Human Consciousness and Decision-Making
University Forum on Human Consciousness, Hull UK
Keynote Talk by Martyn Carruthers
Take a look at your life. Whatever knowledge you have accumulated, however successful
you are, whatever genetic mental, physical or material benefits you have inherited, your
life primarily reflects your decisions!
Making decisions can be complex. For important decisions, such as a long-term
committment, you may dissociate from this moment - now - and review your past decisions
and their consequences. You may first decide "what is most important" as a basis
for the subsequent decision. You may decide to disregard your present mood. You may decide
to plan beyond short term results. You may decide to put yourself into another person's
"point of view", to incorporate information from that perspective. You may
decide to creatively envision a number of different possible futures.
A child cannot make complex decisions. A complex decision is an adult behaviour,
requiring cognitive skills that children lack. Children make simple decisions. Children
cannnot abstract their core values, to find integrity. Children cannot consciously
generalise experience, to find useful beliefs. Children cannot dissociate, to examine
potential long term consequences of their actions. Children cannot "step into"
another person's reality. Children cannot envision multiple possibilities.
An adult can make simple decisions. Simple decision strategies are useful for
unimportant or hasty decisions. (Eg: "Which cheese to buy?") You may use a
decision process which a child might choose an ice cream flavour. Maybe stay with your
last choice? Maybe flip a coin? Maybe eliminate options with "Eeny meeny miney
mo"? Maybe decide based on how you feel this moment? Maybe choose the easiest option?
Maybe ask someone else to choose for you?
Difficulties may arise when a simple decision strategy is used for an important
decision with long-term consequences. For example, what is likely to happen if you select
a life partner or an occupation by a "simple" method? And some adults cannot
seem to make complex decisions.
Having made a decision, complex or simple, action requires motivation. Perhaps you
assess the significance of a task in terms of the meaning it gives to your life. Or you
motivate yourself by imagining some unpleasant consequences of not acting, or by imagining
the pleasure of completing the task. Maybe you may wait for someone else to motivate you,
or you may motivate yourself with deadlines. And, although you have many possibilities,
you may not be motivated to act on some lesser quality decisions. There have probably been
times when your lack of motivation for some action was wonderful, as well as many times
when you were motivated to create beautiful results.
After acting, you can assess the consequences of your decision, to help you make better
decisions in the future. You can assess the quality of your decisions by the quality of
life resulting from the decision. How do you measure the quality of life? My measuring
stick for my decision to present this talk at this conference will be whether, through
this action, I meet people who are interested in practical ways of accelerating the
evolution of human potential, so that together we may assess the possibilities of
contributing to a network of information, techniques and projects. This is my
Making a decision seems easy - know what we want, create some options, evaluate the
consequences of the options and select an option likely to produce optimum consequences.
And yet we live in a world dominated by short term decisions that benefit few people (Eg:
politicians looking no further than the next election), we live in a world where your
image may be more important than your reality, where your assets may be more important
than the quality of your life, (as my bank manager said "Many of my clients borrow
money they can hardly afford to pay back, to buy things they don't need, to impress people
they don't like!"). We live in a world where so many people continue to make the same
old decisions and repeatedly suffer the same old consequences. I believe that we always
make the best decisions available to us. But why do we often decide to suffer? We may make
decisions with a hidden agenda - in which we hope for a some advantage that we hide from
other people. Can we also make decisions with a hidden agenda that we hide from ourselves?
Our decisions reflect our desires. If we make negative goals (Eg, "I don't want to
suffer"), we motivate ourselves to avoid a problem by focussing on the problem! Our
unconscious minds seem to have difficulty representing negative goals. Don't think of what
you don't want! This may be rather difficult - a solution is to think of what you want
instead. However we can use negative goals powerfully - "You don't have to relax -
now - and you don't need to consider the consequences of negative goals you have set in
Our decisions reflect our congruence. If we have inner conflict, (Eg,"Part of me
wants this, but part of me doesn't"), we may either avoid making a decision, or we
may act incongruently and later find ways to sabotage ourselves. Why not make decisions
and act with 100% congruence? Finding a 100% congruent goal is difficult. Finding a 100%
congruent goal takes time. And we may feel bad about having a conflict, and let the
unpleasant feeling motivate us to avoid the self-discovery required to resolve the
conflict. Few people are aware of how their lack of congruence influences their decisions.
