A Summit For Conscious Choice
A conversation with Gregg Braden, Joe Dispenza and Bruce Lipton.
Chiropractors have always been a collaborative force in joining professions related to natural healing. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association embraces this greater mission of chiropractic, and Pathways has been its avenue of expression. We recognize the essence of chiropractic philosophy and practice as: There is a connecting intelligence in life, and each human in his or her own special way is a unique and valuable expression of that intelligence. Each creative, evolving, innate manifestation of this intelligence forms the whole, which in its totality is greater than the sum of its parts. Many other proponents of natural healing also rely on this premise: Life is intelligent.
In 2008, we held our first Freedom for Family Wellness Summit. It drew together Pathways authors, supporters and advocates, in person, in one place. It was a weekend for hope…one to encourage participants that there is a community of like-minded people striving for real change. The enthusiasm was palpable. The energy was contagious. With such a successful gathering, we set the date of 2010 for our second. The second event surpassed what many of us had even anticipated. More alliances were built, collaborations were strengthened, and what was initiated as hope for change had now transformed into a solid recognition of the mounting shift in consciousness and the vital role each individual contributes to the wholeness of that shift.
On November 13–16, 2014, the four-day conference, now called “Freedom Fest,” returned to Reston, Virginia, with more than 30 speakers and 50 exhibitors reaffirming its powerful, uplifting theme: “Celebrating the Shift to Conscious Choice.” Attendees were an influential community of practitioners, parents and activists interlacing knowledge, resources and enthusiasm in reclaiming our rights to informed, conscious choice.
The gathering convened numerous leaders intimately aware of the huge changes we are experiencing today. On Saturday afternoon, after two-and-a-half days bursting with challenging and consciousness-raising presenters, three leading-edge thinkers—innovators Gregg Braden, Bruce Lipton and Joe Dispenza—joined together on stage to examine our roles in this global shift.
The following excerpts are taken from that panel.
Celebrating the Shift to Conscious Choice
Gregg Braden: “I want to just begin by saying I have never been more optimistic about our world, about our nation, about all nations, about where things are going. And the reason I’m optimistic is because we now have a really good sense of what doesn’t work. The systems that are breaking down are the things that we know no longer work. We now have an opportunity—a rare and precious opportunity. When things are not working as well, there is an opening for something new. Your lifetime, my lifetime, your children’s lifetime, this is a rare window in the history of civilization, of society, where there is a willingness and an openness to try something new, and I just wanted to open by saying that I am optimistic; I am excited. So academically, I’m just going to say it this way, we have been steeped in a story—about you, about me, about our past, about our relationship to our body, about our relationship to the world around our bodies, and our relationship to civilization. We’ve been steeped in a story—a scientific story that we now know is based upon false assumptions of science. It’s a story of separation. We’ve been told that we are separate from our bodies and the world. And the consequence of that thinking is the world that is breaking down right now. So one of the reasons I’m optimistic, and honored to be on this stage, is because all three of us in our own ways are working with leading-edge peer-reviewed science. And this is important. It’s not wishful thinking. It’s not New Age or new-thought rhetoric. This new science is overturning those ideas of separation and telling us that we live in a world where we are deeply connected—to our own bodies, to the world around us, to our past, to one another. And that changes everything and lays the foundation for what we’re going to talk about.”
Joe Dispenza: “If you think about it, every single model of our paradigm is beginning to collapse. Whether you’re looking at the economic model, the political model, the religious model, the educational model, the medical model…even the environment. All of these different structures and paradigms are beginning to collapse because we can’t keep doing the same thing in the same way. And if you look at the motivation behind all of these models up to this point, it’s been built on a very selfish ideal, which is: I’ll take care of myself first, I’ll gain as much as I can for myself and then after I’m at a certain point then I’ll maybe consider taking care of other people. And the hormones of stress and the cocktail of chemicals that’s created when we’re living in survival mode is all about taking care of the self. When you’re in the jungle, the idea is to compete. When you’re in the jungle, the idea is to take care of yourself. When you’re in an environment where there’s danger there’s not a time to go within. You have to keep your eye on the external environment—that’s where all the conditions are occurring. And so you can only go to a certain point living in that way because you can’t sustain that kind of evolution after a period of time. And so as these different systems begin to collapse and because of the Internet and because the information is so readily available— in an age of information, ignorance is a choice.
“People are waking up in the world because of this information. There is a pause now. And that pause isn’t creating the stress hormones that caused people to just surrender to an authority. People are waking up. They want the truth. If you look at this you begin to understand: When we begin to embrace this knowledge and we’re looking for a place or a resource to do something with it—the side effect of that is called community. People want to connect. They want to create. They want to innovate. They want to join together and they want to share new understandings and create foundations and places where they can go to get the valuable information and resources to do something with. It’s an amazing time to be alive.
