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Survival Code – Why Does It Matter?

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

This Survival Code articles are all related to ADD and are to inform you of a most important neurological substrate that can ruin your life or make it what you want.

These articles are to give you a full rounded picture of what the Survival Code means to you and what you can do about it.

The focus of this article is to describe better the effects of the Survival Code when it is activated.

Firstly if you have not read any previous articles in this line, I wish to explain a few things.

I am talking about the fusion of your genetic information that makes us who we are with your learned experiences that mould the nervous system into what it is today. This becomes the reference for our subconscious to recognise anything that could possibly hurt or threaten us.

We then do an interesting thing. We go into a primitive response (reaction really) called the Flight –Fight response. Now this would be fine if we were fighting off dinosaurs or ferocious beasts but these days our dinosaurs are bills or the rising prices of food etc.

If we cannot burn off the stress hormones produced by the Fight-Flight response it damages the immune system and associates an abnormal reaction to whatever we are focussing on at the time. If what we are focussed on is food and we have too many stress hormones in the blood stream we will develop a stress reaction to that food. This is called allergies.

If we are attempting to learn something new and the stress hormones are excessive we develop a stress reaction to the process of learning, this is called dyslexia.

I could continue with this list but it’s not the point of this article. The point is, while we are reacting to perceived threats that we cannot resolve in a natural, neurologically sound way, we develop dysfunction by association.

You may have heard the term, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” This refers to the process of association the nervous system uses to ‘Know’ something. It attaches one neurological event to another event and they become linked together. Perhaps forever, if the events are repeated often enough.

We respond to our own stress.

Yes, that’s right. We respond to our own stress reactions and will learn to do one of two things:

1. We will succumb to the association of the two new events and live them out in our lives.

(Usually because we are not aware of their existence).

2. We will learn to overcome the effects of this unholy alliance by developing skills to change their influence. (Still unaware yet subconsciously driven to develop these skills).

Let’s look at the first scenario.

This is easy to assess because it is purely what most people would call “Stress”. As in previous articles the word “Stress” is the wrong term. Actually we should be using the term ‘Challenge’ for the ‘thing’ stressing us. This starts out as an external stimulus but can develop into an internal response once turned into a habitual response. The term we should use for the reaction to the Challenge is “Distress”. This is our reaction to the ‘stress’ not something outside us that is doing damage.

It is this ‘Distress’ that causes all the harm.

If life was simple, we could finish this article here by saying, “If you could only short-cut the Distress Reaction, you could change your life!” And that would be true!

Life is far from simple, yet there are simple laws that govern what we do as humans. The laws that govern our neurological responses, which in turn govern how we learn, are clear and unchanging.

They say, that if you associate two opposing forces, the stronger force will eventually win in the neurological decision making process. In other words, the associations we practice become the stronger behaviours within us.

If we practice going into the ‘fight-flight response’, it will become a habit and then a major character trait that has pre-eminence in our behaviours.

Opposing forces create conflict when put together.

We see this conflict range from simple confusion and forgetfulness to violence, murder and even war.

Yes these would be stressful events but they are obvious. What’s not so obvious are the skills we learn and develop to overcome the ‘stresses. They are more subtle and not always recognised in the right context. They are the ‘Compensations” to unresolved stress reactions.

These compensations are indeed skills and are developed out of a need to survive. They are based on inherited qualities that our ancestors used and developed in their time, but not by choice.

If we dig deep into the construction of these ‘Compensations/Skills’ we find some interesting qualities.

I will use the example of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). This is not a disorder, it is a result of a series of compensations to unresolved stress reactions.

There are three symptoms the medical model uses to define ADD.

1 These people are easily distracted. Their attention is easily redirected and they find it difficult to finish any given task. They are starters but rarely finish anything.

2 They are highly impulsive, which means they give little if any warning of change.
This is quite disturbing for those around them.

3 They are classed as hyperactive. Too much energy that is seemingly out of control.

Unfortunately for these people their compensations take them into an inability to direct their neurological activities and therefore their behaviour reflects this multi-directionalism.

The skills the ADD person has developed, are all activities that are needed at the time of early growth to organise neurological input. Something happened to these people at a crucial time of change in their neurological development that changed the direction of that development.

They went into a distress state and it became associated with the most dominant activities at the time. These were, Curiosity and the need to change focus quickly (Distractible), Creating new options based on the events at hand (Impulsive) and finally the ability to Change the direction of their Energy (Hyperactive?).

I, for one, would love to have more Curiosity, Creativity and Energy, wouldn’t you?

Anyway the point again is that while people like this have the Distress State associated with other functions, these functions are going to be disturbed.

There are two directions available for anyone who has this kind of association happening.

1 They can learn to suppress the compensations with drugs or other forms of therapy.

2 Or, they can train their nervous system to use the talents they have and turn them into skills to rewire the associations and remove the conflict.

