Origin And Development Of Guidance And Counseling Practice In Tanzanian Schools

1.0. Overview

1.1. Background and History of Guidance and Counseling in General in School Practice and other setting

The history of school counseling formally started at the turn of the twentieth century, although a case can be made for tracing the foundations of counseling and guidance principles to ancient Greece and Rome with the philosophical teachings of Plato and Aristotle. There is also evidence to argue that some of the techniques and skills of modern-day guidance counselors were practiced by Catholic priests in the middle ages, as can be seen by the dedication to the concept of confidentiality within the confessional. Near the end of the sixteenth century, one of the first texts about career options appeared: The Universal Plaza of All the Professions of the World, (1626) written by Tomaso Garzoni quoted in Guez, W. & Allen, J. (2000). Nevertheless, formal guidance programs using specialized textbooks did not start until the turn of the twentieth century.

Counseling is a concept that has existed for a long time in Tanzania. We have sought through the ages to understand ourselves, offer counsel and develop our potential, become aware of opportunities and, in general, help ourselves in ways associated with formal guidance practice. In most communities, there has been, and there still is, a deeply embedded conviction that, under proper conditions, people can help others with their problems. Some people help others find ways of dealing with, solving, or transcending problems as Nwoye, (2009) prescribed in his writings. In schools, presently if the collaboration between teachers and students is good, students learn in a practical way. Young people develop degrees of freedom in their lives as they become aware of options and take advantage of them. At its best, helping should enable people to throw off chains and manage life situations effectively. Unprecedented economic and social changes have, over the years, changed the ways in which we manage our lives. Consequently, not all the lessons of the past can effectively deal with the challenges of modern times. Effective counseling, especially in institutions of learning has now become important. Boys and girls, and young men and women, need to be guided in the relationships between health and the environment, earning skills, knowledge, and attitudes that lead to success and failure in life. The need for counseling has become paramount in order to promote the well-being of the child. Effective guidance and counseling should help to improve the self-image of young people and facilitate achievement in life tasks. Counseling should empower girls and boys to participate fully in, and benefit from, the economic and social development of the nation.

2.0. Definitions of Concepts

2.1. Guidance

Guidance is an act of showing the way for some people, like adolescents, who cannot find the right path. It is directing, pointing, leading and accompanying. Guidance is saying “Yes” to someone who is asking for help. It is saying “Yes” to an invitation of someone who wants a temporary companion along life’s way.

Guidance is giving directions to the lonely, confused, unloved, the suffering, the sick and the lost. It is pointing to some possibilities of thinking, feeling and acting. It is leading the person psychologically, emotionally and even spiritually to some newer ways of meaningful living. It is accompanying those who are fearful and uncertain, those who need someone along the rugged path of life’s journey.

From an objective point of view, guidance is part and parcel of the counseling profession. It is called directive counseling. High school and even college students need guidance when they are unsure of what choices to make or what directions to take. The guidance counselor “opens up” a world of choices for these persons for them to choose from. It is like presenting the universe when all that a person sees is the lonely planet earth. The guidance counselor enlarges and widens the horizon of people who sees only a narrow path or a concealed view of that path. Thus, the focus is on possibilities and choices.

Usually, guidance occurs in schools. High school and college students avail of guidance and counseling services in their school. More often, young people are unsure of what to do, how to react or respond, and how to act in certain choices. When this occurs, they need someone older, wiser and more experienced to show them the way, to guide them. This is the role of the guidance counselor to extend assistance when necessary to those who are confused, uncertain, and needing advice. However, some adults may need guidance too.

2.2. Counseling:

Counseling is guiding and more. It is a way of healing hurts. It is both a science and an art. It is a science because to offer counsel, advice or assistance, the counselor must have the knowledge of the basic principles and techniques of counseling. The counselor must be able to use any of these basic principles and techniques as paradigms in order for him to counsel well. However, it is not enough to use know these basic principles and techniques. The other important aspect is for the counselor to know how to counsel-the art of counseling. This aspect considers counseling as a relationship, as a sharing of life, in the hope that the person who is hurting will be healed. As a relationship, counseling involves the physical, emotional, and psychical or spiritual dimensions. The counselor must have the ability to relate to the counselee in an appropriate physical manner without being too intimate or too close for comfort or being too distant or aloof. The emotional dimension in counseling includes empathy, sensitivity and the ability to interpret non-verbal clues of the counselee in order to understand unresolved complexes or pent-up feelings. The psychical or spiritual dimension embraces the counselee’s “soul-content”—what lies inside. This is what is called the interiority of the person. The counselor must have the gift or grace of catching a glimpse of the interior world of the person, particularly his spiritual condition, for this is very important in healing the person’s hurts.

2.3. Other Definitions of the Concepts

Biswalo (1996) defines guidance as a term used to denote the process of helping an individual to gain self understanding and self direction (self decision-making) so that he can adjust maximally to his home, school or community environment. This process, however, depends on counseling. He also defines counseling as a process of helping an individual to accept and use information and advice so that he can either solve his present problem or cope with it successfully. He goes further remarking that sometimes the process helps the individual to accept unchangeable situation for example, loss of dearly loved ones and to some extent change it in its favour rather than letting himself be overcome by the situation. Guez and Allen (2000) remarked that it is difficult to think of a single definition of counseling. This is because definitions of counseling depend on theoretical orientation. Counseling is a learning-oriented process, which occurs usually in an interactive relationship, with the aim of helping a person learn more about the self, and to use such understanding to enable the person to become an effective member of society. Counseling is a process by means of which the helper expresses care and concern towards the person with a problem, and facilitates that person’s personal growth and brings about change through self-knowledge. Counseling is a relationship between a concerned person and a person with a need. This relationship is usually person-to-person, although sometimes it may involve more than two people. It is designed to help people to understand and clarify their views, and learn how to reach their self-determined goals through meaningful, well-informed choices, and through the resolution of emotional or interpersonal problems. It can be seen from these definitions that counseling can have different meanings.

