The following material is taken from “Phoenix Rising: The Freeing of Human Potential“.
In a quantum age, it is an invitation to consider our century-old practice of seeking physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing through the science of a fading era. It is less that this approach is incorrect and more that it is incomplete! It is perhaps to our own detriment that we fail to question whether the Emperor’s New Clothes need to be reconsidered. For a complete exploration of the ‘therapy’ model and its alternatives, please refer to the book.
What is it that we’re not seeing that is making it so difficult for us to live with vitality and grace and a sense of personal power? Why is it that in an age of technological marvels, we continue to get sicker and become more – not less – reliant on things outside of us, like chemicals (prescription and otherwise), to keep us functional? What is it that eludes our detection and allows for this on-going unfolding of pain and fear and, more often than not, despair?
Perhaps there is no such thing as illness. Perhaps those whom we’ve labeled as ‘ill’ in some way are really the canaries in the mines. For decades, they’ve been telling us that the environment is toxic and does not support life. And for decades, we’ve told them that they’re wrong; that their sensors are off; that the environment is just fine and that they should adjust their sensors; and that if in order to function in this environment they must turn their sensors off completely, so be it. It’s easier for us than the alternative – and that is to redirect attention from the canaries to the mines themselves. That requires a totally different set of skills and is far more impressive in its implications. That could also change the world.
What is a Human Being?
One of the most powerful things that all my training and experiences have taught me is a simple truth: all meaning is context dependent. Not just sometimes but always. Not just in some things but in all things. Such is the power of context. Change the context and you change the meaning of your experience. For example, if I’m walking naked along the beach on the French Riviera, no one is going to pay much attention. However, if I’m walking naked down the center of Hometown, North America, it’s likely that someone will take notice. And, more likely than not, that someone will take offense! One context has rules and expectations and interpretations that make a behavior appropriate. The other context has different rules and expectations and interpretations that make the same behavior at least curious if not offensive.
The power of this simple truth can change the world. Not just my private world but the world in which you and I come together. Locally and globally. In our homes, at work and in our communities.
Because of the power that context carries, our context for defining what a human being is will determine how we interpret and subsequently behave with human beings. Change our context for – or definition of – a human being and instantly, without great effort and study and will power and determination and struggle and rigor, we change what we consider to be appropriate and useful. It’s that easy and it happens that fast.
Our context for what a human being is has been historically shaped and molded by the scientific medical model which is an interpretation based in Newtonian physics. We are led to believe that a human being is a thing (like a car) that has body parts (like an engine, wheels, frame, etc.) and that these parts interact in predictable ways, allowing us to predict the performance of the car. This is the model that for over 100 years has driven our expectations and our conclusions about the car and its performance. Setting performance standards and measuring your performance and mine against that standard. When we don’t perform according to the standard, we don’t question the standard, we ask what’s wrong with the car.
There is much that has been written by far more polished minds than my own on the marvels of the Quantum biological being. People like Deepak Chopra, Candace Pert, Valerie Hunt, Ernest Rossi and others in this field have given us huge volumes of information that allow us to at least – if nothing more – consider the possibility that we are not the mechanistic beings that we have for so long thought ourselves to be. Suffice to say that the material exists and you can easily find it in your local library. (For a current list of suggested reading, please visit the WEL-Systems Institute website at www.WEL-Systems.com/readings.htm.)
The ‘New Science’ has begun to infiltrate everything that we do. It’s implications for technology and the marvels that this technology offers us, are already legion. Miracles of machinery that make your life and mine move more easily and quickly. We can do things – more things! – faster and with less attention than ever before. We’ve taken the teachings of this New Science, applied them to technology and the business community has become global and instant. We’ve taken this New Science and begun to apply at least its mechanics to instruments for diagnostics and treatment and have accelerated what has become possible for us in treating illness. We’ve taken the principles of this New Science and have begun to consider its implications in the field of health and healing, amongst others, and the potential that it holds for, at best, staying well and at worst, healing.
But the one place where we continue to overlook the power of this New Science – with science being the most easily accepted and popularly worshipped god of the culture – is in its applications to human behavior. There is much of this New Science that addresses the notions of living systems and offers us a blueprint for engaging and intervening in these living systems. Even though you and I are living biological systems, we continue to use the technology and the diagnostics of the New Science and apply them in a way that evokes the ever-present beliefs – or context – of mechanistic human responses. What’s wrong with this picture? Personally, I’m tired of watching people die. If not in body then in Spirit and mind, robbed of a zest for life and a capacity to delight in their own existence and that of those they touch. Such a senseless waste of human potential. No wonder we are a culture in deep despair. There has to be another way.
The Therapy Model
This very old and, I believe, very dated worldview of what a human being is has spawned what I will refer to as The Therapy Model. Like any theoretical model, it is just that – a two dimensional expression of something untouchable – a thought – that has repercussions that cut much deeper into the human experience. As with any model, my invitation to you is to allow yourself to move through it and assess it against your own experience. Were I to offer one caution, it would be to allow your experience to override the model.
The Therapy Model has formed the context from which we have perceived, assessed and interpreted human behavior and subsequently, molded and shaped a response. This model has been the standard that defines what a human being is and, more powerfully, what a human being should be and is capable of becoming. Having spent years in this model as a client, and having spent almost as many years moving through another world view, my experience tells me that not only is the therapy model no longer relevant, or even scientifically accurate, it may actually be killing us.
