The modern world is in the grip of a crisis of
self-identification and meaning . More people (from ages of 30 to
80) are anxious, depressed, alienated, lost, than any other time in
People are busy building some security and
sacrificing their present for the future in an increasingly complex
We don’t necessarily know why we feel adrift,
but for many people who place their faith in knowledge and don’t
believe in a god, it’s become increasingly difficult to believe
their lives matter. New scientific findings are undermining
traditional notions that previously gave people a sense of
specialness, a feeling that who they are matters, and that the self
Neuroscientists claim to be able to ‘locate’
the parts of the brain responsible for mental phenomena such as
aesthetic appreciation, religious experience, love, depression and
so on, but they haven’t found a part of the brain associated with
our underlying sense of self. Therefore, many scientists feel
justified in concluding that this doesn’t exist. While leading
Scholars in psychology suggest that the self is just a collection of
what is called ‘memes’ – units of cultural information such as
ideas, beliefs and habits. We are born without a self, but slowly,
as we are exposed to environmental influences, the self is
‘constructed’ out of the memes we absorb. And, after decades of
intensive theorizing and research, no-one has yet put forward any
feasible explanation of how the brain might produce consciousness.
Quantum physics concludes that time doesn’t
exist and neither do we physically. And, there’s no essential
meaning in the vastness and randomness of the universe. So, how can
our life matter and what hope do we have for finding a higher
purpose or meaning?
Scientists are finding that the self is a kind
of necessary illusion manufactured by the brain and often more
fragile than we’d like to imagine. Many scientists argue that we
have no soul, no fixed self, and no inherent purpose. We are just
tiny specks of star dust in an infinite universe. This conception,
called “naturalism,” leaves many people feeling deeply
uneasy—consciously or unconsciously—and casting about for meaning.
What is the unbearable burden of being—the
unbearable burden? Is it the pain we carry, or is it the pain we
force others close to us to carry? Is it our suffering, or our
bitterness and anger to a hostile world?
Much of society is suffering a crisis of
“neuroexistentialism” -expressed anxiety. People are questioning the
meaning of their life and what difference they are going to make.
Life is hard, it’s difficult so it’s easy to be swamped by doubts
and existential angst.
This contemporary angst suggests we really
cannot reveal the mind, let alone define it and that death is the
end for us all. If the brain’s processes give us our experience of
life and there is no “immaterial spirit” or soul, then when the
brain stops functioning, nothing follows life, and nothing
“survives” us. Along with this understanding of ourselves comes
another loss—the sense of agency or free will.
New research by Society and Public Policy
Studies at Vanderbilt University suggest that the increase in
“deaths of despair” observed among middle-aged Baby Boomers (born
1946-1964) in recent studies are impacting the youngest members of
Generation X (born 1974-1983). The results suggest that rising
despair among the young adults cuts across racial/ethnic,
educational, and geographic groups.
The latest research explains that our cultural
beliefs are even more powerful than our genes, and demonstrates how
these belief systems set us up for self-sabotaging behavior that
negatively effects our well-being.
Today’s profound cultural, social changes and
political polarization continue to provoke widespread malaise and
ultimately prompt a reconstructed view of what it means to be
Meanwhile, suicide, depression, and anxiety are
on the rise everywhere in the modern world. We’re facing a new,
contemporary “crisis of meaningless.”
We seek meaning, but increased social
alienation, smaller families, and a declining belief in religion
make it extremely difficult for many of us.
In order to keep existential anxiety at bay, we
need to find and maintain a meaningful life. We are a species that
strives not just for survival, but also for significance. We want
and need our lives to matter. It is when people are not able to
maintain meaning that they are most psychologically vulnerable.
Unfortunately, we don’t yet have open discourse
on the meaning and significance of the new self-as-illusion. While
the old ideas that have been around for thousands of years are
difficult to abandon. The new, alternate view of humanity makes many
people feel lost and alone, leading them to conclude that a
meaningful life is near impossible.
A key to our angst is that we need meaning so
we can act purposefully even if we are not part of some grand cosmic
- We need to better interpret the knowledge and
insights of the behavioral, cognitive, and neurosciences to satisfy
our existential concerns and achieve a level of flourishing and
fulfillment we require to have a meaningful life. Ignoring the
scientific evidence of our reality isn’t going help us.
- We need to better understand our self, our
human specialness, our purpose to make life more meaningful.
- We need to learn how to transform our anxiety
into a positive energy form that empowers us to life a richer, more
productive, healthier, happier life….a life that matters.
THE SOLUTION -THE WAY FORWARD
Self Awakening starts with what scientists call
interoception, our awareness of our subtle sensory, body-based
feelings: the greater that awareness, the greater our potential to
control our lives. Knowing what we feel is the first step to knowing
why we feel that way.
If you have a comfortable connection with your
inner sensations — if you can trust them to give you accurate
information — you will feel in charge of your body, your feelings,
and your self.
However, most people feel unsafe inside their
bodies: The past is alive in the form of interior discomfort. Their
bodies are being bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an
attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at
ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is
played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves.
The more people try to push away and ignore
internal warning signs, the more likely they are to take over and
leave them feeling lost and stressed. People who cannot comfortably
notice what is going on inside become vulnerable to respond to any
sensory shift either by shutting down or they develop a fear of fear
The experience of fear derives from primitive
responses to threat where escape is thwarted in some way. People’s
lives will be held hostage to fear until that visceral experience
changes. Self-understanding and Self-regulation first depends on
having a friendly relationship with your body. Without it people
begin to rely on external regulation — from medication, drugs like
alcohol, constant reassurance, or compulsive compliance with the
wishes of others.
