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Box As A Defense Strategy
As soon as Possibility Management distinguished Box and Being it became clear that not all Boxes are created equal. In fact, each Box is unique. However, while delivering initiatory processes we kept seeing defense strategies repeated. Soon we could classify them into 18 standard Box designs.
This list is not intended to be systematic or all inclusive. Its value comes from recognizing which defense strategies your own Box uses, and distinguishing in both your friends and enemies characteristics of their Box to differentiate it from their Being.
The 18 Boxes are very ordinary and all very human. No survival strategy is better or worse than any of the others because the most you can get out of using a survival strategy is survival. Human beings are designed to live. There is a world of difference between surviving and living.
In terms of classifying Boxes we have noticed that Boxes generally fall into 1 of 4 categories easily defined with terminology originated by Eric Berne. These categories describe your Box’s regard for itself and others:
These 4 strategies are, of course, stories, originated in childhood as your best attempt at survival. If you are reading this book, your childhood survival strategy worked just fine. It was not stupid or wrong. In fact, figuring out a way to survive your childhood is noble. However, your circumstances are different now. You are not a child any longer. You have learned many new things, and the stories that once protected you have now become your prison. Engaging authentic adulthood initiatory processes can get you out of that prison. When you gain some freedom of movement between you Being and your Box you can consciously take over the storymaking and actively direct it to serve the purposes of your Pearl, your Bright Principles, and your Archetypal Lineage.
We have also often observed that each Box holds in reserve two primary defense tactics that we have come to refer to as 'Channel 1' and 'Channel 2'.
If Channel 1 does not succeed then you suddenly shift and try Channel 2.
Often the tactics seem like opposites. For example, perhaps your Channel 1 is to react with anger and aggressively attack your attacker with blame, resentment, and really good reasons. If that does not seem to cause the problem to cease and desist, drop it completely and try Channel 2 which may be to sob in helpless grief that nobody loves you, you are all alone, you try so hard and nobody sees the efforts you make.
The point is that consciousness creates freedom. As you become more and more aware of exactly how your Box defends itself and how your Box interacts with other Boxes then you gain a greater chance of being able to consciously choose to behave in ways not originating from your Box’s defense strategy. By expanding your Box, what was once an imperative can become optional.
The 18 Standard Box Designs are applied either in their pure form, or hybridized, with two or more strategies blended in various proportions. Which sort of Box have you built?
18 Standard Box Designs
GOOD BOY/NICE GIRL
Your highest purpose is to be recognized as being right and good. You prefer invisibility to having to compete to be the best. You are careful that your actions are justifiable and you often rehearse your explanations in your mind. You are often a victim of being responsible, a “responsible-victim.” You squirm in painful and not-very-hidden resentment from the cost of having to be good rather than being yourself.
GANGSTER, BLACK-WIDOW SPIDER WOMAN
You either own others or you kill them. You trust no one. Sex was used on you, so you use sex to manipulate, control, and destroy others. You pride yourself in breaking the law as if that were an expression of freedom. Your legendary badness keeps you safe. You feel glad when you feel pain because the pain is familiar. Power is the only game in town. When you are done using a victim you fling him away like a dry booger. You fill your emptiness with sourceless rage and incessant cynicism.
You appear non-threatening because you are not really here. You cannot be responsible because you keep leaving your body. You avoid nourishing yourself. You mix terror and sadness to feel isolated. You call it 'cool' but it is actually despair. You use the threat of suicide as a weapon to keep people away because otherwise they might leave you. You win by proving to others that you cannot care for them, acting as if nothing matters to you, when actually, everything matters to you.
You are captain of verbal-reality living in logic hell. You pride yourself in arguing over every little thing until the others surrender to you being right. You use reasons as a protection shield from life and conclude that you have found the one right way. You cannot be touched. You talk so as not to feel. You are a legend in your own mind.
You crawl into a position-based belief system and cling desperately because it is too scary to be in life without the shielding of having the 'correct beliefs'. Your righteousness helps you avoid the pain of being so alone. You use 'flexi-speak', talk in circles, and conveniently forget details of what you say. You are okay being neurotic or crazy because having any of your beliefs proved wrong equates to being killed.
You mix anger with fear. You defend yourself by attacking everything, especially the opposite sex. You pretend to be borderline. This frazzles people’s nerves so you are safe. You are too erratic to be dangerous. You don’t understand why everyone doesn’t love you and put you in charge, because you can see so many dangers, and when you are not crazy you are a 'really nice person'.
You are a master at spinning an airtight victim story. You can make a persecutor out of anyone. You hate whoever offers to rescue you, because if they succeed you need to invent a new victim story. You produce excuses instead of results. You blame others to avoid taking responsibility yourself. You must be involved in a grandiose low-drama or you do not have an identity. You are so sad.
You cannot stop joking, and do not notice how your jokes kill intimacy. You joke so as to avoid your deep secret insecurity. You whistle and hum while you work, keeping things superficial so everyone likes you. You cannot be responsible because nothing in the world is serious. You have given up because life is a joke. You live in desperate melancholy but smother it with funny comments so people think you are as happy as you are supposed to be. You mix sadness with nostalgic joy to feel sentimental, but your heart is broken.
