The statement, "We only use approximately ten percent of our abilities" is familiar to many of us who came of age, or lived through, the '60s. This idea was attributed to William James. William James, the older brother of Henry James, the writer, is considered, by some, to be the father of American Philosophy. Other than that, "tip of the hat," he has been, for all practical purposes, ignored. My personal opinion is that this is because his ideas go counter to what we are supposed to believe about ourselves and our abilities.

In the early '70s, I decided to try to find the source of this saying, in W. James' writings, said to be in his Letters. I did find it in the two-volume collection of his letters, however, what he actually wrote was: Humans use only a fraction of their potential; it is, in effect, out of their whole bodies, they were only using one of their little fingers, (paraphrased). As is obvious, this is much less than ten percent!

So, just what makes up that 90 percent that we, supposedly, are not using? If you "re-frame," and revise that focus and, instead, examine what makes up the ten percent we actually use, we find that the ten percent we do use is shaped, as I have been pointing out in other articles, by our early social and cultural Programing and, as we become educated, by Indoctrinated Beliefs and the Consensus Belief System. If, such is the case, that our normal limited functioning is a product of that conditioning, it is important to recognize what that conditioning has been.

If what makes up that ten percent of functionality has been about, not only who we are and what we are capable of, but what, "reality" is, then it stands to reason, that the, "other 90 percent" is made up of what has been suppressed. Much of what the body's Awareness System takes in, which falls outside that allowed ten percent, is suppressed primarily through the use of the phrases: "just our imagination," or, "coincidences" or, "impossible" and, the experience quickly forgotten.

In other words, much of that 90 percent is made up of our denied perceptions, and our awareness' of the non-physical, as well as physical, world, but it also includes our undeveloped abilities. This suppression starts from our earliest years; this is very important, considering that it has been discovered that these awareness' are experienced to a much greater degree when we are young. This early Programming causes us to suppress any and everything that we experience, outside of what is Consensus Reality. (Consensus Reality is made up of what those who shape what we believe is possible have collectively agreed upon is real.)

Unfortunately, we as humans, not only possess phenomenal abilities and perceptions, we also have a phenomenal ability to suppress and repress that which has been experienced, when it is outside of that Consensus Reality.

Lately, many people are reporting that they have been having unusual experiences and strange dreams which they have been unable to dismiss. The increasing incursions into many of our lives of these kinds of experiences, can create a great deal of stress and upset, not only to those who are experiencing them, but in our relationships, if we dare to share them with anyone.

There is a wide range in the number and kinds of such abilities and experiences which people have. Those who have greater exceptional abilities, that is, far outside of what is considered, "normal" or possible, go through a similar kind of response to such experiences, should they dare to tell anyone else about them. As revealed in personal accounts, many have found that, if they take these experiences to someone who is supposed to be able to assist people with their problems--traditional therapists, or high-level members of ones religious affiliation--their fear of being "not normal," or in their potential, "craziness" is only reinforced.

It is critical, for anyone wishing to grow in their potential awareness' or what lies outside the ten percent which is considered, "normal," to begin to understand about "brain" functioning. (I put "brain" in quotes, to indicate that science assigns to the brain's functioning information gained through our body's Awareness System which is far more than the acknowledged five senses.)

An outgrowth of the '60s was the Human Potential Movement; much if that, "Movement" was the beginning of the exploration of our other 90 percent. In addition to the discovery of the fact that the brain gives out different waves when we are in various altered/relaxed states of consciousness, it was learned that an individual could learn to bring about those various states through intent and practice. Not much has been officially acknowledged regarding the significance of being in, "altered states," other than illegal, drug-induced ones. This is, of course, in my opinion, deliberate, as the less you know and think about such things the better, as all of it refutes Consensus Reality.

The brain waves were named: Alpha, (the first discovered), Beta, (normal/everyday, states), Delta, (Sleep), and Theta, (Deep Sleep). The nature of each of these waves has been revised over the years, as more has been learned about them.

In a more recent discovery, regarding the brain waves of young children, it was found that children, ages 0 to 2 years, are constantly in a state of Theta, (considered deep dreaming); ages 2 to 4 years , are constantly in a state of Delta (considered dreaming); 4 to 6 years in Alpha (relaxed, alert); only beginning from ages 6 to, approximately, 7 do most children's brain waves stay in Beta most of the time they are awake, (considered wide awake in an adult).

When in the deep, altered Delta and Theta states, particularly, you are in a state equivalent to having been hypnotized. When adults are hypnotized and at these deep levels, it has been found that they are subject to various suggestions. Additionally, it has been found that misinterpreted information taken in at an early age was responsible for problems they had been experiencing as an adult. In other words, the unconscious self accepted it as Programming.

Given that young children, to at least the age of four, are in the equivalent of an hypnotic state, what such programming does to children's psyches can only be imagined. It is little wonder that those things we have been taught at a young age are so deeply ingrained in us. Some of those individuals who have managed to regain their abilities and perceptions, have written about the problems their early training has caused them in trying to come to terms with their abilities. These various natural altered states and resultant awareness' are part of that 90 percent, we who live in Western Societies and Cultures, have been Programmed to suppress, in order to retain some semblance of, "normality."

Unfortunately, many who have put efforts into self-growth, such as practicing meditation and balancing brain hemispheres, enhancing their ability to bring about certain altered states, are still affected by their Programming with the subsequent denial of resultant experiences. This is why it is essential to understand the degree each of us has been Programmed and Indoctrinated, with the resultant suppression of what is taken in through the Awareness System.

It has been my experience that, only by beginning to learn about this vast amount and kinds of abilities we humans possess, as well as, awareness' possible, beginning with any you, personally, may be experiencing, is the best place to start.

To restate, one must accept, instead of rejecting, this vast part of ourselves, in order to once again become whole, or 100 percent of what we can be.

Author's Bio: 

My self-educational background has been in learning, and writing about, why people do what they do. My educational background includes the study of established Belief Systems in the field of Psychology, ranging from Freudian theory through Abraham Maslow's work on fully-functioning individuals, as well as Art. My BA is in Human Services, and my Masters is in Art Therapy--MA-AT.

In the 1970's I wrote a manuscript, (unpublished) called: You in the Process of Becoming; A Guide to the Self. In it I outlined a systems approach to understanding human behavioral dis-functioning. My current writing and thinking is an outgrowth of the understanding that, if an individual wishes to be able to think, "critically," i.e., originally, clearly and without contamination from Consensus Belief Systems, it is essential for that individual to thoroughly understand their own underlying Belief System.

This approach can be used in understanding an individual's problems in dealing with everyday situations and problems in relationships. In discovering how one's underlying beliefs shape personal behavior, and examining where those beliefs came from, can do much to change the resultant behavior.

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