Articles

Why people ignore the powers 
of the mind

By Kim Michaels

 

In various cultures and in different time periods, a number of different approaches to mental and physical healing have been developed and employed. Yet regardless of the healing modality employed, one fact remains constant: 

Some people are healed and some people are not healed. 

This book is for those who are willing to consider what makes the difference between those who are healed and those who are not healed. The goal of the book is to empower people, so they can move into the category of those who are healed. The book is directed towards two categories of people:

  • Those who have already opened their minds to new perspectives on healing, and who have realized the need to look beyond traditional (and untraditional) healing modalities.
  • Those who have employed a particular physical or mental healing modality and have not been healed—and thus realize that if they are to be healed, they must look beyond the boundaries of their present approach to healing. 

Let it be clear, then, that this book is for people who have realized – or are willing to realize – a timeless reality, namely that if one keeps doing the same thing, one is not likely to get different results. If one has not been healed by taking a specific approach to healing, one can either continue to employ the same approach – and hope for a miracle – or one can look for a broader perspective, a different approach. To find such an approach, one must ask the question of whether the road to healing perhaps can be found only by thinking outside the box of one’s present healing modality and world view.

Again, what is the difference between those who are healed and those who are not healed? Might it be that those who are healed are those who are most willing to go beyond the boundaries of their mental boxes? In fact, they are willing to go as far beyond as it takes to be healed. In contrast, those who are not healed are saying that even though their present approach to healing has not produced the desired results, they are not willing to look beyond it. Thus, they are essentially seeking to force the universe to conform to their mental image, instead of expanding their world view and bringing it into alignment with the reality of how the universe works.

As an example of how a particular healing modality can form a mental box, look at modern, Western medical science, which approaches healing as if the human body was a biological machine that functions according to mechanical laws that never vary. If this approach was indeed correct, then all people with the same symptoms should be healed when exposed to the same treatment. If one has ten cars that all have faulty spark plugs and one replaces the spark plugs, all ten cars will work again. Yet if one takes ten people with identical symptoms and treats them with the same drug, one is likely to confirm the fact that some are healed and some are not. 

This leads to one inescapable conclusion: Human beings are not machines! There is a variable in human beings – an X-factor – that is not found in truly mechanical devices. As long as one does not understand or acknowledge this variable, some will be healed and some will not. This book will explore the X-factor for those who want to move into the category of those who are healed.

Modern medical science maintains that its mechanistic approach makes it superior to all previous healing modalities. And while this book will question the mechanistic approach, the book will not seek to diminish the accomplishments of science, which have truly brought humankind out of the Dark Ages. In fact, this book will take the findings of science to their logical philosophical conclusion and thereby restore the original goal of the first scientific pioneers: true objectivity that is beyond the human mind. 

The book will do so by offering a higher understanding of the mind and its role in all aspects of life. In pursuing this way of looking at healing, it will become clear that the X-factor – which determines who are healed and who are not healed – is indeed found in the mind. It will also become clear that health is not the absence of disease but a state of mind called wholeness.

 

A new approach to healing

The purpose of Part One is to explore where one needs to look for a new approach to healing, including why and how one needs to go beyond the existing mental box created by the mechanistic approach to healing used in the Western world. Thus, one needs to begin by exploring why and how the current scientific paradigm came into being.

As stated in the introduction, modern science can be credited with undeniable technological progress in most areas of life, and this progress is a product of the fact that science has expanded humankind’s understanding of many facets of the world and how it functions. In fact, if one looks at history, one will see that the foundation for any kind of progress is that people ask questions that go beyond their existing paradigms, including the dominant world view of their society. 

By looking at historical facts, it becomes clear that science emerged in an era when people’s thinking was highly restricted by a particular world view. This world view was based on a specific religion, which had – as many religions do – adopted a set of doctrines that were seen as infallible—and thus beyond questioning. For the medieval people who accepted the world view of their time, their religious doctrines formed a narrow and closed mental box that limited their willingness and ability to ask questions. This explains why the so-called Dark Ages lasted for centuries and why the pace of progress in thought and innovation was agonizingly slow compared to what has been seen in both previous civilizations and in the current civilization. 

