Here’s the Truth: For the Field of Psychology, the Time Has Come
When it comes to my professional or working life, one of the most frequent criticisms thrown my way (and many of my colleagues, from Sydney Banks to Dr. Keith Blevens, have detailed a similar experience) revolves around my use of the word Truth. For instance, you’ve often heard me say, “It’s an unequivocal truth that human beings work from inside to out.” To which a traditional psychologist or mental coach will sometimes respond, “Don’t listen to this guy (as in me) or anyone who says that they’ve found truth. No one can find truth.”
Well, that’s correct. But here’s the thing: I didn’t go searching for truth, and that means I couldn’t actually find it. I had no formal training in the field of psychology, and in my younger life, spirituality was something I often pushed aside. It’s just that many years ago, I was simply minding my own business when, boom, truth found me. And yes, it’s true that a circumstance—an event, environment, object, life situation, another person, oneself, the past, or the future—cannot cause a human being to feel a certain way. Our feelings are solely connected to the inner ebb and flow of a spiritual energy that we call thought.
What’s more, I didn’t, of course, make up this truth. Sure, I (like you) can conjure up ideas, concepts, theories, and methods. But I can’t conjure up truth. Truth just is. As with any principle or law, truth is foolproof. No research required. It’s the way something works, 100 percent of the time. And when you wake up to how something works 100 percent of the time, you intuitively yearn to share it; to help others see it for themselves. So, when it comes to the human mind and how the experience of all human beings is created, this is where my colleagues and I find ourselves today: Truth has hit us square between the eyes, and we’re going to share it.
Interestingly enough, in spite of his best efforts, the man considered the father of modern psychology, William James (one of my heroes), failed to uncover this truth himself. He never quite saw that human beings can only feel or experience the ebb and flow of their thinking (inside), and that circumstances (outside) are purely neutral. But he did know this: A universal explanation for the inner functioning of all human beings was hidden somewhere, and when this missing link was finally uncovered, the field of psychology would be altered forever. James once claimed, “Such knowledge, realized on a grand scale, would be an achievement compared with which the control of the rest of physical nature would be relatively insignificant.” He even likened the importance of this future breakthrough to the discovery of fire.
And that brings us to the heart of this article’s message: The field of psychology is now at a decisive crossroads. Year after year, the rate of depression is escalating around the world and finally psychology has the opportunity to take a 180-degree turn and become the working science that James envisioned. However, to do so, the field must cast aside the mistruth from which its current conclusions and practices are drawn—that human beings have the ability to work from outside to in. Again, no matter how much it looks otherwise, human beings work from inside to out (feelings, then experience, come from thought), and there are no exceptions. When we overlook this psychological fact, we struggle. When we wake up to it, we thrive. At this moment in the history of psychology, there’s no longer a credible reason for a mental health professional to send a struggling person on a perpetual wild-goose chase for circumstantial causes and behavioral cures that, in truth, do not and cannot exist.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that a person can’t take credit for something that he or she didn’t try to do or see. That’s why my colleagues and I take zero percent credit for the dumb luck that had this psychological truth fall into our laps. But it still did. And it’s here to stay. I also understand that if you’re a mental health professional, the direction we’re pointing renders much of your training obsolete. Just as it rendered much of what I was brought up to believe obsolete. But that’s just the way it is, for both of us. Therefore, rather than damn the messenger, why not consider what William James insightfully predicted for the future of this field? This breakthrough sets us free from everything. It clears up confusion and activates resilience. It’s more important than fire. The black-and-white fact that a circumstance can’t cause a feeling will change our lives, the lives of our children, and the lives of the clients and public that we serve.
We can now, with certainty, explain the psychological functioning of all human beings. Understanding the thought-feeling link is the source of all transformation. The truth fell out of the sky. William James would be overjoyed. The time has come.