1 - The Departure Gate
1/1 – Global Metaphor Immersion Training?
Welcome to the wonderful world of Global Metaphor Immersion Training!
Now, first of all, relax. “Global Metaphor Immersion Training” is just a phrase.
But what it is, is a process about you
Totally, completely, and only about you.
If you want to, you can take the ideas in this book and begin to create a brand new mindscape of your very own – a personal Sanctuary for you to simply enjoy or to use at will to make changes in your life.
In this process, you are completely in charge.
You create your world and you find out about yourself, at your own speed, in your own time and no sooner than you are ready.
Moreover, the Universe that you will discover and co-create will hold within all the wonderful resources you have always heard other people have, but couldn't really find within yourself - a gateway to magic, to healing, to creativity and inspiration, and the starting point for a life so much better that you might find it hard to conceive of right now.
Sounds too good to be true?
Well, let me tell you a few of my personal beliefs.
Firstly, I absolutely believe that every single one of us, bar major neurological damage, has the potential to out-Leonardo Davinci, and to out-Albert Einstein.
After all, we only use about five percent of our brains. By my reckoning that means that to be a genius, you only have to bring about another 2% or so on line. Surely, that must be well within reach and easy to do.
Secondly, I absolutely believe that as a species, we seem to have a habit of making things far more complicated and far harder than they need to be. Over and over again in my own life I have had major and minor revelations that have helped me overcome all sorts of problems, and the answers were always surprisingly simple and often even embarrassingly so. Moshe Feldenkreis's "elusive obvious" continues to be elusive - but only because we like to make life hard for ourselves, if given half a chance.
I am therefore making it my life's aim to find more ways in which to prove that there is gain without pain - in fact, that if someone isn't in pain, he or she might find it a lot easier to remain focussed, relaxed and to make faster and better gains on their life's journey.
There is one last belief that has helped me a great deal, and it underlies much of what you're going to be exploring - and that is that there is more to the world than meets the eye.
We know so frighteningly little about even simple functions of the human brain, never mind the whole neurology, and never mind the human mind, that one should really keep a very, very open mind indeed about a whole vast range of possibilities that could exist.
With this mindset, I'm sure you agree, the sky need not be the limit, nor space the final frontier.
So what, you might well wonder at this point, is holding us back?
1/2 - The Freudian Nights
This vexed question of "What is holding people back from utter brilliance?", when put to therapists and their clients produces answers such as "the injured child within" - "faulty childhood programming" - "negative self beliefs" - "pre-birth trauma" - "karmic blockages from past lives", etc. etc. etc.
Now this is all good and true. And, this is also true, every single conceivable form of therapy has helped some people at some time - no matter how esoteric or bizarre, and no matter how unlikely or theoretical.
However, having been very seriously engaged in Personal Development and the Human Potential Movement both on a personal as well as a professional level, I found the following things that troubled me.
1/2/1 - Re-Active Development
It seemed to me after some years that people were forever running after their problems, like some weird flock of sheep that never stayed together - as soon as one had been rescued from a ditch and returned to the herd, the next one would require attention. So, as soon as one problem ceased to invite attention for whatever reason, a new one would appear - and like the distraught shepherd in the very shallow metaphor above, the person who sought development never seemed to be able to rest on a decent bunch of laurels.
As a result of this permanent "running after the problems", little space was left for active future planning, or for what I would call Pro-Active Personal Development. But that was not the worst of the problems.
1/2/2 - The Piecemeal Approach
More and more, I began to see clients in my practise who had done all kinds of work with the aid of therapists, and counsellors, and books, and tapes, and lectures and circles and practise groups. Some clients had done therapies that I hadn't even heard about!
And yet, here they were, sitting on my couch, with their lives a total shambles, unhappy, dissatisfied, miserable, exhibiting anything from problems in relationships via addictions of all kinds to eczema, asthma and cancer. Yes, they had certainly made gains along the way, and had a much better understanding of the causes of their troubles, but had it made them any happier?
One client in particular reminded me of ...
Imagine you buy an old house with a view to doing it up. It's in bad repair all around but it has a lot of potential, was a bargain, and you've got the rest of your life to sort it all out and make it a pleasure to come home to of a night time.
