Derren Brown Fear & Faith (Part 1): What Does the Placebo Show about Human Psychology?
I watched the Derren Brown show called ‘Fear & Faith‘, and in this blog post I’m going to discuss Part 1, which focuses on Fear, in which he had people unknowingly take placebo pills that they thought would stop ‘fear’, and in some cases others thought they were taking the drug in order to stop other phobias/habits like for example smoking. So these were people with a variety of phobias, like fear of heights or singing in public, and they took the pills and for almost everyone the pills were a success – their fear was gone, sometimes instantly.
This show is really ground-breaking, as it shows in a very clear way, the actual power we have to change how we experience ourselves, and that it is really as simple as no longer participating in, for example, fear. It shows that we can actually stop our fears/reactions in a single moment, that it is in fact possible to stop these fears/phobia/habits, and thus change how we experience ourselves in our day to day lives and in relationship to reality.
And it also shows that a placebo or belief in a pill isn’t required to make the fear reaction stop, as in the show, even after knowing the pill had been a placebo, the people’s fears did not return. It was enough to have had the placebo pills act as a ‘bridge’ in a way, in assisting and supporting these individuals to realize that they actually could live without that fear/phobia.
What this also shows, is that we are the ones actually responsible for our fear in the first place. Since we at any time can actually stop them, so we are really the ones in ‘control’, the only reason we ‘aren’t in control’ is because we’ve believed our fears to be who we are. I mean, this is no surprise when you look at what all takes place within our fears/what our fears consist of. There is multi-dimensions, where if you have a look at what goes on within you when a fear is activated, you’ll have dimensions of Thought, Imagination, Internal conversations, emotion/feeling Reactions, and certain physical Behaviors that manifest, thus it is like an entire ‘personality suit’ containing of all these various dimensions one can experience within it, when it is activated by a situation/event/scenario in one’s environment.
So, let’s take the example of having a fear of heights and you find yourself near a steep drop. You may have Thoughts pop up in your mind of images of you falling over the drop. And then you may start going through various scenes within your Imagination, as you, for example, play out a variety of scenarios of ‘what could happen’ in your mind, where you might imagine yourself falling over the edge and what the fall will be like and how you might land and how you’ll be injured, and there would be varying degrees that one would imagine depending on the extent of one’s participation in this particular fear.
And then there is the internal conversations or ‘backchat’ where we talk to ourself within ourself within certain phrases in our mind, which will vary according to the individual, so you may have phrases like “Oh god, what if I fall down that drop??” / “What if I lose my balance for just a moment and go teetering over the edge?” / “I bet I would be terribly injured if I fell down there” / “I’m so scared, I’ve got to get away from here”.
One will also have various emotion and feeling Reactions, in relation to each dimension, where one will experience particular energy-experiences of positive feelings or negative emotions, like for example, while one is within the Imagination dimension, imagining what could happen if one were to fall over the edge, an positive energy-experience of ‘excitement’ might come up, or perhaps a negative energy-experience of ‘terror’. And for example, while one is participating in the internal conversation of “Oh god, what if I fall down that drop??” one might experience ‘anxiety’.
Then with the thoughts, imagination and internal conversation going on, and the energy-experience reactions that activate in relation to each of those points, one will then experience changes/reactions in the physical internally, and externally in one’s physical behaviors, where for example, you might internally experience a trembling/shaking of the physical body, or a rush of adrenaline, and externally you might notice that you start ‘wringing’ your hands, or you start shuffling your feet away from the edge, or you might feel like your paralyzed and can’t move.
So, within all these various dimensions/experiences, it’s really like the mind has gone to every length to convince one that the experience one is having of, for example, being afraid of heights, is in fact real, and yet, it is really just a sequence of thoughts and energy-experiences taking place within us, that we haven’t realized that we in fact give permission to take place, simply by believing these thoughts and feelings we’re experiencing are actually who we are, and aren’t just simply thoughts and experiences that are taking place only in our mind, and not in actual reality. Yet we’ve come to believe that these experiences are who we are to such a degree and without realizing what is really going on within ourselves, it’s hard to step out of the characters we’ve always existed as, and requires an elaborate set-up as Derren put together in his show, to give a specific circumstance in which one is able to believe that the fear experience can actually stop, in essence so you can give yourself permission to stop accepting and allowing the experiences within yourself.
Thus, this show confirms what I have been applying for myself, within the life-coaching course, the Desteni I Process, that I have been walking for several years now, since its beginning, where you are assisted and supported to see, realize and understand that these reactions/experiences aren’t in fact real and thus canbe stopped, through becoming aware of the various dimensions at play within such patterns of behavior, as for example, in the example used above of fear of heights. Through this course, I’ve have walked a personalized process in identifying my own patterns of behavior that I’ve existed in self-unawareness for most of my life, where I was really just a ‘victim’ so to speak of the experiences that came up within me, because I just automatically accepted them as ‘who I am’ simply because they were there and I was experiencing them, so they ‘must be real’.
Within the Desteni I Process you’re shown the tools with which to walk yourself into an understanding of yourself and the patterns you exist as, so that you can evaluate in self-awareness, what it is you’re living, and how you would really like to be living, to stop for example fears and other patterns of self-limitation, so that we can really be free to live, just like those in the show who can now live without their crippling fears and habits and explore their true potential. The difference is that you get to become aware of yourself, and all the patterns you exist as, and you do this through self-will, and not requiring an elaborate illusion like a placebo experiment, as you’re assisted to see that the experiences are in fact the illusion and you’re the one with the real power to develop self-will and self-direction in your life and how you experience yourself.
Thus, if you haven’t seen this show Fear and Faith, definitely watch it and consider what it’s showing us – that we really do not have to remain limited within detrimental patterns, that fear isn’t actually real because it can be stopped, and suggest to check out the Desteni I Process, especially the new course that’s been launched, DIP Lite, which is a Free course where you get to understand how to work with thoughts, emotions and feelings, and how to direct your reactions, so that you can be the directive principle of yourself, instead of your thoughts, emotions and feelings directing and controlling you and your ability to live in this world.
For more context on the Dimensions of Character/Personalities, read the series of Heaven’s Journey to Life blog posts which deals with this topic in detail, which starts with this introduction post: Character Dimensions – Introduction: DAY 162
. And you can check out the Journey to Life group on Facebook
where you’ll find hundreds of blogs of those who are busy deconstructing their patterns of self limitation and sharing the process so all may benefit.