Yet by taking a broader view of history, one will see that while the Dark Ages certainly represented a rather obvious example of how a rigid mental box can impede progress, it was not a unique example. In fact, a pattern quickly emerges. Most civilizations seen throughout history have started out with an expansionary period of rapid growth. This growth has in some cases been caused by raw military power, but in many cases it has been at least partly caused by an expansion in thought and innovation, caused by a willingness to look beyond old paradigms and reach for new ideas. However, in many cases, the expansion was eventually followed by a period of stagnation, and this was caused by the fact that the people became rigid and unwilling to question their paradigms, beliefs and world view. If this rigidity persisted, the civilization would enter a period of decline that would either lead to its collapse (from within, through conquest by an external enemy or both) or to its transition into a new period of expansion, based on a renewed openness to innovation.

It is clear that science was indeed the catalyst for bringing Western civilization out of the stagnation and decline of the Middle Ages and into the renaissance, the industrial revolution and the modern era. Yet when one looks at history, one must begin to question a particular interpretation of why and how this happened, namely that progress was caused by the materialistic approach. 

It is a historical fact that virtually all of the early scientists – and even many among later scientific giants – were religious people. They were not religious in an orthodox and rigid fashion, but were open to looking beyond the religious doctrines of their time—in some cases quite far beyond. Many of these scientists saw no inherent conflict between science and spirituality, instead seeing them as two sides of the same coin, as two approaches to answering the fundamental questions of life. Why then did science – during the 1800s – become increasingly materialistic, eventually setting itself up in opposition to all religion and spirituality, even claiming that the ultimate triumph of science will be the – supposedly imminent – eradication of all religious superstition?

 

Understanding the basic dynamic of civilization

Two lines of thought must be considered. First, one must question the claim made by many materialists that religion is the primary cause of human conflict and the primary factor that limits human thought. This claim simply does not conform to a sophisticated view of history. Few historians will claim that the decline of the Roman empire or the ancient Greek civilization was caused by their religions—instead pointing to internal stagnation leading to vulnerability to an external enemy. And in the last century, the world has seen numerous countries basing their form of government on a particular political philosophy that was distinctly anti-religious. Yet this philosophy was still used to create a very narrow mental box that limited innovation by making it a capital offense to question the party line. Most of these countries have now abandoned their rigid adherence to Marxist or communist ideology, and they have created societies with more openness to new ideas. Had they not done so, they would not have survived economically.

Thus, one thing becomes clear, namely that it is not only religious ideas that can be used to create a closed mental box that limits the progress of a civilization. Political ideas can become equally limiting to the expansion of thought, and this leads one to question why science should be any different. Is it possible that science – after the emergence of materialism – has become another factor that has created a rigid mental box that limits progress in certain areas? If so, why did this happen?

This leads to a second line of thought. As stated, the first scientists were not materialists, so it is not likely that pure scientists were responsible for the emergence of materialism. Then, who were the people behind the emergence of scientific materialism and its ascendance to a position, where it dominates the thinking of a large percentage of today’s people?

A sophisticated look at history will reveal a distinct pattern, namely that there are two forces working in human society. One force seeks to bring genuine progress to the people by bringing forth new ideas and by seeking to expand respect for human rights. The other force, however, works in the opposite direction by seeking to concentrate power, wealth and privilege in the hands of a small elite. The first force is aiming to set the people free, whereas the second force is aiming to make the population the slaves of a small elite. One might speak of a creative elite and a dominant elite or power elite. 