3.0. Origin of Guidance and Counseling Practice in Pre-Colonial Era

Counseling in Tanzania in different forms and with different interpretations, has existed in societies for a long time before colonial era. The differences and contradictions in present-day, have their origin in the social and historical forces that have shaped modern culture. In Tanzania people in all societies, and at all times, have experienced emotional or psychological distress and behavioural problems. In each culture, there have been well established ways and methods of helping individuals with their problems. However, there are no sufficient written sources about the origin of guidance and counseling practice in Tanzanian schools. But like other places before colonial era there were outstanding unique elements which held the societies together in their livelihood. The elements include the extended family system, including the clan and the tribe, chieftaincy, taboos, various forms of initiation and close links with ancestors and elders.

The village is the focal point of society. While each one of these elements is important, only a few are used to illustrate the role of guidance and counseling in present-day Tanzanian societies. Basically, traditional chiefs had multiple roles which included serving as a symbol of authority and as a regulator. Since these roles were accepted and respected by all, there was a clear direction in the day-to-day affairs of society. The elders, the chief included, were a valuable source of guidance and counseling for boys and girls. In most cases, the chiefs were regarded as a vital link between ancestors and the present generation. This link was strengthened by the rituals, ceremonies and taboos attached to them. It was easy to guide and counsel the young, since the rituals or ceremonies were also aimed at preparation for adult roles in society. The extended family, the clan, and the village, made society supportive. No individual regarded him/herself as alien. Counseling was readily sought and provided. The forms of guidance and counseling involved were given advice and sharing wisdom.

4.0. The Developments of Guidance and Counseling Practices in Tanzanian Schools

4.1. Guidance and Counseling Practices in Tanzanian Schools Trends

In realizing this perhaps, since we are thinking of the concepts in school setting, we should think the meaning of counseling in education discipline. One could think that the definitions given above on the term guidance and counseling, their meaning can be directed to education grounds and now give the meaning correctly. Guez and Allen (2000) pointed out that a term educational counseling was first coined by Truman Kelley in 1914 in Makinde, (1988), educational counseling is a process of rendering services to pupils who need assistance in making decisions about important aspects of their education, such as the choice of courses and studies, decisions regarding interests and ability, and choices of college and high school. Educational counseling increases a pupil’s knowledge of educational opportunities.

The ever growing complexity of society in Tanzania, coupled with social problems like HIV/AIDS and the rapid development of science and technology, place heavy demands on education. The school, as an important social institution, was required to adapt quickly to changing patterns, and help prepare citizens for tomorrow’s challenges. That is where guidance and counseling in the educational system should help boys and girls alike, to develop their capacities to the full. These include intellectual, social, physical and moral capacities. This help is of the most important in Tanzania as long as the history and age of education provision and in its systems found today.

Guidance and counseling practices development in Tanzanian schools can be traced back from the time when vocational education was emerging right at the colonial period. In the process of establishing counseling services in Tanzania, there was a need to first understand the underlying factors that influence people’s beliefs and perceptions about such practices. However, this is thought that was not taken in to consideration at the time and it may be up to recent time. It is especially important to understand the economic, socio-political, religious beliefs, customs and traditions, and cultural changes that are present in different regions of the country. Young people should be understood within this context, but also within the paradoxical situation of having to face the traditional and the modern world, but this is a big challenge to Tanzania and many developing African countries. During colonial period there were some form of vocational guidance under the career guidance and it was administered by career masters. But the career masters who were selected by the head of schools had no professional training in vocational guidance. In fact the duty was limited to helping students fill out employment forms and writing letters of application. In the missionary schools vocational guidance was confined to religious services. The teachers who were usually ‘fathers’, pastors, or reverends guided and trained spiritually inclined youths to become sisters, brothers, fathers and pastors upon their completion of formal education.

Apart of what could be done in schools in Tanzania, guidance and counseling was more or less a private family affair. Parents and relatives counseled their children on all matters of life management and problem solving. It is true that in many families the duty of general guidance was the traditional duty of senior members of the family, father, mother, uncle, aunt, and grandparents. In case of serious personal or family problems, counseling was done by a specially organized by the community as a competent in handling that specific problem. This is done without any knowledge obtained from formal or informal school system but rather through experience and age wise through collected wisdom. This kind of early form of counseling from school setting and community helped the young to be brought into the bright image of living in the future to the society.

4.2. Guidance and Counseling Practices in Tanzanian Schools in Post-colonial era

In several literatures and sources, guidance and counseling in education sector in Tanzania and some other African countries is regarded as the youngest discipline. This is evidenced by First International Conference on Guidance, Counseling and Youth Development in Africa held in Nairobi, Kenya from 22nd to 26th April, 2002 which pointed out that the Guidance, Counseling and Youth Development Programme was initiated in Africa in April 1994, following the First Pan African Conference on the Education of Girls that was held in Ouagadougou in 1993. It is designed to introduce or strengthen guidance and counseling in African countries. It focuses on capacity building in the countries involved and provides training at both regional and national levels on issues of guidance and counseling of schools and colleges.

