This is not my idea, it's an NLP model. I can't recall who or where I got it from, and I couldn't find it on a quick google search, so here it is. If you know where I can link to this online somewhere please let me know.
This is sort of a set of levels, each "meta" to the one below it, that you can find in human psychology. It's a model, not a theory, so apply it or not as useful. I follow the originators of NLP in refusing to assign a "truthiness" to the concept(s).
The human being can be modeled as having the following levels. Read from the bottom, most concrete, to the upper, most essential, levels to find the path to God, read down to know Dharma.
- Mission - What are you here on Earth to do? When accessed even atheists speak in trans-personal "more important than myself" language.
- Identity - Often considered the "top" level, this is your face, and the internal feelings and chronic tensions of it. It's also your immune system and other homeostatic processes. Mentally it's whatever you say "I am ..." to.
- Values - These are your, uh, values. They're usually thought of in timeless terms, existing in a non-temporal realm even though in your life they are subject to change.
- Beliefs - Mental/emotional structures in the tissues of the whole body that process and organize sensory input and history to synthesize one's ongoing "story".
- Capabilities - Basically time-sequences of behavior organized by your beliefs. You can use NLP techniques to "extract" capabilities and "install" them in others. You can also "extract" behavior-sequences from anyone you can represent internally, whether from memory or creative imagination.
What this indicates is that anything you've ever seen (or heard or felt!) done by anyone real or imaginary, forms a sort of "library" repertoire of stuff you can do too.
- Behaviors - The stuff that can be described by physics, what your body is doing right now. Mostly done entirely unconsciously.
Each level guides the level "below" it, regulating it cybernetically to keep it within the "settings" the level specifies. Your values condition and bias your beliefs. Your capabilities are by definition the set of behaviors you you can perform, etc...
Some notes on Beliefs:
- Can be "switched" at will using techniques developed in the 70's and 80's. Put baldly: you can change your own beliefs at will using off the shelf technology. It's not even hard.
- Are always false, no matter how much you belive them. They are neurological energy and information structures in your tissues, not truth.
- You can exist with far fewer than you probably have. Doing so conserves energy. You can even exist in the absence of all belief, but it's kinda dangerous because you tend to just sit there and starve to death. However, the point is that you are not destroyed by the destruction or reprogramming of any belief or constellation of beliefs.
- Beliefs will be congruent with "higher" levels, and they constrain your capabilities. You can't do what you believe you can't, and the converse is also true.