The Spiritual Intelligence Podcast
Awaken Your Inner Power
SQ Podcast Ep. 017
SQ Podcast Ep. 017
The Gentle, Grateful and Joyful Journey,
with Dr. Bill Pettit
"If we can be gentle and grateful, the journey becomes joyful."
~ Dr. Bill Pettit
Spiritual Intelligence Podcast ~ Awaken Your Inner Power
Welcome to the 17th episode of the Spiritual Intelligence (SQ) Podcast ~ Awaken Your Inner Power ~ where Daniel Martinez Stahl and Dr. Bill Pettit explore:
- Something to do with what people call God, something to do about Life, and something to do about how they're connected.
- The fact that mental health is not taught. For example, after 700-800 lectures on mental illness, he became a board-certified mental health professional, where a mental illness professional would have been more accurate.
- How a lot of people judge the speed of their journey, and quit enjoying the direction of the journey.
- A quote from Dr. Tom Ensel, former Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, "We have spent so much time diagnosing mental disorders that we actually believe they are real."
- Research revealing that 78% of 2,016 American psychiatrists met criteria for psychological, spiritual and physiological burnout.
- How our mental and physical symptoms are benevolent love letters from the Energy of Life, trying to get us to look in a different direction, to go quiet and to simply be present, without any judgment.
There was so much information shared throughout this conversation that I've decided to use this section to highlight the different books and articles that Dr. Bill Pettit mentioned or referenced throughout the interview.
Sydney Banks (FREE) Videos and other materials:
Courses offered by Dr. Bill Pettit under the series of One Cause: One Cure:
Course #1 Exploring the Mind brain body behavior Connection – Understanding Universal Principles Changes Everything.
Course #2 Defining, Recognizing, and Awakening Mental Health and Well-being: Seeing Universal Principles Brings Fresh Hope.
Note: Course #3 begins on 29–September–2021 (but you can join at any time)
The Missing Link for Veterans (FREE)
- There's Only ONE Mental Illness
- Anxiety Disorders
- Depression Disorders
- Physical Disorders
- Personality Disorders
- PTSD and Trauma
- Habits And Addictions
- Bipolar Disorders
- Schizophrenia and Psychosis
- Suicidal Ideation
- Mental Disability
- Chronic Pain
- Your Mental Health Questions Answered
- How do I stop wanting to die?
- The Body-Brain Connection and the power of Mind
Three Principles Based Research and Published Articles (download links):
- One Generic Mental Illness
- Psycho-Spiritual Mental Health Education in Schools
- Three Principles Papers Published, Forthcoming, or Under Review in Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Journals (1990-2020)
The American Journal of Psychiatry
Well-Being, Burnout, and Depression Among North American Psychiatrists: The State of Our Profession
Brothers for Life: a non-profit organization, created and run by disabled Israeli officers, which gives critical and immediate help to disabled Israeli combat soldiers:
Quote from Dr. Tom Ensel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health from 2005 to 2017, as read out by Bill during the interview:
"We are so embedded in this structure, we have spent so much time diagnosing mental disorders that we actually believe they are real. But there's no reality, they are just constructs. There is no reality to schizophrenia or depression, we may have to stop using terms like depression and schizophrenia because they are getting in our way and confusing things. Whatever we've been doing for five decades it ain't working. When I look at the numbers, the numbers of suicides, the numbers of disabilities, the mortality data, it's abysmal and it's not getting any better. All the ways in which we've approached these illnesses and with a lot of people working very hard, the outcomes we've got to this point are pretty bleak."
Books Mentioned by Dr. Bill Pettit throughout the interview (links are for Amazon Kindle edition):
Three Principles Colleagues mentioned throughout the interview in order of appearance:
About Dr. Bill Pettit:
William F. Pettit Jr., M.D., is co-owner with his wife, Dr. Linda Pettit of 3 Principles Intervention LLC. Dr. Pettit has presented the Three Universal Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought as the essence of his psychiatric practice since 1983. Since June, 2017 Dr. Pettit have lived in Phoenix Arizona.
Dr. Pettit retired from clinical psychiatry in December of 2018. He presently serves as a Three Principles mentor on a full time basis. He enjoys mentoring individuals, groups and organizations, nationally and internationally. Moved by what he has witnessed in the past 37 years, Dr. Pettit is spending time creating online courses sharing what he has seen.
As a graduate of Creighton University, Omaha, NE and the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, IL, Dr. Pettit completed his psychiatric residency at the Philadelphia Naval Regional Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA and Portsmouth Naval Regional Medical Center in Portsmouth VA. He is board-certified in Psychiatry, and has been previously certified in Adolescent Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine and Addiction Medicine.
Dr. Pettit served as a physician in the United States Navy for over 9 years, including 3 years as a Navy Flight Surgeon and 3 years as Chief of Psychiatry of the Navy Nuclear Submarine base at Groton, Connecticut.
Presently, Dr. Pettit holds appointments as Adjunct Clinical Professor at Creighton University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and as Adjunct Clinical Professor at Michigan State University School of Osteopathic Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. Formerly he served as, Adjunct Professor at Sienna Heights University and Associate Professor of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry at West Virginia University (WVU), where he was the Medical Director of the Sydney Banks Institute at WVU. In addition, Dr. Pettit had previously held an appointment as Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Des Moines, Iowa Osteopathic School of Medicine. He currently serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee at Creighton University School of Medicine in Phoenix.
Dr. Pettit is a recognized educator in the Three Principles Understanding, and has presented at many national and international conferences and consulted to numerous clients and organizations both nationally and internationally. He has co-authored a paper Only One Generic Mental Illness: A Psycho-Spiritual Explanation of General Factor p and Its Application to Spiritually-Informed Clinical Practice which is currently in the submission process. Dr. Pettit, has thus far created two on line Courses under the series title of One Cause: One Cure:
Course #1 Exploring the Mind brain body behavior Connection – Understanding Universal Principles Changes Everything.
Course #2 Defining, Recognizing, and Awakening Mental Health and Well-being: Seeing Universal Principles Brings Fresh Hope.
Additional free resources that Bill mentioned during the interview include:
The Missing Link for Veterans https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0sRmi9_iiSbpEXzND78zFAKFiQGly2iu
Stories of Hope (Real Change Podcast): https://thedrspettit.com/resources
Daniel Martinez Stahl works with people who want to thrive in this life, with the willingness and courage to question conventional ideas and a desire to look within to access the power of their infinite potential. People who are driven to improve their life by exploring what it means to be both spirit and human; who have a curiosity about life itself, of how the mind works and about the relationship between their body, mind and spirit. Fundamentally, someone who is committed to change their life to a new normal by aligning with their higher self, innate well-being and inner wisdom.
For more information go to: www.LifeBeyondForm.com
(SQP-Ep.017 ~ The Gentle, Grateful and Joyful Journey ~ w. Dr. Bill Pettit)
Editor Note: Minor edits have been made from the original audio recording for easier reading.
(opening intro music begins)
Intro Text: Welcome to the spiritual intelligence podcast, Awakening your inner power with Daniel Martinez Stahl, where we will explore, discover and integrate different aspects of our spiritual and human nature, so that we can all thrive and live life with more grace and ease, instead of struggle.
(intro music fades away)
Daniel: So welcome to the Spiritual Intelligence Podcast. My name is Daniel and with me today is Bill Pettit. He is someone that I have been listening to for many years, I've spoken with him on a number of occasions, he is a retired psychiatrist but I'll let him speak to you more about that, and he is also one of Sydney Banks' students. He's been in the Three Principles community for, you know, over 30 years, has a very deep understanding and I love the perspective that he brings to this conversation, given his professional experience and his depth of understanding, and the relationship between both. So, as always, I have no idea where we're going to go in this conversation. It is led by Mind or Spirit, depending on which community you're coming from and I will let Bill introduce himself and talk about himself, and then we'll go from there.
