The Possibility Paradigm

Transformational change for individuals and the world

You Mean Anything Is Possible?

How to radically expand beyond the limits of your mind.

Once there was a man named Lester Levenson. This is true; I know former students of his. One day when he was in his early forties, doctors sent him home from the hospital, giving him only a few months to live. There was nothing to be done, they said. His heart was so weak he was instructed not even to tie his own shoelaces, lest the exertion cause him to drop dead.

Now Lester, being a thinking kind of guy, decided he had been stupid to have gotten himself into this position. So he set about to correct things. Overwhelmed with a fear of dying, he began to examine his predicament. He concluded that it was his feelings that were causing all his problems, not others or the world, as he had previously thought. He also discovered that each of us has an inborn capacity to release our negative feelings. So he began to systematically let go of every negative emotion he was experiencing.

Within a few months Lester was completely healthy and, even more astounding, had attained a state of inner peace and happiness that he had not previously imagined possible, a state he called "imperturbability." Some would call it enlightenment. Eventually, Lester taught others how to do this for themselves, some of whom have been teaching his method for more than a quarter of a century.

Lester stands out for me for two reasons. First, because after he had attained this state he found that he could heal people and fix objects, such as broken TVs, merely by "seeing them as perfect." More on that in a later post.

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Second, I recall a student of Lester's once explaining to me how he and his fellow students used to go about removing the self-imposed limitations of their own minds. Here's how it worked: Whenever Lester would say something that seemed outrageously impossible to them--and this apparently happened often--they would gather together, usually in a local diner, and try to think up hypothetical explanations for how the weird thing Lester had just said might be possible. For instance, Lester would say something like, "If a nuclear bomb were to go off right now next to you, you wouldn't have to be affected by it."

Whoa, their minds would go. So off to the diner they would traipse. They'd say to each other, "Well, what if it works like this..." Or "What if this...." Or, "Maybe if you think of it like this..." As they did this, their own limiting beliefs would gradually fall away, leaving them with a much-expanded mindset. If they did this long enough, eventually they would grasp the principle Lester was trying to impart--and voilá, they were now at a whole new level of consciousness, in which the kinds of things Lester had talked about actually began to happen for them.

Like the time a hold-up happened in the diner while they were discussing the very idea that if you really understood the principle of personal sovereignty you did not need to be affected by conditions or events that affected everyone else. Precisely while the robbery was occurring--in the very room in which the students were sitting--not one of them even noticed it. Nor were they bothered by the gunman, as the other patrons had been. Lester's possibility-expanding students found out about the robbery only after the fact, when the police arrived several minutes later to investigate.

That's what I call the Possibility Principle at work. Lester's students, by letting their minds play with a belief, as in "What if it might be possible?" managed to shift their own belief systems enough to allow it to become true in their direct experience. In essence, they gave their left-brain, logical mind something to quiet it down, so that it stopped censoring the experience of what's actually possible in a world that hangs together differently than most of us have been taught.

In recent years scientific and metaphysical frameworks have emerged that provide plausible explanations for how such seemingly unbelievable things might occur--to be saved, of course, for another post.

Until then, next time you hear something you're tempted to dismiss as "Impossible!" why not try a Lester on it? Spend some time playfully brainstorming all the ways that explain how it might possibly, just maybe could occur...if your own mind were expanded enough to let it in.

I'm aware, by the way, that you may not believe any of the above, and that's fine; but I ask: Where will it get you? Me, I'd rather play in possibilities and continually expand my options, not to mention daily delights.

Dr. Pamela Gerloff, holds a doctorate in Human Development from Harvard University and is co-author of Dignity for All: How to Create a World without Rankism. more...

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