When I was 5 years old a very large, heavy wooden structure collapsed on my head. I awoke to a nurse asking me what I had seen when I was dead. I’ll always be grateful to her because she got me to wonder very seriously for many years about what an “I” was made of that it could die and then come back.
The accident also gave me a strange ability to see unusual patterns in things. I often notice things others don’t, and the way my brain sees the world is much different than anyone I’ve ever met. This works particularly well with language, culture and human behaviour, and I understand the brain in a way I still have not seen or read about, nor have I ever met anyone who sees it this particular way.
One of the most valuable things I can notice is how people assemble ideas when they talk or act. Over time it tells me in quite a bit of detail how they’re “wired up.” That allows me to tailor what I say to precisely how each individual learns–including familiar references etc.
As life went, my weird pattern-matching brain managed a movie theatre where it watched the same movies hundreds of times–which lead to epiphany about stories. Later I became a writer, producer, and story editor for film and television and I eventually went on to be a very successful head of creative affairs for a major Canadian broadcaster. Altogether I worked on the psycho-logical construction and discussion of literally thousands of fictional and non-fictional characters. Unbeknownst to me that turned out to be the same thing as unknowingly studying the detailed operations of all of the potential variations of the human ego–including its broad groups of perspective.
In 2001, while living in Budapest, all of that knowledge unexpectedly merged and I was struck with a powerful insight. Maybe that beautiful white nothingness was a Bolte-Taylor styled stroke I don’t know, but I ever since then I have very clearly been able to see that reality was, not what everyone thought it was. Or maybe it’s better described as; it was what people thought it was but in a much more profound way than they realised. Suddenly every mysterious mystical quote from every religion and real guru made perfect and simple sense.
Previous to that happening the one thing that hadn’t turned up in my incredibly intense studies of human consciousness was the very curious omission that other people hadn’t studied consciousness the way I had. People didn’t know they were thinking except in the intellectual sense. So they weren’t talking to me or anyone else the same way I was speaking to them. Maybe more importantly I realised that they were listening very differently too.
That epiphany exposed why others were suffering more than I was and it also showed me how to suffer even less. That revelation made it clear how I and others had innocently, unknowingly and accidentally chosen to suffer–but more importantly it also gave me the keys to freeing us from that slavery. My classes and the pages of this blog are those keys. I do hope you find the message clear–with any luck you’ll be in the large section of the population that find me a particularly clear communicator about this subject.
As I’ll often point out, I don’t have a PhD. but I definitely have a PhDo. I’m not re-teaching something that was taught to me–most people feel that difference when we work together. This is not someone else’s knowledge that I’ve memorised and got a degree for. This is all based on the results of my own studies that lead me and my students to much more rewarding lives.
My practice with students is based entirely on how I actually live and that is based on a philosophy built over that lifetime of very diligent introspective meditation conducted every single day since I was five. I’ve done it so long now that it just happens without me even trying. The sessions are fun and wherever possible they have no clocks. We go by feel.
I’m pleased to say that I’ve helped a lot of people on this journey to greater understanding. In the end life is much easier and more enjoyable than most of us would ever had imagined. You get much more productive, much more creative and much more relaxed. I do hope you’ll choose to join us.
Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations around the world.