Because most people often have trouble sensing
what is going on in their bodies, they lack a nuanced response to
frustration. They react to displacement of their self, anxiety and
stress with energy sapping, negative emotion. They can’t tell what
is causing them to be uncomfortable with themselves. This failure to
be in touch with their Self inhibits a sense of meaning. One step
further down on the ladder to depersonalization — is losing your
sense of yourself.
The first step towards recovery of the
misplaced Self is becoming familiar with and befriending the
sensations in the bodies. Angry people live in angry bodies. The
bodies of victims from someone’s toxic emotions are tense and
defensive until they find a way to relax and feel safe. In order to
change, people need to become aware of their sensations and the way
their bodies interact with the world around them. Physical
self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the
The Integrated Mind Body Organism
Traditional western medicine, in theory and
practice, tends to treat mind and body as separate entities.
Meantime, a growing number of Health and Wellness books and articles
refer to a “connection” between the mind and the body. However,
there is no separation nor connection! They are one and the same.
Everything that affects the mind also affects the body and
everything that affects the body also affects the mind.
Our bodies and minds have evolved in exquisite
harmony, so perfectly integrated that it is impossible to consider
one without the other. By understanding how our minds influence and
reflect our physiology, we can finally live in tune with our
The Mind-Body interface and Resetting its
Western medical practitioners, who are trained
to consider mind and body separately, are often helpless in
arresting the advance of most of the chronic diseases. Today,
research confirms that stress together with suppressed negative
emotions (our state of mind) is the major predisposing factor for
cancer, ALS, or multiple sclerosis to autoimmune conditions like
rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease or Alzheimer’s.
The separation of mind and body has now been
demonstrated by modern science to be incorrect. For example; the
brain and body systems that process emotions are intimately
connected with the hormonal apparatus, the nervous system, and in
particular the immune system. Emotional stress such as; anxiety,
fears, frustration, feelings of being overwhelmed and unable to
cope, sadness/depression and even worry over aging undermines
immunity, disrupts the body’s physiological milieu and prepares the
ground for disease and aging.
Our mental and physical health rests upon the
foundation of counteracting mind-body connection disruptions from
multiple etiologies. The brain and body are powerful electrical
systems that can “short circuit” and need to be “re-set.”
Insight, when inspired by self-awareness, can
promote self-transformation. Insight into ourselves and the workings
of our minds and bodies is the key agent for self-rejuvenation.
BCI's evidence-based, ICC accredited, Neuro
Coach training course is about teaching students how to first help
individuals become aware of their emotional behavioral drivers and
connect their emotional states and physical sensations to
psychological events. Clients can then can begin the process of
reconnecting with themselves by re-aligning their lost or misplaced
self inside their mind and body with their future self.
The Process of SELF Healing.
The challenge of living in a modern, ever
complex and challenging society is to re-establish ownership of your
body, its connection with the mind and brain — of your self. Feeling
free to know what you know and to feel what you feel without
becoming alienated, lost, unvalued, overwhelmed, enraged, ashamed,
or collapsed. This involves learning how to become calm and focused,
learning control over one’s emotions, engaging the right mindset and
be fully alive and engaged in the present.
In an important sense, our psychological
well-being can be seen as the ‘end point’ of the process of where
and who we are. Guided perceptual, self-awareness can provide
important openings where we can identify, embrace, and integrate our
Healthier Future Self to produce a better life with purpose and
The Behavioral Coaching Institute's Neuro
Coach Training Course:
To fast-track this self-development it is best
to establish a safe, trusting relationship with a qualified,
specialist caretaker (Neuro Coach). The first task of the Neuro
Coach is to help their client establish a secure base to work
together from. Essential to this attunement between the coach and
coachee is subtle interactions in which the caretaker makes them
feel attended to and understood.
The client's secure attachment with their Neuro
Coach combined with the cultivation of competency builds an internal
locus of control, the key factor in healthy coping throughout life.
All of us, need confidence that others will
know, affirm, and cherish us. Without that we can’t develop a sense
of agency that will enable us to assert: “This is what I believe in;
this is what I stand for; this is what I will devote myself to.”
Once we have established our Selves those who love us can identify,
reach out and embrace us. When we feel our Self is safely held in
the hearts and minds of those we love we can climb mountains and
cross deserts and stay up all night to finish projects. Children and
adults will do anything for people they trust and whose opinion they
value. But if we feel abandoned, worthless, or invisible, nothing
seems to matter. Fear destroys self-development, curiosity and
To help create a healthy society, as Neuro
Coaches we need to create secure spaces for people to safely learn
and develop themselves in. To help people of all ages and position
find who they are, what matters to them. To help them find meaning,
purpose and a direction in their life. The outside, modern world
offers little space or facility for self-exploration and growth.
Whenever we have a brush with our mortality we
immediately create a ledger and account for our life — for who we
are, our “sins”, what we stand for, what we have done for the world
and how we wish to be remembered.
People who have been brought close to their
life ending reflect on the most elemental questions of existence —
what makes a life worth living, worth remembering?
Many of these survivors have chronicled how
they found vitality in the natural world. After examining their
relationships and the power of love they also found that man’s
affinity with Nature - the open air, the trees, fields, the changes
of seasons, the sun by day and the stars of heaven by night
-provided them a space to find themselves in.