BOOK DETAILS

Theory T

Theory T

by Ph.D. Phillip R. Walker

ISBN: 9781942901099

Publisher Green Ivy

Published in Self-Help, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Nonfiction

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Book Description

Theory T enables you to see possibilities for creating a different world by shifting trust-consciousness. The book is a personal statement of the author’s beliefs, feelings, and attitudes, each intersecting with the importance of trust in achieving the Best Version of Humanity.

The book focuses on economic models, education, war and violence, and politics. A chapter on race considers the impact of unequal distribution of opportunity and life chances within the context of trust. It is written anyone interested in the power of trust and its singular relevance to today’s world.

Sample Chapter

The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room.

You can see it when you look out of your window or when you turn on your

television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church,

when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your

eyes to blind you from the truth.

---Morpheus in the movie, The Matrix

Chapter 3

Living in the Matrix

The Illusion of Life

I enjoyed viewing the original Matrix film. It reminded me of how our world is a microcosm of the movie. The film portrays a virtual world grounded in control, fear, and low trust. Life in the Matrix is lived as reality, held together by a forest of illusions. It’s a world that actually does not exist. It’s devoid of trust in which people react “neurotically” and defensively to each other. Laws and rules are set up with punitive ideologies, giving rise to a rule-violationpunishment syndrome. Being “plugged into the Matrix” fosters dependency, passivity, conformity, fear, and distrust. It operates on the false assumption that greater control promotes excellence. As E.E. Cummings expressed, “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

Caught in an apparent hypnotic trance, independent thinking is blunted in the Matrix. This eventually leads to a crisis of identity and “learned paralysis.” To sum up, our cognitive map becomes confused with the actual world, and limited options appear normal. Because we are unable to attend to our worldview directly, many of us are plugged into the Matrix unknowingly. Our Illusions about money, race, war, crime, and life in general seem natural. We take for granted distrust and life in the Matrix. This self-fulfilling prophecy keeps us trapped and mentally imprisoned. According Robert Prisig’s, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values,

“If a revolution destroys a government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves...There is so much talk about the system. And so little understanding.”

The Matrix is defined by illusory boundaries. These limits serve as our reality map defined by battle lines and deep divisions. Each boundary line creates a different enemy. Boundaries lead to a broad range of social and psychological ills at all levels. For example, at the inner self-level, a calcified boundary suppresses emotional and intuitive expression, and leads to over-intellectualizing, lack of selfconfidence, and self-hate. Carl Jung describes this form of distrust as an archetypal shadow or unwanted part of one’s personality.

The enemy at our inner boundary keeps us in our head and suppresses emotional and intuitive expression. This distrust is best described by Carl Jung’s archetypal shadow or unwanted part of one’s personality. Over-intellectualizing, lack of self-confidence, and self-hate are symptoms of this malaise.

At the interpersonal level, “thou” is conceptually transformed into an “it.” People easily justify myriad forms of violence. We are unable to experience life’s sacredness, unity consciousness, and the One Love that binds humanity. Differences in religion, race, sexual orientation, culture, age, and beliefs are used to judge others, and create emotional distance. Trust is antithetical to such conditions.

At the collective level, “them versus us” leads to fractures and estrangements between groups, organizations, and nations. We fear joining and uniting with others. This distrust has allowed dominant powers to conquer tribal regions of the world where alliances between “enemy tribes” could not be easily formed. This social phenomenon can be readily seen today in the Middle East and has existed throughout history. At all levels, intergroup distrust constrains problem solving and thinking. Distrust converts communication into closed, cautious, and tentative exchanges. Competition and winlose strategies replace cooperation. National policies, laws, judicial decisions, and corporate strategies fracture relationships rather than heal them. If we actually followed our religious precepts and principles, the world would be changed into a trusting, caring, and compassionate place to live.

The Matrix describes how we view the world through a series of unconscious mental filters. Consequently, we use distorted reality maps to navigate through life constrained by human biology. By definition, our view of reality contains distortions and deletions. William Blake, eighteenth-century poet and artist expressed

“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is…”

Scientists estimate that unfiltered access to reality is limited to about 3%. This helps explain the basis for the Matrix where personal bias and prejudice shape our world. We see what we expect to see and hear what we expect to hear. We find it difficult if not impossible to envision a different world not dominated by fear and distrust. This keeps us locked behind symbolic bars of fear where we are afraid of night prowlers, terrorist attacks, crime, enemy attacks, and threats to our wellbeing. It’s not easy to break out of the Matrix and apply Theory T. We are trapped within a distorted reality, which we’ve created through a prism of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, patriotism, political extremism, ego-centrism, ethnocentrism, anthropocentrism, homophobia, etc. It’s time to courageously pull back the curtain of illusions feeding distrust. Once exposed, these illusions will dissolve. It means recognizing distortions and deletions in our reality map, and dismantling prejudices and fears that consume us. It involves looking at humanity as a whole family, and not individual branches.