When one begins to see the hidden influence of various power elite groups throughout history, it becomes clear that this factor is the missing link in most people’s understanding of history. Why does a civilization go through a rapid expansion of new ideas? Because the creative elite has managed to bring forth an expanded world view by questioning old paradigms. This overthrows the old, rigid structure and often gives greater physical freedom and freedom of thought to the population. Why does a society then go into a period of stagnation and decline? Because a power elite now begins to use the new ideas in order to concentrate power and privilege, which means the same ideas are now used to limit the freedom of the population. 

It must be added to this scenario that there is usually an established power elite whose members seek to hold on to the old paradigm and prevent the emergence of new ideas. This is clearly seen in medieval Europe, where the Catholic Church, the noble class and the kings sought to prevent the questioning of church doctrine in an attempt to maintain their iron grip on power and privilege. When new ideas could no longer be held back, the renaissance brought a flurry of innovation and freedom of thought, leading to the emergence of democracies. The established power elite lost much of their power, yet an aspiring power elite began to emerge. This new elite has been seeking to use democracy and economic freedom in order to concentrate wealth and privilege in the hands of a small group of people, while the general population – through taxes or inflation – are the worker bees that pay for the excess—as seen in the latest financial crisis. 

This leads to a new understanding of the basic dynamic that shapes the evolution of a civilization. There is an established power elite, seeking to hold on to power, and an aspiring power elite, seeking to overthrow the old order so they can take the privileges held by the established elite. It must be added that the aspiring power elite will often use any means available in order to overthrow the established elite. The aspiring elite will often claim to be working for the freedom of the people, and they will often seem to champion new ideas that challenge old ideas. Yet this does not mean that the members of the aspiring elite are part of the creative elite. The aspiring elite are driven by purely selfish motives, and they will often use the members of the creative elite to overthrow the old order. If the creative people are not aware of this, they often become unknowing pawns in the hidden political game.

 

Understanding how ideas are used to control the population

If one truly wants to understand why and how materialism emerged, one needs to consider how various power elite groups use ideas to establish or maintain power. History has several examples of societies where a small elite had taken power through raw physical force and were using force to suppress and control the people. Yet in many cases such blatant control through power alone was short-lived, partly because the people were clearly aware that they were being suppressed and controlled—thus giving them a drive to overthrow the power elite.

History also shows several examples of elitist societies, where a small elite maintained their power for a long time, medieval Europe being an obvious example. Yet in these cases the power elite did not control the people through raw power alone but used a combination of physical power and the power of ideas. While the alliance of the Catholic Church, the kings and the noble class had physical power, it is clear that they could not have succeeded without the power of ideas, namely people’s belief in Catholic doctrines. It will always be far more efficient to control people through ideas, especially if done in such a way that people do not even realize they are being controlled.

It now becomes clear that for a power elite ideas are an essential tool. In order to secure the best possible position, a power elite must take an idea that appeals to the people – possibly by offering to set them free from an established power elite or old dogmas – and then turn it into a belief system and world view that places the elite in a privileged position. The belief system also must make the population accept the elite’s position, either because people do not see what is happening or because they believe it is inevitable or even beneficial. Once they have established themselves, the elite must defend their belief system against all threats, including new ideas that could bring progress by overthrowing status quo. 

It now becomes clear that history has several examples of an aspiring power elite that used new ideas in order to get the people to accept the removal of the established elite. The aspiring elite would claim to be working for the freedom of the people, but once the members of the old elite were overthrown, the new elite quickly put themselves in a privileged position—and in some cases the people actually had less freedom than before. Obvious examples are the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and Hitler’s rise to power in Germany. 

It is now clear that there is indeed a force that seeks to set the people free by bringing forth ideas that are closer to the truth than the old world view. Yet the efforts of this creative elite are often undermined or even misused by various power elite groups who are engaged in an ongoing power struggle. Without seeing this underlying power struggle, one simply cannot hope to understand history. Certainly, one cannot understand why freedom is so often taken away.