Our decisions reflect our specificity. If our goals are abstract (Eg, "I want to
succeed"), without a plan for achievement, we have little hope of success! If our
goals are wishy-washy (Eg: "I want to learn a second language"), without
specifying exactly how much of what, we may lose energy. And if we make goals without
deadlines, (Eg "I want a wonderful relationship - before I die"), we can
endlessly procrastinate taking concrete action. Few people are aware of how the format of
their desires influence their decisions.
Our decisions reflect our beliefs. If we believe "There are infinite choices
available for every decision", we are less likely to have tunnnel-vision about a
single option. If we believe "I do not deserve success", we may decide to fail!
If we believe "All wealthy people are corrupt", then we may decide not to be
wealthy - or we may decide to become corrupt so as to become wealthy! If we believe we are
Souls with the possibility of fulfilling ourselves in our physical lives, we may decide to
focus on the long-term social consequences of our actions. Few people are aware of how
their beliefs influence their decisions.
Our decisions reflect our relationships with ourselves (Eg: " Do I like myself? Am
I proud of my actions? Can I be happy in the future?) and our relationships with other
people, past and present (Eg: "Is it OK if I am more successful than my father",
"Will my success will damage my relationship with my life partner", "Will
my failure motivate my family to give me the attention that I want from them") Few
people are aware of how their relationships influence their decisions.
Our decisions reflect our Sense of Life. (Eg: "Am I angry about how I allow myself
to be treated?", "Am I afraid of expressing my anger?", "Am I sad that
I do not maintain my boundaries?", "Will success allow me to express my
emotions?") Few people are aware of how their emotions influence their decisions.
It seems that our decisions reflect what we really want in our lives, and what we
really want may be incongruent with our stated, conscious goals. If we look at the results
of our decisions, even those that are seemingly poor, we may find that those decisions
accurately reflect our desires, our beliefs, our relationships and our Sense of Life.
Sense of Life
Janelle Doan (a consultant-trainer in Eastern Canada), Annegret Hallanzy (a family
therapist in Southern Germany) and I, with input from the fields of accelerated learning,
expert modelling, neuro-linguistic programming, systemic family therapy and traditional
Polynesian healing, and with the tremendous support of many people, created a format of
reconciliation to help people make decisions that are congruent with their Sense of Life.
The first step is finding the motivation to change. The next step is fully experiencing
one's full identity, or totality of being, or Soul, later called Identity State. The next
is evaluating whether one can express one's full identity in one's current relationships,
and the final step is resolving past emotional trauma that overwhelm the expression of
one's full identity. Together, this methodology supports a person in making congruent
decisions towards achieving self-selected important goals, while sequentially resolving a
person's internal conflict, relationships and emotional issues. During this threefold
resolution, many mental health issues and physical symptoms "go into remission".
My motivation to become involved in a "soft" science (I come from a
background of physics) originated as a desire to find effective techniques for teaching
radiation protection to the staff of nuclear power stations. I explored relaxation
techniques, musical backgrounds and visual imagery with some success, and while I gained a
strange reputation as a teacher, my techniques were effective in raising average marks to
previously unheard-of levels. Later I found that the most effective methods for
accelerating learning came with helping students to change their learning strategies and
their limiting decisions about themselves. I found that many people use poor learning
strategies, usually installed while at school, which encourage limiting decisions, such as
"I cannot learn physics".