Cultivation of Distrust

Distrust is the pervasive norm driving modern social systems. The War on Terrorism, immigration issues, gender gap, torture, discrimination, sexism, racism, and hegemony are derivatives of today’s oppressive systems. We are victims of humankind’s distrust of itself on a path of self-destruction.

Although technology has unified both space and time, distrust continues to be the twenty-first century’s zeitgeist. Class war, racial and religious differences, pollution, starvation, food prices, water shortages and failed states have given rise to distrust. An aura of secrecy shrouds foreign affairs and the internal operation of most governments. A perfect example is U.S. eavesdropping on allies.

The lack of transparency breeds conspiracy theories and skepticism regarding:

 Unanswered questions about President John F. Kennedy’s assassination

 The tragedy of 911

 The debacle on Wall Street

 Illegal detentions and torture

 Secret CIA armies stationed around the world

 National Security Agency surveillance programs, both domestic and abroad

 The invasion and occupation of Iraq

 Civilian deaths in both Iraq and Afghanistan

 Faked military attacks in the Gulf of Tonkin that expanded the Vietnam War

 Lies that contended the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction to justify U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq

 The origin of AIDS

 The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment on 309 African American men (1932)

 The U.S. Public Health Service Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Inoculation Study in Guatemala (1946)

Although such examples offer fertile ground for conspiracy theories, they also point to a global crisis of distrust. National elections in the United States have attempted to capitalize on this undercurrent by emphasizing the need to earn back the trust of government. This campaign message strikes a chord with the American electorate. Thanks to skilled marketing strategies. Nevertheless, distrust continues to be woven throughout our political and social life.

Given media’s focus on sensationalism and public’s insatiable appetite, suspicion is reinforced. Only a narrow interpretation of “information worthy of news” is applied. The end result is the saturation of our senses with information.

Although assassinated in 1963, President John F. Kennedy prophesized the security state of post-911 America. The fallen president expressed--- “There is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.”

The U.S.A. can best be described as having a trust deficit. USA PATRIOT Act is an extension of the US Sedition Act of 1918. People are prosecuted for acting in “seditious” rather than “patriotic” ways. The USA PATRIOT Act grants law enforcement broad powers of surveillance, including wiretapping and other “appropriate tools” to combat terrorism. This has led to rampant distrust, giving rise to the Matrix. The Matrix, a national security state of domination, oppression, and control, offers a bleak view of our society, as the U.S. government’s secret terrorist watch and security systemscontinue to increase.

It’s time to re-think our approach in finding sustainable solutions toward building a secure future. Theory T leverages the power of trust through cooperation and collaboration rather than competition and greed. The theory encourages greater access to quality health care and education, which increases collective trust. Whereas, increasing greater access to weapons only creates greater fear.

It’s inexcusable that so many poverty stricken individuals go to bed hungry each night while the rest of the world watches; 20 percent of the world’s people live on less than $1 a day. Why? The short answer is that our social institutions were never designed for the purpose of eliminating poverty.

The longer answer is that our social institutions are anchored in market needs rather than human needs. Love of money and materialism serve as a ball and chain in restraining compassion, altruism, and justice. Theory T enlarges love of humanity and the circle of compassion. While there is no reset button for accomplishing this, we are still capable of breaking this chain by shifting to high trust consciousness. High trust consciousness enables us to mine trust rather than precious minerals. Such nobility of character is available to anyone willing to shift paradigms.

Ironically, we watch television without ever experiencing the millions of others tuned into the same program. Although a brilliant invention, television is a poor substitute for deeper interpersonal connections, an existential crisis of our time. We vicariously experience love, betrayal, heroism, collaboration, a sense of belonging and community with others through TV. Ironically, it enables anyone living in poverty to still enjoy land of the plenty by the mere click of a remote channel selector. This crisis of relationships cannot be cured by greater science and technology. Despite continued technical advances, TV does not teach me to love myself. Loving myself happens in a caring environment. While TV weaves together the illusion of healthy relationships in its stories, it does not build trust. It’s also important to note that TV technology does not reverse corporate-controlled economic trends, growing gaps between the rich and the poor, institutionalized greed, corruption, ecological destruction, social alienation, war, crime, and unnecessary rules.

