History is full of examples about how we used to believe one thing, and then we saw or discovered something new – and suddenly everything changed. The limitations we believed were non-negotiable suddenly disappear, and we are catapulted into realizing that things are different to the way they have looked.
Our senses often deceive us. And the conclusions we reach from sense data often hold us back, or lead to misunderstandings.
Probably one of the most obvious ones is about the Earth being flat. We all know that the Earth isn’t flat – but we experience it as flat. If we get high enough up in a plane we can see a little bit of a curve, but most of the time it looks and feels flat.
For thousands of years, we believed that we were standing still, and the sun moved around the Earth. We see the sun rising and then setting, and it’s a pretty compelling case. It’s a trick of the senses.
Does it feel to you like you’re moving at 1000 miles per hour, even when you’re sitting on the sofa? Well, you are – if you’re on the equator anyway.
Before germs and bacteria were discovered, the consensus used to be that diseases were caused by bad smells.
400 years ago, it was widely believed that tomatoes were poisonous and deadly. Why? Because wealthy Europeans used to eat their meals from pewter plates. The tomato, being slightly acidic would cause a reaction that leached lead from the plates, and this would sometimes result in the death of the diner.
These are just a few of thousands of examples – some with only minor consequences, some that have led to a complete paradigm shift.
And we can be extremely wedded to the ‘truth’ that our senses seem to be pointing to. So much so, that early pioneers of a different view have often been tortured or killed unless they recant their blasphemy.
Here’s the new paradigm that I’m sharing: The human experience works inside-out, rather than outside-in. You can find out more about the principles underlying this new paradigm on my website www.kaizen-training.com
But, if you were to only rely on your senses, you could make a compelling case that life happens to you. That your moment to moment experience is ‘coming from’ external circumstances and events. It certainly looks that way – through the power of thought, brought to life by consciousness. It really is the best special effects department in the universe!
But myself, and a growing number of psychologists, thinkers, physicists, therapists, leaders, spiritual teachers and others, have come to the realization that in this case, as in so many others, seeing is not believing.
You might be thinking: Well, OK, but so what?
Well… what if this understanding could lead to:
• Less stress, and less suffering from all kinds of mental illness?
• People being able to overcome addictions easily and naturally?
• A natural and easy return to innate health and well-being?
• A way to permanently heal divisions between previously warring parties or groups?
• Less destruction of the planet, and waste of our resources?
• Less re-offending, with convicted criminals taking responsibility for their actions, and better rehabilitation?
• A reduction in bullying – at school and at work?
• Better parenting, better relationships, better education of our young people, better communities?
• A reduction in obesity, and diabetes as people come to realise that they have been using food to manage their feelings…
The list goes on and on…
To borrow a phrase from John Lennon, you may say I’m a dreamer – but I’m not the only one.
Indeed, I can show you examples, with evidence, of how this understanding has led to all of the outcomes listed above. Many of the examples are from clients I have worked with personally.
So, please don’t burn me at the stake!
Instead, allow yourself to become curious about what you’re seeing all around you – much of which may turn out to be an innocent misunderstanding about the way the human experience actually works.