Which TED Talk completely changed your life

(Applause) Maybe, I don't know for sure, the first thing I should do is apologize to you. Because I've done something to all of you that you don't even know about. But strictly speaking, not with you as a physical audience, but with you from my head. When I was standing there earlier, I thought I might get heart palpitations standing in front of me. And there I have, perhaps you can see if you look, put a mental wastepaper basket in front of each of your chairs, in which you can put your criticism, if you have any. (Laughter) Then I thought it would be nice to have a little one here in case you had such self-criticism, because you can look at it again later. What if our whole life was a story that we tell ourselves? A story about our memories, our expectations, who we are and the others around us. What if all of life was a story that we tell ourselves and each other, and that others told us? Which we believed, or rejected, or changed. I don't want to think about that with you tonight, or almost not. But much more about why time doesn't really play such a big role in life and why it is never too late for a happy childhood. The thing about time. Well, our experience of time consists of the past, present and future, or, more correctly, of memory, perception and expectation. Because what we have from time is actually memory, perception and expectation. From a biological point of view, this is past, present and future. And all three take place in our brain in the now. We experience memory now, our perception and its interpretation happen now in the brain and our expectation now. And if the brain is a network where everything can influence each other, then our later memory, which takes place in the now, can influence our previous memory, creatively enrich it and also heal it. And our current perception and its interpretation could also influence our earlier memories, which just like the current in us, takes place in the now. I don't know how you are, I have often in my life, and far too often today, experienced myself as if I suffered life instead of creating it. And as a therapist and clinic chaplain, I have a lot of people around me, of whom I have the impression that they suffer life more than shape it. Who is suffering or shaping it? In a sense, this is our ego, or our brain. And we could ask our brain if it could change something constructively for us. So normally it is so that we make expectations, our hopes and fears, out of our memories, where else from. And out of our expectations to an astonishingly high proportion. If we remember how we once fell on black ice and therefore now fear falling again on the black ice, then our muscles will tense and the risk of falling again increases. And if we remember that a doctor kept helping us and now he has prescribed us a drug and told us that it will work very well, then it will probably work very well as well, even if it's a placebo. If we expect that people will meet us in a friendly manner, then we will involuntarily meet them in a friendly manner and - oh wonder - actually, they will meet us in a friendly manner and the reverse is certainly also true. To a much greater degree than we think, our expectations create our experiences. Well, with pleasant memories that turn into pleasant expectations, turn into pleasant experiences, turn into pleasant memories, turn into pleasant expectations, turn into pleasant experiences, turn into pleasant memories, it doesn't matter. We say that so much experience cannot be deceptive, and if it is then perhaps a self-fulfilling prophecy that leads to us getting what we expect, what we have remembered, that is not so bad. But with the unpleasant memories that turn into uncomfortable expectations, that turn into unpleasant experiences and unpleasant new memories, which we then call experiences, it may be desirable to interrupt the cycle once. And no longer saying "This is experience, I know how it works. This is how I am and this is the world." But how can we break this cycle? How could that work? We'd have to somehow manage to get new thoughts in from across. Speaking of thoughts, what are thoughts actually? Have you ever watched yourself thinking? I've tried it for a long time, and if you practice it for a long time, then it works a little and at some point you better understand how thinking works. Incidentally, that is a little bit different for every person. I do, and I think it is so similar with most people that there are roughly two kinds of things that we call thoughts. On the one hand, inner films, so to speak daydreams, so simulated seeing. And on the other hand, inner voices that we sometimes hear more as if they were being spoken to us, or sometimes more as if we were saying this to someone else or as if we were talking to ourselves, sometimes more as a speaker, sometimes more than Listener, so self-talk, these are thoughts. Films or self-talk. And if we have such thoughts as memory thoughts, memory films, then, interestingly enough, the whole body reactions and emotions always come with us. By the way, that is the delivery status of the company, but it doesn't have to be that way. You could also say hello to your brain and ask it to think about things, for example, with remarkable strength, calm, serenity, and even with interest and curiosity, about things that you would not have liked to think about before. And when you give your brain this greeting, it will likely say, "Yes, I can do it. Nobody has asked me yet." And since your brain can do that, feel free to try it too. And, based on that greeting, think of things that you normally would not have liked to remember and remark, "Hm, feels more relaxed than usual." Most likely much more relaxed. Well, we could get our brains to make the films a little different than normal. And there are many ways to do this. I said earlier that time doesn't matter. And in the brain it is actually the case that chronology, i.e. thinking in terms of earlier and later, is only a marginal function. Our brains are much more likely to put things together when they happen at the same time than when asked what was before or after, or when they are similar. And our brain arranges things in space rather than time. And besides imaginative spaces in which things are structured in models, it has above all two spaces that occupy the brain. The outside space, which we mostly call our environment. And the interior space that we mostly call our body. Interestingly, the information about these two spaces all come to us through our nerve cords. One through our visual and auditory nerves and the nerve endings on the surface of the skin and the other through the nerves inside our body. And that is then processed in our brain as if it were not produced in your body at all, but what is considered to be outside is projected outside like a holography and what belongs inside comes into an inner outside below your brain. And actually, in the world of the spirit or the brain, every outside is just a different inside. Now you could ask yourself "But the person sitting next to me is really real and not just in my head, isn't it?" I can't tell you exactly. I can only tell you that everything you know about