Changing old psychological scripts


Our minds are basically full of scripts, embedded sets of instructions and programming rather like the scripts used in computer programming. Most of our problems in life stem from faulty scripts; the coding that’s running our conscious and unconscious minds. If there’s a misprint at the coding level, the entire output of our mind will be skewed and this will affect just about every aspect of our experience of reality.

One of the key things I’ve learned is that it’s really not life that we experience, it’s our thoughts that we experience. The exception might be if you’re a zen monk, in which case you’re more likely to have an intimate and direct experience of reality as it is, without being absorbed by the mental overlay the rest of us place over it. This mental overlay is created by our thoughts, our beliefs, our interpretations, habitual responses, conditioning and any number of psychoses and neuroses that are lurking in the darkened cellar of our unconscious. In vedanta the unconscious is referred to as the ‘causal body’ and the habitual thoughts, beliefs and mental compulsions that are spewed out from the causal level are called ‘vasanas’, which are kind of like grooves in consciousness causing ingrained tendencies of mind, thought and behaviour. People with very heavy vasana loads don’t actually have very much free will: their minds are basically being run for them rather than by them. Extreme examples are addicts or people with enormous compulsions. The more we repeat certain actions or indulge certain thoughts, the more it strengthens the vasana, and the more robotic and predetermined our thoughts and behaviour are.

Yet if we have the ability to become conscious (which is to say aware) of these vasanas and pre-encoded scripts, we are able to choose whether we wish to be victim to them and keep playing out the same old programming, or whether we wish to change them. We immediately gain a measure of free will we didn’t have before.

The mistake we tend to make is trying to fix our problems on the wrong level. We try to change things on the external level; rearranging the circumstances of our life, trying to get life to match up with our personal likes, dislikes and desires — which frankly is a recipe for a lifetime of frustration, because life is not set up that way. It doesn’t care about our likes or dislikes, or what we want; it’s a program itself, and it works according to its own laws and an infinite and inextricably interconnected set of factors far outwith our control. The key is to get to the root of our problem on the causal level; which is the say, the level of the cause. And it invariably has to do with the scripts we’re running in our head. Faulty script = faulty perception, faulty thoughts, faulty beliefs, faulty output.

Life works from the inside out, not the outside in. Think about it; we appear to experience an external world outside of ourselves, but where do we actually experience that ‘external world’? We experience it in our consciousness. No consciousness, no world, no nothing. It’s impossible to experience anything outside of consciousness.

You don’t experience the world ‘out there’, although it appears to be. You experience it ‘IN HERE’ — in your awareness — and there’s no distance between you and your awareness, is there? So it’s all in you. Everything!

The moment you start to appreciate that, and develop the self-awareness to recognise the faulty scripts you’re running, is the moment you begin to taste freedom.

These faulty scripts can be numerous and manifold. Some examples might include:

* I have rotten luck, everything goes wrong for me

* I’m not good enough

* Other people aren’t to be trusted

* It’s a cruel, dog-eat-dog world

When scripts such as those are running in the background, they influence and determine your experience of life in countless ways. The solution can only be to get to the level of the problem, investigate the scripts you’re running and repair the faulty coding. Sure, you’ve probably amassed a whole lot of evidence to justify and ‘prove’ those scripts, but that’s what the mind does (it selectively interprets ‘reality’ in a way that justifies what it already believes). But you have the ability to choose a different, healthier and more productive, resourceful set of beliefs. I’ve already written about how to dismantle negative beliefs here, so I won’t repeat myself. It takes some persistence and vigilance (if you’ve been running a particular script for a long time, it’s amazing how sneakily it can strive to reassert itself), but it absolutely can be done.

When you’ve sorted out the coding glitches that have been colouring your experience of reality and creating all kinds of problems in your life, you’ll probably find one of two things: the problems resolve with surprisingly minimal effort on your part, or they simply don’t bother you anyone, in which case they are no longer ‘your problem’. But you don’t have to take my word for this, you really have to try it yourself!

13 thoughts on “Changing old psychological scripts

  1. Brilliant post, dear Rory ! I completely endorse your views. You have written an absolute gem for those who are interested to look within and discover the magic in the ‘human-of-the being’ — I find mostly that people want fast results in whatever the pursuit maybe, forgetting that it is the ‘process’ in attaining those results that count the most! you are such a gem ! Much happiness to you, always! Come visit Toronto, dear mate ! Blessings to you.

    1. Thanks Shaheen, really appreciate your comment and support. I think that is our problem a lot of the time, we’re an ‘instant gratification’ society, we have no patience and although we are always looking for CHANGE, the last thing we ever want to change is ourselves…which is usually the very thing that absolutely must change haha. i’d love to visit Toronto sometime, maybe one day I shall🙂 Much love🙂

  2. So, so true Rory! Just one example, it my late teens and even into my early 20’s I used to think the people in my life were “holding me back/limiting me”. I strengthened this belief over time, and because of it I became lazy. I was waiting for them to change. Finally (I believe primarily through Eugene Gendlin’s Focusing technique) I realized that “I” was the one holding me back. And although circumstances didn’t immediately change I felt so much better, more empowered and moved slowly toward the things I wanted to do, and stopped blaming others, or waiting.

    It really is out thought patters and processes that determine our reality!

    Thanks for sharing, all the best🙂


    1. It’s so funny how it happens, isn’t it? Totally inside-out experience of reality, although we generally assume that our experience is an outside-in one; external event creates internal response. I’m still rooting out some of those faulty scripts, they have persistence, but so do I😉

      Thanks for reading and your comment! It’s always really interesting to read others’ experiences in these matters🙂

  3. This post hits close to home for me. I do struggle with those feelings of “I’m not good enough” but I’m definitely working on “rewiring my hardware”. It’s what I like to call “a work in progress”. I think I overdid the quotations…oh well. Another great post! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, glad it resonated. Yes, I’m greatly familiar with the ‘not good enough’ inner script. In many respects I had a great childhood, aside for some challenges, and my parents were great, but I still managed to grow up with the feeling of not being good enough. I was always a little different, a loner, creative, hated sports, sensitive, etc…so I always took that to mean I wasn’t ‘as good as’ those that were more outgoing and confident. It takes time to shift such a deeply embedded script. Occasionally it still rises up in consciousness, but I can usually always recognise and REWIRE the hardware haha. We just gotta keep chipping away at this.🙂

      1. I can relate to being a loner, too. I was so shy growing up that I hardly ever initiated conversations, even up through college! My friends were extroverts, and I was the puppy trailing after them looking for open doors for socialization. Pathetic, eh? But I’ve definitely made a lot of progress in that area over the past several years, although most people still say I’m shy. I disagree; it’s only a “warming up period” in my opinion. And there I go with the quotations again…

    2. What I learned is that we all have our own kind of nature and psychological makeup, and were we go wrong is we think we should be different to the way that we are. Not to say we can’t expand on our basic framework, but I guess it comes down to self acceptance too. I can be extroverted when the occasion calls – in fact about 10 years ago I was the life and soul of the party. But now I just wanna be a hermit, I like my space and I need it just to say balanced and peaceful🙂

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    1. Wow, thanks so much, I really appreciate your comments😀 Really glad you liked it, thanks so much for sharing! Gonna hop on over to your blog as soon as I get the chance🙂

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