditions is the possibility to lose. At peace with the knowledge that we sometimes can lose in the game of life, we can play the game with much more concentration than if we lose energy with the fear of such situations, or if we build up massive resistance.

It is the resistance against the pain, which compresses energy into mental masses which later become burdens for us. Not always will we notice that only in the next life. Sometimes we survive the crisis, and then we have to carry around enormous energy packets which are the remains of our desparate resistance against the pain.

Not to resist against the pain, can sometimes make more sense. In the knowing that a spiritual being is immortal and that we can lose a game, lose even a body, but don’t get wiped out by that, we can give up in peace, even if the body at the same time writhes with pain.

Even if it sounds paradox: the very act of accepting the possibility that we may lose in the most brutal way at some point in time, gives us the best chance to play with such an ease and passion that such a situation will never occur. Although such an “error exit” has no parallel in the computer, the chances are good that it will work in our inner computer.

And even if the analogy with the computer does not work in this case, enough other situations remain where it is helpful, where we stay in control, and where we can attain our goal of a stable mental operating system by intelligent programming.


Typical exception situations

We know most of the typical exception situations for our inner computer very well from novels and Hollywood movies. Because they move us so much, they always have been great themes in all forms of art.

To watch a loved partner being destroyed by a disease like cancer or Alzheimer’s; to be unable to prevent the tragic accident of a daughter; having a fatal inherited illness break out; the injury which ruins a career; the overwhelming encounter of a man and a woman which destroys a harmonic partnership of many years; the death of a child in the womb; losing one’s parents... these and many other typical crises we not only observe in our own environment and the wider family, they are also taken from life into art again and again, being redesigned, reformulated, and reflected back to us in thousands of variations over and over.

Here we find one of the most important reasons for the fact that our inner „operating system“ is not as stable as we would like to have it. We have seen so often, even if only on the movie screen or the TV monitor, how a hero or heroine broke down at the sight of their dead child in the coffin, or how they entirely lost their composure when they found their partner in the arms of another man or woman, that these (and many other) reactions unknowingly have entered themselves into our “lookup table” of appropriate reactions.

We have not only been programmed by our parents and during school - we also are still being mentally programmed every single day and hour by all the patterns which we continually absorb in the form of art and entertainment! And of course every book or movie lives from the crisis and the conflict - what would be more natural than to dramatize every exception situation as much as possible, so that the story produces the greatest possible impact?

This silent programming we must first recognize and then do something effective against it. It is not true that our operating system has been installed once and then runs forever in the same way. Our contact with life and the world exposes it continually to foreign and sometimes also destructive influences - just like we risk downloading a virus each time we download our e-mail from the internet.



The problem at the same times shows us the solution. The daily soap opera has installed an involuntary linkage between certain experiences and „typically human“ emotions in us? The books which we read on the weekend left not only impressions in our mind, but also duplicates of the behaviour patterns which the authors describe?

Then let’s just reverse the direction. We need not even as many tools for that as for the programming of a computer - paper and pen is enough.

We write down every misemotion which we observe in ourselves, plus all the scenes from the world of art (also from real life), where we have seen this special linkage between event and misemotion.

Then we define, as the only owner of our inner computer, our own appropriate reaction. Is despair the only possible reaction to a sidestep of our partner? Would patience and loving tolerance not have their own very special benefits? What benefits does despair have at all, aside from being “appropriate” because a certain number of family members and 10 or 100 or 1000 novel and screenplay authors postulate that? What reaction has what benefits, what drawbacks, what value does it have if we count them all together?

We can target individual behaviour patterns, remove them from our programming and replace them by better patterns, by doing a sober calculation about the value of every reaction in the book, and then systematically train the best of them. After all, the original reaction - the one we want to replace now - has also been trained at some point in time. Some of us have never thrown dishes around when they were furious - some of us perhaps do it every week. If we do it regularly, we have trained the pattern, we have made it our possession, we have “installed” it - made it a part of our operating system.

A pattern which never has been trained, we also would never use - just like a program runs on our computer only if we have at some point in time pushed a CD into a drive, from which it has been installed. This moment has a specific date, a time, a location and precise circumstances. Most of the time we also can find several repetitions to it, where the reaction pattern has been grooved in, and at the very beginning a basic decision (“I want to become like Daddy”, “People need a tough treatment, they don’t react well to friendliness”, etc.)

If it becomes difficult to replace a certain pattern which has deep roots in our character, it would be a good idea to find out in a session when and how exactly it has been installed, to determine how often the installation has been repeated or the pattern has been trained, what basic decisions are being implemented by it, and also what other entities or identities are possibly involved in the matter.

It is possible to replace a fatal automaticity - like beating a child or drowning one’s despair in alcohol - by a contrasting pattern. If we have managed it once, we also can do it again; after ten or twenty repetitions we then have installed an entirely new pattern, a pattern which works much better and causes no more damage. We have updated our operating system without even switching it off - a stunt of which we can really be proud!

Each of us has their own catalogue of typical exception situations which always cause the same reactions in us, which cause a more or less dramatic system crash in our inner computer - and yet we can program stable and safe “error exits” for them with systematic preparation and careful training.



Most exception situations are not of a very mild nature. Some of them challenge our very existence or touch our most delicate nerves. To lose an employment is a serious situation - and yet so many people go through such an experience that we are well advised to get prepared to it. What alternative possibilities do we have if we suddenly find ourselves out of work? Such things we should think through while we are doing fine, not when the terror of the immediate experience is paralyzing us. A well thought up and carefully worked out emergency plan, maybe even several different plans, will then be there instead of a life crisis.

