What Is Clearing?
by Hank Levin
This article first appeared in The Free Spirit Journal, a magazine dedicated to alternative therapies, in 1997. It was revised and republished in Ivy Magazine in Denmark in 2006, and has been adapted for posting on this website, with the author’s permission. –H.L.
Clearing, as it refers to various systems of either therapy or self-realization, has been around for many years. However, many health and well-being professionals are recently taking notice of Clearing (in one or the other of its many forms), and it seems to be developing an entirely new public. It is therefore the purpose of this article to inform people, in the most basic sense, about the nature of Clearing.
Quite a number of related procedures and proprietary practices today share a common core of techniques, paradigms and beliefs that evolved from Clearing technology. These include such widely diverse groups as Avatar, Idenics, Mastery Services, Metapsychology, Dynamism, Energetics, Dianasis, Access, EST, Forum, Lifespring and others. Even Berkeley Psychic Institute incorporates ideas that can be readily recognized as stemming from the core paradigms of Clearing.
What is the common denominator of the above listed practices, along with all of the proliferation of private independent practitioners who call themselves auditors, facilitators, practitioners, and TIR (traumatic incident reduction) specialists?
There are many activities specifically embarked upon for the purpose of personal transformation and self-actualization. These include hypnotism, psychotherapy, meditation, fire-walking, all sorts of healing practices, religious rituals—and yes, drugs. To what extent (and under what circumstances) can the term “Clearing” be extended to these practices without stretching the definition of Clearing so much as to make it useless?
According to Clearing practitioner and author Homer Smith, Clearing technology is “a growing collection of experimental and established therapeutic techniques designed to help people locate, contact, confront, relive and release otherwise hidden moments of suppressed anguish, pain, anger, fear, sorrow and apathy resulting from loss, deaths, departure, reversal and other trauma in their lives. The result of this activity is the healing of body, heart, mind and soul from psycho-traumatic conditions created by the being to deal with the trauma.”
Mind, Body and Spirit
First of all, the very word Clearing itself implies a certain consideration or “reality” about the nature of the mind, and its relationship to the body and the spirit.
Thus, just as the software is the interface between the operator and the hardware, the mind could be considered the interface between the self and the body.
The term Clearing is a metaphor, a comparison to the modern computer and its software.1 The body, a physical mechanism of solid matter, is analogous to the computer’s hardware. Of course, the computer requires software to carry out its intended function—as well as to operate and co-ordinate its various parts and peripherals. This software is analogous to what we think of as the mind.
Furthermore, the computer requires an operator to function, even if only to give it its original instructions. The analogy for this operator would be the “self”—the being or spirit, however we wish to see it.
Thus, just as the software is the interface between the operator and the hardware, the mind could be considered the interface between the self and the body.
Just as it is possible to have a file (data) in the computer of which the operator cannot bring up on the monitor, it is possible to have a thought, idea or belief of which one is not aware.
Furthermore, it is possible to have things come up on the monitor which one cannot delete—analogous to a persisting thought or fear which one cannot seem to get rid of.
So, one idea fundamental to the various versions of Clearing practice is that our lives and behavior are effected by thoughts, beliefs, memories and decisions which exist but of which we are consciously unaware.
An important aspect of Clearing technology is the reality that an unwanted condition can be ‘deleted’ by the action of viewing it exactly as it is. This idea in itself is not unique to Clearing — it is implied by the very term ‘cognitive therapy’.
And another fundamental idea is that we are at times haunted by thoughts and fears (which can be categorized as mental pictures) which intrude into our consciousness at inappropriate times, affecting our concentration, ability to stay in the moment, and ability to focus effectively.
In the above examples, the contents of the mind were compared to computer files. Most of us characterize the individual units of mental activity as “thoughts.” Clearing practitioners tend to call these individual units mental pictures or mental images. Although the mind is capable of generating not only mental images but also various energy flows as well, the terms “mental pictures” or “mental images” seem to help us in practice to identify these activities in a useful way.
A mental picture can be a mock-up, which implies that it is an original creation, or a facsimile, which implies that it is a copy of something. A mental picture of your family dog would be a facsimile; a mental picture of a totally fictional animal—say, a cat with the head of a rhinoceros—would be a mock-up.
An important aspect of Clearing technology is the reality that an unwanted condition can be “deleted” by the action of viewing it exactly as it is. This idea in itself is not unique to Clearing—it is implied by the very term “cognitive therapy.”
However, the concept of duplication in Clearing is somewhat sophisticated. The underlying principle is that the action of creation in this universe is actually identical to the action of destruction. Thus, when one has created something, the action of deleting (or destroying) it is to “create” it again in exactly the same time and place. This simply cancels out the original creation.
