LESSON 3

BERTA

BERTA - our nerve sytem

Let’s remember Pavlow’s dog real quick: Dogs were exposed to an accoustic signal, followed by a flash of light.

The flash of light caused the dogs pupils to narrow. The combination (acoustic signal – flash) was repeated again and again. After only a short while the acoustic signal alone – now without the flash of light – was enough for the dogs’ pupils to react by narrowing. THAT WAS BERTA, our nerve system! She was the one who linked up the two separated signals! She wanted to help the dogs with that action.

Later on the flash of light was replaced by food. Hence ringing (=acoustic signal) – food, ringing – food and so on. All of a sudden the dogs learned another unconscious reaction. When the bell was ringing now – without the serving of food – the pupils of the dog stayed the same but in place of that reaction there was a stimulation of salivation to be observed. That was Berta as well!
She was the one that had dissolved the one link and replaced it with another. And again she just wanted to help. In both cases the dogs were unable to take conscious actions on the reaction of their nerve systems, hence Bertas’ work.

You do know that as well: When you already got used to waking up with your alarm at half past 5 in the morning every day, the Berta will wake you up at half past five on a Sunday as well, even though you could have slept until quarter to nine actually. (Berta has linked up two things that initially didn’t have to do anything with one another – the ringing of the alarm and the action of waking up. And maybe the alarm clock is only very quiet anymore and will still have its effect while a jackhammer in front of your window will keep you sleeping peacefully.

So what do we know about your Berta?
- She is stronger than you are.
- She is completely emotional.
- She is living within you – everywhere, in every part of your body (the other humans and animals have their own Berta).
- She always wants you to be fine.
- She wants to avoid anything bad, anything painful for you!
- She is very old (She has already taken good care of dinosaurs, which makes her at least 65 million years old).
- She remembers everything.
- She is incredibly resentful.
- She feels incredibly easy offended.
- She is super reliable.
- She always wants everything for you and that now.
- For her everything (seriously everything) is either good for you (then she links up, without you noticing it, joy to it) or bad for you (then she links up, also without your notice, pain to it)!!!
- She does that process of linking automatically without you being able to influence anything! – she ALWAYS tries to keep pain (anything she identifies as pain) and everything she has linked up pain to away from you and turn it down.
- She does only know extremes (black/white, friend/enemy, harmony/dissonance, good/bad, … ).
- She does never take a break.
- She loves you and JUST you!!!
- She is always there for you.
- She does only understand the language of emotions!
- She is very consistent.
- She does also try to keep you physically healthy and fit.

These are a couple attributes of your Berta. It’s actually great to have someone like her at your side! And it actually doesn’t matter now whether you believe it or not that this Berta does really exist. She is among the best documented and researched forces of this world (well, she is old enough already). But unfortunately this does not mean, that your Berta has received the attention or the gratitude yet, that she actually earns. On the contrary! We are ashamed because of her (when we are for example excited and nervous about something), ignore her (by covering up our mood and talking a lot all of a sudden or acting extremely cool), try to numb her with different substances (Beta-blocker, alcohol, try to lull her with illusionary worlds or mislead her (e.g. “Positive thinking has the disadvantage that you have to think about it!).

No surprise that Berta is left without a clue what to do sometimes. She then does her own thing, goes back to her point of view and shows you that she is stronger and knows better what’s good for you. Because of the fact that you are not dealing with her and not explaining her your advantages from a for example a certain exam (what’s great about it, what gives you joy about it, what you can prove there …) she doesn’t believe you in that example that you actually really want to attend this exam. She can only sense your fear, therefore “danger”, therefore “pain”. And now she tries everything to save you from that. How does she do that? She numbs your body as well as she can and tries to make you be invisible, so the bad enemy (the exam, the jury, the audience) can’t find you. That’s really nice of her! Albeit it’s not really leading to anything at first.

Let’s turn our attention to Berta and let’s find out how you can face her with the respect she earns and how you can bring her to support you in all your plans. Let yourself be shown how it will work to get supplied with joy, energy, humor, concentration, time, … at any time even though you are not thinking about it. Fasten your seat beat, listen and look closely and be aware of the importance of this moment, because now there comes Bertas’ first and mightiest law!

We asked many, many people that are under continual pressure due to their activities to describe how stage fright occurs in their personal situation.

These people were for example: practicing artists and musicians, actors, athletes,…
Mainly they told us the following points:
- The feeling to stay behind the own possibilities
- Problems to concentrate and focus
- Monster?
- Physical blockades (e.g. tremor, intensive sweating, to feel as if paralyzed,…
- Lack of motivation, no precise goals
- Existential fear
- The feeling of being unlucky all the time
- Temporary or chronical lethargy
- “Being unable to feel oneself”
- Lack of self-confidence
- Dependence on sedatives
- Not being able to find the necessary mental or physical tranquility
- The feeling of not being able to be creative
- Loss of performance due to distracting nervousness
- The feeling of being misunderstood
- Powerlessness
- Frustration
- Not being able to let oneself go in front of audience
- Fear of failing

If we obviously are not capable of doing what we actually want at some points, why do we then not get rid of that pointless behavior, as soon as we realize it? Or are we dealing with an overly powerful, mysterious monster that is resting on us like a bad curse and just waiting for the moment to wear you down.?

The answer is (and you will not like it a lot): yes and no! Yes, there is a force in every one of us, that is responsible for all these unpleasant effects. Yes, this force is stronger than all our thinking, than our desire and our rules. By talking about this force we do not mean God, Allah, Buddha, Krishna or Manitu, but “THE GOOD OLD BERTA”. And no, she doesn’t want to wear us down, on the contrary! Who this Berta is, what Berta wants, what Berta is like and why Berta can sometimes be so ugly is something we will be dealing with in our next letter of training.