Bill: Well, yeah, I am Bill Pettit, I'm in my 80th year and grateful to still be vertical. I think if I had not met Mr. Banks on April Fools Day, 1983, which is over 38 years ago, it's quite likely that I would have died from some stress, mental stress-related illness, in my 50s or at best in my 60s. So I'm very very grateful to be here. I did practice psychiatry for many years, until about two years ago and now I'm just a full-time mental health educator, if you will. I do zoom work with people all over the, literally all over the world. And, you know, have been graced to travel and do Three Principles programs in a number of countries that I never dreamt. I was actually, Daniel, before the epidemic, the pandemic hit, I was scheduled to go to North and South Island in New Zealand and then to Perth, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia and was looking forward to that, and I haven't taken it off my bucket list yet so...
Daniel: I'm dying to go there too, I've been told that it's beautiful by a number of friends that have been there.
Bill: Yeah, I'm hopeful. I tentatively have plans to do a program in Copenhagen and then Oslo and then Stockholm, and then in Manchester, prior to the London conference; possibly Germany, people have been asking me about. I feel blessed. I mean I just, I feel blessed. Again, feel free to stop me at any time because I thought maybe it'd be helpful to mention to people a little bit about the circumstances of or where I was on April Fools Day 1983 when I met Syd.
Daniel: Absolutely, I think that would be wonderful, go ahead.
Bill: Well I had been in psychiatry for about 10 years, I actually started out after medical school in surgery and after two years of 36 on and 12 off, I put in my resignation six months early, so they can get a replacement in — at a very prestigious Rush University, what's now Rush University in Chicago, where I was in surgery training with hopes of being a heart surgeon, actually. In a way, I'm a heart surgeon now but without the knife, so that's nice. (chuckles)
And, so, I got so exhausted that I really wasn't kind to people that worked with me or the nurses. I don't know that I was ever unkind to a patient, I think that's the last thing to go. But I knew that I didn't like the inner world that I was living in. And so, I was immediately drafted, the Vietnam War was still going on, and I trained for six months and then was a physician for a squadron of helicopter, anti-submarine, helicopter pilots, for two-and-a-half years from 71 to 74. And during that time, I was still struggling with going in and out of depression, but I also started just to see how the state of chronic mental stress affected people's physical well-being and physical and mental well-being. What in the stress field they call it an accumulation of allostatic load, that moves you from ease to dis-ease, to disease, (chuckles) to keep things simple. I love Syd Banks' statement that when the answer is complicated it's the intellect, when it's simple it is the Spirit, and so I try to keep that in mind as I go forward.
But I ended up, I was the Chief of Psychiatry at the nuclear submarine base in Groton, Connecticut and I've been married since a few months before I graduated from medical school in 69, and frankly I was immature and I wasn't a very good husband, and two small children, and I got divorced, and I was feeling pretty lost. And I did a training called The Life Spring training, which was, some people would be familiar with Est or The Forum and it was kind of like, they used to have an ad that Avis was to Hertz, it was number two and and Life Spring was kind of — they had a common formation through a man named Alexander Evert from England. But, so I ended up going through that program and let go of enough baggage that I lived more in the present moment and was able to then, I went to work for them out of San San Rafael, California in 1980. With an agreement that I would come back and do a training either in New York or Philadelphia or Washington DC once a month. I would do a training in the East coast and then see my two small children for a week. I had a number of friends that would give me a place to stay for a week and I would take my two small children.
And it was during that time in 19 — that was 77 to 80, let's see, it was 80 to 83 then I went to San Rafael, worked with Life Spring, and I was traveling around the country. Even did training in Tokyo, Japan and Calgary, Canada but all around the United States. And I heard about this man George Pransky who was a psychologist in Oakland, California, at the time. And that he was being — people were coming to him who had felt they were broken and not much hope of finding a peaceful life, and more often than not, I heard that he helped them, and remarkably often, quite often, quite remarkably. And then my employer — and I had become the National Program Director after three years with this company — the owner of our company, which will not be named, was silly enough to put a thing on the bulletin board that said, "No one who works for this company is allowed to go to Friday evening programs by George Pransky, over at the University of California, Berkeley. (Daniel begins laughing)
(Daniel still laughing) I mean, I know, this was forty years ago but still, it's not like it was a stone age and I thought, "Wow, that's interesting," and in the meantime my secretary was actually seeing him, my administrative assistant, and so I met him on New Year's Day of January 01 of 1983, and started going Friday evenings, of course, and then we met for two hours, or maybe it was after that, cuz we met for two hours, and I listened to him Daniel. This was 1983, February/March. We had a couple of meetings that we had to cancel: one because of a flood and (chuckles) one because I had to suddenly go to Calgary, Canada because one of my new fresh trainers was in crisis. And so, but we met in a little hotel called the Mac Hotel, I remember driving over San Quentin prison on the way to the Mac Hotel and I sat there for 2 hours — and I'm not I'm not brilliant by any means, I always compare myself to Judy Sedgeman who is my colleague and I think her IQ is at least fifty points higher than mine, but I stumbled in bumbled my way through medical school, and so I can read and understand the English language. I'm in awe of people who are bilingual, because I'm not — and I sat for two hours listening to George and if you would have been waiting for me at the coffee shop and had heard kind of rumblings and we're curious and said, "Bill, is it really a breakthrough equivalent of Einstein's breakthrough in physics in his 1905 papers?" I think I would have said, "Daniel, I think it is, I really think it's that big." (Daniel: hm) But I can't — and you would say, (with excitement in his voice) "Oh, talk to me about it." (Daniel begins laughing) Well, there's the problem because it has something to do with what people call God, and something to do about life, and something to do about how they're connected, by something called divine Thought, (Daniel laughing) and that's the end of my presentation. (Bill begins to laugh)
Daniel: I can relate with the difficulty of explaining and discussing and describing.
Bill: OK, and stop me at any time if you want to add or...
Daniel: No, please continue.
Bill: So, then George saw that I was interested in and I spent some time with him, and I watched him with clients, and he knew something that I had never, that I didn't know. He would, we would, we would have an initial seven — people would come in for like a three-day, executives would come in from Northern California for a three-day program with him, and morning and afternoon, And he would meet with the person, maybe the first session maybe for 75 or 90 minutes, and then I would say, "Tell me what you learned," and he said, "Well, I think he's probably, um, probably cheating on his wife, he's um, he's probably doing something illegal at his work, probably siphoning off a little money or just bending the rules and I think he's struggling at times with suicidal thoughts," and da, da, da, da, da. And I'd say, "Well George, he didn't say anything about any of those things," he said, "I know." I said, "Well then..." because inevitably 95% of what he said would become true as he talked to the people, and he said, "Well, I could tell by the level of consciousness that he was living in, by the feeling level that he was living and his level of understanding about what's behind life, and how the human experience is created, but more than that, what's the nature of the creative force behind life is."
So, I was curious and he saw that I was curious. He said, "If you really want to know more about this," and this was 38 years ago right, he said, "Mr. Banks is coming to San Francisco to do a program on a Friday evening and Saturday and Sunday," and it happen to be that it was starting on Friday, April Fool's Day. And I said, you know, "Yeah." I came home and I told my wife and my wife went — it was my wife Sue, my late wife Sue, who died in 2000, she, um — I know, she looked at me and thought, "okay, now, once again." You know, it was psychodrama, it was what this Burns, uh, Burns the child/adult, you know, it was NLP, it was it was one, it was this other — and I said, "Well, let's, let me see."