What we can call professional guidance and counseling in Tanzania schools begin in the year 1984 following the National October 1984 Arusha Conference, where guidance and counseling services were endorsed by the government as and integral part of the country’s education system (Biswalo, 1996). The aim of the conference is to establish systematic criteria for secondary schools students’ guidance and counseling. Students were then advised, guided and counseled on matters concerning their job selection and student placement for further education. This job was assigned to career masters and mistresses as explained below, however, there were no sufficient guidance and counseling personnel not only in the responsible ministry but also in the schools.

Guidance and Counseling is now becoming slowly institutionalized and spread in educational institutions. Schools, for example, have to a large extent taken over the task of providing psychological support to boys and girls. However Biswalo (1996) comments that in Tanzania policies pertinent to guidance and counseling is still lacking. The Ministry of Education, however, has somehow tried to institutionalize the services within the education system by appointing career masters and mistresses. He continued saying that the personnel are charged with the responsibility of advising heads of secondary schools concerning students job selection and student placement for further education; to try and help students understands and develop interest in appropriate jobs or further education or training; to asses the students talents and capabilities and to encourage them to pursue careers or further education best suited to them and to help students solve their personal problems which may affect their general progress in school.

This is an impossible and realistic burden on these untrained personnel. It reflects the apathy of policy and decision makers regarding the new field of guidance and counseling in schools; the strength of the myth of planned manpower in which career guidance is erroneously regarded as redundant and the gross lack of trained personnel who would provide effective guidance and counseling services in schools. It is unfortunate that even after the National October 1984 Arusha Conference on the strengthening of education in Tanzania, where guidance and counseling services were endorsed by the government as and integral part of the country’s education system, the services are to-date still patchy and ineffective in Tanzania’s educational institutions. Guidance and counseling in this manner is discussed by different scholars in primary, secondary and tertiary education levels together.

5.0. Guidance and Counseling Practices in Primary and Secondary Schools

In primary school levels in Tanzania in actual fact there were and are no specified pupils’ teacher-counselors. However, the activity is left to teachers themselves to decide what is to be done since there is no programmed or time-tabled activity concerning guidance and counseling. Teachers are left to use part of the teaching to practice guidance and counseling in and outside the classroom although not all teachers have gone teacher-counselor training. As children enter school they need orientation on school itself, its environment, school community and the curriculum to motivate and develop positive attitude toward learning and school community as well (Biswalo, 1996). As the pupils grow older and pass through different grades they need to be directed in studying skills, overcome learning difficulties and other school related problems. But this activity is not performed systematically in primary schools in Tanzania.

In the case of secondary schools till to-date there is also insufficient programmed or time-tabled system of guiding and counseling students. In some cases this duty is left to discipline masters and sometimes to class masters and head of schools. At secondary school level, students would seek educational opportunities, information of all kinds and any other help pertinent to educational pursuits. These needs are catered to by educational guidance and counseling (ibid). At this level students are helped with subject choice, study techniques and tests and examination. Biswalo (1996) pointed out that sometimes during subject choice, pride of placing as many students as possible in prestigious streams, such as science, takes precedence over actual abilities, interests and aptitudes of students. He said this unfortunate situation has been born out of the lack of genuine educational guidance and counseling services in secondary schools.

The school has an important role to play in preparing pupils for continued secondary education, paid employment, self-employment and life in the community, as clearly set out by the Ministry of Education in the objectives for its secondary curriculum. Perhaps uniquely, there would be total agreement among pupils, teachers and parents over the relative emphasis a certain schools placed on the preparation for further education, with its focus on academic knowledge and the pursuit of success in the national examinations. That is, the secondary schools where counseling is not well performed placed little emphasis on citizenship and the development of a responsible attitude to life in the community at the local, regional or national level and employment opportunities. However, what is de-emphasized is the informal sector including self-employment but the emphasized is employment in the formal sector with its implied emphasis on white collar jobs.

5.1. Vocational, Career Guidance and Counseling

In Tanzania teachers have the capacity to directly influence their pupils’ choice of careers. The achievements and attitudes of pupils have been shown to be related to the characteristics and achievements of their teachers (World Bank, 1995; quoted in Nyutu, P.N. & Norman C.G. 2008). However, the influence of the school depends on the formal interactions and communication which take place between teachers and pupils in the classroom whereas television and radio, act through the informal interactions pupils have with these media. The influence of parents and siblings is through both formal and informal means.

That is in most cases in Tanzania and may be other states where guidance and counseling is rarely done in schools; parents play the big role to influence on their children’s choice of careers. Others who have lower level careers i.e. teachers, clerks, drivers, personal secretaries, soldiers etc. do not anticipate their children ‘following in their footsteps’ because for the children who are able to study to higher level sometimes saw these jobs as narrow and lacking in interest. However it is suggested that parents’ occupation might have influenced their children’s choice of careers, but this happened to children who have generic skills useful in such jobs, and a few may have job skills relevant to those jobs. Access to information through the media and other forms of technology is giving young people aspirations that, for the most part, cannot be satisfied in their own environment. Choices have to be made and young people must acquire the skills to assess situations and make informed decisions. There is no longer a natural, understandable order from birth to adulthood for the Tanzanian young.