“Common people around the world are beginning to do the uncommon because the philosophical and scientific information is no longer enough; they want to emotionally embrace it through experience. We should never wait for science to give us permission to do the uncommon. We should go out and do the uncommon. We should go out and do the uncommon and do it repeatedly so science has to come and study us and say, ‘How do we change our understanding to explain what you’re doing?’ Now that’s potential! All the new sciences point the finger at that but it’s time that we begin to apply it.”
The Innate Power to Shift
Gregg: “I see this reflected in indigenous peoples throughout the world. I spend a lot of time in Tibet, Peru, in monasteries in Egypt and Nepal. They are very different from one another but there are common themes that link these ancient cultures together. One of those things is that they made no distinction between art and science, for example. So when they saw something beautiful in the world they knew it had an effect in their bodies. We now know when we feel differently about what we are seeing we actually change the chemistry of our bodies. Science is actually confirming this principle. Think about how different our lives would be if we didn’t make that distinction between art and science. But the principle that I find that weaves all of these indigenous cultures together is they come from the place, from the moment that they’re able to communicate to the young people, that all things are alive. Everything is alive. Everything is necessary. And everything is sacred. Ah, those three principles: Can you imagine how different our world would be if we had the opportunity to raise an entire generation with those principles in place? Science now gives us the reason to do just that. That’s the opportunity that we have now.”
Bruce Lipton: “Well, what’s unique about this community here in this room, is understanding that the programming children experience, especially in the first seven years, really determines how they’re going to behave for the rest of their lives. This is an opportunity, especially in this community, to recognize that that conventional programming is the problem. I’ve traveled the world and when I see families of chiropractors, they are so much more bright, alert, healthy, and ready to go and move into the future because their programming as kids is so profoundly different and personally empowering versus conventional kids, who have been programmed to be weak and frail and vulnerable and see the world as a threat. It’s interesting because within this little community itself are the seeds of what the future is all about—to get the kids to understand they’re in the power of their own health, they’re not the victims of anything other than their belief system. What’s really exciting is the future right there in front of them. My hope for them is to understand that this is an opportunity to take back their power. This is why we have to start working with the belief system…
“And I see that in here, these are spiritual people. When people understand they are spiritual, that will allow a community to come together much better, because then, we will all know we are more than just this physical body. Then we all know that we’re going to treat the world in a completely different way. So, it’s interesting that quantum physics is really coming to the forefront to show us what they call the field—the invisible moving forces that influence the physical world. The field has the same definition as ‘spirit’—invisible moving forces that influence the physical world. So quantum physics is going to take us back to an earlier time, our indigenous roots, where we knew a lot more and were able to be empowered. The new science, the very new science, is moving in that direction right now.”
Joe: “When you stop living in those survival modes and those emotions, and you start opening your heart, and your field goes from a small field where you feel separate from possibility to a very large field, and this is science you can measure, you feel connected to something greater. And the moment you feel connected to something greater, you trust in the unknown, you trust in the future. And as a matter of fact, you lay down everything you used your whole life to get what you want for something greater to occur. And when you get to that point, when you trust in the unknown and you begin to open your heart, the side effect of that is when you make a choice you always consider the whole, the community.
“And, by the way, this is sort of the female consciousness. Women from antiquity took care of the young and the old. And when they made a choice they looked at all possibilities in their mind and they emotionally embraced the one they thought was best for the entire community, because they took care of the young and the old. And when they got in touch with the emotion before the experience occurred, it was an elevated emotion. They considered the community, they considered the whole, and that’s why they took care of the community, because they understood what it took. That kind of maternal understanding, when we begin to trust and we begin to open our hearts, is what’s going to sustain true change in the future.”
Gregg (to Bruce and Joe): “So I want to ask each of you: We have done a lot of research. We have been with a lot of people. We have learned things a lot of our peers haven’t even had the opportunity to learn. How do you implement these things into your life, how do you implement these ideas, and have they changed things on a day-to-day basis?”
Bruce: “Well, for me it is interesting, because what the research ultimately led to was an understanding that the subconscious was totally controlling the life I was experiencing. I realized my conscious wishes and desires stood in the background and never had any control. Then I started to recognize what was necessary. What you had to do was stay conscious—be mindful. This is really the intention in the end, but in the world that we live in it’s virtually impossible to do that because we’re barraged with so much information and so many details, so many world experiences that we have to deal with, we keep thinking. And because we keep thinking, we keep going into the subconscious programming. The answer for me that was so profoundly important was the ability to change the subconscious. And I realized once you could rewrite the subconscious program, the really fun part about it is you don’t have to do any more work. It’s not like you have to work on it every day because once the subconscious program is changed it will affect 95 percent of the day. So once you change it to a positive program, you don’t ever have to work on it again. Unconsciously you will always lead to a more successful and better outcome. So the first things you have to recognize are: A) We’ve been programmed (which we all recognize); but B) We can change the program.
