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          When Einstein discovered the power of the atom he told us “a new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.”[1]  Today’s stren compares four characteristics of a newer way of thinking (ANWOT) with four that historically and currently dominate our way of thinking.  The characteristics of ANWOT are typically present in those individuals who create a joyous, meaningful life experience.  They do so regardless of unkind treatment by fate and circumstance.

          Updating our thinking is accomplished by the use of word-switches, symbols, usually words, which redirect information to newer action pathways.[2]  They switch the way information is processed from the preprogrammed action path to an alternate route leading to a different destination.  Word-switches and trigger words convey meaning.  Meaning releases energy.  By wisely choosing our word-switch we may selectively turn on the preferred mental action pathway and prevent the no-longer-desired outcome.  Think of a word-switch as our means to control mental action as we would use a light switch to cause a desired physical action.  The acquisition of the newer language of self-mastery is attainable with mental maturity.  By expanding our glossary of word-switches and originating new ones, we strengthen ANWOT.  We update our established way of thinking to better manage today’s issues.  Since a limited number of appropriate word-switches will hugely strengthen ANWOT, self-mastery is easily taught and readily learned.

          Let’s begin by recognizing four dominant characteristics of our mind’s operating system through our prolonged period of dependency.  Our genes and nurturers embed their prescribed software programs into our biology and our native language when we are unable to resist.  Our established early “native” language way of thinking has these characteristics:

1.  Native language thinking is dichotomous.  It categorizes information into two distinct either/or categories: me/not me, us/them, good/bad, right/wrong, O.K./not O.K., safe/dangerous, friend/enemy, like/dislike, and so on.  Two-category thinking is what an immature mind can best understand.  Reality is distorted when thought processing is so limited.  Dichotomous thinking is the basis of prejudice, intolerance, hatred, resentment, discrimination, and most of the conflicts we create.  The “bad” category is to be eliminated.  It deserves physical and/or mental harm.  We can easily learn to recognize the either/or trigger words that turn on two-category thinking.

2.  It is prescriptive.  The orders for the conduct of our life express the perspective of nature and our nurturers, here referred to as instinct and tradition.  Orders are conveyed in characteristic trigger words like should, have to, must, and lesser used words like demand and require.  The orders are prejudiced, i.e. pre judged and pre determined.  When prescriptive trigger words are disobeyed, blaming and physical and/or mental harmful aggression often follows.  Independence, choice-making, and mental freedom are restricted.