Vocational guidance at secondary school levels is provided but in very few among others because of shortages of school or vocational trained counselors. For those lucky schools with these kinds of counselors, students are helped but vocational counseling is not emphasized because most pupils, teachers and of course parents push students to make long range plans of study so that to prepare well for the envisaged careers. These counselors plan with school administrators and teachers to provide appropriate class placement for students with special abilities or disabilities for course selection by students.

5.2. Tertiary Level

The tertiary level students are provided with orientation and other educational guidance and counseling. In Tanzania tertiary level have at least fulfilled the need of having qualified students’ counselors for both psychological and academics, though they are few in number. Here counselors play a big role in compiling comprehensive information on all aspects of the careers related to the training offered in the institution. Counselors sometimes integrate with administration or practicum department to organize field practices for students and even more rarely might contacts with relevant employing agencies (Biswalo, 1996).

6.0. Notion on Guidance and Counseling in Tanzania

According to the research by Sima (2004), professional counseling is yet to be recognized as a stand-alone profession in Tanzania and in many African countries. Nevertheless, the coming and setting of HIV/Aids in the country has strengthened the base for counseling. This is particularly because of the multifaceted nature of the HIV/Aids pandemic whose attention, unlike other human diseases, goes beyond the prerogatives of the medical profession. Thus, counseling is perceived as a crucial avenue for prevention of HIV infection through provision of adequate and relevant information, and for social and psychological support of people infected and affected by the pandemic. Ibid continued saying that since the emergence of the pandemic in the country, a number of non-governmental organizations have been offering counseling services however, there is lack of clarity on the type and nature of counseling services offered by these organization. The nature and characteristics of counseling clients also remain fuzzy.

In Tanzania the professional counseling as aforesaid is relatively a new phenomenon. Outwater (1995) quoted in Sima (2004) comments that before HIV/Aids epidemic, there was no formal counseling service in Tanzanian hospitals, no professional counselors and no formal system for training counselors. There was a need to fill this gap by training as many counselors as possible to provide optimal care for AIDS patients and their relatives (NACP, 1989; quoted in ibid). Since then many para-professional counselors have been trained in basic knowledge and skills of counseling. Currently there are many counseling centers working not only on HIV/Aids related problems but also different problems affecting Tanzanians. However, as counseling became popular with the advent of HIV/Aids, many people assume that it is only meant for people infected and affected by HIV/Aids and shy away from it for fear of being labeled (Sima, 2002; quoted in Sima 2004).

7.0. Problems and Challenges

The Tanzanian government have not yet formulated in the education policy issues pertaining guidance and counseling in spite of the crucially and necessity in schools. Biswalo (1996) pointed out that in Tanzania policies pertinent to guidance and counseling is still lacking. He continued saying that efforts directed towards fulfilling guidance and counseling needs are apparently thwarted by several difficulties including financial resources to support the even established tiny counseling activities in several schools.

In Tanzania till today counseling is relatively new phenomenon. There are no enough qualified counselors in schools and other education institutions. However, there are limited number of qualified counselors, they are either not utilized well in schools or they are engaged in other activities rather than what they are trained for. Some of school counselors are also teachers and they are fully occupied with teaching responsibilities. More surprisingly counseling is perceived as a crucial avenue for only prevention of HIV infection through provision of adequate and relevant information, and for social and psychological support of people infected and affected by the HIV/Aids (Sima, 2004).

There is slow growth of guidance and counseling in educational systems attributed to lack of funds, training facilities, and high turnover of guidance counselors to green pastures and in adequately trained counselors. For instance in many schools they lack counseling offices, trained teacher-counselors and counseling equipments. In terms of funds there are various options that can be explored to alleviate financial constraints. Special schools on behalf of parents in need can approach non-governmental organizations.

The absence of solid professional counseling association in Tanzania to set standards for the appropriate practice is another challenge (Nwoye, 2008). Also insufficient availability of professional counselor training programs in Tanzanian colleges and universities is another contributing challenge.

There are no efforts to establish counseling curriculum in secondary schools and colleges and guidance and counseling courses in the universities. Guidance curriculum and responsive services can then be structured to address the five content areas, namely human relationships, career development, social values, self development, and learning skills. A guidance curriculum could be taught to students at different levels or in small groups to address issues that are similar to them. For guidance and counseling programs to be effective in Tanzania, trained professionals should be employed to manage and offer services in schools. Such professionals should also be provided with relevant facilities and structural support. At the same time, universities and teacher training institutions will have to establish and develop programs that train professional school counselors and other guidance personnel.

There is still insufficient assistance in higher education institutions to enable students achieves their career aspirations. However, students today indicate a higher need for career guidance than students in the past decade. Students may therefore be encountering an increased need to acquire relevant career information that will enable them seek better paid jobs. Many schools have in the past appointed some teachers as career masters without providing them with the necessary training and facilities for career guidance. Such career masters usually assume that all students will end up in universities and only focus on helping students complete university application forms and no more. It is the high time for the government to set and implement the policy that will enhance guidance and counseling from primary schools to the tertiary level and in turn will develop programs that train professional school counselors and other guidance personnel.