 

How religion has been used to control people

It now becomes clear that throughout history various power elite groups have used religion as a very effective tool for controlling the people. It has already been mentioned that Europe was kept in the Dark Ages for centuries because a power elite – consisting of the kings, the noble class and the church hierarchy – used religious doctrines to get the people to accept that their lot in life was inevitable, even mandated by God. In fact, the very creation of the Catholic Church was a political move by the Roman emperor Constantine. He attempted to create a new state religion in an – ultimately unsuccessful – attempt to hold on to his own power and prevent the fragmentation of his empire. The Roman empire ultimately declined, but the new entity he created – a religion designed to control the people – survived and took Europe into the Dark Ages.

It must, however, be noted that religion has also had the opposite effect of serving to provide new ideas that helped the people free their minds from old paradigms. For example, a closer study reveals an obvious contrast between the militant history of the Christian religion and the actual teachings of Jesus. 

Jesus appeared in a society that was elitist, with the population heavily suppressed by the alliance of the Jewish priesthood, the Jewish king and the Roman occupiers. Jesus preached a message that challenged the established paradigms of his time, especially the Jewish religion and its priesthood. The religious establishment clearly saw Jesus as a threat, which is demonstrated by his repeated conflicts with the scribes and Pharisees and by his eventual trial and execution. 

Jesus, therefore, was clearly a member of the creative elite who came to set the people free. Unfortunately, this is not well understood by modern people, largely due to the fact that various power elite groups have used the official Christian religion – and a distortion of Jesus’ original teachings – to suppress and control the people. It now becomes clear that in order to understand how religion can be used to control the people, one must consider two factors:

  • There is the original spiritual teaching, given by a creative leader who served to set people free. This was done by bringing forth a new spiritual teaching aimed at freeing people’s minds from the closed mental box of the established religion of the time.
  • There is the official or orthodox religion, which emerges some time after the passing of the original leader. This religion has – in subtle or overt ways – distorted the original ideas so that a new mental box has been created. This mental box traps people’s minds in the same limitations as the old religion, simply in a new disguise. Thus, it has become another political tool, used by a power elite to establish and maintain their position.

To understand this better, consider the elements that allow a religion to become a tool for suppressing the people:

  • In order to control people, there must be the belief in a God, but this God must be a remote, external God. The importance of this is that the people cannot access their God directly. They need a mediator between themselves and God, namely the external religion and its hierarchy—meaning the power elite controlling the outer religion. When a power elite has set itself up as the only mediator between the people and God, the members of that elite have almost absolute power over the people.
  • The external God must be a judgmental God who will reward some people with a wonderful afterlife in heaven and punish others by a very undesirable afterlife in hell. In order to be rewarded with eternal life and avoid eternal punishment, one must live up to certain requirements. These requirements are defined and administered by the hierarchy of the external church. In other words, the only way to get to heaven – a realm beyond this world – is to obey the leaders of the religion within this world.
  • The reward one gets from following the outer religion is not in this world but beyond this world. The psychological mechanism is that it is well worth it to endure a few hardships in this world in order to attain a long-lasting reward in the next world. This includes obeying a power elite, even allowing them to take away one’s freedom and rights. Thus, submit to the power elite here on Earth in order to receive a reward in heaven. When people believe this, they clearly give away their power to take command over their own society, and they willingly submit to the dominance and control of a power elite.
  • The external God is a problem solver, and the people are the ones with the problem. An example is the Catholic belief that all people are born in sin and need absolution from their sins. Yet this absolution is administered by the external religion, making people’s salvation dependent on their obedience to its leaders.

