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Paradigm violations, or “101 reasons why this can’t be true”
Dec 6, 1999
First of all, lets describe what our Institute's Peak States paradigm is:
Defining 'peak states of consciousness':
- A `peak experience' can be had continuously. It is then called a `peak state'.
- There are quite a number of very different peak states of consciousness.
- Different peak states give one different sensations or feelings whose intensity depend on the degree of the state.
- You can and should have more than one peak state fully and simultaneously. (Some peak states, when experienced simultaneously, have new synergistic characteristics.)
- Peak states are not something you have to work toward achieving, like getting an advanced degree or some sort of prize for leading a virtuous life. Instead, they're your natural state.
- You can (and should) have peak states continuously from birth.
- With some exceptions (the triune brain states for example), peak states are not hierarchical.
The implications of having peak states:
- Having peak states is a condition of normal health. Average consciousness without peak states is a condition of ill-health.
- You can have peak states but not realize you have them - but you do generally wonder what's wrong with most people!
- Even though you may be in a peak state, you need to learn how to use all its qualities effectively.
- Any given peak state doesn't make you perfect. Other people don't necessarily notice that you are in a peak state. You still have areas of dysfunction, until a condition is achieved with no more trauma of any type.
The relationship between trauma and peak states:
- Peak states are acquired as the egg, sperm, zygote, and fetus grow complex enough to incorporate them.
- You have already had most and probably all peak states in utero - you've just forgotten.
- Most people lose some or all of their peak states at birth when pre- and perinatal trauma becomes activated.
- Trauma (or indirect mechanisms that have their basis in trauma) can block peak states.
- Only particular key developmental events and other, related traumas block peak states.
- Anyone can have peak states permanently; it's just a matter of eliminating the correct type of trauma.
- Any effective trauma healing technique can be used to get peak states, once you know what to heal.
- Some people can have a peak state without having healed anything.
- Even correctly healing the underlying problems does not always keep you continuously in peak states. Your remaining problems may kick you out of states temporarily while they're being stimulated by the internal or external environment.
- Many peak experiences can be turned into peak states by healing relevant traumas.
Creating valid models in this field:
- All the data in biology, psychology, and spiritual/shamanic experience has to tie together perfectly. Everything must be explainable from one underlying model. We believe our `developmental events model' does this.
- The scientific method applies perfectly to this problem. Hypothesis, experimentation, modeling, verification, prediction, and reality checking are required.
- A variety of methods to get peak states exist - our Institute's approach is but one of several very successful ways to restore peak states, each with their own tradeoffs.
Now, we’ve found that even after we’ve made these breakthroughs and demonstrated them, people still refuse to accept our work. Here are some of the reasons we’ve recorded so far:
1. "If this peak state stuff was real, everybody would know about it. I would have heard about it..."
We’re a new startup organization. For example, Hewlett Packard or Apple Computer started on a shoestring, and it took years for them to grow and have their state of the art products become known.
All of well known journals have rejected our work for publication, sometimes with a great deal of hostility. The triune brain model which is a major part of our work is at odds with all the prevailing models, and peer review journals are designed to reject any submission that is not in agreement with the current paradigm.
Even organization doing consciousness work has also had the same reaction. However, I would like to give acknowledgment to Kate Sorensen of the Energy Psychology Conferences, Ruth Inga Heinz of the International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternate Modes of Healing, Mary Lynn and Mickel Adzema of the Primal Institute, Suzanne and Chant Thomas of Trillium Community, and Art Johnson of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology for all helping to get our work out and available to the public.
I’d also like to acknowledge the following paradigm pioneers (who are not associated with this Institute): Joseph Chilton Pierce, Dr. Harville Hendrix, Dr. Andrew Terker, and most importantly Dr. Paul MacLean. Their work in the area of the Triune Brain model is slowly helping to change the current paradigm.
2. "What you talk about can’t be real, because doctors and psychologists have never heard about healing like you describe."
Not so! This is one of the most amazing things about paradigms, the inability to see what is right in front of you. The medical profession, every single member, is quite aware that this type of healing is not only possible but occurs in an average of a THIRD of the population! But because the medical model says this is impossible, they label this phenomena ‘the placebo effect’, and then completely ignore it. In common usage, doctors and patients use the word placebo to mean something that is not real or is false. Yet, doctors and pharmacy companies know that a third of the time they can give their patients a sugar pill and the problem goes away. These patients don’t just think they’re better, they really physically get well. In fact, doctors and drug companies spend a tremendous amount of time and effort to find out if their product or surgical procedure is any better than a sugar pill, and most of the time it is not.
Yet, until very recently this stunning phenomena was completely ignored by the professionals. Unbelievable. From an engineering perspective, you’re supposed to START by understanding and using the easiest, least harmful, and most effective cure. An MD who recently contacted us said that when she was in medical school, they spoke about this phenomenon and she immediately wondered why something so amazing was having absolutely no research done on it. In recent years, some brave individuals have started looking at this, and give it a very scientific label called psycho-neuro-immunology.