8.0. Conclusion

Guidance and counseling sought to prepare pupils in their schooling program to enter into the world of appropriate work by linking the school curriculum to employment. For the school to be successful in this endeavor, subjects should be taught at a pleasant and convenient environment and should be made relevant and interesting to the pupils. Another factor that needs to be considered is the recruitment of competent teachers capable of guiding and counseling learners in relating what they teach to the job market. What is taught and how it is taught can have great influence on the interest and perception of learners. In Tanzania the spirit to plan and use guidance and counseling services in the effective development and utilization of their respective young human resources is evidently strong. However, as Biswalo (1996) said the efforts directed towards fulfilling this need are apparently thwarted by several difficulties. It appears total and enlightened commitment on the part of policy and decision makers is necessary and should be definitely surmount the problems.

The emergence of career development in western countries as a construct suggests that it may be an essential area in developing country like Tanzania where students need assistance; students particularly need assistance in selecting colleges and courses. To this end, the schools should offer a career guidance and counseling programme under the able leadership of qualified school counselors.

Shaman Harvey – My Shocking First Encounter With a Modern American Shaman

Harvey Bevier was a visionary healer who worked in Denver, CO. For over forty years, he treated hundreds of people each month, sometimes seeing more than a hundred people in a single day. I first met him when I was a visiting professor at Boulder College, which offered graduate degrees in spiritual education and alternative healing.

I was teaching Jungian psychotherapy, group dynamics and the I Ching. I can only imagine what my professors from U.C.L.A. and the University of Michigan (where I earned a Ph.D. in Psychology and in Social Work) would have thought. Pretty far out stuff,this mystical psychology, but my personal journey had barely begun.

The grueling, six year, double Ph.D. program at Michigan had cost every participant their health and/or marriage. Barely half the doctoral students even completed the program. I graduated with disabling back pain and a severe aggravation of post traumatic stress disorder that originated in childhood abuse.

One day, Sandy, one of my Boulder college graduate students told me I should visit the alternative healer she had been seeing for several years. He was “really unorthodox” and the treatments could seem pretty scary, she informed me, but he was a real magician. After weeks of internal debate, and unremitting physical pain, I decided to consult the unfailingly wise guidance of the I Ching. I decided to give this Harvey person a try when the I Ching assured me that it was a great opportunity.

Sandy drove me the 30+ miles to an unimpressive little two bedroom house on Hooker street in Denver. The yard-less house was surrounded by a blacktop parking lot on a commercial side street. We entered the front door where the former “living room” was nearly vacant. Ahead we saw in the small dining room area, the man I had–with apprehension and doubt–come to see.

The former “dining area” had folding chairs around the walls and two stools at one end for Harvey and the client to sit on during treatments, but from the front door, only the small reception desk was visible. Then came my first glimpse of the storied Harvey, a trim, fierce-looking, impeccably-dressed gentleman near 70 years of age who was just starting to get up from the desk.

He was holding his back and groaning as he very slowly stood up from the desk. Sandy rushed over to help him as the thought flashed through my head, “This is what you might expect from someone his age…” followed by: “This is the guy who’s supposed to heal me?” He looked like he had exact same problem I did! Except that half way through this little drama of painful arising–and to my total amazement–Harvey suddenly leaped high into the air and came down laughing like a madman. He glanced briefly over at me and then went about his business. Being as bright and educated as I am, it only took me about six months to realize that this had been my first Harvey lesson.

Somehow he knew all about my ailment, and he had perfectly imitated my behavior, which admittedly may have been understandable for some seventy-year-olds. The problem was that I was only in my forties at the time, while the 70-year-old was the one laughing and leaping for joy. I now know his message made it clear that one can be free of pain at any age, or disabled by it at any age and it also demonstrated that he knew me before he even met me.

His tricksterish stunt capsulized my secret goal of many years: to progress from how he started to get up to how he finished that movement. He had visually enacted a the transcendence of disability in a way I can still see to this day. Holy cow, I thought, who the hell is this guy?!

I have since had dreams of being fined for parking my car in a disabled parking spot (since I didn’t really qualify as disabled) and there are many dreams in which I joyfully run and suddenly realize I can jump over objects. Harvey acted out the eventual wisdom of my dreams in the very first minute of our first encounter. He was planting seeds of healing years before those same messages began appearing in my dreams. I took a seat on a metal folding chair and watched this suspicious character like a hawk.

Standing at one end of the room by the two treatment stools, Harvey would often just look around the room and point wordlessly at whoever was next. The client (or was it victim?) would sit on the black stool and Harvey sat on a white stool right behind them. I couldn’t help thinking about the color of the hats worn worn by the good and bad guys in old cowboy movies.

He generally started by taking the person’s neck in his vise-like grip and cranking it one way and then the other. He would often close his eyes a moment as if receiving instructions from some other realm or maybe looking right into the person with x-ray vision (both later proved to be the case) and then he would spring back into action.

Harvey moved with a fierce and absolute certainty. Sitting or standing behind you, he often, told stories or jokes, generally to someone else in the room or to the whole group. I later discovered that these tales were multi-layered instructions that often had very different meanings to each person in the room. Dreams have this same universal quality, carrying unique messages to all who hear them. Harvey created stories with the profound complexity of dream wisdom, stories which I still continue to decode and learn from, many years later.

Occasionally, Harvey would describe the problem he was working on and how it had originated as if we were all young interns doing medical rounds. Next he would sit behind them and put one knee in their low back and pull their entire body back against it, realigning the vertebrae and blasting chi (or palm healing energy) from his knee right into the regions along the spine. Soon his other knee went to the other side of their spine and another fierce yank would pull them back against it. Slowly vertebra by vertebra he worked his way up the spine.

