de Bono Beats Drugs
Author's name withheld by request, to protect anonymityIt is difficult for me to recount the experience that led to such chaos and upheaval in my life, but I think I should give testimony to the miraculous influence Edward's work has had on my life. I would like to say that without the support of my mentor and his instructions to read Edward's book "The Happiness Purpose" and to carry out the practises on pages 238-239, I doubt if I would have been here today to write this testimony.
I am most grateful to Edward de Bono for the simple wisdom in his work. It saved my sanity and most likely it saved my life.
As a young man, I had a good start but somehow I drifted into drug abuse and spent several years experimenting with all kinds of drugs. By the age of 18, I was submerged in a world of petty crime and squalor. I had lost touch with my family and spent most of my time in a drug-induced waking sleep. Whilst in this state, I made a very stupid decision. I purchased a huge amount of Magic mushrooms and prepared them for immediate consumption with a friend of mine.
I had taken lots of mushrooms in the past, and large amounts of LSD, but this was different. I had prepared enough mushrooms for 20 or more people and fully intended to take the lot.
The next three or four hours were to devastate me and change my life forever. I had, as a child, a strong religious feeling, and I had always been aware that I was looking for something mystical from taking hallucinogens. I have had many interesting experiences when taking these drugs in the past, but the experience that engulfed me was more than my fragile young mind could handle.
I cannot say that I had a negative experience (or "bad trip"), the experience was one of unison with the universe and I saw my tiny role in the huge machine that governed all existence. A machine that was bigger than my imagination and as small as an atom. A process that was above me and below me, that was inside me, and outside of me. Whilst in this state, a huge amount of information was downloaded into my head but for some unknown reason it was too much for me to handle, it simply fried my mind.
What I learned haunted me and made my existence seem futile. It was as if the veneer of reality had been stripped away to reveal an alien world with alien laws. This was a place where I could not survive.
I do not know if you have seen the film "The Matrix". In this film, the star finds out that his existence is a computer-generated dream, and that reality is far from the rosy picture created by the computer that was hooked up to his mind. This is what happened to me, but I woke to find that no one was there to help me, either to understand the dream, or the alien world that greeted me when I woke.
I think in some cultures hallucinogens may have their place. A shaman guides the uninitiated into unknown realms and helps him to adapt to the shifts in his perceptions caused by taking such powerful drugs. This may have some value, but to find oneself without a guide and protector on such a journey is as foolish as trying to walk to the North Pole in your nightgown and slippers.
Normally, six to eight hours after taking mushrooms, normality slowly returns, but this did not happen for me. My old thoughts and perceptions had been destroyed by an information overload, but the new information did not stick in my mind. Instead, it created chaos, chewing up all that I understood and leaving emptiness and dread in its place.
I felt like a Wizard's Apprentice that had stuck his nose in the old man's spell book, only to be burned and enslaved by the power of the words that I read. This experience wiped away all of my life's understanding and left me in a child-like state: but this child was alone, and desperately lost. All my values and all my knowledge had gone, all that I thought good or noble meant nothing. I could not communicate with any of my friends or family and became increasingly isolated, unstable and cynical. My perceptions were mangled and twisted with fear and paranoia. This state did not go away after the trip. It was my permanent state. It followed me wherever I went.
I had stolen a visit into God's house but the bright light just burnt me away and left me empty, directionless, and full of pain. I had blown a hole through a doorway that simply needed a key; but now this door would not close and the real day-to-day world was slipping further and further away.
I could not look after myself. I could not go out of my flat or communicate with the outside world, without raging anger, fear, and creeping insanity, boiling up inside me. I was fortunate to have a loving girl friend who did her best to nurture me. I lived in a permanent state of deep depression and disillusion.
I do not have a suicidal bone in my body but I was desperate. Nothing made sense any more, and I was quickly losing my tenuous hold on reality.
I was a desolate, seething hopeless mess. I had no idea what to do, I feared putting myself into an asylum: what would they do to me? Would they ever let me back out? I needed help. I think that some of the information that had been downloaded into my mind during that trip must have stuck, because, even in this madness, I knew that God was with me, and that if I put out my hand then he would give me the help that I needed. I did just that, and somehow Edwards's work fell into my life.
Somehow, I stumbled across my mentor, and he pointed me to "The Happiness Purpose" and like a drowning man I clung to that life raft with all my might. The first time I opened that book I thought it had been written for me (I still believe so to this day), and I could see that the author of this book could help me, with just his words, and my effort. Somehow, his words echoed around the void that had consumed me. I followed those words like a candle in the night.
For seven long years I practised those exercises, for an hour or more, twice daily, to try to negotiate my shattered psyche, and to build a positive thread to my battered thoughts and feelings. It was as if I had melted down all the connections in my brain and Edwards's work was forging new ones that slowly helped me to begin functioning again.
