richard bartlett’s matrix energetics workshops have become tremendously popular—not just because the experience is a cross between a healing seminar and a rock concert, but because what he teaches changes peoples’ lives in ways they never thought possible. what started for richard bartlett as a series of treatments in his chiropractic practice has evolved into a “technology of consciousness” for opening the doors of possibility. here he talks to us about matrix energetics and what makes it so unique.
sounds true: you call matrix energetics a “technology of consciousness.” what does that mean?
richard bartlett: one of the challenges in teaching matrix energetics is you don’t want to over-define it. you don’t want to pigeonhole it as a technique or a method of problem-solving, because that imposes limitations. matrix energetics is about expanding our perceptual model. each person has a set point, like a thermostat, for what they’re willing to believe, what they’re willing to experience in the next moment, and what they can actually sense in the world.
with matrix energetics, you acknowledge that every model has limitations. then you realize that you don’t have to play by those limitations—and the key word is “play.” once you do that, you embrace the idea that change can be instantaneous, and you don’t have to worry about how that change going to show up. all this is to invite the power of grace. grace is that limitless potential for something to happen, literally, miracles to happen. the miracles happen in between the spaces of conscious awareness.
sounds true: what do you mean by the “spaces between?”
richard bartlett: our left-brain consciousness puts things together like frames in a movie, processing snapshots of experience in a way that appears to be one continuous activity. it works at a speed of maybe one to twelve experiences per second. the brain takes each snapshot, then filters it through our conceptual model, and strings it together into something that gives an illusion of continuous activity.
once you realize that, you can say, “in the space between my perceptions, anything can happen.” if that’s just a statement in your head it won’t do much, but if you drop down—as we say in matrix energetics—into your heart, that’s the place where intent can work. it can happen in an instant. and if you transcend the limitations of your conceptual model just one time, that can be enough to change everything in your life.
sounds true: when you talk about the place where intent can work, do you mean “focused intention,” as it’s usually talked about?
richard bartlett: not really. when people do practices based on “the power of intention,” they tend to get stuck in the conscious mind. the trouble with focused intent is it’s still based upon what we think can happen. you’re supposed to visualize what you want to happen, which is about imposing an outcome on the universe. that’s a left-brain, rational method and it usually doesn’t work.
sounds true: so would you say the rational mind is an obstacle in matrix energetics?
richard bartlett: i don’t see it that way. look, i have two medical degrees—i’m a huge believer in rationality! the rational mind is your friend. all you need to do is go beyond the idea that you can define reality with just your rational, conscious mind. because it’s much too limited. for that we need the limitless processing power of the right brain, or the unconscious.
there’s something sri aurobindo, the great indian saint, said: “there are no physical laws in the universe. they’re more like suggestions.” what he means is that they’re hypnotic suggestions that our unconscious mind believes. matrix energetics helps you let go of the rigidity of those rules to be more flexible, and yet still retain those rules as appropriate for your reality.
one of the obstacles people hit working with matrix energetics is just the idea that something could be so graceful, so easy, and so without judgment. we don’t believe things can be that simple. one tactic you use to get past this block is to overload the left brain with information. you feed the left brain all of this scientific data it can handle. it’s all true material, and the left brain thinks it understands it, but nobody really does. not even the physicists. so as your left brain tries to chew on that, it gets out of the way of your right brain. and it helps if you do it in a playful way.
sounds true: could you give me an example?
richard bartlett: sure. let’s look at this idea. quantum physics is getting to the point where they’re saying consciousness must be added to any working model of reality. everything has a quantum field, or what rupert sheldrake called a “morphic field” or identity. it’s almost like a blueprint. these morphic fields are like floating clouds of energy, of thought forms, that just wait for someone to have a thought, a feeling, or an intent. our thoughts polarize the quantum field like a magnet, with the larger field actually diffusing into your own the smaller field.
so here’s where you start to play with that concept. think of it like the scene in ghostbusters, when dan akroyd chooses the stay-puft marshmallow man. he thought it was a pretty benign choice, but then it turns into this great monstrosity. our thoughts are like that. they’re like these sticky, stay-puft marshmallow men attempting to destroy the city, and what we have to do is develop different kinds of cities, different kinds of powers, where we learn to trust the innate divinity within us.
you have to realize the universe is completely unreal, just like the yogis talked about. you can’t just hold that as a thought. you have to become self-realized in that knowledge, and that doesn’t require effort. that requires letting go, because the more you try to grasp something like that, the more tangled up you’re going to be in your own thoughts.