the person sitting next to you is there in you because it is produced in you. Nothing is known about how any external data is converted into internal data, according to which rules, and whether these rules are adequate and what an adequate conversion would actually be. And I don't think you can find out anything about that either, because we can't get out if there's something outside. It doesn't really make much sense to talk about something inside when you have nothing but inside. But, that's kind of a paradox. The people who are important in your life make a difference on the one hand, they can differentiate between your parents, siblings, neighbors, outside, the physically biological and those inside. You may have ideas about what the people out there are thinking, but it's just your ideas and who knows what the others out there are thinking. And on the other hand, it is also true that everything you know about those out there happens inside you. And they actually only have the ones inside. This is a bit strange, but it can be useful for therapy and also for self-management in life. At this point I would like to invite you to a little experiment. Those who would like that could just imagine if you - well, we have films of other important people in our head, the others are like such a film in their heads. And if you imagine any person in a film like this who is sometimes annoying, there is something like that, someone who is annoying sometimes. Or disturbs. Is annoying. Hmm Brr. Yes? And once you become aware of this person who is annoying, there is somehow a person in my head. Or body, or brain. And when you say, well, the person in my body and brain, unlike the physical original, he belongs to me. So I can do with that, well let's say what is good for me. (Laughter) So you could just put this annoying person out of your head over there in the direction of the door. Over there, back there, no, not out, but only up to the door, so no further, please only the person who is so annoying, as a film, as a picture like a holography over there next to the door, yes? And let's see what does it look like? How is he looking out there? The one out there who was annoying inside beforehand, how is he looking out there? How is his breath What's his expression out there? How is his posture out there, his muscles and things like that? You might find that when you become aware, after looking a little at what kind of facial expression, muscle tension, breath, etc., you notice that it feels somehow more comfortable.Firstly, when he's outside, and secondly, after having observed a bit how he's out there, it's all the less so inside you. It's actually very strange about our emotions. The emotions we have are actually networks of physical experience. So when we are sad, something happens in our eyes, in our throat, in our stomach, in our breath, in our heartbeat, in blood pressure. And something similar when we are angry or angry or happy. And when I shamelessly asked you to think about this person who can be a little exhausting, maybe you started to feel a little uncomfortable. You have this body reaction, as I said, when we remember something with our thought films, then the body reactions usually come along. But when that's over there, it's a bit more pleasant. Maybe a lot. Now we could think about the story in a second part. At some point, who knows when, we will probably all no longer be alive. And neither. But we can imagine that this person might then be somewhere else in a world beyond. You can imagine it, some believe it deeply, for others it is a thought experiment. This person in a world beyond. And we could continue our story of this person from our head and imagine that the person from our head meets in the other world, all wise, holy and loving people who have ever lived there, and there in one of those Kind of soul school goes and matures. What would happen if he went to school for a few months with the loveliest, wisest people? At some point it has to mature. Everyone would mature at some point under such a good influence. And if it's not just months, but a year, or several years, then even more. And if you consider that time doesn't really matter over there, even less than here, then he would only have to go to school there, in such a wisdom development meeting place, until it finally changes a lot Has. And if you imagine that he comes back to us changed in this way, because out there - he may have learned there for 1,000 years - and now he is here again, because time is relative there, and now he is here and again You look at it, how it is changed and liberated by such a spiritual or other kind of experience. You can imagine it a bit like that, you can also open a drawer in him, it's a cartoon, and put everything he has ever experienced and suffered and done and experienced in a kind of recycling bin there. And then, when he has done everything he has ever suffered and experienced, you can make the container again and have it brought to such a recycling center. If you look at it again now, it is much more pleasant to experience. And something very peculiar is that when we shape such processes with people in therapy and they then come back home, at some point you usually meet the biological original again, and then they come back into therapy and then they tell me that the biological original has totally changed. (Laughter) So, it's a lot nicer to have. You can try it out, you have chosen someone, and if you come across that again, you will observe whether that is also true, that it is somehow different. Pleasantly different. One explains it with mirror neurons or with adjustment to expectations, the other maybe with projection or spiritual explanation, but it is remarkable to experience. And in couple therapy you can observe that if you get out of a partner who is present, the other unfortunately didn't come along, put the absent person out of your head next to them on the sofa, that when you work with both of them and something like that ignores the fact that one is visible and the other invisible, so that the relationship between the visible partner and the invisible improves in the course of the work. And the next time the visible person comes back, he'll also say that the partner has improved, changed, the relationship has changed. And that really got me thinking that I have observed that couples therapy with one partner and one invisible is often almost as effective as that with two. (Laughter) But also a really good thing. And, that is why I would like to say to you today: If you sometimes feel that you have suffered more than shaped your life so far, then consider that life may be a story that we tell ourselves. And that we can ask our brain to change the films that produce our emotions and our body reactions on a trial basis and to keep what works. And that it doesn't matter at all whether it was early traumatized or embryonic or whatever, the information is in your brain at the same time, so the later can also change the earlier. All that matters is that we give up the idea that no one can change the past. As far as we are concerned as biological beings, the past is memory, and your brain can continue to shape it. Many Thanks. (Applause)