“And so to me, this is the most important part. As we were talking about, with the young kids there is an opportunity. Some of us tried at least to not raise our kids the way we were raised. This opened up the door for new possibilities and new opportunities for them. I’m so behind the young people and I want them to know they are so empowered, that the future is so bright. That’s what we need to look forward to. I know they are frustrated. You turn on the TV or read the newspaper and the bleak message is, ‘It’s not working out anymore, and what are you going to do about it?’ However, it is so important to remember, the moment you’re in fear, we stop using our forebrain and consciousness and we start just reacting. We start doing reflex life, and that’s not life at all. That’s just input/output behavior. What we need to do is let go of the fear. There are a lot of people living in fear. But the point is: Those who have given up the fear, those who have gotten out, have gotten healthier and happier, and are now doing things that enhance their lives. This is the whole point. We must stop being afraid because the fear will prevent the future from unfolding the way we want it to go.”
Joe: “Knowledge without experience is called philosophy. And experience without knowledge is called ignorance. This is a time in history where people don’t just want to know, they want to know how. And if you can take philosophical, scientific, theoretical and intellectual information and apply it, and you can personalize and demonstrate it, it’s going to cause you to modify your behaviors in some way and you’re going to run into a new experience. The experience is your interaction with the environment that enriches circuitry in your brain and then produces a chemical, called a feeling or an emotion. That chemical feedback from your environment is what begins to signal new genes, because it’s information from your interaction. Now you’re beginning to embody that information—the word is becoming flesh. If you’re able to repeat that experience over and over again, you’ll begin to neurologically and chemically condition your body to know how to do it as well as your conscious mind. And once your body knows as well as your mind, your body has become the mind—mind and body have merged as one. Now you’re in a state of being. So the idea is to go from thinking to doing to being.
“My idea is to embody everything that I struggle to understand in terms of the new science. In the morning I wake up and I ask myself the same exact question: What is the greatest ideal of yourself that you can present to the world today? And I become conscious of all of those unconscious thoughts and programs that are slipping by my awareness all day long, and if I can become familiar with them and aware of them, I won’t go unconscious again. I begin to observe my behaviors— what I say, what I do—and the more aware I am of those habits, then they’re no longer unconscious habits; now I am checking myself. And if I look at the emotions that bring me to a lower denominator and decide if those emotions belong in my future? Neuroscience calls that mindfulness metacognition. The fact that you’re observing who you’re being means you’re no longer the program. You’re the consciousness observing the program, and you’re objectifying your subjective self. If you say, “What thoughts do I want to wire and fire in my brain? What behaviors do I want to demonstrate today?” the mere fact of you rehearsing it mentally begins to install the circuits in your brain to look like the event has already occurred. That’s neuroscience right there. And if you can teach your body emotionally what that future’s going to feel like, before the event is made manifest, your body and the unconscious mind will begin to believe in the present that it’s in that future moment.”
Consistent with the essential, ongoing message of Pathways, and experienced in its many articles on the vitalistic perspective on healing and life itself, the Summit embodies the core value of chiropractic: Life is Intelligent. In numerous articles and presentations, I reference Einstein’s quote: “One of the most important decisions we make in life is whether we perceive we live in a friendly universe or a hostile one.” In other words, if your core value is based in the premise that Life is intelligent, there is a sense of trust, confidence and ease. The universe becomes friendly. Our perspective, formerly tainted by doubt, suspicion and fear, is dissolved and we can allow the spectacular to occur in our bodies and our lives.
In chiropractic we respect that each individual’s innate potential deserves expression. There is intelligence inherent in all of us. We are intimately connected with that intelligence in all aspects of our expression: physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual. If you think your body doesn’t know what it’s doing, you live in fear. When you recognize there is intelligence, there is order, you trust and respect the body’s natural design for optimal performance. Healthcare shifts from a fear-based model to one of proactive respect for natural function. So too, when you perceive there is inherent intelligence in children, you realize they know more than we have been conditioned to give them respect for. Parenting shifts from an authoritarian model to a cooperative one. When we realize there is an interconnected intelligence between and within all living creatures, we can come together for the good of the whole. Community replaces competition. When we begin to realize there is ageless wisdom in life, we can consciously observe its unlimited, astounding expression with a trusting sense of awe. It is in this perspective that we join in unison to Celebrate the Shift to Conscious Choice.