Liberation

Breaking out of the Matrix means to live from a place of trust rather than fear. Mark Twain best captured this point by challenging us to “Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.” What does it take to live from a place of trust? Living in the Matrix keeps me imprisoned within walls too difficult to breach. There are many people who are stuck in the Matrix. They shuffle through life with the metaphorical pebble in their shoe. Although they know that something is wrong with life in the Matrix, they numb themselves to this painful reality. The end result is a fragmented life, alienation, depersonalization, superficiality, greed, distrust, and anxiety. Breaking out of the Matrix is similar to breaking a drug or alcohol habit.

Perhaps drug and alcohol addicts have a deeper understanding of reality in the Matrix than “well-adjusted individuals.” They view the reality of living in the Matrix as the true problem versus their addiction. Adjusting to this reality is too painful; therefore, drugs and alcohol are viewed as the solution to their reality; their habit serves them. Addiction mutes the pain of living in the Matrix. It offers a surreal calm against the backdrop of an insane reality. Simply put, addiction makes life easier and more comfortable.

My intent is not to downplay the seriousness of addiction. Although criminalized by the Matrix, drug and alcohol addiction are a sickness. While drugs and alcoholism offer a temporary freedom from the Matrix, often addicts combat depression, anxiety, and stress in breaking their habit. Paradoxically, their “fix” both liberates and imprisons. I believe that trust offers the best medium for treating drug and alcohol addiction. Trust focuses on wholeness, both in diagnosis and treatment. The idea is to create trusting conditions that enable the body, mind, and spirit to heal. The first step toward recovery from any addiction is to trust telling the truth about it to yourself. This is why Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) stress that members “admit their powerlessness over alcohol.”

I experimented with drugs early in my life. Knowing that alcohol and nicotine consumption were arguably far more damaging, I used marijuana as a neurochemical looking glass. I never engaged in serious use. As a self-exploratory tool, I shattered the hypnotic trance of the Matrix. Simply put, marijuana taught me to let go of control. I realized that too much self-control inhibits and restricts. It retards feelings, creativity, sense of adventure, fun, courage, vision, and intuition. Once I trusted being spontaneous, natural, and free from programming, I never experimented again.

Theory T focuses on freeing us from Matri thinking. Freedom means letting go of beliefs, ideas, and assumptions that keep us trapped in the Matrix. Such freedom is accessible to anyone who is willing to trust the process and outcome. While more laws, police, courts, and jails are designed to keep us in neatly drawn boxes, this does not dissuade addicts from pursuing their habit. Neither does it win the War on Drugs. The moment you trust that there is more than one solution to your reality, you break free from the Matrix and your addictions. Real freedom happens in this extraordinary moment of trust. It’s a freedom enabling you to live a life with courage, compassion, and joy.

New Age thinking teaches us to stay out of our egoist minds. On the other hand, how can you be spiritually liberated but lack trust consciousness? Such a condition can lead to exploitation by you or others. Striving for spiritual enlightenment can’t replace trust. While you are entitled to any of your illusions, imposing them on others breaches trust. I’ve seen contradictions in spiritual communities. For example, several members of a spiritual community were expelled for “breaking the rules”:

1) Failing to participate in teleconferences, and refusing to promise that they would never do it again

2) Making inappropriate comments

“The Spiritual Leader” unilaterally expelled members without processing the incident even though some members expressed ambivalence about the situation. Theory T encourages me to leverage the power of trust through use of dialogue and collaboration with others. Dialogue unleashes both curiosity and humanness. It emphasizes learning and understanding rather than proselytizing. My God does not have to be your God. Theory T enables me to better understand and appreciate spiritual differences rather than condemn.

Because the human mind cannot hold two opposing beliefs or cognitions simultaneously, it will attempt to reduce discord (dissonance) through denial or rationalization. Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson’s insightful and intriguing book, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) also makes this point:

“Neuroscientists have recently shown that these biases in thinking are built into the very way the brain processes information---all brains, regardless of their owners’ political affiliation. For example, in a study of people who were being monitored by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) while they were trying to process dissonant or consonant information about George Bush or John Kerry, Drew Western and his colleagues found that the reasoning areas of the brain virtually shut down when participants were confronted with dissonant information, and the emotion circuits of the brain lit up happily when consonance was restored. These mechanisms provide a neurological basis for the observation that once our minds are made up, it is hard to change them.”