Now contrast this with the elements that make a spiritual teaching a tool for liberating the people:

  • There is a God, but it is not an external, remote God. For example, Jesus stated: “The kingdom of God is within you.” Thus, according to the original teachings of Jesus, one does not need an external mediator, including the hierarchy of an external religion. This is the primary reason why the hierarchy of the established religion of his time had Jesus killed.
  • The external God is not an angry and judgmental God but a loving God. For example, Jesus said: “Fear not little flock, for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Receiving God’s kingdom is not a matter of following external requirements but a matter of accepting it within oneself. Thus, Jesus sought to bring about a change in consciousness rather than a change in outer behavior.
  • It is possible to enter God’s kingdom, but this does not have to wait until after death. For example, Jesus said: “The kingdom of God is at hand,” meaning it can be attained here and now. Thus, one’s life on Earth is of great importance, and the idea of enduring injustices becomes seen in a different light. Rather than enduring the elite’s control in order to gain a future reward, one sees that overcoming all illusions in this world is a key to entering the kingdom of God. The reason being that the kingdom is a state of consciousness that one can attain even in this world.
  • People do have a problem, but it is an internal problem, namely that they have descended into a state of consciousness that prevents them from receiving the abundant life God is offering to all. Thus, the solution to the problem is not to blindly obey an external religion but to work on raising one’s level of consciousness. One must move away from the outer, mechanical path (what Jesus called the “Broad way that leads to destruction”) and on to the inner path (the straight and narrow way that leads to eternal life).

The conclusion is simple. When religion becomes a tool for the power elite, it presents a message that dis-empowers the people and causes them to submit to the dominance and control of the elite. It does this by presenting an external God and an external path to salvation—obedience to the outer religion/society and its leaders, i.e. the power elite. Yet true spirituality presents a liberating message, namely that the people have the power to enter the kingdom of God right within themselves. They do not need an earthly elite in order to attain this higher form of life. Nor do the people need to wait for an afterlife, for the kingdom of God can be attained in this world. Of course, personal healing is very much part of attaining the kingdom of God.

What exactly does this mean? It means that the key to entering the kingdom of God is not an external path but an internal path. What is the difference? The external path says that one can rise to a higher form of life as the automatic or mechanical result of believing in certain outer doctrines, performing certain outer rituals and following certain outer prescripts—all of which are defined by the leaders of the external religion. However, this higher form of life will not be attained while on Earth. The internal path says that attaining a higher form of life is a process that takes place completely within the mind of the individual. The external path makes one’s progress dependent upon the external authority, whereas the inner path makes one independent of any power elite on Earth. 

The difference is simple. The external path essentially says that the individual does not have the power within his or her own mind to become free of the limitations of earthly life. Thus, in order to become successful, a power elite must prevent people from using the power of their minds by denying them an understanding of the mind and its true powers. In contrast, the internal path emphasizes the power of the mind, thus seeking to set the individual free by teaching him or her how to use the capabilities that are already built into the mind.

It now becomes clear that if one is to move from the category of those who are not healed into those who are healed, one must begin by expanding one’s understanding of the mind. And this is precisely why modern Western people need to look beyond the dominant paradigm of the time. For it is indeed ironic that while scientific materialism claims to have liberated people from the fallacies of religion, materialism is also a thought system that denies the true powers of the mind. One can now gain a deeper understanding of why this is so.

 

Why materialism denies the power of the mind

Most people – including those belonging to the creative elite – like to think that the emergence of new ideas is a product of the fact that humankind is engaged in an ongoing quest for truth. Thus, a new idea emerges because it contains more truth than the old idea it replaces. And while this is (sometimes) true for the emergence of new ideas, it is not true for how ideas gain influence in a society. There will always be an established power elite seeking to hold on to power, and they will either suppress a new idea or seek to use it to maintain their positions. Yet there will also be an aspiring power elite seeking to use a new idea to overthrow the established elite—and then use it to set themselves up in positions of power. Thus, the primary concern that determines whether a new idea gains influence in a society is not its content of truth but its usefulness to the power elite. The only way to avoid this is that the people become aware of the existence and strategy of the power elite groups and refuse to be pulled into the ongoing power struggle.

