I really want to thank you for reading my last letter - yes, the long one - and for giving me very valuable feedback. Generally the main thoughts were that the letter was too long. Of those who responded, 34% loved it, 56% hated it and about 10% were neutral (100% of Americans liked it and were very familiar with that type of approach). In that letter I said that I would ask you to complete a survey regarding what it is you would like from me on the subject of an expanded service of E-Reports. To that end, if you would like to give your input, you could and complete the online form, which will take about 3 minutes. In this survey one of the questions is "Would you like to receive a detailed report on what the responses were to the Long Marketing Letter?" If the majority of people would like this, then I will send this t o you. Once again, thank you.
That's all for now, the interview is below - I do hope you enjoy it.
All The Best for the New Year
Interview with David Busch
David - Well CALM is perhaps an unlikely word to describe someone who’s seen action in Vietnam and had his three teenage daughters brutally murdered. But it is a word that describes Sandy MacGregor. And not just the man, but also the organisation that he’s founded, which takes the acronym CALM. It’s all about tapping the enormous power of the subconscious mind which can offer real benefits for learning and also for finding inner power to endure hardship and trauma. Sandy lives in Sydney and he’s written several best selling books, including No Need For Heroes, about his exploits in Vietnam, where he won a decoration for bravery, Piece of Mind, and Switch On To Your Inner Strength. For Sandy MacGregor, there’s a close link between the subconscious and the spiritual. And it’s a dimension to life which he’s had to learn through considerable adversity, including the senseless killing of his three daughters.
Sandy - My three daughters, Jenny, Kirsty and Lexie - Jenny and Kirsty were twins at 19, Lexie she was 16 the next day actually, were murdered back in January 1987. It was quite some time ago now. It was a shotgun murder... crazy... no rhyme nor reason ... one minute they are there, the next minute they are not there. It was my journey of disbelief and hatred, and anger and revenge, and the grief that came out of all of that, that lead me to use methods which my son taught me earlier to be able to handle the tragedy.
David - That is your son Andrew who had asthma, is that correct?
Sandy - Yes, that’s right. 14 years ago now, Andrew had asthma for all his life, and he ended up on cortisone drip when he was 17 years old ... in a hospital... near death’s door. I said, “Hey Andrew, we’ve done everything right, lets go to a different sort of thing.” And I took him to a doctor, who showed him how to use his subconscious mind. And I’d never heard the word subconscious at tha t stage. You know, I’m a military guy, through Duntroon Military College, then I went through Sydney University, and I’m one of these people.... doing civil engineering, you know a retired colonel, and a military cross in Vietnam with tunnel searches and all that sort of thing. And you know, I’m one of these left brain, analytical, prove-it-to-me people. And yet Andrew had been told about this ‘mind’ that I’d never heard of, this subconscious mind, and immediately, within 2 weeks time, Andrew started to get better. And then he broke his leg and we had another chance to prove it, because the doctor, the professor at the hospital was going to cut his leg off. And I said, “Good Lord, Why professor?” And he said, “Well he has to be on cortisone to handle the infection.” And I said, “But surely we can do something.” And he said, “No, cortisone inhibits the growth of bone marrow and cortisone is required to prevent gangrene. The leg which is totally shattered will never heal.” So I got the other doctor back in. And the other doctor said, “Look, I’ll show Andrew how to handle it with his mind. And he’ll be able to help his healing, control his pain so that he can get off cortisone. The Professor at the hospital will be able to reduce his cortisone and will probably do the operation on his leg.” And that is precisely what happened. Another miracle! That was when I said, “Hey Andrew teach me!”
[[Inserted by Sandy - It is important to note that this today is called Psycho-Neuro-Immunology and the technique of enhancing our own immune systems using guided imagery and visualisation to aid us in areas such as cancer is an established fact]]
David - You’d had experience in Vietnam and in fact got a medal for bravery. How did you assimilate the violence and trauma of that experience in Vietnam, in your own mind, in your own subconscious or your own soul. Or had you kind of developed a wall around that inner life within you that you didn’t want to acknowledge?
