One of the many aspects of this profession is answering a constant onslaught of questions that come in from other people. It is an endless chain of a nearly infinite collection of topics and subjects that comes in 24 hours a day from all over the world. They come in the mail. They come through email (no matter how often I change email addresses). And they come through social media such as Facebook and Twitter, or in Comments on various websites we run such as this one. Most I do not have the time to answer. Most are ridiculous to be honest. But some are intensely heart felt and thought provoking. For the most part I try to answer a few per day. Especially if they are substantive or from someone that I know. Bare in mind that I “know” many people, as my ever tolerant wife continues to remind me.Lately I have been entertaining the idea of answering the questions that come in (if appropriate) publicly. It might help minimize the flow, and in the bigger picture I hope it serves to help more.
The other day, a few weeks ago actually (I have a thing with “time”), I received an email from Toad. He had taken a self-improvement course a few weeks back and found it to be tremendously helpful. He felt lighter and more energetic than he had in years. But he wanted to go further. His girlfriend, who is getting her Ph.D in Psychology, had fears about him venturing any further into this direction for she was afraid that he might be getting involved in some sort of “cult”.
I have always found this term an odd one, especially in America, because Americans are so devoutly religious and all religions are at best just very wealthy cults. If one is to believe the basic parameters that have been created to describe what a cult is and isn’t. The major religions of the world have been around long enough and raised enough money to buy their way into a certain legitimacy with mainstream society. So much so that they sail past “cult status” and are taken more seriously. As if there is something to them other than the “loyal and deliberate adherence to non-tolerance of other equally popular religions” that modern day cults are defined as having. Many of them have even built schools with which to further indoctrinate their loyal subjects in an attempt to seem more legitimate and more substantially founded in reality, and hence not so cult-like.
The problem is that the foundational beliefs of almost every major religion in the world that humankind has invented thus far — except perhaps Buddhism (which unbeknownst to many is not a religion but rather a philosophy, for it has no grand deity) — are absolutely and insanely unsubstantiated and bonkers. An all seeing higher power that is at once both all knowing and all controlling (which throws the idea of “Free Will” out the window). Except when He or She is not and bad things rather than preferred things happen to that religion’s adherents. Then he’s either NOT responsible (the Devil did it), or he did it for reasons as of yet unseen (destiny, fate, good will come of it later, God works in mysterious ways, etc.) Flying invisible angels. Demons and bad spirits. One’s dead family watching over you (while at the same time being in a heaven hell purgatory or a new reincarnated body. Virgins waiting for you up in heaven if you do a good job killing people here on earth. Karma, reincarnation, the transmigration of the soul through an infinite cycle of lives in order to obtain Nirvana. One could go on and on… Say or do what you will, religion, when viewed objectively, is quite possibly the biggest scam humankind has ever perpetrated on itself. At least in the manner they are currently being practiced by the world’s “major accepted religions”.
Perhaps now would be a good time though to remind readers once again that I personally am still religious and a dues paying member of a church and the religion that goes along with it. (Similar to Charles Darwin, another surprisingly loyal congregate). Most long time readers, friends and fans already know this about me. This is not the main topic of this entry though, so suffice it to say that this fact, as puzzling as it is even to myself, is not something I had much of a choice of in my humble opinion. If i had my way, I’d still be a card carrying hardcore intellectual, existentialist, humanist or agnostic. For in reality, there has never been anything more evil, duplicitous, deceptive, malevolent, manipulative, and destructive on earth than humankind’s barbaric religions. And I for one have never wanted to have anything to do with them.
But it didn’t work out that way for me. I’ve written about it in past entries. The story has already been recorded. One can only have so many super-natural experiences that betray what our mind wants to believe versus what we, as our full beings, actually experience before they give in and accept that things aren’t always as what we want them to be. In my case, I didn’t “find God”, or religion. God(Goddess) found me. And hasn’t let me go since. I cannot say I am unhappy about this. Frankly I have been thrilled since the moment it happened and thank God everyday and every moment I remember to for the miraculous gift it is to have such an open connection and communication with Him/Her/It.