Furthermore, the action of perception is in a way identical to the action of creation. This is why carefully viewing something exactly as it is can eventually make it go away.
Conversely, seeing it as it is not, i.e., inaccurately, can actually make it persist.
Because of the many agreements we have concerning persistence of matter, energy, space and time, this principle is somewhat difficult do demonstrate in the physical universe. But it is quite easily demonstrated in the mind. Mental images are immediately responsive to perfect duplication, and can be “deleted” by viewing them carefully when they are unwanted.
From this metaphysical concept of creation and destruction there follows an awesome catalogue of procedures and rituals to be utilized in remedying all sorts of fears, inhibitions, stress, compulsions—and their acknowledged effect on the physical body as well. This is the province of Clearing.
The Maieutic Method
An important part of Clearing technology is the assumption that, to a very great extent, a person already possesses an innate understanding of their own condition sufficient to change or remedy it. Accordingly, the duty of the practitioner is not to explain or analyze for the subject, or solve their problem or tell them what to do—but to facilitate the subject’s connection with their own understanding and power to perceive what is true for themselves and act accordingly.
This is done by directing the person’s attention into an area where they may not have been willing or able to look before on their own. The most effective technique for doing this is by asking questions rather than by giving information or lecturing.
In the field of philosophy, this is known as the maieutic method. [ma•yoo’•tic–from the Greek maievticos (midwifery)], In it, innate wisdom is elicited through asking questions. as opposed to the didactic method, in which information is imparted through lecturing. It is associated with Socrates, who is said to have used it.
When the practitioner voices an opinion about a client to that client, there are several dangers. The obvious one is that the opinion might be incorrect, in whole or in part. The other danger is that the opinion might be correct, but the client will feel accused, and reject it in a process of denial.
The maieutic method allows clients to experience truth and understanding about themselves through a process of discovery, and validates their own internal awareness, rather than making them reliant on the practitioner or teacher. It has been an important part of the Sufi tradition for centuries, and is largely shared by Buddhist and rabbinical traditions.
In stricter forms of Clearing, much care is taken not to “evaluate” for the subject, i.e., not to tell him what to think about his own particular issues and how he relates to them. Rather, a program of questioning and meditation (direction of attention to specific areas) is instituted which will, hopefully, bring him to a resolution of these issues.
While it is generally acknowledged among Clearing practitioners that this is the best approach, it is often necessary to teach certain principles to the subject which they desperately seem to need to get their lives together. Often this can be done by separating the activities of “training” and “personal sessions” from one another. Nevertheless, it can be a challenge to reconcile the apparent conflict between the two methods (maieutic and didactic) unless the practitioner has organized a program of training that can be kept separate from the private sessions.
Constructing or “mocking up” images that are symbolic of energies or flows is occasionally used in Clearing; this is not unique to Clearing. Anything from a flow or a communication line to an entire personality aspect can be visualized for the purpose of focusing on it and dealing with it.
A communication line that is unwanted (for instance, to or from an antagonistic acquaintance) can be visualized as a brown chord, and a golden pair of scissors can then be used to cut it. This can even be elaborated upon in a ritual that uses real rope and real scissors—an age-old human practice.
A desired communication line can be mocked up symbolically as well, mentally or even in real-time ritual, as is done in many weddings.
Mock-ups, as we call them in Clearing, can be an important part of powerful healing therapies. But in themselves they are not unique to Clearing practice.
When these visualization techniques are utilized to “duplicate” and thus delete unwanted conditions (such as in using modeling clay to represent an illness of the body), this would fall into the province of Clearing.
Affirmations and Programming
The power of affirmations is indisputable under certain circumstances. Along with visualization, they can be used to heal—or to harm. Examples range from ceremonial war rituals among aborigines to parlor-game demonstrations that enable a couple of children or small women to easily lift a large man.
Some Clearing practitioners do use affirmations. From a Clearing point of view, however, an affirmation made in the face of a pre-existing belief (or intent to the contrary) creates a dilemma—a problematic situation where the two intents simply oppose one another, creating a “stuck flow.” A Clearing practitioner would most likely, after discovering and “deleting” a hidden unwanted belief, suggest that the subject then replace it with one that is more helpful or appropriate.
However, many Clearing practitioners have a distrust of all procedures that “program” a subject in any way at all. They feel that the optimum condition would be for the subject to be always in present time, unburdened by all past programming, and thus able to spontaneously respond appropriately to all situations with innate understanding and ability.