Sandy - No not really David. With Vietnam I was extremely lucky if you like. I was the first commander of troop engineers in Vietnam and we went there pretty early, 1965/66, so there was no animosity if you like, back here in Australia. And as such, I had a pretty exciting command. We were the fist people who dealt with things like explosives, and booby traps, and unexploded bombs and tunnel search concepts. So when I came back to Australia, I came back to the school of Military Engineering, and the information that I had was very much wanted and demanded by all, particularly the engineers that were going to Vietnam. So you see, I was in a situation whereby I could keep on talking about our experiences. And as long as you keep talking about your experiences, then I believe that helps. It’s when you push it down, bottle it up and you hide it that it becomes a challenge. We push it to the subconscious mind, that's where memory is and the subconscious mind is the one that needs to handle it. How does it do that? With hot sweats, nightmares, unexplained anger, irrational action..... . But you see, that means you haven’t handled it. So, I think whilst I had some of those symptoms that I was able to handle the events of Vietnam better than many, particularly the death of soldiers and enemy.
David - So 20 years later, you are having to deal with the violent death of your daughters. What was different. One, of course in a war setting, but of course the other very personal... did you have someone to talk to about your daughters tragic murder at that stage?
Sandy - Yes, this is what was an enormous gift to me, that I had wonderful friends around me and these friends kept me talking, and they realised the importance of talking. Because for all our listeners right now David, I really believe that the best thing that anyone can do when they are going through any sort of trauma is to talk about it. And for the friends around them, to insist that they talk about it. So you see that’s what happened with me. And then I had this ability to be able to use the power of my mind, once again taught to me by Andrew, in meditation. And it was in this meditative quiet time that I basically had like a thought come to me which said.... “Hey if you persist to be hateful, full of anger and full of revenge, then you are going to end up like that.” And do you know, it was like a thunder bolt to me! And as soon as that was said inside my mind I thought, “Hey, I’m at choice point here. If I want to be hateful, angry and revengeful then keep on thinking like I am right now!” And that is when I got further assistance and I said.... No I don’t want to be like that. And I worked with acceptance, co-operation, love, unconditional love and then forgiveness. And that is what I went through, and that’s when I realised the power of the subconscious mind... it is just unbelievabl e, and we should all be taught about it David.
David - But in the maelstrom of emotional feeling of angst, anger and grief that person would quite rightly feel, when life dishes out such tragedy and hurt. How do you find that still, small, calm in the centre which, enables you to put, if you like, an eternal perspective on that sort of thing.... it would just be too hard for some people?
Sandy - Yes I can understand that David, and believe you me I really went through it myself anyway even though I had all this knowledge. And I think it’s the right process to go through. I mean the grief process is different for all of us. My son for instance, Ian, he’s 12, experienced grief recently, whereby he had to change from year 6 at one school and he has to go to a new school year 7, High school now. He had to leave all his friends behind, everyone behind. And he went through a lot of trauma, a lot of grief. Now the other thing is, a person c an have a cat that dies, or lose a job or anything, and I really do believe that some people can handle it better than others, and one should never ever compare the grief that we are going through. That is the first thing I would say. The second thing is that going through whatever comes up is the right thing to do. So, hatred, anger, revenge, denial, you know, all of those things is the right way. It is just then, finding the right tools to go beyond that. That’s what I knew rationally in my mind, and that’s what I had... these tools of meditation. Like changing habits in the subconscious mind, that’s what I was doing really. I was changing habits. Getting acceptance, and love, and forgiveness.
David - We all have lots of things to forgive ourselves for, and you’ve had to work through forgiveness, not just of yourself, but of the murderer of your three young girls. How important is forgiveness and letting go for the future?
Sandy - If we look at forgiveness....Who are we doing forgiveness for? And when you answer that question, and when you get down to the meat of that question, it is for yourself. So, am I really forgiving the murderer, for him?... No, that’s his journey. I’m forgiving the murderer for myself... so that I can get on with my life. He’s responsible for his life, I now am responsible for my life. So when I looked at it from the point of view of... well, if I don’t forgive, what is going to happen.... I will become this hateful, revengeful type of person... and that’s what can cause dis-ease. So I didn’t want to be like that. So when I got to the stage of analysing all of this, and of course this left brained stuff for me really comes out hard... I mean understanding unconditional love was a beauty too. But really I know that I have done it for me. Not for any one else. So when I know I’m doing it for me, when I feel quite comfortable with the fact that I am forgiving that part of this murderer that i s in fact joined to me, that part of him that is similar to me, which is the God within him, that’s the bit that I feel very comfortable with, and I know that I have done that for myself.
