This book is mostly about the wise part of you. We call this part your Sage. Sometimes it is the little voice that guides you to "do the right thing." Sometimes it helps you figure out just how to get what you want from your life. You’ll be learning a whole lot about your Sage-part, and how you can use it to create a happy life.
This book is also about feelings, since we experience life through feelings. If most of your feelings are positive, youre probably a happy person. If they are often negative, then youre not so happy. Were going to help you to find, and use your wisest part to create more positive feelings, and fewer negative.
Youre at the start of the rest of your life. Right this minute you can begin to create your life exactly the way you want it to be. Even though you cant always control what happens to you, you can always control how you create your experience of the life you get. If you do nothing with what you learn here, youll still be creating your experience of your life for as long as you live.
Identify Self-Defeating Strategies
As you continue to read, you can identify any self-defeating strategies that you may have been using in the past, strategies that could keep you from using what you’ll be learning about using your wisest part (your Sage-part). You can do that by first examining the idea of "Sagery" itself. Ask yourself this question: "What is my reaction to the word "Sagery"? Then notice your response. It may be a message that discounts the possibility of change. It may be a distortion of the way you perceive things. It may be the choice of a strategy that will keep you from succeeding with changes you want to make. In any case, you might discover the process you’ve may have used in the past to defeat yourself.
If youre positive and enthusiastic about your ability to use Sagery to take control of your life and create the kind of life you want, then you dont have a major self-defeating process. If you feel pessimistic or already defeated right now, then youve identified a major blocking process. Make note of it, and as you proceed through Sagery well show you how to fix it, and move on to make your life as happy as you want it to be.
Your Sage-part Will be as Wise as You Allow
Your Sage-part already knows more than you think. Your conscious mind may have difficulty remembering everything youll read in this book. No problem. Your conscious mind doesnt need to learn it all. Your Sage-part will not be expert or even capable of applying all of the suggested strategies. Your Sage-part will be as wise as you allow it to be. If this doesnt make any sense to you at this point, simply accept it.
Sagery is Incredibly Simple
Remember, as complicated as the Sage model may seem to your conscious mind, the process is incredibly simple. The simple strategy to use in any situation where you get a bad feeling is: ask the four Sage questions, then choose one of the four Sage choices. Thats it. Thats all there is to Sagery. Anytime you get a bad feeling, ask the four Sage questions, and choose a Sage resolution. The rest of the information is simply aimed at training your Sage-part to be able to do this one simple thing.
Just do what your Sage-part is able do as you go along. Apply what youve learned anytime you choose to deal with a problem. In a year, come back and read this page again. Youll understand it fully then. In the meantime, start creating a magnificent life for yourself. Live it fully, and enjoy all you can. Love as fully as you can, and be easy on yourself.
Chapter 1 Introduction to the Sage Model
The Sage Model is a new description of how the mind works, complete with a map of the flow as the mind processes inputs. What makes the Sage Model special is this visual map and a new vocabulary, making it possible to follow the mind's processes step by step. The Sage Model enables you to follow the interaction of thoughts with feelings, and to see how feelings affect behaviors. If you choose, the Sage Model will make it possible to gain increased control over your mental processes and harness them to achieve your own personal goals. (There is a copy of the map at the end of Chapter 2.)
The Mind is Like a "Drunken Monkey"
An Eastern sage once said, "The mind is like a drunken monkey. If you seek peace of mind and inner harmony, you must gain mastery over it and train it to do your bidding." The mind has incredible power to perform extraordinary feats, but it can also cause havoc. If you're like most people, your mind does both. As you begin to understand how your mind works, you can direct it to get you what you want.
In this book you'll learn how your mind creates bad feelings. You can then decide when you'll choose to have bad feelings, and when you don't want them. Sometimes you may use them to shape your behavior in order to get what you want from your life. When you don't want bad feelings, however, you'll be able to exchange them for good ones. In other words, you'll gain control over your unwanted, bad feelings.