For example, most people look up to visualise. But when a child looks up to remember a
visual eidetic image, a teacher may say "The answer isn't on the ceiling Johnny -
stop day-dreaming and look at your desk". Looking down is pretty good for talking to
oneself, but talking to oneself is a poor way to remember diagrams and charts. Also few
teachers know HOW people learn well. For example, most good spellers spell by looking up,
visualising a word, and waiting for a feeling. If the feeling is "rightness" the
person "reads" the letters off the image. If the feeling is
"wrongness", the person tries another visualisation. A lesser speller often
writes the word and makes a kinesthetic check. A poor speller tries to "spell it
out" auditorily - which is slow (and very inefficient with irregular English
spelling). A terrible speller usually switches between negative self-talk and unpleasant
feelings, which may become evidence for a decision that one is slow, learning-disabled or
stupid! Such decisions are often encouraged by teachers! Although such decisions may be
changed by encouragement or counter-examples, teaching an effective learning strategy
makes such decisions irrelevent!
For example, changing a person's subjective experience of time is extremely useful in
education. Typically, we have a certain mental "speed", limited by
sub-vocalisation (Eg: How fast can you count from one to one hundred? It is much more
efficient to do this visually without sub-vocalising - for example "seeing" the
numbers from one to one hundred without mentally verbalising them. And it is even more
efficient to "see" the entire number set from one to one hundred
simulataneously!). We can all change subjective time flow - for example the minute that
seems like an hour when we're in a crisis, or the hour that seems like a minute when we
are enjoying ourselves. Using a hypnotic "double dissociation" to allow a person
to stop sub-vocalising, while simultaneously increasing the subjective time ratio from 1:1
to around 300:1, allows lightening fast cognition, without conscious "brakes".
This is sometimes a superb strategy for organising knowledge that one has already learned
- for example prior to an examination.
I explored applying hypnotic techniques for accelerating learning and changing
decisions to psychotherapy, which produced a lot of resistance from psychotherapists! (For
example: helping a person to plan their future - as if with an important resource that had
been lacking in the past, perhaps the ability to make complex decisions). Later I began
applying accelerated learning to the process by which we heal our own bodies. At first the
results were peculiar. Accelerating the healing of a disease often shortened the disease
duration but increased the severity of the symptoms! And removing symptoms by direct
hypnotic suggestion often caused different symptoms to suddenly arise! Something was
missing in my rather mechanistic approach. People do not let go of their suffering so
I particularly liked the concept of sub-identities, ego-states or parts used in many
therapies. This notion is that certain skills may be state-dependent - ie the skills can
only be used in a specific emotional state. (Eg: "I can only be creative when I am
angry!") I explored existing techniques for changing the meaning or boundaries of
parts, (including many "therapeutic" techniques which now seem totally
unhealthy), and became adept at working with them. Later I came to see parts as
dissociated "personality packages". Each part had their own values, beliefs and
behaviours, although the package was often more appropriate for children than adults. (Eg:
"When I see a physics formula, part of me wants to scream").
In 1989, I was invited to teach in Hawaii, where I met a native healer, Papa Havi (a
"kahuna la'au lapa'au", living in Hilo, Hawaii). Papa Havi uses a number healing
concepts that transcended my hypnotic skills. His work includes each client learning from
their disease, as if each symptom was a teacher. (Papa Havi: "It is more important
that a person learn from a disease than that they heal it!") He also focuses the
importance of helping a client heal their relationships! I returned to Hawaii many times
to study with Papa Havi and other native healers.
Another example: a Hawaiian concept is that we keep "black bags" in our
bodies, with the bags representing unresolved emotions from some past traumatic
experience. In the "black bag" are the emotions from a previous experience, and
a younger version of ourself - as if some part of ourselves is still experiencing the
traumatic experience. The location of this "black bag" in the body may be a
focus for disease. "Opening the bag" can be very emotional, and also opens the
possibility of accepting and integrating a hitherto rejected younger version of oneself.
Hmmm, more parts! However, instead of being "fragmented ego states", such parts
are treated like "lost frightened children".