You can act weirder and tell sicker stories than anyone. You repel others with piercings, tattoos, or dirty clothes to remain safe as the mysterious outsider, the artist, the science fiction buff, the techie. You are too strange to be a threat. You know all the trivia and recite it to get status in your own private circle of friends. You long for recognition from regular people but you hate their boring stupidity. You are angry enough but not responsible enough to be a gameworld builder.
You perceive and speak in the touchy-feely language of psychobabble. You are a workshop junkie. You exclude yourself from normal life and must avoid responsibility because you see things from a politically or cosmically 'correct' perspective and others do not get it. You over-express with sexual innuendo so everyone sees that you are free but you take no leadership actions because God is handling everything. You are angry that the world does not honor and join your enlightened state.
You reject your own dignity, then mix sadness and anger to feel depressed that your dignity is missing. You stay behind when others go off to have fun, playing weak so people forget about you, but you betray anyone who does trust you with stupid mistakes in order to get their negative attention so you are never forgotten. You starve your own possibilities in order to take revenge on your parents by proving to the world that your parents made you into an unhappy failure.
You feel everyone else’s feelings because you can set no boundaries. You give your center away and stay so adaptive that you are almost invisible. Your highest priority is to keep the peace. You feel most safe by being an emotional and sexual garbage can. Your personal life is minimized and you believe your own brilliant justifications for this, being afraid that the worst thing that ever happened to you will happen again if you show up. You live in secret rage which sporadically explodes and accidentally destroys people.
You do not answer questions directly, or you answer a different question than was asked. If someone gets too close to you, you put out sleep waves and confuse them too. You live with repressed rage that comes out sideways and hurts people. You don’t stand in your own clarity about what you are and what you want for fear of being killed, again. By being confused you entangle others in trying to rescue you and you call this intimacy. You have no real relationships.
RICH AND BEAUTIFUL (WINNER)
You do not have to listen or connect to anyone because you are a superior Being. Appearance is everything. You do not participate or take risks because if you made a mistake you might lose status. Losing status equals death. You are hollow and lonely because of your shallow connections to people. At least you look good. You dare not acknowledge your emptiness or your façade will crumble and everyone will see you do not know who you are.
You live a secret life. You tell lies and do not know it. You look nice on the outside and hide secrets on the inside. You experience shame and self-loathing. You feel most alive when you mix joy with fear and take risky gambles. You arrange your lives so that you are naïve and get repeatedly betrayed. This justifies your continued distrust of the world and your sneaking.
You are too tough to care. You cannot tolerate being unnoticed. You demand front-stage territory but cannot hold the responsibility. You surround yourself with followers. You are terrified because if you cannot be the hero you are worthless. Then you sulk, go away cursing, and plot new ways to get power.
If anyone touches you they will die. You have a very short fuse. You threaten to blast them with unholy rage if you do not get your way. You lead with a loud mouth although your promises are worthless. You only make promises to stay safely in control, and then break your promises to create a distraction that keeps them angry at you because you cannot have friends. Your heart is caged in barbed wire.
You are always looking for a new identity and will enmesh with people just to try their identity on. You are too self-involved to be threatening. You are sexually ambiguous or homosexual and that keeps uncool people away. You are always looking for the next thing and use Low Drama to terminate anything normal or balanced. You constantly seek approval from others.
by Malvina Reynolds
Expanding the Box
Expanding your Box means to acquire real behavior possibilities that were not available before. Two methods have been discovered to effectively expand the Box, a push method and a pull method. The push method comes from Werner Heisenberg. The pull method comes from Santa Claus.
The two methods of Box expansion, pushing and pulling, used simultaneously, open previously unseen doors and provide ways for us to take actions in new directions. We enter a natural process of individuation away from the collective unconscious. By expanding our Box we start unfolding into our vast potential as adult men and women for creating an extraordinary life and profound intimacy with our partners.
Werner Heisenberg (died 1976) was a world-class scientist who formulated many of the original mathematical models for quantum physics. The push method derives from what has come to be known as “The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal.” In layman’s terminology, Heisenberg’s principal says that details of a situation cannot be known without interfering in the situation. In other words, the closer we look at something the more we change it. This is a terrible consequence in quantum physics, but is fantastic for expanding the Box. The closer you investigate the structure, purpose and methodology of your Box, the more it unfolds into an expanding fluidity founded in clarity, love, possibility and evolution.
Santa Claus (still living) is a world-class sorcerer who delivers enticingly wrapped “gifts of unknown things” (to borrow the title of a great eye-opening book on cultural anthropology written by Lyall Watson) to “good” people on an especially auspicious occasion. The unanswerable mystery of unwrapped packages is so enticing that we are moved to take risky actions to reveal the mystery of what is inside the package. Gifts of new tools and techniques for creating extraordinary experience in relationship are too irresistible not to unwrap. The catch is that, as soon as we try to use the new tools our Box expands.
Experiments To Try