The repair work was by no means instant. I had done a lot of damage, but I quickly began to see results from regularly practising the exercises in "The Happiness Purpose". I could feel that it was possible to rebuild myself, and this gave me great hope. I would say it took me a full 15 years to fully repair and find my feet, but, even through my worst moments, somehow the training that had ingrained itself into my mind, (pp.238-239) protected me from the worst of the madness that I had inflicted upon myself and those around me.
I have met many people who have been damaged by hallucinogens; I can spot them a mile away. They have a frightened haunted look about them, and, when you speak to them, it is like talking to someone who is stuck at the bottom of a very deep hole. They have exposed a raw core in themselves that hurts like mad, and they are doing their best to protect themselves, by frantically building a wall around their feelings in order to try to hide from the pain and confusion inside.
These people drift in and out of the fringes of society and spend prolonged periods close to suicide, or hospitalised for their own protection. I can spot these people in a crowd of strangers, having done no more than made fleeting eye contact with them. I try to point them towards Edward's work but mostly they cannot hear me, and they drift on, towards oblivion. I had a very lucky escape.
I consider myself to be a very fortunate human being. I have had the most intimate brain surgery to correct a horrific injury, yet the surgeon never cut me or even met me, and not only did the surgeon correct the damage, he also gave me a supercharged bullet-proof upgrade that continues to serve me well in all that I do. My head is positively charged, I look for the positive in almost anything I see and I do my best to turn my troubles and problems into opportunities. This is in no small way due to Edward's work. The trip had left me like a blank page and my emptiness yielded to the clear thinking and common sense woven into his work.
As the years have gone by, I have become happier and happier, and I am making strides in the business world, having used Edward's thinking tools to design and develop a business. I must say I have had excellent support from my partner; she has been a rock in my life and a source of inspiration and support in our business.
We invented our own natural 'product' and used many lateral techniques to introduce our 'product' to the trade. We are now the biggest natural 'product' manufacturer in the UK, and are in talks to expand world wide with this product. We started the business less than three years ago with �400 borrowed from my partner's credit card. Even my ex-wife told my children that I had finally lost it, but now she has happily eaten her hat (red or black, I think!)
I must say that every aspect of our business is shaped by Edward's work and I can personally vouch for the fact that his work has saved us a great deal of time and money and has allowed us to make fewer mistakes. It has illuminated our thinking and allowed us to look far and wide around areas that need careful consideration and has helped to keep emotion in its place whilst thinking takes place. Without these tools we would have been in the dark, and as a small company with a very big hill to climb and a tiny budget it is unlikely we would still be in business.
Edwards work has worked wonders in my personal and business life, I do not like to consider my fate if I had not found that simple and clear source of wisdom and love. I fell over the edge into a very dark place and almost destroyed myself but his work rewrote the story of my life.
We have been given the opportunity to teach thinking skills in one of our local schools, and this has led to a great deal of interest from parents, schools and pupils in our area. Peter de Bono was kind enough to come to our local school and introduce Edward's work to the whole school. He stayed for a whole day and had a tremendous impact on the school and all who came to listen to him.
I would like to thank Peter for the time effort and thought that he put into our school event and to let him know that the impact was significant. Teachers pupils and the wider community are asking to get involved so it looks like Edwards work is about to cause a few ripples in this part of the country.
I would also like to thank Peter for his vote of confidence in our work, we accept that we have to gain experience but we really enjoy doing this and genuinely feel that we are benefiting others by giving them these life-enhancing tools.
I must say that I am indebted to Edward for the gift of his work in my life. On a simple level it has helped me to think better but in reality his work entered the damaged soft and hardware of my mind, cleared away the debris and built new flexible and positive structures into a desolate and negative and hopeless mindscape.
I will also say that I have witnessed the effect his work can have on others, and, having worked with a learning support group in a school, I have been privileged to watch these children grow in self esteem and confidence, as they realise that they can think. I know that some of these children will benefit more from Edward's work than could ever be imagined. I am very pleased to be able to play a small role in imparting Edward's wisdom to young minds.
Edward's work is not theory; you do not need a degree in intellectual bullshit to understand it. In fact, it is so simple that its power can easily be missed; but simplicity and wisdom have always held hands.
Thank you Edward, I am sorry, but my words are inadequate to express my gratitude. You have given the world some common sense and given me a chance to live and be happy.
When you met my partner in London, I believe you asked her what sort of a man she thought my mentor was? That is a very hard question to answer. Sometimes, I think he was crazy, other times he seemed enlightened, but he was a guiding influence that pointed me towards you, and for that I owe him my gratitude. He helped me to find my self worth and gave me your tool-kit that has repaired my mind. Av was a very clever fellow who was playing some very bizarre games. I would be interested in what you have to say about him.