I was simultaneously seeking people who had experienced "spontaneous"
remission from the physical symptoms of serious disease, and, if they were willing,
hypnotically investigating their healing process. Many times, in many ways, I heard people
say "The disease became my friend" or "The pain became my my teacher".
It is as if a part was creating a disease and this part was being fully accepted! Such
people also commented on how they redefined their "toxic" relationships.
Exploring the advantages of a disease in a persons life seemed to indicate that disease
symptoms resolve some deep issue in the persons life. Although the information was
confusing, the deep issues seemed to be in three groups - inner conflict, relationship
problems and overwhelming emotions from past traumatic experiences.
Another source of information was neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), a meta-philosophy
from which are derived many techniques that I found to be useful in the duplication of
expertise. I found some NLP to be profound, particularly work on "Identity
Metaphors" - how to recognise and change the metaphors by which we guide our lives.
Combining this work with accelerated learning and Hawaiian healing opened a door to
"dreaming together" - the ability to join a person in their metaphoric
experience of identity. But I still lacked a "big picture". I was unsure where
all this was leading.
In 1992 I met a Canadian consultant-trainer, Janelle Doan (called a professional angel
by many of her friends). With an exuberance of joy and a love of people, Janelle lives the
principles that I now teach. Janelle has since been researching human bonding, which forms
the basis for the relationship phase of this work, and together we explore the
meta-physical implications of the Hawaiian techniques. Each "Path to Identity",
discussed later, can access unusual states, the descriptions of which would normally be
associated with religious experience. (We're not in Kansas any more, Toto).
In 1993 I met a German family therapist who was struggling with similar issues,
Annegret Hallanzy. We worked (and suffered) together in Bavaria to investigate the
Hawaiian healing techniques. Our results were beyond our expectations - many of the
seemingly esoteric techniques used by native Hawaiian healers could be translated into a
psycho-philosophy that generated a specific tool set, based on the reconciliation of self!
Although Annegret and I take our results in different directions, this synthesis
represents a very big picture indeed.
The reconciliation inherent in each phase of the following seems to make physical and
mental symptoms irrelevent - as if the physical symptoms of a disease represent old
decisions that can be redecided! The following steps can be adapted to many specific
symptoms. However, for these steps to be useful, a person must want to "grow
up", that is, a person must want to find and fulfill his or her adult
responsibilities. Also, a person must have or have had at least one quality relationship,
in which the other person, as they are, is more important than their position or any other
bonds (see Phase 3). If this experience in relating is lacking, a person cannot create a
However, the spontaneous remission of physical or mental symptoms seems to be a lesser
benefit to a person than their finding and making decisions based on their Sense of Life,
which is the focus of all that follows.
Most people are consciously aware of their short term goals, their present
relationships, their symptoms and some past events. Most people are unconscious or unaware
of existential conflict, identifications, limiting identity beliefs, the relationship
bonds and early childhood trauma. However, all these things contribute to a sense of
normality which people use as a standard when making decisions. The following helps a
person redefine "normal", in alignment with their highest values. The following
seems to be a natural human way to fulfill life. The phases are merely ways to describe
it, so that we may, if we decide, accelerate fulfillment!
Phase 1 - Motivation (Suffer all you want!)
Lack of motivation is an obstacle to making complex decisions. For most people Phase 1
is "suffering" - living the consequences of poor quality decisions until a
congruent decision is made to grow up and take responsibility for living life! Suffering
seems to be a normal human way to motivate oneself. Few people say "I'm living a
great life, my family get along fine and we're all healthy - please help me!". In our
society, suffering is often a normal way to build self-respect and earn the attention of
other people. Suffering is often enshrined as "holy". Many people have told me
that their suffering somehow makes them a better person. But how much suffering is enough?
What is suffering? It seems to be an existential dillema, often associated with
hopelessness or helplessness, associated with one's sense of life. The work of Clair
Graves, a post-doctoral student of Abraham Maslow, provides useful insights into this.
