Steps in Problem Solving
The First Step – Thoughts
Thoughts and thinking are tools to be used in problem solving, but are only part of the necessary toolkit. It is important to clearly understand what a thought is, and not confuse it with any sort of final truth. Any thought or image is only a mental photo of something or someone. It is never the person or thing, and must not be seen as such. As with a photo, thought is also only a tiny fragmented copy of what we are considering. Nevertheless we need to use thoughts in considering and clarifying what it is we seek an answer to. So write down the essence of what you already understand and have done about the problem.
The Second Step – The Framework
Because you create a world out of your feelings, ideas, beliefs and fears, any negative beliefs or attitudes you have can be a massive self fashioned wall shutting off your creative and problem solving ability. Review Exercise Eleven and check that you can drop your ideas of limitation. You ARE NOT trying to replace them with ideas of being superhuman, simply clearing space. So build a framework of thoughts and feelings that leave you open to possibilities.
The Third Step – Going Beyond
A number of times the ‘keyboard’ condition has been mentioned and used. However, it needs further definition as it is a vital part of problem solving. The main thing to attempt is to bring all of you to the condition. Each part of you is a sense organ. Apart from five much mentioned senses, you also have a sense of balance, a sense of beauty or appropriateness. You also sense sexual attraction or repulsion, and so on with your emotions, and hungers. Your speech too is expressed out of a subtle sense of things. So your keyboard is all of these – body movement, imagination, emotions, sexual feeling, memory, voice and fantasy – open to responding to your question or your problem. Don’t think of problem solving as sitting quietly thinking. It isn’t. You need some level of excitation, of motivation and involvement.
When you feel that openness and readiness to let your whole being respond to what you are seeking, take this and your question into a lucid dream, using the ‘digital watch’ approach. As you are going to sleep imagine yourself exploring the question in a lucid dream.
If you do not achieve lucidity, take any dream you have had in response to your question, or take a nightmare if that is the problem. Walk into the dream keeping the keyboard condition, and watch what you feel and experience. Ask your question; work with the dream situation as described earlier.
Use the ‘seed’ meditation approach as described under the healing section. Ask your question instead of being the seed.