Published on 12-06-2015
His personal history is not included in his book “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself”, recently published in Greek by Link Media. However, he recounted it himself during his two-day personal development workshop organized by Link Media in Athens two weeks ago. At the age of 24, a Chiropractic graduate from Life University in Atlanta, Georgia, he was run over by a truck while participating in a triathlon in Palm Springs, California.
He broke six vertebrae and the doctors informed him that, if he did not agree to undergo a difficult surgical operation with uncertain results, he would remain paralyzed for life. In the following (many) weeks, he applied all his energy in “reconstructing” his spine with the help of his mind. He succeeded. He walked again. Ever since, he has been writing, travelling around the world and training people on the close link between mind and body. He is one of the scientists featured in the award-winning film “What the BLEEP Do We Know!?” and his latest book “You are the placebo: making your mind matter» (2014), hit the New York Times best sellers list within a week. He lives with his family in Washington, where he still sees patients at his chiropractic clinic
Why change … if you like yourself?
There is no reason to change – if you like yourself. However, if you want to continue to develop or if you still have unfulfilled dreams, then you must change something in your mind and body in order to achieve all that you desire.
Do you believe in the power of positive thinking, as many of your fellow countrymen do?
I am far from being an advocate of positive thinking! There is no point in thinking positively with 5% of our conscious mind, when 95% of our unconscious mind has committed to memory negative sentiments.
Are our sentiments more powerful than our thoughts?
Our thoughts affect the way we feel. For example: we think we will fail, so we feel insecure, which in turn leads us to further thoughts that preserve our insecurity. This is a cycle which creates the state of our “being”. Our personality is composed of the way we think, feel and act.
How can we break loose from the “vicious” cycle of our personality?
In order to change, we must first become aware of our unconscious self. It is what we in neuroscience call “metacognition”. Through meditation we can achieve a combination of clear intentions and positive emotions, to set ourselves free from the past and start building our future. When our inner world becomes more real than the outer world, we also begin to change biologically.
People around us won’t think we have gone mad if we start living according to our inner world – without reference to the outer world?
Perhaps in the beginning you may seem somewhat… foolish and crazy. However, when you attain your goals, they will believe you are a genius.
Is your approach to change determined by the “self-help” spirit of our times?
Throughout history, mystics and charismatic leaders have said the same things. Personally, I believe that science is the modern language of mysticism. Science decodes mysticism. Quantum physics, epigenetics and neuropsychology reveal new capabilities and possibilities.
Do conventional scientists regard you with distrust?
Anyone can say whatever he wants about me. However, I know one thing: I make a difference in people’s lives. With my team, which consists of empirical scientists and neuroscientists, we have achieved measurable results.
What measurable results?
In my last book I included brain scans showing that people become indeed better following my approach.
A most impressive story?
A woman from Barcelona with partial paralysis and cancer of the esophagus, who was completely healed by changing her personality. She had allowed herself to become ill from all the negative sentiments that followed her husband’s suicide. However, through daily meditation, she managed to send her genes a signal to reverse the disease. And, moreover, she now has a new husband! We receive all the time emails from people who have been healed.
Aren’t you afraid of being accused of selling false hopes to desperate people suffering from incurable diseases?
I am not interested in selling hope. Nor do I encourage people to discontinue their standard treatment. I am, however, interested to give them some tools to see whether they can delay the development of the disease or even heal it.
Do you make a lot of money working with people who are very ill?
If I wanted to be rich, I would not focus so much in trying to convince ordinary people that they don’t need to wait to get sick in order to change.
Is middle age crisis a good reason for change?
What is middle age crisis? It is when you are suddenly capable of anticipating all your sentiments for the rest of your life. Therefore, you either buy an expensive car to experience again strong sentiments or you start telling the truth to yourself and those around you.
Isn’t all this a luxury for Greeks who are being affected by a great financial crisis?
You cannot face your problems with fear. You become imaginative only when you overcome your fear. You become a leader only when you overcome your anger. And, although reality is very hard, this is the moment to open your hearts and help one another, to let go of the old and bring in something new.
Can prayer produce the same results?
Praying is great because it makes people specify their intentions and, then, surrender to a higher power. However, we don’t pray so that our prayers are answered. We arise from meditation as if all our prayers have already been answered!
How can we protect ourselves from gurus?
I am not a guru. I am a normal person. And everyone I’ve met believes, even if they don’t admit it, in their own greatness. And they have all, at some point, done something great in their life: they have taken the right decisions and have felt who they want to be. And, at that point, they felt “enthusiastic”. Is this not a Greek word which includes God within you?