So, I went and I sat there — and oh, by the way, she had come and rejoined me and we got back together but we were struggling again, we probably would have gotten divorced again had we not, had I not met George and met Syd, because something powerful happened — and as I stepped there, that day on April Fool's Day, I was 41 years old, I'd been in and out of clinical depression for 20 years, I had 26 and 1/2 years of education, I'd been in psychiatry about 10 years, I really was pretty sure that I was broken and lacking. I had depression and alcoholism on both sides of my family, I had one suicide then on one side, now I have a suicide on both sides, and I had seen six different psychiatrists, who were good people. Caring people, Daniel, caring people. I am not a psychiatrist basher and I never will be, because these are wonderful people who have dedicated their lives, both to find healing for themselves, but also to be healers, and they helped me through six different times in my life, where without help I might well have ended up hospitalized or ended up having to stop my education. But with their assistance, if you will, with their hand in my hand, they led me through those periods to where I did not have to stop my undergraduate, stop my medical school, stop my residency and was able to continue forward.
And so there I was, I've had nine hundred, eight or nine hundred lectures on mental illness in my residency in psychiatry, and lectures on medications to alleviate the pain of quote mental illness. I had had no lectures on mental health Daniel. Zero. Even as I say that, I don't know about you, but I go, "How could that be?"
Daniel: It's hard to fathom because, like I was saying to you earlier on, I grew up in a household with psychology and psychotherapy and I've been exposed in the mental health field for years, and when I heard something similar, I kind of thought about myself and I went you know it's true I mean when I was studying psychiatry and psychology in college there was never any course on mental health.
Bill: No. And when I became board certified in psychiatry, through to a pretty rigorous — both, I think they, I don't think they no longer do the, um, we had both the written and the live; had to go to Boston for one and to New York for the other. And when I get certified in 1978, which is what 42–43 years ago as a board-certified psychiatrist, I suddenly was designated as a mental health professional, not as a mental illness professional, which is what I, my entire training; and a proper designation would have been to be designated as a mental illness professional. But no, they called me a mental health professional even though I struggled to find even a few hours a day where I was there, and was going in and out of clinical depression.
And as I sat there listening to Mr. Banks, and please feel free to stop me at any time with questions, I um, within 30 minutes I think, I mean, you know, your memory that long ago who knows, but it was not that long before something very powerful happened. Where I felt at least 250 to 300 pounds of weight off my shoulders, off my chest...
Daniel: Do you have a memory of what it was that you heard that shifted that?
Bill: I don't, I don't, you know, what I remember was just that here was this man that had — I'm told that he was a welder, who had a 9th grade education, that had been a welder for 14 years and at that time, 10 years before that in 1973, had had an epiphany experience or whatever you want to call it. A peek into the mind of God that lasted for 3 days, where he was awake, but he told me later he wasn't hyper, he just was filled with love and a gentle quiet feeling and in his eyes, the world looked different, his wife looked different, his children looked different, his friends looked different, his job looked different. He was seeing life through a beautiful feeling that he had not been in touch with since he was a very young child; and that he had been born illegitimate to a teenage girl in Scotland, and raised — he never told the details — but a rather uncomfortable and rough early childhood; and had a 9th grade education.
So, he comes onto the stage and here I am with 26 and 1/2 years of schooling, 10 years in psychiatry, and yet, I don't think I was at that point that arrogant about it because I was not happy. I didn't — I wasn't at peace and so there was a cognitive congruent, a discongruence or whatever, in that here's this man, who at least what I'm told, has a very humble beginning with limited education as I know it to be, and yet he's sitting in front of 250 people without any prompter, looking very very relaxed, and talking in a quiet but very powerful and clear manner. And even saying, that before he had his experience his level of anxiety was so much that if you and I and he were talking, he might be able to tolerate the three of us, but if two other people, Joe Bailey and Cathy Casey who you had before, came walking up to join us to make five, he said, "My anxiety would have gotten so high I would have had to walk away, excuse myself and walk away." And now he's sitting in front of 400, or 300 or 250 people and I've seen him later sit in front of 400/500/600 whatever and sit quietly and with a presence — there was a presence about him. I never
— I've never been in the presence of somebody who had the quiet presence that he had, and I think that affected me.
And I suspect, very early on, it's one of the very first things that he says in the Long Beach lectures — and if anybody is listening, I encourage them to go to www.SydBanks.com and go to the The Long Beach lectures — and one of the first things he says is, "Please, please don't believe anything that I say, because if you do, then you're a follower, but it's okay if you listen, if you listen quietly there's a good chance you're going to hear something; but it's going to be a realization from within your connection to the divine energy of Life, inside of you and you're going to see something; and if you see something from something that I've pointed to with my words, cuz that's all I can do, with my words is point," and if somebody's pointing with their finger, if you keep looking at their finger, you're not going to see what they are pointing to; "and so, if you look beyond my words and you hear something, and you see something for yourself, then it's yours, it's not mine, it's not because you're believing me."
And he also very early on said that based on what he saw, our connection to what people call God, that it's impossible for us to be broken or have anything lacking. You can't, you can't be divine energy in a form and be lacking. Now, you can have the appearance of that, if there's — like he says in The Missing Link — if there's insufficient spiritual and psychological understanding then it will appear that all psyches are not the same or not rooted in universal truth, but in fact they are. And, so the idea — I'm sure early on he probably pointed to the idea that we are not broken, we can't be, and that I heard, heard something, that it wasn't that I believe that because he said it, cuz frankly given my education that was a pretty outlandish statement. You know, that everything that I had been trained in would have said that is total bullshit and what am I doing sitting here.
Daniel: And everything in society seems to point in that direction as well, which is one of the challenges that all of us in this community seem to come up against, is that society has that idea as well.
Bill: Well, as you know society is made up of individuals and and there is a, there is a level of consciousness that, but that is general, but you also know, you know you've met a lot of people in the last 20 years that there's — you know, I think of Martin Luther King, I mean I'm getting away and I'll get back to Syd in a moment, but I think of Martin Luther King's statement and I may not quote it exactly right but the the arc of morality are the arc of what to me is the arc of consciousness, is a long long arc. (chuckles) It's a long arc but it moves towards justice, and I would say it moves towards love and understanding. People might say how — recently, in last couple of years I read Yuval Harari's Sapiens (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, I don't know if you have; I've read Sapolsky’s 670-page book called Behave from Stanford (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst) and I recently, on my trip to the Midwest, my 38-day trip seeing children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and friends from every stage of my life, I listened to Humankind from Bregman from the Netherlands (Humankind: A Hopeful History), which is a much more optimistic — but all three of those, with incredible hundreds and hundreds of hours of research, if they understood what Mr. Banks understood, as far as the Principles, you know, I think a lot of their confusion and questions would be answered.