I have always submitted that the only reason a person does not “believe in God” is because they have never experienced God, and therefore they are using their best mental abilities to form their conclusion based on the evidence they have seen or not seen throughout their life. And in that respect, they have every right not to believe in a God. Based on the sheer magnitude of lack of evidence to the average person who has never had a real tangible experience of God, claiming to NOT believe in such a thing only makes sense if one is logically and rationally minded. Only a fool believes in things they have no experience in or knowledge of. (They call it faith. I humbly think faith is a word that was invented out of necessity for the sole purpose of attempting to give validity to the foolhardy tendency of certain people to believe in things they want to but that do not exist.) So I have much respect for those of us who still don’t believe in a God. That’s why I don’t go trying to change people’s minds about the subject. They’ll either experience God and then believe, or not. Only they and God know when or if that will ever happen. Not I. What I do know though is that once you DO have a real life in the flesh undeniable experience of Divinity then you can never go back to not believing in it. It changes you forever. Like it or not. Such was my fate.
Truth be told, I believe we are damn close to resolving this whole God versus no God thing here on earth. Science is so close to it now that it’s eerie. They will actually be the first ones to announce to the world that they’ve found irrefutable evidence of a “higher power” that operates in the known and unknown universe. Religionists (anyone deeply loyal to any one particular religion and not open minded enough to continue their personal evolution past their childhood indoctrinations) will most likely lash out and rebel against the scientists who finally discover God. As they always have done throughout our rather short history here on earth.
They’ll claim that the God that scientists have discovered is not “the one true God”, not the “real God”. Just as they always do. Simply because he/she/it may not fit their previously defined image. No matter how much scientific evidence that is presented or discovered. But this will only last for a generation. Once these buggers die out and younger generations are taught the latest science, and right now this science is changing and evolving so rapidly that it is actually seeming more super natural and paranormal and mystical and spiritual than what most modern religions offer, people will come together more and start letting go of the old notions of God that the politically and power motivated major religions have thrust upon him and really start exploring meaningful ways to connect with this magnificent Divinity that exists in everything. Then we can finally put this tired debate to end and get on with living our lives as the true Avatars we were meant to all along. Yes….
So… I receive this email a few weeks ago marked High Priority from Toad asking me to check out this link that talked all about all these self improvement courses that are out there now and how they are all “cults”. The night before I had a three hour conversation with Britney about the same subject. In regards to our shared religion and other practices we are involved in. Because I love Toad, very much, I took the time to respond to his queries and concerns. Late one night. Very late. But a response nonetheless. After all, I have received this same question so many times over the years from so many, why not respond as a friend to my old mate and at the same time allow everyone else who has asked to have in as well.
This is getting so interesting. Perhaps you’ve read this. So many of the psychological techniques described in here that are used by cults were used at Summit. I’m not suggesting they’re a “cult” but they get results in the same way.
Summit is using powerful psychological techniques and getting powerful results and reactions from people, but not in a controlled or responsible way. Our “trainer” has a BA in something, and she’s doing mass hypnosis on a roomful of people who have not been screened or interviewed, and there’s no follow-up with the trainer as they continue on their journey. There are follow-up sessions with the “staff” but they’re even less qualified than the trainer.
This is some heavy shit. I’m so glad I went this weekend and I’m so glad I’m reading this now. I believe in the power of these processes, but it’s also feeling a little creepy. We were never told that we were going to be mass-hypnotized, which I believe is what happened. They were amazing experiences, but it does seem completely reckless. We had one process after another that had a roomful of adults balling their eyes out for five straight days.
That’s fucked up. What do you think? How does it compare to your experiences with other self development courses? Lemme know when you get a chance.
Toad I am CC’ing my friend Britney with this because she and I were just talking about this last night.Weird. To you: Thanks for sending this. I can’t wait to read it. I’ve read tons of things like this over the years and am sure I know what they will be talking about, but you never know… Could be a good reference guide to save for the future.
I’ll tell you that when I explored Scientology I was SOOO freaked out!!! Man was that scary. Now that’s a cult if there ever was one. Freaky shit to say the least.
