The Two-Channels Model for Mindset Change

It can be tempting, when engaging in mindset-shifting, to dream of the day when your old mindset goes away forever. I think that that’s not the best target to aim for. It may happen eventually, but there’s often a long phase where both streams of thought coexist. Sometimes it’s even helpful to still have access to that old mindset, but in a kind of isolated way, where you can query it for its opinion but it doesn’t actually run your decisions. Knowing this is important, because otherwise you can think of old-mindset thoughts as failures.

What does this feel like on the inside? One model that my intentional community developed is the idea of there being multiple channels to your thought. So if you have a model of human experience that has steps something like this…

Stimulus → Perception → Interpretation → Feeling / Thought → Intention → Action

…then the channels model suggests that your brain generates multiple interpretations of a given perception in parallel, each of which can in turn generate distinct thoughts and feelings, which might tend you towards different kinds of action. Unless you’ve trained in this particular kind of mindfulness or phenomenological awareness, any particular experience will usually be primarily interpreted through one channel, yielding a dominant thought/feeling/intention/action that comes out of how that channel makes sense of things. I think the skill of pulling these apart is valuable.

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I'm Malcolm Ocean.

I'm trying to figure out how humans work so I can help make humanity work. More about me.

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