You know, and you think that back in the year, what four, five, two or three hundred, they used to fill 50,000 people into the coliseum to watch gladiators fight to the death or christians to be torn apart by the lions. Now we still have mixed martial arts and we have pro football but we're not packing 50,000 people into a stadium to watch animals tear human beings apart. And even in the eighteen-hundreds, two hundred and some years ago, and I really should look up the number because I forget, how many countries there were out of the hundred ninety-five to 200 countries where slavery was still, including United States and including UK and Canada even until 1830, that slavery was legalized. There are no countries in the world right now where slavery is legal. It's not to say it's not occurring, that there aren't enslaved people, with trafficking and whatever, but I'm saying that the arc of morality, the arc of consciousness, the arc of love and understanding is moving. There's a lot of evidence that it's moving, and what I hear you saying is that I think all of us, for ourselves and for the people in, as our planet, you know, is threatened with extinction, either by nuclear bombs or by what we're doing to the planet, we want that to move a little quicker than its moving. (both begin laughing)
Daniel: I, uh, you know, (Bill: go ahead, yeah) I know that I've mentioned this in other episodes as well but, there's a lot of talk in the spiritual communities about the evolution of the planet and the evolution of all beings on the planet, including ourselves. And more than once, I thought about how there's no surprise and there's no coincidence that the message that Sydney Banks brought to this world — of the understanding of how life works, the understanding of our psychology, our relationship with our spiritual inner well-being, our inner wisdom — there's no surprise in my mind that that message came out when it has. And I do agree with you, that as a community and as a society we are evolving and we are getting better all the time. But, I did mention the reference that there's still a prevalent idea in our society that our psychological experience of life is created by our circumstances and our environment, and that we respond to those and that those create our well-being or they create our discomfort. And what I have learned in the small time that I've been looking in the direction of the Three Principles, and it's a message that's shared across a number of different communities as well but, within the Three Principles, an underlying message in the conversation is that it is 100% inside-out, and society doesn't seem to support that idea. So, that's a challenge that I've had in sharing this with people to kind of help them to see more of the misunderstanding and less of the illusion. And so that was kind of my comment, which was in reference to something you said.
Bill: I'm going to come back to that, 100% inside-out, which is true but, but there's a little asterisks on that that I'd like to at least address later. So I'm going to finish with my experience with Sid if that’s okay.
Daniel: Absolutely, yeah, please do.
Bill: So, I think something happened. I left there with hope. Hope got awakened, and by the way — I think it was Roger Mills, but I'm sure he got it from listening to Syd — I realized Daniel that anytime you, you or I experience what we would call resistance, it's lack of hope. 100%, in my experience, 100% of the time it is lack of hope. I used to, and it used to challenge my compassion for my fellow workers and my, my psychiatric nurses when they would say things like, "Well, you know, that person just keeps coming back because they don't want to get better, they don't, they don't want to get better," and I'd say to myself, "You know, that's just not true."
There's not a human being that I have ever met in my nearly 80 years now, that wants to be righteous than miserable and die righteously miserable. But there's a lot of people, 100% of the people in my experience, want to live at a level of peace, a vast majority of the time. We can't do it perfectly. As Syd always said, and I agree with him, that if you aim for perfection you're going to fail miserably and be in judgment of yourself a good part of the time. But if you continue the journey of, which we talked about earlier, that there's an infinite number of doors of understanding of these Three Principles, and they are Universal.
You know, when Syd came out of his experience, and David Banks, his son was right there as a twelve-year-old boy, when he said, "I'm home free," after three days of being awake, and suddenly he said, "I'm home free, I've conquered this world, I've seen what people call God is," he didn't say I see what God is, "I see what people call God is, I've seen what life is and I've seen how the two are connected." That's what he saw, and that has been translated into — you know the Pythagorean theorem has, I used to know the number, but it has like 19 or 22 corollaries, which are obvious truths, (chuckles) but the theorem is the theorem. I hear a lot of people saying a lot of corollaries is if they're what Syd saw, one of the corollaries is that your experience is a product, as a human being, we can't have anything other than a thought created experience, by the power of divine thought or we couldn't, we can't, we can't have any experience other than a thought created experience.
And I remember even my patients that were diagnosed with schizophrenia would say things like, would say, "you know, what about my hallucinations?" and I'd say, "You know, your hallucinations are just thoughts with special effects." They are. And I remember how people would, because that's true, so often it had a powerful impact on people. And the diagnosis that we have, are just constructs, they're labels on certain levels of mental stress, and I started to see that.
I started to see that in my own life, that, I think the first thing I started to see was that when I got angry, that I was like The Wizard of Oz; when they pulled back the curtain, there was a little old man with a megaphone, that it was me. It was me that was creating the anger, and I started to see more and more that all I had to do when I lost my mental well-being was to be where I was as best as I could.
Somebody asked me the other day, "What do you do when you're in the midst of a thought thunderstorm?" and what came out of my mouth was, I just got quiet, and what came out of my mouth was not something that I experienced as stored in my brain, Daniel. But it kind of came through me and what came out of my mouth was, in response to "What do you do when you're in the midst of a thunderstorm?" and what came out of my mouth was, "I be, to the best that I can, I get where I am," or I be where I am. I get present. I don't try to distract myself from my thinking, I don't try to change my thinking, I don't try to change the content, I don't do it — I just get present.
And to many people, that's too simple. Cuz they want to talk about the unconscious, they want to talk about this, and that's fine. Because most of our experience, we’re experiencing unconscious thoughts frequently, but you can tell when you are, by a change in your feeling. (chuckles) We've got a foolproof mechanism that we've been given, a divine mechanism, divine assistance. Universal Mind (unclear word), that lets us know.
As soon as I lose a lighthearted, loving, feeling I know it's time for me to go to quiet. Not to analysis. I love what Woody Allen said in the movie The Sleeper, about 30 years ago. He had this movie called The Sleeper and in the movie, he woke up after being asleep for 25 years, and the first thing he said when he realized, he said, "25 years, hell, I could have been halfway through my analysis." (Daniel laughs and Bill chuckles) Daniel, I had spent 41 years, when I didn't know what to do, going round and round in analysis, and I think it was because I'd always say a little prayer and I'd say, you know, whatever God is, please help me. But the next thing was, I remember being told as a kid that God helps those who help themselves.
So I went to my bag of tricks and there was only one, there was only one. It was like my son who has a construction company and about $35,000 worth of tools to build with, it was as if he was going to a construction job and opened up the truck and all there was, was the hammer. Everything will start looking like a nail, right? Because all I had was analysis, for 41 years of my life.
I didn't know that I was truly being guided by divine wisdom, the same divine wisdom that has my lemon tree make lemons; already they're, even though they're not going to be ready till next, early next March, they're already big and green and they're forming. And that I am a product of that same divine wisdom and energy. Divine thought if you will. But I have the ability to not only be a spectator in the spiritual theater called life, as Mr. Bank says on Page 6 of The Missing Link, when the Divine passes from the formless to the form, we as human beings...I love this so I'm going to be accurate about it. (flips through some pages) "The divine passes from the formless to the form, and as human beings we are both spectators and participants, in this spiritual theater called life." That lemon tree is a participant in the spiritual theater called life, the rocks are, the plants are. The rocks get messages from the plants of what nutrients they need, and if the rocks have them available, they send them. They send them to the plants. They send it to whatever is growing around them. There is, this is one big ball of divine intelligence.
Daniel: Beautiful and incredible to even think about, isn't it? (Bill: huh?) I was saying, it's beautiful and incredible to even think about that, isn't it?
Bill: It is, but the difference between what Mr. Banks was trying to point to, I think is, that the difference between us and the lemon tree or even this book — you know it looks like it's just a book with a bunch of pages but I'm told by physicists that there's atoms, and inside those atoms there's electrons going three-fourths the speed of light. (flutters the book in his hands) I should have trouble keeping my hands on this book. (chuckles) So this book is actually a participant in this spiritual theater called life. Everything is. There's no separation. And, so let me read this, "The divine passes," did you have something you wanted to say, I'm sorry I didn't want to…(Daniel: No, go ahead). No really, it's OK. (Daniel: No, I can wait.)
Ok, "The divine passes from the formless to the form and as human beings, we are both spectators and participants." So, we as humans are given a personal consciousness, a personal use of divine Consciousness, personal use of divine Mind, personal use of divine Thought, so that we can actually be spectators. We can become aware of what we are. You know we talked a little about reincarnation, which I don't believe, disbelieve or either, but I don't resist it. It makes sense that we may, each time around, see a little bit more of our divine essence and our connection to the divine, to where we really can fully appreciate being in the presence of that.