If you experience cognitive dissonance in reading this book, I invite you to use this as an opportunity to heighten your awareness. Pay attention to any mixed feelings experienced. Lean into your internal resistance rather than deny or pull away.

More than thirty years ago, Alvin Toffler proclaimed that we are experiencing the birth of a new civilization. To mitigate this painful birth, Theory T shifts us to higher trust levels. The theory challenges isms and patriarchal structures that dominate life on our planet on both individual and collective levels. At the individual level, Gandhi would ask-----are you the change that you want to see in the world? While activism, breakthrough publications, and individual heroic acts are evident around the world, there are also powerful forces that seek to control and manipulate. Although a Herculean task, applying Theory T requires shifting human consciousness across political, cultural, religious, class, educational, and economic boundaries.

For me, the significant point is that there are many who have eyes, but cannot see; ears but cannot hear; brains but cannot think. You are either part of the problem or the solution. As part of the solution, Theory T expands our consciousness in how we choose to live our life as we think we ought to.

In transcending the Matrix, don’t expect everyone’s support or understanding. As I heard someone remark recently, we live in a scary world. Some people may assume an ulterior motive or accuse you of living in a fantasy world. Yet, some of these same people will go to a church, mosque, or temple to learn how to model their life after extraordinary examples of high trust. Harriet Tubman said: “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

Insights and Tips

The Matrix is a metaphor for living a fragmented existence where power and control by the few dominate lives of the many. The most insidious example of life in the Matrix is the omnipresence of fear used to manipulate and control the masses. The net effect shows up as distrust of each other and self. When I experience self-distrust, I look to authority, power, structure, law, roles, and obligations to solve my problems. I am unable to accept myself. I lack inner calm. I don’t feel free to release and share who I am. I find it difficult to cultivate a loving and caring relationship with you. I am uncomfortable with myself. Ultimately, feelings of unworthiness can lead to suicide.

More suicides occur globally than the entire world’s armed conflicts. In the U.S., more people die from suicide than killed by others. As a psychologist, I am aware that low self-trust lowers self-esteem and causes by feelings of inadequacy. Oppressive social systems retard productivity, creativity, and self-worth. Life in the Matrix is over-strategized, over-planned, over-managed, over-organized, over-supervised, and over-manipulated. In fact, diversity of life is controlled and discouraged. I believe that greater diversity enhances relationships, social institutions, and social change. It enables innovative and creative problem-solving.

I believe the real tragedy captured in The Matrix was the institutionalization of oppression that bears a striking resemblance to the world today. We are often oblivious to using goods in the Western world produced by forced labor; each year nearly a million people are trafficked across borders. In fact, more slaves exist today than any other time in history. Consider that armed militia groups use slavery to raise money by kidnapping and selling women and children. Furthermore, there is a one-third chance of black men born in the U.S. today going to jail. There is also racial disparity in prison populations. We don’t see or hear voices of people living in poverty, but they exist in bondage. The irony of poverty in the U.S. is that more whites live in poverty than people of color although in smaller proportion. Again, the Matrix obscures a larger holistic view of society.

Humanity is capable of re-creating and re-building a more compassionate and beautiful world. Thomas Merton stated that “You are made in the image of what you desire.” We can embrace the central task of breaking out of the Matrix and unplugging; otherwise, we risk imprisonment within illusory boundaries that divide and conquer. Theory T allows me to reach across superficial boundaries of race, ethnic group, gender, religion, rules, mores, prejudices, and biases. Such limitations hinder my sense of humanity’s wholeness and oneness. Theory T challenges me to live my life in ways that cultivate deep trust rather than being stuck in a self-centered lifestyle.

I believe that trust is essential for all societal change. International relations, social institutions, organizations, families, and personal growth prosper with high trust.

Continues...

Excerpted from "Theory T" by Ph.D. Phillip R. Walker. Copyright © 2015 by Ph.D. Phillip R. Walker. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Ph.D. Phillip R. Walker

Ph.D. Phillip R. Walker

Phillip Walker, a visionary psychologist, specializes in organizational culture shifts, individual “breakthroughs,” and leadership development. He has both deep and broad knowledge of behavioral science. He weaves a compelling tapestry of thoughts, ideas, and attitudes in introducing Theory T. He suggests the idea of instilling the properties of trust into oneself, regardless of outside factors. Walker instructs his readers how to live a more honest life by exploring topics such as politics and problematic societal issues. He also uses the film, The Matrix, as a way to interestingly explain his theory.

View full Profile of Ph.D. Phillip R. Walker

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