A Prisoner of Belief
Have you ever been to the Novotel in Hammersmith in London? It\’s a fairly decent hotel with conference facilities. Not the biggest, most plush, hotel I have used for a seminar but I remember teaching the HPT-Transformation program there when we started. One of the tube lights in the ceiling was flickering on the third day and I remember a guy called Clark, who was sitting underneath it, looking very annoyed and I asked him what was wrong?
He told me he had been travelling for 5 years, working all over the world. He had been to Nepal and the Himalayas seeking out spiritual teachers who could show him \’the way\’ and how to gain \’enlightenment\’. He had been to India to sit with psychic and meditative Guru\’s who would show him how to \’search deep within and draw out his internal strength and understanding\’. He had lived and worked with \’wise men\’ from a mexican commune, and spiritual teachers whilst in Africa. He was still searching at the end of all that. He believed that all of them would work. He believed that he needed something new, plugged in or fixed within his mind, to take him up to the level he wanted. He had no idea that he already had all of the tools within him and all he needed was to be shown how to access them.
\”I can understand why you are angry\” I said.
\”That\’s not what makes me angry\” he replied, speaking into the microphone to 300 people. \”After spending all that money, all that time and energy, and travelling thousands of miles, believing that what I was doing was right, today I finally \’Got It!\’\” Everyone in the room applauded him, \”What makes me mad,\” he said after the room fell silent, \”is that I never believed that I would \’get it\’ while sitting under a faulty light in a room in Hammersmith!\”
Beliefs are, in the majority of cases, a lie. They are not the truth. The truth has to be experienced. Unless we have experienced something, it is not real.
\”Sometimes, the truth is so believable; people usually just believe it instead of experiencing it.\”
Everyone has a belief system. These systems were formed when we were children.
It is probably a result of our ingrained beliefs about what a relationship should be, as opposed to the reality of the actuality of a relationship that has resulted in the high divorce rate. Our beliefs of what is important and not important are so strange sometimes that we sit unknowingly at odds with them and have no idea what the issue is that is bothering us every day. We never ever think it could be our beliefs. We can spend our lives believing in something with no experience of the reality only later to find that the truth is somewhat different to what they believed.
When we separate what we BELIEVE from what we EXPERIENCE we will begin to run our lives, but not before.
The problem with a belief is that we take it to be the truth. That’s fine if you imprint a belief in your mind that you will achieve, you can do it, you will attain success….but we have thousands of other beliefs that do not serve us. Those ‘other’ beliefs are detrimental and if we take THEM to be the truth we could get stuck in them.
In other words most of us persist in thinking and doing what we learnt long ago, rather than acting out of our experience in response to whatever is happening now.
A classic story illustrates this point:
A man watches his wife cutting an inch off the end of the Lamb bone before putting it in the oven to roast. After watching her do this a few times before, her husband asks her why. She tells him that her mother always did it that way. A few weeks later the husband asks his Mother-In-Law why she cuts an inch off the end of the lamb bone. She tells him, “My mother always did it that way.” The Grandmother is very old, in her 90’s, and when the husband and wife visit her one day he asks her the same question. “Your granddaughter, and your daughter, cut an inch off the end of the lamb bone before they put the lamb in the oven. They do it because you always did. Why did you do that?”
The old lady looks at the husband and says, “Well, in those days, I had a very small oven and the leg of lamb wouldn’t fit unless I cut an inch off the end of the bone!”
Most people are cutting an inch off the end of something in their lives to fit into an oven that’s no longer too small for it.
Most people are stuck in a melodramatic soap opera of their lives with the same four or five problems they have always had. The bigger problem is that they continue with beliefs that have been carved into their minds since childhood and they are the reason they keep repeating the behaviour.
Here is a frightening example: You trip over when you are five years old and cut your knee and your mother says, \’Don\’t cry; crying is bad,\” so you don\’t cry. Then you have a fall while skiing when you are 17 and you break your leg but you keep a stiff upper lip and you don\’t cry because crying is bad. Then when you are 24 you break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, and you really thought that they were \’the one\’ and you STILL don\’t cry. The more you repress your feelings the more your consciousness shuts down. You become barely alive. You act like a zombie. You function mechanically and get a reputation as \’a bit of a cold fish\’.
The reality is that as you function mechanically more and more, in some cases, you become successful at it. Here\’s a reality check: Mechanical success is not any more satisfying than failure.
I took my psychology training years ago and therapy has always been concerned with the way people are run, or how they function, by what was rather than what is and how to free people from their past. That never sat comfortably with me. I know hundreds of people who trained just like me and never questioned it.
There are 2 reasons they didn\’t question it: 1. FEAR! As in: \’Don\’t make waves….if you question it they will flunk you.\’ and 2. Cut the end of the bone off the Leg of Lamb!
What do I mean by that? Think about it.
That\’s right: It has ALWAYS been done that way, so there must be a good reason for it.
How does HPT (Human Potential Transformation) differ from Therapy? Therapy is concerned with curing people of an \’illness\’ whereas HPT offers people an experience of themselves, and the ability to design a future.
It is evident from my travels and studies, and from the Transformational Change work I have done in the last few years which, I admit, has become more extreme and direct, that Belief Systems are, by and large, a myth.
Belief Systems are created by knowledge or data without experience.
If you experience something, it is real for you. If you communicate it to somebody, it is real for them because you are expressing your experience. If they tell it to someone else, it\’s a lie. It is merely a belief without the component of experience.
A belief is a very powerful thing. You can kill or you can cure with one. I have earned my living for many years training people to believe in themselves, which is good. You CAN believe in yourself because you have the experience of yourself, you are your own reality. I can prove to you, from my beliefs, that what I think and see is true.
I ask people what they expect to get out of the training program and the list can be very diverse. Some say they want to get to know themselves, some say they want to make better decisions, have more self confidence, be more decisive, fall in love, be more open, sell more product, be a better leader or manager….
What they ALL have in common is a set of expectations!
They truly believe that their happiness is dependant on more love, money, power, sex, self confidence, etc. Each has a belief system that relates satisfaction to something they are striving for.
The REALITY is that their happiness is a function of accepting what is, and make it separate from what isn\’t, what was and what is to come.
Belief is a structure which can contain very little information in terms of making it useful in your consciousness or well-being.
HPT works on Observation and not Belief. Observation has nothing to do with the senses, perceptions or belief systems. It only deals with direct experience…REALITY.
One of the core HPT Observations is that Life can be considered to be three foot long, and the first two feet eleven inches are about the material aspects of life (food,clothing and shelter) and what\’s known as \’psychological needs\’. You need someone to love you and someone you can love back. You need self esteem, recognition and respect from others.
After people fill their needs they start to look what it MEANS to fill their needs. They start to realize that there is no true satisfaction in just filling your needs and they look beyond that. And THAT is the last inch. THAT is what HPT is all about.
It is the last inch, that has been cut off the bone again and again. That Inch is the life changer.
That last inch is where we discover TRANSFORMATION.