Bottom-line, just as soon as you feel like you’ve got the money and time, take the Avatar course. Harry Palmer is up there with the all the big brains out there: Hawking, Hawken, Ram Dass, Jeff Sachs, et al… But his thing is consciousness exploration. It’s more in the field of human psychology. But there just isn’t anything out there yet in this field that comes close in its understanding of human consciousness and in its depth. (meaning that it goes ALL THE WAY — as deep as we can go at this time… With our limitations in being able to explore certain aspects of consciousness etc…) If that makes sense.
Traditional psychology/psychiatry/psychotherapy is child’s play at this stage in our evolution. It may be good for people who are at the very beginning of self-exploration… But not for those who already KNOW. As in capital K N O W, which all three of us have already discussed together. (and I’m speaking from a widened back fifty-years from now perspective.) The Avatar knowledge base, what it teaches you in the materials, is what traditional psychology will be teaching in schools and universities to prospective therapists in fifty years or so. Or so let us hope.
Maybe sooner. Things are moving fast now in consciousness. And in science. Particularly physics, who just might discover the key to it all before anyone else does after all. But still, it will be a while before they are where the Avatar materials are. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat in some conversation with a psychiatrist/psychologist in some other event/project/function and the subject of human psychology or consciousness came up and one of the people happened to do that for a living (therapist, psychiatrist, etc.) and they are always so surprised… like “how do you know all this stuff?” as if I work in that field. And then they usually take Avatar so they can apply it in their own practice.Or they’re just stupefied and don’t quite get what I’m even talking about. Many are still stuck in Jungian or Freudian ideologies so arcane and useless that it surprises me that we still give degrees in such fields of study.
I USED to relegate Avatar to a new age thing… Like a cult or a trip to a Tibetan mountain top or a philosophy or religion… But as I got older I started realizing what it really is is just a very thorough understanding of human consciousness with well constructed and easy to understand tools and processes to fast-track a person to mental, emotional, spiritual and physical healing and well being. The same goal as traditional western “therapy” AND the same goal as traditional eastern meditative or religious practices.
Sure it can seem airy-fairy and new-agey. Especially at first when people first get into it. It’s pretty enlightening stuff. You really do achieve the state of enlightenment that we have read about in books for the last ten thousand years, but in nine days… No not the whole enlightenment package in nine days. But enough to make you wake up. And from there it becomes very difficult to fall back asleep. So you end up wanting to take more, learn more, hence the Masters Course and then the Wizards Course. And yea you are flying and feel like you can perform miracles… You feel light as a feather and you walk around feeling a part of everything — similar to an LSD or shroom trip really… but cleaner and clearer. But its not through any sort of new agey stuff or religion or mantras or meditation or anything. More due to the fact that you let go of and release years of shit-baggage you’ve been carrying around with you. Probably very similar to what you did Toad at this other course I would assume… or Britney what you did in India. And it sticks. You don’t lose it.
I’ve found it to be very sound stable and grounded; but extremely deep exercises are learned that go to the core of human consciousness and how it operates. You then learn how to self navigate consciousness on your own. After all, you are the creator of consciousness. Tell that to a modern psychologist if you want to see a dictionary visual of dumbstruck.
Watch a talk or two by Harry Palmer on video online here: http://avatarepcmedia.com/
It usually takes me a few times to really get what he is saying. He takes the stuff for granted because that’s his actual job — to study consciousness. But for us, we’re coming to that field as lay-persons. So it may seem a bit technical at first. But each sentence is usually quite illuminating and insightful as far as the information that is there AND their implications for how it can be used in our day to day lives if someone was to actually live that way, from that perspective all the time. It would be a different world.
For example, honestly I JUST finally got to the point where I feel like NOW I can say that I understand the paradigm of “identities” — projected, assumed, asserted, persistent. Even though I first started studying it in 1995. But it just always went over my head as far as how it related to ME. Or better put, my ability to understand it intellectually. Luckily you don’t have to understand it intellectually to “get it” or to benefit from it — you just do the processes and they work and then you’re usually in a state of quiet and awe. Like ‘holy shit I can’t believe we just discreated that.’ I thought “that” was “part of me.” like “that’s who I am.” “But it wasn’t! It was just an identity I was not deliberately creating but still creating on automatic!?!?” Like that. Truly miraculous stuff.