The second option would give them a much greater chance of redirecting their attention to the things that would help them organize internally.

OK. How do we train the nervous system to give up on its existing associations?


What you can do is use the very same process the subconscious used in the first place to make the ‘Unholy’ alliances and turn them into usable assets. That’s right! The fact that they are there in the first place means we can find them easily. They are typically stress reactions and easy to identify.

Once we find these nasty associations we can then retrain the nervous system to ADD (pardon the pun) new and better alternatives to what is there.

Luckily there is another law that governs the subconscious responses, which is, it will always do the best it can for you with what it has. Before we start this process it has little more than some wrong associations. After the training it will have the same wrong associations but with new additions to them.

There are always better alternatives to what exists within the associations already in your brain and nervous system. Once the better options have been experienced they can be used to reassociate with the existing ones and create new neurological pathways.

Then we have the talents we created to overcome the associations but now in a usable form.

Till next article stay well. Andrew

If you have any insights or comments to make please do, thanks.

Sunday, July 6th, 2008
The underlying cause of your Stress Anxiety and Depression

The Survival Code

How you can crack your Survival Code and save yourself a life of wasted time, energy and stress.

Most of your time is taken up consciously with everyday things which must get done. You are distracted constantly away from those things you are good at and the things that would change your life into the success you want it to be.

You are overrun with conscious input, most of which you’ll try to block out anyway. So your subconscious has the job of collecting all the other stuff you don’t want to know about consciously and process it into some usable form.

To do this your subconscious categorizes all the input you experience (even if you are not consciously aware of it) and attempts to use it where it can and store it where it can’t. It can be acting on information you are not consciously aware of. In fact, it does this most of the time.

The more you use the subconscious this way the more you invite its other activities to become stronger as well. You mostly do not know what they are either so; how much of your life is the way you consciously want it to be?

Pay attention! This is critical information for you to understand your life!!

There are some things you have to know about your subconscious!

· The subconscious runs most of what you do

· It pays close attention to what your genes are telling it

· It must survive and reproduce

· It always does the best it can to help you be better

· It can only use what it has, not what you wish it had

· If you don’t tell it what you want in the way it understands it will use what it has

· It is literal and tries to make everything simple

· It will take action before you even know there is a problem

The most important of these for our discussion now is that the subconscious must survive,
because it wants you to survive. You die, it dies.

For it to survive it has created what I call a ‘Survival Code’.

This is a mixture of genetic references and the learned behaviors you develop through your life events and experiences.

I can hear you say, “It’s good to survive isn’t it?”

And the answer is: “You have already survived! You can stop doing that now and do what your survival was preparing you for – Living!!!”

Too much of your life is spent on surviving at a subconscious level while life and the things you want slip away from you, without even noticing till it’s too late.

The Survival Code is like having two full-time jobs.

One is to survive and mobilize all the resources needed to make that survival successful, while at the same time you have a life to lead with its own demands and pressures. If you had two full-time jobs, you would be dead in a week. Yet in fact, we all have two jobs to do and some people will tell you they feel they have more than two.

The big challenge is that while we are doing survival, we cannot do many other things. The resources you use up doing survival are no longer available for the things you want in life.

Why is it a Code?

The subconscious has formed a ‘recipe’ of all the main components of the events that were threatening to you at some time in life. The more threatening the event, the more components of that event get put into your library of “Survival Facts”.

You have different ‘Facts’ you use to know when you are under threat. The problem is, you don’t know consciously which are survival facts and which are just memories. You could start remembering some event and end up getting really stressed from just remembering a threatening event. The event is not here and now but your subconscious starts to react to it as if it was real and now.

Your resources are mobilized to survive the threat via a genetic based reaction called the
Fight-Flight-Faint response. This is how you survive based on your own experience.
The command to survive is a standing (ongoing) order from the genes.

While you are doing Flight-Fight-Faint response you are preoccupied and cannot put 100% attention to what you want to be doing.

The Survival Code guarantees you will focus on survival regardless of anything else you are doing or want to do. Even this by itself is still something you can overcome, but when you make this genetic based survival response a Habit, you lose the game!

Everyone has a different code but they are all built the same way by the genes. The genetic information is at the base of the code so you need to rewrite the code in a way the subconscious thinks comes from the genes. We have some cools ways to do that.

It is a mixture of a genetic based reaction to threat and the information you have accumulated over time to build up your ‘Facts’ of survival.

Crack the code and you set yourself free.

You rewrite the code by changing your neurological reactions to stress while consciously directing your attention to ‘Changing the Facts’.

One of the assumptions you make about any fact,
is that that are real and unchangeable.

That, in neurological terms, is untrue. You can replace or associate new Facts with any life experience. It then becomes crucial for the change process to be accepted, that the way you make the new associations must be recognizable by the subconscious as a valid genetic process. You can do just that and I will show you how in this book.