For most of us, our minds control us. We live in a constant turmoil of thoughts, ideas, reactions, and feelings. Sometimes we do what we want, and sometimes we do things we don't want to do. Sometimes we feel good about ourselves, and sometimes we feel terrible. Sometimes we can get our minds to concentrate on what we want, and sometimes we can't. Sometimes we say what we want, and sometimes we say things we wish we had never said. Sometimes we feel peace of mind, and sometimes we feel torn and pulled in different directions. As you begin to understand how your mind works, you'll have many more choices about what and how you think, about what and how you feel, and about what you do and say.
The Computer Metaphor
If you use a computer and you don't understand anything about computers you're limited in what you can get from your computer. Without knowledge of what's happening inside the computer, you can only get the computer to do what the software instructed it to do. That works well when the computer gives you everything you want from it. When you want something from the computer that it isn't giving you, or if the computer is giving you wrong things, or things you don't want, then you need to know something about the computer. As you gradually learn what's happening inside, and how to control it, you gain more power over the computer. You learn how to use it so you can get exactly what you want.
Your mind is like that. You don't really need to know how to program it from scratch. You only really need to know how to adjust the program you already have. When your mind is working the way you want, you leave it alone. When your mind isn't giving you what you want, you may want to be able to make changes.
The Black Box Metaphor
The term 'black box' originated in wartime when the allies discovered an enemy's piece of electronic equipment. The puzzle was to discover what it was and how it worked, without taking it apart. (They couldn't take it apart because it might be booby-trapped or it might be destroyed by taking it apart.) The process used was to feed it a variety of inputs, and observe the outputs. By doing this, it was possible to discover what the box did and how it operated.
The Sage Model was derived in a somewhat similar way. Like the black box, the mind cannot be dissected or taken apart. If you do that, it stops working. You have to feed it inputs and observe the outputs. In the case of the mind, we know that it operates within the brain. We know that the brain has three levels, and two sides. We know that it functions with electrical pulses; we know about synapses; we know an incredible number of things about how the brain works. But, none of that tells us about the mind and how it works. To know the mind, you must observe the inputs, observe the outputs, and deduce what goes on in between.
Fortunately, the mind itself can report on what it thinks is happening, making the mind a very helpful 'black box.' To make accurate reports, however, the mind needs a vocabulary to describe what is occurring and how.
The Sage Model provides an expanded, but still limited vocabulary. As you learn the vocabulary and use the Sage Model, you'll go another step toward learning about the processes of the mind. Continue with an overview of the map.
Chapter 2 The Map
A copy of the Map follows this chapter . Print it so that it is available to you as you go through the book.
Look at the Sage map carefully. Notice it has a number of sections, and that it describes a flow. You can follow the flow of an input (thought, picture, sound, smell, etc.) through the parts, through perception, through comparison, through feelings, through strategies, through persona, and see it come back out again as an output.
The map is not the mind. It is simply a map a graphic representation of the way that the mind works. The names given to the areas of the mind are just words used to describe and explain it; they are not real things. For example, in the map there is something called a Comparator. Obviously, there is nothing inside the brain called a Comparator. Yet, the mind does compare things. By giving the comparing function a name, and a place on our map, we gain the power to adjust, change, and manipulate the comparing function.
What Isn't on the Map
The map is static. That is, it stays still and doesn't move. However, there are two moving things that aren't shown on the map. The first is what is being processed the 'IT.' The other thing that moves all over the map is the 'conscious' mind.
'IT' That Which is Being Processed
The mind processes 'things.' It can process an idea, a concept, a belief, a statement, an experience, a picture, a sound, music, a taste, a smell, a person, a part of a person, an animal, a vegetable, a mineral, a memory, an imaginary creation, in short, anything that exists, can be remembered or imagined.
The mind processes one input at a time. It can process something, and reprocess it again several times in so short a span that the conscious mind may never be aware that something was processed.