Psychologists have a similar blindness. A variety of amazingly fast, easy and effective therapies cure a variety of emotional and physical complaints, and these processes in some cases have been around for several decades. These therapies as a group are called power therapies, with a sub group called energy therapies. Conventional techniques should be considered malpractice in comparison, yet as of this writing I do not know of a single psychology school that teaches any of these therapies! Part of the problem is that they work too well, and conventionally trained psychologists scoff at the claims of the effectiveness of these treatments. They’re actually too good to be believed, because the paradigm these professionals have been trained in says it’s impossible. So they ignore them, and worse yet refuse to try them. I’ve even see these people watch it work on other people in front of their eyes and yet they still refuse to believe it. It’s amazing, this paradigm effect.
3. "If it’s real, you’d be rich. Deepak Chopra’s seven laws of spiritual success say so."
We’ve put every cent we had into this work for many years, and we continue to do so. When you were in college, learning your trade, were you rich? Was it because you were not spiritually evolved enough? Of course not.
4. "If this were real, and you could move into those states of consciousness, you’d vanish from the earth, like the Course in Miracles says."
Most of these states you’ve already had in the womb, and you didn’t vanish from your mother’s belly. And it looks like we only truly start our life’s purposes AFTER we’ve achieved these states!
5. "People have come to earth to suffer to learn a lesson. Even if you could put them in a painless, effortless peaceful state it would be wrong."
We have not found any evidence that people are here to learn a painful lesson, or actually any lesson in the conventional sense. The only thing we’ve found is sheer ignorance in how to help themselves as the root problem.
However, and to our great surprise, we did find that people do have a life’s purpose. We accidental came up with a neat little technique to find out what it is, and it works for maybe half the people we tried it on. Interestingly, people’s life purpose is often something that they’re afraid of, which was certainly true for several of us.
6. "After reading your paper, it is too head oriented and doesn’t have any heart. So I’ll stay with my Bakti meditations."
This response baffles me. Our work is about love and compassion, but like any worthwhile endeavor, more than love is required. Mother Teresa loved the people she helped, but she also had practical skills in actually, physically helping them. Our work is the same. Fortunately, as we continue to develop our products, the processes get simpler. A bit like being able to throw a light switch without knowing how to design light bulbs, generators, mine copper, and so on.
7. "I’ve read your free paper, or taken one of your inexpensive workshops, but I haven’t used your process much. Instead, I’m really excited about this new training I just took for $10,000."
The ‘western’ culture has such a deep belief that value and financial cost are tied together that even knowing that this is not true does not change almost anyone’s behavior.
8. "Buried in your papers are concepts and phrases like Gaia, past lives, chakras, etc. I don’t recognize them, or I do recognize them as being used by the lunatic fringe groups like (take your pick). So your work must be untrue and crazy."
This is the heart of a paradigm shift. A paradigm tells you how to live life and solve problems, and it also tells you what to ignore as being irrelevant or false. This works fine as long as it solves the problems adequately. A new paradigm comes into being when the old one fails to be able to be able to solve a problem, or fails to allow you to respond successfully to changing external conditions. Thus, we get examples like the Swiss watch makers who actually invented the battery operated watch, but it didn’t fit their paradigm of a watch being a mechanical device. Only ten years later the whole Swiss watch industry was virtually eliminated by the Japanese and US semiconductor firms who didn’t share their paradigm.
However, when you’re in a paradigm it’s almost impossible to tell, as it feels true. So I recommend doing what we did. To give it visual impact, let me paint a word picture. Imagine that you’ve gone to the South American jungle because there is reports of cures of an incurable disease by native shaman. You go there and sure enough, people are getting cured, something in your heart you believed was impossible. This is the first paradigm conflict. After you recover from that, you watch what he does. You pick out the parts, like the awful smelling concoction, and since your paradigm says drugs cure things, you find out how it’s made and try it out. If it works, fine, it matched your paradigm and you continue on your way. If it doesn’t, then you’re in another paradigm conflict. You look at what else he’s doing, and you notice that he chants a lot. So in desperation, you try that violation of your paradigm, and amazingly it works. After you get over that, you eventually discover a totally unknown phenomenon that you label ‘hypnosis’, and find that the concoction only relaxed the patient. I’m obviously making up this example, but in the 1800’s hypnosis was outside of the current paradigm, and I’m sure it bothered people then just as much as paradigm violations bother people now. Notice too that the explorer didn’t have to give up his whole paradigm, just the parts that were blocking his ability to see what was really going on. The Swiss who lost their jobs didn’t have to give up the parts of their paradigm that told them how to eat, go to work, pay their bills - just the part that said that the best way to make watches was with machinery.
So, I recommend approaching our work like we did. We’re a bunch of hard core skeptics, but we were willing to look at anything if it moved in the direction of solving the peak states problem. The bottom line is, does it work? Anything else is just refinement. That is the only criteria we use. None of us are comfortable with some of the results we’re getting - after all, we share the Western paradigm too - but it comes up in our work whether we want it to or not.
Thus, be skeptical. But suspend your preconceptions and try it out. If it works, there must be something there. I would be happy to find more conventional explanations for our results, but we haven’t so far.
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Dec 6, 1999: First draft.