Often, he would then work on the neck again, cranking it varying degrees in either or both directions. Finally, mercifully, he would be nearly finished. For his finale, he would signal you to stand up, he would step behind you and take you in a full nelson head lock, tell you to relax and then yank you completely off the ground (including many 300 pounders). This blasts the loosened energies and broken-up obstructions up through the crown chakra and upward away from the planet (he once explained to me). I believe it did just that, not to mention terrifying the newcomer.

The huge woman whose Harvey “treatment” came just before mine, was an accomplished screamer. She yelled and wailed and begged for mercy while shrieking repeatedly: “Oh Harvey you’re killing me” after every jarring blast of his special blend of karate chiropractic. (It turned out she did this every week and was deeply loyal to Harvey!)

It was no coincidence that Harvey’s unmarked business establishment–called unobtrusively the “Herb Shop”–was located right behind a Karate school. Harvey even made sharp chi exhalations of his breath that resembled karate sounds with every healing blow he delivered. He later told me that the violent blows at the karate school provided cover in the invisible realms for his activities. He also said that the sounds he made provided a kind of overflow or release valve that kept him from delivering too much force and breaking something (you have no idea how much I grew to appreciate those strange sounds).

It did not surprise me even slightly when I learned that Harvey had been a bomber pilot in WW II and was often the spotter for enemy targets. He was now using his knees to deliver a bomb-like explosion of the energy that is normally applied ever so gently in the healing arts called palm healing (or Reiki or Therapeutic Touch) to blast regions of impacted energy along the spine.

I have never seen anything like it before or since and on my first visit I was truly terrified. (On all later visits I was only marginally terrified–as well as deeply grateful to him). I told Sandy, “This is so intense (by which I meant violent) that if he doesn’t know exactly what he’s doing, he could cripple me for life!” I clearly had a huge decision to make, sitting nervously on my metal chair.

When Harvey finally turned and pointed at me, I knew with great certainty–in that moment–that he did know exactly what he was doing and I decided to risk my mobility and my health on that fact. I have always been an intuitive truth teller and I know instantly when certain things are true. It may have something to do with being born a double. I was born at 11:44 pm on 8-8-1947. I had two mother figures and two father figures during my childhood and grew up to get two masters degrees and two Ph.D’s, etc. etc.

I took my place on the stool in front of Harvey and said, “Do you want me to show you where my problem areas are?” After several years of chiropractic treatment with two different doctors we had pinpointed the specific vertebrae that were the source of trouble; I wanted to give Harvey the benefit of all that effort. Harvey said the weirdest thing in response: “You can talk if you want to.” Which I (eventually) would learn was his second lesson for me and it referred to my hyper-verbal doctoral-trained approach to everything. Harvey relied a great deal upon mind to mind communication and direct knowing, both of which worked all the better the less one spoke. But in that moment, I was so surprised I just sat totally quiet for a moment.

Before I could speak, Harvey put his finger exactly on the first trouble spot and said, “This is the lower one.” Putting his finger exactly on the second trouble spot, he said “this is the second one,” and perfectly pinpointing the third area he said “and this is the third one.” Then he pressed on a point on my upper neck from both sides and (just as soon as I finished shouting a bit), he said, “And that’s the one you don’t know about.” After a pause to digest all this I said, “Why don’t you just go ahead and work.”

During my wild and intense first treatment–with vertebrae leaping into new positions, stagnant energies getting blasted and clenched muscles being stretched, Harvey chattered happily away. He talked about a psychiatrist friend of his who had various problems and discussed how he was working to resolve some of them. It took me a year to realize that everything Harvey had said was actually about me! I told you I was bright.

Since I had recently earned doctorates in psychology and in social work, he knew that my professional prejudice against psychiatry as a profession was sufficient that all he had to do to hide the meaning of all his insights about me from my conscious mind, was to say that this imaginary person he was discussing was a psychiatrist. He knew I would never identify with “one of those people” and that he could then directly discuss my own case with me without me, having the slightest hint that I was the topic.

He proceeded to plant the seeds of my growth in my unconscious without my ego debating or resisting whatsoever! By the time I figured out this cheap trick, I had already come to see the truth of each of his points! How unprofessional: to have a case conference about the doctor with the doctor without telling the doctor. Talk about a trickster!

When the treatment was done, Harvey cranked my neck so hard that 5 vertebrae moved all at once; I was terrified I might never move again. However, I soon found that my neck now moved freely and painlessly for the first time in years. Then came the finale, the standing full-nelson in which I was jerked completely off the ground which stretched and decompressed every region of my spine. I was very, I mean very glad to be done with the process. I mumbled a stunned “Thanks” and headed back to the security of my folding chair.

Harvey waited for a moment or two, looked around the room, and then–to my shock and horror–he pointed straight at me for a second time! In all the years I would later go back to Harvey, I never again saw him give anyone two complete treatments in this way. I initially felt a wave of terror at having to go through the entire process a second time as if I had not just been treated (or was it mistreated?!). And at the same time a ray of hope was ignited deep within me: Harvey was the first person who had ever known at first glance that I was a double and would require two separate treatments.

When I was finished, (and boy was I finished!) I put the suggested $5 donation in the basket on the table (paying only once, thank you very much, for the double treatment) and left with a few simple instructions that he gave me. In the car heading back to Boulder, I felt remarkably pain free except for one place atop my left shoulder (at a meridian for chi energies). It felt like a chunk of the exact pain I know all too well from the low back. A “chunk” of “low back pain” was somehow “stuck in the channel” on my shoulder. The area felt “as sore as if it had been hit with a ball peen hammer,” I recall telling Sandy… but the pain was definitely low back pain.

