17th February 2002

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Going beyond the outer show

By Ruhanie Perera

On the surface the majority of people in our society seem like relatively successful human beings. Some have reached the highest rung of the professional ladder; others have succeeded in keeping their families together in a world where to do so is an achievement. And yet around us our world is in shambles. What is it that could possibly have gone wrong? This is the question that both fascinated and challenged clinical psychologist Professor Lakshman Madurasinghe to conduct an in-depth study of the phenomenon, which has resulted in his developing a revolutionary programme that seeks to restructure a broken world.

'E-consciousness' or 'Enlightened Consciousness' as radical thinker Prof. Madurasinghe has named his brainchild is a concept that strives for the effective management of thought. This is incorporated in a 30-day programme designed by him that seeks to correct the imbalance of the nervous system guaranteeing a complete change in the personality of any individual. Already met with much approval, this unique programme will also be presented to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and other ministers, for it is Prof. Madurasinghe's belief that this can truly bring about the change yearned for by the people of this country.

"The more I see people's actions, the more I see the futility of them," says Prof. Madurasinghe. "As a society, we are not short of skills and we have very strong, diverse spiritual roots. Despite all this something has gone wrong; that's why we see so much of alcoholism, drug abuse and organised crime in this country. What's more almost everyone you meet is stressed out; a stressed up nervous system means poor psychological bonds with fellow beings and in addition a close connection with health hazards such as ulcers, high blood pressure and coronaries. Thus we see a multitude of complications."

The problem, as explained by Prof. Madurasinghe, lies with the people who haven't grappled with internal conflicts, which manifest externally. Many of us operate on a very superficial level, what is known as sensory level activity, sometimes even at an intellectual level. But what we don't realize is that, as Prof. Madurasinghe puts it, "The outer show will not change the inner core." His programme takes the individual beyond these levels to what is known as an integral level at which point, a person's consciousness can be restructured resulting in a change in the personality of the individual.

The programme takes the individual through a series of steps, which starts with the identification of negative emotions from a list of the nine major negatives that colour the problems of the nervous system namely greed, hatred, lust, ignorance, pride, anger, envy, deceit, and discord. This is analysed against three states of emotions (happy, neutral, unhappy), keeping in mind that one state has many shades. In this process, you don't just identify negative emotions, you also replace them with corresponding positive emotions, which are all facets of love.

This is in turn analysed against a thought evaluator measured on an eight-point yardstick that traces emotions at a more subtle level. The eight-point yardstick identifies whether the individual's actions are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, worthy of good report or praiseworthy and points out what must be improved upon. Explains Prof. Madurasinghe: "A senior executive is planning for a vacation with his family. He seems to be happy with this decision to have a holiday after a long time. However upon a closer look at the thought evaluator under true, honest and just etc, we detect that there is a discrepancy because it may be that some office work is purposely shelved or on the other hand he has an ulterior motive of meeting someone while on holiday. Later this will manifest as anger, resentment, etc against the family. So even though it appeared fine on the face of it, upon deeper examination things were not really so."

The thought evaluator practice cannot produce saints, stresses Prof. Madurasinghe, but it provides the individual with a tool to evaluate decisions, feelings, etc at a deeper level so that every individual takes responsibility for his life.

The programme uses behavioural therapy techniques such as screen techniques and erasure techniques that will help the individual over the 30-day time period. A familiarisation workshop is conducted on the first three days where Prof. Madurasinghe covers certain areas that will condition the mind to receive the concept. The participant also learns to develop skills for stress control etc. and sets personal goals for the next three years. This is in addition to formulating a personal mission statement, which is to act as an internal compass that will navigate the participant to the true north of his or her life. The initial discipline only conditions the mind at the outset of the programme and from then on the individual takes over and runs on autopilot. The three-day workshop is a collective exercise, while 'Day 4' marks the beginning of individual application.

The programme, which touches on every aspect of your life from the inner child to parental influence, from friends and family to professional success, includes civic duties and responsibilities, health, spirituality and personal values, covering 1500 hours of introspective analysis, is a truly transformational process. This is a concept that fits in with any faith taking a person from the intellectual through the emotional to the spiritual plain. What's more, just about anyone who is open to the concept, can follow and benefit from the programme. At the end of it all, having gone through this personal transformation of inner development, you discover a 'new you'.

Going on the line, "From e-business to e-consciousness" the programme is on offer for establishments interested in tapping the 'collective consciousness' of their organisation enabling them to conduct, as Prof. Madurasinghe cleverly terms it, "business@speed of thought".

Inspired by Einstein's famous energy equation E = MC2, Prof. Madurasinghe revisits it at a deeper transformational level interpreting it as Enlightenment being the end of Mindfulness and deeper levels of Consciousness. "People who reach this state will be inspired into building the much needed bridges instead of walls - one serious aspect while talking of the culture of peace."

Prof. Madurasinghe was chosen by the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge as one of 2000 outstanding intellectuals of the 20th Century and has an entry in the latest International Who's Who. He is a trustee and Advisor Human Rights of SUNFO (Sri Lanka United Nations Friendship Organisation) and the Academic Dean of the Centre for the Development of Full Human Potential - SUNFO. Is he on a quest for 'perfect people', one wonders? He replies: "This is, in a sense, a striving for the ideal. At the very least it's a chance to condition people to recognize the importance of a simple stop to smell the roses. We may all see, someday, the world in a grain of sand, heaven in a wild flower, infinity in the palm of our hand and eternity in an hour."

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