Transforming the Mind
Chapter One: Introduction
By Peter Shepherd
'Transforming the Mind' is a manual that aims to describe the process of human conditioning and how to achieve an awakening from this imposition. We are born in a body with animal instincts, we carry the baggage of past lives (it seems) and to add to this we develop survival solutions upon the lines of our racial culture, and according to our particular upbringing and experiences.
This is a complex and tangled mixture but it is possible to separate out these strands and to find our true identity. In so doing we also discover the reasons why friendships break down, marriages go sour and misunderstandings occur, why life may contain more stress than pleasure and why our purposes in life often become obscured. With this knowledge we can transform our minds - and that is the prerequisite to fundamental change for the better.
An evolutionary jump
You may, at some time, have had a "peak" experience, an ecstatic moment or a moment of greater understanding, when your consciousness expanded - and you knew it. When this occurs, the integration between left brain (logical thinking) and right brain (intuitive feelings and emotions) is manifested in increased energy-flow between the two sides. This is thinking and feeling in a holistic and balanced way. It is a foretaste of an evolutionary jump for humanity - and in essence, what the so-called New Age is all about - a new level of maturity in mental development, an awakening.
These are the very factors that Transforming the Mind aims to demonstrate and develop. By learning how to arouse the whole brain, selectively and at will, the mode of consciousness may be freely altered, appropriate to the task or situation - whether a crisis, making music, relaxing, mental arithmetic, brainstorming, or contemplating nature.
In this new wide-awake consciousness, the world seems to be full of possibilities - it possesses a strong sense of rediscovered meaning. This is nothing mystical, it is essentially ordinary consciousness, operating for once at its proper efficiency.
"When we pull back and get, for a moment, the 'bird's eye' view of life, it reveals meanings that are ungraspable by the narrow focus of our usual worm's eye view" ~ Colin Wilson
Research tells us that one side of the brain is usually dominant to the other, and that most of the time, very little of the potential capacity of the brain is in use. Brain studies have shown that people who are functioning optimally have a high level of inter-hemispheric communication and that the two sides are working in synchrony and balance, as described above. Also overall arousal is higher and under conscious control - this is the skill of sustained concentration.
We create our own reality internally, and through our influence in various ways, that in turn affects the external. In the following podcast I share a transformative experience from my own life, excerpted from my book, Daring to Be Yourself....
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What is Transformational Psychology?
Transformational Psychology is a synthesis of all known systems of personal enhancement; a basket of all the most workable techniques of growth therapy, continuously added to as new methods and ideas are carefully evaluated. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts, however, since the techniques are designed to awaken the brain in an ordered sequence, corresponding to its natural evolution. In this context, our students' learning experiences over 25 years and considerable further research and development of our own, has enhanced Transformational Psychology as practiced on Trans4mind's range of courses to the point where it has become one of the most effective and far reaching systems of mind/brain/ consciousness enhancement.
The 'Explorations' in Transforming the Mind present a selection of introductory Transformational Psychology techniques, in particular those that can safely be practiced at home by a newcomer to the subject. In writing this book it has also been my aim to offer a summary of the broad streams of psychological thought that are the context and source of advanced Transformational Psychology techniques.
The main objective throughout is self-enhancement. The training is based on the premise that we have learned disabilities, which set boundaries to our action and knowing. But no one need accept that they must remain as they were shaped, by hereditary limits and by the conditioning of their childhood and culture.
Once we find a worthwhile goal, the power of will alone can change the programming of our minds. The human brain is so constructed that it will adapt itself to the demands of the mind, ordered by the power of will.
How does Transformational Psychology work?
When you feel angry or depressed, in a self-defeating way, this is the result of negative or irrational inner-speech that you may not even be aware of, as it is often very fleeting or below the threshold of consciousness, or simply not recognized as such.
These evaluations are linked to earlier times, when they were instilled by force of painful experience. When such an experience was too uncomfortable to remember, the feelings (in the right brain) were repressed and made unconscious.
Considerable mental energy is locked-up by continuing to repress feelings and emotions, and this is justified by irrational and over-generalized conclusions about self and others.
The techniques to be presented will enable you to look again at your beliefs with a fresh viewpoint. This will help you to release the effects of held-back trauma and have fuller access to your potential for intuitive, creative and holistic thinking.
With a more flexible outlook and greater freedom of emotional expression, new horizons may appear, and goals approached that before seemed out of reach. Problems and difficulties now become opportunities for creative choice and valuable learning, stepping-stones towards what you really want to achieve.
When, as with many people, 90% of the brain's capacity is not utilized optimally due to neurotic repression, the remaining 10% is apt to fall into a robotic state. The individual acts out imprinted behavior patterns that are predictable from day to day and only responds semi-consciously when something attracts his attention. The under-utilized 90% is susceptible to hypnotic influences and the individual is driven by his environment and circumstances; this is far from the self-determined state he probably considers himself to be in. For most of us, a radical program of reawakening is urgently needed!
We affirm that Man's nature is essentially spiritual but that it is no good seeking for spiritual things until we can distinguish the spiritual from the mundane. To attain the higher mind of spiritual awareness and psychic ability we must be released from the thrall of the lower cognitive mind. This cannot occur with any stability (other than "peak experiences") until work on the lower mind is complete. While large amounts of our brain power are not utilized because of associated repressed memories and internal conflicts, there is a potential Achilles heel to any postulated state of satori.
What is required of you?
An open mind and a genuine desire to learn and expand. The major goal of Transformational Psychology is to facilitate the development of self-determined people taking full responsibility in their lives. Indeed, we need to explore the unmapped territory of our minds and develop it to the full, if we are each to have the insight to be able to effectively cut through the blinkered thinking in our environments, and to make an impact on what is happening to our world's social, economic and ecological systems.
Resolving the chaos of fixed ideas that nearly everyone has to some extent, is a gradient process of analysis, of rediscovering both objective reality and the unique, intuitive truths that lie within ourselves.