The systems-engineering model began to come “through me” as an understanding, as a mathematical formula, after I experienced an ego-defense reaction from a compound plant medicine experience. My mind began to dismiss all the new, positive, love and light based understandings I had just received, in a violent and aggressive manner akin to an angry 12-yr old boy. A full of rage, boy. After almost 10 minutes of emotional thrashing my mind paused at which point I asked, “how do I know this is true?” [Thank you Byron Katie]
My mind immediately and confidently replied– “well if they [the medicine facilitators] don’t understand the problem of using paper plates and plastic forks, they don’t understand shit.”
The facilitators had indeed used paper plates and plastic forks for the final outside dinner we had…
Oh man. What is happening? Plastic forks are the reason to dismiss everything I just learned the past three days? To vilify all the humans involved in what I just experienced?
It was at this point I began to see deeper into the nuance of how we lie to ourselves. How we protect ourselves. I began to see the framework, the meta-structure of the parts and pieces making up this trauma binding, learned limited belief, condensed emotional experience phenomena. I was seeing the matrix. A layer deeper.
With a growing-up background as a mechanic and an education in engineering-physics I realized I was seeing the internal working parts of the engine that is our psyche.
I spent the next 6 months piecing together the understanding my mind was able to see. Devouring books and psychological models. Inhaling large bodies of work and their distillations by the many great minds that have come before. Grof, Erickson, Paiget, Kubler-Ross, Lipton, Var Der Kolk, Fadiman and many many others.
With a version 1.0 model assembled I began to share this body of work with other scientists and mental health professionals.
Did I just derive a new equation of how to practically look at trauma? An equation that lets us clearly see WHAT is bound, HOW it is bound, WHAT stage of change it is at, and WHAT the right next tool could be to solve the equation?
I connected with Dr. Jim Fadiman and showed him what I created. The response, “this looks great Mike, and just like any other theory- go test it.”.
I got my thumbs up. I got my boost of confidence.
Now to take it to the world, let’s see if I’m right about this….
As I leaned in, it was quickly very clear, yes yes – I had created something of impact and value. And with the success of the pilot program the question became – how do we scale this? How do we make this accessible to everyone? Can we simplify the learning, tighten up the flow and deliver it in a cost-effective manner?
I initially put this scientific model in a non-profit to ‘give this’ to the world. But in order to do that we have to hire people. It turns out it’s impossible to try and fully automated all the elements in this process – and in fact some of them can’t be done with automation or AI. The inner work is about being seen. Both the part of seeing yourself, learning- knowing thyself. And being seen by “other,” along the various relationship layers.
Enter partnerships. Enter Liber8. Enter, oh man – I need a lot of help if we’re going to pull this off. I got the core elements right, I know that, but to build this, grow this, create a masterpiece is going to require the right ingredients- and I cannot do it by myself.
So, what exactly did I create?
Using my engineering-physics and mathematics background, I created a general solution to the equation of trauma binding in the human psyche. I believe I have captured the core variables, their properties and how the elements interact. A systems-engineering diagram is the best way I found to represent the high-level view of the model, but it’s quite nuanced beyond even just this. We’re still working on the science whitepaper, as I’ve been unhappy with the collation and reduction of all the parts into words yet.
I understand this model is a backbone, a spine for us to build out processes for different types of people to interact with. Very few people will need (or want) to see how the sausage is made or have an interest in all the high precision machined parts within each step. This is where the partnership with Liber8 comes in.
Liber8’s goal is taking this core body of work I’ve developed and making it accessible. Making personal development and the inner psychological work that affects all of us digestible, effective and efficient- and at an affordable price. This is about helping everyone be all they can be. It’s about removing the guru complex from personal development, about removing the confusion and centralized capitalistic tendencies that accompany that industry.
It wasn’t long before a cancer treatment clinic partnership came into our view. If we can optimize and further validate our process in combination with cancer treatment, adding the emotional healing element and metric- wow oh wow. We’re off to the races in scaling this and making this available to lots of people.