Sandy said to wiggle and stay loose so anything Harvey had “broken loose” could “flow out.” After a day this weird, I figured I would give anything a try. I knew from past experience that it would take several days for a pain of this level to go away, yet after a few minutes of wiggling, I felt it move up through and finally out of the shoulder suddenly and completely. I had never felt pain behave that way, but it was suddenly gone. How, I wondered, does low back pain get broken into chunks and then how does it flow up through the body and then how can it escape through your shoulder? Not that I was complaining about it being gone! Only about my fractured world view and the disruption of my doctoral-strength false certainty. What would be next, I wondered, and rightly so.

Back home in Boulder, I had Sandy drive us straight to Liquor Mart where I bought a bottle of champagne and we went to 4 mile creek and drank it all. I sat on the ground for the first time in 20 years and I felt no pain, no clenching, no discomfort… only the ecstasy of complete health. And any worrisome, negative attitudes had left along with the pain! I lost the pain in my neck and stopped being one at the same time! I was ecstatic. I falsely assumed (that didn’t take long did it?) that this single, well double, treatment had completely cured me, as I was to see happen to many other people that Harvey worked on in the years to come. But that was not Harvey’s purpose with me.

For the next three days, Harvey held all the negative forces affecting my body and mind at bay. I was mobile, flexible and intensely joyous for 3 full days. I awoke each morning thrilled to be alive, deeply grateful to be living in Colorado, and eager to leap into one constructive task after another all day long. I recall asking myself out loud, “Wow, who is this cheerful character I am waking up to each morning… and where has he been all my life?”

After the initial 3 days, my condition very gently and very gradually returned to a state one large step better than where I had begun, but I had been shown the goal state. I have been given the unforgettable and irrefutable, experiential evidence that I have carried with me ever since and which I will never forget: In this lifetime, in this body, I can be totally healthy and ecstatically joyful… not to mention deeply grateful. That extraordinary direct experience and the hope it instilled has sustained my efforts for these many years since, as I learn by my own efforts–with many crucial Harvey lessons and hints–how to heal myself and how to teach others what I learn.

I saw Harvey heal many others completely, sometimes in a single session or within a month or two. Some came in with crutches and walked out carrying them. He did all the work and they just had to show up. At first I felt cheated, when I compared myself with with these folks. Until I noticed that Harvey never compared. He gave each person whatever was for their highest good and it was never exactly the same for any two people.

I finally realized that Harvey was paying me an extraordinary compliment. He saw me not as a wounded expert, but as a beginning wounded healer. He expected me to activate and develop my own healing powers. He was refusing to do for me what he knew I could achieve myself. A warrior by nature, he would not weaken me by doing for me what I came here to learn to do myself. And for this respect, and for the unique help and guidance I received, I am forever grateful.

Pollution in the Modern World Leads to Modern Problems

In this modern world as scientists produce new technology for the welfare of mankind it only results in new luxuries being produced. This attitude by people towards the environment is changing because they want more and more luxuries and they are destroying the environment for this reason.

They use instruments like fridges, air conditioners etc that release C.F.C’s in the environment which in turn deplete the Ozone layer but these gadgets not used before the 19th century, according to recent researches the depletion of ozone has increased by about 50% in the 20th century. The uncontrolled deforestation to built buildings for their own accommodation is increasing the oxygen content in the atmosphere, which is leading to global warming. The increasing riots also increase pollution as many cars are set on fire during the riots. This increases the temperature of that place as well as the global temperature; wars are also producing much type of pollutions like air, water, land, noise and radiation. The testing of missiles produce toxic radioactive gases like Radon, Xenon, So2 ,Co etc.

The increasing use of plastic bags leads to the pollution of the land and the sea. These plastic when buried in the earth do not decompose and convert that land into bad land not suitable for agriculture; throwing these plastic bags into the sea kills the fish. The use of loud speakers at late night parties, marriages Noise come from all over the place. Noise from road traffic, jet planes, jet skies, garbage trucks, construction equipment, manufacturing processes, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and boom boxes, to name a few, are among the audible litter that are routinely broadcasted in the air or from road traffic, jet planes, jet skies, garbage trucks, construction equipment, manufacturing processes, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and boom boxes lead to increase in sound pollution which have many harmful effects like disturbance in sleep, deafness etc.

At the end I would like to say that if this trend of modernization continues we will ultimately change the earth into a place, which will be full of pollution and unsuitable for flora and fauna.

A Bondage of Education

From a very early age I can remember my parents, teachers, and friends discussing this idea of education. What it is, what it should be, what it could be, but more importantly how I would use it to “further” my life. I had this notion that education was going to school, memorizing what the teacher said, applying it to a test, and repeating the routine for the next twelve years. The term “career ready” is not only what gave me the desire to have straight A’s in high school, but what brought me to a university. I came with hope to finally break away from the restraint that I believed was only a result of what a high school education could do to an individual’s mind, but quickly came to realize that a “liberal education” from college was not that different. Liberal education was designed to free individuals from the bonds that society placed upon them, but present-day education is what holds those bonds together.