David - So this inner strength that you talk about that we can access through adversity..... what is the source of that? It is simply a psychic kind of a strength, or is there a spiritual dimension to it as you understand it? How do you describe it, what are we accessing here?
Sandy - I would understand David, that we are really tapping into our true spiritual strength. It’s a spiritual dimension. It is tapping into that energy that’s inside, which some people can call God, some people can call soul/spirit, whatever it is. You know many people have different ways of describing what God is, and I personally believe that I am really tapping into part of God’s energy, that is within me. What I am tapping into, in spiritual dimensions, is my own inner strength. Now t hat inner strength we tap into, is usually only when we go through adversity. What I am saying, is that we can tap into that deliberately at any time. And that’s what I teach about and that’s what I have proven so many times. You don’t have to go through adversity before you can tap into that.
David - When you say that it’s the God within, is there also a sense of a God without... is there a transcendent dimension to this sort of power?
Sandy - Absolutely, God is within everything, that’s my personal belief.
David - Is God also beyond though. Is there a source greater than us that exists outside of us as well.
Sandy - Absolutely, it is sort of like... let’s look at the sun. The sun has an enormous amount of energy. You know if you look at all those sun rays, back through the sun, the body of the sun... they are all joined together. But the supreme energy source is the sun itself. I believe personally, that we, through God’s energy, are all joined, and back through, if you like, the body of God, which is a source that cannot be compared to the sun, it’s just a form of analogy. That we are just little bits and pieces that can tap into this greater universal mind, God’s mind, energy, all that sort of thing.
David - Are you surprised to hear yourself speak like this Sandy, like in a previous incarnation would you have regarded yourself as a religious person with this kind of sensitivity?
Sandy - I tell you what David, I reckon this lifetime, I’ve had three or four lifetimes, you know after going through the military scene, I then went into mining and engineering, after that I was into consulting work, and now I am in a wonderful, wonderful field of making a difference. Working with people to be able to show them how they can use their own inner strength and power. You can do that so quickly, like in 30 seconds I teach them to be able to relax and release stress... .. I don't teach them in 30 seconds!.... but I teach them that they can do it within 30 seconds. I marvel at my journey and I love every moment of it. There are many things that I’m not proud of in my life, that’s for sure. By the same token, there is no sense in feeling guilty about it. One of the major ways of getting through guilt I believe, is... well I did the best that I could do with the tools I had... I’ll do better next time. And you know, I reckon I’m into ... next time... I’m doing better next time.
David - So are you suggesting there is not a part of your life that you would change if you had a chance, given all the things that have happened?
Sandy - I guess there are things that I wish I wouldn’t have to go through. I mean often I reflect on Jenny, Kirsty and Lexie, and when I really indulge myself, I think of the grandchildren and the times that we could have had, and all those sorts of things. That is when I get very very self indulgent. Yes, there are things that I would like to change, but by the same token it’s all a part of my own development I think.
David - The spiritual mystics, Sandy, talk about not just a range of techniques, for example meditation or stress relaxing or whatever, but an encounter with a spiritual reality that has a much more profound and sustained, transformative impact on the life and character of a person. Do you suggest that there is also that kind of spiritual source or energy or presence that can permeate our life, and change the very way in which we live?
Sandy - There is no doubt about that David. I believe that if we want to call upon that source to be able to assist us, then it can permeate the way we live. All we need to do is ask for it. In other words ... what are we talking about... praying. You know ... that’s one of the major things I believe... that is why I believe active meditation is a form of prayer... you can call it all sorts o f things, but that’s what it is. But then again, if you apply it to creativity and being able to solve a problem, or to get an idea for a painting, you wouldn’t say... well... that’s prayer. But by the same token, what would you call it?
