Institute for the Study of Peak States
"Methods for Fundamental Change in the Human Psyche"
Support Newsletter #8, October 15, 2006

"Developing the Brain Light State Process"

Newsletter Spotlight

From the Editor Paula Courteau...
Upcoming Teleclasses
Upcoming Classes for Professionals New to this Work
From Grant McFetridge:  Finding Causes – The Example of the Brain Light State
            The background – encounters with good and evil
            Perceiving and measuring good and evil; and labeling the Brain Light state
            The need for a solution for our students and ourselves
            MPD and the choice for evil
            Setting certification requirements – and a better technique
            The breakthrough
            In Summary – Creating New Cures
Experiences From the New Brain Light State Process 

From the Editor Paula Courteau…
    Harvest time! The usual debate about why Americans wait so late to have their Thanksgiving feast…We're further North, I suppose, and harvest time is now! (Down Under, it is Spring, I suppose…).
     I'm back home, on terra firma, dealing with the latest case of roadkill (see last issue and my little paragraph at the bottom of this one). Still, it's good to be here, and I'm hoping to be a little more consistent with these newsletters from now on.
     Grant has taken the pen again, saving me a lot of effort. In this issue and the next, he will discuss aspects of our work behind the scenes. This Newsletter covers the development of the Brain Light process as an example of the intricate web of research and experimentation that is the Institute's bread and butter. We then finish with a few stories from people who have tried the latest-and-greatest way to improve their brain scores. The results are extremely promising, so we hope we finally can open up the bottleneck that held everyone back from completing their certifications.
     All these wonderful breakthroughs mean that the publication of
Peak States of Consciousness, Volume 2 has yet again been delayed. Ever tried to write a 'state-of-our-knowledge' account with a moving target? On the other hand, the much more modest Whole-Hearted Healing Workbook is with the book designer, so there's hope for that one.
     Even in the few days since Grant wrote this Newsletter's main article, there have been several breakthroughs that give me much hope for the future. But the core group is nearing exhaustion, and I'm trying to talk people into taking a breather. Thank-you, everyone, for your patience with those of us who have to juggle too many hats.
     Until next time...Paula Courteau

Upcoming Teleclasses
      October 28:  The Nadeau/Johansson Method for Peak States. 
Alexandre Nadeau will be explaining and, time permitting, demonstrating his approach to inducing peak states in clients, as well as covering the pro's and con's of his approach. It should be a fascinating class, and give therapists the chance to see if they would be interested in further training with him. This talk is open to the public (i.e., your friends and family) and is highly recommended.. (Fee:  $10US)
November 4:  An Improved Peak Experience to Peak State Process. 
In June, Tal Laks came up with a much simpler and faster way to turn peak experiences into peak states. It is far more effective than our previous approaches. We’ll be practicing the technique during the teleclass. An understanding of this new method will be required for certification, since we want you to succeed with your clients or with yourself! This class is only for graduates of the Peak States 1 training.
TeleClass Email to sign up for these teleclasses.

Upcoming Classes for Professionals New to this Work
     We’re fortunate to have a number of basic level professional classess coming up in Australia, Europe, the UK, and the US this winter (in the northern hemisphere). Some of the classes are taught in 9 day blocks, others are in 4 and 5 day blocks. Click on this link to the peakstates website to see a complete schedule (


From Grant McFetridge:  Finding Causes – The Example of the Brain Light State

     In this newsletter, I’d like to give you a real example of the process we use to find cures for various mental conditions, physical problems, or peak states. I’ve chosen to discuss the Brain Light state because of its importance on both a personal and professional level (it is required for basic and advanced certification with the Institute). It’s been quite an adventure, and you’ll be able to see the process from start to finish.