We realize post-use of the tools that there is no such thing as “that’s just who I am” except for the basics: “I am” and “I am here” and “I am here and so are you.” Other than that, there is no such thing as “that’s who I am.”
In fact “I” is just an identity — created by one, or a combination of, beliefs that we are creating “on automatic”… Its that “ah-hah’ moment that therapists wait for for their clients to have for months or years with ONE life issue. But with Avatar you have people having five to ten of those “ah-hah” moments a day for nine days. Hence the intensely more transformative effect it has on people compared to traditional psychology and therapy. “OK that’s the end of our session. I’ll see you next week” for years… Sad.
A few things:
1. I don’t teach Avatar, though I have in the past and enjoy it immensely, and so no I don’t make any money from talking to you about this as with other “self development” type courses that compel people to go out there and hustle up new recruits. You both know me. If that were a part of it, I just wouldn’t be involved in it. I used to teach it when I could, and it was amazing to do. I highly recommend it. To watch another being “wake up” from the outside of it all, just observing it, is almost as transforming as doing the course yourself. But I have a lot of friends now who I turned onto Avatar who have taken it; and they are completely happy and can’t believe that I didn’t tell them about it sooner (I was not into talking about it to people for a long time at first). Kind of like when you turned me onto the BLUE album by Joni, Toad… I HAD to know that album and you knew that. You knew how important that was. Imagine if I walked around and never knew that album existed… My life would be compromised. Crazy to think about.
If I turn you onto Coldplay, that’s cool. BUT if I don’t turn you onto Jeff Buckley and Radiohead — because that’s where Coldplay says that they “came from”… Its not really fair to you, nor to them. You’re gonna walk around thinking Coldplay is “it.” when in fact, it sort of pales compared to the others, or at the least, you should know where Coldplay came from. Everyone should know Radiohead and Jeff Buckley.
Truth is, I could watch you flirt with all this other stuff like Julia does… Every year it’s some other new thing… From yoga to mediation to chi gong to reiki to tai chi to psychic healing of some kind… All just to get “enlightenment”… for years and get close to the IT but never really experience the IT. Or I could just “talk my walk” and be bold and tell you, “look man right now there is nothing more enlightening out there. If there is and I hear about it, I will let you know. But right now, this is the IT that we used to search for back in the college days when we were exploring consciousness through hallucinogens and Eastern mysticism.”
2. Yes it has cult qualities. Me and all my “normal” cool friends always make fun of that aspect of it. But we don’t get sucked into it. We just use it for what it does for us. It’s a great tool if you want to achieve enlightenment AND increase the quality of your life. Everything around us has that potential to go “cultish” if people are prone to that. People make a cult out of Starbucks for God’s sake. Or Apple computers. But that’s their thing. Avatar wakes people up to become fully awake and aware responsible self referral creative beings. The last thing anyone would want is for someone to go all cultish on them.
3. I have studied and researched all the stuff out there. from the most traditional (Freud, Jung, Skinner, NLP, NAC, therapy, etc) to the most way-out — witchcraft, Naturality, EST, TM, Chakras, chanting, Abe-Hicks, Monroe Institute, praying, fasting, Krishna consciousness, Lifespring, Landmark, The Forum, Remote Healing, you name it. And there is no one out there right now who “has it down” and understands IT better than Palmer does. If there was I would be touting them instead.
He is right up there with Ram Dass — who I consider the most enlightened human on the planet now as far as his “knowing” goes. Same with Chopra and Dyer and Lester Levinson et al. But the Problem with all of these men is that they “know about it” and they study it and they talk about it and write about it. But they have not yet created step by step tools and processes to EXPLORE IT or USE IT. There’s a big difference. So we are left to our own devices… Left to more reading and studying. Shit I stopped reading and studying entirely for a few years post-Avatar because I felt it was a waste of time quite frankly; and more than that it took me out of feel and put me back into my mind. Which is where we’re actually trying to get out of.I felt so damn good, I didn’t want to lose it by reading.
