Watch the first 2:35 of the following youtube video to hear Wayne Dyer speaking about muscle testing. Sorry that the video quality gets blurry, it was the clearest version I could find.
Wayne’s story about muscle testing the rap CD on his son has a grain of truth to it, but I’m afraid he missed the point and doesn’t understand muscle testing at all:
It is verifiable that certain sounds have an inhibitory effect on the Central Nervous System. There are two levels of science to it:
The Science of Muscle Testing Sound Waves
1. Volume: As any rock concert musician will affirm, sounds that are too loud can cause permanent damage to the nerves in the ear. The CNS picks up microscopic damage during auditory input and if a muscle test (CNS test) were performed at this time, the tester would get a weak response. Keep in mind that there are 25+ things that can go wrong with a muscle test and another 7+ things that can go wrong with a CNS test.
2. Carrier waves. The basic idea of carrier-wave CNS inhibition is that thoughts have frequencies, measured in Hertz, which can interfere with the frequency of your body, and that the CNS can pick this up (a loose comparison is that of a champaign glass picking up a high-pitched sound and breaking, and I’m sure you’ve been around a high-pitched person and wished you weren’t). On a micro-level, this is the basis for Chi-Kung. On a macro-level, the British Biologist Rupert Sheldrake has published some fascinating books on the topic, particularly Morphogenetic Fields. Masaru Emoto, author of The Hidden Messages in Water, has also done some really interesting work with thought & water crystals. The point is that if someone were tested during such interference, they may (or may not) experience CNS inhibition. The key word is may or may not: I don’t spend any time on CNS testing carrier waves because there are too many variables for it to be an objective science. If I don’t like a song, I just turn it off.
Wayne Dyer, by his own explanation, didn’t even play the songs. He muscle tested neither 1) the volume nor 2) the carrier wave’s frequency in hertz (if that even works). These at least would have been attempts to isolate a variable and quantify it. Instead, he held a physical copy of the CD itself against his son’s chest and muscle tested that. There are 3 reasons his test result could have been skewed:
1. Particle Physics. He is presupposing that the carrier wave of the music when played is ALSO inherent in the physical CD when not played. There is some very vague evidence that this is possible, but even particle physicists disagree about the extent to which thoughts influence physical reality, and from the perspective of muscle testing, it can’t be proved because of Observer Bias.
2. Observer Bias. It is scientifically proven that emotions can have an inhibitory effect on the CNS. (Anger, for example, causes the release of the enzyme Tryptophan Hydroxylase which temporarily reduces the IQ. When an angry person CNS tests weak, it is NOT because they are no longer on their spiritual path, but rather that their own neuropeptides are activating the HPA Axis and putting their system in a temporary state of shock.) Someone who rap makes angry would CNS Test weak, but not because of the CD itself so much as their own neuropeptide response to the CD. Someone who loves the music can be expected to test strong because the brain will release Endorphins (the happy, sexy neurotransmitters) when they are in a state of enjoyment. Two different people would appear to get contrary responses to the same apparent stimulus. Then we get into degrees of enjoyment, and then into observer bias toward the person doing the test. Did Wayne Dyer’s son CNS Test weak because of the song, because of fear of his father, or because he hadn’t eaten lunch and was hungry? Or maybe he was low in Vitamin B that afternoon. There are too many variables to get anything approaching an accurate response.
3. Magnetic resonance. Substances all have their own magnetic signatures. With a ‘magnet’ we can see its effect on iron so we’re fine with that one, but what we don’t learn in school is that all substances have a magnetic signature. What’s more, so does the body. And just like a magnet attracts a Quarter but not a Nickel, so certain substances will interact with the body’s magnetic field in such as way as to inhibit or innervate the CNS as long as they’re held within the body’s magnetic field. A CNS test performed while the substance is held next to the body will go strong or weak based on the combination involved. Dyer mentions that he tested a banana on his son, and then the CD, that the banana CNS Tested strong while the CD tested weak. If the CD test was weak at all (this is assuming he knows how to interpret ‘strong’ from ‘weak’) it may well have been that the magnetic signature of the plastic in the CD case itself was the source of the weak response. I’ve seen this with those rubber shoes – ‘Crocks’ – they usually test weak (and are perhaps not coincidentally made from some noxious chemical).
An intelligent person, when confronted with a proverbial can of worms like the one I’ve just opened, should be left with more questions than answers. And this is my concern with Wayne Dyer’s presentation of muscle testing: he doesn’t raise any questions, only preaches to a passive audience about something he doesn’t really understand.
What’s more, he quotes Power vs Force by David Hawkins as the source of his understanding about muscle testing. Hawkins is one of the worst people to learn muscle testing from. His entire practice of testing is fundamentally flawed and non-verifiable. But having opened that can of worms, I’m going to drop it since the subject of Hawkins is a deep one and deserves more detailed treatment than I’m prepared to give it at this time.
The Questions I’ll leave you with:
Wayne Dyer is well respected as a motivational speaker and student of spirituality. Those are his fields, not mine. He’s the expert. But I’m the muscle testing guy, and I can see right away that as far as muscle testing goes, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. And that leaves me with some questions, which I’ll leave you with in turn:
1. If he’s so sure he’s right about my field, when in fact he seems to have taken some pretty big shortcuts, does that reflect at all on his claim to mastery of his own field?
2. When someone uses muscle testing to support their arguments, and they clearly don’t understand muscle testing, does that ultimately undermine their credibility?
Chris Rock on Robitussin
3. Most importantly: Is muscle testing the Robitussin of spiritualists? I’ll leave you with a 40 second clip of what ‘Popular Spirituality’ would look like if muscle testing came in a Robitussin bottle.
Where to go from here?
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