I will never forget the first time I failed a test. It was in fifth with one of my favorite teachers. I remember receiving the test back with a zero on the front and instantly covering the test up so no one could not see the sign of failure. The teacher must have seen my shock because I was told to stay after class. She explained to me how I had made a 100 but I did not “take the test right” which is what resulted in the zero. From then on, I developed what college students call “test anxiety.” I worked to follow directions, to be structured, and to never ask a question that could possibly be wrong. I made straight A’s, participated in school organizations, was president of my class, and lived to fill the resume that would be sent to potential colleges. I did what students are expected to do. When I came to college I was excited because I could finally learn outside the perimeters of standardized tests. What I did not expect was to hear phrases from professors such as, “don’t worry this will not be on the test,” or having to spend thirty minutes of class listening to students ask how many questions will be on the exam. Teachers from my high school always told us, “college will not be like this, so enjoy it while you can,” but it was all the same. Listen, take notes, memorize, take test, repeat.

I began to realize that maybe this was what education was intended to be. A system that engrains students with the idea that to conform and restrain one’s mind to standardization is what makes us “successful.” David Brooks discusses how college students are “goal-orientated… a means for self-improvement, resume-building, and enrichment. College is just one step on the continual stairway of advancement and they are always aware that they must get to the next step.” Students go through elementary, junior high, high school, and now even universities not to “free our minds” or truly educating ourselves, but to climb the ladder of social order. One can relate education to Plato’s cave allegory, “they are in it from childhood with their legs and necks in bonds so that they are fixed, seeing only in front of them unable because of the bond to turn their heads.” This system of education that parents, professors, politicians, employers, and even students talk so highly about is not about producing the world’s next great minds, it is about producing the world’s next source of capital. Society has taken a liberal education and twisted it to where it will fit students into its workplace.

Everyone says that your first semester of college is the hardest. You move away from home, meet new people, and are thrown into a whole new environment. I knew it would be tough, but never thought I would be the student that curled onto her dorm room rug and cried over a seventy-eight on a couple of tests. I had made back-to-back “failing grades” in my mind and had the mindset that I could never recover. What could I accomplish without a 4.0 GPA and four years on the Deans List? To make matters worse, I received a zero for a homework assignment. Believing that there must have been something wrong, I made my way to my TAs office hours where he proceeded to tell me that I did great on the assignment but had to give me a zero based on a small technicality. That is when I had the realization that a modern-day college education has nothing to do with a liberal education. From then on, every test I would take and grade that followed would no longer determine how I would go about learning. I decided that in order to receive a true liberal education I had to throw away every concept of what I thought education was. In Plato’s book I was reminded that “education is not what the professions of certain men assert it to be” and when I decided to make my way out of ‘the cave’ of education I was thankful for the realization that I had broken the bonds that society tried so hard to place tightly around me. Leo Strauss said that a “liberal education supplies us with experience in things beautiful,” and that is when an individual is truly free.

I sometimes think about where I would be if I had the mindset that I do now about education when I received that zero if fifth grade. Would I have waved it in the air as a badge of pride representing how I refused to conform to the institution instead of hiding it from my friends in shame or would I had done it all the same? A true liberal education is what enables individuals to achieve, admire, and model greatness. So, when I hear a professor repeat the phrase “don’t worry, this won’t be on the test,” a part of me wonders if even they have given up on helping break the bonds placed upon us.

My Grandfather Was a Modern Day Viking Beserker

Viking- Berserker

Modern day scholars say that Berserker’s were Norse warriors who wore coats of wolf or bear skins and fought in a trance of fury. I say that they were much more than that. I believe they actually transformed into wolves and bears!

Modern day man has lost all of his spirituality and therefore the belief in Supernatural happenings is lost to him. But the writings of thousands of scholars pre 1900’s, (When there was still some spiritual energies in the world) wrote about shape shifting and shape changing.

Look at the modern day classics, “Dracula” and the “Wolf Man.” My Rune Master told me when it comes to believing what was written, “where there is smoke there is fire.”

I have proof of a Berserker in my own family. Though he didn’t change shape. My grandfather, who was born in Sweden, would bite on his tongue and go into a Rage whenever he fought. Which he did many times. He was gassed in France during WW1. He fell off a three story building while tarring a roof (and drunk). He lost the use of his left arm. In his 80’s he would take his SS check, go to his favorite bar, throw the check on the bar and say “Throw me out when this is gone. If you can.” He still fought in his 80’s with one arm.

Berserkers were also known as Odin’s warriors, for they all carried spears and had runes either tattooed or drawn on their bodies.

King Harolds’s army included a warrior gang of Berserker’s who fought under the name of the Norse God of War, Tyr. They all carried Tyr’s rune, on their shields int battle.

Berserker’s are mentioned in the Ynglinga Saga. “Odin’s warriors rushed forward without armor, they were as mad a wolves or bears, bit their shields and were as strong as wild Bulls, and killed people in one blow, but neither fire nor iron told upon themselves…”

Berserker’s appear in many of the Sagas and poems including “The Saga of Hrolf Krakl.”

In Egil’s Saga, Egil’s grandfather was named Kueld-ulf which means “Werewolf.” Kueld-ulf’s son, Skalla-Grimm was a Berserker.

The Varangian Guard (Norse Warriors working in the service of the Byzantine Empire) performed a “Berserker Dance” wearing animal skins and masks.

In 1015, Janc Eirkr Hakonarson of Norway outlawed Berserker’s and sentenced them to out lawry. By the 1100’s organized Berserker war bands disappeared.

But according to our new laws of Quantum Physics, Berserker’s still exist in the Quantum Ocean. You might want to attract one or two of them to protect your property if you live in a bad part of town.