Without actual experiential experiences we end up still WANTING to experience what they are talking about… But not being able to, and what happens is that we get sucked back into “mainstream thinking”… Sucked back into the Matrix. Sucked back into linear thinking. Sucked back into “Fight Club before Tyler Durden” shows up. Sucked back into Maya. Because we don’t see any proof that this magical stuff really can happen in the “real world”… So we join the traditional view of things, because still so much of mainstream society holds these traditional viewpoints. Palmer actually solved a big problem by taking the knowledge that so many people are talking about and breaking it down into step by step “doable” exercises and processes so people could “experience” the knowledge rather than just “try to believe in it.” Again, there’s a big difference.
With that said, and to more fully answer your question as to what I recommend, there ARE other things that I do that I really get off on too. I REALLY like Tony Robbins’s tools. He is just totally inspiring. I’ve walked on a hundred feet of red-hot coals with the man and didn’t get burned even a little bit. His tools are that good. I am taking one of his programs now again for the second time. It’s called “Get The Edge” and its really making a profound difference in who I am showing up as everyday when I wake up.
I find that Tony Robbins’s programs are the best out there for achieving massive material “success”. And I mean massive over the top success. The kind that I achieved at such an early age, from a materialistic place. I credit that to having Avatar as a foundational tool to awaken and “clean up” and “get clear” and Tony Robin’s as an inspiration and motivator to kick some serious butt and become a force to be reckoned with as far as real world achievement goes.
So no, Avatar is not the ONLY thing one need do.. Unless one chooses to, and that’s their choice. (though some cultish-type Avatars would call that blasphemy — LOL!) But Avatar to me is the most powerful/fastest system we have right now for achieving pure “enlightenment”, and for handling deep core issues in the human psyche. Sad to say, presumptuous and perhaps even a bit snobbish and disrespectful, but true, to me personally at least, but modern psychology as it is practiced today is decades behind the Avatar knowledge base. Spend ten minutes talking to anyone in that field and if you really know the Avatar knowledge well, you will feel like you are talking to someone who is “just getting started learning about the human mind.” They’re still saying the sun revolves around the earth so to speak. Just decades behind in their understanding of human thought, motivation, and how consciousness works.
Bottom line is, it’s not something you have to rush into. It’s better to be relaxed about and feel secure financially and have the time so when you do it, money issues aren’t sticking all of your attention so you can have some free attention and look at it like a gift to yourself. Like a vacation if you will. Most people have no problem spending that kind of money on a “trip to Cancun or Disney World”. But then they won’t spend that same amount of money to transform their lives forever. I’ve always found this hard to understand.
Three days into it, you will have that open-mouthed “oh my God why didn’t you tell me about this sooner???!!!” look on your face. Because of the confidential nature of the knowledge, there are things that I cannot tell you about that you will learn (or re-learn, since you were born knowing this
stuff) that are right under your nose, but the course materials just remind you of it, and breaks it all down in an easy to understand way
You actually learn “magic” that we are already capable of. And in that respect yes it is “magical”. But in practical terms, it is a very powerful way to attack persisting conditions and thoughts and beliefs and ideas and feelings and fears and experiences that we have been struggling with and taking for granted our whole life and actually “handle them.” You observe them, explore them, play with them, then get outside of them, step outside of them is more like it, and realize that “this is not really me. This is just a belief I’ve been holding onto. Holy shit. I am creating this.” It’s mind blowing really.
And then you can deliberately choose to, and use numerous tools to, discreate it for good. That in essence is why it is so powerful. The shit doesn’t come back. Its gone. You actually discreate things permanently on a cellular level. And that’s that. It’s gone. Do that for a few years with a whole host of shit that’s been nagging you and in six months to a year’s time you don’t even recognize yourself. You really do begin to transcend normal-peopleness and have the power and tools to live deliberately like a wizard or a Jedi. Its badass in that respect.
O.k. enough of my rambling. Time to have some fun and watch this link you sent me. Thank you by the way. I hope this answers your questions. Best of luck in your search. .
Peace and Love,