While attempting to create an instrument to assess a person's position on Maslow's famous
"Hierarchy of Needs", Graves discovered that people have different hierarchies
based on their values, and that a persons values evolve predictably. As our sense of life
is based on the question "What is important?", Graves work allows a rapid
assessment of a person's values, and indicates the actions needed to evolve to the next
level! Here are Graves' "Levels", in their evolutionary sequence, as I
understand and interpret them:
- My survival today is more important than anything
- Assisting the survival of my tribe (or family) is more important than anything
- My personal power (or immediate gratification) is more important than anything
- Maintaining the establishment (eg: religion, government) is more important than anything
- My personal success is more important than anything
- Supporting my community is more important than anything
- My personal development is more important than anything
- Saving my planet (or humanity) from destruction is more important than anything
Janelle and I developed Graves concepts to encompass how we sense and express our
Identity State, or Soul, but that's another talk. Let's get back to suffering!
Pain happens - suffering is optional! Suffering is a choice. If you havn't suffered
enough, you can choose to suffer some more, but what is the point of all your suffering,
if you can't enjoy fulfilling your life?
Phase 2 - Reconciling with Self
Internal conflict and incongruence are obstacles to making complex decisions. After
finding motivation, this phase is recognising and accepting parts of ourselves. Parts
express themselves by incongruence - (Eg, a person becoming asymmetrical while saying a
not-totally-true "Yes"). Courteously accepting and ackowledging incongruence
builds a strong sense of trust. Parts can be elicited, accepted, acknowledged and
integrated until the person can experience self as a congruent single identity (Identity
I use six (so far) basic Identity Paths (Desires, History, Emotions, Symptoms, Values
and Ego) to help a person find their full identity, or totality of being, or Identity
State. Understanding and experiencing these basic paths provides great flexibility at each
step of Phase 1. I enjoy the paradox that each of these paths is often considered to be a
basic block to fulfillment.
For example, a common obstacle is when a person desires "A" and
"B", in which having "A" makes having "B" unlikely, and
having "B" makes having "A" unlikely. (Eg: "I want love and
freedom; but if I have love I cannot be free, and if I am free I cannot have love".)
What is the next step? This conflict cannot be resolved at the level on which it is
manifest (typically as emotion laden beliefs). However, the conflict can be resolved by
recourse to Identity State, which by its nature includes having both possibilities
simultaneously. Each conflict thus encountered becomes another stepping stone to Identity
State. Each accepted part seems to have a "gift" for the person, usually
abilities that were forgotten or abandoned in the past. (Eg: "Now I remember - this
is my playfullness - this is the part of me that knows how to play!"). Nothing need
be lost forever.
Identifications prevent the experience of self as a congruent identity. I know three
(so far) Identifications, each with a set of symptoms which allow tentative diagnosis. It
seems that about 15% of Canadian and European people (based on work with clients and
workshop participants) live an identification. Resolving these identifications can
simultaneously help a person to find their Identity State.
Identification with a Dead Person - I am not-me, I am sad in all contexts of my life
Identification with a Victim - I am not-me, I am angry in all contexts of my life
Identification with a Hero - I am not-me, I am fearful in all contexts of my life
For example, in old Hawaii, if a person died and was not "honoured" by the
family, the dead person's spirit was thought to be sad, and perhaps stay in the family, by
living in a child. This has a similar structure to the work of a German psychotherapist -
Bert Hellinger - who describes Dead Person Identification and Victim Identification. I
predicted a probable symptomology for Hero Identification, and then worked with people
having this symptomology to find an effective dis-identification process.
With an identification, it is as-if the person's true identity, or Identity State, was
lost or hidden, while under stress, so that another identity could be expressed to the
world. Dis-identification honours the expressed identity and finds the person's true
identity or Identity State.
Identity State (I have never met a soul I didn't love)
At the end of the Path of Gifts is Identity State. Identity State is not a resource,
like a feeling of motivation, and it is not a part. Many people reaching Identity State
describe it in terms of an energy connection - a type of relationship in which all
possibilities are available as ways to express one's deepest creative integrity. Many
people spontaneously visualise a future version of themself that represents living this
integrated state. Such a representation can be a lasting internal mentor, who can always
be available to help evaluate circumstances and to make congruent decisions.