The background – encounters with good and evil
     While in my 30’s, I spent a lot of time exploring prenatal and other ‘spiritual’ experiences. In one of those explorations, I came across the moment in birth where I was required (by the Creator) to choose either ‘good’ or ‘evil’ on a brain-by-brain (mind, body, heart, etc.) basis. This was a tremendous surprise for me, as at that time I was Rogerian in my outlook – I had never believed that evil as a discrete quality really existed. The other surprise was that some of my triune brains had chosen evil!
     The existence of evil as a discrete problem became more important to me when I started working with clients. I had clients who had experiences with severe and terrifying sensations of evil. This could reach the extreme experience of ‘demonic possession’, something that previously I had assumed was just a fantasy out of Hollywood. These clients sometimes had sensations of evil as a pre-existing condition, or it might occur unexpectedly during a regression. The sensations were extremely visceral, and both the client and the therapist would feel like they were being contaminated forever.
     I spent months focusing on this problem, because it was so severe both for the client and for the therapist, and could happen anytime with any client. For example, one of my friends during those years had accidentally activated a sensation of evil in his body, but the feeling never stopped. After over a year struggling with it, he committed suicide because he’d given up hope for a cure and couldn’t tolerate it anymore. Tragically, the day he died was also the day I worked out a way to help him.
     Slowly, I worked out methods to eliminate a sensation of evil when it appeared, but I had no idea of how to eliminate it in a generic way. I found that if sensations of evil were triggered during a regression, they could be eliminated by just continuing the healing. If, during a regression, a client felt someone else radiate sensations of evil, this could be eliminated by feeling, ‘under’ or past’ the sensation of evil, into the reason why the person had chosen to feel that way. Once this reason was made conscious, the sensation of evil would vanish. This simple fix illustrated a very puzzling and surprising aspect of the problem – although the sensation of evil felt like it filled the person, in reality the feeling was a boundary/layer phenomenon. I had no idea why, but noted it as data.

Perceiving and measuring good and evil; and labeling the Brain Light state
     Years later, we were working with the peak ability to see brain awarenesses. We began to notice a rather puzzling phenomenon in our test subjects – some people’s brain balls did not look white and bright, but rather looked dark, and in some cases even pitch black. Eventually we deduced that we were ‘seeing’ the degree of good or evil that each brain had chosen during that birth moment, with total black being the maximum amount of evil, and total white being the maximum of good. We found we could quantify this on a scale from -100% (all black) to +100% (all white). This illustrates another time-consuming problem with research and development – the tools to measure a phenomenon also have to be developed, which usually takes as much time, luck, and effort as solving the problem we start with. In this case, it took nearly 15 years to find out the key developmental events and work out how to use the ability fully. Interestingly, virtually everyone checked had a mixture of good and evil brains, albeit usually at neither extreme. It was fascinating to observe how many well-known spiritual teachers had the same typical profile; in some cases the profiles actually were much more on the evil side than on the good.
     During this period, I still didn’t know how to go about solving the good/evil problem. Some spiritual literature suggested that there had to be some sort of synthesis between good and evil, yet with some experimentation it soon became clear that this was not the case – the choice for good was intrinsic in a healed person, while the choice for evil was driven by traumatic, painful experiences. Healing these experiences changed the choice point in development (which could be verified with regression), and brightened the given brain awareness.
     Eventually, I started to label the state of choosing all ‘good’ as the Brain Light state. This described what we could see, and had the added advantage that it avoided the religious and judgmental connotations that the words good or evil have. Later, we also found a way to access – and heal – experiences of ‘hell realms’, which some people would encounter in both regression work and spontaneously, outside of therapy.

The need for a solution for our students and ourselves

     As I started to shift from pure research and development to working with students in the last two years, this issue of good and evil became even more important to solve. I had several motivations. First, we’d found that people doing this sort of work would sometimes become ‘triggered’ by others and attack in subtle or not-so-subtle ways. I hoped that eliminating students' (and colleagues') choice for evil would either stop or lessen this tendency. Secondly, we wanted the Institute membership and training to become a standard for quality – having all students eliminate this problem of evil in themselves would certainly be a step in the right direction. Third, the reason the Institute was founded in the first place was to heal all of humanity, and solving this issue was obviously something of critical importance to our species as a whole.
     So, in early 2006, we introduced a way to heal this issue on a brain-by-brain basis. The students would heal trauma in the location of the ‘brain’ that they were trying to shift towards good; it worked to some extent. Unfortunately, it was tedious, painful, and in some cases, the students didn’t have powerful enough tools to do it for themselves. Also, in many cases the students couldn’t detect the good/evil problem in themselves, and depended on advanced folks from the Institute to determine how they were doing. This led to the problem of students wondering if the phenomenon really existed (perhaps we were making it up for some strange reason, or to delay their progress, or get more money?) or, more frustrating, finding themselves in the position of asking for a check on their progress with staff that were too busy to help them on a timely basis. To deal with this valid complaint, we developed a process that allowed them to see brain awarenesses for themselves. Unfortunately, this process required significant training for most people to use it adequately.
     As we became more experienced with this approach to healing good/evil, another major problem surfaced. To my surprise, almost all the people doing the measurements of brain light could distort their perceptions to unconsciously fit their own desires or those of their clients. Once we realized that this was happening, I found a slow, tedious method to eliminate that problem, but it took many hours of my personal attention to get the practitioners to the point where they wouldn’t do it anymore. This drastically reduced the pool of practitioners I trusted to make accurate measurements - although the basic ability was still adequate for students' practice and use, as long as they realized the need to crosscheck what they saw with others.

