Val’s Views – The Principle WitnessZengar Institute Inc.
“It really is that simple.”
Trungpa Rinpoche says something like, “Buddhism doesn’t tell you what is false and what is true, but it encourages you to find out for yourself.”
Chodron, Pema. The Wisdom of No Escape: And the Path of Loving Kindness (p. 43). Shambhala. Kindle Edition.
What is so different about NeurOptimal® compared to all the other neurotechnologies out there? I’ve talked a lot over the years about the very different mathematics that are the core of NeurOptimal® and allow it to do what it does technically and it’s true: the mathematics are unique. I think though there is a more profound level of difference and it relates directly to the quote above.
It seems that many people want to hear about “the research”. They want to be assured that NeurOptimal® “has been proven to work, especially with….”. Practitioners using other systems and many healthcare professionals rely on such third-party research to be reassured that what they offer is worthwhile. That’s completely understandable, of course; and yet, NeurOptimal® is based on a fundamentally different starting point: viz, personal experience. To gloss on the above quote, I won’t “…tell you what’s false and what is true <about how you will respond to NeurOptimal® rather, I encourage you to find out for yourself”. That’s a pretty radical perspective and your heart might be beating a bit faster if you’re starting to get anxious about that.
I have heard from lots of our Trainers over the years who are just waiting for “THE study or at least A study” to get published because they believe that, if studies are published then the task and process of convincing others of the value of NeurOptimal® will become easier. As obvious as this might seem to be at first blush, I think it’s a profoundly mistaken belief. Until others are ready, it will not matter in the least bit how much research is done. There are still people who believe that the earth is flat. There are others who believe that none of the Apollo landings on the Moon actually happened; rather, they were all faked in a movie studio. Research, procedures, studies in and of themselves do not convince others: they merely suggest, they offer a possible understanding, a potential way to understand some phenomena experienced in the real world. I’m not saying that those understandings are inherently wrong, just that in and of themselves they will not convince unless and until the others are ready to hear what they offer.
I’ve heard a lot of people over the years say that “Val is just anti-science”. Some say, “well no one can replicate what NeurOptimal® does because Val keeps it a black box and won’t tell us how it works”. I’m not only not anti-science, I base everything I present concerning NeurOptimal® in very specific scientific and mathematical terms, or I don’t present it and explain why. Think about it. When a researcher wants to replicate the results obtained from a clinical trial of a new medicine, they don’t first use the patent to recreate the medication on their own and THEN actually do the study. No, instead they get a supply of the medication from the pharmaceutical company that produced it, as well as an inert medication that “looks like the real one and use it. When others approach us about doing research studies, we will loan NeurOptimal® to them. We have a Director of Research who coordinates all of this for us. I’m not anti-science and neither is NeurOptimal® nor Zengar. We are ardently scientific. But there is an even more profound level to this entire issue and it is the foundation of the radically different view that lies at the heart of NeurOptimal®.
One of the Lojong sayings that are found in Shatideva’s “Seven Points of Mind Training” goes something like this: “Of the two witnesses, hold the principal one”. What are the “two witnesses”? You are the Principal Witness for own experience, whereas others are the “Second Witness”. At core this is an affirmation of the reality that we all walk our lives alone despite being surrounded by other people and beings. Heidegger used to describe death as your “own most potentiality…the most authentic moment of life”. Why? Because each of us dies our own death: no one else can do that for us.
Now to be clear unpacking and clarifying all of what that specific Lojong saying means requires way more than a mention in a blog like this. I can say that, for certain, it does NOT mean “think only of yourself”. Rather, it means that, even if you choose to accept the opinion, suggestion, observation, belief of someone else, it is YOU who is making that choice: so make it knowingly. And this brings us back to the beginning. “NeurOptimal® doesn’t tell you what is true or false about you because it invites you to find out who you are yourself.”
I hope that helps.
– By Valdeane W. Brown, Ph.D.