People often spontaneously refer to Identity State as "Soul", which was at
first a tribulation for me. I talked to many religious experts about what Soul might be,
and received enough conflicting information to drive me back to physics. However, I wish
to honor the wonderful Identity States that people have, and the names "Soul" or
"Soul State" seems to fit well. On finding Identity State, most people say that
it was always available, but it was deeply and DELIBERATELY hidden as a way of coping with
Phase 2 is complete when a person can choose to access "Identity State" as a
basis for creating possibilities, making decisions, for evaluating relationships, for
changing beliefs and for resolving past trauma. A typical test question for "Identity
State" is: "Is this another step towards finding what you truly want, or is this
something that you want to dedicate your life to fulfilling, so that it becomes even
better?". If the former, there will be still essential outstanding partial
personalities to accept and integrate.
Finding "Identity State" or "Soul State" is usually an ecstatic
experience for a person. A person's physiology becomes erect and balanced, with a peaceful
high energy. It is something like meeting a "Witness" for your life - a loving
mentor who supports you unconditionally without criticism. Conversations with Souls are
enlightening. I have never met a Soul I didn't love.
Having found this basic relationship with Self, a person is usually eager to have
fulfilling relationships. Such relationships are often referred to as "Heart to
Heart" or "Soul to Soul". The last part of Phase 2 is reviewing past and
present relationships as to how they could have been different, if the person had always
had conscious access to Identity State. This time-consuming review can be accelerated with
subjective time distortion.
Phase 2 is based on Janelle Doan's life philosophy; on Annegret Hallanzy's research
into Robert Dilts' "Vision Work", on Bert Hellinger's "Systemic Family
Therapy"; and on my work with "partitioned consciousness" and
"identity metaphors". However my best teachers were those people who
"spontaneously" cured themselves of serious disease, and were willing to tell me
Phase 3 - Reconciling Relationships
Relationship bonds may be obstacles to making complex decisions. Our relationships can
be opportunites to fulfill our lives. We can use relationships to enhance our contact with
our selves, while valuing and supporting each other. In a fulfilling partnership, one plus
one can be greater than two! With Soul to Soul communication, a casual human relationship
can become a spiritual event!
And, our relationships may opportunities for us to loose our identity, ways we can lose
contact with who we are, and, feeling seperate, we search for substitutes - we search for
something or someone through which we may feel complete. Often, we may experience this
loss of identity as a "hole" that must be filled. We may desire someone's assets
("I want what you can give me"), we may express someone else's emotions ("I
feel your emotions instead of my own"), we may act dependently ("I want you to
fulfill some aspect of me"), we may emotionally bond ("I connect to you in a way
that changes my sense of self") and we may share limiting beliefs ("To be with
you I must believe that I am ..."). Relationship bonds can be elicited and resolved
for past or present relationships, particularly for our important relationships, which
usually include parents, spouses, and a few other people. Such bonds are intertwined, and
I work with Janelle Doan to better discriminate between them. If, when evaluating
relationships, you can access Identity State, you can consult an always-loving,
always-responsible, high-integrity mentor, to help answer the question "How can I
fulfill my life during this relationship with this person?". Part of the answer may
be in "What can we learn together from our Soul-to-Soul relationship?". Such
answers are often profound.
Here I talk primarily about "partnership" relationships. The same principles
appy your other relationships, such as family, teams and business, but these relationship
bonds are beyond the scope of our time. I will describe some ways that humans bond in
partnership. The first two are ways that we can further our fulfillment during our
partnership. The various bonds are ways that we can lose our identities during
Shared Values (We value each other)
If what is important to me is also important to you (Eg: similar views on life's
purpose, working together, raising children), then we may have a basis for a healthy
relationship, which to me means a relationship free of unhealthy bonds. If our
relationship is important enough, I will make whatever is important to you important to
me! (Eg: spending time with your parents is not important to me - but I will make it
important to me). Sometimes, a single shared value can create powerful emotional bonds,
but may not include other important values. (Eg: "Sexual intimacy is important to
both of us"). It may be enlightening for people in a relationship to discover which
values they actually share!