MPD and the choice for evil

     A second major and much more worrisome problem was also becoming apparent during the spring of 2006. I had started to see a rather puzzling phenomenon – we had students who had clearly chosen evil in most of their brains, yet were also clearly motivated to eliminate it. Yet others, who didn’t have the same degree of problems in their triune brains, were totally fine with being and staying evil in their lives and in their choices. Clearly there had to be a ‘confounding’ variable, but what could it be?
     The answer eventually became clear from another, totally unrelated investigation we were doing involving Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). Four years earlier, my colleagues Dr. Waisel and Tal Laks had discovered a peak ability that allowed them to perceive something we eventually realized was the core, directing self of a person (‘the columns of self’). Again, this points out the amount of time that it takes to do this work –the exploration of material that ended up relevant to this problem had been started over 5 years before, and the MPD investigation had been going on for over three years.
     Months went by before we realized that this core self
also made a choice for good or evil (which we could observe with this new peak ability). Worse, we’d already discovered that the MPD problem was far more common that I had supposed (around 70% in the student sample tested) – and the different personalities chose good or evil differently! As soon as an alternate personality kicked in (which most people don’t even realize is happening), their good/evil profile would shift dramatically, and usually for the worse. Healing the brains was starting to feel like an exercise in futility. To deal with this new problem with our current good/evil technique, I shifted research time into finding a generic solution to the MPD problem as a first priority, and away from more important long-range tasks. I made this decision because this seemed like a problem we could solve based on what we already knew about developmental stages (even though I, Tal, who was the co-investigator, and other volunteers had already spent hundreds of hours working on it). This was in contrast to the good/evil problem itself, which clearly was going to take a major new breakthrough and could take any amount of time to solve.

Setting certification requirements – and a better technique

     During this period we were also finalizing the certification requirements. Given our current method for healing the choice for evil, we formalized the levels that we would find acceptable in students: +20% for the Basic Certification, and +60% before we would accept a student into the advanced classes. The numbers were chosen to give us margin, to try and keep students in the ‘good’ band, no matter what events might trigger a desire for negativity.
     It was during this period that we made another, even more disturbing discovery – one of our core staff found that he could ‘will’ his triune brains into evil. I’d known for years that our current approach made the choice for good like setting a thermometer, and that circumstances could temporarily trigger either an increase in good or an increase in evil. However, I had not realized how easy it was to make this shift, as this was something that I had never even considered testing.
     In the summer of 2006, Tal and Nemi taught a workshop on good and evil in Poland. Just before the workshop, I was doing research on the moment of the good and evil choice when I realized that we could use that moment to isolate key traumas that affected the choice for evil. This new approach had two advantages – the students could actually experience their own choice ‘firsthand’, without needing someone else to monitor the choice – and secondly, it was far easier to identify and heal the relevant traumas. It had another, major advantage that showed up during the workshop – oddly, people were not thrown into major evil experiences as they had been with the previous method. We introduced this new, experimental method there, and although not perfect, it was far better than what we’d been using with the Australian students.
     At this point, I was still very unhappy with all of our existing solutions to the problem of evil. They were unstable, hard to do, hard to verify, could be put aside at the trigger of a trauma. Fortunately, we’d set up certification so that students would have to update their skills and follow through with any new requirements to stay certified (because we knew this field was changing so rapidly that nothing else made sense) - but I would far prefer get this one right from the start.
     Certification was becoming bottlenecked by our requirement for measurable levels of good in the students. It had been nearly 9 months since we’d first introduced this requirement to our Australian students, and we hadn’t been able to support them adequately in moving past this hurdle. One big concern was the fact that the old approach had triggered far too many students into major experiences of evil, ones that I was not comfortable trying to deal with over the phone. Tal and Nemi used the new process that we’d first tried in Poland, and it was working as well as could be expected. Thus, with the newer, milder process available, in September I decided that we would offer a teleclass on the brain light state, so that students could get on with certification. The teleclass was three weeks long, and two weeks went by with students making progress.

