The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Core Transformation

Friday I spoke of NLP, and why I backed away from it: it was pure power, and at that point in my life I didn’t trust myself with it.    A very specific technique allowed me to see the full humanistic capacity of the art, however, and that was a turning point.  My meditative life saved me from an existence defined by fear.   I HAVE to align spiritual and emotional values before I proceed, in any arena of life.  That is a cast-iron principle, and every damned time I've violated it, I screw up and suffer.

Dan Pinal, an old friend of mine, pointed out a book called “Core Transformations” by Connirae Andreas and NLP Comprehensive in Colorado.  He said it had helped him considerably, and I should look into it.  I did.

The basic theory of the book is that everything we do in life, everything, is an attempt to get closer to God.  I stripped out the religious overtones in that, and made the assumption that what they meant was a deep and abiding sense of peace, fulfillment, acceptance, love, and connection.  Arguably, the sensations experienced in the womb by an unborn child.  Certainly the emotions experienced by any baby that survives infancy—children who are never nurtured wither and die.  Period.

No matter how badly abused or neglected a child was later, even to the point that they have no positive conscious memories, so far as I know every study suggests this is true.  At some point we were all loved and cared for…or we die.

So it would seem that what Core Transformations was trying to do was hook us back into that feeling.   Did this make sense to me as a generative practice?

Heck, yeah.   Remember the “Secret Formula”?   GOALS X FAITH X ACTION X GRATITUDE = RESULTS.
As I’ve said, the significance of the multiplicative rather than additive function is critical: if you “zero” in any category, it cancels out everything else.  The idea is to have clear goals, believe you can and should achieve them, take massive action, and…begin with the emotion you think you’ll get at the end.   Begin with a sense of confidence, joy, gratitude.  Start your day with those emotions…and then instead of working to be happy down the road, be happy while you work.  The implication is that not only does this make your work better by taking your emotional brakes off, but it attracts assistance (easier to draw flies with honey, etc.). 

And most importantly…tomorrow is promised to no one.    Why put off the pleasure of living?
The bizarre thing about this “formula” is that if you set your plan so that you need no luck, no or little outside cooperation, take total responsibility for your results and then work your $%^^ off…with absolutely perverse precision, THAT is when “luck” avalanches on you.   It is stunning to watch…except that it happens while you’re not watching.  Life is tricky like that.

So with this in mind, would Core Transformations make sense in other ways?   I thought so.  Sri Chinmoy said that you can awaken the “kundalini” evolutionary process from the heart out, or body “up” but never from the head “down.” Meaning that a healed heart has a generative effect on every other aspect of your life.

Cool.  Seeing that I had a theoretical basis for proceeding, I looked deeper.  Obtained an audiotape of Andreas performing her technique on, I believe, an inmate in a prison.

Now, the hypnotic induction is important because it allows people to relax and drop some of their armor and defensive attack: remember that anger is a mask over fear.  So with the subject in a relaxed state, a series of questions began.

The man had (if I remember correctly—it’s been over twenty years) mugged and killed an old lady.  The questioning, roughly, went like this:

“Why did you kill that old lady?”
“She wouldn’t let go of her purse.”
“And why did you want her purse?”
“To get her money.”
“And if you had all the money you wanted, what then?”
(A pause, then…)
“I’d be able to get the shit I want.”
“And if you had all the things you want, what then?”
(A pause, then…)
“I’d rule, man.   No one would bug me, and everyone would respect me.”
“And if you had all the respect you wanted, what then?”
(A pause, then…)
“I’d have the women and the friends, and nothing could touch me.”
“And if you felt totally safe, and had all the friends and women you wanted, what then?”
(A longer pause.  The voice changed, slowed a bit.)
“I’d…be happy.”
“And if you felt totally happy, what then?”
(Another long pause.  Voice slows and softens.)
“I’d be able to drop my guard a little.  Stop pushing so hard all the time.”
“And if you were safe to let your guard down, and you didn’t have to push so hard…if you were safe and loved and respected just as you are, without doing anything…what then?”
(Long pause.  There was something in his voice almost like a muffled sob)
“I’d just be able to let people in.  I’m a good guy. People would like me if they knew me.”
“And if you could let people in.  If people knew you were a good guy, what then?”
(Long pause)
“I wouldn’t feel so lonely.”
(Now the voice has changed massively.  The inmate is deeply kinesthetic)
“And if you didn’t feel lonely.  If you felt connection as deeply as you’ve ever wanted or needed it, what then?”
(A deep, sighing breath.  An exhale, like someone venting something held in stasis for a long long time.”
“I could just…be, man.  Just be.”
“And if you could just be, what then?”
“I’d…I’d…just be.”

The voice is now soft. Childlike.  Tears in the voice.  A thread of joy.  It was stunning, in comparison to the hard, cold voice that began.

Next, Andreas amplified that joyous feeling, and walked him through his life carrying it with him.  Now, I don’t actually know for sure what happened to this man afterward. In fact, because prisoners are so good at giving authority figures what they want, I couldn’t be sure the whole thing wasn’t a con game.
But I could try it myself, on myself.   I did, in an hour-long session, and found the heart-space connection remarkable, no matter what negative behavior I began with.

Then I started working with friends and test subjects, and every time, I got the same result.  Now, I didn’t know how to anchor the emotion in, and future-pace.  Nor did I know how to help the clients set up rituals for daily conditioning of the state.  But even without that, the transformations were remarkable.  I mean, an hour of work changed them for at least a week.

When I began to add the other aspects, I got even more powerful results.  I began to integrate Core Transformation into the other conscious and unconscious work, as a foundational model, a belief pattern I operate from when working with clients, friends, or whatever: whatever we do, we do to try to move away from pain and toward pleasure. And whatever pleasures we seek are substitutes for the genuine, deep connection we once felt in childhood.  Infancy.  The womb.

I’ve walked that path of personal drill-down.  And also meditated deeply and spiritually, for decades. And in terms of the “connect” there is no qualitative or quantitative difference I can detect.  We are what we are, beings created from and nurtured by love, stretching back to the beginning of life.  We spend our entire lives seeking that peace, joy, and acceptance we once received just for being here.

And if we can find a way to take action with joy, rather than take action seeking joy, it transforms our existence.

“Well begun is half done.”   “Begin with the end in mind.”

Give yourself the gift of the emotions most people believe they can only experience after accomplishing, or with the approval of others. 

Pleasure is in the body.   Love is in the heart.  Joy is in the spirit.   “Pleasure” is a poor substitute for what you truly seek.



Anonymous said...

Thank you Steve for simply being who you are. I can honestly say that I am a better person today because of your words, works, and experiences that you've shared. God bless.

Duke said...

I'm impressed. I found your site yesterday when engaged in a Google search for information on the 'Jukes and Kallicaks.' I liked the way you phrased the question. It was curiosity that brought me back today. I was never into NLP, per se, was was sympathetic with their understandings and goals. Great piece today. I'll share the link with a few friends.

Steven Barnes said...

Anonymous--thank you so much. I am profoundly grateful to be of service.