Right. So you go in, and you put down new carpet. Next, you hack out the old fire place and paint the ceiling - oops, now the carpet's ruined. Oh dear, must stop and see to the attic, it's started to rain and there's a leak. While we're up there, how about installing a new hot water tank? Oh dear, the floorboards were rotten, and it fell through two ceilings below, burying the new wall paper in the lounge and the carpet to boot. And while the floor in the attic collapsed, the roof supports collapsed as well so now the rain's coming in again.
That, in metaphorical form, was what the client had done in personal development terms over the last twenty years or so.
Any builder can tell you that this kind of approach is not only hopelessly inefficient and very expensive, but that you'll never get it done - because you keep creating new problems all the while.
What this old house needs is to have some kind of overall strategy, logically levelled down from the most important structural work at the top, right down to a little nail to hang up the last picture right at the bottom.
It was then that I realised that if my clients were to make true, long lasting, long term gains towards being more happy and fulfilled and contributing human beings, something was desperately needed to provide this supporting structure - but the only place that seemed to offer something like that at the time were organised religions and cults, not the psychotherapy scene.
1/2/3 - A Rag Bag Of Techniques
Nowadays, fast fix therapies are all the rage. Hypnosis, meditation workshops and NLP for example offer such "One session and all will be well" kind of approach. This, once again, has led many into problems.
Each counsellor has their own ideas, their own style, and their own worldview. As clients move from counsellor to counsellor, from system to system, and from technique to technique, they end up with a whole mixed rag bag of other people's beliefs, values and attitudes, mostly problem specific, often contradictory and sometimes even down right conflicting.
Thing is, that "a mind once stretched by a new idea, never regains it's original dimensions", and so, unless the memories of all those techniques and ideas were to be somehow surgically removed, these remain within the client's mind, running their little subroutines, and generally adding greatly to the confusion.
Also, and this is something I've really thoroughly understood recently, is not only that problems are generally speaking, only symptoms of something completely unrelated that needs the attention - like someone limping from the left hip, but he's only doing that because a vertebra in the neck is out of line, thus causing the spine to twist, thus causing the visible limp;
Further, I think it is so that the interconnectedness and ecology in human minds is such that virtually everything is either connected with everything else, or at least impacts just about everything else - a bit like this friend of mine who put a new engine into his old car, and the whole thing started to shake itself into it's rusty parts because the rest of it couldn't cope with the increased power output.
Needless to say, the more the client's done by the way of counselling and personal development in general, the worse this kind of confusion becomes, and all these techniques, styles and approaches need to be integrated in some way - but how?
Something else came out of this idea that personal development needs to be viewed in a more holistic context altogether - and this was the idea that as a person grows and changes and meets challenges in their life, they would also need ...
1/2/4 - Long Term Continuity
Anyone who has ever been involved in the care of anyone else knows how important long term continuity is - children in orphanages, residents in old people's homes and patients in hospitals all exhibit stress and even bereavement related symptoms when their carers change.
This was one great thing about the old therapy forms - because it went on forever, there was consistent and long term continuity of care, often twenty years or more with the same therapist.
I gave this some thought and came up with a simple solution, as you will find out in a little while. But there was one more aspect that I felt needed to be addressed.
1/2/5 - Send In The Priests!
The greatest single development in my personal opinion on the scene in the last few decades is the re-emergence of spirituality as an acknowledged human need. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to the quantum physicists for being able to express that spiritual matters and magic have been allowed to re-join even the strictly scientifically minded once more.
The fact that standard organised religion in this country has ended up less spiritual than the Body Shop corporation has also led to people once more having to confront their own spiritual issues which may arise quite unexpectedly and without being able to resort to standard pat phrases for their resolution - and gratefully I congratulate this trend.
The more esoteric domains of the personal development movement have long made good use of spirit guides, angels and other higher beings, thus adding a tremendous dimension to the world in which we live, which has for many proved to be intensely healing and reconciling. Once again, here too are conflicting beliefs, values and attitudes, and a truly holistic and integrative mind healing system would have to be able to incorporate the unseen realms seamlessly and elegantly in the overall structure.
These main five points – Pro-Activity, A Planned and Structured Approach, Finding A Framework For Techniques, Continuity and Spirituality - were my main points on the shopping list to find an approach that would really work for my clients, long term, no matter what the problem, no matter who or what the counsellor or therapy approach, no matter what the circumstances, and no matter what went on in their external lives.
At the time I was searching for such an approach, there was a particular form of therapy that I always found to be most fascinating and truly remarkable in its results.