The great mystics of the world who tried to — you see, the lemon tree I don't think has that gift of personal consciousness, where it can know, it maybe can, but I don't know that it does. That it can know that it is divine consciousness. And the other thing is, I don't think the lemon tree has choice to do this...(makes a hand and arm gesture of defiance)...to divine consciousness, to say, "I'm not listening, I'm going to listen to my own little thinking, my own lemon thinking today." And we as human beings have that choice. We can innocently and part of it is that, that lack of awareness that it's even available to us, that we are literally being guided every single second of our life.
And if people knew that, they would, as Elsie Spittle talks about, they would come more and more closely to a state of mind where they would not have any anxiety or fear, or need to prove themselves, because they would know that they will be okay, no... matter... what. And that's the journey. Some of us might reach that before we die, some of us don't, but it's about enjoying the journey, and it's about direction, it's not about speed. And a lot of people get into judging their speed in that journey, and quit enjoying the direction of the journey. (chuckles)
I tell people here in Phoenix, if I want to get to Alaska, I'll do a lot better going 10 miles an hour north then I will 85 miles an hour south. (Daniel: yeah, very true) It's about direction. But I'm just going to read the second page here, "The great mystics of the world, who tried to explain such knowledge, had no choice but to speak in metaphors, knowing that their words are only a representation of the spiritual wisdom that lies within the consciousness of all human beings."
If we're divine energy in a form, how can that not be? There can be no exceptions. And sometimes I am a little mischievous, Daniel, and probably from age 6 to 10, I probably met criteria for oppositional defiant disorder, but the treatment in the late forties for oppositional defiant disorder was “wait till your father gets home.” (Daniel laughs with Bill) That was the treatment program. So, — my father was a good man — "all human psyches are rooted in universal truth, and no person's psyche is better than any others." Wow, "Only to the degree of the individual's psychological and spiritual understanding does it appear to vary."
So, it's been a journey, it's been a journey to see that. One of the first things I also saw was that we all truly live in separate realities. My late wife and I did not live in the same world. My present wife Linda, who's a beautiful, incredibly, wonderful woman that I met 18 years ago when she came to speak on Valentine's Day at the West Virginia University, grand rounds on the healing power of unconditional love. When we met, we had both been widowed about three years, and 18 years ago yesterday, we got married 18 years ago.
But we don't live in the same reality, in the same world. And the difference that I learned that allowed me to have the last 18 years of my life with my late wife, and the 18 years with Linda be incrementally closer, and I said yesterday — do I wish I'd known about love? To be able to give and receive love, as I do now with my first wife? Of course I do. But I'm also grateful for this journey, this incremental direction towards more peace, more ability to give and receive love, I just, I live in gratitude. And that, that's what, but that allows me when we see things differently, which is frequently, and my late wife and I, at first, before we met Syd and George we, I didn't know to listen. To try to hear from this person that I love, with my whole heart and soul, to hear what their world is like, and to listen. And every time I did, my world got bigger. And when I listen from the heart, I remember that she started being able to listen to me explain what I was seeing in life. And life stopped being about who was right, and it started being more about living in a feeling of mutual respect and love, and in being okay with the mystery that we, that we experience life differently, and it had 0.0 for the love we had for each other.
So, I want to stop and give you a chance to — I know I've kind of, oh, I would like to at one point, at sometime, say something about the 100% inside-out.
Daniel: Yeah, I would like to hear your thoughts too. I mean what I've been noticing and experiencing myself, as I get a deeper understanding of life in my own experience is, a recognition that even though my experience of life is 100% created by me and through me, I am still responding to my external environment. My external environment still influences and has an influence on the thoughts that are created in my head. The difference comes in with the focus of what I choose to give attention to and where I choose not to.
But life is still going to act around me, life is still real around me, and it's going to influence my experience. But I can always choose to have a different perspective, a higher perspective of that experience. And I'm learning more and more — and I believe that it's very much in line with a message that's talked about in the community of the Three Principles — but I'm learning more and more about how it's very easy for me to get caught up in the content of my thoughts. And the more that I understand and I see my experience of life, it makes it easier for me to remain at ease with the consequences and the situations and the circumstances, and the events that are happening around me and I'll give you a perfect example.
I am being forced to move out of my will, and I can respond to that with anger and with frustration and with resentment, or I can simply be at ease with recognizing that my innate well-being, my peace of mind, my state of comfort within myself is not determined by anybody outside of me, or anything outside of me, and so I'm able to remain fairly at ease and at peace with the challenges that I am facing in this moment.
Bill: Would you like me to comment, or not?
Daniel: If you would like to, more than welcome to?
Bill: Yeah. That must — I would think that that would be a welcome change from maybe earlier in your life, that where it would seem that things have more control. The one thing I would say for me is that, (sigh) I don't experience choosing to do a whole lot of things. And I feel like I'm going to mess this up because I don't want to sound, I don't want to sound, um, what I want to do is to say that there's even, I think there's even more, beyond what you're experiencing this going to be even gentler, and here's what I mean by that. It sounded, it sounded too intellectual, to me what your thought, it still sounded like a lot of cognition and choices and decisions.
And I'm reminded of — there's a wonderful free program that I'd love to have you review. I know you're busy, Daniel, it's called — it's on YouTube and it's on my website — it's called The Missing Link for Veterans, have you heard of it at all? It's free. (Daniel: no, I have not) It's free, and Judy Sedgeman, who I was with at West Virginia University — it came to me one time, it seemed like one of those gifts from Universal Mind and I contacted Ofer Mayer from Israel. I don't know if you've ever heard me talk about my 13 days in Israel with Rabbi Chaim Levine, working with Israeli soldiers, combat injured soldiers (Daniel: no, I have not) from Lebanon wars. (https://www.brothersforlife.com)
Ofer Mayer, David Hill from the UK and retired Marine major Brad Gallup, who actually works full-time now with wounded warriors. So, three soldiers, Judy and myself. Ofer Mayer was in a company of 10, I think it was Lebanon too, and they were, the Israeli forces, the special forces are in companies of 10, and he was in a special specialized Israeli force, and they got hit with a rocket attack and I don't know exactly how many died immediately but he was the medic, and then one by one he tried to save each one of his comrades, fellow company men's lives, with his left eye hanging out by the little cord that keeps your eye in your socket. And they all died, all nine of them were killed.
So, I think, it's true that 100% of our experience comes from the inside-out. I haven't been tortured, I don't spend over eight hours a day getting fresh water for my family, which the last I heard, 16% of the world's population does. I've got running water, I've got an ice box full of food, I live in air conditioning in Phoenix, but I float around in my little pool in the back saying I'm in a hundred-four degrees with a cool breeze, I'm suffering here in Phoenix. So, I know that it’s true, because I know Viktor Frankl, if you ever read Man's Search for Meaning, many hours each day he lived in a beautiful state, because he understood something. Martin Luther King, to some some degree withstood a lot, despite the way he was treated. Gandhi. We've called people like in — and I always include Poo Bear in that group — and we've always said people like that, or Ashoka [an] Indian, I don't know if you know about Ashoka, but [he was] Indian about 300 BC. We say that they are exceptions to the rule, and I ask people to entertain that they're not exceptions to the rule. That they're the rule in action.
But I also want to make it clear that I haven't been kidnapped and put in human trafficking as a young woman, 12–13 years old. But at the same time, I know, and that's what allows Judy Sedgeman to meet with people like that and to awaken a place within them where they know they are not broken; their mental well-being hasn't even been scratched or touched by their life experience.