We can get prepared for things like sudden blindness or an existence in the wheelchair. We can get armed against wars and natural catastrophes. Some of these things can still be deadly, but many actually are not! With a list of all things which we fear most, we can program “error exits” for all these exception situations.

If of course after 40 years of marriage the partner is suddenly no longer there, it is certainly not possible to organize that in advance and with a smile. And yet we can train for it, because there is a chance of 50 percent that we have to deal with exactly this situation one day.

At first we can try to avoid all the mistakes in present time which so many people regret after the death of their partner. A big part of the pain often consists of regret about avoidable mistakes! It is a good rule to never hold back a word or gesture of love or to keep it for a later moment, and generally to never delay a communication.

Another good rule is to repair every break of intimacy, no matter how small, on the very same day. “Had I only told him how much he means to me”, or “I had no more chance to apologize for my fury” - remorse like that is unnecessary. Why don’t we always get a communication across when it comes up in us?

We can create a list of things which we want to do together with our loved ones. Who knows whether we even come close to our statistically average age? Why don’t we plan one of the things which we would like to do every week or month - the trip to Venice, the camping tour, the river journey to the mouth of the Danube? If we then really get hit by a sudden disaster, at least we have attained some of our visions.

Another list could contain organizational details. What things of daily life have to be reorganized if the partner disappears permanently? What financial things have to be changed? In the grief about his death or in the concern about his illness such management tasks are especially difficult; the organizational derailment can make an already difficult situation even more dramatic and turn a subjectively hard situation into an objectively dangerous one.

We also can write a list of dear habits which would no longer exist without the partner, and plan in advance what we could do instead: to help in a shelter for the homeless, to create a garden, to learn a language - such little challenges can give us a new field of activity which binds the energies which have been set free, which otherwise would have no more direction and would start to run idle. Energies which have become idle are like bleeding wounds, they steal our life energy and cause constant pain.

All these measures together constitute another emergency plan which can help us to survive the most difficult time in our life: we have programmed a stable error exit into our inner operating system.


Processing the future

A little known, but extremely efficient possibility to prepare ourselves is to address future losses or other possible catastrophes in processing sessions. Of things which we fear - a fire in the kid’s room, a fall from the balcony, our own death - we create mental images which can form reality if we suppress them or protest against them. Such self-fulfilling prophecies we can render harmless, if we take the negative energy out of the mental image in a session, much like running an incident from our past, and duplicate it fully until it has no more energetic influence.


Handling present time

The most magic trick though to keep our inner operating system from crashing, is: to adopt the all-permeating session attitude in our present time life activities. Of course we will not run around with complex sets of processing questions, prepared lists and an e-meter, but the three core ingredients of processing can very well be applied to life. This again does not have a parallel in the computer, but once mastered, it is beautifully effective.

The most basic tool of a spirit is permeation. In session, the remains of an incident dissolve at the moment where we fully permeate them. Living life while permeating its spaces and people is an attitude which will prevent dissonant energy build-ups right where they happen. The second component is described by Alan C. Walter in his Knowledgism processing. The set of questions "What is it that must not be experienced? Experience it!" can easily be memorized and applied whenever we feel the impulse to avoid an experience, run away from it, or protest it.

For the spirit, the "Experience it!" command changes the character of his perception beam. It makes it curious and sensitive, steady and confident. This slightly outgoing, controlled and lightweight pattern leaves no room for the frantic pulling quality of avoidance, or the violent push of protest and resistance. The old energy ridges of pulling away from something which does not let go, or pushing against something which cannot be moved, populate our inner space like the rocks in the asteroid belt. Their removal is a good part of cleaning up a case in session. The less of them we create in present time, the better our mind will function.


Karmic coaching

The last and most important tool is the maybe most powerful session question ever. "What could/should I learn from this experience?", repeated if necessary, allows the open cycle of an unhandled incident to come to a completion. Once completed, it can be closed like a program that has gone through all its programming lines. The "could" version of this question is the first approach and gives us all the insights which are welcome.

The "should" version follows afterwards. It allows us to invite those insights into our view which may be uncomfortable and yet are necessary. They bring into play the element of responsibility toward ourself, but also toward our environment and even the spiritual universe. The addition “For whose sake?” sometimes brings suprising results: some things we need to learn not for ourselves, but a child, our family, even for a mission in society... a whole shimmering network of connections becomes visible by asking this innocent question.

There is a theory which says that we keep pulling in the same kind of experiences until we have learned their lesson - typically lessons which we are trying to avoid. If this theory is true, then "What should I learn from this experience?" will not only help to master life, but also break the repeater chain of “karmic coaching". With this question, we mature from passive to active learning. It is maybe the key question for a peaceful future.

The restricted space makes it impossible to present more details which could be addressed to the topic „dealing with exception situations“- after all, each and every “mental computer” is unique and has its totally individual priorities. The description of the underlying principle and some examples should just point your attention to the matter as a whole; the actual work cannot be delegated. Now it will depend on your fantasy and energy, how successful you will be in the programming and installation of your very personal crash-proof operating system!


 „Your Inner Computer“ Series No. 1: The Zoom Tools  --  „Your Inner Computer“ Series No. 3: Endless Loops



 - or read more at the start of our  

Hit Counter

This page last changed on: 30. Mar 13