Whatever is being processed becomes the 'IT' that is referred to by the terms 'The Way I Perceive IT,' or 'The Way IT Should Be,' which you'll learn more about later.
The Conscious Window to the Mind
Another part that isn't shown on the map is the 'conscious' mind. Many people think that the 'conscious' is the mind. The conscious mind is a very limited piece of mind. Think of it as a window through which you can see any other piece of the mind that you choose.
For example, imagine a banana. As you begin to think of a banana, you might get a picture inside your mind of a banana, or you may see some use for a banana, like a banana split, or you might see a banana tree growing with bunches of bananas.
Now, think of your left leg. Now think of a sailing ship. Now think of a monkey. Now think of your right ear. If you did as you were asked, you might have discovered several things about your conscious mind. Most likely, as you thought of your leg, the banana was pushed out of your mind. As you moved on to the sailing ship, the thought of your leg was pushed out, and so on. If you pictured those things, you experienced the limited capacity of the conscious mind. The conscious mind as opposed to your memory, for example can only store a limited number of things at a time.
Your conscious mind forgets things, gets distracted, can't stay on point in a discussion, and gets confused sometimes. It is also pretty slow. The rest of your mind is much faster, and so is your physical body.
Everything you learn in this book will be learned by the rest of your mind, by both the parts that you can be conscious of, and the parts you're unable to be conscious of. After you have learned what is in this book, your conscious mind can then access any part of whatever you decide to focus on.
If you're confused, don't worry about it. Just accept that your conscious mind isn't going to be able to understand itself very well. The rest of your mind will be curious about, and understand what you read here.
The Sage Model Map
Chapter 3 The Map: How the Mind Processes the 'IT'
This chapter takes a quick walk-through of the map. If something seems confusing, be at ease. You'll continue to learn more about it, later.
There are four major sections on the map: the Perceiving Section, the 'Dive,' the Feelings/Strategies Section, and the Personae Section. Each has components that help process the input. Let's take a look at the way the mind processes input.
Section I. Perceiving
Input: Reprocess, Senses, Constructor, Recollector
Notice the input area. You start with an input (IT) to process, whether from inside your mind by recollection or construction, or from outside via your senses.
You can get 'ITs' from the outside through your senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch). You can also imagine inputs in your Constructor. Or you can process inputs from your Storehouse of past experiences through your Recollector. In other words, you can sense them, invent them, or construct them. You can also Reprocess inputs that you've already processed before.
Parts: What Part Will Handle This Input?
Notice the area with the nine parts and the Lookfors (things you 'look for') and Wofors (things you 'watch out for'). These nine parts are the various parts of you that will handle the inputs that are processed. Each part is a sub-personality that you use when the situation calls for it.
Whatever way the 'IT' entered (reprocessing, sensing, constructing, or recollecting), one of your nine parts takes over to process the input. Usually, this is the part that is most interested in this input.
Four Elements of Perception
The elements of perception work on each input (the 'IT'), putting IT into a form which can be processed. You assign IT some importance, choose a time perspective, define IT in terms of scope and level, and the input is ready to process.
At this point you have created your perception of the input, which is named your TWIPI (The Way I Perceive It).
Section II. The 'Dive' To the Sub-conscious
Storage: Experiences, Beliefs, Rules, Learnings, Etc.
The input then 'dives' through your Storehouse of past experiences as you attempt to interpret it, find out what this input means to you, and to decide what to do with it or about it. The 'dive' drops off of the map and goes into your sub-conscious, through your Storehouse of past experiences. Your conscious mind no longer can follow its progress.
The storage area is a Storehouse of all your past experiences, as well as your beliefs, your rules for life, things you have learned, etc. Your genes, instincts, DNA, and hormones also play a role, mostly in your perceptions.
The Comparator: What Tests Do You Use?
Notice the Comparator. While the input was passing through your Storehouse of past experiences, it was being interpreted by comparing it to something stored there. Whatever was used to compare with the input is brought along and is now available to your conscious mind as what we call your 'TWISB,' or 'The Way It Should Be.' You may have brought up a belief, a rule, a judgment, a past learning, an expectation, or a want.