So, Ofer I think brings a special thing to that group because of what he experienced, and the others experienced a lot of, having to do a lot of things in war and experiencing a lot of things in war, that you have to come to grips with. Those people that — I haven't had a Lieutenant say, "Tie that little twelve-year-old girl that we found in Vietnam, tie her to a tree and slit her throat, she might go back to her village and we may lose half of our people." At 18-years-old with a rifle, I haven't been told to do that and said, "I can't do that," and he said, "then fine I'll shoot you in the back of the head and I'll go do it." I haven't had to deal with things like that, but it doesn't mean that the Principles, you know the true universal Principles are still the way it works, and they're pointing to the way the world works.
As Ofer came out of his basement of despair and depression and PTSD, he now, thirteen years later, has a degree in psychology. Those 27 Brothers for Life if you ever, BFL (https://www.brothersforlife.com) if you ever want to go on the website, they now [have] over 1,100 from those 27 and they have a huge building in Tel Aviv that has been through benefactors, and he's on a two-year fellowship in child and adolescent psychology in Israel.
And in the middle of the course, as we're going through one page at a time — we go through The Missing Link, it's for free, one page at a time — one of us takes turns reading one page at a time in The Missing Link, and then all five of us have an opportunity, we don't all speak after each page, but after each and every page of 142 pages, all five of us have an opportunity to say what that page has meant to us in our lives. I've been told by so many people this has nothing to do with veterans, it has to do with everybody. Every human being who lives life.
But Ofer, halfway through the program, he came one time — we met whenever we could get all five of us together — and he said, "My two friends and I went to Barcelona this past weekend, just to have a nice weekend together there and have some fun, we didn't check on what was going on in Barcelona." You know, I thought, here are these ex-Israeli forces who didn't do their reconnaissance, if you will, in military terms. You always hate to use, I hate to use military metaphors but they walked out of the airport in Barcelona and it was a national holiday, and there were fireworks, and explosions going on in the air, from the fireworks. And you and I talked earlier about the unconscious. So, that part of the unconscious, if you will, the reptilian brain, responded to those external things, through vision, through etcetera, and it made the very rapid, but oftentimes incorrect — it's not that accurate, that's why policeman when they're really in a stressed state of mind, if they haven't — someday policemen will live in a place of, a different place, there has been many that have been trained in the Principles — that they mistake when somebody's trying to show them a hand-phone, an iPhone, they see a pistol and they put five bullets in the man's chest, only to have the iPhone fall on the ground.
Well, that same response to Ofer had his heart suddenly going a hundred and sixty, his breathing fast and profusely perspiring, because he was ready for a rocket attack, to try to save the people around him. And he said, "You know, it's wonderful that I didn't have to do anything, I didn't have to make any decision, my only decision was to sit down," and not decide, on not taking his thoughts seriously. No. He just knew that was not the time to engage his intellect. "I just sat down as quietly as possible and I let my brain do what it did, and within five minutes I knew I was having a thought created experience; within five minutes, my heart was normal, my breathing was normal and I felt a deep level of calm, and I looked up from that experience, I looked up at the fireworks and said 'is this cool or what?’" And they went and had a wonderful weekend in Barcelona. They didn't have to fly back to Tel Aviv, and he didn't have to go into battle with his experience or his thoughts or make any decisions and then end up curling up in a fetal position mumbling incoherently, "They're all dead, they're all dead, I couldn't save them, they're all dead," as he was carted off to the local emergency room, to a psychiatric unit. And that's that grain of truth that if people really understand the universality of these Principles and their connection to what people call God, there's no experience — they won't be frightened by any experience.
Daniel: I have a question for you that is related to what you've been sharing and it comes from one of my listeners. The question was around how does this understanding help with the big mental issues? Like, for example, and they mentioned that one of their family members suffers from very severe bipolar disorder, where she will go into episodes where she will disappear from the household and put her life into all kinds of very dangerous situations, to then come out of it eventually. But his question was how does this understanding help situations like that, people like that?
Bill: I'll be glad to answer, but I will encourage — hopefully I can awaken enough hope that they go to Syd's videotapes and to The Missing Link, and to even — have you ever heard that series of 13 or 14 1-hour podcasts that I did for Elizabeth Lovius in the UK? They are also on my website. (https://thedrspettit.com/resources)
Daniel: No, I don't, I'll definitely have the links for it on the description.
Bill: The first one, the first one is called One Cause, One Cure; and the second one is Stories of Hope — from, at that time, about 33-34 years — Stories of Hope Anxiety Disorders; [another] one, Stories of Hope Depressive Disorders; whole hour on Stories of Hope Bipolar Disorders; Stories of Hope Schizophrenia and Psychotic Disorders; Stories of Hope PTSD; Stories of Hope Addictive Disorders; Stories of Hope Personality Disorders; and I basically go through my experience of 35 years, with each one of these.
But the answer is very simple. (pause) The answer for — first of all, I'm going to say something, I don't know if you've ever heard me read the quote from Tom Ensel, who was the Director of, National, the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health from 2005 to 2017. Have you ever heard me quote him?
Daniel: I believe I have yes, but please go ahead.
Bill: And his answer is not the same answer and I, I certainly — he's on my list of people to send — have you seen the most recent article that, from 22 months of collaboration that we finally got published?
Daniel: I have not, I know that — I believe that Judy was speaking to me about it, wanting, about it kind of being finalized and in the final stages.
Bill: Okay, you want me to send it to you?
Daniel: Absolutely, are you okay if I share that with the community as well?
Bill: Oh yeah, you can share it around the world. I think I'll share one that was in the same journal on — you know, there's three programs for children going around the world one is iHeart, one is the SPARK and the other is My Guide Inside, and there's research, and I'll send you a list of 25 or 30 articles that have been peer-reviewed over the years, published.
Daniel: Yeah, that would be lovely.
Bill: Here's what Dr. Tom Ensel says, and this is — as people listen, as people listen Daniel, as you said, we're talking [about] a different world, a different paradigm. And, I don't know if you ever read the Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas Kuhn, where he talks about every time there is a scientific revolution and a paradigm shift, it takes about 50 years, generally it has, before the old people die off and enough young people (Daniel begins to laugh), really, and enough young people see something and they say, "I can't believe that people used to think that was true."
"We are so embedded in this structure," this is 12-13 years the National Institute of Mental Health Director psychiatrist MD, Tom Ensel. "We are so embedded in this structure, we have spent so much time diagnosing mental disorders that we actually believe they are real." This is not me or Syd or... "But there's no reality, they are just constructs. There is no reality to schizophrenia or depression, we may have to stop using terms like depression and schizophrenia because they are getting in our way and confusing things." Wow! That includes bipolar, that includes OCD, that includes whatever label you want to put there.
"Whatever we've been doing for five decades it ain't working. When I look at the numbers, the numbers of suicides, the numbers of disabilities, the mortality data, it's abysmal and it's not getting any better. All the ways in which we've approached these illnesses and with a lot of people working very hard, the outcomes we've got to this point are pretty bleak."
My course that I'm going to do called Hope for the Helpers: Less Stress, More Joy; part of — and we're going to use The Enlightened Gardener, which you said was to your favorite Syd book — I think part of what inspired that was that in the American Journal of Psychiatry just a few months ago, there was a survey of 2,016 American psychiatrists, and they were humble enough to truly, most of them it sounds like, filled out a scale that was given to them, a burnout scale, honestly. So that 78% of 2,016 American psychiatrists met criteria for burnout, for psychological, spiritual and physiological burnout.
Now, if we had 2,016 electricians who reported in the past year that they had life-threatening shocks, electric shocks, we'd say, "You know, maybe we have to look at the education of electricians? Cuz there's something we're not teaching them, or they wouldn't be getting shocked like that."