The breakthrough

     On the day after the second teleclass, I decided to take another stab at solving the fundamental good/evil problem. I knew from my early explorations in my 30’s, and from the later work by Dr. Waisel and Tal, that there was an experience that seemed relevant to the entire phenomenon. We’d never had any luck understanding or using it, but this time it turned out differently. John was able to make some headway, Tal built on it, and then in a moment of insight I realized what the underlying structure must be, which they were able to quickly verify. I’m telling this story because it illustrates a point - original work is done in sudden leaps of intuition after long periods of focused work, and cannot be put on a schedule.
     This breakthrough quickly led to a simple method for healing the good and evil problem. It gives virtually 100% good levels, and completely bypasses any need to also heal the MPD’s contribution to the problem. (As an aside, we also cracked the MPD problem about a day earlier – it was quite a week!). Just as importantly,
students in ordinary consciousness can feel for themselves if they have the State.
     We then rushed to test this new, stunningly simple Brain Light State technique on a number of ISPS staff and other volunteers, to check for any unexpected problems and to find out how well it performed. It worked like a charm. Because the underlying theory looked very solid, and because of the exceptional results with our volunteers, I chose to move immediately into the next phase - testing with students. On the day of the teleclass, John spent eight hours straight deriving the needed music, and then Tal, John, Evertt, and myself went immediately into a four-hour teleclass marathon.
     Since then, we’ve all taken time off to handle our family, personal and professional commitments – remember, we all do this work as unpaid volunteers! Now comes the slow process of working with many students to test and continue to improve this new technique. (Incidentally, we didn’t charge the students for the weekends we spent with the previous method, and we will not charge the Polish workshop participants for help with the new process either.)
     The discovery that we made that day turns out to be as significant and important as the developmental model itself, and even more unexpected. I could never have predicted the solution from what I already knew. This breakthrough is into an entirely new area of existence, and explains a lot of phenomena that we’ve never been able to put into any kind of context before. A variety of peak state processes will be coming out of this new, fundamental discovery. I’m not going into it in this newsletter, as it needs to be more thoroughly explored first – however, it will be in Volume 2 of
Peak States of Consciousness.

In Summary – Creating New Cures

     The story I’ve just shared about the breakthrough we made in solving the terrible problem of good and evil is not unusual for our work. Almost all of our discoveries and processes share a common set of characteristics: they take a tremendous amount of pure, fundamental research time as we improve our understanding of the developmental events model; we maintain a focus on the problem that needs to be solved, usually over a period of many years, until something falls into place; we have to derive experiments to test the model and our understanding of the problem; we have to derive measurement tools to observe and quantify the problem; we follow a lot of dead ends; we use a number of research assistants, since they have different areas of health, and will sometimes have different views of the problem; we develop methods that improve as new discoveries are made; we have to find and test new processes on (preferably trained) volunteers; and we train support staff to help students master the material. All these things take a lot of time, money, and dedication. As the Institute has no funding, we do all of this in our spare time, and, at least in my case, spending all I earn on the work.
     People without cutting-edge research and development experience just don’t understand the tradeoffs between pure research, experimentation, and development, because it is so different from anything we’re familiar with in daily life. Instead, at best most people have had experience with relatively mature technologies, which are applied in a more predictable fashion. The kind of experiences we have in doing R&D for the Institute is virtually the same as in any other organization doing cutting-edge work – the only difference is in the particular content of the material we study.

Experiences From the New Brain Light State Process

     Here is some feedback from three people who used the new Brain Light process. The examples show a range of reactions and various degrees of completion of the process. None of the experimenters had completely finished the process at the time of writing, nor did any of them start off with severe issues of evil. Paula's case is unusual because of the brain-dominance issue, but the sensations she experienced once she was able to access the relevant trauma are representative of a typical healing.
     Marc's account is fascinating because he gives a very clear-headed account of his reaction to the process, a reaction I suspect would be quite common. The latter part of the account is a reminder of some key points: 1) a given peak state process will not necessarily improve all aspects of one's life; 2) the feeling that a new peak state is hampering our functioning means that some traumas remain. In this case, one could do WHH on the feeling of flatness and lack of motivation, and/or one could rerun the commands and see what further changes occur. The latter approach cleans up remaining traumas in the process itself, while the former includes later traumas and beliefs about what it means to 'choose light' or 'choose good'. In fact, the exercise of 'trying to suppress the state' is an excellent way to track down the last bits of trauma and is becoming a part of our standard approach. Once any peak state is complete, one cannot 'suppress' it by will, just as one cannot suppress good teeth or a healthy heart.
Monti writes: 
     "The process was one of the easiest I've experienced.  My greatest challenge was holding my concentration in the regressed state.  Our advanced healing practitioners (Tal, John & Evertt) did a wonderful job supporting and assisting us, and directing us to areas that needed our attention.  The results are incredible.  I'm amazed that I can no longer bring up negative feelings toward people who previously triggered my anger, resentment or just plain bothered me! When I check to see if I can feel “evil” or have bad feelings toward anyone, the feelings bounce like Teflon!"

