By Cathy Eck
A few months ago, I felt inspired to buy a ticket to Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth. While it seemed like a strange thing for me to do, I knew it was going to be a good experience. More on that in a moment…
Last week, I watched a television interview with a popular American guru; I noticed that I felt strong emotion brewing within me as he spoke. What the guru said was very positive and loving. His message was basically that God loves everyone unconditionally and everything is perfect. Certainly, nothing he said was untrue at the Heaven on Earth level; however, he clearly was ignoring reality. The interviewer even pointed that out; his level confusion was obvious to everyone but his followers.
I closed my eyes and focused my attention on my emotions while listening for the beliefs he silently projected on to his audience. Nothing that entered my mind was true. In fact, I was now utterly bored with him. He said the same thing over and over; he was trying to convince himself that the world was perfect. His words didn’t match his beliefs — in fact, they were exactly the opposite.
The positive thinking movement created the ice-cream-on-manure guru syndrome. People learned to sound like their True Self by using repetitious patterns of positive thought and switching their thinking 180 degrees from reality. They trained their minds to suppress negative thoughts. It was a new twist on the good religious person suppressing thoughts of evil. But anything suppressed (which means we believe it but don’t personally identify with it) gets projected out on to the world. Most people don’t feel emotion related to their projections because they view themselves as separate from others.
It was one week later that I went to hear Mike Tyson. He told his story with a photo presentation in full Mike Tyson color and graphic language. He talked the way one talks on the streets and in the ring. He shared how he felt when a neighborhood kid killed his beloved pet pigeon. He shared his feelings about prison and the law; solitary confinement was often the place where he connected with his Self. He told how sad he was that he had to bury his mother in a cardboard box; and how he later exhumed her body and placed her in the best casket with the biggest monument. He told about his messy relationships with women and how Don King was his worst relationship nightmare of all. He told it all; it was an insane life created by beliefs. But he told it from the place of feeling and emotion; he let us into his inner world. He never sounded like a victim; in fact, he accepted responsibility for it all.
He didn’t ask for our acceptance, forgiveness, or agreement; he didn’t tell us what to believe. He simply told us what was true for him and how he felt about his life; he thanked us for listening.
I felt moved to shut my eyes and feel what was beneath Mike Tyson’s words; I felt nothing but quiet. I simply heard his words. Mike Tyson was speaking a congruent and whole message (no projection); he shared it from the place of raw feeling, not intellect. It was his undisputed truth. Even though it was a messy illusion filled with beliefs, he owned it fully as his illusion, his mistakes, and his own self-imposed suffering.
The Crazy Woman
Then Tyson spoke of his infamous biting of Evander Holyfield’s ear. He said, “I don’t know why I did that. It seemed like a good idea at the time.” The ear incident landed him in a psychiatric hospital. He said there were people juggling boogers and pulling out their hair. There was a woman with bowl-cut hair, big bifocals, and a cowl-neck sweater even though it was summer. She twisted her head and looked at him in an odd way and asked him how he got there. He explained what he had done.
Then he said something profound. The woman looked at him without any judgment and said without emotion, “I see; you were in a fight.” I don’t remember his words after that because the clarity that I felt in my body was so pure. This woman completely understood him. She saw him as a person who was in a fight without judging the act of fighting. She simply heard him and connected with him as a fellow human being. She wasn’t concerned about what he did in the past; she was concerned about how he felt now.
The purity he conveyed as he told that story was so far beyond the feeling I had listening to the guru. Mike Tyson didn’t speak holy words, but he also didn’t project anything on his audience. He fully owned his crazy mind and life. He understood the perfection of the crazy woman in the cowl-neck sweater who didn’t judge him.
Based on what I knew of the guru and Tyson before they spoke, it’s natural that I would have trusted the guru and ignored my emotions while listening to him. If I hadn’t gone inside and discriminated, I would have spent the rest of my day wondering why I felt unworthy and unloved. I would have found myself judging others and wondering why. I would have accepted the guru’s nonverbal beliefs without discrimination because of his authority. This is what keeps us all stuck. We listen to people’s words without engaging our emotions.
With Mike Tyson, I might have judged his past and missed the clarity and congruence of his message. With the crazy woman with the cowl-neck sweater, I, like those who put her in the psychiatric hospital, might have judged her strange appearance and mannerisms and missed her authenticity and lack of judgment. Without my emotions guiding me, I would have missed the undisputed truth.