No sooner did I sink my teeth into comments by Peter and Diana on my article Managing Stress: It’s Not Just How You Look At It, in which we debate where the lines exist between internal and external locus of control, than I read an article by Dr. Joe Vitale about a Hawaiian therapist, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, who blows the whole distinction out of the water.
Dr. Len practices Ho'Oponopono. Dr. Vitale describes Dr. Len’s work in a ward for the criminally insane:
[Dr.Len] agreed to have an office and to review their files. While he looked at those files, he would work on himself. As he worked on himself, patients began to heal.
"I was simply healing the part of me that created them," Dr. Len said. "I just kept saying, 'I'm sorry' and 'I love you' over and over again," he explained. [as he sat in his office, reading their files]
He reported that as he continued this practice, there were actually significant reports of improvement in the ward. So much so in fact, that the ward ultimately was closed. According to Dr. Len's viewpoint, the division between internal and external simply isn't relevant. It's all internal. Ken Wilber discusses the same issue at length in No Boundary, as do many philosophers and spiritual teachers of more Eastern traditions.
It's a fascinating view to consider and as I reflect further on the article, I realize that, even though Dr. Len's approach sounds a little too out there for me to want to hang a hat on it, there is a place I can meet him at least half way.
You may have heard of the psychological concept of projection. I've heard many people refer to this in statements such as, "When you are angry at yourself, you are probably reacting to something in yourself that you don't like."
Being my own favorite guinea pig, I have made my own mind a course of study for a few years now and I have found, at first to my dismay and now to my amusement, that this is true. It is so often true, I have learned to look at myself first, when I am hurt, angry, sad, frustrated or otherwise ruffled by someone, to figure out what issue the spotlight is being shined on.