Shared Desires (We support each other)
Given a relationship already based on shared values, sharing desires allows us to
support each others evolution. Instead of mind-reading (Eg: "If he really loved me he
would know what I want") or fear (Eg: "If I ask for what I want she might say
"No"!"). Although it may be easier to let the other person guess what you
want, or easier to avoid conflict, saying what you want can provide a basis for mutual
evolution. It may be enlightening for people in a relationship to discover what each other
Asset Bonds ("I want what you have - not who you are")
A desire to access a person's assets may represent a loss of identity, replacing the
fulfillment of developing some skill. Access to an asset may be more important than
creating a "shared values" relationship with a person. For example, someone's
wealth, knowledge, athletic prowess, musical ability or perceived power may be more
important than their personality. Sometimes, mere "desire for association" with
a person's assets is enough to create this type of bond!
If someone has something you want, but do not want to create for yourself, you may
feign affection (Eg: "If I pretend to like you a lot, perhaps you will give me
..."). Such assets may be abstract (Eg: power or status) or specific (Eg: money or a
skill). Also, you may use your assets, or symbols of assets, as offers of this type of
bonding. (Eg: "Look what I have! If you pretend to like me, I may give you
some"). Dissolving Asset Bonds allows you to make clear decisions about contracts.
(Eg: "What can I offer you in trade for your desireable asset?")
Identity Bonds ("I feel FOR you")
Sometimes you may feel emotions FOR other people. This represents a loss of identity,
replacing the need to find and express your own emotions. For example you might feel
sadness FOR someone who has died (Eg: dead friend, aborted pregnancies), or fear FOR
someone who does not express it (Eg: someone who acts fearlessly), or anger FOR someone
who is unable to fulfill their role (Eg: a victim), due to the actions of a perpetrator.
In some cases identification may result (see Identifications) in which a person, usually a
child, expresses the identity of another person, and cannot express one's "own
identity". With most identity bonds, however, there is only the tendency to express
emotions FOR someone else in a single context. Dissolving identity bonds helps you to
decide how to express your own emotions appropriately.
If you realise that a person is feeling and expressing your unexpressed emotions for
you, it may be important to express your own emotions. (Eg, if you are acting like a
victim in some context, you may realise that someone else is expressing your repressed
anger.) Victims cannot express anger - so by expressing your own anger you will cease to
be a victim! Expressing your anger, no matter how appropriately, will probably change your
relationships in this context very quickly!
Dependency Bonds ("I am part of you") A dependency bond represents a loss of
identity, replacing the need to fulfill an important aspect of life with the desire that
another person fulfill it. It is often an unconscious way to recreate a childhood
relationship, but in its essence is an attempt to allow someone else to provide the
missing sense of identity. (Eg: "Without you, I lose my self-esteem")
Dependencies may be manipulative - (Eg: "Unless you do this for me I will ...").
Sometimes the other person is also dependent - (Eg: "If you pretend that I am a
good person, I will pretend that you are a good person") creating a powerful loop of
co-dependency. Dissolving dependencies allows you to make important existential decisions
that you may have neglected.
Aka Bonds ("You are part of me")
Primarily a Hawaiian concept, an "aka bond" represents an emotional
connection to another person, and a potential loss of identity, by replacing your desire
to be self-sufficient. "Aka" translates from Hawaiian as smoky, sticky, braided
and stretchy, which describes how Hawaiian healers perceive these connections. An
"Aka Bond" is an emotional connection to another person. (Eg, "I have not
seen so-and-so for years but I feel like we are still connected") Such bonds are
usually a represented as kinesthetically, but can be readily visualised. Some aka bonds
negatively affect your sense of self. They may encourage a demand (Eg: "Because I
feel connected to you, I want you to ..."). Dissolving or replacing aka bonds allows
you to decide what specific behaviours you want to develop for yourself.
