For over 30 years, I have been learning about ‘the human experience’ from many different fields of study, (sciences), philosophies, understandings, and perspectives. Here, I list some of the most prominent among them, (in my experience).
Everything included in the first list, I currently consider to be the most prominent influence in my day-to-day, especially in my writing, my other online content, and my Transformative Conversations. In the second list, I have tried to include some perspectives that have been ‘something of an influence’ and which still hold my interest.
1. Most Influential (currently)
Sydney Banks and The Three Principles
Sydney Banks, (1931 – 2009), was a well-known author, philosopher and lecturer. He was born in Scotland but spent most of his adult life in Canada’s Gulf Islands. In 1973, Banks came to a profound understanding of the Mind and human consciousness and subsequently vowed to bring his understanding to as many people and institutions as possible. This understanding, which he called The Three Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought, is being communicated across the world, in communities from person to person, as well as in prisons, mental health facilities, schools and many other such places.
The Book Store on this site, (yet to be published), will include books authored by Sydney Banks.
For the past 30 years, I have been involved with a 12-step programme, which informs some of my work.
Twelve-step programmes are mutual aid organisations for the purpose of recovery from substance addictions, behavioural addictions and compulsive behaviours. Developed in the 1930s, the first twelve-step program, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), aided its membership to overcome alcoholism. Since then, many other organisations have been derived from AA’s approach to addressing problems as varied as drug addiction, compulsive gambling, co-dependency, and overeating. All twelve-step programmes utilize a version of AA’s suggested twelve steps, first published in the 1939 book “Alcoholics Anonymous”.
The American Psychological Association (APA), summarises the process as follows:
- Admitting that one cannot control one’s alcoholism, addiction, or compulsion
- Coming to believe in a Higher Power that can give strength
- Examining past errors with the help of an experienced member
- Making amends for these errors
- Learning to live life with a new code of behaviour
- Helping others who suffer from the same addictions or compulsions.
All twelve-step organisations discourage the use of their programme for commercial use. Therefore, although some of my clients do have issues that might be addressed by a 12-step process, my Conversations never include any part of the programme. I cite the twelve-step programme here only as a 30-year influence of experience.
Studies in Psychology
For almost as long as I have been involved with the twelve steps, I have been interested in the field of psychology. In fact, my entering into the twelve-step programme was the spark that ignited this interest.
I studied psychology at both Aberdeen college of further and higher education and Aberdeen University, in Scotland.
I continue to read articles and studies in psychology in my spare time.
Spiritual Teachings and Philosophies
My initial approach to the first few steps in the 12-step process, (the Higher Power part), was to “wing it” and hope for the best. Eventually, however, I became curious about religions and spirituality in all their various forms and expressions.
I do not ascribe to any single system of belief. I view them all as equal in their endeavour to point to Universal Truth.
2. Other Influences
A fundamental theory in physics that provides a description of the physical properties of nature at the scale of atoms and subatomic particles. It is the foundation of all quantum physics including quantum chemistry, quantum field theory, quantum technology, and quantum information science.
Classical physics, the collection of theories that existed before the advent of quantum mechanics, describes many aspects of nature at an ordinary (macroscopic) scale but is not sufficient for describing them at small (atomic and subatomic) scales. Most theories in classical physics can be derived from quantum mechanics as an approximation valid at a large (macroscopic) scale. [source: Wikipedia]
Neuropsychology seeks to discover how the brain correlates with the mind through the study of neurological patients. It thus shares concepts and concerns with neuropsychiatry and with behavioural neurology in general.
Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, and between potentiality and actuality. The word “metaphysics” comes from two Greek words that, together, literally mean “after or behind or among [the study of] the natural”.
Dr Bruce Lipton and Epigenetics
Doctor Lipton’s discoveries, which ran counter to the established scientific view that life is controlled by genes, gave rise to one of today’s most important fields of study: the science of epigenetics. Two major scientific publications derived from these studies defined the molecular pathways connecting the mind and body. Many subsequent papers by other researchers have since validated his concepts and ideas.