David - So, where do your understandings sit in context with the mainstream religious traditions where prayer is part of the stock-in-trade of what they offer. Are you simply building on those ancient traditions or is there something complimentary or different about what you’re offering?
Sandy - Well, I’d say it’s complimentary. We talk about it in a different way. For instance, I don’t really talk about prayer, as such, until I do a much deeper seminar, which I call a CHI seminar, which actually stands for Creating Happiness Intentionally,.... life’s purpose stuff ... and that is where you actually work with prayer, and spirituality, and all the rest of it. Because it is all allied, it is all part of us and there are dimensions here that we can all use and all do use, whether we are atheists or not. And I’m not!
David - Why aren’t you.... why aren’t you an atheist?
Sandy - Aahhh, because I totally believe in the power of God, I totally believe in the power of Jesus the Christ. And that power is enough, that I have experienced to know that it exists.
David - What do you understand then to be the link between spirituality, and health, and healing. What is the intersection between physical well being and spiritual or psychic strength?
Sandy - One of the major interactions that I believe that we must have for health, is that we must love ourselves. And when I say love ourselves, I mean really take responsibility for ourself. Take responsibility for our own healing and our own area. And I believe loving ourself is that first step to self-confidence, self-esteem and indeed healing. I believe that we are responsible for ourselves in s uch a way that we can influence what goes on. And for instance, medicine right now, is showing how we can actually increase our own ‘T’ cell count, we can actually increase our own immune system. I work with this. By the same token, in doing that, I believe that we are taking all the steps for responsibility for ourselves, loving ourselves, and indeed when we are loving ourselves, that’s when I believe we love others, and that’s where I believe we tap into the spiritual dimension of things. You see, love is the highest form of any action there is in the world, as far as I’m concerned.
David - What about the hard questions, the ‘Why’ questions, about suffering, adversity and trauma. Where do you go with those questions?
Sandy - Well, I guess on a greater scene, I really believe that we have almost planned our own life. We have almost selected the lessons that we need to go through. And I think that once we can we take the responsibility of saying.. . okay, well these lessons have come up for me, this is what I must need in this lifetime, then we can then start to look at them in a different way. So instead of saying “Why Me”, we can begin to say “WHY NOT ME”, and then we can begin to do things like using our dis-ease, if you like as a reset button, so that we can start to look at ourselves and get out of whatever is happening the best that we can get. So that we start to look at all of our experiences in life, in such a way, that each one is a stepping stone, each one is indelibly imprinting on our soul an experience, and the soul wants that experience. That’s the way I believe it.
David - Sandy MacGregor.... quite an amazing person.
The CDs are wonderful. I'm now using them on a daily basis and things are indeed changing. On January 1st, I suffered a heart attack and had to be rushed to the hospital where I had three stents implanted. I spent two days in the cardiac care unit and then released. I had no idea I was so ill! And still can't believe I actually had a heart attack. There was no damage to the heart muscle because I got help so quickly. Two more stents will be inserted on the 3rd of February and I'm looking forward to getting that done. My husband was amazed at my calm throughout the whole affair, but I have to credit that to you and the peaceful place exercise. I was able to remain calm fully knowing what was happening. On the way to the ER, I kept telling him to slow down and that I would be alright. I can't believe how much better I feel since I had the stents done but am still having to take it easy. I'm so glad that I did not have to have open heart surgery.If this had happened just a few years ago, this would have been a quintuple bypass operation. But I am doing fine. By the way the first time I tried the Healing Yourself CD - I did it at night just before bedtime. I was so energized after I did it, that I wanted to get up and do housework or work on my gourds. Of course, I didn't. But find it best to do it in the morning and in the afternoon. J.N. LA USA
The CD's are going great, I feel for the first time that I have permanently quit smoking. T.D. Qld
We had a great time at your last seminar in Warabrook. It was a great refresher. I am still using my Peaceful Place. In fact it came in very handy last week when I was walking my 2 Dalmatians. The dogs pulled me over trying to chase a rabbit and skinned my knees in the process.My peaceful place stopped the pain, the bleeding and my frustration with the mongrels. B.K. NSW