The Comparator (like a search engine) is where you compare the new input that you have processed as a perception (TWIPI), with whatever came out of your Storehouse of past experiences (TWISB). The Comparator will determine whether what you're now processing matches or doesn't match with what you want, believe, think, have learned, etc.
If a question comes up, it will turn it over to the question processor.
Questions: If 'IT' Was a Question, You Process the Question
If the input was a question, either from outside, or created from within, you use your Question Processing section.
If your Storehouse of experiences doesn't include an answer to a particular question (and you have given the question some importance), you'll feel curious. The curiosity creates a tension, which requires an answer to satisfy. You access your capacity to think, to invent, to match patterns, or anything else you need in order to come up with an answer. If you find a speculation that seems to answer the question, you'll resolve the tension and be able to proceed. If you don't, the curiosity will build, and you may find yourself frustrated.
Section III. Feelings and Strategies
Match or Mis-match?
The Feelings section illustrates that your assessment of the input produces either good or bad feelings. The feeling depends on whether your perception matched, or didn't match your assessment. A good feeling comes when the 'IT' which has been processed to become your TWIPI matches your TWISB. A mismatch is where your TWIPI didn't match your assessment of how things should be (TWISB).
If It's a Match, You Get a Good Feeling
If you got a match, you get a good feeling. If it's a little good feeling, you might call it satisfaction, or comfort. If it's bigger, you might call it feeling happy, or feeling good. If it is very strong, you might call it joy, or love, or ecstasy.
If It's a Mismatch, You Get a Bad Feeling
If your TWIPI doesn't match your TWISB, then you get a mismatch and a bad feeling. A bad feeling can be anything from a vague dissatisfaction, to a real heavy bad feeling like jealousy or envy or frustration or anger.
Strategies: How Will You Respond?
Notice the Strategies area. Strategies are various ways of acting in response to the inputs you have processed. Whether you have a good feeling or a bad feeling, you'll choose some way to respond. You have a wide set of choices, but they can be simply categorized as endorsement strategies, or fight/flight /negotiating strategies.
With a good feeling, you may choose to endorse (acknowledge, accept, or affirm). With a bad feeling, you may choose to fight (argue, demand, criticize, etc.). Or you may choose flight (withdraw, or ignore, or discount the input). Or, you may decide to negotiate with the outside world and ask for what you want.
Section IV. Personae
You choose one of your personae to use when you go outside in response to the inputs you have processed, but you first have to choose a persona to represent you.
If You Choose to go Outside, You Choose a Persona
If you're affirming a good feeling, you may smile, nod and say something affirming. If you're choosing a fight strategy, you might adopt a tight-faced, angry-looking, intimidating persona with which to respond to the world. Or, if you're choosing a withdrawal strategy, you might adopt a sulking persona.
If You Choose to Stay Inside, You Reprocess the Input
If your strategy for this input is to stay inside and reprocess or re-perceive, you simply stay inside and process the input again. Each time you reprocess the input, you can, if you choose, change any of the variables. You might pick a different part to handle the input, or choose to perceive it differently, or you may find something different in your Storehouse to compare it with.
Often, you'll reprocess an input one or more times. You have access to the input as what you perceive it to be (TWIPI). You also have the response that came up for you after your Comparator combed through your unconscious to see how to understand what this input means to you (TWISB). If the input impacted multiple parts, you may reprocess over and over until each part has had its say.
Now You Have the Big Picture
The next step is to take each piece, one at a time, and get an idea of what each does. What follows is still only an introduction to the Sage Model and the map. Go slowly enough to understand each piece, but dont worry about how it all works yet. Youll get much more detail on each piece later.
If you are creating problems for yourself in one piece of the Sage Model, you'll need to know more about that if you want to change it. For pieces that work well, you only need to know what they are and how they fit into the whole process.