Now, it's innocent, it's Innocent. But I will send you this because on the back of it — and since then I've seen that there's a research tool that was used for DSM-5 and it had 13, it had 13 quote "symptoms'', and I woke up one morning while I was teaching a course at a small University Catholic University with my wife, Sienna Heights University, and I suddenly realized, wow — these are called exploring the 13 cross-cutting symptoms — I said this has never been, these are not, there not just 13 things; they're related, and I saw that under depression, under mood, three of them were — you go from being lighthearted and joyful to dysthymia, meaning you don't feel as good as you used to feel, then you get into a depression where you really are feeling kind of down, and then you feel anger and irritability, and then eventually if we if you don't have the understanding and you don't hear that these symptoms are love letters from Universal Mind, a totally beneficent — these Three Principles is not a religion, but it is the theology Daniel. It's pointing to a new view of what's behind life; not judgment, not punishment but love and understanding, pure unadulterated unconditional love and understanding.
If that's true, then that would mean that everything that we experience as a symptom is an attempt by Universal Mind to have us look in a different direction, and if we don't hear the initial symptoms, they have to make the alarm louder to try to save the person from more and more pain, physically and emotionally. If people don't hear it they end up where they're totally lost of connectedness to self, others, to Source; and they're waking up every morning trying to decide whether or not to kill themselves and then whether or not to take anybody with them before they kill themselves, whether to kill others. And Corey Keyes' research shows that about 30, 15 to 18%, and it's just a survey but fifteen to eighteen percent of people are — in the United States, across culture across education — about 18% of the people, about 1 in 6, are what they call thriving; their light-hearted, they have stress resistance, things don't bother them generally, but if they do they have tremendous resilience. 50% are what they call stressed but okay; moderate mental well-being, I'm okay, but I'm stressed. My dear friend Dicken Bettinger talks about how he — prior to seeing the Principles, and here's a very educated, bright, loving man — he was having to do four hours a day of meditation to have his anxiety be under control. Wow! Now, is that better than 10 bags of heroin or two quarts of whiskey or having sex with everything that moves or eating and puking? Of course it is, but it also was four hours out of his day that he wasn't available, to give and receive love, and to be productive and creative in his life. And that leaves 32% of people that are languishing in the United States, and the bottom, some percentage of that, you know, after the (unclear word) languishing, feeling overwhelmed waking up overwhelmed every day of their life. Wow!
Now, Tom Kelly did a research thing where he sent out this survey to people a number of years ago, and it's not good research, but it has to be looked at because I think he got 194 people in the community, the Three Principles community, that had at least nine years, the average was nine years exposure to the Principals and 88% were thriving, 9% we're okay but stressed and 3% were languishing.
If you go to anxiety, if you go down on mood, mania to me is an attempt to save the person's life. When I have had people — once I started to see this — I started asking people who had had hypomanic and manic episodes, and I would say, "What is the last thing you remember prior to your panic, you're manic?" And one was a PHD psychologist that I presented with, who was hospitalized for 6 to 8 weeks in the United Kingdom, and presented with me at the London conference. And I said to a number of people that did, when I was working clinically, "What was the last thing you remember before you went into your manic episodes or your hypomanic episodes?" And about 70 to 75% of them, some would say "I don't remember," but those that remembered, every one of them said "suicide had become a genuine option, I was thinking more and more about taking my life," and when you think of that, the mania — if you think of Universal Mind having to respect our level of consciousness and our free will, but trying to save us.
I had one man who went into a manic episode and he told me when he came out of it, the last thing he remembers, he was going to kill his wife who we loved very dearly, his two 9- and 11-year-old boys who he loved very dearly and then himself, to save them from the pain of life, cuz he felt like he had failed them economically. So what did his manic episode do? It saved four people's lives, and it got him into, got the cavalry involved, and it got him into a safe place in a hospital, where he was able to learn the Principles, likely because it happened to be that I was his doctor.
So, what I would say is that we either live in a level of ease and then we have at least four different — we've been given by Universal Mind at least four different areas of alarm systems that try to get us to look in a different direction, to try to get us to look to silence, to just be quiet, not to try to do anything with our thinking, reframe it, any...No! It's very simple. If you push a cork under water, if you learn how to let go of the cork, the cork doesn't need a GPS to get back to the surface.
What's hereditary is which one of these beneficent, benevolent alarm systems is the most sensitive. For me it was mood, I went into depressions when I didn't know. For Dicken it was anxiety. For other people — so, what are the four alarm systems? One is our mood. If I go from more than 30 minutes a day of stressful thinking, activating the stress response in the hypothalamic pituitary access, 30 minutes a day, no problem. 30 minutes to 3 hours a day the research shows that we have incredible neuro-adaptation that we can probably avoid, unless it goes on for years and years, any long-term problems, psychologically or physically. But we will get alarm systems, divine mind will let us know, and what's hereditary is which is most sensitive.
But everybody's mood will come down some, they will become less lighthearted and more serious, less lighthearted and loving and more serious and in discomfort. Their attention level will go from serenity to X-degree of anxiety, it can go all the way to, if they don't learn to see something, to phobias, panic attacks and even dissociation, and even multiple personalities. The third one is our thinking, our thinking will move from clear and creative and free access to wisdom, to muddled and efforting and we're losing our keys; for me I'm losing my keys, I'm losing my phone, I'm losing the TV remotes, I'm cutting myself with my razor thinking that suddenly whiskers are growing up near my eyeball, because I'm going to fast and furious, and not slow enough. And then in our body. One of the first things that goes is people's sleep. Sleep is natural, but one of the first things that goes, the alarm system to let us know to go to quiet is sleep, and the other is discomfort. We will start feeling some discomfort somewhere in our body, either from an old injury. I read yesterday that over nine million people in the United States have migraines. I passed at least 12 kidney stones, two or three of which I was hospitalized. Those were not early signs, each one of them I was probably in at least three to five weeks of stressful thinking for 6 to 8 hours a day, and the kidney stone was finally something that got my attention.
But if I don't know that it's a love letter, that it's a benevolent, beneficent message — for many people when they start having pain or start having sleep problems, they now think they've got another problem, instead of a gift to go to quiet and the gift of mental well-being, which is innate, trying to come to the surface every moment of our life, effortlessly. But if I don't know that, and I didn't for years, I would have some physical thing happen, my back would go out and then I'd say "Not only am I having trouble with my wife and trouble with people at work, now my damn back is going out, boy things come in threes." (chuckles) I had no awareness that I was trying — that even the quality of my relationships is another, a fifth love letter, that let's me know to what degree I'm living in a place of quiet, and moving from fast and furious to calm and curious.
Daniel: I love what you've been sharing and I realized that we've been speaking for a quite a bit, I would love for you to speak more about this course that you mentioned, I know that there's a certain audience that it's targeting, but it is open to all and everybody can benefit from it, I'm sure, but I would love for you to speak more about that.
Bill: Well, thank you Daniel, I'm going to read a little bit. It's called Hope for the Helpers, and Less Stressed, More Joy. And what I realized when I thought of it, that it comes in many forms: parents trying to help their children; children trying to help their parents; and siblings trying to help their brother or sister who is having a difficult time, you mentioned the man that's with his sister who's having manic episodes; friends, even strangers that we see they're struggling; and then there's the professional labels: physicians, nurses, first responders, physical therapist, occupational therapist, addiction therapist, mental health therapist, you've mentioned your family you know, family therapist or psychologist, psychiatrist, and clergy.
Very interesting, in the three places where I was in private practice, three parts of the country, within a year the clergy heard about me and came and asked me to speak to them about stress. Because here these were people with good religious beliefs, they were giving wonderful sermons and they had the humility to admit to me, and then they were going home and yelling and screaming at their wife or their children or even sometimes striking them, or abusing alcohol or doing other things.