Thoughtform Bonds ("To be with you, I must not be me")
A "thoughtform" is another Hawaiian concept, representing a loss of identity
by identifying with a belief, usually a limiting identity-belief that pervades
consciousness. (Eg: "I am bad", "I am not good enough"). Contrary
evidence is rejected, and even infinite encouragement does not reduce their effect. Such
beliefs seem to have been created as a way of bonding to important people. (Eg: "I
see you as bad, so I will be bad too, and our mutual badness can bond us together").
My Hawaiian teachers use this word to describe "dark energies trapped in the
body". Dissolving or replacing thoughtforms frees you of negative self-perception
(and often of self-hatred) and encourages you to decide to love yourself.
Phase 3 is complete when a person has identified and dissolved significant relationship
bonds, including those with people who have since died. This person can decide whether to
re-create and enjoy relationships, and whether to enjoy a lasting freedom from old
influences. A person can choose to apply these methods to better enjoy future
relationships. Having accepted full responsibility for evaluating relationships, a person
can decide to create relationships that support mutual evolution.
Phase 3 is based on Janelle Doan's research into human bonding, on Annegret Hallanzy's
family therapy, and on my research into the healing rituals used by Hawaiian healers. (An
important healing ritual is ho'oponopono - a Hawaiian word meaning "making life right
through sacred family forgiveness").
Phase 4 - Reconciling Past Trauma
Past traumatic events (as perceived by the client) may provide emotional obstacles to
making complex decisions. These past events may be unconscious - that is, a person may
have no conscious memory of them. These events are elicited by encouraging a person
(whilst in Identity State) to define a specific goal, or series of goals, that represent
the persons highest values. (Eg: "Achieving what goal would convince you that you are
fulfilling your life?"). Typically, considering concrete actions towards such an
important goal elicits emotions, which often overwhelm a person and prevent the achievment
of the important goal. As relationship bonds have been dissolved, these emotions originate
from unresolved past trauma.
Each unresolved trauma seems to have the emotional components of anger, and/or fear
and/or sadness. At this stage, a person's anger arises from events in which the person's
values were violated. Typically, a person is afraid of the consequences of expressing
their anger, and is sad about the consequences of not expressing their anger. Identifying
and resolving the specific traumatic events requires that a person find and re-decide the
meaning of the event and decide how to express emotions in a way that supports their
achieving their self-selected important goal, with the mentorship of Identity State.
Phase 3 is based on the religious philosophy of Annegret Hallanzy, and on my research
with people who "spontaneously" healed themselves. Also, Annegret and I
evaluated the techniques of many therapies to determine whether we could use the
techniques at "identity level", ie whether we could use the techniques to
support a person's decision to fulfill life!
On completion, life makes sense! A person can make decisions true to their Sense of
Life. This person understands why he or she lived life their way. This person has
re-evaluated his or her important relationships from the perspective of fulfillment, and
can decide which relationships to nurture, and which relationships to change. This person
has recognised their relationship bonds, replaced or dissolved unwanted bonds, and can
make decisions independent of those bonds. This person has reconciled the effect of
significant traumatic events, and can decide how to express emotions appropriately.
There is Life to be lived. There are important goals to achieve - which means important
decisions to make, and important problems to solve. Striving to achieve these important
goals will INCREASE the number of problems, relationship challenges and decisions to be
made. Living Life this way will not become easier! Living Life this way will become
Such a person can decide to ignore their past - or to learn from it. To ignore their
future - or to plan it. To ignore other people - or to create fulfilling relationships. Or
to choose from infinite other possibilities.
Martyn Carruthers, April 1997
Training Manager: Maryla Biernacik (0048) 22 831 8765 (Fax and answering machine), and
(0048) 602 29 6883 (Cell) (Maryla speaks Polish, English, Russian & Italian).
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