THE COLUMN

Issues No. 45-46, October 28-November 4, 1995


WINDOWS

IVAN HOFFMAN

Windows 95, the newest computer software program operating system, is quite a powerful tool. It allows you to run several programs at the same time. You can start one program and then click on it to move it into the background while you work on another program. You can then click on that second program and move it into the background as well while you work on still a third or fourth program.

As you move each program into the background, it does not disappear but merely is minimized, reduced to a small icon that appears on the bottom of your screen to remind you that it is still on-going even if it is not a program to which you are currently paying much attention.

When you are done working and are getting ready to turn your computer off for the day, you are prompted to return to each of the programs you minimized which were running in the background and then are further prompted to decide if you want to turn each or any of them off. There are some programs that simply must be turned off, exited, before you are allowed to turn off your computer. When you finally exit each of the background programs, you are given a screen that says that it is now safe to turn off your computer.

Each of us, like Windows 95, has many programs that, during any given time of our life, we choose to minimize, move into the background of our life and reduce it to a mere icon as it were, appearing at the periphery of our life. We tend to forget that these reduced, minimized programs are even running until we are prompted by some life event to deal with them. We cannot let them run in the background forever.

These programs that we reduce in size, minimize, come in many different forms but they almost always fall into the "program group" known as childhood ideas. We start our life program and from the beginning formulate ideas about what the universe is all about and what we are in relationship to that universe. We make decisions about love, scarcity, abundance, parents, God and other fundamental notions and these stay with us for the balance of our lives unless we reach other notions that later change our earlier ideas.

How we feel about ourselves today is so much a product of how we felt about ourselves before.

But these childhood notions are not always apparent. They often are running in the background of our lives, the main program on our screen being whatever it is we are then working on. We may be working on a career or a relationship. We may be ending a marriage or figuring out what we believe about politics and social issues. We may be engaged in many "front screen" events but all the while, running in the background of our consciousness, are the programs we have tended to minimize.

Sometimes we may be able to pretend that the background programs are not there but they remain active. Indeed, they are so active that even if we want to ignore them, they influence to a large extent how we function on our main screen. These background programs, the ones that are based upon our childhood version of the world, overlay our main window and determine how we react to the current events of our lives. These programs determine how we look at love and relationships. They determine how we see the existence of God or the lack of the existence of God. They form the basis of whether we love ourselves enough to stop living out of fear.

In other words, although these programs remain in the background of our lives, they determine how we see and react to the program we are then running in the foreground.

These programs actually do not begin in our childhood for our childhood is merely a continuation of earlier childhoods and earlier lives. The programs that we have minimized are those programs, those ideas, those barriers to enlightenment that we have been given to overcome in each of our lifetimes. While they seem to be different programs on the surface: some may look like childhood abuse of one sort or another, others may look like inability to be prosperous in our material lives or the death of loved ones, and still others may look like debilitating illness or such, in truth all of the background programs are of the same origin.

And the origin of each of those programs is about lack of self-worth. In its broadest sense, the barriers we all face to becoming enlightened are categorized in the program group known as lack of self-worth. Enlightenment is living without fear and we cannot be enlightened if we do not exit from the fear-based programs of our lives that we have tried to put into the background. As long as they remain active, if minimized, we remain fearful and so unable to reach enlightenment.

And if the idea of enlightenment is too far reaching, perhaps the idea of living a life full of love and abundance, connected to God and your own heart is more what you are seeking. Same thing.

But we often are able to pretend we are ignoring those programs, even though we know, as we go through our main window that something is not right. We are not happy and not loving. We are not prosperous nor abundant. We look at political and social issues and complain that nothing is being done by others to solve the problems we all face.

We fail to recognize that when we are unable to resolve the problems we face in our current program, perhaps the programs running in the background, minimized by us to a small icon, are to blame.

We go on like this for much of our lives until we are ready to end our current session and then we are faced with the need to make some decisions about those programs. We end our current session when we are ready to move on, to reach another level of growth, to move downward on the path to enlightenment. We end our current session when we face the unhappiness and lack of self-love that our current session has produced.

But we must resolve all of the background programs first. Do we want to keep our background programs running or turn them off? We must answer the fundamental questions of how those programs got started in the first instance. How did we decide that the world was without love? How did we conclude that we were not worthy of joy and prosperity?

Until we resolve those background questions, we cannot safely turn off our computers.

©1995 Ivan Hoffman


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