the more you practice in a playful manner, a way that really gets you out of the left-brain trap, the more you create this awareness and this morphic field of instantaneous transformation. you don’t have to believe it. you just start out by playing with it, and then, at some point, you realize it’s playing with you.
sounds true: you talk a lot about not the role of silliness and play. are they useful in and of themselves?
richard bartlett: it’s interesting about play. you can redefine “play” to mean anything. if you are driving down the road, and you are fully engaged and enjoying your car, that can be engaged in play. even if you’re stuck in traffic, you can choose to be stressed out, or you can choose to be happy. it’s that attitude.
it’s not play if you’re saying, “well, i’m going to play for five minutes because it’s good for my blood pressure.” i’m sorry. you’re not playing; you’re doing therapy. play is when you completely forget yourself, forget time, forget space, forget that you’re even human, and you’re just occupied with a moment, and you could call it “bliss.” the ancient yogis appeared to be very serious, but they had this kind of twinkle to their eyes, and they had this little smile, kind of like, “i know a joke, which is the universe isn’t real, and it’s just playing with us, and i’m playing back!”
sounds true: there are lots of other healing techniques out there, and you say you don’t want matrix energetics limited to that. what’s the difference between a technique and what you’re calling “a technology of consciousness”?
richard bartlett: a technique is developed to meet the needs of a certain problem. but einstein said that problems can’t be solved at the same level of consciousness that created them. that means you have to transcend your existing conceptual model to really get to the creative potential, or what has been called “the quantum potential,” the hidden awareness in the universe. the way you do this is you let go, you stop seeing yourself as separate, and you play like you mean it. you play like a child, where you’re practically hallucinating.
one of the things that i insist upon in matrix energetics is that it has observable, reproducible phenomenon that can be easily learned and then duplicated by anyone, because if it’s only i that could do it, then maybe you’d have to say, “oh, i’m some fantastic healer.” i’m not the best model for a healer. i do everything wrong. i eat bacon for breakfast, i drink coffee, i don’t smoke because i just can’t stand it, but i mean i probably would if it were just because it’s a vice. i have every vice imaginable, and i can even develop some devices to improve my vices. it’s not about any of that, because if it were, then it would be so limited, no one would be able to approach it, because they’d have to either be holy, or meditating for 20 years, or mastering qi or prana or all of these things.
you can learn that stuff. i even have techniques in matrix energetics, like two-pointing and using the 21 fundamental frequencies. you can learn techniques or practices exactly right and get them down pat, but unless you get into the playful state that lets you set aside the conceptual limits of time and space, your techniques won’t do much. they’ll never transcend what you think is possible.
sounds true: one last question. why do people fall down on stage during your seminars when you use the two-point method on them?
richard bartlett: the falling down thing is just one aspect of a larger phenomenon we see a lot when people first experience matrix energetics. i think it happens because of the sudden understanding that we’re just composed of light, just photons and patterns of information. when we interact with each other on that basis, i think we change the actual spin or velocity of the photons. at that moment the left brain can no longer track reality as being real, the right brain takes over. you expand out. the conscious mind cannot keep up, and people tend to react by falling down. or they go into bliss, or unconsciousness, or silliness, or laughter, or see colors, or hallucinate a frog on the floor next to them, or any number of things. they can experience joy. they can cry. they can literally experience transcendence.
i had a banker who i two-pointed. when i touched him, nothing appeared to happen. someone asked me out in the audience, “well, why didn’t he fall down?”
i said, “i don’t know! let’s ask him!” and i said, “what happened? it didn’t look like much happened when i touched you.”
and he looked at me, he was still having trouble talking, and he said, “when you touched me, my whole body disappeared, i experienced the void, i was out in outer space in a transcendent phenomena that i still cannot describe.”
i said, “okay, thanks for sharing that!”
i’ve seen astonishing things happen to people when they make room for miracles to show up. i’ve seen spontaneous healings—like broken feet getting healed in an instant. these things break our conceptual guidelines, but you realize they’re perfectly natural and normal when you see laws of the universe are more like suggestions.
if we expect miracles, we are more likely to experience them, but that doesn’t mean your life should be predicated on the need for a miracle. when you need a miracle, or you need to be healed, or you need something to happen, your own expectations of what will happen if it doesn’t are in the way. when you let go of the need for something to happen or not happen, that’s where grace resides. and anything’s possible there.
reprinted with permission from sounds true, www.soundstrue.com