Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Our First Conversation

zero limits 3: Our First Conversation

Every man takes the limits of his own field of 
vision for the limits of the world.
Arthur Schopenhauer

I'II finally spoke to Dr. Hew Len for the first time 
on October 21, 2005. 

His full name is Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. But he told me to call him “E.”Yes, like the letter in the alphabet. Okay. I can do that.“E” and I probably spent an hour talking on our first phone call. I asked him to tell me the complete story of his work as a therapist.

He explained that he worked at Hawaii State Hospital for three years.The ward where they kept the criminally insane was dangerous. Psychologists quit on a monthly basis.The staff called in sick a lot, or simply quit. People would walk through that ward with their backs against the wall, afraid of being attacked by patients. It was not a pleasant place to live, work, or visit.

Dr. Hew Len or “E” told me he never saw patients professionally. He never counseled with them. He agreed to review their files. While he looked at those files, he would work on himself. As he worked on himself, patients began to heal.

This became even more fascinating when I learned the following:

“After a few months, patients who had been shackled were beingallowed to walk freely,” he told me. “Others who had been heavily medicated were getting their medications reduced. And those who had been seen as having no chance of ever being released were being freed.”

I was in awe.

“Not only that,” he went on,“but the staff began 
to enjoy coming to work. Absenteeism and turn-
over disappeared. We ended up with more staff 
than we needed, because patients were being 
released and all the staff was showing up to work.
Today that ward is closed.”

This is where I had to ask the million-dollar question:

“What were you doing within yourself that caused those people to change?”

“I was simply cleaning the part of me that I shared with them,” he said.

I didn’t understand.

Dr. Hew Len explained that total responsibility for 
your life means that everything in your life—
simply because it is in your life—is your 
responsibility. In a literal sense, the entire world is 
your creation.

Whew. This is tough to swallow. Being responsible 
for what I say or do is one thing. Being responsible 
for what everyone in my life says or does is quite 

Yet the truth is this: If you take complete 
responsibility for your life, then everything you 
see, hear, taste, touch, or in any way experience 
is your responsibility because it is in your life.

That means the terrorists, the president, the 
economy—anything you experience and don’t like
—is up for you to heal.They don’t exist, in a 
manner of speaking, except as projections from 
inside you.

The problem isn’t with them; it’s with you.

And to change them, you have to change yourself.

I know this is tough to grasp,let alone accept or 
actually live.Blame is far easier than total 
responsibility. But as I spoke with Dr. Hew Len, I 
began to realize that healing for him and in 
ho’oponopono meansloving yourself. If you want 
to improve your life, you have to heal your life. If 
you want to cure anyone—even a mentally ill 
criminal—you do it by healing yourself.

I asked Dr. Hew Len how he went about healing 
himself.What was he doing, exactly, when he 
looked at those patients’ files?

“I just kept saying ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you’ 
over and over again,” he explained.

That’s it?

That’s it.

It turns out loving yourself is the greatest way to improve yourself.And as you improve yourself, you improve your world.

As Dr. Hew Len, or “E,” worked at the hospital, 
whatever came up in him, he turned over to 
Divinity and asked that it be released. He always 
trusted. It always worked. Dr. Hew Len would ask 
himself, “What is going on in me that I have 
caused this problem, and how can I rectify this 
problem in me?”

Apparently this method of healing from the inside 
out is what is called Self I-Dentity Ho’oponopono. 
There appears to be an older version of 
ho’oponopono that was heavily influenced by 
missionaries in Hawaii. It involved a facilitator 
who helped people heal problems by talking them 
out.When they could cut the cord of a problem, 
the problem vanished. But Self I-Dentity 
Ho’oponopono didn’t need a facilitator. It’s all 
done inside yourself. I was curious and knew I
would understand this better in time.

Dr. Hew Len has no materials on his process yet. 
offered to help him write a book, but he didn’t 
seem interested.There is an old video available, 
which I ordered. He also said to read The User 
Illusion by Tor Norretranders. Since I’m a 
bookaholic, I instantly jumped on-line and 
ordered it from Amazon.When it arrived, I 
devoured it.

The book argues that our conscious minds don’t 
have a clue what is happening. Norretranders 
writes,“The fact is that every single second, 
millions of bits of information flood in through 
our senses. But our consciousness processes only 
perhaps forty bits a second—at most. Millions 
and millions of bits are condensed to a conscious 
experience that contains practically no 
information at all.” As I understood Dr. Hew Len 
to say, since we don’t have any true awareness of 
what is happening in any given moment, all we 
can do is to turn it all over and trust. It’s all about 
100 percent responsibility for everything in your 
life: everything. He says his work is about 
cleaning himself.

That’s it. As he cleans himself, the world gets 
clean, because he is the world. All outside of him 
is projection and illusion. While some of this 
sounded Jungian, in the sense that the outer that 
you see is the shadow side of your own life, what 
Dr. Hew Len seemed to be describing was beyond 
all of that. He seemed to be acknowledging that 
everything is a mirror of yourself, but he also was
saying that it is your responsibility to fix 
everything you experience, and from the inside of 
yourself by connecting to the Divine. For him, the 
only way to fix the outer anything is by saying 
“I love you” to the Divine, which could be 
described as God, Life, the Universe, or any 
number of terms for that collective higher power.

Whew.This was quite a conversation. Dr. Hew 
Len didn’t know me from Adam but he was 
giving me plenty of his time.And confusing me 
along the way. He’s almost 70 years old and 
probably a walking guru to some and a nut case 
to others.

I was thrilled to have spoken with Dr. Hew Len 
for the first time, but I wanted more. I clearly 
didn’t understand what he was telling me. And 
it would be really easy to resist him or dismiss 
him. But what haunted me was the story of his 
using this new method to heal so-called throw
-away cases, such as mentally ill criminals. 
knew Dr. Hew Len had an upcoming seminar 
and I asked him about it.

“What will I get out of it?”

“You will get whatever you get,” he said.

Well, that sounded like the oldest training of the 
1970s: What-ever you get is what you were 
supposed to get.

“How many people will be at your seminar?” I 

“I keep cleaning so only the people ready to be 
there will be there,” he said.“Maybe 30, or 50. 
I never know.”

Before we ended our call, I asked “E” what the 
signature on his e-mails meant.

“POI means peace of I,” he explained.“It is the 
peace that surpasses all understanding.”

I didn’t understand what he meant at the time, 
which, today, makes perfect sense.

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