Shelly writes: 

     " Outcome:  I did have a different reaction to a smashed flower arrangement laying on the floor when I came home from work yesterday.  Instead of getting upset or asking Bob to do it since he knocked it off, I just cleaned it up and said, oh well it was an accident. It was one I had made and thought I'd be attached to.
      "I did have a lot of trauma come up later in the evening.  It was as if my psyche wanted to keep healing some additional developmental stages.  The quality of sensation that it had, which was of a lot being processed at once, was the same as in the call. I don't know if this means I am healing more trauma strands more quickly, but that is what it feels like.  It is almost like an automatic process that moves forward on its own when I connect with it.  It probably wasn't totally done when I fell asleep.  Then I woke up from a nightmare in which I was on the street I grew up on, with a cell phone that had information on it that the military was trying to get from me.  They did not want the information out and they were going to kill me because I had it.  (A little tribal block, do you think! That's it, so far.)
Paula writes:
     "I wish I could say that it was easy, but it wasn't. I have a heart-brain dominance problem (my heart thinks she's all of me, and, amazingly, is able to manipulate all my other brains into maintaining the status quo), so that heart-brain tried to keep control of the process by triggering all the later separation traumas it had gone through. I spent the first half-hour of each session dealing with rage and panic before I could tune in to the actual physical traumas of this very early separation. It helped to know that this was too early for emotions to exist, and that all that drama was from later. Once I was able to put aside the emotions, it was actually quite liberating. 
     "Still, it was slow. I worked on my own, since no help was available. At first I was trying to focus on all the injuries at once, and I got nowhere. Addressing one patch at a time worked better.
     "The injured parts, once I merged with them, felt a sense of
metaphysical separation - I can't find any other words for it. It's not an emotion, and it's not evil, but it feels like something that could snowball over a long time and eventually become evil. It's a very strange sensation, and, given its wispy or insubstantial quality, surprisingly difficult to be with. The worst injuries, the ones that actually had some dark in them, seemed ripe for calling in some very negative forces, and were quite scary. Other injuries were a dull gold, filled with tiny bubbles that seemed all at cross-purposes with each other. Then came the ability to love myself with this metaphysical separation and lack of unity, then a sense of reverence, then, ever so briefly, the sense of that particular body area loving
     "For each healed injury, several more appeared, and I started panicking again. Between sessions I was roadkill, as my heart violently rebelled, afraid of being left all alone if any of my other brains made progress! 
     "Finally on day 3, help came. Paula V. called me in the morning and we did some more work on my heart. Then in the afternoon Grant, Tal and Evertt finally had a bit of free time and ganged up on me, finishing up that first command... but it still took over an hour. 
     "I've felt much better since then... I finished up the last small injury on my own, and the sense of loving persisted for a few minutes instead of mere seconds. Started the second command this morning, this time going straight to the injury closest to my adult heart, so my heart-brain feels she's getting
some attention! Seems to work… To be continued!..."
Marc R. writes:

     "After the process I felt peaceful, spacey and clear-visioned, sparkling. But I didn't feel "ecstatic" or powerful or expanded in any sense. My emotional state in the two following days was flat to depressed, but not suicidal. I tested the work by trying to ideate some violent or homicidal action but couldn't "work myself up". When imagining vengeance on someone evil (i.e., Hitler) I just felt as though I was shrugging my shoulders, or a sense of compassion toward the target. There was often a strong feeling of sadness for them and their acts.
     "On the other hand I didn't feel particularly happy or lighthearted, in fact I had a distinct lack of motivation and energy. Discussions have arisen about the obvious, regarding how much of our human (or to be cautious and politically correct, MY) impetus and drive comes from aggressive energy, primal competitive libido, and capacity to work off the negation of otherness and those things or energies or people we feel "threaten" our survival, regardless of whether this characterization is objectively accurate or not."
[In a conversation later on, Marc clarified that one of the things lacking was the ability to use anger as an 'engine' to get going, as a motivator for action ("Living well is the best revenge."). He hadn’t realized how much he relied on negative feelings to make himself do things until it was gone and he could see it by contrast. It took several days for him to adjust and find new ways to motivate himself.]
We welcome your questions and comments, email: Support Email.

Copyright 2006 by Grant McFetridge