There is no magic to the therapy model. Like any other interpretations, it is an idea; a construct of the human mind; an opinion that was formed long ago before we knew what we know now, and it has simply become habit. The nature of a habit is that it becomes transparent to its owner. This habituated way of looking at human beings has become transparent to us and one that we never think to question. It never occurs to us that the therapy model or the psychology that it gave birth to are just that – opinions. We consider it truth. My belief is that as we bring this model into conscious awareness and subject it to the scrutiny of the inquiring mind, we begin to notice that the Emperor has no clothes. As its structure begins to fall away, so do the limitations on human potential. Perhaps here, more than anywhere else, the truth will indeed set you free!
Truth is an amazingly fluid thing. Anything that you read – including this – is someone’s opinion based on their experience and nothing more. Given that we’re all making it up, all the time, it seems to me that we might as well make it up so that it works for us instead of against us!
Characteristics of the Therapy Model
Much of what we would classify under the therapy model is also based in a Darwinian worldview (which, by the way, was never proven but only repeated as habituated thought over a period of time. What had been a notion became ‘absolute truth’ by virtue of mindless repetition and habit.). Its basis is in the notion of survival of the fittest, meaning that there is a standard to which we must aspire and if we don’t meet it, our inevitable end is death. This, by extension, assumes that there is a standard to which all human beings must aspire in order to, at best, be able to win; at least, be able to survive; and somewhere in the middle, be able to function and get through the day. If we can identify this standard, and we can cause people to measure up to it, then we will have productive members of society. This arbitrarily defined external standard for being an effective human being is critical to this model. Following is a sampling of these characteristics, which include:
- Defers to an external standard, or norm, that reflects the position of the collective (culture). This invites abdication from individual responses to adherence to the collective worldview. It also invites movement to the lowest common denominator and encourages pack thinking.
- Individual responses are assessed against the accepted external standard for a ‘normal’, productive human being, with the intention being to mold these individual responses to reflect the norm, within an acceptable range.
- Seeks control. The idea is that if you can understand and describe through analysis and story telling, you can then control your responses; override the mechanism of the body and defer to the external standard of the collective. Control allows for a sense of stability through predictability.
- Focused on the past. Looks back on an experience/event and tells the story of it, often over and over again. Requires that your attention be directed to an exploration of history.
- This model is a tool for molding and shaping responses to meet the requirements of the collective. It is designed to support expression of the individual within the constraints of the collective. It is not designed to invite expression of the individual in such a way that will lead to reshaping of the collective.
These and others serve to create a box within which we seek to find that which is ‘normal’. The problem far too often is that we don’t just look into the box for guidance and direction, we crawl into the box and come to think of it as life! Our world then becomes shaped by the limitations that are inherent to the shape and size and texture of the box, itself. It is not large enough to allow us to evolve!
I am reminded of the story of Christopher Columbus who, so very long ago, proffered a change in worldview that altered the way we live. Change perception and everything else changes all by itself: the things we are willing to do and those we are not willing to do; the places we go; the people we spend time with; the words that come out of our mouths; the systems we support; the very world in which we live and call, with such great certainty, “reality”.
The idea that the world was flat was a perception. Until that perception changed, people did not venture forth. To venture out of the harbor and toward the horizon was an act that would lead to certain death. With this worldview intact, what was left was fussing over what color sails to use in the harbor; and how to design a bigger/better/faster boat – to move through the harbor. There were still things to occupy our attention – and the adventure was small.
Once that perception changed, the world expanded: ships sailed; commerce exploded; cultures migrated; and the world was no longer the same, or ever capable of being the same again, given what we now perceived and ‘knew’. And all of this was preceded by a simple shift in perspective which created the context within which the new order unfolded.
Perhaps the therapy model is a belief in a flat world. Perhaps there really is nothing to fear in venturing toward the horizons that beckon; moving into those internal landscapes that ebb and flow and frequently make it impossible for us not to notice the raging storms. Perhaps it’s time for us to consider the shape of the world itself, rather than continue to blindly hold to the perspective, or context, or view that the world is any one particular thing. Like many who lived in the time of Chris Columbus, they never even pondered the question. It was so much a part of who they were, they never even considered that there was a question to be pondered. It’s just the way it was. It was their truth. It was a ‘truth’ that had become invisible to them – like breathing in and breathing out – and one that kept them in bondage.
Beyond the Therapy Model: What Awaits?
The science that you and I learned in school has changed significantly. There is much already in print that you can explore that will invite you to reconsider the very essence of who you are. For now, consider the work of Dr. Candace Pert who offers up great clarity in the understanding of what an ’emotion’ really is in her work Molecules of Emotion (highly recommended). Dr. Valerie Hunt invites you to step into a much more expansive world in her book Infinite Mind: The Vibrations of Human Consciousness. The many wonderful and varied works of Dr. Deepak Chopra will give you hours and hours of informative, exciting and revitalizing reading as you come to better understand who we have discovered ourselves to be today that defies the science of yesterday.
Dr. Ernest Rossi (M.D. and hypnotherapist) will press the edges of your understanding of what’s possible in the world of medical healing in his book The Psychobiology of Mind-Body Healing, as will Michael Talbot in his book The Holographic Universe. In our awareness of the quantum age, and all that it touches and shapes, why would we think that our expression as human beings – as living biological systems – is exempt from this tsunami of growth and expansion? We are not the puny, fragile, limited beings that we’ve been taught to believe we are. We need not be afraid of harming ourselves or others and deny ourselves the journey of our own unfolding. We are not innately ignorant, dangerous or malevolent. We are not, by our very nature, children in need of a firm hand. We are much, much more.
We are innately brilliant and generous and contributory. Creating is our essence – and we are doing it all the time, whether we think we are or whether we think we aren’t! It is who we are and we are unable to escape its power. We are magical – in every sense of the word – and guided by the strength and wisdom of a powerful and benign presence. When we can reclaim the magnificence of our own imperfection and once again, come to know it as the invitation to greatness that it is, we will have found the way home.