C. Maxwell Cade
Maxwell Cade Foundation Biofeedback and Higher States
Publisher ' s note
The workshops for training in biofeedback devised and led by C. Maxwell Cade consisted of talks with exercisee. The Foundation is publishing selected talks, with associated exercises, for those interested in Max’s work and as material for those devising their own training courses.
In this publication, the introductory notes provide the context for understanding the subsequent talk. The contents of the introduction outline Max’s approach but are not taken verbatim from a specific talk. Most of the biofeedback technology described is relatively new, and the correlates of bodily measurements to states of consciousness were mostly established in the
latter part of the 20th Century. The traditions from which the references to transcendence, Samadhi and illumined consciousness are taken have been recorded in the East, if not in the West, for millenia.
Introductory note: What is biofeedback ?
Biofeedback learning about ourselves
Biofeedback provides a new way of learning about ourselves, or a way of relearning what the body already knows how to be attentive, how to respond, even how to " heal if we listen to it and techniques allow one to develop the art of listening to one’s internal cues and acting on them. Before one can have choice, one must first have awareness. Biofeedback provides the means to become aware - acutely aware of oneself and thereby to gain the possibility of se1fcontrol and with it, choice of action.
The Biofeedback Principle states: "If one is able to perceive a bodily process that one is not normally aware of, then one can learn to control it".
The biofeedback instruments monitor changes in the body and reflect them back, like mirrors. They are an aid to the process of self-discovery and self-mastery. By practising changing one’s attention or behaviour and using the feedback signals from the instruments to discriminate and discover which changes are helpful, one soon learns (or re1earns) the ability to direct and
choose the pattern of changes. Because the mind and body are but two aspects of the same living being, a change in the mind a thought, an emotion produces a corresponding change in the body. The biofeedback instruments monitor changes in the body and with training, one learns to associate the bodily changes with the changes in the mind which accompany or precede them.
The applications of biofeedback
The scope of biofeedback is restricted only by the scope of the bodily changes which can be monitored by the biofeedback instruments and by the creativity and perception of those who use them. The applications range from the simplest, like using the bathroom scales to help maintain a certain weight, to learning deep relaxation and relief from stress, improving circulation, attaining
meditative states, improving creativity and developing the intuition.
The formula for good biofeedback
Whichever instruments are being employed, the formula for effective biofeedback~ is always the same, and has three elements:
1. Identify the internal process one wants to develop more choice or flexibility over, and recogńise how this increased ability will be shown by the measurements of the biofeedback instrument(s)
2. Practise a method or technique to develop this ability in oneself and monitor the bodily changes using the biofeedback instrument(s)
3. Check whether the practice of this method or technique is effective using the feedback signââlës from the instrument(s). Then continue with it, adìust it or even discard it and find another technique according to whether the changes in oneself are moving towards those desired, moving away from them, or there are no real changes at all.
The Biofeedback Principle makes no implicit claims as to which methods or techniques are effective for encouraging a particular change, and indeed, different people setting out to achieve the same changes, apparently using the same method, may meet with quite different degrees of success2 Biofeedback allows each individual to discover for himself the effectiveness of the approach he uses, regardless of its success when used by anyone else.
Out growíng the instruments
The aim ultimately is for the individual to develop an increased awareness of the inner signals which are present, but often unnoticed when the biofeedback
instruments are signalling change, and to establish the connections which allow conscious choice of the "subconscious" processes. When these messages are
recognised and understood, and the individual has learned what the instruments are showing, he has outgrown the need for the instruments.
Published by The Maxwell Cade Foundation
9 Chatsworth Road, London NW2 , England
Copyright Mrs I. D. Maxwell Cade 1990