The Facts are usually life events that you did not like or that were not good for your natural development. When a young baby is taken away from its mother, it will become more and more distressed until something tells it “You could die”. The response will become stronger over time and the code becomes stronger.

Meet your best friend - Your Nervous System.

Your Nervous System has connections to every part of who you are and can respond to any stimulus. It constantly monitors changes and is connected to systems that can be used to read those changes.

It can be used as a feedback tool to know when you are heading in the right direction with the change process and indicate when a change of action is needed. It’s like having a spy inside the subconscious that will tell information if you push the right button.

Using the Nervous System to monitor cracking the Survival Code, we have to also look at the Brain.
The brain is a mixture of Nervous System, Mind and Genetics all in one integrated package.

If someone gave you one hundred million neurons and said, “Here, go design a Brain.”

What would you do? You certainly could not reproduce what you use now and even scientists who make it their job to know how it works, still don’t understand everything it can do.
But the subconscious does!

The brain is made of various divisions that seem to compete for the ‘user rights’ to lots of different types of information. It is alive and not unlike a muscle, in that if you don’t use it, some of its functions are sacrificed so the activity you are practicing can become better.

The two sides of the brain have learned to develop certain functions different to each other. They attempt to coordinate as much as possible but when the Survival Code is activated only the left hemisphere initiates actions. Some parts of the brain are activated to help the survival take place while other parts are inhibited, either so they can’t interfere or it is not economical to have them running when survival seems more important.

There is a very specific action the brain takes when the Survival Code is activated. It firstly slows done your ‘Corpus Callosum’, the connecting bridge between the two hemispheres by changing the chemistry of the area. Secondly it shuts down other ‘unwanted’ activities and thirdly it preserves energy for the survival rather than thinking of planning.

Let’s face it. If you are about to be eaten by a dinosaur you don’t need the part required for future planning to take over and create a conversation with the animal to convince it that “maybe eating you isn’t such a good idea in the long term”.

A lot of blood is mobilized into the muscles of your body to fight or flight, while some parts of the brain remain empty other parts are needed to control the fight flight process.

Even though this is an ancient survival action it has been evolved to be the most efficient. So when you see the dinosaur you immediately activate your Survival Code which sets in place a series of neurological events that try to keep you alive.

Well it’s pretty easy to see how surviving a dinosaur could be necessary, but what about all the other things you need to survive?. Some are inherited because of the nature of the evolution of the survival mechanism, but most are collected experiences that you have been through and that your nervous system has learned about.

These learned ‘FACTS’ are stored in your ‘Survival Code’ and used to alert the Fight-Flight mechanism to activate. The code is unique to each individual and yet uses the same genetic responses to act out its primary need – survival.

What if there is a ‘Fact’ in your code that says “TAXATION”. Then anything you associate with taxation can start up the Survival Code and your subconscious immediately goes into survival mode. The dinosaur you could run from or fight but what do you do with a letter from the taxation dept. Do you fight it? Run from it? Pretend it’s not there (the modern version of ‘faint’). None of these options make the threat go away.

So now you have a survival mechanism in action but no way for it to be effective. Therefore less chance to turn it off again. Usually the survival mechanism will reset after a good fight or run and the hormones and blood changes that take place during the survival activity are put back ready to survive the next threat.

It could be worse!

Another thing to consider is that if the mechanism is not reset, it becomes a constant action that is never turned off. This means that you are on alert all the time for ANYTHING that may be associated with any type of threat.

Now the subconscious is constantly looking for what the threat may be because its Survival Code is still activated. Anything can now become the focus of the survival response. The effect of this is commonly seen as ‘stress’. Even just asking someone how they are today out of courtesy, may be met with an angry response.

Stress reactions are a signal that the Survival Code is active and needs to be reset.

Until its reset, you will continue to be stressed and reactive.

If allowed to continue, this situation can and will create more problems than need to be there.

The solution is inside you

The subconscious is so adaptable that you can use it to tell you what it needs via the nervous system. By using the systems connected to the Nervous System we have been able to find ways of associating new and better options to what your subconscious thinks it knows. Adding new information into the subconscious this way means you have control over what you rewrite and the process of how you do it ensures the subconscious sees it as important as the old ‘Code’.

That means you can reset the code and even better, rewrite its content so that no further stress reactions take place unless your life really is threatened.

By doing this, your brain can maintain many of the functions that would otherwise be turned off and use them to create new options to what before seemed like an impossible situation. These parts of the brain are needed to input new information into the Survival Code to eliminate unnecessary information that has found its way into the Code.

It’s like being able to do a spring clean of the subconscious so it can focus on what you want rather than on what you don’t want.


Andrew Verity

PS. Watch for solutions to retraining your Nervous System in Stress Relief Strategies Revealed book from