Many Clearing practitioners feel that Clearing technology is a desirable alternative to hypnotherapy. By examining the elements of hypnosis, and more specifically the elements of trance, we can come to a better understanding of the exact relationship between hypnosis and Clearing.
If we define a trance as an altered (out-of-the-ordinary) state of consciousness characterized by (1) increased focus, and (2) a heightened degree of suggestion, it can be seen that there are elements of each of these in Clearing sessions. However, much of Clearing is predicated on the idea that it is not necessary to enter into a degree of focus that far beyond normal for the procedures to be effective. Moreover, the use of the Clearing biomonitor device (discussed below) makes it possible to access thoughts and memories from a state of normal consciousness that would be impossible for most people outside of trance. Furthermore, the restrictions on evaluating for the client tend to minimize the effects of suggestion.
Nevertheless, the fact is that most people do not ordinarily exercise their powers of self-examination as intensely as they do in a Clearing session. Also, the practitioner has been granted, after all, some authority as a professional—which would give any opinion or recommendation he voices substantial import. Thus, Clearing could be said to have, to some degree, the elements of hypnosis—but to a far smaller degree than is generally experienced in formal hypnosis.
The Clearing Biofeedback Meter
The Clearing biomonitor is an astounding device which is utilized by the majority of Clearing practitioners. It is essentially an electronic resistance meter that measures changes in the skin conductivity of a person. These changes correspond to variations in the subject’s mental resistance to whatever thought or mental image he has his attention on at the moment. The changes are not subtle—they can range from less than 5000 ohms to over 200,000 ohms in the span of a few moments!2 This characteristic has been observed for nearly 100 years, and was explored by Carl Jung. However, the remarkable expedient it affords in the realm of counseling has been ignored by mainstream therapists.3
The meter not only indicates the presence of charge (negative mental energy) on a subject; it also shows when there is no charge on the subject. Furthermore, it can show when a subject that was previously charged has been discharged of negative mental energy through the conscious examination by the client.
Aside from the obvious advantage of accessing thoughts and memories from deep in the unconscious, the meter has another advantage of profound importance in Clearing. It allows for the practitioner to explore a possibility with the client in the guise of asking a question. This circumvents the dangers of evaluating for the client, who understands that if a question reads on the meter, it must have emotional charge on it. Furthermore, it is understood that the question will only be rendered “non-reading” by thoroughly exploring the area. And if the question does not read, both the practitioner and the client can abandon the question immediately with the understanding that this is not an advantageous area to explore at this time.
So What Is Clearing — and What Is Not?
The protocols described above, in combination, constitute the most advanced techniques in the subject of remedial personal enhancement on the planet. This is Clearing.
Furthermore, there is ongoing research using these techniques to explore the very nature of the soul itself. Furthermore, some practitioners have found that Clearing has a direct connection with the development of paranormal abilities.
Some Clearing practitioners are of the opinion that any practice that lacks any of the essential protocols, or that introduces an additional aspect (such as spirit healing guides) is not worthy of the name “Clearing.” However, there is no reason that these Clearing protocols cannot be selectively incorporated into any existing therapy, counseling or self-enhancement process. The possibilities of Clearing techniques enhancing our current concepts of self development are staggering.
The possibilities for their abuse are also staggering. There is a particular concern that they could be regulated or persecuted out of existence by those who feel threatened by the general empowerment of people. In my opinion, the best protection for the public against misuse of Clearing technology is to be fully informed about it, and to be aware of a code of conduct adhered to by responsible practitioners. [The “ Code of a Clearing Practitioner” can be found in the book Clearing—A Guide for Practitioners by Hank Levin.]
Consequently, it is my personal intention to share as much of Clearing technology as possible with society’s alternative healers, counselors and therapists, so that it becomes recognized by all as a birthright that can never be suppressed or withheld.
© 1997 & 2008 by Hank Levin
1Originally, the comparison was with a calculator, with the idea of “Clearing” it of wrong data. This simplistic metaphor, while showing the relationship of the mechanism’s information to its performance, is not really as effective as the computer/software analogy in demonstrating the inter-relationship of the mind, body and spirit.
2So-called “experts” who attribute the changes to the effects of perspiration overlook the fact that the changes can occur in either direction in just moments, and one cannot “un-perspire” that quickly.
3See “The History of the CB Meter” by Gregory Mitchell in The Free Spirit Journal, Summer ‘96 Vol. XIII, No. 1-2. This obstinate disregard of this fantastic resource must be commensurate with the native civilizations of South America, who did not utilize the wheel except in children’s toys.
© 1998 Free Spirit Journal All Rights Reserved.