We Are ALMOST There…
And We Have Our Best People Working On It…
By Elissa Meininger – Historian and Health Policy Analyst
Like a lot of other people, when I grew up, left home, got married then went on into my life, I still felt unfinished. Consequently, I’ve been on a personal quest to make sense of things all these years. I’d like to share some of my path with you as it may illustrate why I am so passionate about promoting health freedom.
ERIC BERNE –“I’M OKAY, YOU’RE OKAY” & “GAMES PEOPLE PLAY”
After I got married I moved to Oklahoma City, where I chanced on a volunteer program just starting that featured weekly training sessions. The idea was that ordinary citizens could be taught basic professional level psychological counseling to help juvenile delinquents and their families sort out their lives. Yes, this training was sufficient for me to be paid by the County to do this kind of work and some of my colleagues went on to graduate school to get actual credentials and hang out their shingles.
The weekly meetings were interesting. One week was with a psychologist who was trained by Eric Berne, developer of Transactional Analysis. TA was taking the country by storm at the time and changed the English language. “I’m okay, you’re okay”, “games people play”, “warm fuzzies“, “cold pricklies” are technical terms that come from the TA model. The other week, we’d meet with a Freudian psychiatrist trained at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, KS. At his invitation I also audited a graduate course he was offering at a local college covering Freudian philosophy. My paper for the class was a review of Freud’s work, Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious which I illustrated with a cartoon of Lucy of Peanuts fame behind her psychiatric booth giving advice to Linus holding his blanket.
FRITZ PERLS – “GESTALT THERAPY”
OKC was a hotbed of this kind of training. Several hundred people from the Red Cross and other volunteer programs along with medical students getting credit for the training and supervision for the same stuff that was being taught at Esalen in California, the epicenter of what was later to be called the “human potential movement.” Anybody who was anybody came to OKC to hold workshops. While I never met psychiatrist Eric Berne or his close friend and colleague, psychiatrist Fritz Perls – father of Gestalt Therapy, I was trained by their close friends and colleagues psychiatrist Robert Goulding, his wife MSW Mary Goulding and Virginia Satir. The Gouldings developed their own brand of therapy called Redecision Therapy, a hybrid of TA and Gestalt. While all this training and supervision gives me some bragging rights, my point here is that I was committed to a total immersion exploration into learning how I and other people ticked. I wanted to know how I could get my dysfunctional past cleaned up so I could go on with my life. It also has provided me with the tools to avoid getting hooked into dysfunctional communications with others or get upset with the “games” that go on in the public square.
JOE DISPENZA – “YOU ARE THE PLACEBO”
When my husband died, I moved to Austin and immediately came under the spell of Joe Dispenza, a chiropractor and neuroscientist who has taken the world by storm. As a chiropractor, when he had a horrible accident that destroyed his spine, the best medical advice available was to have steel rods put in so he could, at least walk, and plan to take pain killers the rest of his life. Chiropractic is a healing art based on the idea that there is an Innate Intelligence that flows, like a fluid, through the nervous system via the spine. Chiropractic adjustments focusing on the spine provide a way to free up this flow to restore health. Joe reasoned that if he learned how to meditate, he could communicate with this Innate Intelligence to heal his body.
So….for eight months he lay on his stomach mastering the art of meditating in communication with, as he says, “that Innate Intelligence which made me” to learn how to direct his healing. He promised that if he were healed, he would commit his life to teaching other people to heal themselves. After eight months, he got out of bed and walked out of the hospital. As a neuroscientist, he wanted to collect all the data he could to prove how this worked. This is not faith healing or some Ouija board mystical thing. His work is hard science with all manner of technical instruments measuring the changes in physiological parameters . Videos of the neurons in the brain being disconnected and connected is the basis of the belief that the brain sends messages throughout the body based on habitual thinking. In short, if all you do is ruminate on how bad you feel, your body will get messages to feel bad and even provide symptoms. In Joe’s case, he spent hours at a time meditating on how his back was normal again and, bit by bit, the messages from his brain instructed the body to correct the situation at a physical level. There is much more to this story than I can tell you here but he has held countless workshops around the world with participants all hooked up to devices to measure brain waves and the like. He has recorded evidence that people have literally cured diseases and in several cases reversed what were considered genetic disorders. He publishes books available everywhere and posts hundreds of testimonials on the net.
RUPERT SHELDRAKE – “MORPHIC RESONANCE”
Part of his thesis is that the Universe is a huge energy field and the meditations include connecting with this energy field he sometimes calls “the source”. Cambridge biologist, Rupert Sheldrake talks of the energy in this field as morphic resonance. Sheldrake publishes a lot and explores the whole notion of just what all is being transmitted in this morphic field.
It is because of the work of these two men and others that we are moving toward a better understanding of our non-material universe and that there is a provable spiritual component which will eventually offer scientific evidence that all the so-called “alternative” medicine systems are legitimate.
JORDAN PETERSON – “12 RULES FOR LIFE: AN ANTIDOTE TO CHAOS”
After my total immersion course in Austin on all this energy stuff, I moved back to Oklahoma City and have found my new love – Canadian clinical psychologist, Jordan Peterson. Peterson has published a hundred scientific papers focusing on behavior. As a professor at University of Toronto, he has been dealing with real people for years.
What makes him interesting to me is that while he tips his hat to Freud’s contribution to the field of psychiatry by opening the discussion about the existence of the unconscious mind, Peterson is a Jungian through and through. As it happens, Carl Jung studied with Freud for a while but strongly disagreed with Freud on claiming anyone who believed in God had a neurosis. Freud tended to claim that a lot of beliefs about culture or family life that were basic to millions of people over the ages were really some neurosis or other. The relationship came to an abrupt end with Freud accusing Jung being ill and not wanting to admit it.
Jung was an incredible fellow. Unlike Freud, he saw the value of cultural myths that went back thousands of years to help civilizations of people make sense of their world. His collected works called The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious is a treasure trove that has fed the imaginations of countless people for generations.
Early on, Peterson started to video tape his university lectures and has posted over 300 of them on his website and on YouTube. He provides in-depth philosophical discussions, for example, in a series of Bible lectures, not from a religious point of view but from a cultural point of view. He is equally adept at reviewing blow by blow the meanings of the movies Pinocchio and the Lion King, both rich in symbolic detail.
What should cause you to take notice is the fact that Peterson published a book in January 2018 that has sold three million copies in English, already, and he’s just finished a 22-nation tour lecturing to packed houses.
His book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos covers the following topics:
- Stand up straight with your shoulders back
- Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
- Make friends with people who want the best for you
- Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today
- Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them
- Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world
- Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)
- Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie
- Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t
- Be precise in your speech
- Do not bother children when they are skateboarding
- Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street
Peterson is clearly aiming his book toward the Millennials, too young to have benefited from the Human Potential Movement of their parents. Millennials have been growing up in a culture of nihilism (as defined by Nietzsche “to describe the disintegration of traditional morality in Western society). In the 20th century, nihilism encompassed a variety of philosophical and aesthetic stances that, in one sense or another, denied the existence of genuine moral truths or values, rejected the possibility of knowledge or communication, and asserted the ultimate meaninglessness or purposelessness of life or of the universe.”
For the rest of us, Peterson’s body of work is a smorgasbord of enrichment.
I’m looking forward to the waning of the current chaos so I can get back to work to promote real health care reform. Watch Jordan’s short video just below where he explains, succinctly, where our youngest generations have been led astray and what to do about it….
By Elissa Meininger – Historian and Health Policy Analyst