What is common to all these helpers is the desire to be a healing agent. What is also familiar to many of these caring people is the daily experience of many hours of chronic mental stress. If we do more than 3 hours a day for any length of time, it will start to create what the stress people call allostatic load, psychologically and physiological. And we are likely over time to move, we move from ease to dis-ease, and overtime over 3 hours a day we're going to move from dis-ease to disease, whether it's skin diseases, belly diseases, heart diseases or whatever. And it's not, there's no judgement, you know, like I said, there's no doubt in my mind that I would have been dead a long time ago.
Often, too often leading to psychological, spiritual and physiological burnout. Throughout my five decades of professional life, I found it rather disconcerting that the very people who were attempting to help people have a gentler, more loving life, have not found a way to do that to the extent they would like to in their own life. I was certainly one of them, Daniel. A recently published, and I talked about this, 78% met burnout. Physicians, burnout among physicians as well over 50%, family caregivers, and the label compassion fatigue is often connected to these statistics, and sadly by many seen as an inevitable outside — as you mentioned — experience from participation in many helping situations and professions. This 8-week program, Help for the Helpers will posit that there is a wisdom and understanding within the consciousness of all human beings that brings fresh hope that compassion, caring and fatigue and burnout are not inevitably associated. That it's not too much compassion that creates burnout, it's a lack of understanding.
This program will utilize the wisdom presented in Sydney Banks' 2001 book The Enlightened Gardner, augmented by my 38-year winding journey, incremental journey, exploring the Three Principles, universal Principles of Mind, Thought and Consciousness. And then I say, random incidents, just like it has today, of lighthearted humor have been known to emerge during this journey of incremental insight based realizations. With each insight, the experience of the external world effortlessly shifts in a more positive direction. The world looks different every time we have an insight and a realization (unclear words).
As a result, one's stress resistance is effortlessly increased, effortlessly not through hard work, not through rituals. As this occurs, the amount of internal distress created in response to life's very real challenges lessens considerably, and one's innate resilience is awakened. This combination brings more joy, less stress, more effectiveness to one's passion for life and as a helper.
You know, if I go from — I think sometimes when we talk, it is, it is 100% inside-out, but what people hear is, "that means I should never be stressed," — but if I go from taking on 95 units of stress for every 100 units of challenge, and I like instead of calling difficult things stressors, I think when we do that we're giving an innate and inert thing power it does not have. There are real life challenges, and for a good part of my first 41 years of my life, when faced with a hundred units of the real life challenge, I often created 95 units of stress in response to it. Now, I'm not saying that I don't, and I won't even, I shouldn't even — but generally I would say that I probably, compared to what I used to do, probably 3–5 generally, units of stress for every hundred units of real life challenge. As a result my physiology, (chuckling slightly) my well-being, my state of mind and it's been very incremental for me. And the key thing for people is to be gentle on themselves in the journey, and to be grateful for each little step. If they go from 95% to 91% that's an incredible 4% jump, decrease taking on. So if we can be gentle and grateful, the journey becomes joyful.
That's what this course is going to be about, it's going to be on eight consecutive Wednesdays, it's going to be 11 o'clock on Pacific time, and it's going to be two hours on the 1st and 8th and and 90 minutes on the second through seven. It'll be recorded, so if people can't make it live because of their work schedule, they'll be able to listen to it and watch it. I would encourage them to get The Enlightened Gardener, which I've heard is more easily available now again, in paperback actually. And I think it'll be a joyful journey for people.
Daniel: And when does the course actually start?
Bill: Starts September 29th, and if you contact Terry she can send you a whole, it's on our website, but she'll send you anything to make it easy for you Daniel. So you can just forward it on, and I will forward on the articles that got published recently and I will send this quote of installs and this little journey of the — you know psychosis, psychosis is a gift. I have created such a painful world in my head, that my only options are suicide or to go to another world. That's what this even — when I said that to this PHD psychologist in London, he said, "Absolutely, that's where I was, I was on the verge of suicide and what it did instead went into a psychotic state, into another world, it gave me a second chance."
Daniel: So I love what the course is offering, I'm concerned a little bit about the timing of when this episode is going to air and the beginning of the course. I assume that if people show up a week or two later, that it's still easy for them to join and catch up.
Bill: Yeah, they will have access. There will be people that after this course is over will join it. I mean, this is my third course: the one is on Mind-Body, the other is on Recognizing, Realizing and Awakening Mental Well-being, each one of them are available and people often times, even now, are getting them and, you know, housewives that have children and works that maybe watch in 20 minutes at a time, so yeah, yeah, yeah.
Daniel: Perfect, so absolutely. So I will share all of this information that you've spoken about in the description of the episode, and of course I will include your website as well but for people that are listening what would be the website?
Bill: It's www.TheDrsPettit.com, but doctors is just Drs so it's w-w-w-dot-t-h-e "the" d-r-s "doctors" "Pettit" p-e-t-t-i-t dot com; TheDrsPettit.com
Bill: The last thing, I encourage you, if you get a chance to read Anatomy of an Epidemic; Magic Bullets Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America. It's by — it's not by somebody who's out to get Psychiatry, he's an award-winning investigative journalist who cites journals that show that in undeveloped countries where they can't afford treatment, long-term treatment for schizophrenia that's after 7 and 1/2 years, they have 40–45% total cures, this is from the World Health Organization, three studies because they couldn't believe it, where as in the United States and Russia and Europe, where they give people, continue to give people antipsychotics, after 7 1/2 years they have a 6% full recovery rate. And he does that with each and every one.
These medicines are God also, but they're meant to just allow the person to get quiet enough to be able to listen. Because over time, if they're given over time, the alarm just gets louder and louder because the symptom was a gift. It was a gift trying to — like the rumble strips on the side of the road, wake us up if we start to fall asleep and are headed for the ditch, they're our friends. And that's a whole new way of seeing things.
Daniel: Yeah, lovely, is there anything else that you would like to finish on before we end the episode?
Bill: I think we've been together for two-and-a-half hours, I hope you still like me. (both laughing)
Daniel: You know, I'm cutting this conversation short. As I'm sure everyone knows by now, I'm cutting this conversation short because it's already been going for an hour and 35 minutes, recorded. So, I mean as much as — I would love to have you come back in the future and continue the conversation. It's been an honor and a pleasure to listen to you and to share with you and to share the space with you.
Bill: Well and Daniel, I want people to know that to me I just made an injection and I mean it when I say you don't — I don't expect you or want you to believe anything I've said. But I've tried to point to what 38 years of being a student has — what insights I've had, for me, and if they help you find a quieter, more loving, peaceful place to live from, where you're creative, productive and caring. Then love and understanding, to me, is in the end, it's always the measure of "am I headed in the right direction?"
Daniel: Beautiful, great place to finish. Thank you so much.
Bill: Okay, same to you and thank you for the time, even before the recorded session, just to hear a little bit of your journey and the deepest respect for what you're doing.
Daniel: I appreciate that.
Bill: And I hope that you find a way of gentleness through this very real transition that you shared with us.
Daniel: I appreciate it, I feel quite comfortable in it fortunately...
Daniel: ...and I'm sure that I'm going to have my moments of ups and downs, but I'm fortunately quite comfortable with it, so thank you very much.
Bill: It might help when you have those periods of downs to remember Ofer, that all you have to do is just sit quietly and don't do anything and the cork will come back.
Daniel: That's right.
Bill: Okay, peace.
Daniel: Okay, I'll talk to you soon.
Bill: Bye, bye.
Daniel: Bye, bye.
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Closing text: Thank you for listening. Hopefully, you've heard something new that invites you to reflect, to go within, and deepen your own understanding of life, and of our universal experience. If you enjoyed this conversation, please follow the podcast series on your favorite listening app, and share this episode with others that you feel would enjoy it as well. Until next time, may we all soar with inspiration, explore with passion and live with love. ❤️❤️❤️
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