As explained, religious ideas have often been used by power elite groups to suppress the people by controlling their thinking about life. However, religious ideas do have one inconvenient aspect that makes them problematic to at least some power elite groups. That aspect is the fact that religious ideas recognize the existence of a supreme authority, meaning an authority above and beyond anything on Earth. The problem being that a power elite cannot become the supreme authority as long as the people believe in a God who might decide to bring forth new revelation. For example, many Christians believe God used Jesus to bring forth a new teaching, and in the modern age, a growing number of people are open to the potential for new revelation to be brought forth again.

Another problem with the belief in a supreme authority is that it leads to the concept that the people have rights that are defined and given by God—and thus should not be taken away or undermined by any authority – meaning any power elite group – on Earth. This belief is essentially what led to the emergence of democracy. Unfortunately, many people believe democracy is the result of a universal desire to improve life for the general population and that democratic freedoms could never be lost. Yet a democracy is not the ideal form of government for a power elite. Thus, since the emergence of democracy, various power elite groups have either attempted to use it for their ends or attempted to undermine it and transition into a more totalitarian form of government, making democracy a facade.

Yet at least some power elite groups have attempted to go a different route, namely to undermine the very foundation for democracy—the belief in a supreme authority that grants rights. If this one belief is taken away, then the rights of the people will be defined by the state, meaning that if the power elite controls the state, they can define the rights of the people in such a way that the privileged position of the elite cannot be threatened. 

What is overlooked by most modern people is that for a power elite, the feudal societies of medieval Europe were close to the ideal form of government, because the people had very limited opportunities for resisting the rule of the elite. Thus, some power elite groups have attempted to use democracy and economic freedom to create a modern version of the feudal societies, where the people are completely dependent upon the elite. People have been enslaved through ideas and economic means rather than raw power.

One way to recreate such an elitist society is through the philosophy of materialism. This system of thought denies the existence of anything beyond the material universe, thus removing the belief in a superior authority and inalienable rights. It also establishes the concept of “survival of the fittest,” which undermines the idea that all humans are “created equal,” thus undermining the two cornerstones of democracy—rights and equality. Instead, it creates a system in which nature has determined that some people have superior abilities to lead, and thus it cements the existence and necessity of a power elite whose members govern the people.

If materialism was to eradicate the belief in a spiritual side to life, it is questionable whether democracy could survive. It is far more likely that an elitist society would emerge in which the people were completely dependent upon the elite. The reason being that materialism also denies the power of the individual mind.

From its inception, materialism has claimed that there is nothing beyond the material universe. Thus, there can be no soul, no spiritual being, that simply inhabits the physical body but has an existence – and thus mental powers – that are independent of the body. Instead, materialism claims that all human thought processes – including the individual’s sense of identity – are the products of purely material processes in the brain. The importance of this is that it represents a clear denial of the power of the mind, and thus it denies the potential for an individual to improve his or her situation through inherent powers. According to materialism, the individual can never be truly free, but is dependent upon – even defined by – conditions in the material world.

As already stated, the irony is that materialism claims to have liberated humanity from the fallacies of religion, yet it is simply another version of an elitist belief system that denies the power of the individual. The medieval church claimed that human beings did not have the powers of mind to “save themselves” but needed the church and its priesthood. Materialism also claims that you do not have the powers of mind to improve your situation. Your mental processes are the sole product of the material processes in your brain, and the physical structure of your brain is a product of your DNA, over which you have no control. If you develop a disease, your mind had no influence on creating the disease and thus does not have the power to heal it. Instead, your only option is to turn to the “priesthood” that the power elite have appointed as the sole mediators between you and health. If they cannot heal you, it is because healing is impossible, and you simply have to accept your fate.

If you desire to rise above this limiting belief system, the first step is to realize that while science is an expression of a universal drive to raise humankind’s understanding of truth, materialism is not. Neither is materialism a product of the drive to set the people free and secure their rights. It is the exclusive product of the age-old power struggle in which an aspiring power elite group is seeking to overthrow the old elite and put themselves in a dominant position. The next step is to understand that materialism – especially its denial of the power of the mind – has already been undermined by science itself.

 

 

Copyright © 2009 Kim Michaels

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